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A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures , words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals are characterized, but not defined, by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, and performance. Rituals are a feature of all known human societies.

Ritual Power Healing And Community The African Teachings Of The Dagara

METHODS: archival studies of shamanic literature as well as field research in communities where shamans are actively functioning.

RESULTS: the source of shaman-derived information is attributed to such discarnate entities and forces as spirits, ancestors, animal guides, and energetic fields. These agencies were contacted through ritualized drumming, dancing, lucid dreaming, the use of psychotropic plants, focused attention, and other technologies. Further, these data can make important contributions to cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, psychotherapy, and ecological psychology.

Key-words: Shamans, shamanism, health care, phenomenology, psychology. The term shaman is a social construct that describes a person who attends to the psychological and spiritual needs of a community.

The techniques that enable shamans of both genders to access information that is not ordinarily attainable are known as "shamanism.

Roger Walsh analyzed shamanic phenomenology concluding that it is distinct from schizophrenic, Buddhist, and yogic states on such important dimensions as awareness of the environment, concentration, control, sense of identity, arousal, affect, and mental imagery. Any society may have one or more types of shamanic practitioners. The role of women as shamans worldwide, so often overlooked, has been recently addressed in depth by Barbara Tedlock. Kung of southwest Africa, the majority of males and a sizable minority of females are magical-religious practitioners.

This interaction involves special knowledge of spirit entities and how to relate to them, as well as special powers that allow these practitioners to influence the course of nature or human affairs in ways not ordinarily possible. His statistical analysis provided a division into four groups: 1 the shaman complex consisting of shamans, shaman-healers, and healers; 2 priests and priestesses; 3 diviners, seers, and mediums; 4 malevolent practitioners including witches and sorcerers.

Shaman-healers specialize in healing practices while healers typically work without the dramatic alterations of consciousness that characterize shamans and shaman-healers. Shamans, on the other hand, frequently interact with the spirits and sometimes "incorporate" them, but remain in control of the process, only suspending volition temporarily. For example, volition is surrendered during some Native American ritual dances when there is intense psychic "flooding. Malevolent practitioners are thought to have control over some of the "lower spirits" as well as access to power through rituals.

Typically, they do not see their mission as empowering a community as a whole. Rather, they are employed by individuals to bring harm to enemies inside or outside the community or to seek favor from the spirits for specific individuals through sorcery, witchcraft, hexes, and spells.

The more complex a society, the more likely it is to have representatives of each type of practitioner. It should be kept in mind, of course, that categories are never absolute; some practitioners are difficult to classify and others switch roles according to the occasion. Shamans enter their profession in a number of ways: some inherit the role while others may display bodily signs such as an extra digit, albinism, or an unusual birthmark; unusual actions such as seizures or else behavior patterns culturally associated with the opposite gender, or strange experiences such as out-of-body sensations and vivid or lucid dreams.

Depending on the culture any of these might constitute a call to shamanize. Spirits might beckon them in dreams or in daytime reveries. On the other hand, strange behaviors may be interpreted by the community as a call, thereby canalizing potentially disruptive actions into behavior patterns that are perceived to be beneficial. In some societies there is no formal training program, while in others the training process may last for several years.

The skills to be learned vary from society to society, but usually include diagnosis and treatment of illness, contacting spirits, supervising rituals, interpreting dreams, predicting the weather, gathering herbs, prophecy, and mastering the self-regulation of bodily functions and attentional states.

Shamans often need to contact spirits for various purposes. If they are dissatisfied they need to be propitiated. Magical performance of one sort or another is learned including sleight of hand, taking advantage of synchronous events, or the utilization of what Westerners call "parapsychological phenomena," including extrasensory perception and psychokinesis.

In most shamanic societies a variety of symbols, chants, dances, songs, epic poems, and stories must be learned and used when appropriate.

Some tribes arrange a special feast when the initiate passes a key phase of his or her training. In many instances, a society recognizes several types of shamans. Early Russian explorers and ethnographers suggested that the first shamans were simple nature healers but that during a later feudal phase of social evolution they invented spirits that necessitated the inculcation of altered states of consciousness ASCs in order to contact and communicate with these spirits.

She concluded that the capacity to experience ASCs was a basic psychobiological capacity of all human beings. In order to determine commonalties among various shamanic ASCs, Larry Peters and Douglass Price-Williams compared 42 societies, from four different cultural areas.

They identified three common elements: voluntary control of entrance and duration of the ASC; post-ASC memory of the experience; and the ability to communicate with others during ASC. On the other hand, mediums become possessed by spirits who use human bodies through which they are able to act. They may journey from "middle earth" to the "upper world" to visit ancestral spirits, to the "lower world" to visit power animals, and journey to the past, the future, and remote areas of the globe.

The spirits encountered in each of these realms differ from society to society, but shamanic journeying is typically linked to the ability to enter ASCs. The term often used to denote the voluntary nature of spirit embodiment is "incorporation.

In "possession," however, the individual generally embodies the spirit in an involuntary or unpredictable manner and there is usually amnesia for the experience. The notion of spirit possession poses problems for psychologists because it is an implicit explanation as well as a description. Vincent Crapanzano defines it as "any altered state of consciousness indigenously interpreted in terms of the influence of an alien spirit. He differentiates between shamanic forms of "voluntary possession," or incorporation, and the "involuntary possession" of victims of hexes or of malevolent spirits.

Peters and Price-Williams found that shamans in 18 out of the 42 societies they surveyed engaged in spirit incorporation, 10 in out-of-body experiences, 11 in both, and 3 in a different form of ASC. The specific induction procedures included mind-altering substances such as alcohol, opiates, psychedelics, stimulants, and tobacco; auditory stimulation through drumming or rattling; exposure to extreme temperatures; sexual abstinence; social isolation; sleep induction or deprivation; food restrictions; induced convulsions; excessive motor behavior; and extreme relaxation.

While his analysis indicates some distinct patterns regarding incorporation and magical flight, he found cases of profound ASCs that involved neither of these features. His presentation of the unifying psycho-physiological model of ASCs is that it is "a parasympathetic dominant state characterized by the dominance of the frontal cortex by slow wave discharges emanating from the limbic system" 23 interacting with various social variables.

There are additional ways in which shamans can alter their consciousness: by chanting as in the incantations of Taiwanese shamans; by jumping as in the hour kut ceremonies of Korean shamans; through mental imagery such as the visualization practices of Tamang shamans in Nepal who see their tutelary spirits prior to incorporating them.

Often, shamans use two or more procedures simultaneously to alter consciousness. Korean shamans combine drumming with jumping; Arapaho shamans smoke a ceremonial pipe and rub their bodies with sage, in addition to drumming. It has been demonstrated that drumming can produce brain activation by coinciding with the theta EEG frequency, which is about 4 to 8 cycles per second through auditory driving. Body and mind are seen as a unity, hence there is no sharp division between physical and mental illness.

Symbolic manipulation plays a major role with the drum serving as the vehicle with which the shaman "rides" into the spirit world. The blowing of smoke toward the four directions represents an appeal to the guardians of the four quarters of the universe.

For shamans and their communities, since any product of the human imagination represents a form of reality, mental imagery and imagination play an important role in healing. Diagnosis determines whether the soul has been stolen or strayed away from the body. Treatment aims to recover the soul through "soul-catching" or a similar procedure. Each shamanic society has its own diagnostic nosology. Some causal agents that result in sickness are the breach of taboo, karma from past actions, the intrusion of a foreign object into the body, and casting of the evil eye.

In recent years, many shamans have added the germ theory of disease to their etiological schema and refer some of their clients to allopathic physicians.

Rituals of transformation are the essential link in introducing a synergistic healing community. By providing experiences of transpersonal bonding, these rituals enable individuals to realize their communal responsibilities and sense their deep interconnectedness.

Even when a client must be isolated as part of the healing process, this drastic procedure impresses the community with the gravity of the ailment. In regard to healing practices, shamans and psychological and psychiatric therapists demonstrate more similarities than differences.

There are shamanic methods that closely parallel contemporary behavior therapy, hypnotherapy, family and milieu therapy, drug therapy, psychodrama, and dream interpretation. As a result of these similarities the psychological study of shamanism has something important to offer to cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, psychological therapy, and ecological psychology. Psychologists have proposed that attention, memory, and awareness are the three major components of the consciousness construct.

The field of cognitive neuroscience studies the neural processes that underlie the mechanisms, potentials, and limitations of mental operations. Researchers have used electrical stimulation to produce unitive experiences from volunteer subjects and the thalamus and temporal lobe are hypothesized to be the key structures associated with these effects.

Neural networks may be instrumental in making connections between the cognitive processes of the organism and its understanding of the natural world. This notion may provide appropriate web and network models for cognitive psychology since it relies less on artificial intelligence and digital computer metaphors for the architecture of the nervous system.

These insights in turn could be applied to the cognitive neuro-scientific study of the ubiquitous nature of shamanic constructs. Neurological research in combination with the investigation of shamanic verbal reports may yield clues as to whether the basis for these constructs is hardwired and may also contribute to a deeper understanding of both cultural and personal human evolution.

The study of individual attitudes and behaviors in settings where other people are present or imagined is called social psychology. This field examines individuals within the context of social structures. The traditional shamanic worldview defines individuals in terms of their clans and kinship systems and provides a framework that is well suited for study by social psychologists.

The human being is an incredibly social animal; unlike other animals, humans are neither strong nor fast. Survival thus depends on abstract problem-solving and group formation. There is probably a genetic basis for forming groups, as it has been highly adaptive in human evolution; even so, the social world modulates gene expression.

Shamanism is a cultural adaptation to biologically based adaptive potentials, especially those that foster hypnotizability, which coincides with anomalous and spiritual experiences.

Based on these experiences, shamans developed rituals that promoted intragroup cohesion, fertility, and therapeutic outcomes. Social modeling involves clear presentations of the behaviors to be learned in a training program such as those given by magico-religious practitioners. They reported mediumship activity as well as "control of the religious-related dissociative experiences" to be associated with high scores on tests for dissociation in spite of positive scores on socialization and adaptation tests.

They also "found evidence of social modeling of non-pathologic religious dissociative experience for a population with extensive formalized mediumship training," but not "for social modeling as a causation of pathological dissociation. Since Aristotle recorded his impressions of argumentation in the Rhetoric , humans have attempted to refine the principles of social influence, the study of persuasion, influence, and compliance.

In any social group, people spend a considerable amount of time cajoling, exhorting, and even manipulating each other to attain their goals. Credibility is essential to persuasion, and credible practitioners display a degree of competence in their field and are commonly viewed as knowledgeable. Fuller Torrey concluded that the nature of an effective treatment reflects one or more of four fundamental principles: a shared worldview between practitioner and client, personal qualities of the practitioner, positive client expectations, and procedures that engender a sense of mastery on the part of the client.

Social influence and persuasion are apparent in each of these principles. Much of the effectiveness of shamans rests on the fact that their concepts of sickness are the same as those of their clients.

In addition, shamans burnish a positive image of themselves and their powers in order to impress their clients. Emotional arousal and the evocation of faith, hope, and trust enhance client expectations. Group processes may implement a sense of mastery; West African shamans may invite half a dozen clients into their homes, spending considerable time with them each day. The net effect of these and other social procedures is to equip the client with strategies to cope with problems in living.

Anthropologist Marvin Opler described the way in which Apache shamans he studied maximized their reputations as effective practitioners, by selecting receptive clients and rejecting skeptics as well as those with apparently incurable conditions. They enlisted the aid of the community in the healing ritual, which further motivated the client to recover. Psychological research has indicated that people who receive social support from their social network, particularly if it is from significant others, tend to have fewer psychological problems than people who do not receive support, but there is less evidence regarding physical health.

Ritual : power, healing, and community : the African teachings of the Dagara

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. Brittany Powell.

The stories within these books have the poignancy of new discoveries as well as the unworn imagination of the ancestors. The commentary has the sharp edge of modern thought and the intricacy which results from the intellect being woven through the ritual complexities of tribal life. The purpose of constructing thresholds that bring this world together is to find the powers that can heal the rends in tribal as well as modern communities.? Ritual is written with wild imagination, careful critical reflection, and intuitive insights that will force the reader to encounter the world anew. Find books coming soon in Sign in. Dec 01, ISBN

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.

"Ritual: Power, Healing and Community (Compass)," written by Malidoma Patrice Somé was an interesting and short read. The author incorporated his real-life.

Ritual: Power, Healing and Community

This book is part of a scries by Malidoma Some, So-may. He is an initiated member of the Dagara people in West Africa. His people are dedicated to weaving this world with the Otherworld. Even in this modern era the power in a name is important to the Dagara people and his purpose is to interpret the modern world for his village elders and to interpret the traditional world to a modern western audience. This is a personal book.

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Еще только начинало светать, но движение уже было довольно оживленным: молодые жители Севильи возвращались после ночных пляжных развлечений. Резко просигналив, пронесся мимо мини-автобус, до отказа забитый подростками. Мотоцикл Беккера показался рядом с ним детской игрушкой, выехавшей на автостраду. Метрах в пятистах сзади в снопе искр на шоссе выкатило такси. Набирая скорость, оно столкнуло в сторону Пежо-504, отбросив его на газон разделительной полосы.

 Сьюзан, - сказал Стратмор, уже теряя терпение, - директор не имеет к этому никакого отношения. Он вообще не в курсе дела. Сьюзан смотрела на Стратмора, не веря своим ушам. У нее возникло ощущение, что она разговаривает с абсолютно незнакомым человеком. Коммандер послал ее жениха, преподавателя, с заданием от АНБ и даже не потрудился сообщить директору о самом серьезном кризисе в истории агентства. - Вы не поставили в известность Лиланда Фонтейна. Терпение Стратмора иссякло.

И с ироничной усмешкой вспомнил: - Без воска. Беккер стоял с закрытыми глазами, а человек в очках в металлической оправе приближался к. Где-то неподалеку зазвонил колокол. Беккер молча ждал выстрела, который должен оборвать его жизнь. ГЛАВА 89 Лучи утреннего солнца едва успели коснуться крыш Севильи и лабиринта узких улочек под. Колокола на башне Гиральда созывали людей на утреннюю мессу. Этой минуты ждали все жители города.

Уничтожение ТРАНСТЕКСТА. Уже несколько лет Танкадо пытался рассказать миру о ТРАНСТЕКСТЕ, но ему никто не хотел верить. Поэтому он решил уничтожить это чудовище в одиночку. Он до самой смерти боролся за то, во что верил, - за право личности на неприкосновенность частной жизни.

 Давайте скорее, - сказала Сьюзан, пытаясь что-нибудь разглядеть сквозь тяжелую стеклянную дверь. Она знала, что, пока ТРАНСТЕКСТ будет продолжать сжирать аварийное питание, она останется запертой в Третьем узле.

Покраснев, Сьюзан сказала, что созрела довольно поздно. Чуть ли не до двадцати лет она была худой и нескладной и носила скобки на зубах, так что тетя Клара однажды сказала, что Господь Бог наградил ее умом в утешение за невзрачные внешние данные. Господь явно поторопился с утешением, подумал Беккер.

Ritual: Power, Healing and Community