"Shamanistic practices are sometimes claimed to predate all organized religions, and certainly date back to the Neolithic period. Aspects of shamanism are encountered in later, organized religions, generally in their mystic and symbolic practices. Greek paganism was influenced by shamanism, as reflected in the stories of Tantalus, Prometheus, Medea, and Calypso among others, as well as in the Eleusinian Mysteries, and other mysteries. Some of the shamanic practices of the Greek religion were later adopted into the Roman religion.
The shamanic practices of many cultures were marginalized with the spread of Christianity. In Europe, starting around 400, the Christian church was instrumental in the collapse of the Greek and Roman religions. Temples were systematically destroyed and key ceremonies were outlawed or appropriated. The Early Modern witch trials may have further eliminated lingering remnants of European shamanism.
The repression of shamanism continued as Christian influence spread with Spanish colonization. In the Caribbean, and Central and South America, Catholic priests followed in the footsteps of the Conquistadors and were instrumental in the destruction of the local traditions, denouncing practitioners as "devil worshippers" and having them executed. In North America, the English Puritans conducted periodic campaigns against individuals perceived as witches. More recently, attacks on shamanic practitioners have been carried out at the hands of Christian missionaries to third world countries and by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) against its own citizens. As recently as the nineteen seventies, historic petroglyphs were being defaced by missionaries in the Amazon. A similarly destructive story can be told of the encounter between Buddhists and shamans, e.g., in Mongolia....
It has been postulated that modern state campaigns against the use of entheogenic substances are the offshoot of previous religious campaigns against shamanism....
The holomovement theory proposed by David Bohm is often seen as an approach to create a scientific foundation for concepts such as parallel worlds and alternative ways to traverse time and space."
yusing writes | more than 11 years ago
Quote#2 - from: terence mckenna: mind contagions
by Alex Burns (firstname.lastname@example.org) - September 08, 2001
McKenna also feels close to the SF writer and cyber-shaman Philip K. Dick, drawing analogies between his encounter with an 'insect-like intelligence' during an anthropological safari to the Amazon Basin in 1971, and Dick's startling encounter with a Vast Active Living Intelligence System (VALIS) three years later.
Both were according to McKenna, "encounters with the Overmind, which is the humanly knowable portion of the intelligent Other. Jacques Vallee called the category of experience that Dick and I had 'the Cosmic Giggle,' which is a randomly roving zone of synchronicity and statistical anomaly.
"Should you be caught up in it, it will turn reality on its head. It is objective and subjective, simultaneously 'really there' and yet somehow is sustained by imagination and expectation; the umbilicus of our ontology, the place where we see that the world came from something very different from what it now appears to be."