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David Zindell's Neverness, A Requiem for Homo Sapiens and all things Science Fiction and Fantasy
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 Post subject: Shamanism
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 1:23 am
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Syl and I briefly mentioned shamanism a few times, and I just found yet another reason to start a thread for it. Although this post doesn't get much into the topic yet, only this latest inspiration for the thread.

The quote that opens PAIN, Chapter 8 of Zindell's War in Heaven, is by Igjugaruk (it's actually Igjugarjuk), the shaman.Quote:The only true wisdom lives far from humankind, out in the great loneliness, and can only be reached through suffering. Privation and suffering alone open the mind to all that is hidden from others.Here's the Introduction to the 1999 edition of Across Arctic America:Quote:Across Arctic America tells the tale of one of the epic voyages of world history, Knud Rasmussen's trek from Greenland to Siberia in 1921-1924. Like Captain Cook's exploration of the Pacific, or Lewis and Clark's march across the Rockies, Rasmussen's Fifth Thule Expedition set the standard by which all future explorers would be judged. In three and a half years he and his companions traveled nearly 20,000 miles by dog team, collected 20,000 artifacts, and compiled thousands of pages of information about arctic natural history, Eskimo folklore, culture, and customs. On his journeys Rasmussen explored both the visible world of ice and snow and the invisible world of mind and spirit, recording an incomparable wealth of data about Eskimo intellectual and spiritual life.Igjugarjuk was a Caribou shaman in Alaska, and the quote Zindell used is in this marvelous book (which I haven't gotten too far into yet), though slightly different:Quote:All true wisdom is only to be found far from the dwellings of men, in the great solitudes; and it can only be attained through suffering. Suffering and privation are the only things that can open the mind of man to that which is hidden from his fellows.

I first learned of Across Arctic America (and Igjugarjuk) because Joan Halifax mentions it often in her book, Shamanic Voices. This is a fantastic book on shamanism, which begins with 30+ pages of her discussing shamanism in general, followed by a little more than 200 pages of quotes - up to several pages long - of many shamans from many cultures around the world. This book also has the Igjugarjuk quote, in yet a third form! And I'll add a couple sentences of the many pages she quotes:Quote:A real shaman does not jump about the floor and do tricks, nor does he seek by the aid of darkness, by putting out the lamps, to make the minds of his neighbours uneasy. For myself, I do not think I know much, but I do not think that wisdom or knowledge about things that are hidden can be sought in that manner. True wisdom is only to be found far away from people, out in the great solitude, and it is not found in play but only through suffering. Solitide and suffering open the human mind, and therefore a shaman must seek his wisdom there.I think Halifax got it from a different Rasmussen book, Intellectual Culture of the Hudson Bay Eskimos. No idea where Zindell got his quote, but the two Rasmussen books may be different translations of Igjugarjuk's words.

In any event, Iggy looks like a big inspiration for the Warrior-Poets, eh? ____________
Highdrake's mastery of spells and sorcery was not much greater than his pupil's, but he had clear in his mind the idea of something very much greater, the wholeness of knowledge. And that made him a mage.<i></i>

 Post subject: Re: Shamanism
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 2:23 am
Posts: 3363
Each of us - gods, men or worms in the belly of a bird, in our every thought, feeling or action no matter how trivial or base - we create this strange universe in which we live. We create God. At the end of time, when the universe has awakened to itself, the past will be remembranced, and everything and everyone who has suffered the pain of life will be redeemed. This is my hope; this is my dream; this is my design~David Zindell
Before, you are wise; after, you are wise. In between you are otherwise.
Fravashi saying (from the formularies of Osho the Fool) <i></i>

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