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what is a shawman

topic posted Tue, April 19, 2005 - 11:50 AM by  starbuck
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for those of us new to this tribe . what exactly is the definition of a sawman or sawmanism. of corse i have a general idea but the spesifics escape me
posted by:
starbuck
SF Bay Area
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  • Unsu...
     
    ny individual who uses techniques to attain a constant foothold in all realm percieved or otherwise. Once this foothold is established a shaman takes upon the duty of acting as ambassador between them. Shaman's are not linked to culture but culture is linked to shamans.
    • Unsu...
       
      Hmm... I guess I'm still confused then.
      • Unsu...
         
        Not by you Spler -- that definition makes sense and is what I would like to think about it... however, other people definitely seemed to contradict this. I choose to believe you instead of them.
        • what about those of us who are born adepts and do not use technique to tap into the other world?

          From my perspective, a shaman is one "member" of the archetypal magician "family". Other members include sage, sheihk, dervish, guru, yogi, wizard, buddha, christ, etc... Yes, some members of the archetypal magician family use plants, trance dance, meditation, etc... to access "hidden" realms--and I use the term hidden loosely because NOT all members of this family have to work, or utilize technique to tap into what they see and experience clear as day. Some members of this family are born adepts--born with their lights on already.
          • Unsu...
             
            You don't have to beleive me.
            Maker, here, brings up a good point. That a shaman is a member of the magician family. I agree. President, and Secretary are both members of a council but they have diffrent roles. In this I simply answered the "shaman's role" question.
            But Maker's point here makes good sense.
          • 'what about those of us who are born adepts and do not use technique to tap into the other world?'

            Ummm.....I believe 'not using a technique' is a 'technique.'
            I believe the Taoists have that one pretty well covered :)

            The use of any word like 'Shaman' is bound to the person using it, and the level at which the word is being used. An Anthropologist would use the term one way and have an agreed meaning (tenatively) with others in his own science.

            A Mongolian herdsman....would have a different (yet with some similarities) use than that of a Westerner.

            For shitz an giggles...............
            Consider the word 'Meaning.' Think what does meaning mean to you? Then go ahead and look the word up in a dictionary.

            For the most part, 'Meaning' has no meaning until it is used in connection with another thought (Term , Ideal , Concept). The meaning of 'Meaning' is a fabrication of the consciousness. It is 'of the mind.' And has no literal physical import of it's own.

            This is the possible ignorance of people who say 'this means this or that means that.' God is Buddha, God is Allah, Democrats are left and Republicans are Right, etc. etc. etc. etc.

            *Reality is more of what we dont know, than we know.

            So what does Shaman mean......who cares. I dont know, but I am sure someone would make a f*cking religion out of it :)

            Live and Love
            Fox
            • Ummm.....I believe 'not using a technique' is a 'technique.'
              I believe the Taoists have that one pretty well covered :)

              yes--but, not using a technique is simply being.

              The word Shaman is only a word used by a rational mind to understand and categorize something according to the culture who created the word. The tribal mind does not utilize words to describe the experience.
          • I think even "born adepts" use techniques of a sort... They are simply already in place and operate on an unconscious level. Usually a few targetted questions will uncover the process and make it learnable as a "technique" for others.

            Instead of techniques... how about "strategies"? I'm sure there is a specific and replicable process by which you do what you do... certain settings that you favor, unconscious (or conscious) ways in which you clear your mind, specific ways you focus your attention and so on.

            I say this because I have spent a lot of time with adepts, shamans and magicians of every type... and I've heard the "I don't use rituals/techniques" statement before... However, when I begin to question the person, it always turns out that they have their own "techniques" that they did not need to learn... but follow a definite process nonetheless... In fact, I've learned quite a bit by exploring this line of thinking...

            Phil
            • I like the word strategy, but, I like the word awareness even more.
              • Unsu...
                 
                Good ideas.
                I would offer up the word "methodology" instead. I mean "Stratagy" doesn't work because it sounds like there is active resistance coming from the otherside (when often it is coming from the same place the "offensive" is yielded from)
                Awareness is a little off to because you have cases where an individual preform "magicks" that they are unaware of. (For instance; body and blood of Christ in wafer and wine)
                "Acceptance" ...er.... not really because we have all seen cases where some tear themselves apart refusing to beleive the unconventional.
                In the end methodology works. To each there own?
                But! The term Shaman is incredibly inportant (as is mage, warlock, priest, witch) though not to the individual but to the community. For instance, what would I call myslef... um... human, for the most part. But what does my community call me? Whatever it is it is there to boast the faith of those people who would come to me for service. Which is why the devote can be healed by their priest and not by a travelling gypse because in acts of communal magicks the village is as invovled as the "shaman" despite him being the only one to "wave his magick bone".
                • I don't refer to myself as anything as they are only words to label something. I am me. I am a human who has always been tuned into more. It is through my awareness that I see, and how I see can not fit into any one box, nor can I be labelled any one name but by learning about taoism, sufism, shamanism, I can quantify my experience according to a group.

                  does this make sense?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     
                    Yeah, total sense.

                    I with yay. But it easier to ask for an apple the "that red orby thing, with the skin and stuff, that taste sweet when you eat it right off that branchy thingy growing in the ground" If we didn't "label" things the dictionary would be a leaflet.
                    • okay--good, and I do understand the importance of words, or we couldn't communicate or explain my experience, but, the trouble for a mystic is that our experience really is beyond words....

                      hmmmm--i just labelled myself something.
                      • Unsu...
                         
                        hahaha...
                        Yeah, agreed. There is a certain element of the unspeakable to this. I heard someone refer to it as hearing with your eyes and talking with images. That seems to me to feel right. To bad that's not how our language is utilized.
                        • "The tao that can be named is not the Tao."

                          Or... in the General Semantics form: "The map is not the territory."

                          Phil
                          • I understand why you post this quote about the tao, but, if the tao can not be named, what was it that lao tzu so eloquently explained?

                            this is the same thing as "ceci n'est pas un pipe".
                            • "I understand why you post this quote about the tao, but, if the tao can not be named, what was it that lao tzu so eloquently explained?

                              this is the same thing as "ceci n'est pas un pipe"."


                              Lao Tzu's eloquent words provide an experience based in metaphor, but never quite touch what he is describing. He circles around in a way that makes your mind contemplate the nature of reality, but never quite leaves the level of metaphor. It's significant that the Tao Teh Ching begins with that disclaimer.

                              It's more like "The menu is not the meal."

                              Phil
                              • Unsu...
                                 
                                Actually Lao Tzu explains in the first chapter what he is explaining. His talks were all about "the bowl in which the toa rest" because if you can "precieve the vessel you may gaze in to the toa".
                              • I understand this, but, by naming it "the way", he married the process to a name. How is taoism taught if it can't be named? The way has been named as the tao, but the way itself can not be explained. This is all I mean to say.

                                sufism also means "the way" or, "the path" and it is through rumi's metaphor and poetry that one grasps both the simplicity and complexity without rumi saying "there is only one way"

                                I do not disagree with what you say
                                • Unsu...
                                   
                                  I hear yah.
                                  I don't know. I would automatically default to "why do we have a word for nothing?" Simply, because we depend upon language to communicate. It is not a good language but sometimes we are forced to try to describe what is by it's very nature undescribable.
                                  Make do with what we have, I guess.

                                  But, as a side not - FRITTER is just as good as anything else!
                                • "I understand this, but, by naming it "the way", he married the process to a name. How is taoism taught if it can't be named? The way has been named as the tao, but the way itself can not be explained. This is all I mean to say. "


                                  To some extent, this is a cultural and linguistic thing... If I say to you, in English, "that's the process," it's a very open-ended term that can be applied in a wide variety of situations. You have to work a little to apply meaning to it. However, if I am from Planet X and "the process" is a foreign word that stands out in the context of the rest of my language, then it will seem to refer to a unique thing. "Xdkdyy blort flegem the process sanak bleckem."

                                  Likewise the Chinese word has a special significance to us, but probably less of one to Lao Tzu's contemporaries.


                                  Phil
                                  • Unsu...
                                     
                                    I guess we could take a lesson from Prince and just make up a symbol to use. I'm thinkin'... how could you write a book on Toa and not give it a name. What? Just leave a blank spot were a word would go? That'd confuse the hell out of me!

                                    But I'm with you on the "tag it to a name". Your right. It does seem to cage it. But that's not so much Loa fault as it was us... and more inportantly the translator who could have found an equivilent.
                • I'll go with you on "methodology"...

                  I think most of us, if not all of us, perform a variety of rituals and have shamanistic, mystical, and magical experiences that are so integrated into our lives that we don't even notice their magical import. When we start to notice them and to work them at will, then we approaching the level of "shaman" or "magician" or at least the first step in that direction.

                  Phil
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    i think that methodoly (as apt as it is) is still to limiting i prefer to use super generalized terms that could (much like the thing that they describe) mean apsolutly anything to anyone like "thot proses" or "way of looking at things". oh and as long as we are talking about words that we like ,i like the word friter. i've never even had a friter i just love that word . come on say it with me now. friter. FRITER! ferrrriiiterrrr.
                    • Could you be more specific concerning 'super generalized terms?'

                      Apple Fritters are yummy. They are a species of donut. :)

                      Trouble with forming concensus definitions/meanings is that one or another will usually hold out on agreement. I have found this to be due to an emotional attachment to a particular meaning. e.g. splitting hairs over what a dead supposed author of a Taoist text said/meant, or one's particular favorite interpretation (again this shows emotional attachment).

                      What is more important, one's definition, or dialoge with community. To each their own!

                      To be or not to be,
                      that is the answer!
                      Fox