Re: virus: shamanism (Was FW: JCS: Three and a half years of

Brett Lane Robertson (
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 01:04:14 -0500

"It's like trying to talk about Zen. It can be done, but what have you

You've laid the groundwork for future experimentation and increased the
liklihood that something (even if it must be directly experienced) will
happen at a greater variable than would be likely by chance alone.


At 02:51 PM 8/13/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Robin Faichney wrote:
>> Note the implication that shamanism
>> is "a technique for spiritual or other personal
>> development".
>interesting. Maybe I'll take it up!
>> The second answer is that of course it makes no sense to study shamanism
>> academically because it is first and foremost an experiental practice.
>> No
>> one can tell you what it feels like to go into a shamanically induced
>> trance or to go on a shamanic journey. You can describe the physical
>> effects of a roller coaster ride in terms of increased heart-rate,
>> g-forces
>> applied etc. but I'll never know what it's like until I take the ride.
>Exactly. While we may attempt to describe subjective experiences in the
>*inter*subjective thing we call language, or even in the "objective"[1]
>terms of science, such an attempt is bound to be just that: an attempt.
>It's like trying to talk about Zen. It can be done, but what have you
>"Religion is Zen"... that is, religion is about deeply subjective
>[1] Science claims objectivity, but it's really no more than carefully
>applied inter-subjectivity. That is, a formallized process for
>establishing "truth" based on the experiences of multiple persons and
>instruments. Right?

Rabble Sonnet Retort
Take what you can use and let the rest go by.