RE: virus: Shamanic understanding

Robin Faichney (
Thu, 14 Aug 1997 09:46:00 +0100

Wade T.Smith wrote:
>The culture of the shaman allows his shamanism. (The shamanistic among
>you will say the culture of the rational allows rationalism....) I
>claim that it is an economic niche only...

>From the point of view (POV) of economics, *every* niche is an
economic niche only. From the POV of ecology, every niche is
an ecological niche only. From the POV of memetics, every
niche is a memetic niche only. No? These terms designate
approaches to reality, not subdivisions of it. Don't confuse the
map with the territory!

>...I am (and the blame is mine)
>overextending 'economics' here as well, and in defense of this, I can
>only contend that to even attempt to analyze the 'magical' aspects of
>shamanism (indeed of all supernatural belief entirely) is pointless.
>that we won't keep trying.

I really don't see why economics (or 'economics') is seen as the
only alternative to 'magic'. To me a magical analysis is a
contradiction, as magic is a quality of perception ('that was
magical!'), and necessarily vanishes (magically!) as soon as
you start analysing. The most obvious ways of analysing
shamanism, for me, are anthropologically, psychologically,
sociologically and 'spiritually'. (For those who react
negatively to the latter, what I mean by it could be thought
of as applied psychology/sociology/philosophy.)