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Shamanism — Medicine Men and Priests

The evolution of religious observances progressed from placation, avoidance, exorcism, coercion, conciliation, and propitiation to sacrifice, atonement, and redemption. The technique of religious ritual passed from the forms of the primitive cult through fetishes to magic and miracles; and as ritual became more complex in response to man’s increasingly complex concept of the supermaterial realms, it was inevitably dominated by medicine men, shamans, and priests.

In the advancing concepts of primitive man the spirit world was eventually regarded as being unresponsive to the ordinary mortal. Only the exceptional among humans could catch the ear of the gods; only the extraordinary man or woman would be heard by the spirits. Religion thus enters upon a new phase, a stage wherein it gradually becomes secondhanded; always does a medicine man, a shaman, or a priest intervene between the religionist and the object of worship. And today most of our systems of organized religious belief are passing through this level of evolutionary development.

Evolutionary religion is born of a simple and all-powerful fear, the fear which surges through the human mind when confronted with the unknown, the inexplicable, and the incomprehensible. Religion eventually achieves the profoundly simple realization of an all-powerful love, the love which sweeps irresistibly through the human soul when awakened to the conception of the limitless affection of the Universal Father for the sons of the universe. But in between the beginning and the consummation of religious evolution, there intervene the long ages of the shamans, who presume to stand between man and God as intermediaries, interpreters, and intercessors.

How does your belief system include or exclude the medicine man, shaman, or priest? Should religion be secondhanded?

In your belief system, is there someone who acts as an intermediary, interpreter, and/or intercessor?

What about intercessory prayer???

Does the God of your belief system need to be coaxed into loving and helping you and/or others???

In your opinion, did the Judeo-Christian God of Love really NEED Jesus of Nazareth to be crucified as a SACRIFICE to convince him not to PUNISH humanity for the SINS of Adam and Eve, or is the typical Christian position/teaching regarding the reasons for the betrayal and execution of Christ a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of God and His will??? What do YOU think???

Peace, Rev. Bill

Edited by williamsadler53

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The First Shamans — The Medicine Men

The shaman was the ranking medicine man, the ceremonial fetishman, and the focus personality for all the practices of evolutionary religion. In many groups the shaman outranked the war chief, marking the beginning of the church domination of the state. The shaman sometimes functioned as a priest and even as a priest-king. Some of the later tribes had both the earlier shaman-medicine men (seers) and the later appearing shaman-priests. And in many cases the office of shaman became hereditary.

Since in olden times anything abnormal was ascribed to spirit possession, any striking mental or physical abnormality constituted qualification for being a medicine man. Many of these men were epileptic, many of the women hysteric, and these two types accounted for a good deal of ancient inspiration as well as spirit and devil possession. Quite a few of these earliest of priests were of a class which has since been denominated paranoiac.

While they may have practiced deception in minor matters, the great majority of the shamans believed in the fact of their spirit possession. Women who were able to throw themselves into a trance or a cataleptic fit became powerful shamanesses; later, such women became prophets and spirit mediums. Their cataleptic trances usually involved alleged communications with the ghosts of the dead. Many female shamans were also professional dancers.

But not all shamans were self-deceived; many were shrewd and able tricksters. As the profession developed, a novice was required to serve an apprenticeship of ten years of hardship and self-denial to qualify as a medicine man. The shamans developed a professional mode of dress and affected a mysterious conduct. They frequently employed drugs to induce certain physical states which would impress and mystify the tribesmen. Sleight-of-hand feats were regarded as supernatural by the common folk, and ventriloquism was first used by shrewd priests. Many of the olden shamans unwittingly stumbled onto hypnotism; others induced autohypnosis by prolonged staring at their navels.

While many resorted to these tricks and deceptions, their reputation as a class, after all, stood on apparent achievement. When a shaman failed in his undertakings, if he could not advance a plausible alibi, he was either demoted or killed. Thus the honest shamans early perished; only the shrewd actors survived.

It was shamanism that took the exclusive direction of tribal affairs out of the hands of the old and the strong and lodged it in the hands of the shrewd, the clever, and the farsighted.

Do you believe in spirit possession?

What are your thoughts and/or comments about Medicine Men???

Rev. Bill

Edited by williamsadler53

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emalpaiz   

How does your belief system include or exclude the medicine man, shaman, or priest? Should religion be secondhanded?

In your belief system, is there someone who acts as an intermediary, interpreter, and/or intercessor?

What about intercessory prayer???

Does the God of your belief system need to be coaxed into loving and helping you and/or others???

In your opinion, did the Judeo-Christian God of Love really NEED Jesus of Nazareth to be crucified as a SACRIFICE to convince him not to PUNISH humanity for the SINS of Adam and Eve, or is the typical Christian position/teaching regarding the reasons for the betrayal and execution of Christ a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of God and His will??? What do YOU think???

Peace, Rev. Bill

My religion -- Sanatana Veda Dharma -- has a hereditary priesthood, the Brahmins. They do most of the temple ritual. I have very little use of them. Then there are the renunciats or monks who take this life vountarily with the purpose of reaching spiritual enlightenment and teaching the Path to others. Then there are the rebels -- like me -- who believe that we can find the Beloved One through our personal devotions. We have had many teachers, and we have decided that we can continue on our own and make our own mistakes.

The God of my religion is the God of all. Everyone gives God a different Name, and understands God in a different way. I like to think that God is the Ocean of Life, and that God is the Origin, Middle and End of everything.

Even though I believe that Jesus Christ was a Great Soul (Avatar), I do not believe that He was sent to become a sacrifice. Nevertheless, I respect the beliefs of my Christian sisters and brothers.

I strongly believe that everyone can find spiritual enlightenment through his/her own efforts. Special human beings have appeared on Earth at different times in history, and have offered teachings that help us evolve spiritually. But these special beings are not Gods, nor do they impose their teachings on humanity. Each and everyone of us has the freedom to accept or reject those teachings. That is our God given right.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

Edited by emalpaiz

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