Remote Viewing.

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Postby OpLan » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:29 am

thanx wobat..I snaffled the lot.
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Re: Here it is Pitcairn

Postby pitcairn » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:56 am

Username wrote:Pitcairn,

Here is a good place to bring up my two posts 'Shamen in Army Boots' parts I and II, as you said you would be interested in discussing the article.

until it was recently brought to my attention, I hadn't realised I'd missed this request before taking leave as a poster here; I'd like to remedy that situation now

first I'll repost those articles, to refresh everyone's recollection:

Here are some excerpts from an article about remote viewing written by Joan d'Arc. I couldn't find the article online. The article comes from 'Paranoia Magazine', Issue 21, Fall '99.

Shamen in Army Boots
Remote Viewing: Human "Use" or Human "Potential"?

"In much the same way that the CIA introduced the mind-expanding LSD experience into a closeted youth culture of the 1960s and 70s, the CIA has now introduced "remote viewing" into a mainstream culture totally unprepared for its potential repercussions on an "uninitiated" psyche. Remote viewing has become a tool of the masses, being extensively peddled on the internet with an "anyone can do it" attitude. Several businesses offer the services of a staff of trained remote viewers to perform various tasks, from locating missing persons or underground oil deposits, to other aspects of police, private, corporate or government investigative work.

These companies also offer expensive courses in various styles of remote viewing. On their own time, some of these RVers have been known to human-satellite the ancient cities of Mars, time-track the builders of the Earth pyramids, and zoom in on alien craft with extraterrestrial occupants.

The current fascination with the "tools of the mind" stems, at least in part, from the new physics revelation that the mind is cause rather than effect. Thus, humanity's disposition has shifted from material effect to conscious cause, a concept known in New Age circles as "human potential." But, what's missing from the picture is our initiation into the culture of this knowledge, a life-long education which in ancient times went hand in hand with mystic revelation. The background of knowledge necessary to understand this philosophical shift is missing. We've got the power, but we don't know how to use it. The usurpation of this human potential by the secret government will become evident as the following story unfolds."

but, the following story isn't going to unfold for you here, because I'm going to skip around a bit. (sorry, this is long) The next heading would have been "Remote Viewing: A Short History"; then "OBEs and Hypnosis".

we'll pick up here...
The Monroe Institute

"The RV program at SRI was eventually moved to Fort Meade under the auspices of Major General Albert Stubblebine. Stubblebine began to send designated Army personnel to the Monroe Institute in Virginia for a "professional development" course creatively labelled "Rapid Advanced Personal Training." or RAPT, in order for the Army to pay the tab. The Monroe course became required training for all remote viewers.

Tart's "Mr. X" was Robert Monroe. Monroe began to have out-of-body experiences in 1956, and began his research in "sleep-learning" in 1958. In 1974, he founded the Monroe Institute in Lovingston, Virginia, which is reputed to have long-standing ties with the CIA. The primary area of research at the Monroe Institute is the use of their patented "HemiSync" tapes. This method involves use of a "binaural beat" to cause psychological effects. According to Tom Porter, the more radical research going on at the Monroe Institute "remains only tantalizing speculation."

Monroe's high theta activity and occasional slowed alpha is similar to EEG states reported for advanced Zen masters during meditation. This state is also positively correlated with hypnotic susceptibility. In turn, highly hypnotizable people have been shown to exhibit "preter-natural" skills, such as clairvoyance, psychokinesis and shamanic healing. Theatrical parlor tricks of the 1800s featured such talented "somnambules." A recent study conducted at No. AZ University using Monroe's HemiSync binaural beat technology showed that HemiSync can increase hypnotic susceptibility in persons who had not previously been highly hypnotizable. A state of hypnogogia, associated with hyper-suggestive states of consciousness, is produced after minutes of exposure to the HemiSync signals. This paper also states that Robert Monroe "has been granted several patents for applications of psychophysical entrainment via sound patterns."

The binaural beat-induced state of consciousness is described as "mind awake/body asleep." This common hypnogogic experience occurs naturally in the netherland between waking and sleeping and is characterized by an oblivion to location of extremities (hands and feet) without losing consciousness (i.e., falling asleep). By using stereo headphones which emit a slightly different beat frequency is each ear, the difference in tone creates a brain wave on which the human brain easily "entrains." Some researchers disagree that the word "entrainment" is descriptive of how the HemiSync sound method works. Researchers claim that HemiSync safely guides the brain to enhance and synchronize itself at its own natural frequency. HemiSync produces "hemispheric communication," or synchronization of the two hemispheres of the brain, which has been shown to produce feelings of euphoria. Deep meditative states do the same thing naturally. The binaural beat can be embedded in music and has been utilized this way in studies of children with developmental disabilities. Another study in creativity demonstrated that the HemiSync tones caused "highly divergent thinking," i.e. subjects tended to think about matters far removed from the actual physical environment.

Euphoria, creativity, and 'happy smiling people holding hands' is nice, except in situations where a state of alertness is warranted. Could this technology be used to produce a docile populace during a period of social crisis? Assuming consensus-reality to be the norm, what would be the impetus to attempt to induce "highly divergent thinking"? Also, since HemiSync increases hypnotic susceptibility, could this technology be used to simulate an out of body experience? Canadian researcher Dr. Michael Persinger has utilized the basic HemiSync method to simulate paranormal experiences, including religious rapture and a distinct sense of presence, including alien presence. Persinger has also used "solenoids" to pass a magnetic pulse through the frontal lobes of the brain, magnetic coils used in psychiatry as a non-intrusive alternative to implantable electrodes for brain stimulation. As Susan Blackmore has written in the New Scientist, "by controlling the nature of the magnetic fields, causing them to simulate brain patterns, Persinger is able to stimulate strong emotions and hallucinations, including the illusion of touch and movement." The simulation of certain brain wave patterns is the method behind HemiSync."

I'm going to submit this and be back with 'Part Two' of this article.
Please stay tuned.
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Shamen in Army Boots part II

Postby pitcairn » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:59 am

Shamen in Army Boots Part Two

Commandeering Dreams

"Researcher Alex Constantine has asserted that psychotronic devices using ELF (extremely low frequency) electromagnetic waves were being tested on the RV subjects at SRI. He alleges that the managers of the project "engaged in projecting words and images directly to the cranium." Previous studies at SRI in the processing and storage of sensory imagery have noted that "mental imaging bears a close resemblance to hologram projectin." Constantine wonders whether the results of these studies were later tested under the misnomer "remote viewing." In addition, he notes that the medical oversight for these studies was provided by the infamous CIA mind control specialist, Dr. Louis Jolyon West, who is a specialist in "dissociative states." Constantine notes that years of covert CIA experimentation has left a legacy of multiple personalities. He asserts that the CIA can trigger such dissociative states remotely, and that such biotelemetric subjects routinely complain that their dreams are "commandeered."

Speaking of commandeering our dreams, while we were being told "plastics" was the wave of the future, the new physics of nonlocal consciousness was being "commandeered" by the secret government. The CIA began backing young geniuses, paying their physics educations, and pairing them up with UFO lounge-lizards at the Esalen Institute."

skip some. she discusses Jack Sarfatti then goes on to say...

"This story merely underscores the point that the new physics has not grown in a vacuum of social forces, but is inextricably tied to secret government experiments in parapsychology and, possibly, mind control. This is not to say the "human potential" does not exist, or that Jack Sarfatti is mistaken in his memory of this event. The potential ramifications are much more frightening than this simple explanation might offer. What if this human potential does exist, and the secret government is trying to usurp and control it for psychic warfare purposes? What if this human potential does not exist, and we are being manipulated for mind control purposes? Or what if it does exist and it is being technologically cultivated? in any case, how is the ET question related? Is it real or is it Hemisync? Why is telepathy in humans being cultivated? Perhaps to better blend genetically with a telepathic ET race? Or, to be pitted against a hostile ET race? I will leave it up to the reader to imagine other potential reasons for the commandeering of the human mind."

Let's see here..."Superpowers of the Human Bio-Mind" talking about Ingo Swann. then there's "The Scientology Connection" saying that Ingo Swann was a Scientologist at OT Level VII.

"...There were fourteen Scientology "Clears" running around at SRI. Yet, among psi critics, Scientologists could never really be trusted to conduct psi experiments impartially, since "negative results were against their religion."

and she goes on to discuss Swann and Puthoff's connections to U.S. intellegence in this section, and brings up Hubbard, Crowley, Parsons, Druids...all very interesting, but I want to get to the end of the article.

next section is "The Thetan's Briefcase". More Hubbard stuff.
then "Remote Viewing as Telepathic Time Travel" which we'll skip too.

Slipping Into the Ether

"Even at upper management levels, the individules in the RV program had strong beliefs in the paranormal and, in particular, in the reality of the ET presence. Ed Dames, who later went on to found Psi-Tech, began to choose exotic targets for viewers to locate. Using Monroe's HemiSync tapes to induce "deep trance bilocations," a small group of RVers began investigating all types of anomalous phenomena. Dames' "Enigma Files" began to fill with descriptions of such things as UFOs, the Loch Ness monster, Virgin Mary sightings, and Atlantis. Some were so fascinated with UFO lor that they quickly homed in on a UFO as soon as they set foot in the ether.

Angela Dellafiora began experimenting with a style of remote viewing called WRV, or written remote viewing, which was essentially channeling. She would go into a trance state (also known as self-hypnosis) and announce the presence of either George, Maurice, or Dr. Einstein, who would take control of her hand and write answers to questions she was asked. The "Jedi Knights," those who had been trained by Ingo Swann, lamented that the project was regressing "from high tech wizardry to archaic and vaguely feminine witchery." The rivalry intensified and the program eventually slid into chaos and mismanagement. Ed Dames blamed it on "the witches and their wiles."

Courtney Brown of the Farsight Institute studied at the Maharishi International University in the TM-Sidhi program, which involves "yougic flying." As a student of the Monroe Institute, Brown learned to use the HemiSync method. He then went on to study with an anonymous remote viewer, whom some assert was Ed Dames of Psi-Tech. The remote viewers at Brown's Farsight Institute were responsible for the Far-Side claims that flying saucers were trailing the Hale-Bopp comet. A few months after his outfit made these Far-Out claims on their web site and on the Art Bell radio show, a UFO-cult group called Heaven's Gate committed suicide to join their space family. Wired News reported that notes posted to "alt.religion.scientology" by one of the group members referred to remote viewing information as "fantastic proof that the 'Next Level' mothership is coming." Using the e-mail address "," the writer stated he was working in seclusion with his disciples, preparing them for membership in the next world..(Art Bell has just suddenly retired from his radical radio career with cryptic reasons. Could it have something to do with Heaven's Gate?)

In addition to its irresponsible use in this social mind control scenario, does remote viewing have any physical dangers? Several persons involved in the RV program have noted the serious possibility of psychiatric problems. After coming out of an RV session, the "doors of perception" are open wider than usual. Total concentration on "barely perceptible" experience turns one's sensory "volumn knobs" all the way up. Once you come off the highway, the radio is on full blast; there is an "electric tingle" in the body, and you feel like you've taken a "mild donse of LSD."

It is also possible that having these daily deep altered-state experiences could make your mind more liable to slip into that state spontaneously. Army veteran David Morehouse had a psychotic breakdown from his "addiction" to remote viewing. He states that every viewing session was followed by a period of slipping in and out of the "ether" with no control, and that viewers who performed more than two sessions a day had to be driven home, because "the chance that we would slip back into the ether was too great." The Army eventually categorized remote viewing as "human use experimentation," requiring a "blizzard of consent forms and a medical review panel."

By 1983, Richard Kennett of the CIA began questioning the Army about all the money they were spending at the Monroe Institute. He began to suspect that the active promotion of altered states of consciousness might actually make the brain unstable, and more prone to "spontaneous hallucinations and delusions." It turns out that Kennett had also had a spontaneous OBE after following the Monroe Institute materials. He had left his body and walked across the room, but noticed there were other beings in the room. Some kind of entity had put its face right up to his. He became frightened that he would not be able to get back into his body. After his own experience in this realm, he wondered if repeated experience could cause psychological trauma, psychotic breaks, or even a heart attack. McMoneagle also wondeered if the act of remote viewing might produce a hazardous effect on the human nervous system. The numbers of remote viewers experiencing heart attacks and different types of cancers became "too high to ignore," and it was unsettling that "so many of them had seemed to die before their time." [Come on, a CIA program that's hazardous to your health?] Then McMoneagle himself had a heart attack and a near death experience.


"Sources are fairly certain that the CIA-military remote viewing projects are over. But why continue to spend money when they can just oversee the programs being run by private companies? Most of the remote viewing companies are founded by veterans of the SRI and Fort Meade RV projects, and are connected to big names in Psi-Ops.

There is evidence that psychic functioning is exhibited by some people as a natural talent, and the latent ability for the mind to be two "places" at once has been sufficiently demonstrated. However, we don't really know what kind of technologies are being tested on unwitting subjects under the guise of "enhanced creativity" and "intuition development." The potential for mind tools to double as mind control is very real, and we should beware wherver the CIA is involved. Is "national security" a cover for something else that's going on?

The techniques which cause the mind to bilocate are the kept secrets of shamanism and are counterintuitive to the Western scientific brainscape. The CIA has surreptitiously dug into the magic bags of the world's occult and shamanistic traditions and has opened a potential Pandora's box. Take heed to the words of L. Ron Hubbard during a 1952 lecture of the Philadelphia Doctorate Course. Hubbard warned that Scientology contained "methods of controlling human beings and thetans which have never before been dreamed of in this universe." He stated that these control mechanisms were "of such awesome and solid proportions that if the remedies were not so much easier to apply, one would be appalled at the danger to beingness that exists in scientology." Hubbard concluded that George Orwell's "1984" would be "the palest imaginable shadow of what a world would be like under the rule of the secret use of scientology with no remedy in existence."

Inserting the words "remote Viewing" in place of "scientology" in the above statement might indicate that these words should be taken as a warning. With a strong foothold in the New Age psyche, remote viewing has become a faith-based prescription for a lost civilization: millennium cosmopolitans stuck in vibrational transport to the Next Level of Human: Heavens Gate's conveyor-belt to God. The dissociative dynamics of this new cottage industry is ironically reflected in the fact that it is being peddled within the "virtual reality" landscape: a land populated by the "techno-pagans" and cult recruiters. Since it also has the ostensible stamp of "science," remote viewing is a symbol for the boredom-fatigue of the technological age. It is simple: we want to be "anywhere" but here."

The End

That was kinda rushed kids. Pardon any mispellings
Everything in nature has a power in it.
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one possible comment

Postby pitcairn » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:13 am

The Big Love

'The great taboo in our culture has nothing to do with sex, drugs, or controversial theater--it's ecstatic experience.'
Interview by Deborah Caldwell

In "Bushman Shaman," Bradford Keeney details his initiation into the shamanic tradition of the Kalahari Bushmen, regarded by some scholars as the oldest living culture on earth. Keeney sought out the Bushmen while in South Africa as a visiting professor of psychotherapy. He had known of their "trance dance," in which their bodies shake uncontrollably as part of the healing ceremony. Keeney was drawn to this tradition hopng to explain his own ecstatic "shaking," which he had first experienced at age 19 and had tried to hide throughout his adult life.

Deborah Caldwell talked recently to Keeney about getting to what he calls "the big love."

What is a shaman?

There are so many preconceived ideas in our culture about shamanism that I try to not use the word for fear it would be connected to these misconceptions. That includes the shaman who's in pursuit of the magical, sacred plant leading to alternative reality. The second use of shamanism in our culture is the weekend workshop training, the "Let's all lie on the floor and have a guided imagery fantasy, and we'll imagine that we're visualizing a creature who will help us find the answers." That's certainly not been my path, nor has it been a definition that has anything to do with the shamans I've worked with. And neither of those ideas represents the deeper, more historical meaning of shaman.

Every person I've known in diverse cultures around the world who has declared themselves a shaman had a rebirth, where they experienced mystical luminosity: the kind of love you feel in a rural black church that just lost control of itself and just threw away the sermon and can't stop singing and dancing. I know people in these black churches, people who can't even get to church without being picked up and taken there, not knowing how they're going to get through, week to week. They live from prayer meeting on Wednesday night to Sunday morning, and then Sunday night services. It's like holding onto a rope and swinging to the next day, but when they're there and it really gets turned on, that big love comes in.

That term you use, the "big love," is wonderful. Can you explain it?

It's an experience that's been known by mystics of all cultural persuasions, and when you're in it, your body begins to shake and tremble. That finally leads to the desire to express oneself, and there, words just can't hold the great feeling. So you move into what I call "sound poetry," and sound poetry then turns into singing. Shamans, whether they're in the Amazon or whether they're the Lakota medicine people or the Bushman healers, are all about "catching" the songs. Their belief is that the Big God who expresses the Big Love can only share love through the rhythm, the beauty of song.

The Kalahari Bushman like to talk about that which enters you as a kind of spiritual arrow. We know that red-hot love, the heat of an arrow, can turn us silly and upside-down with the desire for physical contact with another. There is also familial love, which is more meaningful-such as the love a mother or father has for their child. But with the Big Love, the arrow just gets hotter. Because it's not the desire to utilize the other for personal satisfaction; rather, it moves into caring so much for the other that you're willing to sacrifice yourself for the other. Finally, when the arrow gets even hotter, when it's white-hot, you see the white light. At that point, the love continues moving forward, and now all of life is felt to be connected.

There's this realization that we're all held in some greater arm or some greater hand.

And there words just slip away. I know it sounds rhapsodic and silly...

No, not at all.

But it's mystic talk. And when you're hit with it, it fills you with such ecstasy that you've just got to jump. I mean, the black church has it. Yet there's such an allergy to religion from those who claim to be interested in matters of the spirit. Huston Smith was talking about his irritation with how contemporary folks who claim to be on the spiritual quest will make a distinction between spirituality and religion; that's nonsense because the great religions are the holders of the stories of people who have fully realized how the impact of spirit changes their hearts.

Could you tell the story of how you realized you have this gift?

I grew up in a country church. My dad and granddad were country preachers, and I was quite fortunate because their lives were all about being testimonies of caring for others-and that meant never judging, and always helping people move into the realization of forgiveness.

At the midpoint of my sophomore year in college I was minding my own business-I think I'd just bought a record in a record shop-and I had one of the most amazing, most important experiences of my life. It began with a sense of calm coming over my whole being, and then I felt weightless. I felt like I was being moved; it was so peaceful and comfortable that there was no need to reflect upon it-that's the strange thing about it. You'd think if you were hit with such an experience, your mind would get busy with internal chattering: "What is going on? What do I do? What is this?" But I didn't think that at all-I just instantly surrendered to whatever this was, and I found myself walking into the University Chapel and walking up to the front pew and sitting down.

Remember, I was country preacher's kid, I'd never heard of kundalini yoga or any of these sort of things, but all I knew was that my belly, in the base of my spine was like moving love. I was just on fire, and it began to slowly creep up my spine. And it didn't stop; it came all the way out of the top of my head; and lo and behold in front of me, there was an amorphous white cloud, and I looked straight at the image of Jesus. I was weeping, and my body was shaking, and my heart was bursting-I had a classic experience of rapture.

Afterward, I just read a few books and then tried to keep it quiet. But of course, you can't, it just keeps popping up-you know, you can run but you can't hide. And I kept moving all the way until I was a young, tenured full professor running a doctoral program in family therapy-and then I felt it was time to open that door again.

Did you have a sense of what brought this on?

To this day, I ask the question that you're asking. It certainly wasn't the case that I'd heard about it, read about it, or thought, "Huh, I want that." Certainly, I figured, I already had the religious experiences of being a boy who felt the calling of dedicating my life to serving others-and I felt that little tug of the heart, the joy of being baptized and all that. I thought that was what it was; I didn't know there was anything more.

Was it the same feeling as being at a Pentecostal revival?

First of all, it seems there's a wide array of forms of ecstatic expression around the world. And our culture tends to have particular constraints-but if you go to a Pentecostal gathering and there's an encouragement of praise that involves losing yourself and your inhibitions, then you get classic shamanic phenomena. You get expression like speaking in tongues, and you get jumping, you get shouting, and an elder pastor touches your forehead, and you feel faint. That's readily available to anybody who walks in and lets go.

We think that's going all the way in the spirit, but it's really just one small flirtation with it. On the other hand, you can still find it in a few black churches. But it's very hard to find these churches. I mean, in New Orleans I've only found one sanctified church. You gotta go out in the country, and they're disappearing because the elders are dying. In the younger generations, what you find is Pentecostalism, which turns into a show. So you have to go to the Caribbean to find the way the black church used to be.

But if you get past that revivalism stuff, then things start to feel out of control-and when things feel that way, the first time it hits you can be quite frightened. In other cultures, at that point you go through a crisis about whether you're going to become a student of "spirited realization" and go through the ordeal of learning to live with it. If you do, you learn to feel comfortable being out of control. But it's an ordeal-that's no weekend shamanism training. You wouldn't have anybody signing up for $500 or whatever it is to be a shaman if they knew they had to go through a hellish ordeal. It's a true rite of passage.

Describe the ordeal.

In our culture, we don't even know this exists. We think the fullest experience of ecstatic rapture is what you see in Pentecostal service. But if you go to Africa, they know that when the spirit grabs you, when the ancestral spirits come upon you-and this results in uncontrollable shaking, the sort that you can be sent to an emergency room here for and given medical intervention. People think you're having an epileptic seizure, or that you're going psychotic.

In Africa, they believe the spirit has entered the body. Now, among the Zulu, they actually go live in a community of traditional shamans or healers and every day, they wake you with the drums and you dance. They teach you how to allow the spirit to settle in the body. Well, you know this has gone way past a Pentecostal church.

Oh yeah.

[Laughs] OK. And that's the beginning. The great taboo in our culture has nothing to do with sex, drugs, or controversial theater or performance-it is that realm of ecstatic experience. We just dismiss it, close the door, just no room, no reason, in fact, we don't even want to look at it.

Which cultures is it practiced in, besides Africa?

If you go Tibet, you find secret initiations-what happens behind closed doors involves ecstatic trembling and shaking. When the Dalai Lama goes to find out the big answers to the big questions, he visits his oracle-who is in this shamanic form.

And it's in Native American culture.

Yes, but because of its earlier interaction with the missionaries who saw this as devil worship it went underground. So then the ceremony started to happen more in the dark so it wouldn't be seen. Nobody really knows what it was before European culture came here; it was probably far more in the open.

Why is shamanism not found in European culture?

Because we are obsessed and addicted to the idea of being in control.
An invention of the West is the Manual of Psychiatric Disorders. This is really a catalog of ways that you can feel out of control-and for every one of them there is a method for bringing it under control.

Did European culture ever have a shamanic tradition?

Yeah, because every once in a while you hear about dance viruses that broke out in the streets in Europe. All of a sudden, people started wildly dancing, uncontrollable.

And those who were persecuted in Europe came to America-and became the Shakers. The Shakers and the Quakers were named because they shook and they quaked. But they stopped shaking, and now we know them for making polished furniture. [Laughter] And John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, when he was preaching it would take four or five men to hold down a person who got seized by the spirit. And when I read about the Great Kentucky Revival Movement, I'm seeing that when these movements broke forth they began to get more and more expressive. And as that happened, everybody got worried and they shot Wesley down.
We don't know what to do with it, so we say it's good only up to a point. Even among evangelicals, look how they wrestle with it. Half of them say this is the devil slipping into worship. There's a tremendous struggle with how to define the limits of charismatic expression.

Why do some people get this gift and other people don't?

I don't know; maybe I was just too stupid to realize that it was something I should have just closed the door on and run for the hills.

But I think I was lucky in the sense that I knew without a doubt that whatever happened to me at that age was the greatest experience any human being could have, and I knew the rest of my life in some way would be to figure out what it was. Most of the shamans I met, when you ask them to talk about these experiences they'll get choked up because just talking about it, they remember how it overtook them.

How did you know you had to go to Africa?

I gave a speech in Minnesota on metaphors for understanding relationships. And afterward this man introduces himself and says, "You know, these things you're talking about, they're very familiar to my people. And if you're interested, why don't you come hang with us and see how people actually live this?" He was a medicine man. And that led to my eventual moving to accept an academic job in St. Paul and there, I immediately sought him out and that brought the whole thing back, with an unbelievable visionary impact. When I would go into ceremonies, I would see things-specific directions, very eery.

Eventually I visited a black church in Minneapolis where all the parishioners had come from Louisiana. When I first went there, there was not another white person there. But after several years, this was so much part of my life that I had been asked to be a deacon-the deacons are the ones who handle the Spirit. The preachers come up after the Spirit has been brought up.

But at the same time I was going out to the reservation and participating in Native American ways. It was during all of that I had a dream of going to the Kalahari. Around the time I had that vision, I was invited to be a visiting professor at the University of South Africa.

What do you experience when you're with the Bushmen?

It's really no different from going to a great black church in the Caribbean in the sense that you never know whether it's going to be a great meeting that night, but you know it holds the possibility for being a time when that Big Love descends on everybody and then you just can't stop, you can't stop singing. They're so filled with the Spirit that they're weeping, men and women alike, children, everyone's there-nobody's not there at the dance; the whole community comes together-and there's nothing like it. But I could say the same about being in a great black church or I can say the same about being in a great ceremony in any culture. But unfortunately, in some cultures, it's so much harder to break through the veil because there are so many constraints.

The shamans are those who have allowed themselves to experience the ordeals of being shaken by the Spirit because even Bushmen are scared of the ordeals you have to go through to learn to be a shaman, which is how to let your heart be so broken by the loss of loved ones and all the calamities that happen in life. They surrender themselves, to soothe with the power, presence, love, and grace of the Big God, and they allow it move their bodies. Your whole body starts to pump like a rhythmic drum, and in that pumping, you dance sort of like a stomping, slow-motion person around the fire and you begin to feel your body disappear. And when your body disappears, you feel it to be a cloud of vibrating, pulsing energy-and it just floats right up to the sky and in that state, you become visionary.

How far off are we from ever being able to access this in a wide cultural sense?

I've thought about that all the time because you can imagine what a blessing and what a curse it is to be in the midst of all this. I know how to behave myself in the Kalahari, but I'm not really sure how to behave myself in this culture. There were times when I tried to see if I could slip this into the culture through a kind of experimental, improvisational theater and deny any of its relationship to spirituality, to religion, or to spiritual quest. But that just ended up being a carnival of the spirit. But I keep asking that question-Is it my calling to be a part of that bringing it in?
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another possible comment

Postby pitcairn » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:27 am

I'm a lawyer with an unusual specialty.

My clients are all children—damaged, hurting children who have been sexually assaulted, physically abused, starved, ignored, abandoned and every other lousy thing one human can do to another. People who know what I do always ask: "What is the worst case you ever handled?" When you're in a business where a baby who dies early may be the luckiest child in the family, there's no easy answer.

But I have thought about it—I think about it every day. My answer is that, of all the many forms of child abuse, emotional abuse may be the cruelest and longest-lasting of all.

Emotional abuse is the systematic diminishment of another. It may be intentional or subconscious (or both), but it is always a course of conduct, not a single event. It is designed to reduce a child's self-concept to the point where the victim considers himself unworthy—unworthy of respect, unworthy of friendship, unworthy of the natural birthright of all children: love and protection.

Emotional abuse can be as deliberate as a gunshot.

Emotional abuse can be as random as the fallout from a nuclear explosion.

Emotional abuse can be active: vicious belittling. Deliberate humiliation.

It also can be passive, the emotional equivalent of child neglect—a sin of omission, true, but one no less destructive.

And it may be a combination of the two, which increases the negative effects geometrically.

Emotional abuse can be verbal or behavioral, active or passive, frequent or occasional. Regardless, it is often as painful as physical assault. And, with rare exceptions, the pain lasts much longer. A parent's love is so important to a child that withholding it can cause a "failure to thrive" condition similar to that of children who have been denied adequate nutrition.

Even the natural solace of siblings is denied to those victims of emotional abuse who have been designated as the family's "target child." The other children are quick to imitate their parents. Instead of learning the qualities every child will need as an adult—empathy, nurturing and protectiveness—they learn the viciousness of a pecking order. And so the cycle continues.

But whether as a deliberate target or an innocent bystander, the emotionally abused child inevitably struggles to "explain" the conduct of his abusers—and ends up struggling for survival in a quicksand of self-blame.

Emotional abuse is both the most pervasive and the least understood form of child maltreatment. Its victims are often dismissed simply because their wounds are not visible. In an era in which fresh disclosures of unspeakable child abuse are everyday fare, the pain and torment of those who experience "only" emotional abuse is often trivialized.

We understand and accept that victims of physical or sexual abuse need both time and specialized treatment to heal. But when it comes to emotional abuse, we are more likely to believe the victims will "just get over it" when they become adults.

That assumption is dangerously wrong. Emotional abuse scars the heart and damages the soul. Like cancer, it does its most deadly work internally. And, like cancer, it can metastasize if untreated.

When it comes to damage, there is no real difference between physical, sexual and emotional abuse. All that distinguishes one from the other is the abuser's choice of weapons. I remember a woman, a grandmother whose abusers had long since died, telling me that time had not conquered her pain. "It wasn't just the incest," she said quietly. "It was that he didn't love me. If he loved me, he couldn't have done that to me."

But emotional abuse is unique because it is designed to make the victim feel guilty. Emotional abuse is repetitive and eventually cumulative behavior—very easy to imitate—and some victims later perpetuate the cycle with their own children. Although most victims courageously reject that response, their lives often are marked by a deep, pervasive sadness, a severely damaged self-concept and an inability to truly engage and bond with others.

Emotionally abused children grow up with significantly altered perceptions so that they "see" behaviors—their own and others'—through a filter of distortion. Many emotionally abused children engage in a lifelong drive for the approval (which they translate as "love") of others. So eager are they for love—and so convinced that they don't deserve it—that they are prime candidates for abuse within intimate relationships.

The emotionally abused child can be heard inside every battered woman who insists: "It was my fault, really. I just seem to provoke him somehow."

And the almost-inevitable failure of adult relationships reinforces that sense of unworthiness, compounding the felony, reverberating throughout the victim's life.

Emotional abuse conditions the child to expect abuse in later life. Emotional abuse is a time bomb, but its effects are rarely visible, because the emotionally abused tend to implode, turning the anger against themselves. And when someone is outwardly successful in most areas of life, who looks within to see the hidden wounds?

Members of a therapy group may range widely in age, social class, ethnicity and occupation, but all display some form of self-destructive conduct: obesity, drug addiction, anorexia, bulimia, domestic violence, child abuse, attempted suicide, self-mutilation, depression and fits of rage. What brought them into treatment was their symptoms. But until they address the one thing that they have in common—a childhood of emotional abuse—true recovery is impossible.

One of the goals of any child-protective effort is to "break the cycle" of abuse. We should not delude ourselves that we are winning this battle simply because so few victims of emotional abuse become abusers themselves. Some emotionally abused children are programmed to fail so effectively that a part of their own personality "self-parents" by belittling and humiliating themselves.

The pain does not stop with adulthood. Indeed, for some, it worsens. I remember a young woman, an accomplished professional, charming and friendly, well-liked by all who knew her. She told me she would never have children. "I'd always be afraid I would act like them," she said.

Unlike other forms of child abuse, emotional abuse is rarely denied by those who practice it. In fact, many actively defend their psychological brutality, asserting that a childhood of emotional abuse helped their children to "toughen up."

It is not enough for us to renounce the perverted notion that beating children produces good citizens—we must also renounce the lie that emotional abuse is good for children because it prepares them for a hard life in a tough world. I've met some individuals who were prepared for a hard life that way—I met them while they were doing life.

The primary weapons of emotional abusers is the deliberate infliction of guilt. They use guilt the same way a loan shark uses money: They don't want the "debt" paid off, because they live quite happily on the "interest."

Because emotional abuse comes in so many forms (and so many disguises), recognition is the key to effective response. For example, when allegations of child sexual abuse surface, it is a particularly hideous form of emotional abuse to pressure the victim to recant, saying he or she is "hurting the family" by telling the truth. And precisely the same holds true when a child is pressured to sustain a lie by a "loving" parent.

Emotional abuse requires no physical conduct whatsoever. In one extraordinary case, a jury in Florida recognized the lethal potential of emotional abuse by finding a mother guilty of child abuse in connection with the suicide of her 17-year-old daughter, whom she had forced to work as a nude dancer (and had lived off her earnings).

Another rarely understood form of emotional abuse makes victims responsible for their own abuse by demanding that they "understand" the perpetrator. Telling a 12-year-old girl that she was an "enabler" of her own incest is emotional abuse at its most repulsive.

A particularly pernicious myth is that "healing requires forgiveness" of the abuser. For the victim of emotional abuse, the most viable form of help is self-help—and a victim handicapped by the need to "forgive" the abuser is a handicapped helper indeed. The most damaging mistake an emotional-abuse victim can make is to invest in the "rehabilitation" of the abuser. Too often this becomes still another wish that didn't come true—and emotionally abused children will conclude that they deserve no better result.

The costs of emotional abuse cannot be measured by visible scars, but each victim loses some percentage of capacity. And that capacity remains lost so long as the victim is stuck in the cycle of "understanding" and "forgiveness." The abuser has no "right" to forgiveness—such blessings can only be earned. And although the damage was done with words, true forgiveness can only be earned with deeds.

For those with an idealized notion of "family," the task of refusing to accept the blame for their own victimization is even more difficult. For such searchers, the key to freedom is always truth—the real truth, not the distorted, self-serving version served by the abuser.

Emotional abuse threatens to become a national illness. The popularity of nasty, mean-spirited, personal-attack cruelty that passes for "entertainment" is but one example. If society is in the midst of moral and spiritual erosion, a "family" bedrocked on the emotional abuse of its children will not hold the line. And the tide shows no immediate signs of turning.

Effective treatment of emotional abusers depends on the motivation for the original conduct, insight into the roots of such conduct and the genuine desire to alter that conduct. For some abusers, seeing what they are doing to their child—or, better yet, feeling what they forced their child to feel—is enough to make them halt. Other abusers need help with strategies to deal with their own stress so that it doesn't overload onto their children.

But for some emotional abusers, rehabilitation is not possible. For such people, manipulation is a way of life. They coldly and deliberately set up a "family" system in which the child can never manage to "earn" the parent's love. In such situations, any emphasis on "healing the whole family" is doomed to failure.

If you are a victim of emotional abuse, there can be no self-help until you learn to self-reference. That means developing your own standards, deciding for yourself what "goodness" really is. Adopting the abuser's calculated labels—"You're crazy. You're ungrateful. It didn't happen the way you say"—only continues the cycle.

Adult survivors of emotional child abuse have only two life-choices: learn to self-reference or remain a victim. When your self-concept has been shredded, when you have been deeply injured and made to feel the injury was all your fault, when you look for approval to those who can not or will not provide it—you play the role assigned to you by your abusers.

It's time to stop playing that role, time to write your own script. Victims of emotional abuse carry the cure in their own hearts and souls. Salvation means learning self-respect, earning the respect of others and making that respect the absolutely irreducible minimum requirement for all intimate relationships. For the emotionally abused child, healing does come down to "forgiveness"—forgiveness of yourself.

How you forgive yourself is as individual as you are. But knowing you deserve to be loved and respected and empowering yourself with a commitment to try is more than half the battle. Much more.
And it is never too soon—or too late—to start.

-- Andrew Vachss, 1994
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Postby Attack Ships on Fire » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:28 pm

OpLan wrote:Heck..the CPU overload gremlin ate my post..

The rest of the article wiped the smile off my face pretty damn quick.
How can Art Bell profit from Dames I just don't know.I would have torn him to shreds regarding the missing children.

Coast to Coast is to paranormal/high strangeness/parapolitical what "Entertainment Tonight" is to TV/movies/celebrity news. Once you understand and learn to accept it that way Art and his friends are easier to swallow.

Last night I tuned in and heard the American rep for Billy Meier go on and on and on and on about how legitimate Meier's UFO accounts, photos and "evidence" are. This same fellow went out of his way every time to discourage any critics from calling in. Funny enough, the show seemed to not get as many open phone calls on as is the case on a typical show.
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Men who stare at goats

Postby Horatio Hellpop » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:06 pm

I was just reading 'The Men Who Stare At Goats' last night and have just got up to the bit where the author (Jon Ronson) is spending some time with Ed Dames. I like Ronson's style, he is not too prejudicial despite dealing with a subject matter that he may not totally endorse. However, he prints a few transcripts from Dames appearances on Art Bell and he comes across as an absolute prick and a fraud. Or else he is fucking insane.
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Postby Wombaticus Rex » Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:06 pm

^^He is.

But judging RV based on Ed Dames is judging parapolitics based on David Icke
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Many Thanks pitcairn

Postby Username » Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:32 pm

Thank you pitcairn for transferring 'Shamen in Army Boots' (another Paranoia Magazine article...heh) to this thread on Remote Viewing.

I wasn't familiar with Bradford Keeney. Sounds like an interesting life he leads.

Shamanism is one of the lastest greatest pursuits in the new-age movement. Everyone and their brother is becoming a 'Shamen,' like everyone for the past 25 years have become 'Reiki Masters.' So many of these practices, philosophies and religions look good on paper, but then people get involved and the corruption seeps in. (just like in politics)

Alot of people were unhappy to see you take leave back in Jan.
Maybe the atmosphere has lightened up a bit and you might consider joining in the conversation again?

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in case of missed connexions

Postby pitcairn » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:09 am

you're surely welcome Terry; I'm sorry I missed the request in the first instance, and for so long after

Shamanism is one of the lastest greatest pursuits in the new-age movement. Everyone and their brother is becoming a 'Shamen,' like everyone for the past 25 years have become 'Reiki Masters.' So many of these practices, philosophies and religions look good on paper, but then people get involved and the corruption seeps in. (just like in politics)

exactly so

I don't wonder if any number of readers might have read your reposted articles, then my two "possible comments" posts, and wondered what, if anything, might be the connexion, in the context of this thread?

as it seems to me, the "New Age" shamen-for-hire-and-fame, like the Military Shamen for Power and Glory are doing much the same thing: taking a sacred gift and wonder, shrewdly cutting it apart and stitching selected parts back together to form a crippled homunculous, a distortion of a True Being, in order that this now diminished and deracinated thing be made to serve a very small and mean, indeed, ultimately evil, purpose; rather than, gratefully beholding the original wonder in its natural state, place, and wholeness, and waiting patiently, or working humbly and diligently, to be worthy of lending a hand now and then, if so called upon, in the great creative work of Divine Cosmos

Bradford Keeney seemed to have something to say about that, in an unusually inclusive and accessible presentation


the thing that drives the aforementioned butchery and attempted enslavement of sacred gift and wonder, of a True Being, is the ubiquity and oblivious acceptance, if not cunning exploitation, of the easy consort with, and expression of, evil and cruelty that we have come to call "abuse"

Andrew Vachss is a man who knows whereof he speaks, is nobody's fool, and knows that healing is not just "nice," or some luxury for later-when- you-have-the-time, but is essential to human life, and the life of the whole world; and such essential healing and its true methods have nothing to do with sappy and syrupy notions of "forgiveness" and bogus spirituality, New Age or otherwise, no more than with intellectualised "therapeutics," the ego-bred "science" paid for by the hour and conducted for the greater glory of the therapist and/or reputation of some particular therapeutic "school"

knowledge is overrated: what's done with that knowledge, and to what true ends, means rather more in the scheme of things; you can always learn something new, as you need it, when you move through life with humility and deliberate care;

but the catastrophic damage left in the wake of the ship steered to a carelessly broken moral compass, greedily and eagerly headed for the heart of darkness - that just may take more to fix, applied more timely, than we have at the ready, more than we've bothered, 'til this moment, to learn

since I've stepped back in to post this, I'll take an additional liberty of bumping your "stolen network" thread, as I think it merits more discussion, and has some relevance to the present conversation

edited once for diction
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Postby Joe Hillshoist » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:36 am

Wow pitcairn good to see you.

A few of us have missed your beautiful soul.

You and Terry are so right about so called Shamanism.

There is a world of difference between the real thing and what passes for it in some circles.

These days I prefer the terms witch doctor and medecine ... er person.

Cos witch doctor is actually a great translation of what the roles is about.

Healing, and showing a concern for the members of your community.

In a way where you get to know everyone, and make their well being the main focus of your life.

The most important part of shamanism, and it gets forgotten.
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not ed dames

Postby pitcairn » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:11 pm

Martín Prechtel was raised in New Mexico on a Pueblo Indian reservation where people still lived in the old, pre-European ways. His mother was a Canadian Indian who taught at the Pueblo school, and his father was a white paleontologist. Martín loved the culture there, and the land. "I spent the whole of my very early life," he says, "in a state of weepy terror about the possibility of the total annihilation of this beautiful world at the hands of a few white men who couldn't understand the beauty we had in this way of life." He began to work against this dangerous, beauty-killing power. "The natives called it 'white man ways,' " he says, "but it was more than that. Its infectious power had eaten the whites, too, and made them its obvious promoter. This horrible syndrome had no use for the truly natural, the wild nature of all peoples."

In 1970, after his first marriage ended and his mother died, Prechtel went to Mexico to clear his head. Seemingly by accident, he ended up going into Guatemala. He traveled around that country for more than a year before he came to a village called Santiago Atitlán. The village was inhabited by the Tzutujil, one of many indigenous Mayan subcultures, each of which has its own distinct traditions, patterns of clothing, and language.

In Santiago Atitlán, a strange man came up to Prechtel and said, "What took you so long? For two years I've been calling you. Let's get to work!" So began his apprenticeship to Nicolas Chiviliu, one of the greatest of the Tzutujil Mayan shamans.

The apprenticeship lasted several years. As a shaman, Prechtel would learn how to correct imbalances in people's relationships with the ancestors and the spirits. He also had to learn the Tzutujil language. (Women taught him at first, and because women and men talk differently, he was a great source of amusement when he began to speak in public.)

Though not a native, Prechtel became a full member of the village. He married a local woman and had three sons, one of whom died. When Chiviliu died, Prechtel took his place, becoming shaman to nearly thirty thousand people. He also rose to the public office of Nabey Mam, or first chief. One of his duties as chief was to lead the young village men through their long initiations into adulthood.

Prechtel wanted to stay in Santiago Atitlán forever, but during the time that he lived there, Guatemala was in the throes of a brutal civil war. The ruling government – with its U.S.—backed death squads – had outlawed the thousand-year-old Mayan rites. Ultimately, Prechtel was forced to flee for his life. "I was going to stay," he says, "but before my teacher died, he asked me to leave so that I wouldn't get killed. He wanted me to carry on the knowledge that he had passed to me."

Prechtel brought his family to the U.S., where they "just kind of starved for a while until Robert Bly and men like him found me." (Bly, a poet active in the men's movement, has high praise for Prechtel, whom he describes as "a short kind of pony that gallops through the fields of human possibility with flowers dropping out of his mouth.") Though Prechtel's wife decided to return to her native Guatemala, he remained in the U.S. with their children and currently lives not fifty miles from where he grew up.

Prechtel is the author of Secrets of the Talking Jaguar (Tarcher), in which he writes – musically, clearly, and respectfully – about the indigenous traditions in Santiago Atitlán. He gives glimpses of his training, yet never reveals details that would allow readers to steal the Mayans' spiritual traditions the way others have stolen their land. In his most recent book, Long Life, Honey in the Heart (Tarcher), Prechtel describes the structure of the village, the Tzutujil priesthood, and everyday village life before the arrival of the death squads. In addition to his writing, Prechtel paints scenes from the daily activities and mythology of the Mayan people and is a musician who has recorded several cds.

Prechtel appears around the world at conferences on initiation for young men. ("I'm working with women on that, too," he says, "but it's a little bit slower – mostly because I'm not a woman.") He also leads workshops that help people reconnect with their own sense of place and the sacredness of ordinary life. "Spirituality is an extremely practical thing," he says. "It's not just something you choose to do on the weekends. . . . It's an everyday thing, as essential as eating or holding hands or keeping warm in the winter."

When I went to interview Prechtel at his home in New Mexico, I was embarrassed to find that my tape recorder wasn't working. Fortunately, his present wife, Hanna, had a recorder I could use. It worked for about forty minutes, then started to run backward. Martín apologized, saying this sort of thing happened all the time. "I just seem to have this effect on machines," he said. "My dentist won't let me come in his front door anymore, because I freeze up all his computers."

I made a note never to travel with him.

Hanna was able to coax the recorder to work again, and we finished the interview. My own tape recorder began working again the next morning, when I was about seventy miles away.

What is a shaman?

Shamans are sometimes considered healers or doctors, but really they are people who deal with the tears and holes we create in the net of life, the damage that we all cause in our search for survival. In a sense, all of us – even the most untechnological, spiritual, and benign peoples – are constantly wrecking the world. The question is: how do we respond to that destruction? If we respond as we do in modern culture, by ignoring the spiritual debt that we create just by living, then that debt will come back to bite us, hard. But there are other ways to respond. One is to try to repay that debt by giving gifts of beauty and praise to the sacred, to the invisible world that gives us life. Shamans deal with the problems that arise when we forget the relationship that exists between us and the other world that feeds us, or when, for whatever reason, we don't feed the other world in return.

All of this may sound strange to modern, industrialized people, but for the majority of human history, shamans have simply been a part of ordinary life. They exist all over the world. It seems strange to Westerners now because they have systematically devalued the other world and no longer deal with it as part of their everyday lives.

How are shamans from Siberia, for example, different from shamans in Guatemala?

There are as many different ways to be a shaman as there are different languages, but there's a commonality, as well, because we're all standing on one earth, and there's water in the ocean wherever we go, and there's ground underneath us wherever we go. So we all have, on some level, a commonality of experience. We are all still human beings. Some of us have buried our humanity deep inside, or medicated or anesthetized it, but every person alive today, tribal or modern, primal or domesticated, has a soul that is original, natural, and, above all, indigenous in one way or another. The indigenous soul of the modern person, though, either has been banished to the far reaches of the dream world or is under direct attack by the modern mind. The more you consciously remember your indigenous soul, the more you physically remember it.

Shamans are all trying to put right the effects of normal human stupidity and repair relationships with the invisible sources of life. In many instances, the ways in which they go about this are also similar. For example, the Siberians have a trance method of entering the other world that is similar to one used in Africa.

You've mentioned "the other world" a few times. Most modern people would not consciously acknowledge such a place. What is the other world?

If this world were a tree, then the other world would be the roots – the part of the plant we can't see, but that puts the sap into the tree's veins. The other world feeds this tangible world – the world that can feel pain, that can eat and drink, that can fail; the world that goes around in cycles; the world where we die. The other world is what makes this world work. And the way we help the other world continue is by feeding it with our beauty.

All human beings come from the other world, but we forget it a few months after we're born. This amnesia occurs because we are dazzled by the beauty and physicality of this world. We spend the rest of our lives putting back together our memories of the other world, enough to serve the greater good and to teach the new amnesiacs – the children – how to remember. Often, this lesson is taught during the initiation into adulthood.

The Mayans say that the other world sings us into being. We are its song. We're made of sound, and as the sound passes through the sieve between this world and the other world, it takes the shape of birds, grass, tables – all these things are made of sound. Human beings, with our own sounds, can feed the other world in return, to fatten those in the other world up, so they can continue to sing.

Who are "they"?

All those beings who sing us alive. You could translate it as gods or as spirits. The Mayans simply call them "they."

There's an old Aztec saying I read years ago: "That we come to this earth to live is untrue. We come to sleep and to dream." I wonder if you can help me understand it.

When you dream, you remember the other world, just as you did when you were a newborn baby. When you're awake, you're part of the dream of the other world. In the "waking" state, I am supposed to dedicate a certain amount of time to feeding the world I've come from. Similarly, when I die and leave this world and go on to the next, I'm supposed to feed this present dream with what I do in that one.

Dreaming is not about healing the person who's sleeping: it's about the person feeding the whole, remembering the other world, so that it can continue. The New Age falls pretty flat with the Mayans, because, to them, self-discovery is good only if it helps you to feed the whole.

Where does the Mayan concept of debt fit in?

As Christians are born with original sin, Mayans are born with original debt. In the Mayan worldview, we are all born owing a spiritual debt to the other world for having created us, for having sung us into existence. It must be fed; otherwise, it's going to take its payment out of our lives.

How does one repay this debt?

You have to give a gift to that which gives you life. It's an actual payment in kind. That's the spiritual economy of a village.

It's like my old teacher used to say: "You sit singing on a little rock in the middle of a pond, and your song makes a ripple that goes out to the shores where the spirits live. When it hits the shore, it sends an echo back toward you. That echo is the spiritual nutrition." When you send out a gift, you send it out in all directions at once. And then it comes back to you from all directions.

It must end up being a complex pattern, because as you're sending your song out, your neighbors are also sending theirs out, and you've got all these overlapping ripples.

It's an entangled net so enormous the mind cannot possibly comprehend it. No one knows what's connected to where.

How does this relate to technology?

Technological inventions take from the earth but give nothing in return. Look at automobiles. They were, in a sense, dreamed up over a period of time, with different people adding on to each other's dreams – or, if you prefer, adding on to each other's studies and trials. But all along the way, very little, if anything, was given back to the hungry, invisible divinity that gave people the ability to invent those cars. Now, in a healthy culture, that's where the shamans would come in, because with every invention comes a spiritual debt that must be paid, either ritually, or else taken out of us in warfare, grief, or depression.

A knife, for instance, is a very minimal, almost primitive tool to people in a modern industrial society. But for the Mayan people, the spiritual debt that must be paid for the creation of such a tool is great. To start with, the person who is going to make the knife has to build a fire hot enough to produce coals. To pay for that, he's got to give a sacrificial gift to the fuel, to the fire.

Like what?

Ideally, the gift should be something made by hand, which is the one thing humans have that spirits don't.

Once the fire is hot enough, the knife maker must smelt the iron ore out of the rock. The part that's left over, which gets thrown away in Western culture, is the most holy part in shamanic rituals. What's left over represents the debt, the hollowness that's been carved out of the universe by human ingenuity, and so must be refilled with human ingenuity. A ritual gift equal to the amount that was removed from the other world has to be put back to make up for the wound caused to the divine. Human ingenuity is a wonderful thing, but only so long as it's used to feed the deities that give us the ability to perform such extravagant feats in the first place.

So, just to get the iron, the shaman has to pay for the ore, the fire, the wind, and so on – not in dollars and cents, but in ritual activity equal to what's been given. Then that iron must be made into steel, and the steel has to be hammered into the shape of a knife, sharpened, and tempered, and a handle must be put on it. There is a deity to be fed for each part of the procedure. When the knife is finished, it is called the "tooth of earth." It will cut wood, meat, and plants. But if the necessary sacrifices have been ignored in the name of rationalism, literalism, and human superiority, it will cut humans instead.

All of those ritual gifts make the knife enormously "expensive," and make the process quite involved and time-consuming. The need for ritual makes some things too spiritually expensive to bother with. That's why the Mayans didn't invent space shuttles or shopping malls or backhoes. They live as they do not because it's a romantic way to live – it's not; it's enormously hard – but because it works.

Western culture believes that all material is dead, and so there is no debt incurred when human ingenuity removes something from the other world. Consequently, we end up with shopping malls and space shuttles and other examples of "advanced" technology, while the spirits who give us the ability to make those things are starving, becoming bony and thin, which is one reason why anorexia is such a prob-lem: the young are acting out this image. The universe is in a state of starvation and emotional grief because it has not been given what it needs in the form of ritual food and actual physical gifts. We think we're getting away with something by stealing from the other side, but it all leads to violence. The Greek oracle at Delphi saw this a long time ago and said, "Woe to humans, the invention of steel."

Why does this theft lead to violence?

Though capable of feeding all creation, the spirit is not an omnipotent force, as Christianity would have us believe, but a natural force of great subtlety. When its subtlety is trespassed on by the clumsiness of human greed and conceit, then both human and divine nature are violated and made into hungry, devouring things. We become food for this monster our spiritual amnesia has created. The monster is fed by wars, psychological depression, self-hate, and bad world-trade practices that export misery to other places.

We inflict violence upon each other as a way to replace what we steal from nature because we've forgotten this old deal that our ancestors signed so long ago. Instead, we psychologize and objectify that relationship as a personal experience or pathology, rather than a spiritual obligation. At that point, our approach to spirituality becomes rationalist armoring, a psychology of protection for the part of us that creates the greed monster, which causes us to kill the world and each other. As individuals, we become depressed, because the beings of the other world take it out of our emotions.

How so?

When we no longer maintain a relationship with the spirits, the spirits have to eat our psyches. And when the spirits are done eating our psyches, they eat our bodies. And when they're done with that, they move on to the people close to us.

When you have a culture that has for centuries, or longer, ignored these relationships, depression becomes a way of life. We try to fix the depression through technology, but that's never going to work. Nor will it work to plunder other cultures, nor to kill the planet. All that is just an attempt not to be held accountable to the other world. If you're to succeed as a human being, you've got to live meaningfully, passionately, and fully, so that even your death becomes a meaningful sacrifice to the spirits, feeding them. Everybody's death was a meaningful sacrifice until people started to become "civilized" and began killing everybody else's gods in the name of monotheism. As you grow older, your life becomes more and more meaningful as a sacrifice, because you give more and more gifts to the other world, and the spirits are better fed by your speech and prayers.

How do you respond to someone who says that the notion of paying a debt to the spirit world for making a knife is just inefficient, which is why we've wiped out all those cultures. In the time your group spends making one knife, my group will make three hundred knives and cut all your throats.

If you take up that strategy, then you will have to live with the ghosts of those you've murdered – which means you've got to make more and more knives, and you will become more and more depressed, all the while calling yourself "advanced" to rationalize your predicament.

What are these ghosts?

Before we talk any more about ghosts, we have to talk about ancestors, because the two are related.

Often, you'll hear that you have to honor your ancestors, but I believe it's much more complex than that. Our ancestors weren't necessarily very smart. In many cases, they are the ones who left us this mess. Some of them were great, but others had huge prejudices. If these ancestors are given their due, then you don't have to live out their prejudices in your own life. But if you don't give the ancestors something, if you simply say, "I'm descended from these people, but they don't affect me very much; I'm a unique individual," then you're cursed to spend your life either fighting your ancestors, or else riding the wave they started. You'll have to do that long before you can be yourself and pursue what you believe is worth pursuing.

The Mayan way of dealing with this is to give the ancestors a place to live. You actually build houses for them – called "sleeping houses" – and put your ancestors in there. The houses are small, because the ancestors don't take up any space, but they do need a designated place, just like anything else. Then you feed your ancestors with words and eloquence. We all have old, forgotten languages that our languages are descended from, and many of these languages are a great deal more ornate. But even with our current language, we still have the capacity to create strange, mysterious, poetic gifts to feed the ancestors, so that we won't become depressed by their ghosts devouring our everyday lives.

If we can get past the prejudices of the last ten thousand years' worth of ancestors, then we can find our way back to our indigenous souls and culture, where we are always at home and welcome.

My ancestry is Danish, French, and Scottish, but I live in northern California, so how can I find my way back?

The problem is not that your ancestors migrated to North America but that, when they died, their debts were not properly paid with beauty, grief, and language. Whenever someone dies, that person's spirit has to go on to the next world. If that person has not gone through an initiation and remembered where she came from and what she must do to go on, then she won't know where to go. Also, when a person dies, her spirit must return what has been taken out to feed her existence while she was on earth. All of the old burial rituals are about paying back the debt to the other world and helping the spirit to move on.

One of the ways those who remain behind can help repay this spiritual debt is simply by missing the dead. Let's say your beloved grandmother dies. Some might say you shouldn't weep, because she's going to "a better place," and weeping is just pure selfishness. But people's longing for each other and for the terrain of home is so enormous that, if you do not weep to express it, you're poisoning the future with violence. If that longing is not expressed as a loud, beautiful wail, a song, or a piece of art that's given as a gift to the spirits, then it will turn into violence against other beings – and, more importantly, against the earth itself, because you will have no understanding of home. But if you are able to feed the other world with your grief, then you can live where your dead are buried, and they will become a part of the landscape in a way.

Many old cultures had funeral arrangements whereby the dead were annually fed by the living for as long as fifty years, with the living giving ritual payments back to the world and the earth for the debts incurred by the deceased. When that grief doesn't happen, the ancestors' ghosts begin to chase the culture.

It's difficult enough when you have only a few dead people to mourn, but what happens when there are too many dead, when there is no time to mourn them all? When you get not just one or two ghosts (which a shaman might be able to help you with), but hundreds, or thousands, or millions of ghosts, because not just your ancestors, but the beings who have been trespassed against – the women who have been raped, the animals who have been slaughtered for no reason, the ground that has been torn to shreds – have all become ghosts, too?

Are you speaking metaphorically here?

No, I'm talking literally. The ghosts will actually chase you, and they always chase you toward the setting sun. That's why all the great migrations of the past several thousand years have been to the west: because people are running away from the ghosts. The people stop and try to live in a new place for a while, but the ghosts always catch up with them and create enormous wars and pain and problems, which feed the hungry hordes of ghosts. Then the people continue on, always moving, never truly at home. Now we have an entire culture based on our fleeing or being devoured by ghosts.

What can we do about the ghosts?

On a finite planet, we can't outrun them. We've tried to develop technology that will keep us safe: medicines to numb our grief, fortresses to keep the ghosts away. But none of it will work.

In a village, if a family is beset by a ghost, the shaman will capture the ghost, break it down into its component parts, and send them back to the other world one at a time. Then the shaman and the family will set up a regular maintenance program, to get back on track in their relationship with the other world. This is the maintenance way of living.

I'm not sure how Western culture could do this. How can members of a culture that considers the earth a dead thing possibly repay all that debt? How can they possibly get away from all those ghosts? With everything that has gone on for so long, can they ever really be at home again?

To be at home in a place, to live in a place well, we first have to understand where we are; we've got to look at our surroundings. Second, we've got to know our own histories. Third, we've got to feed our ancestors' ghosts, so that the ghosts aren't eating us or the people around us. Lastly, we've got to begin to grieve. Now, grief doesn't mean sitting around weeping every day. Rather, grief means using the gifts you've been given by the spirits to make beauty. Grief that's not expressed this way becomes a kind of toxic waste inside a person's body, and inside the culture as a whole, until it has to be put in containers and shipped someplace, the way they ship radioactive waste to New Mexico.

This locked-up grief has to be metabolized. As a culture and as individuals, we must begin feeling our grief – that delicious, fantastic, eloquent medicine. Then we can start giving spiritual gifts to the land we live on, which might someday grant our grandchildren permission to live there.

What's the relationship between grief and belonging to a place?

In the Guatemalan village where I lived, you don't belong someplace until your people have died there and the living have wept for them there. Until a few of your generations have died on the land and been buried there, and your soul has fed on the land, you're still a tourist, a visitor.

While I lived in this village, one of my sons, a baby, died of typhoid. When I lost a child, I mysteriously and suddenly became a true, welcomed resident of the land. It wasn't as if I owned the land, but I was an honorable renter who'd paid with grief, artistically expressed in ritual. My child had merged with the land, so now I was related to the rocks and the trees and the air in a bodily way that I hadn't been before. And since the other villagers were all related to these same rocks and trees and air, that made us all relatives.

Now, you might say that all your ancestors from Denmark, France, and Scotland have been put in the ground in North America, so why aren't you welcome here? Why aren't you related to the rocks and the trees and the air?

It's because your ancestors who died are most likely still ghosts, still uninitiated souls who have not yet become true ancestors, because their debts were not paid with grief and beauty. Once they become true ancestors, you merge with the region, and you begin to help this world live. At that point, you'll find that you have less need for toasters and machinery and computers – less need for everything. You'll finally be starting to live well.

For us to get to that stage, we have to study eloquence, grief, and sacrifice. I'm not just talking about the type of sacrifice where somebody takes three days off to work in the neighborhood, although that may be part of it. I'm talking about giving to the nonhuman, as well as to the human.

So you're saying that we need to deal with the ghosts, and once we've dealt with them . . .

Then we have to talk about maintenance, which is far more important than corrective measures. This culture is based on fixing things, as opposed to maintaining them. But once we start to maintain instead of constantly fix, the problems that vex us will become much easier to solve. It will no longer be a mat-ter of fixing something as we think of it today. Right now, fixing something means getting our way. It should mean asking: "What do I need to do here?"

Our culture also emphasizes individual freedom, but such freedom can be enjoyed only when there is a waiting village of open-armed, laughing elders who know compassion and grasp the complexity of the spirit world well enough to catch us, keep us grounded, and protect us from ourselves.

If the modern world is to start maintaining things, it will have to redefine itself. A new culture will have to develop, in which neither humans and their inventions nor God is at the center of the universe. What should be at the center is a hollow place, an empty place where both God and humans can sing and weep together. Maybe, together, the diverse and combined excellence of all cultures could court the tree of life back from where it's been banished by our literalist minds and dogmatic religions.

Speaking of dogmatic religions, how did the Mayan traditions survive the influx of Spanish missionaries?

The Spaniards came to our village in 1524, but they couldn't get anybody to go to their church, so they demolished our old temple and used the stones to build a new church on the same site. (This was a common practice.) But the Tzutujil people are crafty. They watched as the old temple stones were used to build the new church, and they memorized where each one went. As far as the Tzutujil were concerned, this strange, square European church was just a reconfiguration of the old. (When I was learning to be a shaman, I had to memorize where all those damn stones were, because they were all holy. It was like being a novice taxi driver in London.)

The Catholic priests abandoned the village in the 1600s because of earthquakes and cholera, then came back fifty years later and found a big hole in the middle of the church. "What is that?" they said.

By then, the Indians knew the priests destroyed everything relating to the native religion, so the Indians said, "When we reenact the crucifixion of Jesus, this is the hole where we put the cross."

In truth, that hole was a hollow place that was never to be filled, because it led to another hollow place left over from the temple that had been there originally, and that place was connected to all the other layers of existence.

For four and a half centuries, the Indians kept their traditions intact in a way that the Europeans couldn't see or understand. If the Spaniards asked, "Where is your God?" the Indians would point to this empty hole. But when the American clergy came in the 1950s, they weren't fooled. They said, "This is paganism." And so, eventually, they filled the empty place with concrete.

I was there when that happened, in 1976. I was livid. I went to the village council and ranted and raved about how terrible it was. The old men calmly smoked their cigars and agreed. After an hour or so, when I was out of breath, they started talking about something totally unrelated. I asked, "Doesn't anybody care about this?"

"Oh, yeah," they said. "We care. But these Christians are idiots if they think they can just eradicate the conduit from this world to the next with a little mud. That's as ridiculous as you worrying about it. But if you must do something, here's a pick, shovel, and chisel. Dig it out."

So some old men and I dug out the hole. Then the Catholics filled the hole back up, and two weeks later we dug it out again. We went back and forth this way five times until, finally, somebody made a stone cover for the hole, so the Catholics could pretend it wasn't there, and we could pull the cover off whenever we wanted to use it.

That's how the spirit is now in this country. The hole, the hollow place that must be fed, is still there, but it's covered over with spiritual amnesia. We try to fill up that beautiful hollow place with drugs, television, potato chips – anything. But it can't be filled. It needs to be kept hollow.

Why is a hollow place holy?

The Mayan people understand that the world did not come out of a creator's hand, but grew out of this hollow place and became a tree whose fruit was diversity. Human beings weren't on that tree, but everything that was on that original tree eventually went into human beings. You have gourd seeds in you, and raccoons, and amoebas – everything.

When the tree finally grew to maturity, flowered, and bore fruit, the fruit was made of sound, and every piece of it that dropped to the ground sprouted and gave birth to the diverse kinds of life. Then the old tree died and became humus consisting of ancient sounds, out of which all things flourish to this day. Everything we feel, touch, and taste is actually a manifestation of that original diversity, which means that the tree isn't really dead, but dismembered, and it's constantly trying to "re-member" itself.

Every year in my village, when it was still intact, the young men and women who were to be initiated into adulthood went down the hole into the other world to try to bring the parent tree back to life. They put the seeds of their holy sounds and their tears into that hole where the old tree used to live long ago. And the tree grew back. But the rest of the year, the village devoured the tree's diverse forms, creating an annual need for new initiates to re-member the old provider tree back to life. The initiates were able to go down into that hollow place and restore the tree to life because they knew how to be eloquent, how to grieve, and how to fight death instead of fighting and killing other beings.

When you say "fight death," do you mean they resisted or denied its inevitability?

No, on the contrary, I mean they wrestled with death. In order for there to be life, there has to be a spiritual wrestling match with death; otherwise, it becomes a literal battle that can kill you.

The problem with death is that its gods are rationalists. The Mayans have thirteen goddesses and thirteen gods of death. These deities have no imagination, which is why they have to eat and kill us – to get our souls, our imagination. Once death has your soul, it is happy and stops killing for a while. But then you must go down and ask death – with all your eloquence – to please give back your soul. When death refuses, you've got to gamble with death, because death obeys only one rule: the rule of chance. And so you use gambling bones and try to beguile death with your eloquence. That's what we call "wrestling death." You can't kill death, of course. The best you can hope for in such a match is to bring death to a standoff. Then death will say, "OK, I'll tell you what. I'm going to give you back your soul if you promise to continue to feed me this eloquence on a regular basis, and to die at your appointed hour."

During initiation, when the young men and women wrestle death, what they're doing, essentially, is signing a contract that says, "I give up the idealistic notion that I should live forever." Your soul is then returned, but you must ritually render a percentage of the fruit of your art, your eloquence, and your imagination to the other world. That's the only deal you're going to get from death. If you try to strike a better bargain, you're going to end up killing a lot of people. When an entire culture tries to make a better deal, or refuses to wrestle death with eloquence, then death comes up to the surface to eat us in a literal way, with wars and depression.

Tell me more about the indigenous soul.

Every individual in the world, regardless of cultural background or race, has an indigenous soul struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile environment created by that individual's mind. A modern person's body has become a battleground between the rationalist mind – which subscribes to the values of the machine age – and the native soul. This battle is the cause of a great deal of spiritual and physical illness.

Over the last several centuries, a heartless, culture-crushing mentality has enforced its so-called progress on the earth, devouring all peoples, nature, imagination, and spiritual knowledge. Like a bulldozer, it has left a flat, homogenized streak of civilization in its wake. Every human on this earth, whether from Africa, Asia, Europe, or the Americas, has ancestors whose stories, rituals, ingenuity, language, and life ways were taken away, enslaved, banned, exploited, twisted, or destroyed by this mentality. What is indigenous – in other words, natural, subtle, hard to explain, generous, gradual, and village oriented – in each of us has been banished to the ghettos of our heart, or hidden away from view on reservations inside the spiritual landscape. We're taught to believe that our thoughts are actually the center of our life. Like the conquering, modern culture we belong to, we understand the world only with the mind, not with the indigenous soul.

And this indigenous soul is not something that can be brought back in "wild man" or "wild woman" retreats on the weekend and then dropped when you put on your business suit. It's not something you take up because it's fun or trendy. It has to be authentic, and it has to be spiritually expensive.

Let's talk for a moment about co-optation. There are two common positions on the wider use of indigenous traditions. One is that there's nothing wrong with making a sweat lodge in your backyard for weekend retreats, while continuing to be a stockbroker on weekdays.

The consumer method.

The other, which I subscribe to, is that we must respect the privacy of indigenous traditions and not mine them for our own purposes.

I've made a huge effort never to do that. The truth is that I never wanted to write books about Mayan traditions in the first place. On the Pueblo reservation where I grew up, it was taboo to write, because writing freezes knowledge, and also because much knowledge becomes useless when it is not kept secret and used only under sacred conditions. And often the things that are the most sacred are the most simple and ordinary. When this ordinariness is framed in subtle, time-honored ways, it becomes extraordinary and maintains its spiritual usefulness.

The traditions you write about are not your native Southwestern traditions.

No, but I lived in Santiago Atitlán, in Guatemala, for many years and made my life there. I was married, with children. Then, when the U.S.—backed death squads came, more than eighteen hundred villagers were killed within seven years: shot, beaten, tortured, poisoned, chopped up, starved to death in holes, beheaded, disappeared. This took place in a village where, prior to 1979, most people had never heard a gunshot. I had a price on my head and was almost killed on three different occasions in the 1980s. I returned to the U.S. and brought my family with me. My wife later went back home, taking our two sons with her, and we separated. The boys soon returned to live with me and are now grown men.

Then, in 1992, there was another massacre, and I had to go back to Guatemala. Some young Tzutujil men met me in a pickup truck, which was strange in itself: before, nobody had owned an automobile. They put me in the back with a bunch of squash, under a tarp. Whenever we came to an army roadblock, the soldiers saw just the squash and let us pass. They didn't look very hard. (Most of the soldiers really don't want to kill anybody: they have to be goaded into it. But they do kill.)

When we'd gotten past all the roadblocks, I got to sit up front. The other passengers were all kids. This was only eight years after I'd left, and already they had forgotten the name of my teacher, who had been one of the greatest and most famous shamans around.

As we drove, they'd ask, "Do you know the story of that mountain over there?"

"Yeah," I'd say, "that's called S'kuut. It was originally in the ocean and was brought up on land by the old goddess of the reptiles."

"Who's she?"

Pretty soon the truck was going about three miles an hour because they were rediscovering, through their ancestors' ancient stories, every mountain, ravine, and boulder along our route. After about two hours, I asked, "How come you don't know any of this?"

"Well," said one, "these two are Christians, so they're not allowed to know, and the rest of us don't have parents. They were killed in the 1980s."

So there I was, this blond half-breed from the U.S. – not even any blood relation to these kids – telling them their own people's stories. I realized then that these children, as well as my own two sons, would never know the richness of village life. They were losing their connection to this place. I had to write down what I knew, but I couldn't write down the specifics – that we went to the lake and did this and put this offering there – because then those rituals could be expropriated.

My decision to leave out the details of the rituals has irritated many people in the U.S. They insist I tell them "how to do it." I always respond, "It's not technology."

You've said explicitly that the power of shamanism is not in the specific words or the prayers.

My teacher always said that, if there is to be any hope whatsoever of living well on this earth, we have to take the ancient root and put new sap in it. That doesn't mean we need to do something new, but to do something old in a new way, which takes great courage.

I decided that if I could write these books such that the oral tradition is evident to readers, memories of their own indigenous souls might begin to arise. Of course, I tell people not to get on a plane and go to Guatemala. That would bring nothing but more heartbreak and plundering. The answer must be found in your own backyard, where you live. The only reason to explore another culture is to be able to smell the poverty in your own. Even if you go to another culture and are accepted in some way, you still have an obligation not to abandon your own culture, but to return to your homeland and try to coax its alienated indigenous traditions back into everyday life and away from tribalism, fundamentalism, and corporatized, nihilistic greed.

This is true whether we're talking about traditions or natural resources. Right now, "genetic prospectors" are going to Brazil to study plants used by indigenous peoples. Why? So they can save rich, white North Americans from diseases caused by the stupidities of their own culture. They're mining other peoples' traditions to fix, mechanically, illnesses that would be much better addressed if they stayed home and dealt with their own culture's lack of imagination and grace, grieving collectively about the inescapable reality of their mortality.

People should also be aware that many things that are touted as indigenous are not. Many of the sweat-lodge ceremonies, for example, are about as Jesuit as you can get. No Indian had ever heard of the Great Spirit before the 1850s. That's all from the Jesuits.

You've said that one problem with Western culture is its use of the verb to be.

When I was a child, I spoke a Pueblo language called Keres, which doesn't have the verb to be. It was basically a language of adjectives. One of the secrets of my ability to survive and thrive in Santiago Atitlán was that the Tzutujil language, too, has no verb to be. Tzutujil is a language of carrying and belonging, not a language of being. Without to be, there's no sense that something is absolutely this or that. If two people argue, they're said to be "split," like firewood, but both sides are still of the same substance. Some of the rights and wrongs that nations have fought and died to defend or obtain are not even relevant concepts to traditional Tzutujil. This isn't because the Tzutujil are somehow too "primitive" to understand right and wrong, but because their lives aren't based on absolute states or permanence. Mayans believe nothing will last on its own. That's why their lives are oriented toward maintenance rather than creation.

"Belonging to" is as close to "being" as the Tzutujil language gets. One cannot say, "She is a mother," for instance. In Tzutujil, you can only call someone a mother by saying whose mother she is, whom she belongs to. Likewise, one cannot say, "He is a shaman." One says instead, "The way of tracking belongs to him."

In order for modern Western culture to really take hold in Santiago Atitlán, the frustrated religious, business, and political leaders first had to undermine the language. Language is the glue that holds the layers of the Mayan universe together: the eloquence of the speech, the ancestral lifeline of the mythologies. The speech of the gods was in our very bones. But once the Westerners forced the verb to be upon our young, the whole archaic Mayan world disappeared into the jaws of the modern age.

In a culture with the verb to be, one is always concerned with identity. To determine who you are, you must also determine who you are not. In a culture based on belonging, however, you must bond with others. You are defined by where you stand and whom you stand with. The verb to be also reduces a language, taking away its adornment and beauty. But the language becomes more efficient. The verb to be is very efficient. It allows you to build things.

Rather than build things, Mayans cultivate a climate that allows for the possibility of their appearance, as for a fruit or a vine. They take care of things. In the past, when they built big monuments, it wasn't, as in modern culture, to force the world to be a certain way, but rather to repay the world with a currency proportionate to the immense gifts the gods had given the people. Mayans don't force the world to be what they want it to be: they make friends with it; they belong to life.

You've spoken a lot today about the importance of maintenance. How does that relate to the Tzutujil practice of building flimsy houses?

In the village, people used to build their houses out of traditional materials, using no iron or lumber or nails, but the houses were magnificent. Many were sewn together out of bark and fiber. Like the house of the body, the house that a person sleeps in must be very beautiful and sturdy, but not so sturdy that it won't fall apart after a while. If your house doesn't fall apart, then there will be no reason to renew it. And it is this renewability that makes something valuable. The maintenance gives it meaning.

The secret of village togetherness and happiness has always been the generosity of the people, but the key to that generosity is inefficiency and decay. Because our village huts were not built to last very long, they had to be regularly renewed. To do this, villagers came together, at least once a year, to work on somebody's hut. When your house was falling down, you invited all the folks over. The little kids ran around messing up what everybody was doing. The young women brought the water. The young men carried the stones. The older men told everybody what to do, and the older women told the older men that they weren't doing it right. Once the house was back together again, everyone ate together, praised the house, laughed, and cried. In a few days, they moved on to the next house. In this way, each family's place in the village was reestablished and remembered. This is how it always was.

Then the missionaries and the businessmen and the politicians brought in tin and lumber and sturdy houses. Now the houses last, but the relationships don't.

In some ways, crises bring communities together. Even nowadays, if there's a flood, or if somebody is going to put a highway through a neighborhood, people come together to solve the problem. Mayans don't wait for a crisis to occur; they make a crisis. Their spirituality is based on choreographed disasters – otherwise known as rituals – in which everyone has to work together to remake their clothing, or each other's houses, or the community, or the world. Everything has to be maintained because it was originally made so delicately that it eventually falls apart. It is the putting back together again, the renewing, that ultimately makes something strong. That is true of our houses, our language, our relationships.

It's a fine balance, making something that is not so flimsy that it falls apart too soon, yet not so solid that it is permanent. It requires a sort of grace. We all want to make something that's going to live beyond us, but that thing shouldn't be a house, or some other physical object. It should be a village that can continue to maintain itself. That sort of constant renewal is the only permanence we should wish to attain.
Everything in nature has a power in it.
-Thomas Banyacya
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Excerpt from Sinister Forces

Postby Username » Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:53 am

Excerpt from Book III of Peter Levenda's Sinister Forces.
pgs. 361-363

When the science editor of Time magazine--Leon Jaroff--became aware of the remote-viewing experiments taking place at SRI under Puthoff and Targ, he was alarmed. To Jaroff, the paranormal research at SRI was akin to the occultism that, in his view, gave rise to fascism in Germany, and he felt that their research should be destroyed. Theodore Adorno (1903-1969), the German philosopher whose "F-scale" or "fascism scale" became a controversial subject in psychological circles after his expulsion from Germany in 1934, attacked the "irrational" for the very same reason: his belief that the irrational (to Adorno, everything from astrology to occultism) in mass culture inevitably leads to fascism. One is almost forced to ask the obvious questions, the one not asked in polite company: does the "irrational" include religion? Of course, it does, but science prefers religion to be a vehicle for instruction in ethical culture, and not supernaturalism; yet it is humanity's confrontation with the supernatural that lead to the development of religion and, eventually, ethics and moral values.

Therefore, it is perhaps not the belief in the irrational that leads to fascism, however, but the marginalization of the irrational that does so, for it encourages a parallel belief in conspiracy. Since people in general have direct experience of the paranormal in their lives--from events as trivial as coincidence to as traumatic as poltergeist activity, incidents of ESP, UFO sightings, or even remote-viewing--to find their experience ridiculed by the established authority is insupportable. They confront this "disconnect" coming to them from authority, and thus begin to question authority--its wisdom, or its motives--itself. They become prey to those who would encourage their "irrational" beliefs and point an accusing finger at the very authorities--scientific or political--who would deny them the secret power or arcane knowledge they could otherwise possess. The debasement of the paranormal in culture only serves to increase its value among the population, who treasure their unusual experiences in secret, and who build up entire cosmologies around them, since they have no other context in which to understand what they know to have occurred. Thus, for me, fascism is the result not of irrational beliefs but of the monopolization of those beliefs by others: men and women who exploit the divide between the direct experience of the masses and the intellectualist denial of their experiences by a privileged, powerful elite.

The shaman in primitive cultures is a person who has managed to integrate the irrational into his own personality and, by extension, into the life of his society. His act of personal self-transcendence--to use Koestler's terminology--is an act of social integration which also successfully integrates the irrational into the life of society through his social role as healer, therapist, and seer. The serial killer is a shaman who has not managed to integrate the irrational with the life of his society, as society no longer has a place for it or a context within which to understand what is happening to him. The irrational in modern society is consigned to the dustheap of psychoanalysis, if not of history itself. The same is true of the fascist.

The fascist embraces the irrational because it is transcendental, and the fascist yearns to transcend his natural state, to become more than human, to become--as Hitler said--a "new man." Since the fascist becomes the only political person who tolerates the irrational, he becomes the figurehead of the people who have encountered the irrational in their own lives. The fascist is a shaman who has not managed to integrate the irrational in his own life, but who still needs the approval and support--and, if possible, the adulation--of society in order to act out his fantasies. The serial killer differs only in that he has no need of society's approval: he gave that up a long time ago, and regards society with hatred and suspicion. The fascist and the serial killer share this in common: they both feel a tremendous need for self-transcendence but fail to integrate the irrational needs and experiences of their psyches with either themselves (the fascist) or with society (the serial killer). The successful shaman has done both: he has interiorized the essential conflicts of the irrational of his own personality as well as his own personality (with all of its irrational experiences) with society in general. However, had society in general not welcomed his achievements, there is every possibility that he would have
become a social pariah and, from there, a dangerous individual, fueled by the dangerous component of shamanism: sexuality.

Our society has no place for the shaman, so we marginalize both him and his experiences. The shaman come back, then, to haunt us in other ways: either as the iconic serial killer or as the dreary fascist. Both are evil, either evil "in and of themselves" to borrow the clanking terminology of the existentialists, or as channels for an evil force that is older than history, but of whose machinations history is the unhappy result.
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Re: Remote Viewing.

Postby elfismiles » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:36 am

ATTEMPTING to steer conversation on RV to an RV thread... from here:

Where is UFOlogy at in 2013?

KeenInsight » 13 Jul 2013 14:54 wrote:


I recognize that actor, but what is that in reference too, a movie?

The clue is in the image-file-name: stubblebine-hopgood

The film adaptation of Jon Ronsen's The Men Who Stare at Goats. ... oats_(film)‎Cached

justdrew » 13 Jul 2013 03:41 wrote:I'm not at all convinced any useful 'information' has ever been gleaned by "remote viewing" though. Most proponents have a clear financial interest in people 'believing' in it. but of course, anything's possible, and some psychic stuff seems real. Is there anything particularly convincing re RV?

oh, BTW - successor to namebase here:

RE: JD's being unconvinced of usefulness / effectiveness of RV ... what books have you read on the subject? From my reading and experience it seems to work pretty much as advertised. You just have to be creative about how you use it and be sure to do so with as much double-blind aspects as possible.

One of the non-profs I serve on the board of is about to begin some efforts at verifying "remote-dowsing":

In the 1970s, physicist Harold (Hal) Puthoff, engineer Russell Targ, and psychic Ingo Swann were recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to do research on psychic abilities with the general intention of verifying the phenomenon and adapting some methods of eliciting it to military purposes. After several years of research at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), a process termed Remote Viewing was developed and eventually adopted by the United States Army Intelligence service. Based in Fort Meade, Maryland, military remote viewers carried out a program of intelligence gathering which proved quite successful in obtaining information about activities and personnel in known, remote, often inaccessible, locations. An active program was carried on by Army Intelligence for over 20 years.

One aspect of the program proved problematical, however: while information was readily available from known locations, it proved exceedingly difficult to obtain the location of a person or persons known, but at an unknown location. Likewise, it was almost impossible to remote view numbers. A complementary method was eventually developed by the scientists at SRI which allowed the intelligence officers to obtain information revealing the required locations and/or numbers. This method was termed by the military “Remote Dowsing”.

The object of INACS‘ Remote Dowsing study will be to develop methods of understanding the cognitive functions involved in the process, elicit event-related potentials accompanying successful practicing of the dowsing skills and to develop methods of automating the process so that real-time tracking of moving targets may be accomplished. The current presentation will describe the initial portion of that study – baseline analysis. Jim will discuss the rationale behind performing such an analysis and the advantages of having such information available prior to performing the actual dowsing experiments.

NOTE: Dr. Puthoff was one of the founding board members of INACS when it was originally chartered as the Center for the Study of Consciousness (CSC) in 1990, and he is on our Advisory Board. He is currently an advisor on this research project. ... e-studies/

And thanks for that alt-namebase successor link.
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