Anthropology of Consciousness 19 (1):33-59 (2008)

Abstract
The main aim of shamanic initiation among the Yanomami people of the Upper Orinoco River region in Venezuela is the metamorphosis of the human body into a cosmic body, or what I term "corporeal cosmogenesis." During the initiatory ordeal, the neophyte undergoes an intense experience of death through dismemberment by the spirits and subsequent rebirth, thus overcoming the human condition and becoming an individual living spirit. But, at the same time, he becomes a "collection" of other spirits who leave their natural habitats—located on the mountaintops and in the forest—and move into the initiate's body, which becomes their abode. As the candidate surrenders his soul and humanness to the spirits, the latter become his personal allies and sources of power while imbuing the shaman's postmortem ego with certain properties that can best be described in holographic terms. After the shaman's biological death, his personal spirits become disembodied again and disperse back into the forest and on the mountaintops. When the shaman dies, his soul multiplies, as each of the disembodied spirits becomes a carrier of the shaman's soul image. In this way, through initiations, the shaman becomes a part of a dynamic cosmic circuity, as his hekura can be called upon to invade the bodies of new shamans, and start a cosmogonic initiatory act anew.
Keywords holography  shamanism  cosmology  consciousness  initiation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1556-3537.2008.00002.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,491
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Signs.The Primacy of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Richard C. Mccleary & James M. Edie - 1965 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (2):271-274.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Cultural Evolution of Shamanism.Manvir Singh - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
89 ( #108,544 of 2,381,226 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #560,102 of 2,381,226 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes