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Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism

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Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Kim Katami 8/3/19 2:59 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Stickman2 8/3/19 5:00 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Katz Videos 8/3/19 7:10 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Katz Videos 8/4/19 7:30 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Chris Marti 8/4/19 8:38 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism tom moylan 8/5/19 5:31 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Kim Katami 8/5/19 6:58 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism tom moylan 8/5/19 7:56 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism tom moylan 8/5/19 8:03 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Chris Marti 8/5/19 6:00 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Chris Marti 8/5/19 6:21 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/5/19 7:55 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/5/19 8:18 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jim Smith 8/5/19 7:10 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/5/19 7:43 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/5/19 8:11 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/5/19 8:28 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism T DC 8/6/19 10:06 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/6/19 10:36 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/6/19 1:55 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Chris Marti 8/6/19 3:06 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/6/19 5:28 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/6/19 5:55 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Chris Marti 8/6/19 7:39 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism T DC 8/8/19 7:39 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/8/19 8:12 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/9/19 9:07 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Kim Katami 8/9/19 1:34 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism T DC 8/9/19 2:09 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/9/19 6:49 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Chris Marti 8/9/19 6:41 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism T DC 8/5/19 11:52 PM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Kim Katami 8/6/19 2:21 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Kim Katami 8/6/19 6:27 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jinxed P 8/6/19 11:10 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Kim Katami 8/6/19 7:16 AM
RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism Jan 8/6/19 10:17 AM
Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism

"Shamanism has been misunderstood in the modern times because it is associated with antiquated ways of thinking and superstition but the reality is that it was shut down primarily by colonialism and by organised religion. One of the great Catholic mystics of our time who I talked to said that the Catholic Church for example had hidden all their mystical practices after Martin Luther and the reformation because they didn't people to talk directly to God. They needed people to go through the intermediaries of the priests and the church. So the church was the one that could intermediate between the higher world and lower world and sell indulgences but nobody else could. The truth is that shamans and shamanism has always existed in cultures. They are the healers, the sages, the ones who live in between the two worlds and can open them to you and it's scaring people but now we need them more than ever".


- Jack Kornfield, buddhist teacher and author, https://vimeo.com/220889134


Itblew my mind to learn that shamanism has been the original religion or way of life since ancient times, literally for tens of thousands of years. World religions such as buddhism, christianity and islam are lightweights compared to shamanism, in terms of history. Shamans have existed in all native cultures, everywhere in the world.


I haven't studied shamanism per se but through healing practices and tantra, I instantly see many similarities with shamanism. Of course many practices and rituals of tantric yoga have shamanic origins, or perhaps I should say presence? It was also news to me that, according to Shinzen Young, another pioneering buddhist teacher, in shamanism there are two branches: 1. the style that is concerned with powers and 2. the style that is concerned with knowing oneself. Apparently Mr. Young has been a practicing shamanist for 40 years. See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33u14OjeHpE

I do not subscribe to the secular, nonmystical worldview and I think that while rationalisation and common senseness needs to be a solid foundation of any type of path, the nonmystical and secular worldview is insufficient to people because it removes wonder and fascination. By wonder and fascination, I refer to a way of seeing human beings in a greater way than just as a sack of muscles and bones, brain and nervous system which is the view of modern science. To see human being purely as a physical-material organism is precisely what prevents understanding our humanness in a profound way, with all its nonmaterial depth and potential for self-healing and self-empowerment in psychological and spiritual ways.


-Kim

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/3/19 5:00 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Some tribal people don't have shamen, and don't seem to need them. 2 cents.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/3/19 7:10 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
What exactly is shamanism? I know there's various different shamanic practices, but there must be some common charactaristics that differentiate a practice that is shamanistic from one which is not, isn't there?

I do subscribe to the rationalist wordview, so I've been surprised and intrigued to see people like Shinzen Young and Daniel Ingram advocate for shamanism, but unfortunately I haven't been able to find any material of them explaining what it is or what it does.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/4/19 7:30 PM as a reply to Katz Videos.
Okay, I'll bite. How are rationalism and materialism (two separate things, btw) racist and imperialistic? Granted many people make the assumption that white westerners are more likely to be rationalists or materialists than non whites or non westerners, but that racist assumption isn't inherently part of rationalism or materialism.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/4/19 8:38 PM as a reply to Katz Videos.
I have found it's best to listen politely and then just carry on.

emoticon

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 5:31 AM as a reply to Katz Videos.
In his series "The Science of Enlightenment", Shinzen quotes some old dead guy who calls shamanism the perennial religion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy

He compares its duration (likely tens of thousands of years) with that of the relatively short lived and still modern religions that we are all familiar with at least in a general sense.

My take is that Shamanism is not really a religion but that is due to my separation of spiritualism and religion as different concepts.  Many concepts and experiences which are not well understood are thrown into the black box of spiritualism.  Not knowing the details of how a television or a computer works leads one to see its functioning as a kind of 'magic' or 'wonder'.  Deeper understanding of physics and electronics may lead one to a mor rationally based understanding and removes the magical aspects of these through wisdom or at least knowledge.

Every major religion has two distinct phases.  The mystic and the formalization phase.  In the usual run of things there is a charismatic leader who describes his or her mystical experience gained through deep introspection and techniques that we all here understand.  They are seen as different, and holy or at least very special for their ability to see and experience wonders which the average person cannot experience due to various reasons and are thus elevated to a priveleged status.

People, thinking that this is great stuff and wanting to repeat it, formalize the original teachers' descriptions and teachings into a dogma.  Brooking no straying from the teachers' utterances, formalization tends toward fundamentalism and the claim to exclusivity and the idea that 'This is the ONLY True Way'.

Anyone giving even cursory attention to the writings of the Sufi mystics, the Kabbalists, Teresa de Avila or Meister Eckart will see that the experiences they describe in their culturally appropriate way are considering the same phenomena.

This human experience is broken down by every culture in every epoch of time in its own way.  Our psychologists and an Ayahuasca shamen in the Amazon are using different techniques and tools to peel back the layers of our experience both physical and psychic to bring back truth and to decode this miracle we experience.

Mystics and shamen are like tv repairmen.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 6:58 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Hi.

Has Jack Kornfield discussed elsewhere of his connection to shamanism and its practices? I'd love to hear, or more of Shinzen's if its available somewhere. What would be very interesting to hear is Shinzen's views and experiences with both tantra and shamanism, since he apparently has both trainings. I wonder how it all comes together in his daily practice or in his teaching. My impression is that he doesn't teach either.

I had no idea they both had this background but I am positively surprised hearing of it, them being theravada/mindfulness pioneers and all. In the long documentary about Michael Harner (that is linked in the OP), Kornfield makes a reference to theravadan yogis who did healings etc. like shamans do. I've also heard about tantric theravada which both to myself, as well as probably for a lot of Western theravada practitioners is news. Here's an article of tantric theravada by David Chapman for some context.

I don't mean this in a bad way but my impression of theravada is that it is quite dry and lifeless, as well as very technical when it comes to practices. However, these references put a different spin on it, despite that apparently most people associated with theravada have no clue or idea what the tantric side of theravada is. Obviously, I don't either but would be interested to hear.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 7:56 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
i am not familiar withthe full spectrum of Shinzen Youngs' CV or teachings.  As far as I recall his center is mainly based on his unique triple noting technique and ranges more in the basic theravada type noting practices.  His background as a youngster growing up in LA but being exposed to and fascinated by Japanese culture and the resultant propulsion to his spiritual life in Japan are fascinating.

As far as tantra and Shinzen are concerned I have no deep knowledge but in his series "The Science of Enlightenment" he talks about Tantra a bit and how most westerners misunderstand the meaning and purpose of it and so abuse it by making it a purly prurient pastime.

The Science of Enlightenment is a scholarly overview of many different traditions which I listened to (many times) as a set of mp3's but can be had from "Sounds True" at https://www.soundstrue.com/store/the-science-of-enlightenment-4028.html

I probably have the mp3's somewhere on an ftp server but I'd have to look.

re: Theravada being dry and lifeless...well...we all have different drives and pulls and preferences.  I was very attracted to much of the Tibetan take on Buddhism for instance and aside from deepening my interest and quenching some spiritual thirst it was too obscure for me as a spiritual practice.  It (or something else) may be just the ticket for you though.  The theravada speaks clearly to me through the excellent translations and the relatively dogma free instructions.  The methodologies speak to me.  The measurable results of experiments using the techniques of Mahasi Sayadaw or Daniel Ingram that I have made on my own body / mind complex speak to me much louder than the secret promises and dire threats of much of the Vajrajana traditions although they hold much beauty.

I do not regret a single minute spent meditating in other traditions but in my case I find that exploring the caves of my being with simple clear instructions is the most valuable educational tool I have ever used.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 8:03 AM as a reply to Katz Videos.
yes rationality is good.  yes materialism falls very short of a complete description of reality.

i think though that using terms like racism or imperialism as adjectives to describe either points out a fundamental misunderstanding on your part of either the subjects or the attributes you are applying to them.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 6:00 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
I think Western materialist imperialism is a seamless continuation of Christian missionary imperialism. Maybe you shouldn't say an ideology is 'racist' or 'imperialistic,' but I think that argument would be disingenuous. I would say that totalizing ideologies are racist and imperialistic because they act exactly this way: centering themselves as omnivorous bastions of truth while in practice other-izing people outside of the ideology (almost always racially, tribally, geographically) as inferior and lending to the justifications of control, disruption, and even genocide.

Would you say that no non-western, non-rational or non-materialist civilization or society, ancient or modern, ever conquered, subsumed, absorbed, denied legitimacy to, took the territory of or enslaved another? I don't think we need to look any farther than how human beings are across time, space, society and culture to explain the "other-ing" of human beings that aren't "us."





RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 6:21 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I think ideology is often used to justify or rationalize (pun intended) as opposed to being the primary cause of the horrors we sometimes inflict on each other. JMHO, though.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 7:10 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism

...
One of the great Catholic mystics of our time who I talked to said that the Catholic Church for example had hidden all their mystical practices after Martin Luther and the reformation because they didn't people to talk directly to God. They needed people to go through the intermediaries of the priests and the church. So the church was the one that could intermediate between the higher world and lower world and sell indulgences but nobody else could.
...



Aren't shaman's intermediaries too? Do they work for free?

I don't think you can make generalizations about shamans. They are different in different cultures. As individuals they are no different from other people. Like the general population, or preists, or awakened buddhist teachers some shamans are good some are not. And I have a nuanced opinion of the Catholic church. I am aware of a lot of criticism of it but I am also aware of a lot of good things about it too.

I am infavor of democratizing spiritual practices. I like to do things myself. But some people would rather have trained experts and that is okay too.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 7:43 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I too am fascinated by shamans and devoted a chapter to them in my book "The Awakened Ape".

Shamans are schizotypals, a mostly genetic illness on the schizophrenic spectrum.  That is why the see visions, talk to spirits etc.  Of course, their prescientific tribesmates don't realize it is just a mental illness and take their schizotypal delusions to be real. I spent time in the Amazon with a tribe whose shamans are said to have the ability to turn into jaguars. Can they really do this? Of course not, but the other tribes people really believed he could. 

Paradoxically, the shamans of these tribes have far better lives than someone on the schizophrenic spectrum does today in modern society. Instead of being looked down upon as being "crazy" they are considered magical. They go through all sorts of physical and mental training to be fit, tough, and achieve states of supreme concentration. They are able to enter trances easily. 

The true indigenous shamans really do eminate a sense of ease and confidence similar to a Buddhist master. Just don't believe them when they say the can turn into a jaguar. 

Now before you think of yourself as all high and mighty and wonder how come these primitives can't recognize someone suffering mental illness from someone who is truly divine....

Most of the religious leaders in history were schizophrenic including Jesus, according to a team at Harvard Medical School. I sometimes think the Buddha may have been as well, and hence why he was always battling the "voices" of Mara, etc..

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 7:55 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
S.:
I think there is a lot of insight into human beings like that that scales up from individual observations of people and feelings you know. 

But I also think that the behavior of empires (and smaller groups of people) is connected to their ideologies, and not just due to something like human greed or resource conditions (and scarcity). I don't think ideology is frosting. 


Was the Mongol takeover of half the world due to their scientific materialism?
What about the Japanese take-over of China and the killing of 10.2 million Chinese during WW2?
Or the dozens of other Asian raids, genocides and imperialist missions throughout history?
What about the Buddhists kicking out the Muslims in Burma today?

Did the Africans who enslaved their other tribesmen and sold it them to the Europeans keep slaves because their rationalist ideology?

Rationalism, materialism, and science are not racist. Human beings are racist. 

You should balance out your postmodern reading with Steven Pinker's "Enlightenment Now" and "Better Angels of Our Nature".

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 8:11 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
S.:
I don't think they could prove that without inventing time travel, or actually having a real genetic way to diagnose schizophrenia. An MRI cannot even be used to diagnose schizophrenia despite sometimes recurrent abnormalities, and I doubt there was one in play here. There is probably not good evidence for the physical existence of Jesus versus just his appearance in the Gospels to the best of my knowledge. I don't think these are meaningful claims.

No need to invent time travel. There are plenty of indigenous shamans alive today, far more a century ago when this connection was first made by anthropologists who living with these tribes who noticed the obvious similiarities between the shamans and schizotypals. 

Schizophrenia occurs in about 1 in 100 people
In a tribe of about 100 people, there is 1 shaman

A schizo will have a mental breakdown sometime in young adulthood, hear voices, see visions and will go into a period of social isolation
A shaman will have a mental breakdown sometime in young adulthood , hear voices, see visions and go into the woods for a period of social isolation

Schizophrenics will have delusions of religious grandeur, thinking they are the messiah, have special communication to spirits(in a christian culture the spirits will be angels/demons, in the jungle (jaguars/snakes), in Mongolia eagles and horses.  

And many more.. I would suggest watching Stanford's Dr. Robert Saposky's lecture on it ..we are also closing in on the genes responsible for schizophrenia  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/schizophrenia-gene-discovery-sheds-light-on-possible-cause/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwAQqWUkpI



RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 8:18 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
S.:
I have read those Pinker books. I think he is an apologist full of crap. 

I have also disliked him since his very public point of arguing in favor of brain differences suggesting differences in reasoning ability between men and women. He made a pretty big deal about defending that despite all the criticism. Wonderful man, taking one for science.


So you don't like him because he is willing to say something that goes against your political agenda, even if it's true? (The vast, vast majority of scientists would agree there are differences in cognitive abilities between men and women. Men are on average better at some tasks, and women on others, as well as having different preferences. Evolution has given men and women very different bodies, to think it would change the body so much, but not a single difference in the brain is absurd.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 8:28 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
S.:
It is a good example of science being used to make wild, not really supported claims (by someone without a doctorate or md) using one of the least understood mental illnesses to literally pathologize cultural leaders and religious icons of all the world's cultures.


Wild, not supported claims? I din't come up with this theory, it's been around since the 1930's and has tons of supporting evidence, again as I said, check out the work of DR. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford. 

You also have succumbed to the idea that everything is about Power/class struggle/ as if the goal is bring others down and subjugate them. This is what you get when you read to much neo-marxist, postmodern literature. You know the saying when all you have is a hammer, everything is your nail? Everything to you is about power/subjugation/class warfare/patriarchy/etc... you see it everywhere, even when it doesn't belong.

Some things are just about truth and that's it. There is no secret power/subjugation agenda. 

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/5/19 11:52 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
I too am fascinated by shamans and devoted a chapter to them in my book "The Awakened Ape".

Shamans are schizotypals, a mostly genetic illness on the schizophrenic spectrum.  That is why the see visions, talk to spirits etc.  Of course, their prescientific tribesmates don't realize it is just a mental illness and take their schizotypal delusions to be real. I spent time in the Amazon with a tribe whose shamans are said to have the ability to turn into jaguars. Can they really do this? Of course not, but the other tribes people really believed he could. 

Paradoxically, the shamans of these tribes have far better lives than someone on the schizophrenic spectrum does today in modern society. Instead of being looked down upon as being "crazy" they are considered magical. They go through all sorts of physical and mental training to be fit, tough, and achieve states of supreme concentration. They are able to enter trances easily. 

The true indigenous shamans really do eminate a sense of ease and confidence similar to a Buddhist master. Just don't believe them when they say the can turn into a jaguar. 

Now before you think of yourself as all high and mighty and wonder how come these primitives can't recognize someone suffering mental illness from someone who is truly divine....

Most of the religious leaders in history were schizophrenic including Jesus, according to a team at Harvard Medical School. I sometimes think the Buddha may have been as well, and hence why he was always battling the "voices" of Mara, etc..


I'm not sure if "all shamans have schizophrenia" is a legitimate take, even if they do have visions and so on.  As well, with Jesus, just because he apparently was receiving messages from god, doesn't mean he's schizophrenic.

Sometimes I hear the idea that people with mental illness are really just visionaries at odds with modern society and a materialistic-medical paradigm.  This may have some grounding in truth, but it ignores both the fact that plenty of rational, mentally healthy people experience mystical states and visions (yours truly), and that plenty of schizophrenic people benefit from a thoughtfully prescribed regimin of anti-psychotics.  Having seen extreme schizophrenia up close and personal during rotations in a psych unit, I can tell you it is profoundly disabling and should not be romanticized.  

Regarding "shamanism" - the reality is that humans are a spiritual bunch, and we have been since the very dawn of our existence.  In indigenous cultures this took various forms ranging the full spectrum from mysticism to dogma, and anywhere in between. 

Personally I have read the most about the spiritual traditions of western Native Americans such as the Lakota and it is quite fascinating.  The book Black Elk Speaks gives an awesome, first person perspective from a medicine man present at the peak of indigenous conflict with the US Gov post Civil War.  Another interesting perspective is Lame Deer Seeker of Visions - a modern day (1920's - 70's) medicine man seeking the indigenous spiritual path while dealing with all the trials of modern society (boarding schools, reservations, WWII, alcohol, jail...).

I think what interests me the most is that Native American Spirituality as presented in these books seems to be largely visionary.  Lakota rituals in many cases are designed to bring on visions, whether through fasting, exposure, or extreme pain - all of the above in the case of the Sun Dance, a key spiritual and community tribal ritual.  Visions themselves were held to give the recipient increased power and prestige.  For example, Crazy Horse - a key Lakota war chief in the timeline of Black Elk Speaks (actually Black Elk's cousin) - was named as such because of the way his horse would 'dance' when he entered a visionary state. 

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 2:21 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
Jinxed P:
I too am fascinated by shamans and devoted a chapter to them in my book "The Awakened Ape".

Shamans are schizotypals, a mostly genetic illness on the schizophrenic spectrum.  That is why the see visions, talk to spirits etc.  Of course, their prescientific tribesmates don't realize it is just a mental illness and take their schizotypal delusions to be real. I spent time in the Amazon with a tribe whose shamans are said to have the ability to turn into jaguars. Can they really do this? Of course not, but the other tribes people really believed he could. 

Paradoxically, the shamans of these tribes have far better lives than someone on the schizophrenic spectrum does today in modern society. Instead of being looked down upon as being "crazy" they are considered magical. They go through all sorts of physical and mental training to be fit, tough, and achieve states of supreme concentration. They are able to enter trances easily. 

The true indigenous shamans really do eminate a sense of ease and confidence similar to a Buddhist master. Just don't believe them when they say the can turn into a jaguar. 

Now before you think of yourself as all high and mighty and wonder how come these primitives can't recognize someone suffering mental illness from someone who is truly divine....

Most of the religious leaders in history were schizophrenic including Jesus, according to a team at Harvard Medical School. I sometimes think the Buddha may have been as well, and hence why he was always battling the "voices" of Mara, etc..

I'm not sure if "all shamans have schizophrenia" is a legitimate take, even if they do have visions and so on.  As well, with Jesus, just because he apparently was receiving messages from god, doesn't mean he's schizophrenic.

Sometimes I hear the idea that people with mental illness are really just visionaries at odds with modern society and a materialistic-medical paradigm.  This may have some grounding in truth, but it ignores both the fact that plenty of rational, mentally healthy people experience mystical states and visions (yours truly), and that plenty of schizophrenic people benefit from a thoughtfully prescribed regimin of anti-psychotics.  Having seen extreme schizophrenia up close and personal during rotations in a psych unit, I can tell you it is profoundly disabling and should not be romanticized.  

Regarding "shamanism" - the reality is that humans are a spiritual bunch, and we have been since the very dawn of our existence.  In indigenous cultures this took various forms ranging the full spectrum from mysticism to dogma, and anywhere in between. 

JP. How long did you spend with the tribe and the shaman? With turning to a jaguar did they mean it literally, physically, or the shaman's spirit going into the body of a jaguar? These are two very different things and the experience of the latter is not unheard of, i.e. to find oneself in someone else's body.

Just learned about shamans reincarnating in their own lineage. They even have tulkus. https://youtu.be/27DCN0f_1fc?t=1113
Michael Harner is wonderful to listen. He is originally an academic, anthropologist, who got interested in shamanism through his field studies. From a few videos I've seen, he seems like a pragmatist in the same sense the word it is used on this forum.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 6:27 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Playlist of Shinzen Young talking shamanism and its practices.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 11:10 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
With turning to a jaguar did they mean it literally, physically, or the shaman's spirit going into the body of a jaguar? These are two very different things and the experience of the latter is not unheard of, i.e. to find oneself in someone else's body.




Good question. So physically, it was believed to be the opposite, the jaguar would turn into the shaman. The jaguars spirit inhabiting the man's body and speaking through him while he 'slept' or in some sort of trance.  Or it could be the other way, where the shaman would  ride on the jaguars shoulder in search of game. Or they believed the shaman could send jaguars and other animals to kill people.

They were very concered with sorcery, the spells cast by the shamans of tribes they were at war with. Every accident, such as a tree branch falling on someone, or an illness, could not be just random bad luck, but had to have meaning, and that meaning was attributed to spells cast by the 'evil' shaman from the next tribe over. This led to a never-ending series of revenge killings, and endless war. 

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 7:16 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
With turning to a jaguar did they mean it literally, physically, or the shaman's spirit going into the body of a jaguar? These are two very different things and the experience of the latter is not unheard of, i.e. to find oneself in someone else's body.

Good question. So physically, it was believed to be the opposite, the jaguar would turn into the shaman. The jaguars spirit inhabiting the man's body and speaking through him while he 'sleeped' or in some sort of trance.  Or it could be the other way, where the shaman would  ride on the jaguars shoulder in search of game. Or they believed the shaman could send jaguars and other animals to kill people.

They were very concered with sorcery, the spells cast by the shamans of tribes they were at war with. Every accident, such as a tree branch falling on someone, or an illness, could not be just random bad luck, but had to have meaning, and that meaning was attributed to spells cast by the 'evil' shaman from the next tribe over. This led to a never-ending series of revenge killings, and endless war. 
I wonder what kind of insightful messages jaguars might have... Doesn't make much sense to me. Search of game and manipulating animals to do something, is understandable.

That's the thing, lack of clear-mindedness... Seems to me that a lot of "shamanism", like new age, is just esoteric muddling that has nothing to do with making life good for oneself and others.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 10:06 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed, thanks for sharing your perspective.  I have been dong some more thinking and reading on the subject.  Schizophrenia is a very interesting illness, and not well understood - I saw it referred to as a catchall for ongoing states of psychosis.  

The shamanistic perspective on schizophrenia is definitely very interesting.  In an article detailing his son's illness here, a journalist describes how a tribal approach to healing a psychotic break mirrors an effective non-pharmaceutical western approach to treatment (quote below):

Whether or not Frank’s psychosis would have made him a shaman in another time or place, three central factors are present in the Dagara tribal intervention (early intervention, community, and purpose) that parallel the three factors that Keshavan, Schutt, Rosenheck, and others cite as complements to pharmaceutical drugs: early intervention, community support, and employment. 

Clearly this is a complex topic that benefits from the inclusion of a variety of perspectives, and this discussion is a reminder to me personally to keep an open mind and consider the range of evidence before forming an opinion.  Your lose me however when you seem to argue that all shamans or even all major historical spiritual figures had schizophrenia.  This seems like an unnecessary blanket statement on par with "all major spiritual experiences are the A+P". 

Mental illness does seem likely to be a major factor in people having random spiritual openings and experiences.  But even if it is present, however significantly, in a majority of cases, there are other mental illnesses besides schizophrenia to consider (bi polar comes to mind).  And an all or nothing perspective on mental illness and shamanism discounts the examples as I mentioned in my initial post regarding indigenous spiritual traditions that seek visionary experiences (in otherwise stable individuals) through a variety of rituals. 

My point is that this fascinating and complex topic is likely not all one way or another, and deserves a nuanced treatment.

Cheers!

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 10:17 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism

"Shamanism has been misunderstood in the modern times because it is associated with antiquated ways of thinking and superstition but the reality is that it was shut down primarily by colonialism and by organised religion. One of the great Catholic mystics of our time who I talked to said that the Catholic Church for example had hidden all their mystical practices after Martin Luther and the reformation because they didn't people to talk directly to God. They needed people to go through the intermediaries of the priests and the church. So the church was the one that could intermediate between the higher world and lower world and sell indulgences but nobody else could. The truth is that shamans and shamanism has always existed in cultures. They are the healers, the sages, the ones who live in between the two worlds and can open them to you and it's scaring people but now we need them more than ever".


- Jack Kornfield, buddhist teacher and author, https://vimeo.com/220889134


Itblew my mind to learn that shamanism has been the original religion or way of life since ancient times, literally for tens of thousands of years. World religions such as buddhism, christianity and islam are lightweights compared to shamanism, in terms of history. Shamans have existed in all native cultures, everywhere in the world.


I haven't studied shamanism per se but through healing practices and tantra, I instantly see many similarities with shamanism. Of course many practices and rituals of tantric yoga have shamanic origins, or perhaps I should say presence? It was also news to me that, according to Shinzen Young, another pioneering buddhist teacher, in shamanism there are two branches: 1. the style that is concerned with powers and 2. the style that is concerned with knowing oneself. Apparently Mr. Young has been a practicing shamanist for 40 years. See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33u14OjeHpE

I do not subscribe to the secular, nonmystical worldview and I think that while rationalisation and common senseness needs to be a solid foundation of any type of path, the nonmystical and secular worldview is insufficient to people because it removes wonder and fascination. By wonder and fascination, I refer to a way of seeing human beings in a greater way than just as a sack of muscles and bones, brain and nervous system which is the view of modern science. To see human being purely as a physical-material organism is precisely what prevents understanding our humanness in a profound way, with all its nonmaterial depth and potential for self-healing and self-empowerment in psychological and spiritual ways.


-Kim

ad) Shinzen quote " ...but nobody else could..."

What is an essential difference between "a shaman as an intermediary" and "a priest/lama/guru as an intermediary"? Pragmatically speaking, it is virtually guaranteed that the ratio of "the real ones to the rest" among shamans, modern or ancient, is the same as among today's priests/lamas/gurus/monks.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 10:36 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
Jinxed, thanks for sharing your perspective.  I have been dong some more thinking and reading on the subject.  Schizophrenia is a very interesting illness, and not well understood - I saw it referred to as a catchall for ongoing states of psychosis.  

The shamanistic perspective on schizophrenia is definitely very interesting.  In an article detailing his son's illness here, a journalist describes how a tribal approach to healing a psychotic break mirrors an effective non-pharmaceutical western approach to treatment (quote below):

Whether or not Frank’s psychosis would have made him a shaman in another time or place, three central factors are present in the Dagara tribal intervention (early intervention, community, and purpose) that parallel the three factors that Keshavan, Schutt, Rosenheck, and others cite as complements to pharmaceutical drugs: early intervention, community support, and employment. 

Clearly this is a complex topic that benefits from the inclusion of a variety of perspectives, and this discussion is a reminder to me personally to keep an open mind and consider the range of evidence before forming an opinion.  Your lose me however when you seem to argue that all shamans or even all major historical spiritual figures had schizophrenia.  This seems like an unnecessary blanket statement on par with "all major spiritual experiences are the A+P". 

Mental illness does seem likely to be a major factor in people having random spiritual openings and experiences.  But even if it is present, however significantly, in a majority of cases, there are other mental illnesses besides schizophrenia to consider (bi polar comes to mind).  And an all or nothing perspective on mental illness and shamanism discounts the examples as I mentioned in my initial post regarding indigenous spiritual traditions that seek visionary experiences (in otherwise stable individuals) through a variety of rituals. 

My point is that this fascinating and complex topic is likely not all one way or another, and deserves a nuanced treatment.

Cheers!
I agree with you. I don't believe I ever said "ALL shamans and religious leaders were schizophrenics"(and here we can differentiate even between schizotypalism and schizophrenia), but "Most", and you are right those other ailments, bipolar, etc, certainly play a role in some cases.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 1:55 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
And my issue with Pinker's emphasis on brain differences in women is that I think people who often argue for 'truth' or freedom of expression tend to show you their priorities by the 'truths' they choose to promote and defend. 

The context of Pinker defending this view was in the wake of President of Harvard Lawrence Summer having to resign from the backlash of his statement that women and men might differ. Was Pinker's motivation to to defend this due to a need of his to oppress women, or maybe, more generiously, to come to the defense of his friend and colleague who he felt had wrongly lost his job?

You think becaue Pinker chose to defend the truth that men and women have different brains in some respects, that he must be some sort of mysogynist, trying to maintain the patriarchy. 
Perhaps his ungenerous attribution of his motivations says more about you than him?


(The entire field of cosmology has rewritten most of its largest claims in the last thirty years. How much neuroscience do we really know?)

Yea, which claims are those? IIRC Sean Carroll has said on cosmology and physics that the number of discoveries has dwindled in the last half century-- not because scientists aren't so great at their jobs anymore, but because there are less things to discover because we have learned so much already.  He even says the physics of everyday life (not all mysteries) are completely understood.

https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/09/29/seriously-the-laws-underlying-the-physics-of-everyday-life-really-are-completely-understood/

You do know that Dr. Sapolsky doesn't have a single paper at all on religion, shamanism, schizophrenia, or their neuroscience/neurology right? 
Resorting to ad hominem attacks eh? One does not need to have conducted the research oneself in order to have knowledge of the field of research. I.E I don't have to personally carry out experiments showing the earth is round to know that it is round. Carl Sagan didn't have to personally run experiments on Einstein's relativity in order to understand how it works and give lectures on it.  The literature on schizotypalism/schizophrenia/mental illness and shamanism is vast and Sapolsky is perfectly capable of reading it and summarizing the findings in order to give lectures on it at Stanford. 

(Even if there was a biological correlate to a spiritual phenomenon, I'm not sure why that would even be interesting or would tell us anything about it unless you were already a biological reductionist.)

I know this sounds like a far out concept to you, but some people just like to understand the world, understand phenomenon and understand what's going on. Is the Shaman in the jungle really channeling a jaguar who is speaking through him or does he have a brain abnormality which is causing an hallucination? Why does shamanism appear in cultures all across the world, yet the content of their beliefs are all different? Why are only 1 in 100 people called to this 'knowledge'? Is there an underlying explanation? Maybe you don't find science interesting, but I do, and so do many others. 

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 3:06 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
I know this argument is silly in some ways, but if many of the smartest people on the planet in just the last couple decades have been wrong about literally the "biggest" things happening that define the boundaries, future, history, and mechanics of reality itself, then I think bombastically enthusiastic scientists should be more humble about what they claim in general. I don't think we understand physics and I think we understand the brain (and all its weird holisms) less than we understand physics.

I have to voice my agreement with this. It's funny how armchair "scientists" (this is not aimed at anyone in this discussion!) tend to be so locked into their beliefs while practicing scientists generally subscribe to the notion that science isn't about facts and beliefs at all, but at best is about the theory that seems to work... for now. I also agree that we know far less about neuroscience and how the mind functions (its physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) than we do about physics in general.

And that dark matter probably did not exist.

You must be way younger than me because no physics book I ever read as a kid would have mentioned "dark matter" at all. And just for fun I'll mention that my favorite physics book when I was in grade school was "One Two Three Infinity" by George Gamow.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 5:28 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
I think it is literally harmful and offensive to claim that religious people and spiritual figures in non-Western communities have mental illness, or that they 'probably' do. 
Harmful and offensive? You are on a buddhist forum, where the main philosophy of the buddha was that people are delusional and that gives rise to suffering.  The goal is to dispel delusion. Are religous and spiritual figures mentally ill? What matter is if it is true. That is the only thing that matters. Does the shaman actually get possessed by a jaguar or not? And if not, what is going on?

And no it is not harmful to find out the  truth and no it is not harmful to dispel myth.  I'll give you concrete examples...

I've heard plenty of stories of people with cancer and various ailments who instead of recieving chemo or modern medicine, went to South American and saw Shaman healers. They died. 

Serious question - What's more harmful, telling them that these shamans don't actually have magical powers, or letting them die because of their false belief in a fake healing method? What would be your answer to that?

I met a 20-something year old woman who went to shaman for healing, and as part of the healing process they had sex. He was about 70.

Again, what's more harmful, letting this girl know that the shaman doesn't have the magical power to heal her through sex, or letting her keep being sexually manipulated?

I don't know if you have ever traveled or spent much time in Central or South America, but there is a giant industry around Westerners going down there to visit shamans for all sorts of healings. I can't tell you how many I've met over the years who have done so. Yea, many just go down their for ayahuasca and have a good time, but plenty of people have serious problems. Problems that never seemed to get fixed or even worsened. They were wasting their time and lot of money because of the false belief in these magical healers. 

You see me calling shamans and religious/spiritual teachers on the schizo spectrum as harmful and offensive. I see it as simply discovering the truth, with the benefit of exposing a scam. Can you understand that?

Now shamans also do good (their knowledge of plants is useful, they are generally pretty good at reading people and psychologists, but we can separate the magic from the useful stuff) and I think indigenous tribes should be left alone even though their beliefs can be very harmful to themselves..as I mentioned, the incredible high murder rate (50%) in the tribe that could at least somewhat be blamed on their false belief in sorcery. 

It's not just non-western religious leaders and spiritual figures who were mentally ill as Sapolsky makes the point. Perhaps if you watched the video he you would realize he makes a big point of saying we shouldn't all think high and mighty of ourselves, as we do the same thing, our spiritual leaders - Jesus etc.. were also on the schizo spectrum.

How many gay people have been torturted, killed, relegated to second class citizens over the last few thousand years because people think Jesus was the Son of God and not a schizotypal? How many women have been treated as second class citizens, not allowed to go to school, read, wear whatever clothing they want, drive, been stoned to death, raped, etc because Muslims don't realize the same thing about their prophet. 

Imagine a world where everyone knew the truth, where no one went to fake healers. Where the Jews/Muslims/Christians didn't fight endless wars causing death totals in the tens of millions. No that wouldn't be a more harmful world...

How many people have to die because you are worried that telling the truth might "offend" them?

 That is why I point out that you are also not qualified to diagnose schizophrenia in shamans you met and it is also not consistent with medical or academic ethics for you to do so.

I have a masters in psychology, whether or not that makes me qualified to diagnose schizophrenia is irrelevant. What do you think I was doing in the Amazon, flying in a couch, having shamans lay on it and treating them? Handing out anti-psychotic medications? Of course not. That might be unethical. What is not unethical is for me to simply report the findings and consensus of the field with over 90 years of research published on the subject.  And that's all I have done. 

I think your book is gimmicky and appeals to health fadism.


What do I care what you think? You haven't read it. I care about hundreds of messages I've recieved from people telling me that the book changed their life. That they overcame depression or obesity, were suicidal but now have hope, that they now have a healthy lifestyle, meditate, etc

I don't think we understand physics and I think we understand the brain (and all its weird holisms) less than we understand physics.

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with this. But we don't need to have a fully functioning model of the brain to know that Jaguars are not using human bodies as vessels to speak to people in the Amazon. So your point is not really relevant. 

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 5:55 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
S.:
I see you do have a pretty clear agenda and pre-conception of what the truth is, and the general goal of debunking religions and pathologizing mystics, characters like Jesus, and religious healers to free people from the harms of superstition that you believe to cause violence. I think it's well-intended, though wrong, and not how these things work in reality in terms of the good or bad that this type of thing does people when trying to dis-enchant the world. Good luck in doing good and finding happiness.

Thanks. You too. Take care.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/6/19 7:39 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Not with a bang but a whimper.

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RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/8/19 7:39 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
HeyO - Chris with the burn..  emoticon

Seriously though, Jinxed's argument took a turn here that makes me think I was misreading him.  

Jinxed P:
You see me calling shamans and religious/spiritual teachers on the schizo spectrum as harmful and offensive. I see it as simply discovering the truth, with the benefit of exposing a scam. Can you understand that?

Now shamans also do good (their knowledge of plants is useful, they are generally pretty good at reading people and psychologists, but we can separate the magic from the useful stuff) and I think indigenous tribes should be left alone even though their beliefs can be very harmful to themselves..as I mentioned, the incredible high murder rate (50%) in the tribe that could at least somewhat be blamed on their false belief in sorcery. 

Apparently the point of claiming that shamans have schizophrenia was not to provide an alternative, more romanitic view of mental illness, but to discredit the shamans?  Generally I hear the "schizophrenics are actually shamans" argument from people looking to discredit the materialist western medical model, not the other way around.  

Jinxed P:
It's not just non-western religious leaders and spiritual figures who were mentally ill as Sapolsky makes the point. Perhaps if you watched the video he you would realize he makes a big point of saying we shouldn't all think high and mighty of ourselves, as we do the same thing, our spiritual leaders - Jesus etc.. were also on the schizo spectrum.

How many gay people have been torturted, killed, relegated to second class citizens over the last few thousand years because people think Jesus was the Son of God and not a schizotypal? How many women have been treated as second class citizens, not allowed to go to school, read, wear whatever clothing they want, drive, been stoned to death, raped, etc because Muslims don't realize the same thing about their prophet. 

Interesting idea, but you don't need to be mentally ill to promote a scam in the form of dogma or visa versa.  While we're on the subject there are plenty of more straightforeward ways to going about discrediting organized religion besides the "the prophets were actually diagnosable" argument. 

The impression I get reading about the prophets such as Jesus was that their teachings were actually quite on point but that over the centuries they have been corrupted by the usual human failings of greed, ignorance, lust, and so on..  The dangers Jinxed mentioned about "fake" shamans abusing their status probably have more to do with those standard corrupting factors than any major mental illness.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/8/19 8:12 PM as a reply to T DC.
T D:

Apparently the point of claiming that shamans have schizophrenia was not to provide an alternative, more romanitic view of mental illness, but to discredit the shamans?  Generally I hear the "schizophrenics are actually shamans" argument from people looking to discredit the materialist western medical model, not the other way around.  

There is no point to calling the shamans schizotypals other than simply reporting a truth.

You guys are very confused here. I did not make up the claim that shamans are schizotypals. I am simply letting you all know what the scientific literature says.  No different then if I simply reported "hey science says there are 8 planets and the earth is round. "

Why you guys keep trying to imput a hidden ethical agenda is beyond me.  Now S. claimed that it was "harmful" for me to say shamans were schizophrenics, so I responded I don't think it's harmful, I actually think it is helful to know the  truth and gave some reasons why. 

The impression I get reading about the prophets such as Jesus was that their teachings were actually quite on point but that over the centuries they have been corrupted by the usual human failings of greed, ignorance, lust, and so on..  

This isn't true, in fact it is the opposite. Jesus teachings became more palatable over time, and you can see this in the progression over the NT. But I don't want to discuss Jesus, it is way off topic. But I suggest you read the following article..

https://robertwright.com/one-world-under-god/

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/9/19 9:07 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Hahaha S. left the following review of my book on Amazon..
"The author is not qualified or trained to diagnose schizophrenia (in the context of the shamans he describes). It is also unethical to diagnose people who are not your patients or consenting research subjects.

.. The author does not have either a doctorate nor an MD. I thought this book was offensive from either a scientific or a religious and cultural perspective."

S.. my friend, you are very confused. I explained this earlier, but I guess it went in one ear and out the other. So I'll repeat it again in nice bold letters emoticon

I have not diagnosed anyone. 


Ok, now that we have that out of the way, I'll tell you what is actually written in the book (It's highly unethical by the way to write a libelous review and spread misinformation of a book you haven't read -- and I assume you still haven't read it or you wouldn't have written that I am diagnosing people. If you do read it, hate it and want to pan it..great! But don't spread falsehoods).   

I say "According to Dr. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University, shamans today would be classified as people who have schizotypal personality disorder, a mild verson of schizophrenia."  

On the whole, the chapter on shamanism is mostly full of praise. 



RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/9/19 1:34 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Reading through this discussion, just reminded me why I haven't been very active here emoticon

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/9/19 2:09 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:

There is no point to calling the shamans schizotypals other than simply reporting a truth.

You guys are very confused here. I did not make up the claim that shamans are schizotypals. I am simply letting you all know what the scientific literature says.  No different then if I simply reported "hey science says there are 8 planets and the earth is round. "


Actually this type of science is quite different than simply figuring out the number of planets in our solar system.  We can't just use a telescope to look 2000 years back in time into the inner workings of the mind of a historical figure whose basic existence is still debated.  So, bad analogy. 

Again, there is a scientific consensus on the number of planets based on very literal, incontrovertible evidence.  In no way, shape, or form is there a scientific census on the Jesus's supposed mental status, or that of the multitude of indigenous shamans throughout human history. This subject is in fact a complete grey area, less "a truth" and more "an idea".

Jinxed P:

Why you guys keep trying to imput a hidden ethical agenda is beyond me.  Now S. claimed that it was "harmful" for me to say shamans were schizophrenics, so I responded I don't think it's harmful, I actually think it is helful to know the  truth and gave some reasons why. 

Jinxed P:

You see me calling shamans and religious/spiritual teachers on the schizo spectrum as harmful and offensive. I see it as simply discovering the truth, with the benefit of exposing a scam.  

How many gay people have been torturted, killed, relegated to second class citizens over the last few thousand years because people think Jesus was the Son of God and not a schizotypal? How many women have been treated as second class citizens, not allowed to go to school, read, wear whatever clothing they want, drive, been stoned to death, raped, etc because Muslims don't realize the same thing about their prophet. 


The issue is not your hidden ethical agenda, but your very obvious ethical agenda.  Your might think religion is a scam, sure, but in order to bring it down you are demonizing mental illness, which very much represents your own personal value judgement.  Why should it matter particularly what mental illness Jesus may or may not have had if his teachings were legitimate?

And for that matter, you're throwing out the baby with the bathwater as far as organized religion is concerned.  Buddhism itself has got plenty of issues, and many practitioners whose interpretations I strongly disagree with, but that doesn't stop me from practicing it in a way that has been personally utterly transformative and beneficial.

Jinxed P:
The impression I get reading about the prophets such as Jesus was that their teachings were actually quite on point but that over the centuries they have been corrupted by the usual human failings of greed, ignorance, lust, and so on..  

This isn't true, in fact it is the opposite. Jesus teachings became more palatable over time, and you can see this in the progression over the NT. But I don't want to discuss Jesus, it is way off topic. But I suggest you read the following article..


Thanks, but that is only one opinion in a diverse array of biblical scholarship.  All are interesting, but none are necessarily "true", simply more or less supportable.  As someone apparently inclined toward science, I am surprised how black and white you make all this out to be.  It's a massive grey area, and largely open to interpretation.  

Jinxed P:
T D:

Wow, so edgy!  Seriously though, interesting discussion / argument.

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/9/19 6:49 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
Actually this type of science is quite different than simply figuring out the number of planets in our solar system.  We can't just use a telescope to look 2000 years back in time into the inner workings of the mind of a historical figure whose basic existence is still debated.  So, bad analogy. 

Again, there is a scientific consensus on the number of planets based on very literal, incontrovertible evidence.  In no way, shape, or form is there a scientific census on the Jesus's supposed mental status, or that of the multitude of indigenous shamans throughout human history. This subject is in fact a complete grey area, less "a truth" and more "an idea".
[quote=
]
You have misinterpreted me. I did not equate shamanism/schizo to 8 planets based on the degree of truth certainty, but to the lack of ethical agenda. I.E I'm not twisting facts to promote an agenda. When I tell you that scientists believe there is a link between shamanism and schizotypalism I am not twisting facts to get an ethical agenda. I'm simply reporting the facts. Does the idea have 100% consensus? No, but it is the leading theory out there. 

You can google scholar shamanism and schizo and you will come up with hundreds of results. Here are just a few...

1. Shamanism and the psychosis continuum
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences/article/shamanism-and-the-psychosis-continuum/D17A409E7AD88627A10E6D83F5753958
2. Shamans and Acute Schizophrenia
https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1525/aa.1967.69.1.02a00030
3. How shamanism and group selection may reveal the origins of schizophrenia
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030698770191504X
4. Shamans among us: schizophrenia, shamanism and the evolutionary origins of religion

But above all, I highly suggest you watch Dr. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford's lecture on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwAQqWUkpI


Your might think religion is a scam, sure, but in order to bring it down you are demonizing mental illness, which very much represents your own personal value judgement.  Why should it matter particularly what mental illness Jesus may or may not have had if his teachings were legitimate?

It's not a value judgment, so much as a truth judgment. If someone is on the schizophrenic spectrum their delusions are not real. If they were real, they wouldn't be delusions, and hence, not schizo.

Jesus cannot be both a schizotypal/phrenic with a brain abnormality that causes him to have hallucinations, delusions of grandeur, hyper-religiosity, magical-thinking, and at the same time be the legitimate Messiah and God incarnate. 

Either angels and demons were really talking to Jesus or they were just his hallucinations
Either Jesus protestations of the impending apocalypse were true or they were not.
Either Jesus idea that he would return to earth, coming out of the sky on a white horse, flanked by people with wings on their backs and toss the mass majority of mankind into a lake of fire to burn for eternity was a true prediction, or it was delusional. 
Either demons are real beings for which Jesus performed exorcisms, or he was deluded into believing he had this power, and instead healed people by psychosomatic ways. 
Either Jesus really will gather an army and defeat a seven-headed, ten horned beast in combat , as by tradition he told John he would do, or he won't.

Here is a team from Harvard Medical School take on Jesus:
https://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.11090214

"The New Testament (NT) recalls Jesus as having experienced and shown behavior closely resembling the DSM-IV-TR–defined phenomena of Auditory Hallucinations, Visual Hallucinationss, delusions, referential thinking (see Figure 3), paranoid-type (Paranoid Schizophrenia subtype) thought content, and hyperreligiosity..... Jesus’ experiences can be potentially conceptualized within the framework of Paranoid Schizophrenia or psychosis Not Otherwise Specified. Other reasonable possibilities might include bipolar and schizoaffective disorders."

RE: Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young on Shamanism
Answer
8/9/19 6:41 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
"Truth" is a loaded term in the social sciences (and in the physical sciences) and it tends to overpromise and under-deliver in scientific and research domains. The social sciences have a problem in that the substrate they work with isn't usually directly accessible and has to be interpreted. Through interpretation, a "truth" emerges. And by "truth" I mean "hypothesis" or maybe even "guess." Remember how many social science theories have been accepted and then again rejected, and how many social science theories are constructed and "proven" to fit a modern-day culture meme, or to reject a modern cultural meme.

YMMV, of course, but I tend to take broad claims in either direction with a grain of salt. I mean all of this in the most positive and helpful way.

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