Wednesday 28 July 2021

Ancient Aliens and Shamans

I've been watching a few more Ancient Aliens programmes. (See here for a previous post on the subject.) The series gives an interesting overview of ancient history, mythology and sacred sites as well as more modern unexplained phenomena and events, and even if you don't go along with its underlying premise and see everything through the same unvarying prism it does, it still raises many thought-provoking questions about our past. Its main fault for me is that it materialises spirituality by reducing all supernatural things to extraterrestrial intervention. The higher spiritual is brought down to the level of the technological so, although the contributors think they are breaking into new ways of seeing and understanding the universe and consciousness, they are actually just transferring the contemporary world view, basically a secular one, to the spiritual plane. We need to see the spiritual in terms of the spiritual not in our own terms.

The most recent programme I saw was about shamans and how they might be tuning their minds and bodies to other dimensions of being where they encounter intelligent life forms, inevitably in the context of this series interpreted as extraterrestrials. The techniques used include dance, rhythm and drugs derived from various plants. I don't doubt that shamans do indeed enter into otherworldly realms of being and supernatural states of consciousness but I would caution against regarding all these as spiritual. One of the most important lessons to be learned on the spiritual path is that between the purely physical world and the real spiritual there is a vast area of being in which live all kinds of creatures, some highly intelligent, some non-human. This psychic or astral world may seem a spiritual world because it is a non-material one but it is not where God and pure truth are to be found. It is an intermediate domain between Heaven and Earth and you will find good and evil there just as you do here but you will not find Christ though you may well find beings imitating him or masquerading as him or even thinking they are the equivalent to him. If shamans really did have access to the spiritual they would be much more than they are which is a curious mixture of the psychically powerful healer and the everyday human with all the virtues and vices of the everyday human. Shamans are magicians not saints.


Bruce Charlton said...

Very interested to read this, since I was absolutely fascinated by shamans and animism for several years some decades ago, and read pretty widely and deeply on the subject.

What you say sounds likely to be correct for modern shamans. But I would expect that the shamans of our Paleolithic hunter gatherer ancestors were living more in that state Barfield termed Original Participation, where Men were spontaneously and unconsciously in almost continuous contact with the divine; and not able consciously to separate them-selves from it.

Assuming there were shamans then; I imagine they would have been the people who were somewhat moved towards the next stage of consciousness; and able to bring this participation to some degree of consciousness, analyze it, and express it in language.

So, in those ancient times, I think shamans probably were something like holy men. Or, all Men were naturally mostly holy (more like non-conscious animals), but shamans could articulate it.

By contrast - more recent shamans seem to be reaching back towards an original participation which is disappearing; and doing so by rather artificial and technical procedures. They are not naturally attuned with the divine world - but only intermittently, and in states of impaired consciousness.

Nonetheless, it seems that in tribal situations, recent shamans (whose activities were recorded over the past few hundred years by anthropologists) can perform useful social functions by doing this - healing, discerning, divination...

As you say, magicians rather than holy men.

William Wildblood said...

I would say shamans belonged to the hunter gatherer world and were its advance guard, so to speak. But that was then. Now they are atavistic throwbacks. And even the divine world they were immersed in back then was probably more the World Soul, that is to say, the psychic side of Nature, than a true contact with God.

Kirstie said...

Exactly! So, if you are susceptible to the supernatural, of course they already have ways in place to 'gather' you/us together. But what we must 'objectively' do is find a way to express this without the fear of being called crazy. Of course there will be a fringe movement. I.e The Truth Movement. Yes, it is factual that UFOs have been caught on camera. Just because the Authorities have not declared that factual truth, doesn't mean that fact doesn't exist.

David Icke actually makes a lot more sense now.

I think he is a massive conduit for people to realise their next step. This guy made the giant leap of faith without God and Jesus to understanding infinite consciousness and why it would be necessary.

Kirstie said...

To try to put my experience into context...The one major experience in my life, where I consciously experienced the supernatural was telepathy. I just knew it was exactly how it was meant to happen - I believe the guy at the time knew that he could influence, spiritually my brother and I had a strong sense to challenge him. Telepathy happened. I saw a circle where we are all connected forever and right now, I am going to protect my brother, not you. I have tried to understand and explain that but never possible, until now because I am on a forum where it is not ludicrous.

I have so much to learn, I am ashamed of myself so many times, I spout my thoughts and emotions here with you, William. If I thought you were really that bad or that I was...I wouldn't keep returning.

It starts to make more sense, the more you don't forget.

Thank you for your patience.

MagnusStout said...

"We need to see the spiritual in terms of the spiritual not in our own terms."


I was thinking about this post and the question of shamans and such. I am skeptical that humans have really evolved much in a few thousand years... It seems people have much of the same needs as we have in the past.

I would say that the shaman of the past was perhaps more ethical, more truthful than our modern shamans: public relations (advertising and politics). In our shamanism, both sides *know* that they are engaging in selfish deceit: one side to sell things they do not actually believe, the other to willingly embrace a deceit (buy this item=get status/romance/etc.. vote for X to "fix" X, Y or Z).

It is interesting to consider that the work of our modern shamans works precisely because humans do not respond to cold, hard logic. We're not mere biological calculators. It's like that phrase: you can take the man out of religion, but not the religion out of man. The need for this kind of thinking and guidance is part of being human.

It is fascinating to see that this need to do Good, to connect with something greater than oneself, to be guided, has more or less been completely co-opted by the Evil powers. Now, we get companies like Apple (sweatshops and death factories making iphones) and Amazon (treating workers inhumanely) proudly lecturing the public on BLM and the latest moral inversions....

However we can connect to the spiritual, I am increasingly convinced that our technology--especially smart phones--obstruct us in this process. Perhaps this is also why it seemed easier in the past--less distractions. There is something to be said about quiet contemplation in the process of connecting with the Divine.

Bruce Charlton said...

@MS - " I am skeptical that humans have really evolved much in a few thousand years"

'Evolved' means 'changed'. But further, the contention is that Man's consciousness has changed - and that this was in line with divine destiny. Not that Men are better, but more 'grown-up' - more developed in the way that an adolescent develops from a child.

Adolescence is a necessary development towards adulthood - yet, of course, adolescents are often worse than children.

Likewise, modern Men have developed to a spiritual adolescence - and the task is to develop forward to spiritual adulthood.

The usual alternative is that all Men at all times and in all places have exactly the same consciousness, the same attitude, motivations, behaviours etc. This idea seems easily to be refuted.

William Wildblood said...

Magnus, you say that you are " increasingly convinced that our technology--especially smart phones--obstruct us in this process." I absolutely agree. Coincidentally, the latest Ancient Aliens programme I saw was about how scientific visionaries may have been inspired (by ETs of course) to bring through certain technological developments. One of the examples they cited was Steve Jobs and the smartphone. My view would be that these things have been brought through by beings whose goal is our spiritual corruption. That is certainly the effect they have had with their imitation of of a certain sort of spiritual awareness on a completely materialistic level. This does not come from God despite many people believing it's all intended as part of our evolution.

And speaking of evolution I agree with what Bruce says above. We have evolved. Our consciousness is very different to what it was 500 years ago let alone 5,000 or 50,000. Naturally many of the same impulses are still there but we are much more intellectually oriented, more aware of self and less absorbed in the psychic side of Nature.

Kirstie said...

Have you listened to David Wilcock? It takes time and effort, but worth it. He obviously has knowledge mixed with a huge tinge of ego. I also believe he is naive at the same time which one can't help but respond to because we are all naive to any extent once you realise the forces you are dealing with.

Kirstie said...

I think the cause of mental illness and subsequent suicides to come in the next few years will be individuals not being able to overcome 'cognitive dissonance'. The fact that governments harm us and we just let it happen. That we feel there is nothing we can do about it, so we may as well give up. Covid is bringing everything to the fore.

MagnusStout said...

Pondering what William and Bruce wrote, even if an EMP destroyed all of the electronic devices I would still stubbornly see the world primarily through materialist causes. It seems impossible to regress in this way. If, as Bruce posits, “this was in line with divine destiny,” then we must necessarily evolve. This would also support William stating that while we have the “same impulses,” we are “much more intellectually oriented.”

This evolution seems primarily caused by technological development. Technology is power and responsibility is always equal to power. The abuse of technology follows exercising power without taking responsibility for the results (every advance poses a consequent challenge to the proper use of that power). The essence of modern technology—as seen in Silicon Valley—seems this: instead of us using our tools, our tools are crafted to use us (all “free” services are really traps to monetize us as we are the “product”).

Further, technology seems to decouple us from the natural world. Is that not our definition of “progress”? At the far end of this trend are the posthumanists eagerly anticipating uploading their consciousness to computers and the “singularity.” Certainly, I and others find that very notion offensive (if even possible).

So, take the primitive groups with child-like spiritual consciousness: they see spiritual causation in all things. We, as “moderns,” cannot really take part in such primitive spiritualism without things feeling “off” or contrived. This is one reason why New Ageism never really took off and why it continually borrows modern technical concepts to make the underlying spiritualism more accessible (a good example is Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop”).

The Amish are perhaps “early adolescents,” accepting but seriously limiting use of technology. While they seem very successful as a group (strong families, high reproduction, low crime), such a lifestyle would feel similarly contrived to most moderns as New Ageism. Worse, failing to grapple with such technology inevitable leads to such groups becoming wards (or worse—see the Native Americans) of the more technically sophisticated.

Our culture seems closer to “late adolescence,” but depressed and unwell. We can’t see the world as children, but we refuse to seek a deeper meaning in life. We are materially fit (wealthy and fat in most parts of the developed world), but spiritually sickly. And, failing to responsibly use technology, we are increasingly infantilized by it.

I suspect that we will either evolve or face something like the Great Filter (or John’s Apocalypse).
The other element of our evolution, the thing that permitted us to replace the Neanderthals, is our ability to work effectively in large groups. So, it is not enough that some of us have evolved--it requires enough of the group to reach a tipping point to change the System. If not, then the System (creating these negative feedback loops) will take everyone down with it. There does not appear to be any other choice.

The question of adult spiritual consciousness in society is hard because you are trying to think about a reality that does not exist. The quality of maturity seems easy enough: adults face reality, set limits, and bear responsibility. But, what would an “adult” spiritual consciousness look like?

Well, I imagine such a society passing through the Great Filter would: (1) keep ego in check (politics of blame and coveting would hold no mass appeal , such as Marxism); (2) celebrate and pursue objective standards of merit, beauty and accomplishment; (3) retain and promote ethnic differences built upon strong communities of nuclear families (no “melting pot” multiculturalism); (4) have minimal negative inducements (actions would spring from will, rather than avoiding punishments); (5) have no global government and minimal national government (any needed regulation would be task-specific and time-limited); and (6) have no religious or academic hierarchy apart from a voluntary association and recognition of ability.

Kirstie said...

There are two realities simultaneously happening: the mainstream media and alternative media. Yes, none are fighting for the ultimate, infinite reality of God but I would bet my bottom dollar on the alternate media coming through. And that is happening on a purely logical, materialistic assessment of reality. This is what matters right now because everyone has been institutionalised to believe in science not God.

I am hopeful.

Kirstie said...

If you take metaphysics seriously, you always end up with the question, 'What is reality?' and then, 'Is it possible to create my own reality?' And this is the inception point where malevolent forces come in. Because it is at this the point where an individual (soul) becomes difficult to manipulate and control.

Kirstie said...

So hence, why psuedo science takes over and their overarching reach is through psychology , an individual's mind and then emotions.

David Earle said...

> However we can connect to the spiritual, I am increasingly convinced that our technology--especially smart phones--obstruct us in this process.

Right. I suspect smart phone use has replaced *thinking* for most people. We are constantly distracted like never before.

Most people can't stand to be bored or alone with their thoughts. Instead they are constantly downloading thoughts from the outside and unconsciously programming their minds. At one point default behaviour was probably thinking, now it's looking for distraction.

I feel as though this pattern of behaviour should be actively and consciously replaced with *conscious* self awareness, thinking, meditation and prayer whenever possible.

William Wildblood said...

Good comments all, thanks.