Shamanism and the Subtle Body | Voices with Vervaeke | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Shamanism and the Subtle Body | Voices with Vervaeke".
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Introduction To The Meaning Crisis And Shamanism
Robin introduces himself and his interest in the meaning crisis and shamanism, and explains the concept of wind horse and its relation to healing and transcendence. (00:15)
So I said, let's have an online recorded discussion. So welcome, Robin, and why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself? - Yeah, so really I've been for a long time, kind of on my own, like interested in the meaning crisis and trying to like really well to find a solution towards it, at least for myself. And that's kind of like how I've been approaching these things. And I don't know, I've been like already like quite a while ago, I had watched like your series on the meaning crisis. And after a while I started to feel like, you know, I should reach out to you and talk about like kind of the stuff that I've, very much like figured out. And to see like, you know, like, 'cause I've started to notice that like, I've been looking into certain things that like people might not usually look into much. And I've noticed like that there's a certain sense of like, I guess like, I don't know, that's a lot of spiritual topics, but then it is very much lacking in the more like groundedness of science. And it's kind of like why I reached out. 'Cause I do know like regarding certain things like what they might point towards but exactly like the actual art science behind it now. And yeah, and a little of it comes out of like, yeah, my interest in like shamanism and similar practices. - Well, when we start there, like why don't you start, 'cause you told me some interesting things last time with shamanism in your study. And so why don't we start there, open it up. Like you've been studying it and what are some of the insights you think are worthy of sharing and exploring? - Well, one of the biggest insights really that I've had regarding shamanism and it comes really from the, really like the traditional asiatic shamanic lenses is really this concept called a wind horse. And that is very much like instrumental towards the healing powers of the shaman and the ability to heal. And that's one of the biggest things really that I've found. Well, there's another element too, like regarding certain rituals and like old rituals that one can see in the European cultures as well, not just asiatic ones, but yeah, I think that's one big thing. And then also like the link between like these, the spirits, but then also kind of like, how we talked about the mind-born versus the world-born spirits, kind of this understanding and understanding like, with the mind-born spirits, like how this links to a lot of what's going on from a union lens as well regarding like the complexes, these different archetypes that are playing out. - Okay, let's see that one at a time though, that's good. So let's talk a little bit more about wind horse and what it means and what, you know, reflective associations you've made with it. - Yeah. Yeah, so regarding wind horse, it comes out of the bond tradition regarding from Tibet. It is also in like Mongolia and other cultures as well. And I've recently been actually like, what kind of taught by one older, like he's an elder shaman from the UK who talks a lot to the shamans from the Asiatic tradition, from him I learn a lot. And yeah, in that sense, it seems to be a recurring team, 'cause also the Lakota have like a similar symbol for the same idea of soul flight. And it seems to be key in this essence of transcendence, but also the power to heal. And it seems to be very much linked to the how in like Buddhism, they call about, talk about it referring it to the subtle energies that arise, yeah, the subtle body and that the mind sits upon. It's depicted as the mind sitting upon the wind horse as a rider and kind of these energies arising out of the body that allows one to transcend. But it's also very much linked to awareness and a sense of awareness of being aware of what is arising and by cultivating this awareness, being able to kind of like, I guess like, detangle all of these conflicting inner impulses and desires so that there's more of a harmony within and this harmony creates more of a clarity and being able to see certain things more clear and then to connect better to the world. And similarly in Taoism too, like to have similar practices, like how they connect to the Tao. - Yes, yes, you know, Chi. - Yeah. - And then which I'm familiar with. And then also in the Neopatonic tradition, there was the Akama, the vehicle, the astral body of the soul that helped you move up and down in Anagaghe. So I think you're right that this, and I've been to two conferences now on the subtle body and from people from multiple traditions. And I think you're right that this is an important universal and that it's plausible, I think also that it goes back to shamanism. I think Trungpa has something similar too in his influence by Tibetan Buddhism. So that's not that much of a surprise. So, and I think the phenomenology, yeah, the idea that the mind somehow rides on it, it somehow emerges or arises out of the body. It harmonizes this way like, and then it gives you clarity, you know, perception into reality that way. Or now there's lots of cultural variations. I'm not trying to say they're exactly the same. - Yeah, it's true. It's like similarly with like the Mithraic mysteries, for instance, there's a similar idea with this ritual that they did, this ritual of purification where they were doing these breeding exercises and similarly had this kind of idea of transcendence of this rising up from the body. And they connected it to communing with the gods in their particular cultural lens. But there's like different explanations to it. Like, you know, the Taoists have it that they connected the Tao from a shamanic lens. It's kind of linked to like the three worlds and these different spheres, the ancestors or like this idea of like, I don't know, the Union term for it would be like the cosmic man or like this kind of like higher being like-- - The love of yeah, yeah. - It's down for a pause. - Yeah, yeah. So, well, first of all, I'd like to hear what you think about this, you know, that you rightly said, we wanna try to connect this to science in some at least intellectually respectable and plausible manner, what you think about it. And then I'll relate to you sort of what I've gleaned from the conferences on subtle bodies. And there's a similar video that just came out recently that I did with Lehman Pascal and Bruce Alderman on this. I'll put the link to that in this video. What do you think first is going on there? Do you have any sort of-- - Yeah, so-- - Very good speculations, yes. - Yeah, so like, I've been looking in like, regarding to like the mythology and the different like ways how they talk about it from a Union lens. And there's certain symbolism that like, you know, in his work pointed towards certain regions of the brain. - Yes.
Interplay Between Brain Activity, Symbolism, And Shamanic Practices
Robin discusses how Jung's work relates brain regions with specific symbolism in mythology. (08:56)
- And I've been digging into that deeper and kind of seeing like what's going on there. And it seems like if you also look like at the symbolism with like what Plato has used, but also different other cultures, what they have used. There's the symbolism of the snake, the animal, the man or the bird. And these generally from like what Hume had written point towards particular regions of the brain that are like associated with it. And it's an association. So I don't know exactly like how true that is, but it seems to be that the snake seems to be from what Hume had written linked to the brain stem and the body. So more like the hormonal kind of nervous system side of things where, wait, I have to see with regarding like what I had written. Then kind of like the animos, but also like this kind of like bringing together of these opposites, like, you know, like this energy of the wind horse, what seems to be strengthening disconnection and leading to this sense of, well, I guess purification and like, you know, these different impulses being better regulated seems to be from what Hume wrote and from what I've figured out seems to be linking to the corpus callosum and the limbic system very much. And from what I've seen this kind of also points, you know, 'cause there's research done on meditation where it said that the corpus callosum has been involved in bridging these hemispheres as they're left and the right. And I think that's kind of like key and what seems to be going on with regarding to wind horse but also the anima and the animos, like why when you're working with that, that it seems to be somehow helping to bridge that to similarly, you know, like how meditation seems to be doing that too. And like, you know, with the man and the bird seeming to point towards the prefrontal cortex according to Hume. So you think what making you so young, you think what's happening is various parts of the brain are being activated and coordinated, presumably in a relatively unusual manner or else you'd be experiencing this all the time. So is it the idea that they're communicating with each other in a new way?
Dr. Vervaeke suggests that the subtle body's experience involves unusual coordination of brain activity. (11:30)
And that's interesting because that, I mean, that could converge with a lot of the proposals that are coming out of the psychedelic research where what happens in psychedelics is you get different areas of the brain talking to each other that normally don't and then you get certain sort of, you get certain imagery that is being generated in response to that new connectivity. So, I mean, that's a hypothesis that is definitely being put on an empirical level and we could test it to see if what's happening. That's interesting. So let's put a pin in that. Let's hold that. This idea of getting areas to communicate with each other in ways they normally don't. I think there's something right about that. And then it's gonna have psychedelic-like experiences because of that. I'm not saying it's a psychedelic experience, but the thing with psychedelics that's an advantage is you can give somebody a psychedelic in the lab and then run experiments. So you can get experimental data more readily. So when I've got to these conferences, it's been presented especially by Charles Dang, as sort of three paradigms by which people are trying to understand the subtle body. So let me just outline the three. One is that the subtle body is a physically real thing and it represents an unknown kind of energy. And people are talking about that like bioelectricity and things like that and they're doing studies on it. The second paradigm is the paradigm that the subtle body is socially constructed. There are subtle bodies and they're socially constructed entities the way we can socially construct money, right? And make it be a thing that impacts our lives even though it has no independent physical existence or anything like that. And that subtle bodies are social constructions like that that we then bind ourselves to analogous to money. And so the first people tend to emphasize what's similar across all these accounts. The second people tend to emphasize what's different across all these accounts. And then the third, which has been associated with my work, is the idea that what's happening in the experiences of the subtle body is we're making, we're having an imaginal augmentation. So the imaginal, and this Jung was aware of this 'cause of his relationship with Braben, right? Is not imagery that takes you away from perception but imagery that enhances your perception, enhances. So you can pick up on subtle patterns, subtle relationships, subtle psychosymmetric, so psychosymmatic I should say, relationships, subtle relationships of coupling between you and the environment, subtle patterns. And then the idea is you get a more imaginally augmented perception and conception of our embodiment and our embodiment. And you know this from following my work is inherently transjective. It's neither subjective or objective. And this is very interesting because when, one of the things I was pointing out when I gave my two talks is when people talk about the subtle body, they talk about it as both sometimes subjective and sometimes objective. And they try and actually often get this in between. The imagery for example is very often associated with breath. And the thing about breath is we take it in and of course we breathe it out and it's this coupled, how we're coupled to the environment. The inner and the outer are coupled together. Wind, breath, spirit, steam, these are all very, very, right? And so my proposal is that you're getting, what happens with the subtle body is you have an imaginal augmentation of, so you come into a more direct awareness at a very, you know, fine grain detail. These otherwise subtle patterns of transjectivity of dynamical coupling. And when you come into awareness of them, such that you can interact with them in a way that can be ritualized. And what I mean by that is outside of the event you gain insight that can be transferred to many different types of situations broadly and deeply.
Discussion of the power of transferability in Tai Chi Chuan. (15:56)
And so it's very powerfully transferable. I mean, that's what happens in Tai Chi-Chuan, right? You do these exercises, you're doing the in and the out, the in and the in, you're getting this, you get things like music is a common metaphor too, because music is simultaneous subjective objective. You're getting that and you resonate. And then the idea is how could you apply this in many different martial art situations, right? And then it becomes ritualized in that way and it becomes in that sense, real to you because of its transferability. So to put this on in a sentence, the subtle body, Chi, Prana, these things, the wind horse, the Akama, these are ways in which we have imaginally augmented perception of the transjectivity of our embodiment, such that we can properly ritualize it into our lives. So we get a grip on it, we get an image of it that affords us transferring it power. And then you get, that's my proposal. So I take the subtle body not to be a thing, but to be a real relation. It's the discovery and invention, the inventio of a certain kind of affordance for how we can interact with the world, fit ourselves to the world, which helps explain why it improves martial arts, why it helps healing, et cetera. So that's my proposal for it.
Dr. Vervaeke proposes that the subtle body allows interaction with the world. (17:32)
And I mean, I'm biased, but I should say that the both, so when I've been with the other groups, what was really interesting is both other groups said, no matter, they said, we obviously, they think their position is true, but they said, we think that even if our position is true, you are right, you are describing a lot of what the phenomena actually is. And they just think there might be something above and beyond it for the other two groups. And I think your proposal and my proposal can actually be linked very well together because it's all about trying to get these, if you're picking up on these otherwise very subtle patterns, you're in areas of the brain talk that normally don't talk to each other and you'll get into, you know, you can get into a profound altered state. So that's my proposal. That's what I bet. - Yeah. Yeah, and I do feel like that a lot of what you've been talking about does seem to really connect to what I've been looking into regarding Windhorse 2. It's very much linked to the breath and this kind of like coming together of the inner and the outer experience. - Yeah, yeah. - And from like an all chemical or, you know, and also Union lands it really to like the highest degree, it really seems to be pointing towards like, you know, when like you have like these different opposites coming together and, you know, from all, in all chemical lands, it would be then the rubido stage. And, you know, and it's kind of like both this coming together and Windhorse and these symbols seem to be pointing out exactly towards that as well. Also in the Lakota tradition, it is represented by this, by a square that is half black and half red. And it presents the comment together of these opposites. - Yeah. - The different energies, like the four energies of the other four horses that represent a particular energies and the same pattern is present also with Windhorse where it is at the center of the Mandana with these different animals surrounding it. And it's kind of like this, what you most talked about. So it's kind of like a symbol of the self in that sense, the Windhorse. - Yeah. And I mean, this is Corban's idea too, right? That the imaginal, it's not only between the in and the out, it's between the top and the bottom, it's bottom up, top down in, like in all of that kind of imagery is typically because it allows you to ascend, right? - Yeah. - And so yeah, and I think this is a very powerful and a point that came out in the discussion with Bruce and Lehman and I think it was Bruce's point is about, he talked about how subtle body work understood this way. It can act like a catalyst, it can get other practices that otherwise don't talk to each other very well, it can get them to talk to each other. It bridges between the, it gave, you know, you can, it bridges between the therapeutic on one hand and like the meditative. He was talking about how when you're doing these kinds of practices, you know, they overlap with mindfulness and you mentioned all the awareness stuff that's coming out but he says they also overlap with therapy because they help you get really in touch with yourself and with other people in sort of non-propositional ways. So he said, and then they get these two, they allow these two, it's like a catalyst, they get these two things to talk to each other better and work well, not only. - Yeah, and from my own experience and also seeing it with other people in the community that I have, 'cause we started to like quite a while ago, like practice, keep going to cultivate with work. - Yes, yes.
Dr. Vervaeke and Robin discuss how cultivating wind horse can help bring up repressed emotions, and past traumas, and improve awareness. (21:30)
- And what we've noticed also is that a lot of these, you know, and it's kind of like more of a personal anecdote than I would say, but what we've noticed is that kind of like this, like trying to strengthen this communication between both also was bringing up any kind of stuck in the sense of like past trauma, emotions, anything repressed, it brings all of these things up to awareness and then it kind of also helps in cultivating awareness and I think it is because of these different parts of the brain starting to communicate to each other. - That's right. - And I feel like, I don't know, I personally feel, starting to feel like that wind horse might be a symbol for this coming together of all these different regions of the brain in some sense, but also this connection to the body and the environment at the same time. - I think that's right, I think that's right. Yeah, I think that's very good. Yeah, like I said, and you made it, you made the point, if you're getting different areas of the brain to talk to each other, then you can bypass, sort of repression, mechanisms that have kept stuff out of awareness, you can overcome that sort of body armor the way people have deadened their body in order to really having certain emotions. But I would also emphasize it's, so it's different areas of the brain are talking to each other that don't normally, the way the brain and the body are communicating is now also different. What Winkleman calls the neural axle, also the way the body and the environment are coupled and working together. Because again, this sense of enhanced perception, enhanced awareness is also increased. And I also think that when people are doing this, especially when they're doing it with other people, there's also the capacity, there's also the chance that they're getting into a kind of flow state too, that is making it take on a life of its own and move through them like the wind, right? - Yeah, go ahead. - Yeah, I know what you mean with that. It's, I've noticed like there's been these moments of flow state regarding to that. There's like these particular moments that happen.
The role shamans play in restoring life force and cultivating wind horse. (24:00)
But it's very much interesting. But what I find also like one thing that I want to point out that is kind of interesting too, is that the shamans on a lot of the rituals too that they do, especially when it comes to like soul retrieval, that they, regarding their journeys that they do and they have like a particular narrative and story when they help a client as well. And like a lot of the times it's also in a communal setting, especially in the traditional ways how they do it. But they go in, in that sense to help the other person to retrieve certain parts of the soul, to restore that. And by restoring that they restore the life force, the the key of the person, which helps them to cultivate more wind horses as well. Because it seems that these particular repressed emotions and states can actually be a hindrance towards this actually being able to have these different parts coming together, even though like once you start to actually cultivate it, that would actually like then start to snowball and help to kick started. And I kind of feel like with a lot of the things also that shamans don't tell a client afterwards, because the thing is that the ritual is kind of like, in that sense what they do, they do it normally like while either multiple times or there's something that the person has to do, a ritual particular thing that they have to do to keep this up. So it's like not a one time thing to like resolve any particular issue. And I think like there's in different cultures there's different ways to do it. I know like in here in Finland, there's shamans that use particular kind of dolls that symbolize something. There's a lot of symbology with that, that symbolizes this aspect. And then the person has to work with that. And a lot of this is kind of like symbolic, I think from a union lens to bring these different like archetypal aspects back for them and to facilitate this kind of like integration. And in that sense, maybe like an integration of different parts of the brain more and to help them to process certain things so that this like coming together is facilitated. - Well, so I have two things to say about that.
Aligning internal family systems therapy with shamanic practices, and the importance of combining different dimensions in healing processes. (26:38)
I think that's right. And I would point you to internal family systems therapy, which I've done in a month where you're working with parts, right? And they're, and they're, and they, and you allow them to take on a personality and speak and talk to each other. And then you're, and you're basically what you're trying to do is to reintegrate stuff that has been exiled that has been kept out the seat of awareness. And so that lines up very well with that. The fact that the ritual is often done with other people. And you know, this is your arrows work about how narrative allows us to, it puts us in the right way of thinking to pick up on dynamic patterns. Very readily, especially social culture dynamic patterns. And so the shaman is telling, getting into this state, picking up, you know, and the shaman is picking up on the social dynamics of the group that are also affecting identity and the health of the person. And the narrative is also not only reconnecting, right? The part, it's also reframing the social dynamics so the person can potentially be reintegrated more properly back into the community. 'Cause the idea, the idea is in several of these things is again, the illness is not just, we divide things up. But for the illness is not just physical, it's also, it's psychosocial physical all at the same time. Very much like depression is. - Yeah. - Right? - Very much. - You just people a drug, you also have to give them the ritual of therapy and then you also have to help them reconfigure their social network. And when you do all of that, then you'll actually heal them. And so if something very similar is going on, I believe with the shamanic narrative. - I think so too. - I think so too. And I think that's kind of like the big key in like why, yeah, why it generally works. 'Cause it needs these different dimensions to come together so that then it would work. It's similarly like with some of the older like proto in the European, but also in the European rituals that I know about regarding like the Corios and like the Arc-Taya kind of rituals too. It's like these were also done in communal setting and they kind of employed like this ritual kind of like a death and rebirth symbolism. But then the community would also be able to witness 'cause they would know about it. So that would change the social dynamics for these people so that then they would throw the ritual, see things differently. So it would lead to a shift in perspective like how they would interact with each other. So that would, yeah. And similarly like, yeah. - I think we're making some excellent connections here. I'm trying to remember you talked about two things at the very beginning. You talked about wind horse and then there was something else you, there was a second insight you had that you wanted to talk about. Do you remember what it was? - Wind horse and a second insight. I actually don't remember. - I'm not remembering it either. This has been so interesting and evolving. Well, just, I mean, don't try to remember that particular one. What else about shamanism? Do you think should be brought out and people should be made aware of we should reflect on? - What else? I don't know. I would say one thing that I've really noticed is that I guess, well, yes, there's definitely the communal aspect to it, which is very important. So it seems, but I have noticed from my personal experience that using it like in combination with like a lot of the union works that I've been doing on myself that it has been particularly helpful. In resolving complexes and resolving different issues within myself to face them head on. And it's very, you know, these trans journeys are very symbolic in that sense, but they've been able to really lead to a real sense of catharsis and in that sense also, I know I've started to notice by practicing that and cultivating at the same time wind horse. It's been very helpful to do so, especially like cultivating wind horse seems to be very much key in being able to do these traumatic journeys more, in a more grounded and integrated sense and be actually able to do deeper journeys and actually get into the states of mind more. It's kind of like by cultivating wind horse, you're training your brain to, you know, by strengthening this connection so that you can more easily enter into these like altered states of consciousness.
Robin discusses the brain training and consciousness connection in cultivating wind horse and shamanic journeys. (31:48)
- Yeah, I think it's catalytic in that way. And I remembered as you were talking what the other insight is, which was the distinction between mind generated and world generated spirits. - Yes, yes.
Differentiation between mind-generated and world-generated spirits in shamanism. (32:15)
And so I thought when we talked about that last time, I thought that was also an important thing because and you were also, you weren't identifying that, but you were talking about that in the context of sort of new shamanism and traditional shamanism. - Yes, true. - And so maybe unpack that a little for us. That'd be great. I think that'd be helpful. - Yeah, so regarding what we were talking about, like last time, yeah. So I was talking about like this distinction between like core shamanism, which is like a more modern kind of like branch you could call it made by Michael Horner. - Yes. - And then yeah, like the old kind of traditional shamanism from, for instance, like the Asiatic tradition that I've looked into a lot. And in the more like recent studies that they have done and there has been like communication between core shamanism and traditional shamanism on this, it seems to be becoming clear that like, you know, that they're starting to become like this insight into like this distinction between like the mind born. So that what is part of the person and that what is becoming classified as more world born like how we came up with that term for those spirits that are part of the natural world. And seem to be pointing towards things that are not linked to the human necessarily but are intrinsic to the world. So from a union lens, I would really point with that towards like the collective unconscious and then really like the deeper patterns of the world that just go beyond just the individual kind of experience. It's very archetypal, very like base collective patterns that are present not just in humanity but in the world at large. - Right, more perennial patterns, perennial problems in variant features of the environment, things like that.
Conversation on archetypal patterns within and without and their linkage in spirits. (34:19)
Right, and so it's sort of the archetypal within and the archetypal without are being linked together in these spirits. And then the mind born would be more like, you know, like the parts work we were talking about wrestling with complexes or wrestling with parasitism. - Yeah, basically. - Right. - From like a union and the psychology lens that's exactly what that lens regarding like the what we're dealing with these like, yeah, these mind born spirits, it's basically in the realm of that. And I've been talking to the shamans about this as well and with regard to the mind born spirits, yes, definitely that would be, they would, not all of them, but some would indeed agree that, yes, that would be in the realm of like the psychological and what links specifically to the person itself where, you know, there's this kind of practice that they do to cultivate enough wind horse to become aware of these very perennial patterns because the thing is what they have pointed out also to me is that generally we're not aware of these things. And it's only by cultivating wind horse for a very long time that we start to actually become aware of these patterns, these perennial patterns. And these are considered, I guess, the more real spirits in some sense, because they are, they exist kind of like outside of us or like outside of our personal kind of like unconscious spheres. - They're more transpersonal. - Yeah. - They represent sort of things outside of our ego consciousness, plugging into patterns in the world that our awareness is typically not picking up on something like that. Is that right? - Yes, that's right. - So that's interesting. And so what is, I think I asked you, but I don't, when we talk last time, but I don't remember, I wanna share it. What's the relationship between those two groups? Like the core shamanism, which I sort of, I take it as a sort of a modern or post-modern worldview. And then the traditional shamanism, of course, is set in some kind of traditional worldview. So how do they get along well? Do they like each other at all? - It really much depends. It's like, I don't know, I would describe it as like a love-hate relationship. I kind of, it's just like, they, I don't know, they're kind of happy to some degree that people are starting to practice these things, but then they're also very much like about it because they're kind of like, and I very much get it. It's like they, because there are definitely people that take on these things that they have learned from the traditional shamans, but then it gets taken out of the context. And that's kind of like the biggest thing, really, that seems to be an issue. And they think, and they really do say that the context within what it is placed, and within the sense of the tradition is very important in it for it to work. It's one example also, it's like particular secret mandalas and mantras for instance that they use. There's a particular initiation and how they call, how do they call that again? Empowerment that they have from the shaman or with some of the more Buddhist branches. Well, really like, yeah, this empowerment that they have in this like understanding, within the context of the tradition, what this means. - Yeah, yeah. And this context actually allows it to actually work. Because it's context related. There's like, you can't just take it out of the context and then because then it starts to lose its meaning and it's symbolic, kind of like the symbol becomes a bit like, I don't know, like more dead and sterile. - Well, that makes sense if it's ultimately transjective in nature, right? It's co-created by the environment and the mind and the way they're coupled together.
Discussion on how culture shapes the person and the environment. (38:57)
That makes perfect sense. And for me, that's the truth in the social constructivist paradigm that it's a socially constructed thing. I don't think that's totally the case for a lot of the stuff we've been talking about here. But I think that dimension is a powerful dimension and it's real. I think the social constructionists aren't just totally false or mistaken. I think they're pointing out that yeah, there's the way in which, 'cause what culture does is it sets up affordances. It sets up transjective relationship 'cause it shapes the person to the environment and shapes the environment to the people, right? And in that, right, certain affordances are generated and if you lift this out of that affordance network, it's not gonna plug in the same way, it's not gonna work. So I can totally see that. - Yeah. - And so, and the thing that's interesting to me, I read a little bit of Harmer's, Harner, Michael Harner. - Michael Harner, yes. - Yeah, yeah, his book on becoming a shaman did a couple of the practices. And I don't know if this overlaps, but one of the things that I found odd is there was a sense there of, yeah, this had been sort of taken out of, for lack of a better word, a religious context. And then that would have presumably altered it in some fashion. So I'm interested, what do you consider yourself to practice? Do you practice core shamanism or traditional shamanism? You don't have to answer me if you don't want to, but yeah.
Robin shares their unique shamanism approach, combining traditional elements and a Jungian framework. (40:36)
- And in that sense, I don't really practice traditional shamanism nor core shamanism really. I kind of do my own particular thing. It's very like union and kind of inspired like how I approach it. I do like talk to the traditional shamans. And I'm also, I'm kind of like looking at it from both lenses at the same time. So I'm like looking at it from like a shamanic lens and also from a union lens, trying to bridge both so that I get like a deeper understanding of what is going on. Because what I've figured is that the union is very nice, but the shamanic lens, because I've been looking, I don't know, like enough into like mythology for myself. And like a lot of these things that the shamanic lens is very, has become very useful to look at because a lot of these figures have been popping up in me for me in these journeys that I undertake. And I would want to like bring up one thing from depth psychology here. And it's kind of like this idea that kind of like the, I guess the mythological framework that one is in shapes how these archetypal patterns kind of like manifest themselves to one. And the thing is that it's a relationship between like the ego and this mythological frame and the unconscious and these like deeper archetypal patterns and like how they, it's like, it's basically like, I don't know, it's like they have a particular like energy and essence and way of like behaving that is generally speaking just something deeper, but then like how it is shaped and like dressed up is very cultural and personal bound. And I think that in my sense, I know I'm somewhat of a mix of like these things in between mix with a lot of stuff that I've looked into that kind of like dresses up, what I'm encountering in a particular manner that isn't really, I know I wouldn't say following the core shamanic way of dressing these things up nor really the traditional either. - Right. - Kind of like, yeah. - Right, right. So you've taken aspects of the core and aspects of the traditional, but you've basically found that the union framework allows you to integrate them better together and that's and that works better for you as a ritual. Do you practice with other people as well? - No, actually practice completely alone and normally just go very deep into the forest and then just practice alone generally. - Have you ever done or participated in any group rituals around this? - Group rituals, no, I have, well, I have actually, I have guided some group rituals actually, yes. - Right, right, right, right. - I've done like some death and rebirth rituals, particularly where I helped people through, well, through particular rituals. In one particular case, it was someone that actually had a dream that I recognized as being a death and rebirth ritual stemming from the Neolithic and I was like, hey, that's that kind of ritual. So we did it and I on the same day.
Case Study: Death And Rebirth Ritual
Example of guiding someone through a death and rebirth ritual. (44:17)
And so I was like, let's do it. And I put on my shamanic gear and then I went there and I guided them through it. And then since then they've had a lot of like these over-press things start to come up for them and I've been guiding them a bit through that. That's really like the kind of... - So the Jungian, 'cause that what you just did was very Jungian, right? And that's not a criticism of an observation. So the, like one of my criticisms of current people practicing shamanism is something we've been talking about earlier, like you're not living a hunter-gatherer, you're not living in the natural environment very much. Like you're trying to transplace shamanism into post-industrial suburban world. It's, it's, but what I see you doing is you're, but you're using Jung as a way of grafting the shamanism onto the modern world. Because that's what Jung was trying to do. Modern man in search of a soul, right? That's exactly what his philosophical therapy was trying to achieve. That's very interesting. I think that's very powerful. How long have you been practicing? - I think shamanism, it's been now, what, two years already? And been, I'm a gardener, like the more like Jungian work, I think it's been a decade. And I've really just first just done a lot of the, yeah, the Jungian work, but at some point I started to actually have dreams about making a shaman drum that was like, I listened to it and I was just like, well, I mean, I guess I'm gonna go do that next because I was kind of getting stuck at some, at some point and then I had that and then I was just like, man, it's gonna do that. See what happens. - And the shamanism helped you get unstuck, is that what you're saying? - Yeah, very much so. And from that came like all of these things regarding wind horse and, yeah, and all this kind of knowledge that started to come up and I was able to connect that to like Buddhism and the three doors of liberation and yeah. - Very interesting. Robin, we're gonna have to wrap it up, but I wanna give you the chance for last word. First of all, thank you for coming. - Yes, thank you for having me on, Brabaki. - Right, is there anything else you wanna say at the end to any people about this? Just parting words kind of idea. I don't know, I mean, the only thing that's coming to mind right now is for, is stay windy, how we say in the Fox then.
Encouragement To Delve Deeper Into The Concept Of Wind Horse
Dr. Vervaeke and Robin encourage listeners to explore more about wind horse. (47:00)
And yeah, if you're interested in more wind horse, maybe people can leave a comment in this video from Brabaki and we can see if we can dive deeper into anything that's interesting, I would say. - Thank you so much, Robin. - Yeah.