Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"Going Tribal"

The series "Going Tribal" on the Discovery Channel is one of the best shows on TV.

The episode I saw tonight ("African Vision Quest") was awesome. Here is a synopsis from the website of another crazy episode I've seen...

Bruce learns the secrets of the spirits when he joins the Sanema, a group of indigenous people who live in the Upper Caura region of Venezuela, to discover the strange dual-reality world in which they live. The Sanema believe spirits dwell in everything — the river, the rocks and the animals around them — in a world as real to them as the jungle they live in. And their shamans can commune with such spirits through the use of hallucinogenic snuff. Now Bruce faces the task of training as a shaman to get an insight into their experiences.

Modern Civilization has a short attention span, and we seem to forget, despite the clear evidence, that all religion and mystical knowledge of the human race traces back to the shamanic experience, a tradition found in every part of the globe, from the beginning of human consiousness. These are not the backwards beliefs of wacky primitive people, but the true Eden. These practices represent the original spiritual nature of man; deeply connected to the world, both the seen and unseen. All the rigid social constructs and symbols "civilization" has created are pale shadows of such mind-altering, ego-dissolving mystic initiations. Lack of such transcendent experiences leads to the cultural schizophrenia present in the modern world. We go through our lives learning facts, figures, and dogma in school and in life, but we are no longer taught wisdom of what we really are, the possibilities of the mind, or the nature of reality.