Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rasputin, Darth Vader & Spiderman

Bad Shamans give shamanism a bad name just as Darth Vader gave the Force a dark side.

This reminds me of Rasputin, known as a Siberian mystic healer, poet, magician, prophet and holy monk.*  Interestingly, the word, shaman, comes from the Tungus people of Siberia and means, "One who sees or knows."  One of Rasputin's talents was his ability to calm people in distress.  Not everyone had a positive view of Rasputin, his "enemies charged that he was nothing but cynical, and that he used religion to mask his drive for sex, money and power" (de Jonge, 14).*

Clearly, power may be used for good or for evil.  We choose wisely or misuse power for our advantage.  Following the dark path can bring harm to ourselves and others, at some point. 

Darth Vader was once a Jedi Knight and son of a respected warrior.  Then, he swayed to the dark side. 

Some say that gaining control over special powers may be used to harm enemies.  Thus, the possession of such control is not always beneficial, but may be used also for purposes of witchcraft.  Hostile shamans may throw disease into the bodies of their enemies or they may abduct their souls.  They may do harm by sympathetic means, and control the will-power of others by the help of supernatural means at their disposal.  Witchcraft is everywhere considered as a crime, and is so punished.**

In the book, Sastún (about a healer in Belize), there are many stories about how people feeling envy or greed or lust used shamanic power to enchant or destroy their target.

In the words of Spiderman:
Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: "With great power comes great responsibility." This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-man. 
If the goal is empowerment and embodiment.  How will we use our power and our bodies for good?

**Seeking Contact with Spirits Is Not Necessarily Shamanism by Frank Boas (1910)

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