Max Dashu: Women, Shamanism, & The Transition To Modernity

LBW: But so much of what I feel has been lost and what needs to be reclaimed is this sense of community and then and a part of that is is to create to recreate I guess communities that that have a very sacred and right role for individuals that I remember I had read some theory I don't know how true this is but that that there's a very small percentage of the human population that are schizophrenic and that in indigenous cultures they have very low rates of what would be mental illness they would call mental illness and part of that is part just because the fact that they're more egalitarian they don't ostracize individuals that are different in that regard but but they also they find people that may be very what we would label as mentally ill or having some sort of handicap and they see them as somebody who's able to actually do something very something that is absolutely necessary in their community in their village in their tribe and and so when you said that it just triggered this this thing inside me where I think that to me is one of the most tragic things about the modern world is that there are so many groups of people so many individuals and women are a big part of this that have been cast aside as irrelevant and not useful to the program that we're supposed to follow and so when I read your work and I and I listen to you speak about this I get this feeling like you're absolutely correct you're absolutely correct and wanting to bring to light all of these subjects and all of these suppressed histories because I think a lot of people sense that something is wrong and I think that a lot of the maybe the social unrest that we're experiencing today and and why there has been this resurgence of interest in these subjects is because we sense that something just doesn't feel right about our modern time MAX DASHU: People are in pain I mean this opioid crisis people are in a lot of psychic pain and you know crack before that and it just like you know that there are many structures of oppression in this society and and people don't know anymore how to get out of their pain you know so that that's something where there's a really a need for ceremonial culture and for reconstruction of community and and what you said before I mean there's there's a couple things you touched on the one that's this concept of you know actually anthropologists regarded shamans as mentally ill and they noted that some of them were epileptic and that for them was a sign of mental illness on some level you know this there are so many lenses that this was put through especially in the initial lens that was turned on these shamanic cultures from the Western Civ viewpoint and and I think you're right even beyond people who have schizophrenic or whatever other you know differences in perception you know there are certainly faculties there it doesn't mean that because you have this that you will become a shaman but I think there are great many people and not only quote/unquote mentally ill people but people who are neurologically different abled I mean you've got people we now label as Asperger's or autistic or things that don't even maybe have names to them who you know dyslexic their faculties work in a different way and it's very difficult for them in a society that's all organized according to linear principles and dyslexic people can't do it but they probably I think have other capacities which are simply denied development in the way this culture is structured so I mean there's there's so many angles to this