History as Malignancy
All throughout the process described in these posts the driving force is debt. A person in debt can be seen to have two options. He can work and pay off the debt or he can somehow con, convince, or force others to pay off his debt for him. Often, however, when the debtor chooses the second option it is necessary for him to go into further debt in order to raise the funds to do the conning, convincing or forcing. Then, from this additional expense, he requires still more people to pay off the new debt. The vicious and downward spiraling process that characterizes all of history ensues.
The predatory spirit entities entice the shamans/priests into debt, who in turn pass on this debt in part to the chiefs/kings. These leaders are ensured that they are granted sovereignty from the “gods”, really the predatory entities, and the kings then willingly transfer their own debts to the general population, or through war enslave other populations. None of this eliminates the original debt. It is only deferred and inflated. History itself manifests as the malignant accumulation of debt in expressions of rape, plunder, conquest, slavery and genocide.
Canadian philosopher, John McMurtry, compares this historic expansion of debt, and the destruction that it characteristically leaves in its wake, to the growth of a cancer.
We can discern from these operations and consequences of the global money sequence of compound-interest debt how ‘the borrower remaining creditworthy and able to carry the debt’ can destroy the life-fabrics of societies. These malignant tumour cases, and like those at the cellular level of life-organization, are accumulations of rogue sequences of reproduction and growth that do not remit, but grow worse as they progress. The money sequence linked to the death sequence is the way in which the cancer expresses itself as visible tumour.
The Cancer Stage of Capitalism, John McMurtry, p. 185.
From where does this cancer originate? If my speculation about debt arising from the temptations of predatory entities to pre-historical dark shamans is on the right track, we might also ask why the shamans became tempted in the first place? Also, we might wonder if this type of temptation has continued throughout history.
To Threaten the Economy of the Entire Universe
As was stated earlier, a sort of by-product of meditative practice, which early shamans appear to have knowledge of, is the arrival of certain supernormal powers. In Sanskrit these powers are called the siddhis. Mircea Eliade explains how the development and use of the siddhis would often tempt and misdirect the seeker off the path of complete enlightenment. This is something, he explains, that the Buddha directly warned against.
For, if it was true that the monk must die to his profane condition in order that he might hope to attain the unconditioned, it was not less true that, if he let himself be tempted by the ‘miraculous powers,” he ran risk of fixing his abode in a higher mode of existence, the mode of gods and magicians – and of forgetting the final goal, integration of the Absolute. In addition, the possession of one or another ‘miraculous power’ in no way furthered the propagation of the Buddhist message; other yogins and ecstatics could perform the same miracles. Even worse, one could obtain ‘powers’ through magic, without undergoing any inner transformation. Nonbelievers could well suppose that what they witnessed was only the result of some magical charm... It is for this reason that the Buddha forbade the display of siddhis: ‘You are not, O bhikkus, to display before the laity the superhuman power of Iddhi. Whosoever does so shall be guilty of a dukkata [evil deed].’
Yoga Immortality and Freedom, Mircea Eliade, p. 179-180.
Such are the warnings from the Buddha and many other awakened teachers from various traditions. We also read that the spiritual seeker, upon achieving a high level of attainment, has always been approached by gods, demons and other entities who attempt to seduce the seeker into accepting mere “powers”. A well known example in the Western tradition is Satan’s unsuccessful temptation of Christ. Eliade explains why, to these spiritual entities, such a temptation is deemed necessary.
As we know, in the Indian view, renunciation has a positive value. He who renounces feels not lessened thereby, but enriched – for the force that he gains by renouncing any pleasure far exceeds the pleasure that he has renounced. By virtue of renunciation, of asceticism (tapas), men, demons or gods can become powerful to the point of threatening the economy of the entire universe. In the myths, legends, and tales of India, there are many episodes in which the principal character is an ascetic (man or demon) who, by virtue of the magical power he has gained through his renunciation, troubles even the repose of a Brahma or a Visnu. To prevent such an increase of sacred force, the gods tempt the ascetic...
They continue to tempt him with celestial women, with supernatural sight and hearing, with the promise of turning his body into a ‘body of diamond’ – in short, they offer him participation in the divine condition. But the divine condition is still far from absolute freedom. The yogin must reject these ‘magical hallucinations,’ these ‘false sensory objects that are of the nature of dreams,’ ‘desirable only for the ignorant,’ and persevere in his task of gaining final emancipation.
Yoga Immortality and Freedom, p. 88-89.
The renunciant, the seeker, the awakened shaman, in his or her sincere desire for eternity and the vast knowledge and power that spontaneously arises from this quest, effectively threatens “the economy of the entire universe”. In other words by attaining a grasp on eternity the seeker transcends the entire hierarchical metaphysics of debt, revealing to all its utter illusory nature.
The Immortal Charms
To prevent this, and to preserve their own privileged, although ultimately empty, status and positions, the gods, the entities do whatever it takes to prevent the ultimate goal from being reached. This kind of immense pressure is almost impossible to not succumb to. To use a more commonplace example, we can easily imagine a naturally charming person, endowed with the power of affecting others in a favourable way.
These charming individuals effortlessly attract followers -- people who want to be with them simply because these charmers make them feel good. A natural temptation will emerge for the charming individual to abuse and exploit the good faith of these fans for sexual, monetary, psychological or other favours. This type of thing occurs all around us on a day to day basis.
In the case of an individual who is a meditative adept these natural charms, and those that they attract, are multiplied a thousand fold. At this level it is the gods themselves that are seduced by the charms, are drawn like moths to a fire to the vital energy, and who in turn try to seduce by offering powers of their own. These powers, of course, are deathly pale imitations of the final goal and we are warned throughout the traditional literature against accepting them.
For as soon as the ascetic consents to make use of the magical forces gained by his disciplines, the possibility of his acquiring new forces vanishes. He who renounces secular life finally finds himself rich in magical forces, but he who succumbs to the desire to use them ultimately remains a mere ‘magician,’ without power to surpass himself. Only a new renunciation and a victorious struggle against the temptation of magic bring the ascetic a new spiritual enrichment. According to Patanjali and the whole tradition of classic Yoga -- to say nothing of Vedantist metaphysics, which condemns every kind of ‘power’ -- the yogin uses the innumerable siddhis in order to regain supreme freedom, asamprajnata samadhi, not in order to obtain a mastery over the elements, which, in any case, is only partial and provisional. For it is samadhi, not the ‘occult powers,’ which represents true ‘mastery.’The highest of these siddhis, and the one that is the most tempting for mere humans who experience the decay and death of their own physical forms, is the allure of immortality. The desire to become immortal is fundamental in the psychology of humanity and it appears as the positive flipside of the fear of death -- the thanatos of Freud and other psychologists.
Yoga Immortality and Freedom, p. 89-90.
This drive for immortality is ubiquitous throughout the stories of nearly all cultures. This is a thread that runs from Gilgamesh, to the first emperor of China, to Dr. Faustus. It is a universal human drive and it is the ultimate temptation offered by the entities throughout history.
Manly P. Hall reveals how this drive for immortality, rooted in the fear of death, is really the basis of all black magic.
True black magic is performed with the aid of a demoniacal spirit, who serves the sorcerer for the length of his earthly life, with the understanding that after death the magician shall become the servant of his own demon. For this reason a black magician will go to inconceivable ends to prolong his physical life, since there is nothing for him beyond the grave.
The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly p. Hall, p. 318.
The most dangerous form of black magic is the scientific perversion of occult power for the gratification of personal desire. Its less complex and more universal form is human selfishness, for selfishness is the fundamental cause of all worldly evil. A man will barter his eternal soul for temporal power, and down through the ages a mysterious process has been evolved which actually enables him to make this exchange. In its various branches the black art includes nearly all forms of ceremonial magic, necromancy, witchcraft, sorcery, and vampirism. Under the same general heading are also included mesmerism and hypnotism, except when used solely for medical purposes, and even then there is an element of risk for all concerned.
The Secret Teachings of All Ages, p. 318.
Under the influence of entities, the seeker turned sorcerer, who pursues occult powers for selfish reasons, is obliged to prolong his own life in order to escape the enslavement of the spirit he has pledged his afterlife to in exchange for worldly influence. The sorcerer attempts all manner of malign devices and plots to shift the debt owed to the entities onto less culpable victims. This is surely another driving factor behind history as political leaders throughout the world have literally “sold their souls” to attain and expand their temporal power.
It appears then that it is really a struggle between immortality and eternity, not a struggle between concepts but between objectives. Immortality is a flight from death. From Gilgamesh to the Builders of the World today, the aim is to cheat death, to win total control over the realm of matter.
This is a counterfeit, the merely penultimate, the illusion of second best. The true path of wisdom leads to a realization of eternity. The seeker finds that he has already found. There is no place to go -- living now is glorious but dying is just as well. The cycles continue eternally and samsara is in actuality nirvana.
And yet some seekers do not achieve this breakthrough in awareness. In fact, most don’t. Most go a certain distance and are waylaid by worldly things -- occupations, families, possessions, lesser dreams. They choose to stop searching for the happiness beyond happiness -- what Socrates called eudaemonia.
Endless Duration or the Eternal?
A few go much higher. They reach lofty spiritual heights and as they climb their vitality and power grows, and they become more attractive. As stated above, their charm attracts disciples, admirers, groupies, etc., but they also attract other entities that are able to offer still more power. These entities are dark forces, predators of flowing vitality, incubi and succubi, able to grant many boons and favours.
The earnest seeker is thus seduced by the promise of power, riches, sexuality, vigour, genius, fame and so on. But these things do not come without a price. The predators are the original bankers and all debts must be paid back with interest.
The demon, or daimon, is at first in the service of the seeker turned black magician but only with the guarantee that after death the servant becomes master. The magician can only halt this conclusion by seeking immortality. As Gilgamesh found, however, this quest also produces more death and suffering. A debt can only be deferred by offering a payment in its stead. The demons demand sacrifice.
All of history is generated from this. The formation of the state is the result of a dark shamanic deal with the entities (afterwards called "the gods" and then unified as "God"). The priests and rulers at first allowed themselves to be sacrificed but gradually surrogates were slain -- scapegoats. These, of course, did not equal the principal of the debt so the interest, and thus more debt, grew steadily. History is the futile attempt to attain immortality and escape all debt. This is impossible and so the horror accelerates and the earth bleeds.
However, none of this needs to happen. There is no debt because nothing real was ever offered to anyone. The predators, who the Gnostics called the Archons, really possess nothing that we do not already have. Since eternity is here presently anything else is illusory. The world as it seems to be constructed is a maniacal chain of debt reaching down to the very physical and real banking systems that we all have to deal with, and extending upwards (or downwards!) to the Archons themselves – the creators who have created nothing for free.
It is all a scam, a sham, a spell, an entirely empty mirage. No one owes anyone anything as we each and all have everything! The deals with the devil have been signed not in blood but in invisible ink on parchments that vanish in thin air. All the states, laws, divine rights of kings, bloodlines, stock exchanges, derivatives, constitutions, religions, hierarchies, bonds, shopping malls, all of it, are built on these non-existent foundations. All are meaningless in the bright light of eternity. Immortality is a debtor’s prison. Only imagination frees. And, as Blake wrote, the Imagination is not a State.
Mezoamerican and South-American shamanism is not prehistoric shamanism. That continent was packed with kingdoms and empires for thousands of years. And Buddha wasn't a pre-historic figure either. Those traditions are the products of very much historical societies.
You see certain parallels between certain aspects of American shamanism and historical societies. Isn't the obvious explanation that the ideologies and mental health issues of kingdoms contaminated shamanism?
Shamanism is much older than history. Ergo there must have been a factor beyond shamanism that triggered history as we know it. Like for example climate change, which caused a certain change in diet. :p
I've read all three posts properly now, it's a great read, it's finely written, like everything else that I've read on this blog so far.ReplyDelete
I like how the ending is consistent with the central concept. It sounds right, it's kind of inspiring and optimistic. I like it.
And the idea itself, this pyramid of metaphysical debt that's mediated by the early priesthood, there must be some truth to it, the pieces seem to fit together. It's quite an enlightening image.
What I don't like is how you equate a prehistoric temptation innate to shamanism with that American witchcraft that you call "dark shamanism".
I don't think that it's shamanism but I guess that's just a question of definition. But more importantly I don't know how it could be considered primitive. All those sophisicated economic and political concepts that I read about in the second part regarding the Mayan, those don't sound very primitive at all. Didn't the Mayans used to have some kind of a highly developed civilization with cities, pyramids, and the like?
Thanks for your supportive yet critical comments, Siphersh. I appreciate these types of comments most of all.Delete
The term "dark shamanism" is not my own. It was coined, as far as I know, by the anthropologist Neil Whitehead, who I became aware of through the good research of Jan Irvin (back when he was doing good research!)
I don't know if I'm being entirely faithful to Whitehead's conception, but I see dark shamanism as being an essential element to the whole complex of shamanism. I don't perceive this as being limited to American shamanism.
If we follow the thought of another anthropologist, Pierre Clastres, so-called "primitive" or tribal societies are not at all innocent or ignorant of the dangers of the State. The myth of the "noble savage" is only a myth. Instead, argues Clastres, there is a continual effort on the part of tribal individuals to prevent the formation of exclusive and exclusionary proto-State, power structures. Dark shamanism is a facet of this immense effort.
My argument is that there must have been some imbalance in this set of fluid relationships, involving dark shamanism, that led to the formation of a priestly caste or class and then to the State. Certainly environmental factors must have played a role, but it was likely the establishment of "metaphysical debt," as you aptly put it, leading to material debt that sufficiently imbalanced these societies to such an extent that the State eventually emerged.
Verry nice blog you have hereReplyDelete