Concept - Korean mystic shamanism – Chaos, Spirit, and Space-Time
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Korean Shamanism – Muism – Dr Kim Tae-kon
The archaic pattern/paradigm of Korean Muism is based on the premise of two different worlds/states-of-being, the cosmos and the chaos.
The source of existence is the chaos, from which the cosmos (the "real" world) was made at the time of creation. This “chaos" is akin to "Heaven," and the cosmos is akin to the “earth."
At the time of creation, the cosmos was separated from the chaos, the chaos retaining the freedom from the limitations of time and space, but the created cosmos is limited by both time and space.
Thus the cosmos is transient (a limited, brief existence), while the chaos retains eternal existence.
Existence/being, which was originally in the chaos, briefly crosses the boundary of the chaos and enters into the cosmos; and after its fleeting existence/being in the cosmos it returns to the chaos, in an endless cyclic process.
The existence/being in the cosmos on returning to the chaos, manifests itself as an eternal/everlasting existence/being.
Note: The term “chaos” is used …., not in its usual pejorative sense as the state of "utter confusion," but to mean a place outside the "real world's" time and space, a world without form or limit, of spaceless and timeless eternal beings, and a world without life, death, continuing forever; without a beginning or an end; the origin of all humans, and the place to which the human soul goes after death, in a continuing cycle.
Cheui and Its Fundamental Characteristics
The cheui (ceremony) of Muism appears in the form in which the mudang meets the god and prays for the desires of humans. But, since the place and time in which the mudang can meet the gods do not belong to the “real world,” special steps must be followed in the mu ceremony, so that the place and time of the cheui occurs outside of the realm of the “real world."
Before the start of the ceremony, golden lines are drawn and a brown cape is unfolded, so as to define the "space” for the cheui, cleansing it from evil and all foul things. Through this process an attempt is made to stop daily activities and stop ordinary human beings from entering. By this "disconnection" from the “real world,” that space becomes the world before Creation (that is, the chaos before the cosmos existed).
Night is always chosen for the time of the cheui (ceremony); this night time indicates the time of 'chaos,' which is outside the “real world." Hence, the space and time in which the cheui is carried out is that of "chaos.'
Chaos is the world of spaceless and timeless eternal beings, and a world without life, death, sequence or end, without a beginning or an end. It is the origin of all creatures and is without boundaries or limits. Hence, the golden lines are drawn and the brown cape is unfolded to symbolize the area which is being returned from the "cosmos" to primeval "chaos."
Hence, it is not calling the god who then comes from "chaos" to the "real world"; but by disconnecting the area from the "real world" (the "cosmos"), the area has entered into the domain of "chaos" in which the mudang meets with god(s).