Knud Rasmussen - The Melancholy of the Iglukik Eskimos
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
From Knud Rasmussen – Intellectual Culture of the Iglukik Eskimos
Aua, a Netsilik Eskimo, during his painful, tireless efforts to become a shaman, discovered that the spontaneous emergence of his abilities accompanied the alleviation of suffering.
"Then I sought solitude, and here I soon became very melancholy. I would sometimes fall to weeping, and feel unhappy without knowing why.
Then, for no reason, all would suddenly be changed, and I felt a great, inexplicable joy, a joy so powerful that I could not restrain it, but had to break into song, a mighty song, with only room for the one word: joy, joy! And I had to use the full strength of my voice. And then in the midst of such a fit of mysterious and overwhelming delight I became a shaman, not knowing myself how it came about. But I was a shaman. I could see and hear in a totally different way