Observations placeholder

Andrija Puharich - Siberian shamans and smoke inhalation

Identifier

000064

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A shamanic ritual in which just about every lethal compound possible was thrown at the poor man until he got his trance, he clearly wasn’t a naturally gifted shaman as it says “the shaman is carefully watched to make sure that he does not unexpectedly die.”

 

A description of the experience

Andrija Puharich – The Sacred Mushroom

The candidate for shamanship, either male or female, usually receives a "call" to this form of priesthood somewhere between the ages of fifteen to thirty-five. He then retreats into the woods from his clan or tribe and lives a solitary and ascetic life for a long period…………………..

One of the great feats of shamanship, and one which is not attempted too often, is one I describe as an MCC. This involves several days of preparation before the ceremony and includes fasting,
meditation, and exposure to hardship.

The real ceremony begins at sundown in the clan tent with the clan assembled. A coniferous wood fire burns in the middle of the tent, saturating the air with smoke, carbon dioxide, and the terpene and camphor compounds of combustion.

The shaman begins the ceremony by beating on a special drum (and this may go on for several hours), improvising chant and hymns to the spirits that are to be called to assist in the separation of the soul from the body. At a certain point in the drum beating he gets up and begins to dance vigorously.

Others take up the drum beating. His dancing may last for hours. When he begins to get exhausted he stops to consume large amounts of certain intoxicants.  These can be alcohol, tobacco, or the Amanita muscaria mushroom, depending on the culture and the clan. Inebriation, in any case, sets in.

Now the shaman resumes his dancing and physical exertion with renewed effort. Travellers have reported seeing the shaman leap as high as six feet in the air over and over again while in this state. The purpose of the shaman, apparently, is to achieve complete and utter physical exhaustion. When he has reached this stage he suddenly collapses on a specially prepared couch and passes into a deep trance.

The tent becomes silent, and the shaman is carefully watched to make sure that he does not unexpectedly die. Shamans have been reported to die from the great exertion.

In this exhausted trance state the shaman alleges to have the experience of the mobile center of consciousness, and travels to the spirits of the underworld or to distant points on the earth. When he awakens, he is gently revived by tea and by deer meat, and he then reports to the expectant clan what he has seen and what he has experienced.

The source of the experience

Siberian shamanism

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References

From Andrija Puharich – The Sacred Mushroom