Observations placeholder

The Saami - A Cultural Encyclopaedia - Lihkadusat

Identifier

011539

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

The last sentence can have only been written by a man "The higher proportion of women who experienced the lihkadusat in the Laestadian movement can be explained sociologically by the religious influence that it gave women in an otherwise patriarchal Christian culture".

The real reason is that women find it a great deal easier to squash the big I am.  Occasionally they have it squashed for them on a continuous basis by people like the writer of the above.

A description of the experience

The Saami - A Cultural Encyclopaedia - edited by Ulla Maija Kulonen, Irja Seurujarvi-Kari and Risto Pulkkinen

Lihkadusat ('movements'). This word is used to describe the powerful emotional physical demonstrations experienced in Laestadianism; they were associated with spiritual experiences, especially strong sensations of grace. They were characterized by wails and cries, involuntary gesticulations and even dancing.

Particularly in the early stages of the Laestadianism, they were extremely powerful, and they had at least a semi-ecstatic character. There were also occurrences in the early phase of the movement of complete loss of consciousness and of visions experienced during unconsciousness.

These were similar phenomena to those which had appeared even more strongly in earlier revivalist movements in Lapland, most particularly the Cuorvut movement and the Viklundist revival. The first Laestadians to experience these states were Saamis.

According to Guttorm Gjessing, who studied ecstatic phenomena in the north, these states were distinctly more common among the Saami, particularly Saami women, than among Finns. They were less common in Swedish and Norwegian Laestadians, among whom they were hardly found at all.

In the research literature, this phenomenon has often been linked to the concept of ‘Arctic hysteria'.  This does not, however, offer a very convincing explanation because similar ecstatic phenomena have been found in conjunction with religious revivals in southern Finland, for example, and ecstatic preachers have been observed all over the world. Ecstatic religion is by no means a phenomenon exclusive to the North.

Even so, although ecstatic phenomena are not unique to the Saami, one can nevertheless assume that the millennial tradition of shamanism lowered their threshold for experiencing Christian ecstasies as well. The higher proportion of women who experienced the lihkadusat in the Laestadian movement can be explained sociologically by the religious influence that it gave women in an otherwise patriarchal Christian culture. RPn

Airas K 1931, Gjessing G 1953, Haetta L & Baer A 1993, Outakoski N 1982 Pentikdinen ) 1995.

The source of the experience

Sami

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Extreme emotion

Suppressions

Inherited genes
Squash the big I am

Commonsteps

References