Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id WAA07998 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Mon, 18 Feb 2002 22:50:02 GMT From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: Words and memes: criteria for acceptance of new belief or meme Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 17:22:34 -0500 Message-ID: <NEBBKOADILIOKGDJLPMAGEFPCLAA.email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 (Normal) X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2910.0) Importance: Normal In-Reply-To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2919.6600 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Not my field, but for what it is worth, Sherry Ortner describes just such a
distinction between 'good' and 'bad' religious magical practitioners in her
anthropological studies of modern Sherpa society, in her (misnamed) book,
LIFE AND DEATH ON MOUNT EVEREST, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University press,
1999. In popular Sherpa religion, gods protect people from evil forces (like
witches, ghosts, sorcerers and poisoners). Lamas run the rituals needed to
convince the gods to do so. Shamans (blawa in Sherpa), on the other hand,
helped heal illness. At the beginning of the 20th century, a maor religious
reform effort was launched in the Sherpa areas of Nepal: Buddhist
monasticism with 'higher' religious beliefs and practices in contrast to the
popular religious beliefs. The monastery monks introduced celibacy and other
more demanding practices, and criticized the village lamas and shamans for
inept practice, and worse, for working in collusion with evil 'black'
forces, using black magic and sorcery. [Pp. 95-105.]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf
> Of Francesca S. Alcorn
> Sent: Monday, February 18, 2002 4:50 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Words and memes: criteria for acceptance of new belief or
> frankie said:
> >>A witch doctor does things *outside* of what is socially acceptable
> >>- calling down lightning, casting curses, poisoning etc - while a
> >>shaman works for and inside of social norms.
> Wade said:
> >I call a spade a spade. Witch doctor is a crude term for a shaman,
> >perhaps, but they are both doing things _accepted within_ their
> >culture, and outside of science.
> You draw a line (empiricism) which lumps them together. But I assure
> you, to the people in my village, a witch doctor and a shaman were
> two very distinct people. One was a hitman, the other a doctor.
> IOW: Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
> >Thus, you will find the modern witch doctor in your local newage
> >book store or homeopathic distribution retail outlet.
> There is not really a modern equivalent of a witch doctor. We seem
> to have found other means of acting out our anti-social
> impulses/enforcing social control. Maybe this is where religion fits
> in. Instead of calling down lightning on someone, we can smuggly
> contemplate their afterlife. :)
> >Many proponents of magical thinking actually call themselves shamans.
> Or psychiatrists. Although Bruno Bettelheim has fallen from favor,
> his "Uses of Enchantment" is still worth reading.
> There is a line of thought that says that magical thinking/emotional
> thinking is a sort of short-hand for combining emotional needs with
> reality - kind of like the ego (in the sense of rational mind)
> mediating between the id (instinctual drives) and reality. I don't
> think you get anywhere by trying to treat human beings as purely
> rational. We just aren't. At least not in a way that makes sense to
> us. :) I think that the article about punishing cheats suggests
> that there is sense in our "irrational" behavior, we just haven't
> been creative enough to figure it out yet. I guess that is one of my
> interests, figuring out the sense behind our "non-sensical" behavior.
> Somewhere along the line, someone has classified the defense
> mechanisms as less mature (denial) and more mature (humor). The less
> mature (more generally) belong to the young, the more mature to the
> older (imagine that). But one thing that distinguishes more mature
> from less mature defenses is the *degree of distortion*. Denial
> actively distorts external facts, whereas humor acknowledges the
> facts, but distorts the emotional impact. I'm not overly fond of
> Freud myself, but I won't turn up my nose at a good idea just because
> I don't like him. Fear isn't the mind killer - anxiety is. And
> that's spelled Bene Gesserit :)
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Feb 18 2002 - 23:01:41 GMT