June 28th, 2006

Shaman - Horse

The Shaman and Suffering

Introduction

Suffering is a tool that is used in the testing and attainment of a shaman's power. Suffering through self-deprivation (fasting, lashing, etc.) are practices that are held by many belief systems. The topic of suffering is a worthy one for any spiritual path, and this paper will focus both broadly on these spiritual ramifications while touching on associations that are specifically shamanic.

The material presented in this paper is drawn heavily from the works of Carlos Castaneda. He presented the four enemies of the person of knowledge in his first book, THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN: A YAQUI WAY OF KNOWLEDGE. The material on petty tyrants can be found in Castaneda's later books. Several words have been substituted for the cohesion of this paper. 'Self-importance' has been replaced with 'ego' and 'warrior' has been replace with 'shaman'.

The overall purpose of this paper is to give an overview of how the shaman overcomes the trials and tricks of an mundane spiritual existence to become a shaman: one who sees and serves the unity of all things.

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