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Justin Hall
25 march, 1996
Shamanism, Grant

t e r r o r

Shamanism Colonialism and the Wild Man

Michael Taussig

each point goes just five degrees over my head,
but somehow I'm happy to move on to the next in hopes of more facile enlightemnet.

Over time emerges the complex and compelling question of pitted human spirits in the midst of jungle inspired moral anarchy.

Again approaching this idea of the psychology of the patient and the medicine man, who is in control

through his exploration of the graphic scenes of native torture, the white colonists were attempting a repression of cannibalism, and in so doing, rendering their own form of human dissection and digestion - in many ways to absorb the victims power and intelligence, like the mythologized jungle flesh consumption.

That the workers cum victims were late with their delivery of rubber was of little consequence, there were multiple ways the indians could pay their "debts."

Even thoughtful compassionate colonists could not play outside their cultural cage

- I found his suggestion that the stories of the Indians would provide the best cultural correction intriguing, sensical.

I suppose that is what the healing narratives are about.

Having only just breached them, I am struck by the similarities of the half-truth characterizations of the locus of transformation, the liminal power space, liminal between life and death, nature and culture, jungle and civilized savagery, in both terror and healing.

I blame my own incoherence on my illness, besides an excuse is illuminating to me that space today.

over spring break, I recieved two e-mails from a scorpio in Texas warning me to stay away from drugs. She had read over my chart and intuited coming indulgences could lead to trouble.

soon thereafter, her courier words glowing in my memory, I accepted a joint passed by a dear friend in the bright California sunshine. I had decided not to do drugs, so I took only a noncommital half-puff,

and found myself immediately with a full cold viral infection
today, a week and some later, I am weak, achy, constantly tired, feeling fifty years added burden in my ribs and between my temples.

at that moment of ingestion, her suggestion of drug-disaster played strongly, active remembered, so I let in her spirit sorcery? I am inclined to locate the fault not on her, any malicious manipulation, but she seems a benevolent, or only observer. Healer, healed, sorcery - terror, warning, consequences play

The book was pretty dense, sometimes I would read a chunk of stuff, reach his resolution and feel as thought the point was obvious. I think, rather, that I reciprocated not the energy required for a richer reading.

out to dinner with Dan Levy, he witnessed the book and said it is an exciting powerful challenge.

Taussig's wit intermingled the severed limbs, maggot infested wounds
my peak of shock was reading of prisoners left to starve consuming the maggots growing in their own lash-trails.

for them, everyday reality,

for the europeans, savagery made possible by fables of cannibalism - so torture the appropriate salve

for me, my liminal space opened up by the notion that a scorpio in texas could see my soul through the wires and make an advisory prediction
and actually knowing at that moment of joint-smoke that I was tempting her fate, denying her power
and suffering accordingly.

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