Not sure when. Could be tomorrow, could be a month. I’ve been acting in my capacity as the family shaman.
What do shamans do? They are called upon to deal with exceptional situations – situations where there is no traditional guidance, or where the traditional guidance has been tried and found to be ineffective. Such situations could include some types of illness, when and where to move for better hunting, what to do about threats from predators or other tribes, ‘legal’ judgement in difficult cases – many types of advice and guidance, interpretation and prophecy.
The shaman is probably an Endogenous personality; he embodies that power which comes from high ability combined with high creativity, and it is this which enables him to serve a crucial social function in certain rare but important situations. Most of the time he is not wanted, scary, chaotic, nasty, a nuisance, a parasite – but there are situations when he is needed. And it is for these situations that the shaman is protected by the rest of the tribe.
This, then, is the same kind of power the genius has: the shaman can be considered an example of the ‘local genius’.
My personal opinion is that it’s the job of a shaman to be unbound by taboo. When the pretense becomes pathological, it’s necessary to for a particular sort of Omega male to push a solution through. Normally, people will resist taboo-breaking because the conceit is worth more to them than an Omega’s ridiculous, fringe opinions, but there comes a time when everybody knows the conceit must be discarded and yet no respectable person can do it (kind of like how moderates will resist reasonable nationalists then fall in behind scary, unreasonable ultra-nationalists). That’s when you bring in the crazy guy who can’t be blamed for saying crazy things (that’s just the way he is), and the token resistance to his crazy ideas curiously fall away to allow the solution everybody more or less knows needs to be implemented.
The fact that I was called in to help, rather than sticking my nose in, should suffice to tell you how interesting things have gotten. Anyway, it’s been a hell of a week and I can’t tell when the new normal will set in, or what the new routine will look like. Probably it will at least include more Blockheads soon, I really enjoy writing those.
Since I’m on the subject, I think the secondary problem with the West, after secularism, is that our priest caste (“politicians” in Overwatch theory) identify as taboo-breaking shamans while simultaneously persecuting the real deal (as argued by Charlton in the link). A priest’s job, Biblically speaking, is to enforce religious rules and restrictions, not deconstruct them. They are meant to be high SSMV pillars of the community, with wives and families in good order, not eccentric monks whose institutions cynically appeal to the pagan hieros gamos heresy to pretend they aren’t sexual rejects. So we basically have a bunch of status strivers running around pretending to be Diogenes while living in mansions, neglecting their noblesse oblige, with bad discernment driving out good. It makes sense though- if you want the material perks of taboo-enforcing authority without the accountability drawbacks of leadership, what better way than to pretend you’re Diogenes? Sure, you live in the Xanadu mansion you built for your tomb, but you don’t care about wealth because you’re above it all and these status symbols just naturally happened because good things come to good people.
I wonder if Lazarus can be bothered to dip his finger in water and touch it to the tongue of such a rotten priest as he burns in Hell. They really are quite nasty people tbh, something about abnegating a holy duty turns them vindictive.