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Registered Shaman

Shamans with priviledges and disadvantages
  (+17, -3)(+17, -3)
(+17, -3)
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Often creative people have secretively taken drugs and have been persecuted for it. The aim of this idea is to allow poets, creatives and actual shamans to publicly qualify to take mind-altering substances but to ensure (partially for reasons of public safety) that is not too widespread.

Someone would register as a Shaman and thus be except from alcohol and drugs tests with the proviso that a Registered Shaman would automatically fail them. Therefore they would be banned from driving, operating heavy machinery and be legally sacked from jobs where being found to have taken drugs is a disciplinary matter. It is not necessarily a religious statement although actual shaman need to reach altered states via various means.

However they can legally take whatever personal steps they want to change their own consciousness as long it does not break other laws such as smoking in public or causing other people to become poisoned or drugged.

This idea is inspired by the Indian concept of self-declared holy men who can legally smoke cannabis and the trickster status from Greg Stafford's Glorantha. Potential examples of Shamans are Andy Warhol, Lord Byron and Aldhous Huxely (The Gates of Perception).

I thought of this while writing an annotation to the Mega-Ganga idea about the effects of chocolate.

Aristotle, Mar 24 2001

(?) Anthropological Resources on the Web http://lucy.ukc.ac.uk/afaq.html
An apparently sensible array of resources about anthropology. [Aristotle, Mar 24 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) What [LoriZ] may remember. http://www.geocitie...Vines/2146/liss.htm
[angel, Mar 24 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

...or it may have been this. http://www.urbanshaman.org/
[angel, Mar 24 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Rods Tiger, I guess I'd be the one or one of the two left out.
beauxeault, Mar 24 2001

       I'd also suggest that, if you wish to avoid justifiable defense of a religion by an adherent, it's advisable to know what the faith actually teaches before demeaning it.
beauxeault, Mar 24 2001

       Rods Tiger, if one, for the rest of one's life, could only *either* take drugs *or* drive (as Aristotle proposes), the masses that would "mindslavishly queue" for both might have to finally make a singe decision in their lives.
jutta, Mar 24 2001

       In fact I would treat being a Registered Shaman as accepting a voluntary criminal record entry. It is a matter of record that they are one - however the fact that they are out in the open, have a legal status and may be able to point to their contribution to society would be in their favour.   

       Shamanism is an anthropological term for people who reach the unseen world as intermediaries for their people, sometimes interacting their myths directly, via altered states. There is no standard religious beliefs for it, as it is instead a cross-cultural phenomena. I'm using the term to apply across the spectrum of secular and religious activities for people who use altered states. You don't always needs drugs for this, of course. Some artists used to starve themselves to seek the delerium that hunger can bring.   

       In many ways some Registered Shaman would offer a warning against the indescriminate use of drugs. In fact taking drugs like LSD can be a quick route to insanity for a lot people, with Syd Barret of Pink Floyd being a prime example.
Aristotle, Mar 25 2001

       I remember seeing an ad for a mail order Urban Shaman training course in a magazine back around 1991 or 1992.
LoriZ, Jul 06 2001

       Shamanism itself is a practise that people should be trained in - either to teach people to handle various altered mental states and/or to deal with the religious/supernatural elements. However the field has included a whole number of outrageous frauds, of course, and people should brush up on their anthropology, comparative religion and pyschology before such a course and be sure that both you and teacher want to do the course for the right reasons.   

       Angel's first link is to "classic new age" shamanism, which involves people in a spirit world that in this case appears to be very Christianised. Note the use of drums and dance, which is quite a common feature.
Aristotle, Jul 06 2001

       [Meph]: I think the point is that you simply declare yourself to be a shaman and are thus exempt from drug-related arrest. The bit about actually *being* a shaman seems to be irrelevant. I may have misunderstood [Aristotle]'s intention.
angel, Jul 06 2001

       [angel] has understood the idea.   

       Being a Registered Shaman is about self-registration and the suggested legal implications. Whether a Registered Shaman is actually an intitiated shaman (which can involve bizarre and dangerous rituals, but not always) is besides the point. The registered person is allowed to do the things a shaman should be able to do while suffering from automatically failing drug tests.   

       It's all done through the regular channels - registration, creation of a criminal record and being banned from activities that require someone to be sober, etc. No board of wisemen are involved in the whole process.   

       However if someone talks about actual shaman classes I have to give the health warning, [Ascofi], for the sake of any kids who might be reading.
Aristotle, Jul 06 2001

       -doors- of perception, the -gates- of heaven and hell. :P   

       good idea, gets my vote.
user24, Feb 22 2004

       Of course, there's still the matter of which drugs you could take, and where you could get them; maybe what you really want is just a prescription?
nprnncbl, Feb 16 2005

       Change the name to Registered Loosers and leave the shamans out of it. Or be a responsible citizen and vote for legalisation.
zeno, Feb 16 2005

       interesting that in aristotle's idea, the way i've understood it, the definition of looser might be different. don't we have the most to learn from those who certifiably have made the mistakes? is this not a service to society, and therefore a just and noble cause? such a cause could be looked upon no differently than on heros, actually the sacrifice of what today might be considered winning, by creating a slightly more sympathetic reality of tommorow.   

       I remain neutral, though, because i'm not completely sure that having the arbitrary change of such fundamental norms to the society we currently know, should be taken lightly, but i don't see them as inherently bad either. it's another seemingly good way to put more thought behind evolutionn.
Sp@rkp|ug, Feb 22 2005


       Note sure I'd want to be an Urban Shaman, as that implies a particular area of expertise. Wouldn't want that.
moomintroll, Feb 22 2005

       BTW, scientology (or however you spell that) is allowed to make LSD and distribute it amongst their members in USA. I'v held a sample in my hand. They are just not allowed to give it to non-members. So maybe there are more possibilties allready in existing law.
zeno, Feb 23 2005

       It's always inescapable that all "altered state" phenomema occur only in the "mind" of the altered state participant. At the most intense, mind-numbing, and soul-wrenching moment of ecstatic euphoria and theophany a shaman can experience, an unbiased observer- or a video camera - would observer exactly... nothing. Strange tales of supernatural goings-on are often heard - from the severly mentally disturbed. Why one would seek such experience requires less of a discussion and more of a diagnosis.
thathatisis, Sep 22 2007

       // BTW, scientology (or however you spell that) is allowed to make LSD and distribute it amongst their members in USA. I've held a sample in my hand.   

       Given what we know about the public radical anti-drug stance of Scientology, that strikes me as very unlikely to be true. I mean, you probably held LSD in your hand, but I'm not buying the story about it being legally distributed.
jutta, Sep 22 2007

       This seems like a sensible idea - with the exception that there may be a number of people for whom shamanism might seem like a good idea at the time, but who may find the not driving, inability to work, and thus, difficulty in buying food or shelter wearing after a period of time - in which case, there ought to be a pathway by which one can de-register at some time - or, a place where all the shamans can go where all of those things aren't quite so detrimental.
zen_tom, Apr 25 2009

       A drinking + tripping licence is a great idea. Licences are split into substances / categories, and Licence Test involves heavy drinking with checks for aggression and harmful behaviour; Just as with a driving licence, the drug licence gets revoked after major infractions, or is temporarily sacked for minor infractions.
loonquawl, Apr 25 2009

       I guess that there would be a Registered Rehab for Registered Shamans that would provide a regulated route for those seeking de-registration.
Aristotle, Apr 25 2009


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