Saturday, January 05, 2008

Shamanic singing and dancing before and after ordinary walking and talking?


Mysteries in prehistories! Maybe...

...before and after ourkind's dawnthe singing Neanderthalslived kinder, more playful, funner, even if almost unimaginably harsher hunter-gatherer lives than ours...for hundreds of thousands of years. Music, which developed before language, can cause boundary loss or facilitate joining in on purpose...and life enhancing voluntary cooperation. Yet without real language, according to Professor of Early Prehistory Steven Mithen, author of THE SINGING NEANDERTHALS, our esteemed Neanderthal 'cousins' couldn't intellectualize or integrate thoughts from their sophisticated but separate brain domains...or synthesize innovation and then invent radically new stuff.

New York Times reporter Nicholas Wade writes in BEFORE THE DAWN that longer than 50,000 years ago - and ages before what we nowadays call races appeared - language capabilities mutated into our human ancestors and genetically drifted widely as their clans migrated out of Africa and onward, causing modern human behaviors and cultures to begin in many locations and spread all over the planet...and grow farther and further apart. Along with nature's gift of words and stories came tricks and deception...and religions to keep cheaters and defectors in check. These two books have given me a lot to contemplate.

Like several others in this circle I do my best to avoid including aboriginal shamanic or shamanistic practices in my contemporary shamanizing. Speaking for myself only: I have not seen any convincing evidence of ancient or prehistoric tribal peoples leading much more harmonious, balanced, conscious, earth honoring lives than modern folks do. During historical eras it seems to me that peoples of Ourkind who have developed such ways and traditions have been wiped out easily or seem to be in constant danger of extinction. To me it looks as if through prehistory 'life sustaining' meant being fruitful and multiplying no matter what, then adapting and changing around all consequences. What if this is Nature's and Lifekind's way and (mostly) still Ourkind's way?

Update inserted January 7: What way? I mean to ask if competition just as much as cooperation, or even the two in dynamic hair-trigger tension, might be key to Ourkind's nature, surviving, living better, moving forward, and shapeshifting. But I tend to lean and fall towards scientific optimism in my shamanic foolishness.

Through my shamanic journeying and dreaming around these topics I have been shown many hints and samples of how brutal prehistoric and hunter-gatherer life really was for our own human ancestors and our extinct human cousins, and my recent scientific reading is confirming the ordinary reality validity of those pictures so far. Of course I hope to keep learning more and more and deepening my understanding all the way around and avoid setting my opinions in stone.

Blessings and Happiest New Year
To You, One and All!
~ Tom M.

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