Ove Kåven

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Jenny L. M. (2022-04-28 04:01:00)
She’s a real humdinger of a woman, your sister. Such freedom of expression. Remarkable. She’s also honoring femininity without resorting to polarized sloganism. How did she get there?

I grew up in an evangelical setting, and the fear of spirituality outside the boundaries of the reverend or pastor’s preprinted doctrines was frowned upon. Sorcerers was of the devil, and shamanism was just considered mumbo jumbo. To put it simple, does the Sámi society consider sorcerers more like loose cannons not as trustworthy as shamans?

Do you think the establishment of a greater Sámi self consciousness is contributing to the acceptance of shamanism? From what I’ve learned shamanism has gotten a way more significant position compared to a couple of decades ago. To my knowledge the church did draw a line in the sand between the Sámi religion and Christianity for a long period of time. As of late I have read somewhere that the representatives of the church has been expressing a desire to share religious symbols with the Sámi religion. I think the name of one of these representatives is Tore Johnsen. Would this sit well with the Sámi people? Or would it be regarded as the church consuming a religion which is considered a threat to the monotheistic church?

I think one has to realize the hazards before one can think of not turning one’s home into an inescapable death trap. The tearing down the earth process is scattered across the earth and the pieces are hard to put together. Yes, organizations and people are screaming from the top of their lungs about what damages we are inflicting on ourselves, but the powers that be are committed to their own rationality, which doesn’t necessarily take into consideration the well being of our planet. Their first commandment is usually themselves staying in office. Besides, they have to make sure other nations ain’t taking advantage of them.

So yeah, I agree with your sentiment, or at least this is how I interpret your thinking, that rational behavior is connected, and limited, to the place of origin, which, inevitably, leads to questioning the entire existence of a universal rationality of mankind. Therefore I agree with you that rationality may not exist, alternatively we have yet to uncover its existence.

I will also add that there might could be some sort of human rationality present, granted that people had full access to the consequences of the ill doings, and was capable to comprehend it. Unfortunately, in my lifetime I haven’t seen much indicating such capabilities in mankind, which further supports your conclusion.
My sister’s story is for her to tell, I think. If you want to know, ask her.

Hmm, I suppose. Shamans were professionals, the ones appointed by the gods to dedicate their lives in service to their community. Sorcery was more for crooks. You could use sorcery to cast spells on people you didn’t like, or use the threat of such spells to rob people (although ways to defend yourself against this were also passed down through the generations). On the other hand, “wise old women” often also knew a few sorcery tricks for curing various things, but this was typically a bit hush-hush, as far as I know. Also, a spell for instantly stopping bleeding has always been fairly common knowledge among the Sámi. So, clearly, that kind of knowledge was sometimes useful. But the ones you’d call if all else fails, were of course the professionals, the shamans.

It’s not my impression that “acceptance of shamanism” has much to do with Sámi consciousness, no. Certainly not for shamanism across the world in general. But even for Sámi shamans, not really. Spiritual-minded Sámi are often Christians who shun shamanism, and to the mainstream Sámi, modern shamanism is just a fringe phenomenon with a few weird and crazy people, not to be taken seriously. And those left who do accept shamanism, were always there, I think.

Rather, I would attribute any increased acceptance of shamanism in Western civilization simply to the general progress of human rights and secularization. With greater separation of church and state, combined with ongoing enforcement of the religious freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Church no longer has the power it once had to crack down on other belief systems. So fewer people now grow up with Christianity, but some still seek answers to spiritual questions, and now nobody has the right to stop them from exploring the supernatural phenomena and magic associated with things like spiritual healing, witchcraft, and shamanism. It’s probably not any more complicated than that.

When it comes to what the Sámi people will accept, I don’t think I can really speak for them, especially since I’ve never heard of this Johnsen. But I’d certainly hope the Sámi would resist any efforts to allow their symbols to be appropriated by the Church, if that’s what you mean. They didn’t fight persecution and oppression for hundreds of years for nothing.

We do have the power to “realize the hazards” with our planet. That’s not a problem. We’ve been able to realize such hazards for thousands of years, long before “modern” civilization. And we’re certainly able to do it with modern technology. So there’s no escaping the question: How is it that humanity as a whole can be so stupid?

And no, I don’t think we can “uncover” rationality somewhere. It simply cannot exist, not even in theory. (People can’t have “full access to the consequences” either, that’s the mathematical and physical impossibility I mentioned before. With science you can predict some consequences, sometimes quite accurately, but you can never predict everything.) Not even God (for any definition of God) is, or can be, rational. It’s logically and spiritually impossible. Even the Christian Bible denies God’s rationality. For example, according to Genesis, God created stuff in seven days because he saw “it was good”, which is an emotional assessment, not a rational one. He also gets irrationally angry from time to time (like in the story of Noah’s ark, where God even admits to making an error because he was upset). But Christians like him anyway, because he’s generally loving and forgiving (i.e. God is a person driven by emotions). Also in other religions and beliefs which worshop some god, people will generally hold that “God is love”, which again, is an emotion. So again, rationality, in the usual sense people use the word, simply does not exist. It’s just a persistent delusion. Oh, the folly of man, thinking we can be rational when not even God is.