Conflicting Essays in scholarship which have been the most engaging research job I have ever done. I have also added, over the years, queries about our "dated" geology with their "computerized" confirmations together with climate changes denied since 1963. The Ten-O'clock News have been telling us to change our clocks for DSL and back again BUT no one as noticed it has been changed, more than a few years ago, from March 31 and October 31, to a week or so earlier or even a week or so later.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Let There Be Light."

To investigate cultural mores and customs is not reviewing a wild untamed culture to be defined for posterity; it is a privilege given you to honor their lives and livelihood. Their livelihood depends on their surroundings and their ability to cope with the circumstances to which they were born.
To decide that their dances are "transformations" of their souls, Balderdash! Just as a ballet is not a "transformation,"  only a dance of beauty to illustrate a story. So what if a culture being studied does not use tulle and sparkles. Gee Whiz! 
Their dances are supposed to be wild, uncouth performances with no preparation, even though the same patterns are repeated year after year. But that person has not learned the education system of the culture. 
High pitched songs of a Chinese Opera singer are specifically geared to busy families, who mill about the stage, shushing their children, discussing a new business proposition, or just, in general, chit-chating among friends. 
The audience knows the opera since it is usually an ancient story, and when they hear the part of the song they are interested in, they listen intently, because they may have forgotten the importance of that phase of the opera.
The singer is well aware of his audience and their needs. His song is not forced, but insistent, so people who are listening for a particular segment, know instantly when it is being presented. The singer on the other hand, knows the audience and knows when the ripple of conversation has been interrupted, by whom and when. 
In Hawaii, the old hula dances had sexual implications. The dancer already knew who she was dancing for, the preferred partner already knew he was the selected one, and all other men in the group knew they were not invited to the couple's "party."
The shaman of the northlands, with everyone wrapped warmly in furs, is part psychiatrist, part father-confessor, and part story teller. If his audience contains a disbeliever, he and the audience are in on the presentation, knowing that it will be a semi-hypnotic event, but it will have a very amusing reaction from the disbeliever. 
A disbeliever is conned into thinking he saw something that he could never have seen in the depths of the snow and ice that surround the campsite. The regular audience is expecting great fun, and the disbeliever either believes or never again ridicules the shaman or the culture. 
In Africa it is the same. a disbeliever is suddenly convinced their perception is a true one and they, in awe, never again question how it was done.
     In both cultures the story-teller/shaman relates the tales of bravery or the arrival of a male child into manhood. The psychiatrist and the confessor elements cleanse souls, those who did not honor a taboo or other major or minor peccadillos of the group.  
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Modern men create the same mesmerizing events, but they are called hypnotists but their results are not "transformations," just entertainment. Even on the high seas, the impersonator of Neptune, at the equatorial crossing, is not a "transformation." It is just play-acting for the new sailors on board, during a common crossing of the equator. It helps relieve the doldrums of a quiet sea, and it also is fun and game playing.
When Santa Claus comes to town, and Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer do their pitter-pattering dance [inferred] on the roof tops of children's homes, so fathers around the world take over the imagery to continue their children's beliefs, until such time they must learn Santa is an "idea," not a person.
So to call common history re-enactments in ANY culture, or to say the actors are being "transformed" into gods or animals is rude. 
As a friend of mine once said:  
"When God said, 'Let there be light'
Antonio Badu flipped the switch"

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