David Abrams – The Spell of the Sensuous

February 13, 2009

Yet we should not be so ready to interpret these dimensions as “supernatural,” nor to view them as realms entirely “internal” to the personal psyche of the practitioner.  For it is likely that the “innerworld” of our western psychological experience, like the supernatural heaven of christian belief, originates in the loss of our ancestral reciprocity with the animate earth.  When the animate powers that surround us are suddenly construed as having less significance than ourselves, when the generative earth is abruptly defined as a determinate object devoid of its own sensations and feelings, then the sense of a wild and multiplicitous otherness (in relation to which human existence has oriented itself) must migrate, either into a supersensory heaven beyond the natural world, or else into the human skull itself — the only allowable refuge in this world for what is ineffable and unfathomable.  p 10 

remain transparent 

Magic, then, in its perhaps most primordial sense, is the experience of existing in a world made up of multiple intelligences, the intuition that every form one perceives — from the swallow swooping overhead to the fly on a blade of grass, and indeed the blade of grass itself — is an experiencing form, an entity with its own predilections and sensations, albeit sensations that are very different from our own p 9-10

paint primordial senses and multiple intelligences.  every form painted is one experienced.  

painted directly or from memory of experience.

The traditional magician cultivates and ability to shift out of her common state of consciousness precisely in order to make contact with the other organic forms of sensitivity and awareness with which human existence is entwined.  only by temporarily shedding the accepted perceptual logic of his culture can the sorcerer hope to enter into relation with other species on their own terms; only by altering the common organization of this senses will he be able tot enter into a rapport with the multiple non-human sensibilities that animate the local landscape.  it is this, we might say, that defines a shaman: the ability to readily slip out of the perceptual boundaries that demarcate his or her particular culture — boundaries reinforced by social customs, taboos, and most importantly, the common speech or language — in order to make contact with, and learn from, the other powers in the land.  His magic is precisely this heightened receptivity to the meaningful solicitations — songs, cries, gestures — of the larger, more than-human field. p 9


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