Good evening hubsquad, I'll be hosting your Occasional 'Give Me A Quote From Something You've Been Reading Lately' thread. Kicking things off, I have a quote from one of my favorite medical anthropologists, Carol Laderman, from her book Taming the Wind of Desire: Psychology, Medicine and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance
Shamans, by the very nature of their profession, must have the means of strengthening their bodily defenses, particularly when going into trance. They mobilize their inner resources, personified as the Four Sultans, the Four Heroes, the Four Guardians, and the Four Nobles. To 'Guard from above and become a shelter, guard from below and become a foundation, Guard from before and become a crown, guard from behind and become a palisade.' They call upon their familiar spirits to 'guard the inner gates closely, and strengthen the outer gates.' Shamans who omit these basic protections may put their lives in jeopardy, and indeed several deaths, even in contemporary settings are attributed to a lazy Shaman.
No tags this week, everybody just post whatever you got.
He had two lives: one, open, seen n known by all who cared to know, full of relative truth and of relative falsehood, exactly like the lives of his friends and acquaintances; and another life running its course in secret. And through some strange, perhaps accidental, conjunction of circumstances, everything that was essential, of interest and of value to him, everything that made the kernel of his life, was hidden from other people; and all that was false in him, the sheath in which he hid himself to conceal the truth … all that was open. And he judged of others by himself, not believing in what he saw, and always believing that every man had his real, most interesting life under the cover of secrecy and under the cover of night. All personal life rested on secrecy, and possibly it was partly on that account that civilized man was so nervously anxious that personal privacy should be respected.
Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Dog