[LIT index]  [^^Terms]  [^^TIME LINE]

Story Lab

Ritual: Story as place to heal/community

NOTE: Topics dealing with HEALING as such are in the following file: [Micro: Healing] Also: [Micro: Journey of the Shaman] 4. Ritual: The story performed. Ritual as a story "place" manifested. Place as the reference of ritual's story. Ritual as a story told in on multiple levels, and interactions: word, action, objects, movements, sounds, sights, smells, and atmosphere. Ritual's stories as a place to heal, communicate origins, and belong [to]. The Body of a story: the story we share, beg/middle/end. Biology in a place - an extrapolated metaphor. {Back to Story Lab "stuff"}

Ritual Place to Heal

(Communicate origins) Need to differentiate between the place of healing (communal) and the Navajoh idea of the healer coming to the afflicted person's hogan to heal them (house calls ;) Again this goes back to the idea of a hospital: You go there and (in the western tradtion) you give up all rights to heal yourself, you become a *thing* to be treated. In the same way (to a certain extent) this is the case with the role of the patient in being treated by the Navajoh healer. The difference would obviously be (as Riccio points out) -- the place where you are to be healed is imbued with tribal/communal attributes that the patient is aware of. Further in the case of the sacred temple, the patient is aware of the history of all of the tribe's people being brought here to be cured. This is similar to the idea that in a hospital there are (standing by) any number of technicians, doctors, etc who are there for the explicit purpose of healing the patient. Note too the similarities of the role of the Shaman and the Doctor -- the Shaman "calls up" various spirits/chants/drugs/rituals and the doctor can call up a variety of tests to be performed. We must also clearly distinguish between the "laying on of hands" that occurs with the shaman vs. that of the doctor. In the case of the Shaman, it is s/he that directly lays hands on (both as healer and as intercessor) he patient. In the impersonal hospital, the doctor may have ordered a blood test, urine test, etc, but in many cases the nurse will come in saying only "we need to get a blood sample". This tends to distance (and remove the "hands on" element) of the doctor as healer. Indeed, modern medicine usually has the doctor as "making the rounds", and for the most part the patient is abandoned and alone in the room (with only the "soothing" sounds and images of the TV as their companion). We can further see what effect it would be if the "modern" doctor were to perform their healing ritual more in line with that of the Shaman: They would be omni-present in the room, they (in the patient's presence) order the nurses and technicians around to do their bidding -- thus, in the same manner that the Shaman calls out specific spirits to do her/his bidding in mitigating the patient's condition. Then the doctor (when the results were reported back) would share directly (or not) the information with the patient. The point being, that the doctor's presence, and the way that the doctor behaved and changed behaviour in front of the patient would more directly show the patient that they were the sole focus of the doctor -- much more in keeping with the omni-presence of the witch doctor/shaman in their treating of the patient. I would dare-say that this *change* in the doctor patient relationship could only benefit the patient. (Again this goes back to the royal touch, etc). Refer to the following from Lynn Winter's "Our Judeo-Christian Heritage" for notes on the royal touch: As "doctor": [The Royal Touch] As "faith healing" [The Royal Touch]