Shades of Plato’s Cave…

…or a carbon copy?

The Shamans of the Chaco are not merely doctors, but also soothsayers capable of seeing into the future. Sometimes, when they do not feel certain of their knowledge, they go consult the Sun, who is an omniscient being. But the Sun, preferring not to be bothered, has placed a series of very difficult obstacles along the route leading to his abode. That is why only the best shamans, the most cunning and courageous, manage to stand the tests; then the Sun agrees to extinguish its rays and inform those who come before him. Expeditions of this kind, precisely because of their difficulty, are always collective and are always enacted under the direction of the most experienced sorcerers.

–Pierre Clastres, Society Without the State, p. 147.



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