Goodman, Felicitas

   Anthropologist who claimed that various prehistoric remains and the imagery of certain indigenous artistic traditions point toward specific stances or “postures” that can automatically induce a trance. Ethnographic instances include “the bear posture,” based on a carving of a shaman and a bear spirit from North America’s Pacific Northwest. By adopting the pose of the shaman, according to Goodman, any human can potentially enter an altered state of consciousness. One prehistoric example is the cave art of the so-called wounded man depicted in the shaft scene of the famous cave of Lascaux in the Dordogne, France: Goodman suggests that if we take the bird-headed stick and bison as upright, the wounded man is positioned at a 37-degree angle, and that by achieving this angle (with some form of support), trance can be induced. In Where the Spirits Ride the Wind: Trance Journeys and Other Ecstatic Experiences (1990), Goodman provides numerous examples of these trance postures, as well as evidence for the efficacy of the postures in altering consciousness.
   From the perspective of rock art research, the argument regarding the “wounded man” marks a good example of how such imagery is inappropriately interpreted with the Modern, 18th-century definition of art. Not only is there no reliable reason to compare cave paintings with two-dimensional canvases; there is also nothing to suggest where “up” is in the paintings—they are not to be viewed as “framed” or subject to modern Western aesthetic rules. Certainly there are demonstrable connections between the postures some shamans assume and altered consciousness (San shamans in Southern Africa, for example), but the assumption that simply sitting as an “African diviner” or reclining at a 37-degree angle automatically induces a trance is debatable.
   In the vein of core shamanism and transpersonal psychology, Goodman’s argument depends on an acultural and monolithic shamanism and the decontextualizing and universalizing of prehistoric and indigenous shamanisms for Western consumption. In 1978 Goodman founded the Cuyamungue Institute in Ohio to “preserve the ancient tradition of ritual body postures as a doorway to the realm of spirit and non-ordinary consciousness known as Alternate Reality,” and the institute continues this work today.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Felicitas Goodman — Felicitas D. Goodman (geb. Daniels, * 30. Januar 1914 in Budapest/Ungarn; † 30. März 2005 in Columbus (Ohio), USA). Kulturanthropologin, Tranceforscherin und Schriftstellerin. Sie lehrte bis 1978 an der Denison University, Columbus, Ohio, 1979… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Felicitas Goodman — Felicitas D. Goodman (1914 2005) Hungarian linguist and anthropologist. She was a highly regarded expert in linguistics and anthropology and researched and explored ritual body postures for many years. She studied the phenomenon of speaking in… …   Wikipedia

  • Goodman (surname) — Goodman is a surname, formerly a polite term of address, used where Mister (Mr.) would be used today. Compare Goodwife. It may refer to:* Al Goodman, American conductor and composer * Alan Goodman, designer for MTV * Albert Goodman, British… …   Wikipedia

  • Goodman — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Amy Goodman (* 1957), US amerikanische Autorin Andrew Goodman (1943–1964), US amerikanischer Bürgerrechtler Anna Goodman (* 1986), kanadische Skirennläuferin Benny Goodman (1909–1986), US amerikanischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Glossolalia — is commonly called speaking in tongues . For other uses of speaking in tongues , see Speaking in Tongues (disambiguation).: Tongues redirects here. For the body part, see Tongue, for other uses, see Tongue (disambiguation). Glossolalia or… …   Wikipedia

  • Liste der Biografien/Goo — Biografien: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anneliese Michel — Infobox Person name = Anneliese Michel image size = caption = birth date = birth date|1952|9|21 birth place = Leiblfing, Bavaria, Germany death date = dda|1976|7|1|1952|9|2 death place = Klingenberg am Main, Bavaria, Germany death cause =… …   Wikipedia

  • Bibliography —    As the scope of the dictionary entries and extent of this bibliography make clear, there is a huge range of literature on shamans, from introductory works, general discussions on such topics as definition, and culture specific ethnographic… …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

  • Prayer — For other uses, see Prayer (disambiguation). Mary Magdalene by Ary Scheffer (1795–1858). Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or …   Wikipedia

  • Trance — denotes a variety of processes, techniques, modalities and states of mind, awareness and consciousness. Trance states may occur involuntarily and unbidden.The term trance may be associated with meditation, magic, flow, and prayer. It may also be… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.