Publication 2492

Gonzalez J. C. (2014) Traditional shamanism as embodied expertise on sense and non-sense. In: Cappuccio M. & Froese T. (eds.) Enactive cognition at the edge of sense-making: Making sense of non-sense. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills: 266–284.
This chapter endeavors to show that there are ancient and embodied practices in many traditional societies whose shamanic expertise includes taming and transforming non-sense into meaningful experience for the individual and collective welfare. First, the notions of embodiment, sensemaking, experience, and meaning are introduced and elaborated on in the context of philosophy and cognitive science. Then the concept of non-sense is analyzed by way of distinguishing four senses for it. Next is presented the case of traditional Huichol shamanism, which employs the consciousness-modifier peyote plant in its rituals, where non-sense is manifest sometimes. Last, it is argued that the shamanic expertise on sense and non-sense can be interpreted as a traditional wisdom and practice that fosters the mental health of the individual and his community.
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