Professor Chernosvitov Eugene Vasilyevich

Head of the department, consulting psychiatrist, psychotherapist, founder of SOCIAL MEDICINE and SOCIAL JURISPRUDENCE in Russia


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Churinga – a key to propaedeutics of altered states of consciousness of ordinary life and juridical psychology.

Samoylova E.A. and Chernosvitov E.V.

 Churinga – a totem of Australian Aborigines and a brand name of modern T-Shirt traders. We speak only about a totem here.

 "Here she checked herself in some alarm,

at hearing something that sounded to her like

the puffing of a large steam-engine in the wood near them,
though she feared it was more likely to be a wild beast.
'Are there any lions or tigers about here?' she asked timidly.

  'It's only the Red King snoring,' said Tweedledee.

  'Come and look at him!' the brothers cried, and they each took
one of Alice's hands, and led her up to where the King was sleeping.

  'Isn't he a LOVELY sight?' said Tweedledum.

  Alice couldn't say honestly that he was.  He had a tall red
night-cap on, with a tassel, and he was lying crumpled up into a
sort of untidy heap, and snoring loud--'fit to snore his head
off!' as Tweedledum remarked.

  'I'm afraid he'll catch cold with lying on the damp grass,'
said Alice, who was a very thoughtful little girl.

  'He's dreaming now,' said Tweedledee:  'and what do you think
he's dreaming about?'

  Alice said 'Nobody can guess that.'

  'Why, about YOU!' Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands
triumphantly.  'And if he left off dreaming about you, where do
you suppose you'd be?'

  'Where I am now, of course,' said Alice.

  'Not you!' Tweedledee retorted contemptuously.  'You'd be
nowhere.  Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream!'

  'If that there King was to wake,' added Tweedledum, 'you'd go
out--bang!--just like a candle!'

  'I shouldn't!' Alice exclaimed indignantly.  'Besides, if I'M
only a sort of thing in his dream, what are YOU, I should like to

  'Ditto' said Tweedledum.

  'Ditto, ditto' cried Tweedledee.

  He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn't help saying, 'Hush!
You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise.'

  'Well, it no use YOUR talking about waking him,' said
Tweedledum, 'when you're only one of the things in his dream.
You know very well you're not real.'

  'I AM real!' said Alice and began to cry.

  'You won't make yourself a bit realler by crying,' Tweedledee
remarked:  'there's nothing to cry about.'

  'If I wasn't real,' Alice said--half-laughing through her
tears, it all seemed so ridiculous--'I shouldn't be able to

  'I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?'  Tweedledum
interrupted in a tone of great contempt.

  'I know they're talking nonsense,' Alice thought to herself:
'and it's foolish to cry about it.'  So she brushed away her
tears, and went on as cheerfully as she could.  'At any rate I'd
better be getting out of the wood, for really it's coming on very
Do you think it's going to rain?'"

Lewis Carrol – Through the Looking Glass

      “Now, Kitty, let's consider who it was that dreamed it all.This is a serious question, my dear, and you should NOT go on licking your paw like that--as if Dinah hadn't washed you this morning!  You see, Kitty, it MUST have been either me or the Red King.  He was part of my dream, of course - but then I was part of his dream, too!  WAS it the Red King, Kitty?” The same was asked by Lermontov forty tears before Carrol: “In noon's heat, in a dale of Dagestan With lead inside my breast, stirless I lay; The deep wound still smoked on; my blood Kept trickling drop by drop away. On the dale's sand alone I lay. The cliffs Crowded around in ledges steep, And the sun scorched their tawny tops And scorched me - but I slept death's sleep. And in a dream I saw an evening feast That in my native land with bright lights shone; Among young women crowned with flowers, A merry talk concerning me went on. But in the merry talk not joining, One of them sat there lost in thought, And in a melancholy dream Her young soul was immersed - God knows by what. And of a dale in Dagestan she dreamt; In that dale lay the corpse of one she knew; Within his breast a smoking wound shewed black, And blood coursed in a stream that colder grew.”

    This Lermontov-Carrol puzzle contains a clue to understanding Australian Aborigines world interpretation - a unique system of views that should be comprehended owing to extremely relevant contemporary social existence phenomena that have global value.

   The point is that long-term attempts of application of traditional, scientific and esoteric psychological methods turned out to be ineffective. Mainly we talk about unmotivated murder, modern “kamikaze” (where the ethnic factor is less and less appreciable), modern sects and numerous communities of rather educated and responsible people collected by “messiahs” (like Grigory Grobovoy), prisoners of apartments and left-over consumers (and other sociopaths), increasing in numbers and prosperity of perversities (not only sexual), legitimatized by civilized societies; unmotivated suicides, mutilations, increasingly more precisely revealing of the tendency to self-destruction, not only in the field of individual consciousness, but in public consciousness too. Common drug and many other (game, puzzle, “harypotter”) addictions; crowds of deviant and delinquent persons forming some kind of “shady army”.

   The problem is visible with unaided eye: we live in the world of people whose behavior is deviant and delinquent. On the one hand, from the point of view of general and judicial psychopathology they are sane. On the other hand, from the point of view of general and judicial psychology their behavior is incomprehensible (first of all because of being unmotivated). The society has generated some kind of “collective mutant” – a subject being in a constant state of inexplicable sleep-walking. Alternative (to normal) consciousness that existentialists (though a bit later Leo Shestov announced the approaching of “the triumph of nonsense”) and humanistic psychologists were talking about in the second half of previous century, had become an ordinary, mass and varied social phenomenon: “And I am a dream that somebobody else is dreaming about somewhere aside!” (M.M. Dostoevsky).

   Who, indeed, is dreaming about whom: we, people, (whose behavior is motivated and clear) about this “collective mutant”, or he about us?

   So, how is churinga, a totem of Australian Aborigines that preserves all-generating dream, connected with all of that? Will it help us to understand the incomprehensible and maybe to protect us from… the Universal Disaster? (If we take into consideration the kind of dreaming that permitted the Ancestors to admit the trade of sacred relics printed on American T-Shirts?

   Dreaming is the main psychological conception of Australian Aborigines (something like “intelligent cosmos” of  Stanislav Lem). A day-dreaming (hypnosis?). This concept has a single meaning only in English language. Among Aborigines it has many meanings. For example, for the people of Pitjantjatjara tribe it is Tjukurpa – a day-dreaming state in conjunction with absolute motion inactivity. For the people of Arrernte it is Aldjerinya - a day-dreaming state accompanied by pronounced motion activity. For the people of Adnyamathanha it is Nguthuna – evidently hypnotic state with disappearing bounds of a dream and reality.

   Probably therefore people of the first mentioned tribe while celebrating the Dreamtime – time when everything had been created: stones, water, fire, air, grass, trees, insects, birds, animals and human, nevertheless it is always with us – prefer to decorate themselves and the surroundings at sacral places with pictures left by their ancestors, to move slightly (their dancing is slow and monotonous along with their songs and sounds of didgeridoo – a pipe made from a piece of tree which entrails are eaten away by green ants.

   On the contrary, people of the second mentioned tribe are utterly active when dancing. They sing and scream very loudly and their pipes are thickest and longest among the others.

   People of the third mentioned tribe behave differently during the holiday. One of them (an inducer, the first one who has a sensation of the Dreamtime celebration beginning) strikes the keynote. The others submit to his spirit (by no means his will; like true recipients of a hypnotic session). Hypnosis as method of psychotherapeutic influence on an individual, a group (by V.M. Bekhterev, Gabriel Tard and Gustave Le Bon) appeared in the guise of an animal magnetism (despite on public opinion, animals defy the hypnotic influence because of lack of consciousness; it is possible to induce resembling states similar to catalepsy with them) in the second half of nineteenth century. Australian aborigines, the only nation on the Earth who had been producing tools and paints for rock drawings about 55 thousand years ago, hit upon an idea that everything on our planet, including humanity, had been created under the influence of hypnosis! And it is not important, who was the hypnotist – The Great Iridescent Snake or The Ocean of Spirit. Since the instant of creation that recurs again and again, everybody and everything is being under hypnosis. Consequently, everything is in a rapport (a link between a hypnotist and a hypnotized person) with each other and with The Creator. In a rapport it is impossible to draw a distinction: 1) between a dream and reality; 2) between an inducer and recipient status (to solve the Lermontov-Carrol puzzle).

   It would be trite to say that exactly hypnosis itself is an altered state of consciousness and to draw a conclusion that contemporary social mutants are the subjects who are being hypnotized.

Quite the contrary, for the contemporary psychopathology (general and judicious) it is very useful to negotiate this delusion. The psychology of Australian Aborigines demonstrates the utmost narrowness of the scientific concept of hypnosis. Oneiroid psychosis, delirium and day-dreaming (the first two are from general psychopathology and the third is from boundary psychology) are different in the spirituality of Australian Aborigines are completely different, but common states of consciousness. Maybe the mentality of an Australian aborigine is far more complicated than the mentality of contemporary historical human. The altered states on consciousness for it are nothing but a part of a soul. Probably the humanity had lost a quite large part of spirituality (we mean not ethic and aesthetic, but only psychological categories). By the way, it is absolutely incomprehensible to an Australian aborigine what “unconscious” and “irrational” are. For sure, he would be terrified if he had been told that his soul is guided by Oedipus complex… In contrast to us, an Australian aborigine is absolutely comprehensible and clear for himself and for the others living in the same spiritual space.

   And a contemporary collective mutant in any of his varieties is absolutely incomprehensible neither from a standpoint of psychopathology, nor from a standpoint of the common sense psychology. A psychological restoration a la Mikhail Mikhailovich Gerasimov is needed. Or a psychoorthopedy for contemporary civilized and cultured human to open the rudiments of altered consciousness, as the outstanding Russian psychotherapist V.E. Rojnov said. Francis Galton was right: it is impossible to understand a skeleton of the human by studying a skeleton of the monkey. But it is possible to understand a skeleton of the monkey by understanding a skeleton of the human. A “skeleton” of the collective mutant is an unexpected unit between a human and a monkey. And, speaking strictly, this is not a social darwinism. It is a hystorical materialism.

   In summary we adduce some “dreaming” of Australian Aborigines world view to illustrate the main aspects of preliminary study of altered states of consciousness:

  We cannot own the land. The land owns us. The land is our spirituality. The land gives us our selves. Owing to the Earth we know and we learn ourselves. There is no barriers between people. Only farms where cattle is held are surrounded by fences. The Elders never left us. We constantly see their latest tracks on the soil. The paths they use never get blocked. There are sacred places for everyone on the Earth: where the spirit enters you and where it leaves. The human can be over the waves of the Ocean of Sprit and under them like a dolphin. A human never leaves the labyrinth of his elders. The cleanest water is between two waterfalls. Every human is a creator: of himself, of his descendants and his elders. The happiness is when you walk in the labyrinth with your eyes closed because of hearing your elders’ and descendants’ calls (this state can be described with “walkabout” word). Dancing, songs and pictures stop the time, combining into one the past, the present and the future. The spirit enters the foetus as soon as pregnant woman enters the sacred place. Sometimes the spirit submerges into the earth stratum and dreams.

  Hine-titama had been unaware of her father's identity, and when she found he was the Tane she thought was her husband, she was overwhelmed with shame. She left the world of light, Te Ao, and moved to Te Po, the world below, where she became known as Hinenui-te-Po ('Great Hine the Night').

   The Rainbow Serpent (Snake) did the Great Flood to separate Australia with other lands for the purpose of preserving everything in its primeval condition. For that he is called Ur-Lungur which means “the rescuer”. Nakaa is the first judge of Australian people. Those days men and women settled separately and each sex had his own tree. But one day Nakaa left. Men broke his precept and united with women. And after that their hair began to turn grey. When Nakaa returned and saw what happened, he drove them away but allowed to take one tree with them. Men chose the tree of women which personified death. Nakaa plucked off the leaves from it and sprinkled over them. Since then illnesses and death entered the world.

   Boomerang is a sacred weapon, a totem. People of Bingbinga tribe (Northern Australia) think that it had been given to them by a sister of the Rainbow Serpent, Bobby Bobby snake. She made it from her rib. All rock paintings are annually renown on the eve of rain season. They are also duplicated on sand and trees.


© Chernosvitov E.V., 2007

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