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
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
dark. Do you think it's going to rain?'"
Lewis Carrol – Through the Looking Glass
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.”
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.
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
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
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.