Our ancestors sought answers by journeying far and wide, seeking spiritual leaders for guidance and answers to life’s most pressing issues. Many times, they sacrificed their lives in order to listen to the wise counsel of the healer, the devoted shaman. The shaman was the median between the gods and the people. He would summon spirits through deep contemplation and rituals, receiving divine life saving knowledge from beyond. The shaman wore clothing that distinctly separated himself from the community, wore specific painting designs on his face, chanted freely towards the spirits in language unknown to the laymen, and danced in a convulsive like fashion. Among those that sought out the shaman was a universal understanding that this process was the way of attaining help, direction, and insight into specific issues. This understanding was ingrained in those that came before us and is a part of our present day make-up. The chanting shaman is a representation of hope, renewal, and rebirth. The outcome of seeking these “medicine men” was always one of healing, or at least a consolation of some kind.
Fast forward present day, the most influential form of entertainment is heavily populated with shaman-like artist drawing in millions of young men and women, who as many of us, are seeking genuine and concise answers to life’s most essential questions. The “medicine man” effect lures in crowds through senseless chants, tattooed faces, belligerent dances, strange smoke, lanky bare chested men receiving their share of the gold from their performance-and those eager to find answers, while entertained- come empty and leave empty.
By far, this art form is extremely damaging to the psyche because it taps into the human drive of seeking truth and direction. While we have moved away from the primitive days of climbing mountains for divine wisdom to climbing stages at an attempt for the same, the result of the latter creates psychological and social decay. The messages we wholeheartedly yearn have been completely distorted into those that promote violence, hedonism, drug use, promiscuity, addiction, objectification of women, the breakdown of family and community, and the devaluation of morality. We must all stop to ask ourselves what effect the shift from “knowledge from above” to “f*** b******, get money” has on our youth.
There is no doubt that such senseless music and artists should be banned from our society. More importantly though, and more effectively, it would benefit the individual and society to carefully filter content that resembles anything that promotes social garbage and deceptively disguises itself in the images of the “wise old men” of the past.