Daniel clearly knows a
lot about drugs, but less about spirituality, which is a shame, as I wish he
could have told us more about one particular meeting, in Ecuador, with
shaman Don Esteban.
He had been a shaman
in his youth, but when the missionaries arrived he assumed that Christianity
had greater power. He abandoned his traditional spiritual culture and became
a Christian, working with the missionaries. They told him not to take
ayahuasca [drug], so he didn’t. But as time went on, he realized that, as a
Christian, he was no longer able to heal anybody. A nephew of his died, and
he knew that with ayahuasca he would have been able to heal him. He decided
that Christianity didn’t have all the answers and he returned, after a
thirty-year hiatus, to ayahuasca.
I personally doubt
that Don Esteban “assumed” that Christianity had greater power. Rather, he
My wife is Korean, and
before our marriage several times consulted a shaman about her future.
According to her, the shamans say they cannot do their work if a devout
Christian is present, as Christians possess a spiritual power much greater
than their own.
When she was 24, and
wanting to find a Westerner to marry, my wife consulted a shaman. He told
her that when she was 27 she would marry someone from America or Japan. This
was a shock, as she had no desire for a Japanese husband.
And then, right after
she turned 27, I arrived on the scene, from Japan, where I was living. We
were married two months later.
In 1992, shortly
before we moved from Japan to Australia, she was back in Korea, visiting her
family, and she went again to the shaman, to ask about our future. She
didn’t tell me about this visit, as she knew I was extremely antagonistic to
fortune tellers and the like.
“Your husband is going
to turn to the cross,” the shaman told her. “Don’t ever come to me again.”
Shortly after we moved
I became a Christian. My wife never told me about the shaman’s message until
some years later, and she never really pushed me into becoming a Christian.
It wasn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Is there a connection
between shamans and Christianity? Does God perhaps use shamans to build a
relationship with those of His people who have yet to hear of Jesus? And
shouldn’t Christians recognise the great good done by many shamans, instead
of too often demonising them?
February 28th, 2003