迷信?|Superstition?

很多古老的民族都相信Animism,也就是相信人以外的自然現象、動植物,甚至物件都擁有靈魂和力量。許多通靈術、巫術等都和這個信仰有關。這次我們探訪的亞馬遜部落也一樣。

Animism (the belief that natural phenomena, plants, animals and even objects possess souls and power) runs strong in many hunter-gatherer societies. It is also the origin of lots of magic and wizardry. That was also true for the Amazonian tribe we visited.

Siona部落的巫師(Shaman)就在我們身上示範了和植物溝通的宗教儀式。在導遊的翻譯下,他解釋只要願意和植物的靈魂溝通,不論心理或生理的疾病都能治愈。聽上去很迷信吧?我一開始也不相信。

The Shaman of the Siona tribe demonstrated on us their ritual for communicating with plants. With the guide’s translation, he explained that both mental and physical illnesses could be cured by genuine communication with the souls of plants. Sounds superstitious, right? I couldn’t believe too at first.

證人 Witness

其中一位導遊是個美國人,在當地部落生活了8年,跟隨巫師學習,更懂得部落的語言。他在「現代社會」中長大,母語是英文,理應不存在表達困難或者所謂「思想落後」的問題。於是,我擅自將他當作了上述神秘說法的可靠「證人」,不斷詢問他的親身經歷。

One of the guides was an American who lived in the tribe for 8 years. He was taught by the Shaman and mastered the tribal language. As he grew up in “modern society” and was a native English speaker, there shouldn’t be any problem of communication, or so-called “backward” mindset. Therefore, I took him as a “reliable witness” for the “superstitious beliefs”, and was eager to know his personal experience.

其中比較有趣的是:有一次他被非常毒的蜘蛛咬到,全身劇痛發起高燒。按照現代醫學來說,不注射血清是必死無疑的。可是看過前面的文章就知道,要及時趕到市區的醫院是不太可能的。於是巫師用通靈術幫他治療,最後他竟然奇跡地康復了!

One interesting story: once he was bitten by a very poisonous spider. According to modern medical knowledge, he would die for sure without injecting serum at a hospital. But if you’ve read the previous article, it was basically impossible to get to the city before it was too late. So, the Shaman treated him by psychic ways. Unbelievably, he recovered!

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這讓我想起三毛《撒哈拉的故事》中的「死果」。在現代社會,誰還會相信巫術、符咒之說呢?解釋權被科學壟斷,宗教和文化又在全球化下不斷滅絕,世上好像再也沒有神秘的空間。但三毛又切切事實地體會了符咒的力量 – 是巧合?誇張法?謊言?也許要等我自己經歷過才會有答案。

It reminds me of the Mauritanian spell in Taiwanese author Sanmao(三毛)’s book, The Stories of the Sahara. In the modern world, who would believe in magic or spells? Science controls all power of explanation, religions and cultures keep dying out under globalization – there isn’t any space left for mysteries. But Sanmao really did experience the power of spells – or did she? Was it a coincidence? Exaggeration? Or a lie? Perhaps I’ll only know when I experience it one day.

(考慮到幻覺的可能性,也許自己經歷過也不會有答案)

(Taking hallucinations into account, perhaps I’ll never know)

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