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POSSESSION STATES ACROSS THE WORLD AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH KEVIN RAFFERTY In western tradition many are reluctant to apply techniques and approaches as if the were embarrassed of passions something that was in the medieval times Micheal Harner emphasized on the existence of spirits and science has not disproven him says that this finding should not be dismissed Winick defines possession as an external force that enters a worshiper of a deity so that he temporally is the deity the ultimate religious experience They are 2 categories in traditional societies instutionalized and semiinstutionalized where possession is seen as a desirable and necessary adjunct to the worship of a deity Wallace explains it as an any native theory which explains any event of human behavior as being the result of the physical presence in the human body of an alien spirit which takes control of the hosts executive functions most frequently speech and control of the skeletal musculature Walker explains trance as the scientific description of a psychological state in western terminology whereas possession is the folk explanation in more philosophical terms for the same type of state These states only occur where native folk theory recognizes these states as a viable category of reality which means it has meaning and relevance in the lives of the bearers of the culture and where the data can be imposed on by the outside observers In western terms possession is a serious psychological state an altered state of consciousness where individuals lose touch with their culture a presence of a 2nd personality There are 3 psychological asspects of possession the altered states of consciousness 1 obsessive ideation and compulsive action 2
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