Tuesday, 23 December 2008

medicine man, chief

At last … a day to catch up with a few things – always eagerly anticipated, but so far, I’ve had Maggie go down with flu and had to collect Emily from work, also unwell!  So, a few letters, which were desperately overdue and an attack on the e-mail in-box: to little effect, so I’ve retreated and will attack it from a different angle tomorrow – maybe the element of surprise will work. 

One of the things I’ve been wanting to find more about is a book called ‘Medicine Man Chief’ Mike Frost spoke about when he was over here – basically I can’t locate a copy which doesn’t cost the earth yet, but found this on a blog by Tash McGill, which whets my appetite:

There are certain ways that societies organise and arrange themselves .. here’s something of what Renier Greef, co-author of ‘Medicine Man Chief’ says: 

Tribes arrange themselves around chiefs. The stronger the chief, the bigger the tribe. Chiefs have mini-chiefs. They are found at the centre of the tribe - the Chieftains house is always in the centre - the focal point of the tribe's direction and leadership. Tribespeople need a chief, and chiefs need tribespeople in order to be a chief at all. The loyalty is chief to tribe, tribe to chief. They are dependant on one another for security. 

Chiefs are good or bad, sometimes good and bad. They have a job to do - which is leading people, leading the tribe. 

But there is another crucial and necessary person in the life of any people group - the Medicine Man. The medicine man never lives within the tribe. He lives on the outskirts, outside the city gates or simply travels in a nomadic fashion between tribes that require his services. 

The medicine man isn't loyal to the tribe or to the chief. He's loyal to the Higher Truth. His is the business of healing. Of bringing truth to the tribe. As such, he has great influence and power. He can be magnetic and charismatic, just like a chief, but his loyalty to truth (which is ultimately for the sake and care of the tribespeople) will always be his highest priority.

But tell a story... where a chief, with a big tribe and lots of mini-chiefs all of a sudden discovers an illness within the tribe. A sickness that needs the services of a medicine man. An inground misbelief that needs truth spoken to it. He puts out the call to the medicine man, who comes, with all his knowledge and healing ability, all his concern for the tribespeople. 

He sets to work bringing truth and light. Healing returns to the tribe, health comes forth in new and powerful ways. The medicine man operates outside of the usual systems. At first the chief is grateful for the good work of the medicine man. But eventually, the people come to recognize the skill of the medicine man. They begin to trust his ability to bring healing and wisdom to the way of the tribe. 

Now the chief has a choice. A good chief will recognise the value of having a good medicine man in the tribe. He'll work with him, forging trust. See, the medicine man doesn't want to be the chief - he's firstly loyal to the Higher Truth, then the people. The chief is loyal to the cause of the tribe, it's strength and health. That's where his prowess and manna as a chief comes from. 

A good chief will work in healthy tension and trust with the medicine man, allowing him to do his work. The medicine man most wants recognition of his particular skill, the chief wants recognition as leader of the tribe, he wants loyalty.

A moderate chief will send the medicine man on his way, ensuring that his position of leadership within the tribe remains unthreatened, only to call on the medicine man again in the future. 

A bad chief, simply sees the threat to his leadership and kills the medicine man. 

When the chief kills the medicine man, everyone loses. At least when the medicine man is sent on his way, the knowledge of the medicine man remains accessible when it's next needed. But when you kill the medicine man, the relationship is severed, there is significant loss to the tribe.

So which are you?

1 comment:

Tash McGill said...

Hiya - thanks for using the reference to Medicine Man Chief. It's a great little book. You should be able to order a copy from MedicineManChief.com