SIBERIAN SHAMANISM. Erlik’s Servants – The Malevolent Spirits

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When they were lying inside, listening to the measured crackle of the fire, Kudai Kam said:

“It’s very important to sleep in the place of Power, be it a burial mould or an ancient temple complex, an ancient observatory or a cave of a saint. There is special energy that impregnates the place. Because a man throws off the barriers of perception while sleeping, the master of the place can come to him and impart knowledge to him. Tonight you’ll get this invaluable experience. I can see that you’re ready.”

“Will I meet with Her?” asked the young man, a little embarrassed.

“You’re itching to see Her?” grinned the white-haired shaman. “Maybe, you will…”

“Please tell me why Tengri created the evil spirits,” said Saosh Yant in order to alleviate discomfort.

“The evil spirits are Erlik’s servants,” answered Kudai Kam, “because not only is there creation in the world, but there’s destruction too. So they are in charge of this process. Without it, the world would incomplete, one-sided. All the more so, here, on earth, where there is birth, there must be death and destruction too. It also creates the necessary experience which the soul gets here and without which its wisdom would be incomplete. And Tengri’s creation wouldn’t be finished, integral, for if there’s good, there also has to be evil. If there is heaven, there has to be earth. If there is something light, there has to be something heavy. That is what the completeness of the reality is.”

“And are these spirits always evil or not?” wondered Saosh Yant.

“No, they are playing this role temporarily. Something like gnat,” said Kudai Kam, flicking a twig at the mosquitoes which had come out at sunset and were now swarming with a bothering hum, disturbing the rest of the travelers.

“Yeah! These parasites are so annoying at times! There’s no getting away from them!”

“A mosquito will be disincarnate some day and will live in heaven, leaving behind its role of a blood-sucker.”

“It’ll have a little rest?” laughed the young man.

“Yes! All that is a big play of the great Tengri, where each actor is needed to make this drama complete. Be he ‘nice’ or ‘bad’, ‘good’ or ‘evil’, he is needed for the completeness of the reality. We can’t escape it, no matter how desperately we want to.”

“But what is it all for?”

“You see, if everything in this world was just good, positive and pleasant, the souls of living wouldn’t get the necessary experience.”

“And the spirits of illnesses were created by Erlik too?”

“Of course! Without them, people wouldn’t have known the experience that the Maker wants them to know.”

“But it is bad!” persisted the young man.

“The phenomenon itself isn’t bad, it’s the people’s ATTITUDE to it. If they consider the evil that falls to their lot, as the trial of their Power and Spirit, they will be tolerant and wise, and God will be pleased with them. And their souls will gain the needed experience.”

Saosh became thoughtful and fell silent.

“You see, it’s like when a child knocks against a chair. He is hurt. He is crying. And the parents say, ‘Tut-tut! What a bad chair! Bad! Very bad! Give it a nice beating!’ ”

“Ha-ha-ha! How funny!” the young man laughed heartily. “My niece would hit the chairs like that when she was little, and got even more bumps. There was so much whining!!! Until she understood that it’s dangerous to mess with chairs.”

“But wise parents would say, ‘You know, sweetie,’ in the world where you live, there are many sharp corners which you can knock against. It isn’t good, it isn’t bad. It is just so. And you should be careful in order not to hurt and injure yourself.”

“Such parents would be wise! They also should have explained that it’s dangerous to poke your fingers into the socket and put all sorts of nasty things in your mouth. Mine only forbade things to me, and I did so to spite them. I was given electric shocks, I fell down from different places, from all the garages and roofs. I tasted all kinds of garbage. Got poisoned. But despite all that, I have survived anyway.”

“See? You got some experience. Not so pleasant, it was experience, you know. The same thing here. But instead of ‘chairs’, ‘roofs’ and ‘sockets’ we have the malevolent spirits, which manifest themselves as illnesses, losses, bad luck and troubles.”

“And instead of ‘parents’ we have shamans?” Saosh Yant brightened with his guess. “Am I right? Shamans?!”

“Yes, my friends! That’s right.”

“And you help people to cope with these scoundrels?”

“Yes, we do. Moreover, we teach them about what must and mustn’t be done so that they don’t get into trouble. We teach them about how to behave in this complicated world.”

“It’s a pity that people now forget about that.”

“And therefore they get the payback. Earth is rocking now like a cradle. And we need to be in time.”

“In time for what?..” asked the young man but suddenly felt irresistible drowsiness come over him. His eyes became slumberous, his body feeble. He could hardly keep his eyes open. He tried to cast away the shroud of sleep but felt some mysterious Power overcome him, and fell into oblivion…

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