By Bruce Kapferer
The Sinhalese exorcism rituals are might be the main advanced and the main very good in functionality nonetheless extant. For this moment variation, the writer has written a brand new preface and advent during which he argues that the recommendations of therapeutic in Sri Lanka and the aesthetics of this therapeutic can't be diminished to Western psychoanalytic or psychotherapeutic phrases, and develops new and unique techniques to ritual and the classy usually.
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Extra info for A celebration of demons: Exorcism and the aesthetics of healing in Sri Lanka
Thus exorcism flouted the rationalism of a Buddhism defined by a rising capitalist class, and embodied all the trappings of "tradition," a tradition of the subordinate and the weak, a meaning established in the symbolic order of colonial rule. This is also a meaning reproduced in a structure of class relations. Buddhist orthodoxy, defined by a middle class, both signs and is a metaphor of middle class power. Exorcism as unorthodox or defined as inappropriate to Buddhist practice, is made significant and metaphoric of social and political inferiority.
After the War, the crossing of international borders became subject to greater control, and the necessary travel documentation harder to obtain. The collapse of the British Empire and the emergence of independent nation states hostile to foreign nationals, together with a clamp-down on exit visas from Sri Lanka, virtually ended the karava overseas a d v e n t u r e . i l The period of great prosperity for the community is largely over. But there are still karava from the community who maintain large jewelry and curio shops overseas, and they will occasionally visit the community and find employment for their relatives in their businesses.
Karuma) embodies and reflects many of the ideas which m o t i v a t e much of the Sinhalese a t t i t u d e to illness and misfortune, and is implicit in many aspects of everyday Sinhalese understanding. According to the doctrine of karma, individual experience and action is the result of previous volitional a c t s in this and former lives (Gombrich 1971b:145; Rahula 1974:32; Ling 1973). Karma is the single most powerful system of causation affecting the affairs of human beings and t h e activities of supernaturals (Gombrich 1971b:68).