Adi Da Samraj
The following is an excerpt from an audio talk (Shamanism) Adi Da gave in 1988.
Adi Da Samraj: What shamans did psychically awake, they did rituals and so forth, but they were psychically awake. This was their way of directly participating in the spirit world.
The priesthood is a step removed from that. They are no longer awake and participating in a spiritual world or the invisible world but they are doing the rituals just as the psychically awake ones did. Because they are doing the rituals exactly as they were done, it is presumed that they had the magic and this is in fact how, is one of their ways whereby the real process of spiritual transmission gets lost through institutionalization. It’s not the institution itself that is wrong.
There need to be such connections, such collective means to pass everything on from one generation to the next but there is something that can happen in the process of institutions that actually relinquishes the real process and replaces it with the images, rituals, words and so on. It has a function certainly. But it’s not inherently associated with spiritual awakeness and spiritual transmission so it’s more an aspect in general of a conventional religiosity, the rituals and institutionalization of form and very likely then not only the great spiritual process but psychic awakeness and esoteric realizations of one kind or another get lost in the process, become unnecessary.
So you get down to a day like this. You get all kinds of people being religious and they are talking about the miracles and realizers in the past and people having visions and so forth and they all presume those things don’t happen anymore. That was a special dispensation at that time. They don’t happen anymore. Why don’t they happen anymore?
Because people are not participating in reality as they did then and instead have substituted that participation, they substituted for that participation ritual, orthodoxies of one kind or another, teachings, images, art forms. They’ve substituted all of that for that participatory process that everyone including the leaders, the gurus, the shamans, whatever, were called to be involved in anciently.