By Bruce Kapferer
The Sinhalese exorcism rituals are maybe the main advanced and the main really good in functionality nonetheless extant. For this moment variation, the writer has written a brand new preface and creation within which he argues that the ideas 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 methods to ritual and the classy more often than not.
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Additional info for A celebration of demons: Exorcism and the aesthetics of healing in Sri Lanka
Sinh. 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).
Some aspects of the predominantly middle-class interest in hypnotism and hypnotherapy derive from a concern to discover the nature of previous lives. Of broader interest, however, is t h e widespread belief among all social classes that action in this life can also have its results in this life. A Galle fisherman went so far as to specify t h a t one-seventh of the good and bad actions performed in this existence will have their effect in this life. Most important is the popular belief t h a t karma attaching to individuals which has its results in this life can affect others with whom they are closely associated.
On either side of the roads cutting across the neighborhood one can see the often magnificent residences of the wealthy houses with richly carved wooden eaves and gables (attesting to the architectural influence of the Portuguese and Dutch), often surrounded by large well-kept gardens. Alongside them are other houses, somewhat more modern in style, occupied by doctors, lawyers, bank managers, high officials in government corporations and in the government bureaucracy, and large shop owners in the town center.