Sunday, January 08, 2006

What does amatsu norigoto do?

In a couple of comments on earlier posts, Darcy has said that she thinks amatsu norigoto helps induce the sort of trance-like state in which we are more inclined to believe what we hear without conscious evaluation.

Chanting is one of the things Steve Hassan says can produce a receptive, trance-like state (altered state), but I think he is referring to chanting that is continued for significantly longer than a minute or so. Even so, my feeling is that amatsu norigoto does have some significance in terms of mind control. Does anyone have any ideas on the real role of this chant and its effect on kumite?

Once people have been Mahikari members for while, I suspect that chanting (or simply hearing) amatsu norigoto once is probably sufficient to trigger an altered state. Darcy reported experimenting with giving okiyome both with and without chanting amatsu norigoto first, and reported a difference in the perceived strength of the okiyome.

One incident at the time of my initial contact with Mahikari has always puzzled me. I'd heard about Mahikari when on vacation, and been given the phone number of a kumite who lived in my hometown, but I had never been to a dojo or seen anyone giving okiyome or heard amatsu norigoto. I went to visit the kumite and asked to receive okiyome. She explained the procedure for giving and receiving okiyome, including that she would chant a prayer, then hold her hand in front of my forehead.

So, I closed my eyes and waited to see what would happen. Within moments of the kumite starting amatsu norigoto, I felt myself enter a trance-like state (something I recognized from earlier experiments with various self-healing techniques). This surprised me greatly, because I was sure I remembered her saying that giving okiyome started after the chanting. In any case, I decided I must have misunderstood the procedure and that she had started giving okiyome to my forehead as soon as she started chanting. Afterwards, I made some comment to that effect, and the kumite assured me that she had of course started giving okiyome after she finished amatsu norigoto.

This incident was one of the most crucial in terms of me deciding to join Mahikari. I had expected to feel an effect from okiyome, and so perhaps might have considered that to be just the power of suggestion, but I had not expected to feel anything in response to amatsu norigoto. As you would expect, the kumite then explained the notion of kotodama and told me that amatsu norigoto has the power to purify and protect. I was very impressed!

Now, of course, I'm disinclined to believe the Mahikari explanation for the effect I felt in response to amatsu norigoto, so what is going on here? Does this chant in fact have some sort of power? Is there some validity to the notion of kotodama after all? Is there something about that syncopated rhythm that is typically used to chant it that induces an altered state?

Amatsu norigoto is certainly used a lot within Mahikari. Even though the chant itself is short, one hears it almost constantly at a dojo as kumite begin giving okiyome, as people purify towels, flowers, food, etc., as part of ceremonies, and before study periods and meetings. If this chant does induce a mental state that facilitates mind control, then finding out what amatsu norigoto actually does, and how it does it, might be the key to understanding our indocrination.

Can anyone suggest an explanation for me experiencing a very unexpected effect from amatsu norigoto?


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