chapter  11
32 Pages

Life between Lives Therapy: A Mystery Ritual for Modern Times?

This chapter discusses the practice of divination and therefore invites the hard work of analytical self-revision, is the putatively axiomatic distinction between fact and value - Hume's fabled contrast of 'is' versus 'ought'. It also discusses that part of what makes divination peculiar enough to warrant analytical exercises in ontological revision is that it transgresses habitual distinctions between the sociological and the cosmological. The chapter suspects that the ease with which scholars have been able to reduce the truth-claims of divination to their sociological effects is owed partly to the peculiar way in which divinatory phenomena so often seem to fuse these levels. It adopts the anthropological ploy of referring to a single ethnographic case - the one about which know most, namely Ifá divination as it is practised in Cuba today. The chapter begins by drawing rather freely a parallel with earlier work on Ifá, which focuses on the ontology of divinatory truth in particular.