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I am trying to learn about Wikipedia. I am not the most savy person with computers, but I like the encyclopedia. I remember listening to soccer games with my father through the radio, before television. My father was a Philosophy teacher. In the quiet hours between games we would spend entire afternoons going through books from the encyclopedia. We had a few collections in the shelves. The Larouse, Barsa Encyclopedia, The Britannica. There were 3 volumes in the Britannica called the Great Conversation, it was a companion to a collection called the Great Books of the Western World. The idea of a Great Conversation to be had across time and with the highest thinking achievers was simply fascinating. I would then imagine other people in the wide world, reading the same books, and somehow connected spiritually. Nowadays we can actually connect with individuals who share some intellectual curiosity, through the internet. I believe that the remarkable fact that this is even possible represents a major achievement for mankind, in a very deep and spiritual level.

So, I have intimate reasons to feel proud of being able to collaborate at this point of my life.

A question: what if a reference is from first hand personal experience? or from watching performances or rituals? or from being a testimony to some historical event? This must be answered somewhere.

In any case: My thoughts are that a lot of experience has been transmitted orally by many cultures for longer than there were books, or even written language, I notice that there are a lot of objections on the page about shamanism, that the references are questionable. Which is true and hard to judge, but there is also a certain knowledge that has been transmitted orally to this day, so references may be anthropological, which even from an anthropologically neutral perspective, is always biased. We know that the observer affects the object.

Of course "talk is cheap", very cheap, so the common thing historically oral traditions was to establish some kind of a "Counsel of the Wise", to determine the validity of words. I understand that Wikipedia works a little bit like that, except in a system that is most aware of it's instability and keeps evolving it's own self-regulatory rules. It's quite fascinating.

I would welcome the contact of any collaborator who would like to discuss such issues and help me improve my occasional contributions.

Congratulations to all on the great work!