The Geser Fund

Raising Consciousness for the Future

In two years the twenty first century begins
This is the beginning of the third new millennium
It is a time for man’s hearts and consciousness to be raised
It is a time to look back to the ancient traditions, to our roots, to find inspiration for the future
This is a time for new traditions
This is a time for creating a new way of life
Shamanism is the key to a new future and a link to the sacred past
The Geser epic embodies the ideas of Buryat shamanism and shows a way to the future
In every nation there are ancient traditions
For this reason we are establishing the Geser Fund
Deep like the Baikal Sea, wide as the Mongolian steppe, majestic and high as the Sayan and Altai Mountains are the ideas of Mongolian shamanism
Between Heaven and Earth there are ways to solve the problems of all nations
For this purpose stands the Geser Epic
The Geser Epic is an ancient expression of Mongolian/Siberian shamanism
For this reason we establish the Geser Fund to spread these ideas
Not only technology is necessary but also the development of the mind and heart
If people throughout the world transmit and develop these ideas it will create a new and better future.

The Geser Fund was created in 1993 in order to promote the celebration of the shamanist epic “Geser” in the republic of Buryatia. This was part of a five year program to re-awaken the consciousness of the people in Southern Siberia to their ancient and precious traditions. This was a necessary move after over a half century of repression of their traditional culture and religion. The history of this repression has much in common with what was experienced by Native Americans before the American people became aware of the importance of their ancient traditions. Now that the original purpose of the fund was finished there is now a new vision, a wider one, to spread knowledge of Siberia, its ecology, shamanism, and traditional culture throughout the world. It will not only include the Buryats in this new program, but also the Mongols, Tuvans, Yakut, Altai, Evenk, and all other Siberian peoples that will join with us.

Siberia is one of the last places in the world which is still relatively untouched by the pressures of modern civilization. Its peoples are still attuned to a way of life which all our ancestors had -- living in balance with their environment. For the many thousands of years in which its native peoples have lived on this land their lifestyle and culture developed a balance with its environment which allowed them to follow their way of life with minimal damage to their forested mountainous environment. Contrary to common conceptions, Siberia is a rich environment with vast forests, even more vast than the rainforests of South America -- and thousands of species of plants and animals, many of which are scarecely known. This way of life is threatened by pressures from the forestry industry and from modern industrial culture.
The purpose of the Geser Fund is to promote the preservation of the ecology of Siberia and the lifeways of its native peoples. Furthermore it is our purpose to share the ancient wisdom of its cultures, with their traditions with the outside world. The Siberian shamanist philosophy promotes reverence for Father Sky and Mother Earth and all its inhabitants, living in balance with nature, and personal responsibility for what happens in the future. For a full explanation of Siberian shamanist ideas click to jump to the Shamanism page.
These ideas are embodied in the Geser epic, which is found among the Buryats and other Siberian natives. This epic story in its shamanist form is thousands of years old, and has intriguing parallels to many Native American myths. The hero, Geser, was sent down to earth by the spirits of the upper world to deliver mankind and all living things from extinction. There had been a war among the tengger (sky spirits) motivated by personal selfishness and jealousy, and the world had been polluted from the sky, resulting in fires, disease, mass extinction, starvation, and all manners of suffering. The life of Geser as described in the epic presents all of the major ideas of Siberian shamanism and the ancient oral tradition of this epic was a way of preserving this philosophy for future generations. Now, humankind, similar to the sky spirits, are now threatening themselves with the same consequences due to their own selfishness and shortsightedness. The revival of shamanism throughout the world, as in the time of Geser, presents a way of finding a new paradigm for our future.

Here are some of the ideas we have for making this possible:
1. Sponsoring programs for the preservation of the native cultures in their environment.
This can be done in several ways:
a. Programs to promote sustainable development and appropriate technology in Siberia. At this time in history there are many new technologies extant as well as under development which would allow native peoples to improve their standard of living without abandoning the balance which they have developed with their environment. The ecology of this area is extremely fragile and environmental damage could take centuries to repair. Of course the pressure to adopt a “modern” lifestyle is strong, but yet there have been centuries of adapting new technologies within their own traditional cultural framework.
b. Programs to preserve the traditional culture. This would include the support of artists, folklorists, shamans, and craftsmen in order for them to continue their work and allow them to pass on their skills to future generations. This would also include support of programs to teach native languages in the schools and publishing of textbooks, children’s literature, prose, and poetry in native languages.
2. Disseminating knowledge of Siberian traditional culture to the rest of the world. This would include:
a. Support of traditional artists, writers, folklorists, and craftsmen in order for them to visit foreign countries and demonstrate their skills or to allow their works to be exhibited or published abroad.
b. Support of scholars who are interested in doing research in Siberian native cultures.
c. Encouraging the making of documentary films and audio recordings to document traditional lifeways and music.

3. Sharing the vision of Siberian shamanism and applying it to the benefit of all peoples for the future. This is the most important and long term goal of the Geser Fund. This would be done in several ways:
a. The translation and publication of the Siberian Geser epic into English and other major world languages with commentary on its core philosophy.
b. Publication of books and videos about Siberian shamanism, both in the academic sphere as well as for reading by the general public in all major world languages.
c. Support of Siberian shamans so that they can continue to take on students from their own ethnic group as well as from sincerely interested people from abroad.
d. Support of travel by Siberian shamans abroad in order to lecture and conduct workshops.
e. Establishing of sacred sites in native lands as well as abroad in order to raise awareness of Siberian shamanist ideas and the restoration of sacred sites that were destroyed during imperial Russian and Communist rule.
4. Encouraging the establishment of connections between Siberian peoples and other native peoples around the world. It has been proposed that the native peoples of the northern forests throughout the world establish a network in order to promote their common interests. Native Siberian peoples such as the Buryat, Evenk, Yakut, Chukchi, Altai, Soyot, and others have many traditions in common with their counterparts in America, such as the Dene, Inuit, Aleut, and other ethnic groups, and also with the Saami in northern Europe. Furthermore, all of these northern native groups share common challenges of preserving their environment and traditional culture in the face of a dominant modern culture and dangers from exploitation by outsiders.

As the new millennium approaches mankind is collectively faced with the need to change the way of thinking of modern industrial culture in order to preserve the world for future generations. It is very vital for us to look back to ancient traditions in order to re-establish our balance with our environment. These traditions still survive among native Siberians and they have much to contribute to the formation of a new world culture.