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A boy grows up in rural South Africa, raised partly by his white family and partly by the local black people. He is particularly impressed by the tribal shaman. As he grows up and travels, he has many life experiences that are characterized by indecision about moral and ethical issues, particularly race-related issues. When he returns to South Africa, the shaman is still there and still wise. The shaman offers the young man a chance to fulfill himself; they take a drug and their spirit selves become enlarged, so large that they are of astronomical size, looking down on the tiny Earth. The shaman, who has no doubt in him whatever, turns to his protege and says that is now time to act. When the young man, again, fails to make a forthright decision, the shaman turns back to the Earth and spits on it. The Earth crackles briefly and is gone, obliterated, whereupon the spirit shaman enlarges rapidly to become one with the universe. But the young man's spirit is left to drift through space, his scream engulfing the stars.

The story was one of the first that I read in a new science fiction magazine, fresh off a news stand, in English, probably in the late 1960s. I would not be surprised if I have some of the details out of place, but the end of the story is distinctive.

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    What magazines were you reading? What country were you in? – user14111 May 9 at 19:52
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    This question would be improved by going through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question? – Valorum May 9 at 20:08
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    Sorry for correcting the title the wrong direction. I misunderstood. – FuzzyBoots May 9 at 20:32
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    @InvisibleTrihedron - I suspect you can come up with more. How old was the "boy"? How old was the "Shaman". Were there any adult themes (sex, violence)? Do you remember anything the characters said? Do you remember the character's names? How did he travel to SA in the first place? What did his family do that took them to SA? Why did he leave? Why did he return? – Valorum May 9 at 20:51
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    Wait, the magazine had interior illustrations? You're sure about that? I think that pretty much rules out F&SF. Before you said that, I was thinking it sounded more line an F&SF story than an Analog story. Were you reading any Galaxy, If, Amazing, Fantastic? – user14111 May 9 at 21:40

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