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Yanantin and Masintin in the Andean World: Complementary Dualism in Modern Peru Hardcover – March 15, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The Yanantin can be defined as follows: Because existence itself is believed to be dependent upon the tension and balanced interchange between the polarities, there is a very definite ideological and practical commitment within indigenous Andean life to bringing the seemingly conflicting opposites into harmony with one another without destroying or altering either one. Among the indigenous people of Peru and Bolivia, the union of opposing yet interdependent energies is called yanantin or "complementary opposites." Masintin is what is materialized. It is what is self realized, not what stays in theory. Masintin is to enter into the spirit and the essence of anything, of the thing. Of what has been materialized. Of what has been imagined. You must enter into the spirit of it. Masintin is to create, recreate, and procreate.
These concepts may sound complex but as Webb experiences and shares them they are sound and credible. Her own participation in the healing ceremony - partaking of the San Pedro cactus - provided her access to the utter simplicity of the philosophical aspects of these Andean peoples and it is that experience she so adeptly shares that makes this such a powerful read. Grady Harp, September 12
After a discussion of research methodology in the introduction (well, this IS a work of scholarship, after all), the book slips into some very good travel writing. It starts off with Dr. Webb wandering around Cuzco, asking people how they defined "yanantin" and getting very disappointing results. (In retrospect, this might not be too surprising: it might like walking up to New Yorkers and asking them to define "freedom" or "justice.") She gets a little more clarity when she meets up with an old friend, Amado, and his friend, Juan Luis. Amado and Juan Luis are both shamans, and while they are happy to discuss yanantin, they are quite insistent that it can only be grasped through the use of "the Medicine."
At this point it might sound you are in for a recap of the Carlos Castenada books, but this is a different millennium, and Amado and Juan Luis are very different from Don Juan. The Castenada books (at least as I recall them) reinforced the '60's idea that modern life was way out of balance and that truth lay in traditional ways. In contrast, Amado and Juan Luis are hip young men.Read more ›
The book is an auto-ethnography, meaning that rather than studying a distant culture from the perspective of an "objective" observer, the author treats herself as the subject of study as she endeavors to live the Andean worldview first-hand. This makes sense because in the Andean worldview, learning occurs through practice and action, not through ideas abstracted from lived reality. From this perspective the experiences themselves feel vivid and close. This means receiving intimate accounts of the author's thoughts as she "downloads" cosmic teachings from the stars or sneaks into ruins to encounter ancient the ancient "lanzón" idol, as well as frequent conversations with spiritual masters. Still, the ethnographic content, building from many decades of Andean anthropology literature, is extremely rich, well researched, and well presented.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the concepts presented in this book. I am only half way through but so see a new way to view things here in the west and let old concepts take a back burner. Read morePublished on May 19, 2013 by Hannah M. Mitchell
Hilary Webb's book Yanantin and Masintin in the Andean World: Complementary Dualism in Modern Peru is a brilliant investigative study on the blending of beliefs that support the... Read morePublished on January 24, 2013 by Meg Holgate
I have thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book and recommend it for anyone interested in deepening their knowledge of Andean Shamanism (although, as with any book on topics of... Read morePublished on September 25, 2012 by Michael Goodman
This book illuminates some ancient cultural-spiritual beliefs that paradoxically are at the leading edge of today's scientific and metaphysical explorations. Read morePublished on July 19, 2012 by Miriam Knight
I really enjoyed this book cover to cover. It was very thought provoking, and made me wish I was on this journey with the author, to discover this beautiful country, it's people... Read morePublished on February 12, 2012 by Davesee