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Bone Games: Extreme Sports, Shamanism, Zen, and the Search for Transcendence Paperback – January 1, 1999
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Exploring his subject from historical, biochemical, spiritual and various other perspectives, Schultheis produced a truly excellent memoir of journeys through terra incognita.
Schultheis is a runner and a climber, and when climbing in the Colorado Rockies, he had a bad fall which triggered a kind of peak experience. As he describes it: "Something happened on that descent, something I have tried to figure out ever since, so inexplicable and powerful it was. I found myself very simply doing impossible things: dozens, scores of them, as I climbed down Neva's lethal slopes. Shattered, in shock, I climbed with the impeccable sureness of a snow leopard, a mountain goat."
This experience sets the author off on a quest to find the key to this altered state of consciousness. And what a quest it is! He ranges from Shamanism to long-distance running, mountaineering in Nepal, Plains Indian vision quests, and survival at sea. He doesn't specifically deal with martial arts, but the state of consciousness he seeks is known by various terms such as "muga-mushin" and "heijoshin" in the Japanese Martial Arts. More recently Mihaly Cziksentmihaly has researched what he calls the "Flow" state and written extensively on it. While Schultheis doesnft seem to come to any firm conclusions, it's certainly not through a lack of effort, and it sure is fun being along for the ride.