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Shamans, Healers, and Medicine Men Paperback – November 21, 2000
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From Library Journal
In relating the practices of primal healing within world cultures, Kalweit emphasizes the need for modern science to look to primordial stages to understand the "paralogical, paradoxical processes of life." The book, originally published in German in 1987, does not show the reader how to become a shaman but gives accounts of initiations into altered states of consciousness, which made an individual a healer. Healers develop their unique talents through a variety of inner journeys, some of which include fasting, meditations, and/or lightning. Through the knowledge transferred during inner journeys, shamans are able to heal. Kalweit relates the need for the physiological and biochemical study of visionary experience and the possibility of using archaic practices as healing therapy for modern humanity. For scholarly collections.
- L. Kriz, Sioux City P.L., Ia.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Excellent book, very well researched demonstrating a wide spectrum of shamanic practices in many traditions and identifying the common themes in all.
Containing stories, (an essential,almost forgotten teaching tool) history, and covering diverse geography & belief, the author seems to tie it all together with an understated ease, and understanding, delivering not only a scientific, but a Spiritual message as well. Holger Kalweit is a major talent. I purchased his other books upon completion of this one. (who am I kidding, I was on Amazon right away) The title of my review is going to be a chapter title from within this book ( I know a cop out, right?) but I could not think of or find a more appropriate one. I recommend this book to ANYONE, because I believe ANYONE really needs to read this!
Even though I just read the book carefully (underlining and notating along the way), I've already started re-reading it because there was so much to mull over. This second reading is just as engaging.
Kalweit is an ethnologist and psychologist, and he adeptly blends both fields in this book. He has studied shamanism himself, so far from being coldly academic, the book offers working understandings of shamanic cultures. It's engrossing while being outrageously informed about the hidden aspects of indigenous life.
Finally, Kalweit manages to make this book relevant. Seemingly "primitive" or antiquated wisdom is turned inside out and fits effortlessly over modern life. For instance, his fascinating discussion on trance states eases into the realization that every state of being is a trance state, including the one we use for ordinary reality. Whether we're watching television, operating in the world through our cultural conditioning, or eating absently (or in full thrall), we're in a trance state.
I have no doubt that this book will yield new insights no matter how often I read it.