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Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Compass) Paperback – May 1, 1995
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About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Revised ed. edition (May 1, 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0140194967
- ISBN-13 : 978-0140194968
- Item Weight : 9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.48 x 0.55 x 8.42 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #15,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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So much hidden gems within this book. As a young woman who is embarking on her spiritual journey, I recognized (some part of ) myself within this book.
"It was all in me. I was the room and the door. It was all me. I just had to remember. " Malidoma Some.
Malidoma's open, vulnerable, detailed stories of his experiences in the Jesuit school and in his initiation are riveting. I noticed two major lessons that his culture can teach ours. One is to connect our bodies to our minds. When Malidoma first came to the U.S., he saw with the spirit eyes of his elders that people's heads were not connected to their bodies. There was a blank space where the neck should be. One aspect of this is that we place great importance upon words. Malidoma says: "The speech of silence is achieved when words, and their potential ability to hurt meaning, are done away with. Words entrap meaning, torture it, slice it into pieces the way a butcher cuts the meat of a slaughtered animal and serves it to us. . . In silence, meaning is no longer heard, but felt; and feeling is the best hearing, the best instrument for recording meaning." The second lesson is the importance of wise elders. In Malidoma's words: "Elders and mentors have an irreplaceable function in the life of any community. Without them the young are lost -- their overflowing energies wasted in useless pursuits. The old must live in the young like a grounding force that tames the tendency toward bold but senseless actions and shows them the path of wisdom. In the absence of elders, the impetuosity of youth becomes the slow death of the community." This is a book that changes the reader.