Chapter 1, Discovering the Way
• The author reports on commonalities between the world's shamanic spiritual belief systems.
• Harner lives among tribal people and learns shamanic ways firsthand from them.
• He describes his own spiritual experiences involving water.
• He writes about his experience of "flying" inside a mountain.
• The author writes about experiencing demons as reptiles and carrying a balsa stick for protection.
• Not every tribe uses drugs in shamanic rituals.
• Lakota Sioux and Coast Salish tribes are two examples of groups that achieve altered states of consciousness without drugs.
• Harner emphasizes that Westerners don't need to take drugs to access shamanism.
• The author meets a Jivaro shaman named Akachu.
• Akachu helps Harner acquire spirit helpers called tsentak, which cause or cure illness.
• These helpers are activated when swallowed by a shaman.
• Under the influence of a hallucinogen, these spirit helpers appear as animals such as jaguars or monkeys.
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