The Way of the Shaman Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Michael Harner
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Harner asks aspiring shamans to refrain from:
(a) Drinking alcohol.
(b) Exercising strenuously.
(c) Eating sweets.
(d) Using anything electronic.

2. What must the shaman feed his spirit helpers?
(a) Ground allspice.
(b) Tobacco water.
(c) Vanilla beans.
(d) Coffee nectar.

3. Harner asserts that shamanism has advanced in areas without technological innovations because:
(a) These people are neither distracted nor electromagnetically impaired by electronic interference.
(b) The plant world communicates better with people when there is no technological interference.
(c) Of the need by these people to find ways to deal with survival and health issues.
(d) Technology hasn't erased these people's ability to tap into their intuition.

4. Harner's personal observation is that people develop shamanism as a tool for using the power of the human mind for what?
(a) To control others.
(b) To address critical issues.
(c) For esoteric purposes.
(d) For entertainment and enlightenment.

5. How is a shamanic state of consciousness, or SSC, achieved?
(a) By drinking nettle tea and fasting for five days.
(b) By entering a trance state and using methods of cosmic geography and nonordinary reality.
(c) By chanting songs passed down by tribal peoples and drinking fermented coffee.
(d) By calling upon spirit guides to pull the shaman's spirit out of the body and hurl it to the heavens.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the author, who has a guardian spirit, whether recognized or not?

2. Which of the following do reputable shamans NOT do?

3. To learn more about shamanism, what does Harner do?

4. Why do individuals need the protection of a guardian spirit?

5. In his attempt to find spirit helpers with the assistance of a Jivaro shaman from Ecuador, what does the author do?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the author say shamans feel about what they see in the non-ordinary reality or shamanic state of consciousness (SSC)?

2. How old is shamanism, and what cultures have best preserved this practice?

3. Who is Akachu, and how does he help Harner?

4. How does a shaman take care of his or her tsentak?

5. Explain the connection between an individual and his or her guardian spirit.

6. Describe Harner's experience of spiritually going to a cave beneath a waterfall with a Jivaro shaman.

7. What is the participant of the exercise in Chapter 2 instructed regarding the end of the journey?

8. Harner says that apprentice shamans report similarities in how they get out of difficulties. What are some of the difficulties he mentions?

9. How and why is a shamanic state of consciousness (SSC) achieved?

10. Describe Harner's journey with Akachu.

(see the answer keys)

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