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

Michael Harner
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following is NOT a purpose for entering a shamanic state of consciousness?

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

3. Through numerous examples, the author shows the commonality of experiences by shamans regardless of what?

4. What similarity does Harner point out between shamanism and science?

5. Why is Harner afraid to take maikua?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the main functions and activities of a shaman, as described in Chapter 3?

2. What does Akachu question when he and Harner are getting to know each other?

3. Why does the author find it encouraging for Westerners that not all tribes use drugs in their shamanic practices?

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

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

6. Discuss what Harner says about the humility of shamanism?

7. Describe the spirit helpers known as tsentak.

8. What are other names the author mentions for guardian spirits, and what cultures call them by these alternate names?

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

10. Summarize the first shamanic journey exercise presented to the reader in Chapter 2.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the past, and even today, some traditional world religions look unfavorably upon shamanism. Explain what some traditional religions believe about shamanistic practices. How might world cultures advance if greater tolerance and acceptance was practiced towards shamanic peoples? Explain and support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

The author thoroughly explains numerous details of shamanism, but two areas he doesn't cover in as much detail are how and why shamanism works. Offer your own explanations to fill in the blanks. How do you think shamanism works? Why does it work?

Essay Topic 3

Why would a Westerner with no prior experience with shamanistic practices develop an interest in them? How might he or she benefit from knowing and practicing some of these rituals? What precautions might he or she need to take?

(see the answer keys)

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