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. What does Harner compare his near-death experience with the Conibo to?

2. One person who tried Harner's step-by-step guided journey exercise reported bringing back what by accident?

3. What does Harner speculate about the mandala?

4. Harner indicates that becoming a shaman involves pain, facing fears, and a willingness to:

5. In a drug-induced vision, Harner sees demons as:

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What are some of the similarities Harner notes in first-hand shamanic experiences reported by middle-class Americans?

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

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

7. In the step-by-step instructions for going on a first shamanic journey that the author supplies for the reader in Chapter 2, how does he ask the participant to prepare?

8. How does Harner say that a shaman can be distinguished from other medicine men?

9. What is the practice of rock-seeing?

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

Describe the journey the author takes with Akachu, the Jivaro shaman, detailed in Chapter 1. Can you tell which parts of the journey are literal and which are figurative? What clues reveal the literary portions? The figurative parts?

Essay Topic 2

Harner states that whether the shaman is working in ordinary or non-ordinary reality, the experience is real and healing takes place in both realms. Explain what makes the non-ordinary experience real. Then, answer the following: how does healing occur when the shaman is working in non-ordinary reality?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the role of guardian spirits, spirit helpers, and power animals. Do you feel there is a significant difference between these entities? How do they differ? In what ways are they similar? Cite three separate instances showing when a shaman would call upon one particular entity over the other two.

(see the answer keys)

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