The Way of the Shaman - Study Guide Chapter 3, Shamanism and States of Consciousness Summary & Analysis

Michael Harner
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Shamanism is the oldest mind-body healing system known to humans. It is estimated to be over twenty to thirty thousand years old. Master shamans focus on the triumvirate of knowledge, power, and healing. The traditional methods and assumptions pervade worldwide and have been preserved in the so-called "primitive" cultures, despite attempts by the Christian church to eradicate shamanism, particularly during the Inquisition.

In all systems, shamans pass through different cosmological planes and report surprisingly similar experiences whether they are Venezuelan Warao, Lakota Sioux or Australian Wiradjeri. To the question of why this similarity exists throughout widespread cultures that have had no direct contact, Harner responds, "because it works". He further postulates that it matures in areas that were devoid of technological innovations because of the need for those people to find ways to cope with...

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This section contains 764 words
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