Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Shamanism/Indigenous Peoples
Record Type: Review   ID: 278

The Shaman’s Body

Mindell, Arnold

This is not a new book, but having finally bought it and read it, I feel it has to be reviewed in these pages. Arnold Mindell himself is not new to me. I read his Dreambody when it was published in 1982 and felt he was onto something very important. To me he embodies the spirit of Mercury: you catch the spirit of flow in his writings of the meeting of opposites and their transformation into and out of each other. Perhaps it is the dreambody that connects all.

This book is about the dreaming body and is based on his own experiences with indigenous African, Native American, Australian aboriginal, and Indian Hindu healers and spiritual teachers as well as his own practices of psychotherapy, conflict resolution, and shamanism. He describes many exercises he has developed that are based on both modes in psychology and ancient shamanism. The aim of the book is to assist the reader in developing a shamanic consciousness. The first of two sections is Developing a Double. It consists of 10 chapters that describe "practical methods for contacting your dreaming body, becoming whole, and working with body and dream problems in order to develop a sense of self that is independent of society, time, and space" (p. xii). The second part, Dreaming in the City, is a reflection of the fact that in changing ourselves by becoming aware of and living from the new identity fostered by the dreaming body the world around us will also change. It is about living a mythic life among others. He offers the model of "the warrior’s way," in which there is fruitful conflict between the inner and outer worlds. Again, he presents exercises, the most important being the deathwalk, which is the path you must take in returning from what, in effect, are exceptional human experiences, to "ordinary life." Many people have suffered, even unto death, from doing this in a world that does not accept such realities. But, as Mindell says: "What happens to you, the groups, and the world around you when you begin this return is simultaneously your personal deathwalk and global evolution. … Access to the dreaming body creates a new feeling of enlightenment, in which connection to ourselves and to nature is coupled with influence in the evolution of history" (p. xvi).

Publisher Information:San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993. Pp. xvi + 236. Chapnotes: 221-223; 1 illus; Ind: 229-236; 43 refs
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (25)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network