Shamanism Essay

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Q1. In the psychosocial model of shamanic trance, the shaman plays the role of mediator between spirit worlds. The Hmong, for example, recognize the propensity for everyone's spirit to migrate, but the shaman or txiv neeb has the ability to intentionally send his spirit outward during his lifetime.


The shamanic experience fits into the culture's mundis imaginalis, the way the members of a certain culture perceive the world. The shaman's role as healer requires communal recognition and acceptance. When a shaman is in training, there are often spirit helpers and human assistants who facilitate the process of the shamanic journey. The shaman's assistant will help to increase the vividness of the visions summoned in the shamanic trance by encouraging recollection of some things and avoiding others. In a trance state, mental imagery resulting from temporal and occipital lobe activity is perceived as real. The more perceptually real and detailed a vision is, the greater its cognitive and psychological effect will be. Just as keeping a dream diary will tend to sharpen the recall and intensify a person's dreams, the shaman's training has a similar effect. One essential aspect of training is the ability to control visions. The trainee learns to start and stop visions at will. The processes are kindled and tuned by the trainer. A shaman who is unable to control the vision process will be perceived as a bad shaman, as lack of control indicates that the spirits are in charge. ...
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