Master of Shamanism
Rev. Justin Oles
After completion of this course I can honestly say that there were a lot of things I didn't know about shamanism. I also discovered that there a lot of misconceptions. I'm surprised to see how little the general populous knows and how many of the old 18th century misconceptions are still seen. I have not seen the mixing of the old shamanistic practices with the general medical field although I know that a lot of nurses are starting to use things like reiki in their practice. It was nice to see in the various discourses that professionals in the field are starting to look at some of the "old world" techniques for treating disease. The studies I have read and many of the studies cited in the articles speak of the generalized effects of the treatments. While many shamanistic techniques have shown promise for treatment of symptoms none have shown cures. However, if the treatment can make a persons life better the treatment is helpful regardless of scientific proof of its effectiveness. An interesting point brought up several times throughout the discourse was the similarities among shamans throughout the world. Even though shamans were separated by thousands of miles many of them shared similar techniques, beliefs and methods of attaining their desired spirit flight (altered states of consciousness). I was surprised to see that some of the common techniques used by people to "get high" are also techniques, used much more carefully, but shaman to attain the altered states of consciousness needed for their practice. I know for one that it explains effects I have felt while drinking various this such as tequila and absinth. I knew that wormwood (the basis of absinth was a hallucinogen) but I didn't realize that agave (the basis of tequila) was also one. That explains largely why tequila effects people the way is does. Lastly, I liked the way the author wrote or compiled the discourses. There were several time where he offered both sides of the argument allowing the student or reader to form their own opinion. My only recommendation, and this goes for several courses, is that they be proof read before posting. I found several cases where parts of the course were missing or unreadable due to poor reproduction of articles or poor coding on the part of web builder. By Rev. Justin M. Oles
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