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The Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas: The Fighter's Ultimate Fitness Manual [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Christian Rdtsch , Claudia Muller-Ebeling , Christian Rc$tsch

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Kurzbeschreibung

September 2002
The first comprehensive guide to the shamans and tantrikas of Nepal 

• 605 color and black-and-white illustrations, including 135 color thangkas.

• Includes more than 20 psychoactives never before documented.

• The result of 18 years of field research.

The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal may be the only culture in the world where both shamanic and tantric techniques are still alive and in full practice today. The result of eighteen years of field research, Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of shamanism that is based on the knowledge and experience of the different tribes from that region. Included are original statements from the various ethnic groups and 135 color thangkas, which act as visual guides to the specific practices of the tantric tradition. In addition to the thangkas, the book is lavishly illustrated with numerous photos of different shamanic healing ceremonies, ritual objects, and culturally significant plants that have never been published before. The book also contains a wealth of original recipes, smoking mixtures, scientific tables, charts, and descriptions of more than 20 plants whose psychoactive properties and uses by shamans have never before been researched or documented.

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"An exhaustive, comprehensive, no-nonsense 300 page volume--complete with photographs of shamans in action." (Lolita Lark, RALPH , January 2003)

"Beautifully illustrated, very well written, and deeply insightful." (J.J. Preston, CHOICE, November 2003, Vol.41 No.3)

"Readers are sure to get an introduction to both ancient and modern practices that are often invisible to Western eyes." (The Institute of Noetic Sciences, December-February 2004)

"This book is big, broad, bold, and very very beautiful, literally and metaphorically, my favorite and most functional book." (John Yost, Pan Gaia, Spring 2003)

"Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas provides well-documented research and insight regarding the contribution of pre-Buddhist cultures to our current understanding of Tantrism and Vajrayana. The depth of detailed knowledge regarding the symbolism, rituals, and the indigenous wisdom of the Nepali shamans can be attributed to the authors’ combined expertise in the fields of anthropology, ethnobotany, art history, and ethnography. A visionary masterpiece!" (Alex Grey, artist and author of Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations)

"Shamanic and yogic traditions of the Indian subcontinent are closely linked together in many ways. Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas carefully examines the shamanic teachings of the region, along with their Hindu and Buddhist background. The book is well researched and well referenced, not merely from an academic perspective but in light of the living tradition. Anyone interested in yoga or shamanism will find a wealth of information in this fascinating book." (David Frawley , author of Yoga for Your Type and founder of the American Institute of Vedic Studies)

Synopsis

The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal may be the only culture in the world where both shamanic and tantric techniques are still alive and in full practice today. The result of eighteen years of field research, SHAMANISM AND TANTRA IN THE HIMALAYAS presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of shamanism that is based on the knowledge and experience of the different tribes from that region. Included are original statements from the various ethnic groups and 135 colour thangkas, which act as visual guides to the specific practices of the tantric tradition. In addition to the thangkas, the book is lavishly illustrated with numerous photos of different shamanic healing ceremonies, ritual objects and culturally significant plants that have never been published before. The book, also, contains a wealth of original recipes, smoking mixtures, scientific tables, charts and descriptions of more than 20 plants whose psychoactive properties and uses by shamans have never before been researched or documented. - Contains 605 colour and black-and-white illustrations, including 135 colour thangkas. - Includes more than 20 psychoactives never before documented.

- The result of 18 years of field research.


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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  5 Rezensionen
33 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen More Shamanic than Tantric 24. April 2003
Von James S. Taylor - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The purpose of this work is to explore the worlds of Shamanism and Tantra, specifically in Nepal, not all over the Himalayas, as the title would suggest. The authors divide the subject up into just over 30 major themes and then exposit to varying depths on the particular facets. Each chapter is a mixture of their personal experiences, the reports of their Shaman friends, relevant side-bar quotations from a wide range of sources, and full color photography from beginning to end. Over all, it has some very clear strengths and weaknesses.
On the positive side, the pages are dripping with stunning photography. Rich color reproduction shows off the details of the Shamanic world, Nepal, and over 50 gorgeous paintings of the relevant deities. These paintings are given their own descriptive addendum to insure they are properly appreciated. The majority of what is discussed in the text is pictured somewhere nearby, so if anything is unclear there is immediate visual help at hand. The text itself is clear, engaging, and stock full of details, many of which appear to have been overlooked by other authors writing both on the Himalayan region itself and on Shamanism in general. This wealth of information is because the authors were not satisfied with being arm-chair anthropologists, but spent over a decade among the Nepalese Shamans, becoming their friends, gaining their trust, and being allowed into their world. They are very sympathetic to this view of reality and write about it with passion, so it's rarely boring.
On the other hand, there are some problems. First, despite the size and the comments in the other review, don't be misled into thinking this is encyclopedic. It isn't, and the authors clearly say so themselves. Their major focus is on making available data that is not found in most run of the mill books on Shamanism in this region. The general picture is there, but the details focus on trying to shed light where there has been little before. For this reason, it probably isn't the first book on Shamanism you would want to read. Second, if it's the Tantra angle that interests you, there is very little on it. There is so little, in fact, that there is really only one sustained discussion on it, which is only part of one chapter. The other information is scattered throughout the rest of the book's discussion on Shamanism. Again, this isn't the first book on Tantra you would want to read, but if you know enough about Tantra to connect the dots yourself it provides some really interesting links and suggestions regarding how the two worldviews relate, both doctrinally, artistically, and historically. On the picky side, the text suffers various lapses that will annoy people to different levels. Those involved with religious studies will be progressively irritated with the naive philosophy of religion that the authors display. Despite the book being a monument to the fact that Shamanism functions as a religion, they insist it isn't. They also claim it involves no faith, again in the face of many things presented in the work that must be accepted by faith. In fact, a number of the statements of the Shamans in here are factually inaccurate, yet nothing, no matter how far out, is ever questioned in the slightest, nor is the epistemological problem this casts on the information they gain from their trips, whether on hallucinogens or not, ever discussed. Social and psychological aspects that effect the Shamanic interpretations and the authors' research methodology are dismissed, if not completely ignored. If things like that don't bother you, the sloppy inconsistency on points might. For example, on the exact same page (186) they proclaim that destructive energies can be both destroyed and not destroyed. How about their claim on page 13 that "shamanism only exists in specific areas of Asia" today, which is contradicted by their displayed knowledge of it in the Americas elsewhere in the book? These should not be confused with the numerous contradictions between the various Shamanic schools that are presented, which are given for completeness. Finally, and this would not be worth mentioning if it didn't come up so many times in a book repeatedly promoting love, harmony and understanding: at least one of the authors is anti-Christian to the point of unreasonable bigotry. It ranges from statements of factual error (such as Christianity not being an historically oriented religion) to slander (such as the long disproved accusation that Wycliffe translation teams are covert CIA operatives, for which the authors can only provide a specious debunked source over 20 years old).
All that aside, I bought it, read it, and it has a secure place in my library as a resource I can see returning to many times in the future. It's pricey, but it's worth it. It's the only book I've ever had where I constantly caught people stopped in their tracks looking at the pictures over my shoulder and interrupting my reading to find out what it was.
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent encyclopedic reference 17. Januar 2003
Von John Yost - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The scientific, factual, and succinct data and information listed in Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas exhibits a sense of point blank poignancy and excitement as it reveals the lush mental and psychic worlds that developed in the cultures of regions within the Himalayan landscapes. The facts serve as foundation for the knowledge presented in monologues, essays, and dialogues between the three authors and various shamen (and women!!). For example, nestled among complete writings on Shamanism, Tantrika, Vajra Mantra, Yantra, Mandala, Chakra, Gods, Hallucinogens, Healing, Thangkas, Henbane, Yeti, and the cycle of time one, finds musings of the following nature, and I quote:
"I am sitting at the computer, gazing out at the cloud draped Himalayas, listening to the CD Spiritual Dark Dimensions (1999) by the Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir. My gaze follows the crows, eagles, and vultures that circle and screech in front of our house. I don't know why, but memories well up in me about my encounter with the Jesuit "Father" Caspar Miller, a white-haired old man from some place . . . "
What Christian Ratsch goes on to reveal about the effects of the Jesuit virus within the Social and Spiritual realities of people living in the Himalayan region is astonishing.
Oh, and the pictures. Yes, the pictures. The photographs and dense illustrations really exist beyond words. Even without words, and for the pictures and art alone, this book is worth the somewhat hefty price. And it is encyclopedic. The authors take the time to explain various facets and concepts of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shamanism from the point of view of at least three different religious sects of the region. Also one can find numerous listings of uses and preparations for hallucinogenic ritual plants and fungi from the region, along with prayers to Ganesha and verbatim accounts of animal sacrifice rituals performed in cemeteries. They even have the "Smoking Recipe for the Ceremony of Conjuring the Dead." Can you possibly think of anything more useful than that?
This book is big, broad, bold, and very, very beautiful, literally and metaphorically, my favorite and most functional book in my entire collection. It's certainly not something I sat down and read cover to cover when I first received it.
22 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Visual masterpiece, subtle disaster 12. Mai 2004
Von "funkyfungus" - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Im afraid The austhors have gone beyond their calling on this one
I was truly amazed by the lavish colour of the book and the volume of topics covered
I do recommend it but i also recommend a thorough study of the topics with other resources before taking anything to heart
The few issues i have with this book are serious
Firstly is the issue of Botanical misrepresentation. Christian was involved in re-editing 'Plants of the gods' and made the same errors there in my opinion ruining what was a cornerstone book with loose scholarship. Beware some pictures are misleading and shouldnt be used as ID.
Secondly there are a lot of lists of plants, many of which are presented as if to confirm psychoactivity whilst they remain in reality unconfirmed.There are also several areas where references are used in a very sloppy manner to appear to prop up paragraphs of pure conjecture (i know these because i own the source documents in question)
Much of this could have been clarified easily by the people christian knows, that is to say I KNOW he knows people who could have peered his editing better becuase i know one of them and that person knows many more. This book was released far too early, it needs quite a bit ore review and editing. In contrast we are all still waiting on the English version of the encyclopaedia....
Thirdly the word of the shamans is taken too seriously. Musch of what they say is true but having spent some time making local contacts and chasing similar herbal and cultural connections (the similarities are striking in the interactions with an interested foreigner relayed between Nepalese villagers and Balinese villagers).
The word of the shamans is taken too literally even when contradictions arise. the weakness doesnt lie in that necessarily rather that the information was presented based on this secondary view of reality and seemingly not on the primary view which would have need quite a bit more investigation to elute what the shamns thought, felt , did and really understood to themselves. Without this there i the danger you are being told what you want to hear and what you ellicit even by non verbal cues
A specialist researcher going into this situation runs into real danger unless they are trained properly to be the quiet yet interactive observer and not be ask questions that might 'lead the witness'.
Its strange - i love this book for its beauty and enjoyment and yet i do not hold it in high regard as a refernce text for anything id write. Its simply got too many holes and glaring errors to be trusted enough. And thats it all, Trust.
Its a function of the sum quality of the scholars work and without that what might have been a great book is converted to something half true and potentially very dangerous to the truth
Great coffee table book though i think the more concise books, the original Plants of the gods by Schultes and hoffman as well as the stunning work, Great books of Hashish vol 2 is of a much higher standard.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyable, rich 4. Februar 2007
Von Jose Joacir dos santos - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I wish I could find more books like it is: Full of pictures, details, showing the beauty of Tibet, before it desapears completely...
0 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas 24. August 2005
Von D. Palmeri - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The book is just wonderful and it was shipped very quickly. Thank you!
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