In his latest book, Malidoma Some talks about how the wisdom developed over millenia by indigenous people in Africa can be used to deal with the very real psychological and spiritual impoverishment of the West. He says that while the West has an abundance of material goods (taken in large part from the natural resources that belong to all living creatures), Africans possess the capacity of enriching their own lives by communicating through rituals on a continuous basis with what he calls the "other world", the world beyond the material senses, or what Carlos Castaneda would call the "human inventory". Some recommends getting in touch with our ancestors and keeping them in our lives by devoting shrines to them and opening a dialogue with them. This makes particular sense to someone who has lost someone close and feels a great lack between the material message that the person is dead and therefore gone, and the feeling that somehow one has not really disconnected. Some also recommends frequent grief rituals (not just when suffering a loss but all the time) to keep the spirit in tune, and purged of the daily wear and tear of living. It is a wonderful book: humane, wise, well-thought out and very well written. A real joy for someone looking for a new way of dealing with life.
This book clearly offers the insights and wisdom that many "Western" readers seek for the creation of community and healing rituals. Malidoma's writing is inspiring and personal. I felt not only a deeper understanding of the Dagara way of life, but also of the commitment and dedication Malidoma has in offering their wisdom for healing the ills of the modern world. I was left with a sense of embarrassment and shame that for all the complexities, distractions and damage that we have brought down upon the indigenous cultures of the world, that this wonderfully generous and caring man would offer us healing rituals in return. I would hope that all who read this book will take its message to heart and work to incorporate the healing rituals that are described into their lives. I sincerely believe that the survival of both the modern and natives cultures depends on it.
I have read this book along with all of Malidoma's works. I believe Malidoma has one of the best skills at articulating the problem that Western/European reality has posed on the rest of us. I personally do not use the specific rituals that he recommends because I have rituals that my own culture prescribes; however, I think any person that is ready to take a spiritual advance need to read this book and put his suggestions to practice. I have met Malidoma and found him to have a beautiful spirit filled with wisdom and the innocence of a child. I believe that anyone can trust what this teacher has to say. I also recommend this book for all priests and healers in the world because Malidoma has touched something that need not be ignored if we are to heal ourselves and others. Thank you Malidoma.
Malidoma shows a great understanding of his peoples' values and trys to put them into western language as articulately as possible. The result is a window into another world so unrelated in every way to the one we are so distracted with. Malidoma very concisely sets the book out under the headings of values that his culture considers are of the most importance eg. ritual, he then passes on the physical happenings and the spiritual meanings behind it. It is an eloquent and yet complex read that will touch your souls memory and it remembers the peace that it felt once....
I am reading this book with great pleasure and anticipation. After completing 1/3 of it, I feel compelled to recommend it to people interested in spiritual awakening. Attending Catholic school for 8 years dulled my senses to the spiritual world and the positive knowledge it has to offer. I have been frightened to learn more about spirits, and this book has made me fear them and death less. I also have a better value of community and ancestors as a result of reading this book. Thank you Prof. Some for sharing your scholarship and knowledge of indigenous African beliefs.
i have not read this yet, but just spent a week with malidoma at a conference for youth and mentors. the man is brilliant and lives as he writes. his use of tribal and ancestral wisdom crosses barriers of race and culture and brings much needed healing.we are lucky the dagara elders sent him here to share the old ways.
Malidoma Some', gives a clear explination, of the African World View, as seen thru the eyes of the Dagara people. It's a book of philosophy, spirituality and culture, presented for any reader tocomprehend. This book opens the doors to a greater understanding of African culture.