Tag Archives: carl g jung shamanism

Birth Of a Shaman * The Near-Death Experiences Of Psychiatrist Carl G Jung

One of the most intriguing and, for many, most convincing sources of knowledge about “the Other Side” and the meaning of life here on earth is the Near-Death Experience, known as the NDE.  People almost invariably report similar experiences, including learning about the meaning of life, the illusory nature of death, and the fact that we live not one but many lifetimes.  Above all, the message is one of love and endless patience with each slowly but surely evolving human being.

Here, I reproduce large sections of Carl G. Jung’s own description of his near-death experience which took place while he was very ill (very typical of NDEs) and which in many ways represents the real Jung, as opposed to the more mainstream psychiatrist and cross-cultural explorer.  What we find here are many landmarks of the journey into shamanism, a journey almost never sought, but one which can seldom be evaded.

Beginnings

“As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.” Carl G. Jung.

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Shamanism * Walking the Solitary Path

In Shamanism Part 1 * Journey to the West I talked about the coming of shamanism – in altered “core” forms – to the West, suggesting it was here to stay, and that even in these altered forms, shamanism works.

In Shamanism Part 2 * Psyche, Symbol and Transformation, I discussed why shamanism works as a dynamic, transformative catalyst of healing and growth. I suggested that there is an essential shamanism which resonates with the structure and dynamics of the human psyche long ago revealed in all cultures, in myth, legend, and story-telling. I went on to summarize briefly the essential elements of shamanism which play out in psyche, symbol and journey.

Here, in part 3 of the Shamanism series, I suggest that one may train as a shaman not only outside of ritual but outside of group, within a personal, private framework of meditation and metaphysical studies guided by the Higher Self. Once we understand that transformation occurs within Higher Mind through symbols, we can see why shamanism can “work” for a solitary path.

Indeed, while most shamans serve a community, they are also noted for living apart, often in somewhat inaccessible locations. They continue their work in the various realms even when, perhaps especially when, they are alone.

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