Sources of Inspiration

Andrei A. Znamenski

in The Beauty of the Primitive

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780195172317
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785759 | DOI:
  Sources of Inspiration

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This chapter examines how Native Americana, perceived as a source of profound ecological and spiritual wisdom, has contributed to the formation of the neo-shamanism community in the West. The controversy that sprang up from the use of Native American symbolism by American and European spiritual practitioners is discussed, along with attempts by members of the neo-shamanism community in the West to move away from the Native American dreamlands and toward their own European indigenous spirituality. The manner in which Carl Jung handled non-Western spirituality offers guidelines which many current spiritual seekers interested in the retrieval of pre-Christian European traditions find useful. Jung implied that Europeans concerned about their roots should look into their own indigenous spirituality and mythology; the alien tradition can be helpful to situate one's spiritual experiences, but the materials should be indigenous.

Keywords: shamanism; Native Americana; Carl Jung; Europe; pagans; folklore; American Indians

Chapter.  20708 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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