In this guide to retrieving destiny, the author explores shamanism, time, identity, and the importance of linguistic weeding.
Modern society, Kowalewski (Death Walkers: Shamanic Psychopomps, Earthbound Ghosts, and Helping Spirits in the Afterlife Realm, 2015, etc.) asserts, is highly stressful. It pushes individuals further and further away from a deep engagement with compassion, purpose, and service. His book begins by delving into a discussion of life’s purpose and the trajectory of the human journey. It then broaches the topic of shamanism and examines the importance of shamanic mentorship. Shamans, the author writes, are the world’s “oldest soul doctors,” who align clients with the purposes and meanings of their lives by such practices as showing them symbols that surround them: linguistic patterns that mire them deeper in egotistical traps. The author explains at length in an orderly set of chapters how shamanism and mentorship have lost meaning and prevalence in modern society due to increased anxiety, an oversaturation of consumerism, and what the author calls an “inadequate initiation of the young into the tribe.” What have replaced them, he notes, are “ego mentors”—psychotherapists, self-help therapists, and life coaches—who provide “mood boosts” that fail to compare to the deep spiritual guidance of shamans. According to Kowalewski, individuals can recognize that shamans—whose common traits are understanding, honesty, humor, and loyalty—are different. Shamans possess the ability to have transcendent relationships with the gods of many cultures, past and present, and to guide clients away from such distractions as false identities, the negative power of words, and attachments to the past. The author, who has a Ph.D. in comparative and international studies, offers what many books in the mystical genre lack: a clear, concise, well-organized depiction of the challenges of spirituality in contemporary life (“Modernism, instead of treating life as a hero’s quest for spiritual significance, has encouraged a professional’s career for economic advancement. We are taught promotion of self instead of service to others”). Any reader who wants to develop a deeper understanding of the self apart from the ego-driven talk that creates suffering should enjoy this thought-provoking work’s lucid focus. Kowalewski successfully presents succinct and simple explanations of the mystical possibilities of a deeper spiritual journey.
A useful and intellectually stimulating manual aimed at readers yearning to find their destinies.