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Contemporary Voices from Anima Mundi

A Reappraisal

Edited By Frédérique Apffel-Marglin and Stefano Varese

This book is a reconsideration of spirituality as a lived experience in the lives of the contributors. The authors speak both as well-informed scholars and as individuals who experienced the lived spirituality they give voice to. The authors do not place themselves above and outside of what they are writing about but within that world. They speak of living psychospiritual traditions of healing both the self and the world; of traditions that have not disembedded the self from the wider world. Those traditions are from indigenous North and South America (5 essays), a Buddhist/Shakta from Bengal, an Indo-Persian Islamic psychoanalyst, and a mystical Jewish feminist rabbi. The book also includes a historical essay about the extermination of the Renaissance worldview of Anima Mundi.

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Chapter Nine: Shamanic Archaeology at Chavín de Huántar (Robert Tindall)

Extract

chapter nine

Shamanic Archaeology at Chavín de Huántar

robert tindall

One

My first visit to Takiwasi, the center for the treatment of addiction that utilizes the methods of Amazonian shamanism along with Western psychotherapy, and its host town, Tarapoto, Peru, was many years ago, in a quieter age.

My partner, a Chilean therapist, had already developed a strong affinity with Takiwasi’s surprisingly effective approach to treating addicts and the unique character of its founders, the doctors Jacques Mabit and Rosa Giove. When I joined Susana there, she was doing psychotherapy with the addicts in treatment in the ample, tree-shaded grounds of the center, conducting her dissertation research, and soaking up the accumulated knowledge about traditional plant medicines and shamanic techniques utilized at Takiwasi to heal—especially the psychodynamic effects of plants such as chiric sanango, azucena, rosa sisa, tobacco, tamamuri, and came renaco used in dietas and purgas there.1

At that time, we rented a rustic but very cargado (i.e., spirit-filled) house, around the corner from Takiwasi, for a hundred bucks a month. We slept on borrowed mattresses, cooked on a borrowed stovetop, and invested in a few pots and spoons. We were on pilgrimage at that time. When we left the center, we simply put all our accumulated possessions in the back of a pickup truck and drove to the entrance at Takiwasi, where we gave them away to the staff.

Yet the...

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