Monday, 29 August 2016

Book Review: Trance Journeys of the Hunter Gatherers; Ecstatic Practices to Reconnect with the Great Mother and Heal the Earth. By Nicholas E. Brink, Ph.D.

This book review first appeared in issue no. 157 of New Dawn Magazine, July - August 2016.  © Brett Lothian
 Book Review: Trance Journeys Of The Hunter Gatherers. Ecstatic Practices to Reconnect with the Great Mother and Heal the Earth.
By Nicholas E. Brink, Ph.D.

Ecstatic trance has been an intrinsic part of human culture throughout the world for aeons. Unfortunately in our modern industrialised world it has been largely replaced by abstract concepts and technologies that further our disconnection from the natural world, a disconnect that will all too soon become our downfall. Author Nicholas Brink Ph.D. utilising the Cuyamungue Method of inducing ecstatic trance, brings us a message and technique of personal discovery, hope and healing for a time that sorely needs it. Drawing from the knowledge of our Hunter Gatherer ancestors and their techniques of ecstatic trance, the author shows us a way to reconnect with our Great Mother the Earth and to help heal the damage we have wrought upon her in our rampant insecurity, ignorance and arrogance.
Having an affinity for ancient history, anthropology and the like, as well as being experienced in altered states of consciousness and various methods of ecstatic trance, I was intrigued to try the Cuyamungue Method for myself, to see how it compared to the methods of ecstatic trance that I already use. I must say that in the limited amount of time that I have been utilising the Cuyamungue Method, I have found it very interesting to say the least, and am working to incorporate it into my ever evolving ordinary practice. The method as described by the author is very simple and practical for almost anyone to use, powerful and unlike many other methods of ecstatic trance is perfectly safe.

No doubt the vast majority of New Dawn readers would have read extensively about the visions of shaman, prophets and mystics. The amazing tales that have been passed down through the ages of their visions and prophecies have always held a special place in the human imagination. In this book the author brings us the personal ecstatic trance journeys and visions of himself and his fellow practitioners in the different Cuyamungue Method postures,taking us through visionary journeys of shape shifting, encountering totems and spirit guides to journeys of personal growth and healing as well as visions of prophecy and a warning for the future.

Looking back upon previous visions after the passage of time the author and his fellow practitioners show how their ecstatic trance journeys and visions have improved their understanding and allowed them to live better, happier and more fulfilled lives. I found this part of the book to be very interesting as it is an often neglected aspect of the “trip reports” that litter the Internet. All too often people report fantastic visions and trance journeys but do not report back after a period of time to show how they integrated their experience into making their lives better, which is the whole point after all.

Following the Cuyamungue Method as described by the author, you will learn how to experience first hand what the author, ancient shaman, prophets and mystics alike could only allude to in their stories and tales, ecstatic trance and the visions they produce. Anyone that has experienced an ecstatic trance and the visionary experience will be able to tell you that the ecstatic visionary experience can never be fully captured or encapsulated by description, it is to a certain point ineffable and must be personally experienced to be fully appreciated. Through ecstatic trance and the visionary experience we can directly encounter and communicate with what is beyond our ordinary perception of reality, from the spirits of the ancestors, spirit guides, totem animals and spirits of the Earth to the mighty powers above and below.

For far too long human civilisation has been cut off from the personal experience of what has been referred to as either non ordinary reality, the other, the divine or the spirit worlds etc etc, as a means of controlling the population. When you control access to and the information received from the “other side”, when you control the religion, you control the people and how they think. Now is the time for us to no longer place our personal and spiritual destinies in the hands of others, it is time for us to take personal responsibility for our own growth and not rely on the guides who have for so long led us astray. With this book you can begin along that path yourself, to become your own shaman, prophet and priest. You will be able to make your own mind up, as you have experienced it yourself.

By Brett Lothian.

No comments:

Post a Comment