CENTRAL EUROPEAN JOURNAL FOR CONTEMPORARY RELIGION

CENTRAL EUROPEAN JOURNAL FOR CONTEMPORARY RELIGION
Central European Journal for Contemporary Religion is a scholarly journal issued both by the Hussite Theological Faculty of the Charles University and Karolinum Press, serving as a publication platform for Comparative Religion and related scholarship. It focuses mainly on contemporary religious phenomena with special (but not exclusive) focus on Central and Eastern Europe. It should serve both as a source of information on the religious life in the region and as a reservoir of scholarly studies focused on contemporary lived religion at large. It is issued semi-annually both in print and online (open access). Its goal is to bring up thought-provoking contributions related not only to current established religions and religious movements, both new and old, but also to map contemporary spirituality in its wider context including New Age milieu, Neopaganism and pop-cultural spirituality. The journal also covers latest theoretical and methodological trends in Comparative Religion, Ritual Studies and other disciplines. The editorial board consists of scholars from most Czech Comparative Religion departments as well as experts on the most important religious traditions of the world.

CENTRAL EUROPEAN JOURNAL FOR CONTEMPORARY RELIGION, Vol 3 No 2 (2019), 91–107

Healing by Fiction: Carlos Castaneda in the Context of Neo-Shamanism and Psychotherapy

Matyáš Müller

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14712/25704893.2020.2
announced: 02. 10. 2020

abstract

Carlos Castaneda is famous for the series of books about his shamanistic apprenticeship and, subsequently, mastery. As an author, however, he seems to be resisting any categorization as he has been moving on the borders of ethnography, fiction and esoterism. This article aims to assess his possible contribution to psychotherapeutic theory and practice. Castaneda is considered one of the fathers of the neo-shamanistic movement that seems to be linked to some schools of Western psychotherapy in many ways. However, he does not display many of its typical characteristics. While neo-shamanism tends to emphasize positive aspects of the world, harmony and healing, Castaneda emphasizes contemplating the “dark side of the world” and his approach contains a lot of dangerous and potentially psychologically disruptive techniques. Castaneda is thus probably less convenient for psychotherapeutic use than some of his followers. Despite that, some elements of his work seem to have a psychotherapeutic potential and they have not been left unnoticed in the psychotherapeutic community. I emphasize two specific elements of his work to be key in this respect: narrativity and direct bodily experience. Castaneda’s ambiguous position at the borders of genres thus can serve us to perceive their permeability at the one hand but also to remind us of the importance of keeping them apart on the other hand.

keywords: Carlos Castaneda; Neo-Shamanism; Psychotherapy; Body; Narrative

Creative Commons License
Healing by Fiction: Carlos Castaneda in the Context of Neo-Shamanism and Psychotherapy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

157 x 230 mm
published: 2 x per year
print price: 180 czk
ISSN: 2533-7955
E-ISSN: 2570-4893

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