Psychotechnologies

Psychotechnologies – Term used by Mircea Eliade to refer to the strategies shamans use to alter states of consciousness and thereby achieve “ecstasy”—from drumming and dancing to fasting and chanting, alongside other forms of sensory deprivation and overstimulation—but Eliade was dismissive of entheogen use, erroneously seeing this as a degenerate practice. Since such “psychotechnologies” might easily be associated with other religious practices as well, they should not be overemphasized as indicative of “shamanism,” with recent trends focusing more on what shamans do in their engagements with other-than-human persons.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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