Potential Pitfalls of Neo-shamanic Practice

  • Karel James Bouse


This chapter describes the pitfalls that can occur to those practicing Neo-shamanism and embracing its accompanying anomalous worldview. Neo-shamanic practice and its resultant awareness of the sacred aspects of the mundane world as well as the existence of a world beyond material consensual reality that is imperceptible with the physical senses tend to place practitioners in a state of chronic cultural dissonance. It is tempting for Neo-shamanic practitioners to turn to spiritual means of dealing with mundane and psychological issues and traumas rather than seeking more culturally sanctioned sources of assistance such as psychotherapy. This spiritual bypassing can result in a failure to adequately resolve the problems at hand. It can also lead to identity dysfunctions, including grandiosity, intensified fantasy proneness (which can present in conditions such as sleep paralysis), and intensified schizotypy. While elements of fantasy proneness and schizotypy can enhance creativity, they have the potential to develop into full-fledged psychological disorders and/or sociological dysfunction if not balanced by connection to the material world through relationships, professional assistance, or a well-grounded identity and integrated Dasein.


Cultural dissonance Spiritual bypassing Dysfunction identity Grandiosity Fantasy proneness Sleep paralysis Schizotypy 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karel James Bouse
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Esoteric PsychologyLoudonUSA

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