Body and Emotion: The Aesthetics of Illness and Healing in by Robert R. Desjarlais

By Robert R. Desjarlais

Body and Emotion is a examine of the connection among tradition and emotional misery, an exam of the cultural forces that impact, make experience of, and heal serious soreness and malaise. for you to examine this courting, Robert R. Desjarlais served as an apprentice healer one of the Yolmo Sherpa, a Tibetan Buddhist those who dwell within the Helambu area of north-central Nepal.

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Additional resources for Body and Emotion: The Aesthetics of Illness and Healing in the Nepal Himalayas

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Here, phenomenology reads as a narrative strategy. 2. Body, Speech, Mind One drizzly September morning, Meme and I walked a mile west of Gulphubanyang to a small hamlet populated by low-status Tamang and Yolmo families to pick up a shamanic drum I had ordered from Rinchen, a local craftsman. I found the descent along the mountain path to be a slow one, with Meme's bare feet stopping before each twig to brush it off the damp trail. Upon arriving within the cluster of homesteads that made up the hamlet, Meme and I sat on straw mats outside Rinchen's house as he and his sons plowed a plot of land on a hillock above.

The first images involve the patient: she transforms into an outline of white stripes-or bars, as in a jail cell. She is hollow inside save for a small white dove. I sense the dove is trapped inside her "cell," but there is no opening. A lock appears at the top of her head. This lock is to be opened by agtor ma cake, thus letting the dove free. The dove would then flutter around the room, visiting the heads of all the family members, connecting them all with a vibrant thread. Image of the woman clasping her hand over her mouth while the family members, looking on, hold hands over eyes.

Despite the phantasmagoric nature of these visions, with their waste­ lands and personalized symbols, a few toads apparently revealed them­ selves. The first "real" toad was the imaginary garden itself. The trances, facilitated through driving, repetitive music, induced a mode of conscious­ ness in which mythopoeic, image-based thought predominates, a dreamlike process linked to altered and "shamanic" states of consciousness in both Western and non-Western contexts. In this instance, thinking worked through analogy, metaphor, and metonym, a form of experience that often has therapeutic import.

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