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After 'Hit Man'
The New York Times bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man documents John Perkins’ extraordinary career as a globe-trotting economic hit man. Perkins’ insider’s view leads him to crisis of conscience—to the realization that he must devote himself to work which will foster a world-wide awareness of the sanctity of indigenous peoples, their cultures, and their environments. Perkins’ books demonstrate how the age-old shamanic techniques of some of the world’s ...
After 'Hit Man'
The New York Times bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man documents John Perkins’ extraordinary career as a globe-trotting economic hit man. Perkins’ insider’s view leads him to crisis of conscience—to the realization that he must devote himself to work which will foster a world-wide awareness of the sanctity of indigenous peoples, their cultures, and their environments. Perkins’ books demonstrate how the age-old shamanic techniques of some of the world’s most primitive peoples have sparked a revolution in modern concepts about healing, the subconscious, and the powers each of us has to alter individual and communal reality.
Many indigenous cultures practice shapeshifting. Native American hunters take on the spirit of their prey to ensure a successful hunt; Asian medicine men “ingest” a sickness to heal the one afflicted; Amazon warriors become jaguars to soundlessly travel the jungle. Those who shapeshift understand that all of life is energy and that by focusing your intent you can change energetic patterns, rendering a new form. Shapeshifting can occur on three levels: cellular—transforming from human to plant or animal; personal—becoming a new self or leaving an addiction behind; and institutional—creating a new business or cultural identity.
Since 1968, master shamans in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas have been training John Perkins to teach the industrial world about the powerful techniques involved in shapeshifting. His groundbreaking book takes you to deserts and jungles, mountains and oceans, medical research centers and corporate board rooms to learn the step-by-step methods of this practice that integrates ancient and modern techniques to bring about profound healing.
“His groundbreaking book takes you to deserts and jungles, mountains and oceans, medical research centers and corporate board rooms to learn the step-by-step methods of this practice that integrates ancient and modern techniques to bring about profound healing.”
"Shapeshifting is an engaging saga of one individual's transformation from global businessman to on-the-ground conservationist and healer."
"John Perkins eloquently portrays how changing our dream can propel us into shapeshifting not only ourselves but also the reality of the world around us. Perkins is a bridge."
"John's wonderful storytelling creates a journey so captivating it shifted me beyond time and space—a compelling book for anyone."
from the Introduction
I stood back and observed him: a gringo in a gray pinstriped suit standing stiff as a fountain pen, staring out at the muddy place where the plane was supposed to land.
Mud covered his black shoes and there were blotches of it caked to his trousers. His hair was cropped short and he was clean-shaven. His arms were folded tightly across his chest; he stared straight into the rainforest on the other side of the airstrip. Lounging at the edge of the jungle, was a Shuar family: a man and woman and three tiny children, the youngest nestled against the woman’s breast.
He did not move as I approached. “Good morning,” I said in English.
He spun around as though he had been shot. Then, seeing me, his face lit up in a smile. “Good morning indeed! You speak English. How wonderful! My name is Knut Thorsen.” By his slight accent, I thought him Scandinavian.
I introduced myself.
“A Peace Corps volunteer. How remarkable! Have you lived here long?”
I explained that I had been stationed in Ecuador for four months. And added, “But not here. I live further in.”
“Further into the jungle?” He shook his head in disbelief. “With the Shuar?”
“Yes. There are Shuar.”
“Is it true? Are they really headhunters?”
I assured him that the Shuar still shrunk the heads of enemies on occassion, but that customs were changing rapidly. Unable to contain my own curiosity, I blurted out, “What brings a man in a pinstriped suit to Sucua?”
He looked sheepishly at his jacket and trousers. “Why am I here? Well, I work for a consulting firm that does feasibility studies for the World Bank. I’ve been looking at a potential hydroelectric site on the Paute River.”
“Yes. It’s not too close to here I know, but the same drainage basin. So—a justifiable trip for my expense account. Besides,” he smiled, “I wanted to visit an Amazon town, a frontier outpost. I wanted to see Shuar.” He nodded in the direction of the family at the edge of the jungle.
He glanced toward the airstrip, a worried expression crossing his face. “Isn’t the plane due to arrive any moment now?”
“Once I had to wait a week.”
“In Cuenca they said it was a daily flight.”
“Of course. Better late than not at all.” With that he turned and led us back to one of the tables. For the next two hours we talked about ourselves, our backgrounds, and our jobs. He was Norwegian. He had moved to the United States shortly after World War II to attend MIT, where he received degrees in engineering and business administration. He joined a prestigious Boston-based consulting firm, became a partner, and was now senior vice president.
“Despite all the good things in my life,” he admitted, “I’d trade places with you in a heartbeat.”
“You’re young, coming of age in a fascinating world where change will happen rapidly. The survival of our species may well depend on the decisions made by you and your contemporaries.” His eyes wandered around the lean-to, out to the airstrip, and back to me. “You personally have the rare opportunity to learn from cultures like the Shuar.”
This struck me as odd. My Peace Corps teachers had always spoken of what we could teach the Shuar, not the other way around. Before I could ask him to explain, a shout went up.
“The plane’s coming,” I told him.
His face lit up. Then, like everyone else in the lean-to, he concentrated on listening. After a moment he leaned toward me. “I hear nothing,” he whispered.
“The Shuar always hear the plane long before the rest of us.”
“Amazing,” he said. “I wonder what the medical doctors have to say about that. What happens if the clouds close in?”
“Once the plane lands, it must leave. The pilot’s better off taking his chances with storms and mountains than disappointing these farmers.”
“Maybe he is. But what about us?”
“You can stay here if you don’t like the weather. . .”
There was little we could do. We simply waited and watched. Then I remembered his comment. I turned to him. “A while ago you said something about learning from the Shuar. That I had a rare opportunity. What did you mean by that?”
He thought for a moment, his intensely blue eyes holding mine. “Our world is changing like never before. We in our culture, we industrial people, are doing some very strange things.” He turned to look at me. “I’m an engineer, here to build a hydroelectric plant. But even I can see that the rest of the world cannot afford to follow our example. How many rivers can we dam? How many cars can we manufacture? How many forests can we cut and pave over with highways? How many people can live in houses like mine? It’s foolish to believe this can go on forever. Our way of life is irrational and unsustainable. Young people like you are the hope. Yet you cannot learn from our universities—they’re tied to the ideas of the past. You must look elsewhere. To people like the Shuar.”
His words caught me off guard. I was certain that Congress was not paying me to become educated by headshrinkers.
“It won’t be easy,” he continued. “Ever hear about men who change shape, use mystical techniques to turn themselves into trees or animals? The shapeshifters . . . Ask your Shuar friends to teach you. Techniques like that may offer the only hope for changing your—our—culture.”
A man rushed up to us. “Senores, get your luggage. Time to leave! Vamos rapidito.”
We hurried to the plane. As we buckled ourselves in, he reached across the space between our seats and touched my arm. “The corporate world is not an easy one to change. No point in combating it head on.”
Part 1: The View From Above
1 The Mayan View
2 A Corporate Executive in the Amazon
3 The Matter of Energy
4 Desert Bedouin and the Shifting Sands
5 Institutional Versus Personal Shapeshifting
6 Shapeshifting with Bugimen
7 The Nature of Ecstasy, and Dreams Versus Fantasies
8 Lessons from a Headhunter and an Andean Healer
9 Shifting the Utility Industry
Part 2: The View From Without
11 An Amazon Shaman Disappears
12 Being the "Other"
13 Shapeshifting a Deadly Virus
14 Globes of Energy
15 Indigenous Elders Speak Out
16 Shapeshifting Through Time and Space
Note on Dream Change Coalition
Posted March 1, 2001
SHAPESHIFTING is a real gem! Author John Perkins takes us with him on an amazing journey to comprehend the methods used by shamen around the world to vanish and reappear, transform into plants and animals, heal seemingly inoperable medical conditions, and travel through space and time. He tells fascinating stories of how he overcame his initial skepticism and doubt to became one with a chair, transform herbs into a newspaper, and travel through time and space as a blue ball of light. Perkins describes a method for discerning between creating something of lasting value (dream), and creating something of transitory relevance (fantasy). SHAPESHIFTING also details a powerful technique for taking a dream that you wish to manifest, focusing on it with your mind and heart, energizing it, and releasing it. Perkins explains that with energy, belief, and intent... anything is possible.
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Posted January 12, 2011
This has been one of the most negative books I've read in the Spiritual/Mystical subjects. Incredibly negative, focused on the past and not the 'now', blame oriented, just not something I expected from a "spiritual" book.
This is a very difficult book for me to finish. Not because of how it's written, but the content itself. Rather then a book on Shamans or Shapeshifting, it's really book against the West. If you are thinking of this book as an actual book on the subject of Shapeshifting (either physical, emotional, financial shapeshifting, etc.) there aren't but 20 pages dedicated to that.
Throughout the book is this whole idea that it's "wrong" to change an environment... such as transforming a desert into a mecca. Which, now after finishing the book, I realize is actually contrary to the whole point of shapeshifting. Why not transform a desert into a garden of eden? After all, isn't that what shapeshifting is about? there are so many places where deserts (if transformed) would lead to less disease, more food, better life expentancy. Yet he's against it, evidently... again his political baggage just gets in the way of what should be a good read.
As I got deeper, into chapter 7, the author then proceeds to explain the sources of all sexual misconduct in western societies - that our psychiatrists and therapists are not allowed to grope their patients. Absurdity. He goes on to give counsel that the older societies that had partner swaps were far superior to our idea of monogamous relationships.
Then of course we have the complaint of Missionaries: His complaint was once the tribes learn to read, they can give up oral tradition. This isn't really a complaining about missionaries, so much as education. Oral teachings always drop off, after reading and writing is paramount. This isn't the result of Missionaries, but the result of the natural change due to education. So really he's against education
In Chapter 15, the author's translator is almost killed by the tribesmen he visits. He doesn't blame them, but rather... America. The author doesn't hold the tribesmen to the same expectations he holds America. No, he instead blames America for tribe politics and bad behavior. In other words, Americans should abide by Ethics but Tribesmen aren't supposed to take personal responsibility for their actions.
A double standard.
The last chapter is again holding the West/Gringo's responsible for all ills that affect the world.
The stories outside the blame blanket (2nd half of the book) were interesting and very cool.
The stories of healings, weight loss, adiction control through the Ecuador shamans, is amazing - yet again, he removes all detail. He gives some interesting stories, points to some referenced and scientifically proved data on healings. I wish the entire book was this!
Posted May 17, 2010
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