The Straight Path of the Spirit: Ancestral Wisdom and Healing Traditions in Fiji [NOOK Book]

Overview


The inspiring story of one man's exploration of indigenous healing in a culture fighting to preserve its spiritual health.


• A firsthand account of a little-known healing tradition.


• A dramatic story of self-transformation by a well-respected Harvard-educated anthropologist.


In the late 1970s Richard Katz, a clinical psychologist trained in anthropology, spent two years living in a remote island community in Fiji, hoping to record the practices of its healers. At the ...

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The Straight Path of the Spirit: Ancestral Wisdom and Healing Traditions in Fiji

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Overview


The inspiring story of one man's exploration of indigenous healing in a culture fighting to preserve its spiritual health.


• A firsthand account of a little-known healing tradition.


• A dramatic story of self-transformation by a well-respected Harvard-educated anthropologist.


In the late 1970s Richard Katz, a clinical psychologist trained in anthropology, spent two years living in a remote island community in Fiji, hoping to record the practices of its healers. At the foundation of their healing, he discovered, was the concept of the straight path, a journey through life whose truth is revealed only to the extent that it is searched for with honesty and faith. It is a way of healing that in its very essence is a way of living, a path that emphasizes the spiritual dimensions of health and the relevance of these to the community. But while interviewing healers at work, Katz was drawn into an increasingly suspenseful drama. Unexplained deaths, rumors and suspicions, and the intrusion of a zealous evangelist rocked the village and soon revealed to the author the dangerous alternative to the straight path: the misuse of power that some call witchcraft.

The Straight Path of the Spirit is an engrossing story of indigenous healers and a dramatic account of cultures in collision. Through the story of his own self-transformation, Katz reveals not only those aspects of life essential for the Fijians as they struggle to hold onto their identity, but also what is of importance to all of us who seek to retain our humanity.

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Editorial Reviews

American Herb Association
His presentation is in the academic style of the psychologist and anthroplogist that he is, yet he makes the book readable and engaging.
American Herb Association
"His presentation is in the academic style of the psychologist and anthroplogist that he is, yet he makes the book readable and engaging."
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
This is no New-Age vapor, but a sensitive, penetrating insight into a deeply mysterious aspect of humanity that has no parallel in Western culture. Katz was blessed by the Fijians, and imparts his blessing to us."
Vol 16:4 American Herb Association
"His presentation is in the academic style of the psychologist and anthroplogist that he is, yet he makes the book readable and engaging."
author of The Harmless People and Reindeer Moon Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
This is no New-Age vapor, but a sensitive, penetrating insight into a deeply mysterious aspect of humanity that has no parallel in Western culture. Katz was blessed by the Fijians, and imparts his blessing to us."
From the Publisher
"His presentation is in the academic style of the psychologist and anthroplogist that he is, yet he makes the book readable and engaging."

This is no New-Age vapor, but a sensitive, penetrating insight into a deeply mysterious aspect of humanity that has no parallel in Western culture. Katz was blessed by the Fijians, and imparts his blessing to us."

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594775161
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Katz received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught there for twenty years. He is the author of Boiling Energy: Community Healing among the Kalahari Kung and The Straight Path: A Story of Healing and Transformation in Fiji. He is now a professor at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College in Saskatoon.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments

Coming In: Exchange and Responsibility

Part One: Healing in Fijian Culture

1. Vanua: The Land, the People, the Culture
2. Ceremonies and the Work of Healing

Part Two: The Story
3. Healing in the City
4. Conversations with Ratu Noa
5. First visit to Tovu
6. Conversations with Ratu Noa
7. Moving to the Village
8. Tevita's Healing Work
9. Converstaions with Ratu Noa
10. A Death
11. A Second Death
12. "Lots of Dreams, Lots of Problems"
13. Conversations with Ratu Noa
14. Monday Night Healing
15. Telephone to the Vu
16. Conversations with Ratu Noa
17. A Third Death
18. The Dance of the Moon
19. "Everything Is Hard to Explain
20. Conversations with Ratu Noa
21. Reverend Jemesa Comes to Tovu
22. The Weight of Suspicion
23. "There Is Sickness in the Land"
24. Joeli's Sickness
25. Conversations with Ratu Noa
26. Ratu Noa's Message to Tevita
27. Tevita Is No Longer Retired
28. Conversations with Ratu Noa
30. Return to Fuji

Part Three: The Straight Path
31. A Way of Living
32. A Transformational Approach to Healing, Development, and Social Change
Going Out: Responsibility and Exchange

Appendix A: Respect and Vulnerability in Research

Appendix B: Research Structure

Names That Make the Story

Glossary

Bibliography

Index
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