1993 年 1993 巻 42 号 p. 27-43
This paper which is based on original field-work carried out between August 1989 and July 1990 in the Province of Adamawa, Cameroon, presents a typology of medicine men. It offers a description of the initiation by way of dreams, a process which I underwent myself. The initiation by way of dreams is discussed from a psychological perspective. I explore the possibility of reframing the prevailing paradigm of psychotherapy by making use of indigenous African practices.
The initiation by way of dreams includes several stages: the induction of dreams, the overcoming of fear in dreams, the induction of a pathological dream state, and dream control. A medicine-man receives his calling by falling ill according to a culturally defined syndrome. The initiation is a tool to reproduce this creative illness.
During the process the initiate is made to achieve a state of lucid dreams, of ‘being awake while dreaming’. I argue that the concept of ‘lucid dreams’ provides us with an important clue in the study of ecstasy and possession. It also has great potential in training programs for psychotherapists treating borderline or psychotic patients.