In The Twelve Gates, clinical anthropologist John Rush embarks on a spellbinding journey through death rituals in various cultures, centering on the ancient Egyptian philosophy of death and resurrection. The first part of the book provides an overview of different rituals, encouraging readers to confront their feelings about death and to reevaluate their lives. The author details his own experiences preparing for death, including a painful tattooing process inspired by the ancient Egyptian Books of the Netherworld. He then guides readers through the Twelve Gates of the Underworld, symbolic ritual stages during which they can figuratively experience death and rebirth. A set of full-color tarot cards, designed by the author, is included as an aid in passing through each of the Gates. These ancient rituals, performed by pharaohs and priests for thousands of years, help ease the way toward a peaceful, conscious death.
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Say “body modifications” and most people think of tattoos and piercings. They associate these mainly with the urban primitives of the 1980s to today and with primitive tribes. In fact, as this fascinating book shows, body mods have been on the scene since ancient times, traceable to as far back as 1.5 million years, and they also encompass scarification, branding, and implants. Professor John Rush outlines the processes and procedures of these radical physical alterations, showing their function as rites of passage, group identifiers, and mechanisms of social control. He explores the use of pain for spiritual purposes, such as purging sin and guilt, and examines the phenomenon of accidental cuts and punctures as individual events with sometimes-profound implications for group survival. Spiritual Tattoo finds a remarkable consistency in body modifications from prehistory to the present, suggesting the importance of the body as a sacred geography from both social and psychological points of view.
What is counseling and therapy? How are individuals “cured?” What are the techniques involved? How do marriages get back on track? What are the similarities between therapy in our culture and others? What are High Risk Messages, and where do they come from? What does ritual termination and social reintegration (for the most part lacking in Western psychology and psychiatry) have to do with the healing process, and why are they so necessary? What is the single most important element in any therapeutic setting?
Emotional problems often interfere with physical healing and there are few works that specifically address this issue with an easy to understand model (or process) and techniques. In this easy to understand and elegantly presented work, and using an Anthropological model, Dr. Rush leads the reader through the processes and procedures for dealing with emotional problems and conflict in one’s self, family, work place (including government agencies), anywhere!
In this work Dr. Rush avoids the unproven assumptions in depth psychology and concentrates on how and why we stress our selves with specific types of information and then reveals how you can “immunize” yourself. His approach is easy to understand and, unlike most models of cause in Western psychology and psychiatry, verifiable. With this information and techniques you can truly take control of your life and help people take control of theirs. This is one of the most important book you will read!
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This unique book applies concepts from the field of anthropology to clinical settings to result in a powerful and dynamic model/theory of clinical anthropology. Clinical settings could include hospitals, police and probation situations, individual and family counseling, as well as cross-cultural issues and governmental policy. The model presented in this work allows individuals and groups to reduce stress and move toward personal and group health. Although a textbook, the style is easy reading. What others have said about this work:
“John Rush’s is no ordinary medical or applied medical anthropology book of the 1980’s or 1990’s. It is a refreshing antidote to the narrow scholarly specializations and narrow interests that have made anthropology over at least the past two decades so parochial a field. I know of no other clinical/medical anthropology work like it.”
Howard F. Stein
Professor of Family Medicine
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
The terms “Clinical Anthropology” and “Clinically Applied Anthropology” have been in the literature for many years. Until now, however, there was no model that would set this field apart from clinical psychology, psychiatry, or Western biomedical practices. Using an information processing model, Dr. Rush presents a unique process for understanding both social/emotional illness and physical illness; this makes Clinical Anthropology distinct from the other disciplines.
Combined with his companion works, Healing the Self & Others, Aging and Nutrition, and soon to be released, The Holistic Health Practitioner: Clinical Anthropology and the Return to Traditional Medicine, the professional, as well as parents, educatiors, anyone, will have a process and tools for dealing with many social/emotional and physical problems.
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