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The first comprehensive presentation of the core teachings of the Kalahari Bushmen as told by the Tribal Elders
• Reveals how the Bushmen are able to receive direct transmissions of God’s love for healing and spiritual transformation
• Explores tribal legends and teaching tales, the importance of dreams and animals, and the origins of their dances, rituals, and ceremonies
Step into the imaginative realm of one of the oldest continuous cultures on Earth, the Kalahari Ju/’hoansi Bushmen. Translated by Beesa Boo, a Bushman, and interspersed with detailed commentary from Bradford and Hillary Keeney, this book presents the core teachings of the Kalahari Bushmen as told by the tribal elders themselves. Decades in the making, it constitutes the first comprehensive work on the world’s oldest tradition of healing and spiritual experience.
Told in their own words, these teachings reveal how the Bushmen are able to receive direct transmissions of God’s love in the form of the universal life force, n/om. The individuals who are filled with this force describe it as an awakened, energized feeling of love that inspires a spontaneous and heightened ecstatic awareness that opens mystical perception. Having your heart transfixed by this force enables true healing and spiritual growth to occur. Experiencing the force in your entire being, through a vision of “God’s egg”, awakens deep spiritual wisdom and extraordinary healing gifts. Those who “own the egg” are blessed with the ability to have direct communication with the Divine, a “rope to God,” and can communicate with others for all “ropes” are connected.
Conveying the deep love that is the dominant emotion of Bushman spirituality, the book explores tribal legends and teaching tales, the importance of dreams and encounters with animals, the origins of their dances, such as the giraffe dance, and specific rituals and ceremonies, including puberty rites for boys and girls.
“As the elder teachers of the Ju’/hoan Bushman (San) people, we hold the most enduring traditional wisdom concerning healing and spiritual experience. This book is a testimony of our ecstatic ways. We happily share our basic teachings about spirituality and healing with those whose hearts are sincerely open.”
Bradford Keeney, Ph.D., is a renowned traditional healer, spiritual teacher, musician, and scholar. His fieldwork with the Kalahari Bushmen (San) in Namibia and Botswana began more than two decades ago. He is the author of many books, including Bushman Shaman and Shaking Medicine. Hillary Keeney, Ph.D., is a traditional healer, spiritual teacher, dancer, scholar, and associate editor of Dance, Movement, and Spirituality. Together the Keeneys cofounded the Keeney Institute for Healing.
Table of Contents
Entering the World of the Ju|’hoansi
We Invite You to Dance with God: A Welcome from the Ju|’hoan Bushman Elders Part One
1 God’s Divine Egg
2 Getting Cooked by God 3 Receiving N|om 4 The Stations of N|om 5 Ropes to God 6 Transmitting N|om 7 Bushman Healers and Healing 8 N!o’an-ka|’ae: The Changing 9 First and Second Creation 10 Meeting the Ancestors 11 Kabis and the Classrooms 12 All of Creation Dances 13 N|om Songs 14 The Heart of the Spears 15 The Old Ways 16 The Ideal Bushman Life 17 Everyone Is Invited to Dance with God
The Elders Speak: Remembrances
18 N!ae G≠kau
19 N!ae Kxao
20 Ti!’ae ≠Oma
21 |Ui N!a’an
22 ≠Oma Dahm
23 G|aq’o Kaqece
24 N!ani G|aq’o
25 Tci!xo !Ui
26 Kaqece |Kaece
27 |Ui Debe
28 Tcoq’a |Ui
29 |Xoan |Kun
30 |Kunta Boo Appendix
Dictionary of the Ju|’hoan Religion: Words Used by the N|om-kxaosi