Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Trance Portation: Learning to Navigate the Inner World
By: Diana L. Paxson
What I like: The book is very well organised and the information is solid. The book is designed to be read over a period of months, as each chapter's exercise is undertaken and understood before moving on to the next. The text contains an appendix aimed at teachers who are taking students through the process of trance. As such, this book is suitable for teaching groups though the author suggests it is suitable for solitary students.
What I dislike: the style of delivery rather dry and uninspiring; I had to push myself to read the book, as it was part of a book club group read. I am not a newcomer to trance, and perhaps this made it more difficult for me to engage with the information provided.
There appears to be a serious flaw with the book: the author assumes every reader is capable of adapting each exercise to their own tradition, but this is not always the case. For instance, if the reader is also new to particular path, faith or tradition they will have no understanding of the landscape traversed by followers, or the deities, entities, etc. and, as such, will not know how to adapt the exercises therein. Although Paxson does provide some examples, these are not comprehensive and this could leave a newcomer rather at a loss.
Would I recommend it to others: As it is aimed more at the newcomer, I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone for the reasons stated above; however, I would think it suitable for students to work through with their teachers.