Mircea Eliade - The spiritual path - signs and symptoms
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy
Sometimes there is not exactly an illness but rather a progressive change in behaviour. The candidate becomes meditative, seeks solitude, sleeps a great deal, seems absent minded, has prophetic dreams and sometimes seizures. All these symptoms are only the prelude to the new life that awaits the unwitting candidate. His behaviour, we may add, suggests the first signs of a mystical vocation, which are the same in all religions and too well known to dwell upon............
We have seen that the future shaman’s vocation can be precipitated – in dreams, ecstasy or during an illness – by a chance encounter with a semidivine being, the soul of an ancestor or of an animal, or as the result of some extraordinary event – lightning strike, mortal accident etc