The reason why the involvement looks very like a psychosis is that the patient is integrating the same fantasy-material to which the insane person falls victim because he cannot integrate it but is swallowed up by it.
In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it.
And yet both have to deal with the same dragon.
Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if he once saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing. Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the “treasure hard to attain.”
He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself.
This experience gives him faith and trust, the pistis [the faith] in the ability of the Self to sustain him, for everything that menaced him from inside he has made his own.
He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means.
He has arrived at an inner certainty which makes him capable of self-reliance, and attained what the alchemists called the unio mentalis.
Fabiane M. Borges, an essayist, researcher and PhD in clinical psychology, in a web article called “Technoshamanism and Wasted Ontologies”, says about shamanism,
When we perceive shamanism not as tribal religions or as the beliefs of archaic people (as is still very common) but as a technology of knowledge production, we radically change the perception of its meaning.
I like this, a ‘technology of knowledge production’. This definition is nice and clean, not loaded with cultural connotations. The article goes on to detail some practicalities of embracing shamanism in a globally connected world, but I especially like how the title makes the connection between the idea of knowledge production and ontology, the study of being. It’s not just any knowledge that shamanism produces, but knowledge of the nature of being and existence.