Chapter Two begins fire and the worship of fire as "I" (Our protagonist) travels in the Qinghai-Tibetan highlands where he meets a fun-loving old Qiang traditional song master and dancer. He tells him the songs were banned during the Cultural Revolution and not many of the young people can do them now. He knows black magic and uses it. A victim of mountain black magic won't be able to find his way out of the mountain. Demon walls appear in the form of a wall, a cliff or a deep river to keep the traveler from leaving.
You notice the change in pronoun from "you" to "I". Page 11, "While you search for the route to Lingshan, "I' is wandering along the Yangtze River looking for this sort of reality." This is when he introduces the concept of the shamanic journey. Gao had his near death experience or the "demon wall" and has "returned to nature to look for this authentic life." He describes himself as being "caught in a spider's web" as he tries to find his way back to his real self.
Talismans- 4 inch carved wood statue of a person doing a handstand with the word longevity written on the body. These old roots accompany the newborn from birth to death.At death, the talisman is buried in the wilderness so the soul can return to nature.
He is told the story of the hunter myth: an old hunter in a stone hut, with no descendants, no wife who is long dead but his corpse hasn't rotted and wild animals won't go near. His rifle is still intact hanging in the hut, that it never misses it target and no one dares take it.
This is how folk stories begin with a little bit of history and legend mixed together into a narrative.
What is the shamanic journey or soul flight?
In shamanic practice it is believed that part of the soul is free to leave the body. This free soul is believed to leave the body regularly during dreaming. It is thought that part of the soul will leave the body to protect the soul from trauma, see soul retrieval. When a shaman is initiated onto the shamanic path, they usually learn how to send their soul forth intentionally, on the soul flight which is commonly called a journey. In early shamanic societies, many shamans were initiated because of having a near death experience. Death being an experience when all of your soul leaves the body, the near death experience is thought to teach an individual to travel with the soul.
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.