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Shamanism and Shamanic Practices: Experimental Approach and Theoretical


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Article · October 2015

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Taras Handziy
Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin
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The article is a part of my research “Relationship with Spirits” (including experiments in
shamanism) carried out at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter Campus, United
Kingdom in the period: 13 April 2015 – 12 July 2015. Mentor of my research is Prof Bettina
Schmidt.

Taras Handziy

Shamanism and Shamanic Practices: Experimental Approach


and Theoretical Development

Abstract

The article is about modelling of shamanism and shamanic practices in terms that are
probably known to people who are not shamans themselves. The model provided in the
article is a description of shamans' world. The approach is experiential. The theory is
explanatory, based on provided activities and experiments in shamanism. The main
activities of a shaman include a spirit embodiment and shamanic journey. The article is
based on time slip experiments too. It seems the article will be useful and interesting for
those who one day unexpectedly or expectedly will appear in the “spirit world”. The
information provided in the article will help to find the entrance to the “spirit world” and
have the first shamanic journey. It also directs attention to the evolution of a human being
by pointing out the probable direction of the evolution of a soul.

Keywords: shamanism; spirit world; shamanic journey; spirit embodiment; time slip.

Introduction

It seems the majority of the books and articles describing shamanism and shamanic
practices describe them as an outsider. Even, when researchers themselves enter the
altered states of consciousness during some shamanic practices, the approach is outside.
It is impossible to see the “inner world” of a shaman. On the other hand, the majority of
shamans are unable to describe their inner world in terms used by anthropologists,
philosophers, psychologists etc.

There are several misconceptions concerning shamanism. Some people believe that
shamanism and shamanic practices do not have any influence on the reality. Some people
think that shamans represent only not "civilized" societies or groups of people. At last,
some of them consider shamans to be mentally ill. All these points of view are wrong.

The necessity of writing the article consists in explaining shamanism to those people who
one day will probably appear in the “spirit world”. Thus, it may help them to understand
this world. The article also provides an idea how it is possible to appear in this world. The
probable way of the evolution of a human being’s soul is stated too.

1
Shaman and Shamanism

There are some controversies concerning the term “shaman” and "shamanism". There are
broad, narrow, and mid-range definitions of the definition of shaman.

Anthropologists and other scholars have not come to agreement on what criteria define the shaman,
other than the mastery of altered states of consciousness. Broad, narrow, and mid-range definitions
will be discussed below. They are presented with the understanding that listing criteria does not
really explain how a shaman creates the powerful rituals that mend our souls. The definition of
shaman that best serves the primary purpose of this book is a mid-range definition. Mid-range
definitions attempt to differentiate shamans from practitioners who use altered states of
consciousness but do not heal clients, and from other practitioners who heal clients but do not use
altered states of consciousness to do so. Broad definitions often include those who use trance, but
do not heal. Narrow definitions exclude many shamans and can be impractical when they obfuscate
our ability to recognize the range of altered states of consciousness a shaman utilizes in a normal
day of practice. (Pratt, 2007: xxii)

The mid-range definition has been used in the article too.

I have carried out the modelling of shamanism and shamanic practices. The model is a
representation and description of the shamans’ world. Modelling of shamanism represents
a theory interpreting this world in terms more understandable for people who are not
shamans themselves. The theory is explanatory. The approach is experiential. It will help
people in their further understanding of shamanism and shamanic practices.

Theoretical development is based on the conducted experiments in shamanism which


include spirit embodiment, shamanic journey, and time slip.

In my point of view, the most appropriate definition of a shaman is given in An


Encyclopedia of Shamanism by Christina Pratt.

We will work from the following mid-range definition of shaman.


The shaman is a practitioner who has developed the mastery of:
1. accessing altered states of consciousness, controlling themselves while moving in those states,
and returning to an ordinary state of consciousness at will;
2. mediating between the needs of the spirit world and those of the physical world in a way that can
be understood by the community, and whose mastery of the above is used;
3. to serve the needs of the community that cannot be met by practitioners of other disciplines such
as physicians, psychiatrists, priests, and leaders. (Pratt, 2007: xxii)

Shamanism is not a religion or a system of beliefs. Shamanism is a group of experiences


and practices linking "spirit world" and "physical world" that are carried out by shamans.
Some shamanic practices such as a shamanic journey could be carried out by people who
are not shamans themselves. But still some of the regular practices such as a spirit
embodiment could be conducted only by shamans.

It is necessary to take basic assumptions into account. The first one is a human being
consists of a soul and a body. Any dualist approach is excluded, as a soul is depicted in
the article in its streams going through the body and its outside. They are some of the
basic assumptions in shamanism. Mind could be the agent of interactions between the
person’s soul, body and the environment. Materialistic philosophy may take the basic
assumptions: a soul does not exist; a human being is only a body.

2
Shamanic states of consciousness

Souls are invisible for human beings. Souls could not be detected by any known
equipment. Only the altered states of consciousness could partly give access to them.
Based on the definitions provided by Charles Tart, William Farthing, and Arnold Ludwig
and the differentiation between soul and mind, I would define the altered state of
consciousness as a qualitative alteration in the functioning of soul and mind or only mind
such as the person knows or other people observe that that her or his functioning of soul
and mind or only mind varies greatly from the functioning of soul and mind or only mind of
other people. This definition clearly states that the altered state of mind and altered state
of soul and mind do not coincide. Shamanic states of consciousness are the altered states
of consciousness with the alteration of both soul and mind.

It could be noticed in the shamanic states of consciousness that a soul of a person is not
static; it is dynamic. We could speak about streams of the person’s soul.

As it has been mentioned by Michael Harner, the perception of two realities is typical for
shamans, “even though some western armchair philosophers have long denied the
legitimacy of claiming such a dual division between the ordinary world and a hidden world
and a hidden world among primitive peoples, apparently assuming that primitives cannot
distinguish between the two”. In Michael Harner’s words, the problem is in not that
according to some western philosophers, primitive peoples have such “prelogical” mind.
The problem is that, from a shaman’s point of view, the westerner is unsophisticated.
(Harner, 1982: 60-61)

In my opinion, a lot of western philosophers could not understand that the way to the
hidden world could be found when “logical mind” is temporary excluded. And based on the
experience of the hidden world, “postlogical” mind will be set up.

The difference between the ordinary states of consciousness and shamanic states of
consciousness is the following. In the ordinary states of consciousness, the majority of
streams of a person’s soul go through the body and with the “lower speed”. In the
shamanic states of consciousness, the majority of streams of a person’s soul do not go
through the body. They are in the “spirit world” and they go with the “faster speed” than in
ordinary states of consciousness.

Spirit world

Next, the meaning of “spirit world” should be explained. One of the components of spirit
world is people souls. They include both incarnated and non-incarnated souls. There is no
strict limiting border between a soul of one person and another.

Spirit world also consists of other entities such as spirits. It is the basic assumption in
shamanism. Spirits do not and will not have any bodies. Some of the spirits consist not
only of spirits themselves. A spirit’s constitution may be a spirit itself and so called “monad”
which is more essential and subtler part of the constitution. It could be inferred that there
could be even more essential and subtler parts of the spirit’s constitution.

3
Modern science could neither prove nor disprove the existence of the spirit world. Spirits
and souls are real to the shamans. Shamans know about their existence from their
shamanic states of consciousness: shamanic journey and spirit embodiments.

…Spirit describes the vital energies and entities shamans work with in the invisible world. Soul
describes the vital energy of a living human, in particular. Spirit and soul both have form in the
invisible world, and are therefore, real to the shaman. (Pratt, 2007: 466)

It is believed that a human being’s soul exists in a lot of religions and folk intuitions. Its
existence is one of the essential features of a shaman’s epistemology.

If mankind has one thing in common it is surely the belief in the existence of a soul, of a life-bearer in
the form of a consciousness only loosely associated with a body. This notion can be found almost
without exception among all traditional peoples and cultures, and indeed also in all modern
civilizations... (Kalweit, 1988: 21)

The relationships between shamans and spirits are sometimes not understood correctly.
Spirits often have huge powers; shamans could not control the spirits. A novice becomes a
shaman when she or he learns how to control her or his soul and mind in the shamanic
states of consciousness and how to use energies directed from the spirits into the physical
world.

Shamans are in relationship with the spirits in a very deep, at times complex, and always very real
way. The relationship is always experiential; it is not faith based. Shamans do not believe in spirits;
they experience them. Shamans work with the power that flows to them while in relationship with
spirit. This power is complex to define. It is in part the raw power of nature that is in form all around
us and in part the power of the Unknown that is not yet manifest in form.

There are three defining characteristics in the working relationship forged between the spirits and
shamans. First, a non-ordinary energy of sacred origin enables the shaman to heal others… A
shaman must make a direct connection to a sacred source of non-ordinary energy to perform the
acts of shamanism. Second, a shaman must cultivate his or her working relationship spirit
personally. Each individual must survive meeting spirit, being tested by spirit, and being trained by
spirit to forge successfully a working relationship. Finally, the spirits choose the shaman. Shamans
do not choose to be shamans. All the shaman can do is attempt to forge a working relationship with
the spirit who chooses him or her. (Pratt, 2007: xl)

Concerning the attitude to a shaman, there are two main types of spirits: controlling (or
protecting) spirits and helping spirits. On the one hand, a controlling (or protecting spirit)
teaches, trains and controls a shaman; on the other hand, a spirit protects a shaman,
especially during a shamanic journey. It is believed that a shaman usually has one
controlling (or protecting) spirit and a lot of helping spirits.

To sum it up, a person could not become a shaman without the help of spirits. A shaman
should have a working relationship with the spirit who chooses her or him. This spirit could
have a working relationship with a lot of people.

Shaman or schizophrenic

Until the end of the twentieth century, some scholars believed that shamans have a
chronic mental illness. The problem is that they personally have not accounted the altered
shamanic states of consciousness and considered only the ordinary states of
consciousness to be mentally healthy.

4
Clinical psychologist and historian of medicine, a critic of psychiatry Richard Noll depicted
the clear difference between shamans and schizophrenics. The difference is based on his
research in a psychiatric hospital and anthropological fieldwork.

Shamans "see" and "talk" to spirits; schizophrenics and other psychotics "hear voices" of spirits and
sometimes "see" or "feel" them when they "shouldn't" What's the difference?..
Volition is the key difference: the shaman actively seeks out the spirits in deliberately induced altered
states of consciousness, which is only a part-time activity, as he must maintain full social and
occupational functioning. The person undergoing a psychosis is victimized by the voices, usually
mercilessly criticized and mocked by them. Sometimes they tell the unfortunate person to commit
suicide… Schizophrenics can temporarily stop or block out by shouting or clapping their hands, they
inevitably return to haunt the patient. (Noll, 1996: 54-55)

Shamans exist in two worlds; their validity is known to shamans. They do not confuse
these two worlds. Shamans see their connectivity. They understand the spirit world's
priority over the physical world.

Shaman's epistemology

A shaman's epistemology, i.e. the nature, sources and limits of knowledge is different from
other people. The main reason of its difference is the existence in two worlds. The reality
in the spirit world is in majority unknown for the shaman. She or he has to investigate this
reality and bring it to the physical world.

…One must be psychologist or philosopher enough to recognize that the process of arranging is
necessary. Undifferentiated reality is not a place in which anyone can survive for long. Even if one
can conceptualize relativity, one must be strong willed, inner directed, and free enough to compose a
life, and then trust that it is feasible. To have only half of this awareness, the awareness of relativity,
is to be in psychological danger.

…The shaman comes to know the ultimate undifferentiated reality through his ecstatic experience
and to know cultural differentiation through his ecstatic experience and to know cultural
differentiation through his analytic ability; further, he understands the need to arrange the world. Now
he gathers this knowledge and begins to work. (Schmidt, 1996: 68-69)

There should not be any contradictions within the shaman's knowledge. It means that no
any part of the shaman's knowledge contradicts to another part of her or his knowledge. It
is evident that the shaman's knowledge could contradict some established beliefs in
science and religions.

A shaman constantly investigates the reality in the spirit world. Therefore, the shaman's
knowledge is in the process of constant upgrading.

As it has been stated by Christina Pratt, a shaman's knowledge includes the ability to act
and is received by means of training and experience. The knowledge is mastered when
the shaman is able of providing the information into action in the way that will lead to the
intended results. (Pratt, 2007: 229)

Power of shamans

Douglas Sharon has emphasized the power of shamans as possibly the central concept of
shamanism:

5
Probably the central concept of shamanism, wherever in the world it is found, is the idea of power.
Simply stated, this is the notion that underlying all the visible forms in the world, animate and
inanimate, there exists a vital essence from which they emerge and by which they are nurtured.
Ultimately everything returns to this ineffable, mysterious, impersonal unknown. The varied religious
expressions of humanity are attempts to develop a meaningful and/or practical relationship with this
power. (Sharon, 1978: 49)

Christina Pratt has mentioned that shamans use the energy flowing from the Great
Mystery. The experience is experimental and it does not need its full understanding for
shamans. This experience is in the altered states of consciousness when mind is free from
its logical grip. (Pratt, 2007: 187). Also according to Christina Pratt, shamans have
journeys to places of power. There are places where spirits "live" and places themselves
where the power of shamans could be recharged. (Pratt, 2007: 369).

The task is to investigate the source of the possible power of shamans in terms
understandable to scientists, philosophers, and ordinary people.
Philosopher of science and systems theorist Ervin Laszlo has pointed out that according to
the recent research and conclusions, the fundamental properties of reality include the
following findings:

1. Space is an energy-filled plenum.


2. The energies that fill space are the virtual energies of the cosmic plenum (misleadingly named
quantum vacuum).
3. The universal forces and constants of nature arise in the interaction of the virtual energies of the
cosmic plenum with particles and systems of particles in space and time. (Laszlo, 2003: 51)

The first premise of space as an energy-filled plenum, often intuitively, was stated in a lot
of ancient cosmologies. The school of Parmenides and Zeno in ancient Greece considered
space to be full rather than empty as well as it was considered by Aristotle. Later it was the
beginning of Newton’s conception of space. In the nineteenth century the space field which
carries out electromagnetic waves was regarded as the ether. Later the idea of ether was
rejected. But it did not mean that space was considered as empty. Albert Einstein
mentioned that according to the theory of relativity space is filled in with some physical
qualities. The last years have shown the idea that space-time is a physical energy
medium. Also the idea of plenum was supported by a lot of other physicists, among them
Max Planck, Max Born, John Wheeler.

It may be considered that a tiny volume is an “empty space”, but it is not, in fact.
Theoretical physicist David Bohm wrote:

…What we perceive through the senses as empty space is actually the plenum, which is the ground
for the existence of everything, including ourselves. The things that appear to our senses are
derivative forms and their true meaning can be seen only when we consider the plenum, in which
they are generated and sustained, and into which they must ultimately vanish. (Bohm, 2002: 243)

For example, when we visualize a geometric point, our mental imagery includes not the
point itself, but tiny volume. Space, even in its tiny volume, is not empty. It contains
physical realities, both material and energetic.

The second premise stating that the energies filling out space are virtual energies of the
cosmic plenum means that this domain of energy is below the quanta level. David Bohm
calculated that the amount of the mentioned energy in one cubic centimetre of space with
the shortest possible wavelength, 10-35 metres, would be extremely more than total energy
of all the matter in our universe. (Bohm, 1957: 163)

6
The cosmic plenum consists of energy fields that fluctuate near absolute zero value.
Energy of the mentioned fields is active even in the case of absolute zero temperature; it is
known as zero-point energy. The conception of zero-point energy started at the beginning
of the 20-th century when Max Planck got it from the blackbody radiation. Later Albert
Einstein confirmed the existence of these energies. Zero-point energies are the essential
part of Max Born’s, Werner Heisenberg’s, Paul Dirac’s research.

The third premise about interactions between the cosmic plenum and systems of particles
in space and time, as it has been mentioned by Ervin Laszlo, has become clear from the
most advance theories in physics. These theories include research carried out by Hendrik
Casimir, Andrei Sakharov, Gennady Shipov, Andrey Akimov etc.

Metaphysics of connectivity, in Ervin Laszlo’s words, could be divided into two main
domains. One of them is the domain of observable particles; another is the virtual domain
of the cosmic plenum. The latter domain could not be observed; its existence is inferred
from the effects on the observable domain. (Laszlo, 2003: 103)

The things that are unobservable for people in the ordinary states of consciousness may
be observable for shamans. They include virtual energies of cosmic plenum and their
interactions. Shamans have power because they obtain energies of cosmic plenum by
means of shamanic journeys and spirit embodiments.

The power of a shaman should be directed to influence the results of natural happenings.
The power should be used according to the will of the spirit that has chosen a future
shaman.

The shaman's task is to restore harmony in the people, land, and spirits that are flow of energies that
make up the connection of all things…The will has been freed in initiation to align with the will of
spirit, which enlightens one's self-interest. He acts to restore harmony in the connection of all things
through service to the community, both human and spirit. (Pratt, 2007: 229)

Initiatory illness

Every shaman had his or her initiatory illness on the way of becoming a shaman. It seems
not all novices could cover from the initiatory illness. But those who cover from the
initiatory illness which may last for years and have successful training by spirits become
shamans.

Initiatory illness refers to the physically overwhelming spiritual crisis that occurs when spirits choose
a human to become a shaman. This illness is characterized by its strange, unexplained nature and
the fact that it does not respond to conventional treatment…

The term is common in discussions of shamanism, though somewhat misleading. The initiatory
illness is characteristic of the call, which begins the process of becoming a shaman. This process
varies culture to culture. Initiatory illness is not necessarily the same experience as the individual’s
initiation into being a shaman. This also varies culture to culture. (Pratt, 2007: 229)

Let us analyze the origin of the shamanic initiatory illness. When a spirit chooses a person,
time from time there will be the unity of a person and a spirit in the spirit world. As far as
mind is the agent of interactions between the person’s soul, body and the environment,
this unity will affect, first of all, a person’s mind. Then, consequently, it could affect the
person’s body.

7
Shamanic initiation

Initiation means beginning; its function is to open the novice shaman to the other world. Initiation
begins a life of direct connection to spirit for the shaman. Initiation also means transformation; it
causes a radical change in the initiate forever. Initiation creates shamans from those who have been
called, and not all who are called will complete the transformation. (Pratt, 2007: 229)

As it has been stated by Christina Pratt, initiation causes the irreversible transformation
from a novice to shaman. This may happen when the individual’s recovers from this
illness, but it often occurs after years of training.

Years are necessary for a novice to rebalance her or his soul, mind, and body. If she or he
finishes the rebalancing, it has become clear that she or he knows and feels about being
intermediary between the spirit world and so called “physical world”. And still some years
are necessary to understand the relationships with spirits and to learn new experience of
life.

World tree

The concept of the world tree is important in shamanism. It is an important part of the
shaman’s epistemology.

The World Tree – the axis mundi connecting heaven, earth, and the underworld – is seen as an
opening or channel to other realms of being. Along it, gods and beings of the Beyond descend to
earth and the souls of mortals rise to heaven. This cosmic axle holds the universe in balance and the
same time is its center. The World Tree is a symbol of cosmic experience. However, because of the
limitations of language and conceptual thought, this symbol conveys only a vague idea of all this – a
two dimensional picture of a multidimensional continuum. The axis mundi can only be known
intuitively and mystically; it defies rational description. (Kalweit, 1988: 209)

Let us take the spirit world into consideration. In the shamanic states of consciousness, it
is clear that a soul of the person is dynamic; it exists in its streams.

Next, let us define the “equilibrium point of a soul”. The equilibrium point of a soul is the
point to which the person’s soul could be mathematically approximated: if we could
calculate ‘the amount’ of soul above and below the point, these quantities are equal; if we
could calculate ‘the amount’ of consciousness from the right side of the point and from the
left side of the point, these quantities are equal too. When a person is in the ordinary
states of consciousness, her or his equilibrium point of a soul is at some level of a body.

In order to understand the heaven, earth, underworld, and their unity, I will consider the
following case.

Case 1
A person Y., in the ordinary states of consciousness, has decided to carry out the
procedure of a soul leaving from a body through the central channel sushumna by means
of mind, the practice of phowa in Tibetan Buddhism, in order to rebalance her soul and
body. Before doing the procedure, she is in the “earth”. Her equilibrium point of the soul is
at some level of a body. As only Y.’s soul leaves the body through the crown chakra, she
will appear to be in the “heaven” at some level on the axis. The equilibrium point of her
8
soul will be on the axis over the crown chakra. The first experience of phowa will probably
not allow her to stay in the heaven for a long time. The interference of environmental
factors may cause sudden falling of her soul. It may fall down through sushumna below the
root chakra. The equilibrium point of the soul will appear to be in the “underworld” at some
level of the axis. And some time afterwards the soul will return to the earth. But now the
equilibrium point of Y’s soul will probably be at the level of the body that is higher than the
one before carrying out the procedure of phowa.

The described case is helpful in understanding of the heaven, earth, and underworld. The
case could show that the world tree is successfully combined with scientific knowledge
concerning the physical world. Ordinary people usually live in the earth. Shamans have
access to the underworld and heaven.

The shaman is considered to have power according to the level she or he achieved in the
heaven as the part of the spirit world. The higher level she or he has achieved means the
higher power in future. But it also means the longer period of initiatory illness and training
by spirits.

Shaman's work

A shamanic journey and spirit embodiment are two poles and methods of activities in the
shamanic states of consciousness.

The first type of a shaman's activity is a shamanic journey. In an ordinary state of


consciousness, the majority of streams of a person's soul go through a person's body. In a
shamanic state of consciousness, the majority of a person's streams of soul appear to be
in the spirit world. In a shamanic journey (in a shamanic state of consciousness), it is
possible to direct the streams of soul somewhere in order to find out some information,
have influence on the reality or heal someone.

People have the ability to journey in the altered states of consciousness.

The journey is an art form. Like singing, dancing, drawing, and all the expressive arts, humans have
an innate ability to journey. Innate artistic abilities reside in every human and can be developed
through training. In addition to innate abilities, some people are also gifted in one or more of these
areas. This explains why most people can journey, but only a few become shamans. The shaman is
to others what the singer who can add nuance and phrasing to exquisite vocalization is to those who
only sing in the shower. The shaman is the master of the journey. (Pratt, 2007: 242)

But a shamanic journey has features which makes it different from a person's journey in
the altered state of consciousness. It also differs from other out-of-body experiences.

The first movement of the shaman's soul on the shamanic journey is to move outside him / herself.
However, the next step is what truly distinguishes the shamanic journey from other out-of-body
experiences. In the journey, the shaman has the ability to enter other realms of existence, participate
in the lives of beings who live there, and communicate with spirits and the souls of humans. The
shaman's ability to send his or her consciousness into the consciousness of another entity and return
to his or her own self at will is the essence of the shaman's journey. (Pratt, 2007: 242)

My further investigation in this article shows that it is possible for a shaman to send his or
her consciousness as far as another universe in the model of multiverse.

The second and more important type of a shaman's activity is a spirit embodiment. Spirit
embodiment is the temporary merging of a person and a spirit in the spirit world. In the
case of major spirits, it gives access for the person to subtler part of the spirit's
9
constitution, called monad. On the other hand, through a person, a spirit has the access to
the physical world.

A shaman usually has the embodiment with a controlling (or protecting) spirit. The spirit
could have a working relationship with a lot of people. The spirit could have the
embodiment with a few people at the same time. It seems the most useful and interesting
could be the embodiment of the spirit with two people of the opposite genders at the same
time.

In the case of major spirits, the access to the "Divine" through a monad could be found
and the shaman could serve as a vehicle for the activities of spirits in the physical world.

In general, people have a deeply rooted, human need to experience the presence of the "Divine". It
is believed that the "Divine" has manifested when the shaman's ego detaches itself from the body
and the merging spirit is allowed full possession. Through this intentional possession, or
embodiment, the shaman serves as a vehicle or mouthpiece for the gods and allows the patient to
witness a manifestation of the "Divine". (Pratt, 2007: 158)

Spirit embodiment should be distinguished from spontaneous possession of a person by a


spirit. Unlike a spirit possession, a shaman clearly differentiates two realities, a spirit world
and physical world. In the spirit world, a shaman differentiates a shamanic journey from a
spirit embodiment. Having a spiritual embodiment with a controlling (or protecting) spirit, a
shaman receives a lot of energy in order to accomplish her or his tasks in the physical
world.

A shaman uses trance to perform her or his activities. Shamanic trance consists of a range
of shamanic states of consciousness. In trance, the spirit world becomes visible to a
shaman, she or he communicates with spirits and souls of people, both incarnated and
non-incarnated. The important thing of the shaman’s trance is the control of her or his
trance states. The shamanic trance is oriented towards people.

The most important thing of a shaman’s trance is shaman’s ecstasy. Ecstasy is the
experience of feeling or state of extreme happiness. It usually occurs during a shaman’s
embodiment with the spirit. As it was mentioned by Mircea Eliade, “shamanism =
technique of ecstasy”. (Eliade, 1974: 4)

Shamanic healing

Mary Schmidt has written what happens when a shaman directly meets a spirit the first
time:

The spirits destroy and break the shaman, yet he is reborn and returns to earth with the power to
heal. No longer just torn, he becomes reintegrated, and more powerful for his experience. (Schmidt,
1996: 67)

Firstly, the question may arise where a person meets a spirit for the first time. She or he
meets a controlling spirit in the shamanic states of consciousness, when the majority of the
streams of the person's soul are outside the body.

Next, it may be interesting to know how a future shaman is destroyed and broken. Let us
analyse. A person's soul encounters the mighty spirit for the first time. The spirit decides to
choose a person. The soul is not ready to receive the streams of powerful energies from

10
the spirit. It is destroyed and descended to the underworld. Month by month, or even year
by year, the soul recovers and becomes powerful.

The person's soul encounters the mighty spirit once again. The soul is powerful now, but
body is not yet. The body is not ready to receive the streams of powerful energies. So
called "etheric body", the intermediary between a body and a soul which is invisible for
people is broken now. A person could not walk, speak, eat etc. Month by month, or even
year by year, the body recovers and becomes healthy.

Only after the person's soul is destroyed, body is broken, and later the soul, mind, and
body are reintegrated, the shaman acquires the knowledge, skills and power to heal.

The main idea of healing is in concentration on a person in the shamanic states of


consciousness. It means that streams of the shaman's soul will be directed towards a soul
of another person. A person could be at distance. The result could be different: streams of
the shaman's soul could not have any influence on a person; a person may be killed or
healed.

Case 2

A shaman B. has decided to set a shamanic trap. He has a close relationship with a
protecting spirit A. He feels and knows that a spirit A. would like to choose one more
person, to become a shaman. He knows that only spirits choose future shamans. But he
also knows that he could help a spirit to "catch" a person.

The methodology of creating a shamanic trap is the following. From time to time, a
shaman, in the shamanic states of consciousness, concentrates on different people. He
usually does it intuitively, but sometimes deliberately. He knows that one day it will be a
peak experience when at the same time there will be his spirit embodiment and the spirit
embodiment of another person for the first time. He does not know who will be another
person. He expects that, most probably, it will be a person at whom he has concentrated
most of all.

At the moment of writing this article, no information has been received about the
simultaneous embodiments of the shaman B. and another person with a spirit A.

Peak experience in shamanism

Peak experiences have been defined by Abraham Maslow as “rare, exciting, oceanic,
deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of
perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter.”
(Maslow, 1964) Peak experiences are often mystical or religious experiences. These
experiences are often hard to share with other people.

People usually have peak experiences unexpectedly; the elements of disbelief and
surprise are their important features. As it has been stated by Christina Pratt, people partly
become shamans "to have their peak experience resolved into a greater cosmic
framework so that they can understand and use it". (Pratt, 2007: 342)

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Peak experiences are the first steps of shamanic initiation. They often indicate the level a
shaman has achieved in the heaven and reveal for a shaman her or his controlling (or
protecting) spirit.

Investigation 1

The task is to find out the possible peak of the level the shaman could achieve in the
heaven, i.e. the highest level of the equilibrium point of a shaman's soul.

The matter is not always in distance. We could compare, for example, rising the
equilibrium point of a soul for the distance of 20 thousand miles in our universe and
moving for the probably less distance but to another universe in the model of universe.
Moving to another universe is considered to be higher.

The highest level of the equilibrium point of a soul could be achieved in another (parallel)
universe.

Another task is to find out how to achieve a peak experience in another universe. The
model proposed by me is based on the theories of the existence of multiverse and
quantum physics. It consists of the virtual Planckian black hole in the heaven and
traversable wormhole. (Handziy, 2014: 124)

Cosmologists (Bernard Carr and others) have realized that our universe could be one of a
set of “parallel” universes in which the physical constants vary. (Carr, 2007) This set is
called as a multiverse. New research suggests our universe moves forwards in time, while
a parallel one could move backwards. (Koslowski and Mercati) The space-time around the
Earth is being distorted exactly as predicted by the theory of general relativity. (Everitt)

In general relativity, a black hole is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so
powerful that nothing, including light, can escape its pull.

Several physicists, among them Yakov Zel’dovich, William Unruh, Don Page etc, have
proved that a black hole emits radiation. (Thorne, 1994: 435) Physicist Robert Wald also
argues that energy could be extracted from black holes. (Wald, 1992: 105-114) It could be
inferred that energy goes freely through black holes in both sides. Similarly, physicists
Leonard Susskind and James Lindesay proved that information is conserved in black
holes. (Susskind and Lindesay, 2005: 81-93). The information goes without any obstacles
in both sides. It could be inferred that a person's soul could go through the black hole.

In 1965 after having combined the laws of general relativity and quantum theory,
theoretical physicist John Wheeler concluded that at the Planck scale (10 -33 cm), "the
vacuum fluctuations are so huge that space as we know it "boils" and becomes a froth of
quantum foam" which is the combination of virtual Planckian black holes and wormholes.
(Thorne, 1994: 557)

Space-time ceases to exist inside Planckian black holes. Neither space exists, no time
exists there. Inside singularities (Planckian black holes are singularities) all known laws of
science are broken. Neither relativity theory, nor quantum physics works.

A wormhole (space-time tunnel) is a topological feature that is a shortcut through space-


time. A wormhole is like a tunnel with two ends. Each of the ends is a separate point in

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space-time. Wormholes could connect not only two separate regions in the universe, but
also two different universes.

A wormhole could allow for time slip as a kind of time travel. Time slip is a kind of time
travel when a person's body does not travel in time, but a person's soul, in majority of its
streams, travels.

In shamanic states of consciousness, in the heaven, it is necessary to pull the equilibrium


point of a soul inside a virtual Planckian black hole and later through a traversable
wormhole to another universe.

The possible peak of the level the shaman could achieve in the heaven is another universe
in the model of the multiverse.

Investigation 2

The next task is to find out how to achieve the first time the shamanic state of
consciousness.

The ways of achieving the shamanic states of consciousness are usually described as
drumming, dancing, singing, chanting, using psychedelics etc. It seems all the mentioned
ways exclude, at least partly, mind, as an agent of interactions between a body and her or
his environment. But it is also necessary to find the approach of a body to a soul.

In order to find this approach, it is necessary to introduce the concepts of a person's eighth
and ninth chakras or energetic centres, in Alberto Villoldo's understanding. The eighth
chakra, a soul as its element, "resides a few inches about the head". And the ninth chakra
has a spirit as its element.
The ninth chakra resides at the heart of the Universe. It is outside time and space; it extends through
the vastness of space and connects to the eighth chakra by a luminous cord. The shaman could
travel through this cord to experience the vast expanse of Creation. We call this center a chakra for
lack of a better name. In reality it is the dwelling place of Spirit. It exists beyond the personal soul,
which keeps us bound to the space-time continuum and salvation and which is associated with the
eighth chakra. It is the spirit of everything in the Universe. The Beholder turns out to be everything
that is beheld. (Villoldo, 2001: 102-106)

The eighth chakra could be considered as the point of entrance to the heaven of the spirit
world. The ninth chakra or a monad, itself a Planckian black hole, could be considered as
a transition to subtler and more essential parts of a spirit.

My methodology of entering the spirit world is the following. The geometric point is taken in
a peculiar way. It is taken on the ray going from the person perpendicularly to the surface
of the Earth. The point is visualized as the point full of power, love, light, and wisdom.
(Handziy, 2014: 98-101)

13
Graph

The Earth as a globe and the direction of the geometric point visualization

In fact, it will be the mental imagery of the virtual space that can be compared with a
geometric point.

The concentration in the experiment is carried out on the singular desire to reach a horizon
of the Planckian black hole. Even more, the individual streams of a soul should flow inside
the Planckian black hole, and later through the wormhole to a parallel universe. The black
hole itself should be visualized as a geometric point.

Individuals should empty their mind of thoughts with the exclusion of the thought about
their streams of soul flowing inside the Planckian black hole. The mind should be empty of
any dogmatism, both religious and scientific. Individuals should hold the feelings of joy,
love to everybody and everything, and developed will.

This may result in the streams of soul beginning to flow continuously to the visualized
geometric point or to the ninth chakra. The eighth chakra is the point of the entrance to the
spirit world.

The shamanic state of consciousness will be achieved the first time when a person’s soul
goes through the eighth chakra.

Brief summary

In the article, the shaman’s world has been described based on the experiments in
shamanism in terms understandable for people who are not shamans themselves. My
activities of a spirit embodiment and shamanic journey, as well as time slip experiments
have revealed some important things concerning a human being, soul and evolution.

Firstly, all people, both incarnated and non-incarnated, are connected in the spirit world.
Secondly, it seems the main aim of the evolution is to raise a soul as high as possible.
Thirdly, the progress of one person will promote the progress of other people. Fourthly, the
evolution of a human being should go in the direction from a soul to a monad.

14
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