#5. Don’t Be Afraid of The Shamans
Shamanism as an alternative healing method has evolved over the years into many forms but despite that, it’s still regarded by many with suspicion and alarm. It is the oldest known method that uses altered states of consciousness for healing and problem-solving. The idea that someone can be healed by another person who enters a separate reality where he receives advice on how to proceed, returns, and uses it to heal the patient, is for a 21st-century scientist quite preposterous. Yet many shamanic techniques and tools have now become disciplines in their own right, within the wider field of alternative medicine.
Since the late 1960s, shamanism has undergone a massive renaissance, largely thanks to the remarkable writings of the anthropologist Carlos Castaneda and the shamanic workshops of another anthropologist, Michael Harner. Through a very simple procedure, Harner managed to transform this spiritual discipline for the chosen few into a therapeutic or transpersonal method that can be used by anyone, or, more specifically, by anyone who does not wait for a shaman’s guidance but becomes a shaman themselves. Having said that, the role of a shaman as healer remains irreplaceable in traditional societies. The healing rituals of shamans in many parts of Africa, South America, Australia, and Siberia even today produce results that are miraculous and difficult to explain.
For shamans, the universe is full of vibration. All around us are multiple parallel worlds that can be reached through altered states of consciousness. Communication with these other realities is primarily through myth and vision. Needless to say, contemporary science remains highly skeptical of all such practices. No wonder. As long as we acknowledge only one possible mode of perception, we can never open our minds to the possibility of others.