How to Heal Yourself and Others with the Energy Medicine of the Americas, New York: Harmony Books, 2000.
Shaman, Healer, Sage is perhaps Alberto Villoldo’s best book. It was anyway the book that made him famous, a real bestseller. It has given me an ultimate peak of reading enjoyment and illumination, and it has also emotionally touched me.
The author comes over in this book as a really honest, competent, emotionally mature, wistful and empathetic person who went through a personal transformation that only few people in these times can say to have accomplished.
This book is not only highly recommended lecture; it can perhaps be considered as one of the best books so far in the century on the issues of shamanic healing and the challenging task to render an outlandish practice of Inka shamans comprehensive to the modern mind!
The literary abilities of the author, besides his expertise, are out of question, and the book is an easy read despite the complex and unusual subject. This might be due to the author’s penetration of the subject and his sense for vivifying theoretical content by practical and often uncanny experiences, and because of his highly developed sense for poetic language and expression.
This being said, I would like to start the discussion of this book with the term infinity. Dr. Villoldo explains that infinity is not eternity and that it is not a stretching of time but as it were a realm of ‘no time’, a sort of transliteration of another vibrational dimension, that is reigned by laws more majestic and more complex than our own, and of which our space-time reality forms only a tiny part.
One of the intentions of the author in this book was to render comprehensive the fact that being in touch with shamanic healing means to be in touch with infinity. This appears to be the key to understanding the miraculous effectiveness of shamanic cures.
And the experience of infinity shatters the illusion of death, disease, and old age. This is a not a psychological or spiritual process only; every cell in our body is informed and renewed by it. Our immune system is unbridled, and / physical and emotional healing happen at an accelerated rate. Miracles become ordinary, and spontaneous remissions, those mysterious and baffling cures that confound medicine, become commonplace. And a spiritual liberation or illumination takes place. In the presence of infinity we are able to experience what we were before we were born and who we will be after we die./22-23
And as he went through traditional medical training in the United States at first, Dr. Villoldo then was going to look at that medical science tradition he was coming from, and that he had left when departing to the Andes in order to learn with the Inka shamans. And he concludes:
Many years later I understood that Western medicine, in an effort to change the physical body, was merely moving the iron filings around the glass. Surgery and medication often brought about violent, traumatic change on the body. This approach struck me as crude and invasive, like scattering the iron filings with my hand, rather than moving them by shifting/45
The other main purpose of the book is to explain to the interested reader what the Luminous Energy Field represents, what it does in natural healing and how the shaman can access it for altering its energetic vibration in certain areas that contain so-called imprints. The author explains:
We all possess a Luminous Energy Field that surrounds our physical body and informs our body in the same way that the energy fields of a magnet organize iron filings on a piece of glass. Our Luminous Energy Field has existed since before the beginning of time. It was one with the unmanifest light of Creation, and it will endure / throughout infinity. It dwells outside of time but manifests in time by creating new physical bodies lifetime after lifetime./42-43
This reservoir of vital force is a sea of living energy as indispensable to our health as the oxygen and nutrients carried by the bloodstream. They are the energies of the Luminous Energy Field, the purest and most precious fuel for life./43
Indian or Tibetan mystics who documented the existence of the Luminous Energy Field thousands of years ago described it as an aura or halo around the physical body. At first it seemed odd to find the same concept of a human energy field among the jungle and mountain shamans in the Americas. Once I grasped the universality of the human energy field, however, I understood that every culture must have discovered it. In the East, mandalas depict the Buddha enveloped by blue and gold bands of fire. In the West, Christ and the apostles are shown with luminous halos around them. In the mystical literature, the Apostle Thomas is said to have glowed with the same radiance as Christ. Native American legends speak of persons who shimmered in the night as if lit by an inner fire. The Andean storytellers recall the ruler Pachacutek, considered to be a Child of the Sun, who sparkled with the light of the dawn./43
In view of our cutting-edge science revelations over the last two decades, and the insights we gained from quantum physics about the quality of light, and of universal memory, the teaching Dr. Villoldo received from the Laika shamans becomes comprehensive in a larger context, and is actually corroborated by newest scientific insights. The author writes:
Every living thing on Earth is composed of light. Plants absorb light directly from the sun and turn it into life, and animals eat green plants that feed on light, so that light is the fundamental building block of life. We are light bound into living matter./43
In the light of Integral Theories of Everything, and especially the revealing book by Ervin Laszlo, Science and the Akashic Field (2005), what the author reports about the Akashic memory does not sound so esoteric after all:
The Luminous Energy Field contains an archive of all of our personal and ancestral memories, of all early-life trauma, and even of painful wounds from former lifetimes. These records or imprints are stored in full color and intensity of emotions. Imprints are like dormant computer programs that when activated compel us toward behaviors, relationships, accidents, and illnesses that parody the initial wounding. /46
What Dr. Villoldo writes about the earth’s magnetic field, and how the luminous energy field connects us to the luminous matrix of the entire universe, reminds the extraordinary research by Dr. Wilhelm Reich on what he called the orgone, which he described equally both as a bioplasmatic energy and as cosmic orgone, being responsible, inter alia, for the changes in weather.
It is a well-known fact that Reich, on the basis of these discoveries, was able to bring about rain in desert regions and under conditions of severe drought. Dr. Villoldo writes:
Although the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field drops off very rapidly the farther it travels from the planet, it never actually reaches zero. It extends for hundreds of miles into space before diminishing in strength, and travels at the speed of light, at about 186.000 miles per second, to the edge of the Universe. The human energy field appears to extend only a few feet beyond the body since, like the magnetic field of the Earth, it diminishes in strength very rapidly. Yet it also travels at the speed of light, connecting us to the luminous matrix of the entire Universe, known to the Inka as the texemuyo or all-pervading web./49
Over the years I developed the ability to perceive the streams of light that flow through the luminous body, and read the imprints of health and disease. I believe that this is an innate ability that we all possess but either do not develop or lose after the age of seven or eight because we are taught to believe that the material world is the only ‘real’ world. Shamans throughout the Americas rely on their ability to perceive the energetic realm./50
Now, what happens when for example we have been suffering trauma in early childhood? Dr. Villoldo explains that in such a case an imprint is formed in the luminous energy field.
Unresolved psychological and spiritual traumas become engraved like scratch marks in our luminous fields. Positive experiences do not leave a mark in our luminous body./55
The blueprint that shaped and molded us since we were inside our mother’s womb contains the memories of all of our former lifetimes—the way we suffered, the way we loved, how we were ill, and the way we died. In the East these imprints are known as karma, forces that sweep through our life like a giant tide that we cannot swim free of. These imprints contain instructions that predispose us to repeating certain events from the past. We want to learn where these energy imprints are located in the Luminous Energy Field and how to erase them so that the body, mind, and spirit can return to health./56