Shaman, Healer, Sage

 

Shaman, Healer, SageHow 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! Continue reading

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Healing States

 

Healing StatesA Journey into the World of Spiritual Healing and Shamanism, with Stanley Krippner, New York: Simon & Schuster (Fireside), 1984.

Healing States is a research volume that Alberto Villoldo co-authored with Stanley Krippner, and it’s a glorious onset of his own career in spiritual healing. The research presented in this book is highly thought-provoking if not mind-boggling, and it’s well presented.

The point of departure of the author’s scientific journey was his research on psychosomatic medicine. He was interested what exactly makes the soma follow the psyche, or why the spirit imprints itself on the soma, thus causing either health or disease. The authors write:

A growing number of allopathic physicians believe that as much as 80 percent of all illness may contain a psychosomatic component. Allopathic medical science, which does not publicly acknowledge the psychic realm, is still at a loss to explain the origin and treatment of many of these psychosomatic disorders, often merely referring to ‘unconscious conflicts’ that can trigger disease./19

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The Archaic Revival

 

The Archaic RevivalSpeculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFO’s, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess and the End of History, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1992.

In The Archaic Revival, Terence McKenna lays the groundwork for something like a psychedelic culture, a society based on new values.

In the etiology of the group alienation that is so typical for our culture, the author detects a basic denial of ecstasy.

McKenna’s views are deliberately political in the sense that he claims nobody can develop a sane mind within an insane culture, without rejecting that culture in the first place:

In addition to choosing to repress the strange abilities of the shaman and the psychic potential of contact with the Other, Western tradition has a built-in bias against self experimentation with hallucinogens. One of the consequences of this is that not enough has been written about the phenomenology of personal experiences with the visionary hallucinogens. /3

I am a political activist, but I think that the first duty of a political activist is to become psychedelic. Otherwise you’re not making your moves cognizant of the entire field of action./13

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The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries

 

The Fairy Faith in Celtic CountriesLondon: Frowde, 1911, Minneola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2002.

The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries is the final account of an immensely complex and long-standing research on fairy faith in Britain and Brittany, the French Bretagne. The research Dr. Evans-Wentz conducted on fairies was meticulous and scientific.

There was obviously an effort from the part of the researcher to somehow classify and objectivize the fairy world, and this was perhaps necessary at a time when holistic science was not yet born in the West and scientists had to give an appearance of ‘pedantic detachment.’

On the other hand, this old-fashioned pedantic, meticulous and detailed research approach is perhaps a good counterpoint to the hairy stories this book abounds of. Continue reading

Shamanism

 

ShamanismAncient Techniques of Ecstasy, New York: Penguin Arkana, 1989, First published by Pantheon Books, 1964.

Shamanism by Mircea Eliade is considered to be the classic on shamanism, and it remains a reference book. However, the book is not an easy read.

Especially when compared with Terence McKenna’s books, and those by Richard Schultes, Michael Harner or Ralph Metzner, Eliade’s book takes the appearance of a rather dry scholarly work, reference manual, or standard academia. But this is its value!

The book contains so many details that one single lecture will generally not leave very deep traces, except you dispose of a photographic memory. Continue reading

The Conscious Universe

 

The Conscious UniverseThe Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1997.

In this well-written book, Dean Radin meticulously defines the scientific terms he is using for describing psychic phenomena. The following definitions are to be found on pages 14 and 15 of the book.

Telepathy

Information exchanged between two or more minds, without the use of the ordinary senses.

Clairvoyance

Information received from a distance, beyond the reach of the ordinary senses. A French term meaning ‘clear-seeing’. Also called ‘remote-viewing’.

Psychokinesis

Mental interaction with animate or inanimate matter. Experiments suggest that it is more accurate to think of psychokinesis as information flowing from mind to matter, rather than as the application of mental forces or powers. Also called ‘mind-matter interaction,’ ‘PK,’ and sometimes ‘telekinesis.’ Continue reading