This concept isn’t that far-fetched. At least once a week more than 3 billion people invest their time learning about spirit worlds, supernatural and paranormal beings.
So, are spirit worlds of the Shaman real or just imagination? If it is just imagination, how does that differ from reality? After all, everything we experience is the mind.
The important question is, are these worlds real or imaginary? What qualifies as real? Or, is there a distinction between ordinary and non-ordinary states of reality? What are the boundaries of reality? Our dreams also take place in non-ordinary reality. Are they just imagination, or is the experience part of our reality?
Is The Spirit World of the Shaman Real?
Robert Anton Wilson would probably say yes, and no.
“We think this is reality. But in philosophy, that’s called naive realism: “What I perceive is reality.” And philosophers have refuted naive realism every century for the last 2,500 years, starting with Buddha and Plato, and yet most people still act on the basis of naive realism. Now the argument is, Well, maybe my perceptions are inaccurate, but somewhere there is accuracy, scientists have it with their instruments. That’s how we can find out what’s really real. But relativity, quantum mechanics, have demonstrated clearly that what you find out with instruments is true relative only to the instrument you’re using, and where that instrument is located in space-time. ― Robert Anton Wilson
So, we are back to our original question. Is the spirit world of the shaman real?
So, in other words, yes. Our experience IS reality because we are shaping it. And, no because there isn’t one reality but an infinite number. In that sense, the landscapes of the Shaman are real. It has been a common experience and reality for eons.
Shaman are the magical athletes of the spirit world. They travel to the spirit worlds of the upper, middle and lower earth. And, they gladly guide us along to find answers and healing.
It continues to be a collective perception for those who practice it today. In fact, the experience of the Shamanic Journey is a universal experience. No matter what you call the journey, the experience is virtually the same no matter the culture. The premise of the spirit world seems to be a collective reality. So, to the question, are the spirit worlds of the shaman real? We would say yes.
Scientific Validates the Spirit World
Wow, didn’t expect this. This journey is a separate state consciousness. The shamanic journey is the main process of Shamanism. This “spiritual technology” assists in opening a doorway to a unique state of consciousness. Michael Harner noted anthropologist, educator, and author called this state, “The Shamanic State of Consciousness” (SSC). In this state the brainwaves are the theta-wave are around 4 to 7Hz.
SCC is similar to another non-ordinary state known as bliss consciousness or transcendental consciousness. SCC can be used to heal the mind, body, and spirit. Or, just to explore. It is one of the primary “spiritual technologies” of mankind transcending all cultures. It’s another one of our default states of awareness just like waking, sleeping, and dreaming.
Bottom line. The Shamanic Journey is repeatable and scientifically verifiable. So, is the spirit world of the Shaman real in scientific terms? The answer is yes. This leads to the next logical question.
Is the Mythology of Religion Real?
Are the mythologies of religion also real? The faithful followers of all religions believe that their mythology is real. Most would hesitate to call their beloved religion a form of mythology.
“One man’s myth is another man’s religion.”― Joseph Campbell
To answer this question we first need to ask if the mythology of religion is a universal, or collective perception? Well, the answer to this question is, unfortunately, no. Every religion has its own unique mythology. There isn’t one singular universal mythology. Religions tend to evolve over time, mutating and being shaped by the culture. There are two main groups of religious mythology, Western and Eastern.
Western mythology includes the Abrahamic religions (The Western organized religions of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). These belief systems are really combinations of earlier Egyptian, Persian, Assyrian and Babylonian traditions.
However, the focus of these mythologies is very different from the indigenous traditions behind Shamanism. The focus of Shamanic practice is healing, mind, body, and spirit. The focus of Western religion is on doctrine and the afterlife. Their doctrines contain stories about those who walked spirit worlds. But it contains no processes to replicate this journey. For the most part, only the “god-like” or avatar can travel to these dimensions. Only in death can we finally get the opportunity to test the promises of these mythologies.
If we look at the Eastern Traditions, we see that they focus on the development of consciousness. Eastern religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Animistic Indigenous Traditions. Here we find mythologies “built around” the development processes. But these traditions keep the knowledge of both mythology and practices intact. In these systems, we see the Anthropomorphic forms used extensively to symbolize and describe the use of these techniques.
Many of the indigenous cultures and Eastern religions are responsible for safe-keeping the knowledge of the remarkable processes we call “spiritual technologies.” Eons of research have gone into altering, expanding, and reaching higher states of consciousness.
The bottom line here. Religion and mythology aren’t a collective illusion, but a selective cultural and often a private one. Historical validity is equivalent to fiction, albeit spiritual fiction. So, is the make-believe of religious mythology real? Is it as valid as any illusion of reality? Isn’t it just another of the infinite possibilities?
So, if all fictional stories are real. Then, of course, so are the stories about Harry Potter. No, if fiction is just fiction. But, within fiction one can find the spiritual processes for expanding awareness and opening the doors of consciousness. You just need to look in the right places. Even Harry Potter has some gems of wisdom.
Are the Spirit Worlds of the Shaman Real?
Is the spirit world of the Shaman real? If you take the Shamanic journey, or what some call a guided meditation, you will experience this dimension for yourself. This is an experiential proof. Scientific proof is available by measuring the changes in human physiology during the journey. So, there is both substantial experiential and scientific validation for the existence of this form of non-ordinary reality. It is a measurable state of consciousness and a universally repeatable process. It is just as concrete as the other default state of non-ordinary reality we call dreaming.
The answer to our follow up question is maybe not. The mythologies of religion are probably just stories. There is some reality in there. You just need to know where to look. Some mythologies contain the process like those of the Shamanic Journey. Some also contain methods for expanding awareness and opening the doors of consciousness. And, some mythologies do not. The spirit worlds of the Shaman are perhaps as real, if not more so than the mythologies created to describe those who journey.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Michael Harner, Wikipedia
Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
Eastern Traditions, Wikipedia
Anthropomorphic forms, Wikipedia