Shamanism: Setting the Stage
• McKenna discussed shamanism, an ancient practice based on natural magic using healing, divination, and theatrical performance
• Shamanism developed ten to fifty thousand years ago.
• Although shamanism exists in different cultures, the general theme is such that the shaman undergoes a transformation into a superhuman condition through a vision of death and resurrection.
• Following the transformation, a shaman is able to travel to the spirit realm and transcend the human plane in order to cure and divinate
• Shamans are also masters of ecstasy.
• To give rise to ecstasy, a shaman may participate in activities such as drumming, manipulation of breath, fasting, and sexual abstinence.
• The most effective method involves the use of plants with psychoactive or hallucinogenic compounds.
• Contrary to Western medicinal practices in which the healers (doctors) give medicine to the sick (patients), in shamanism it is usually the shaman...
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