Thank you for responding. I find that, having to listen rather than read visually, your use of so many words detracts from clear understanding, so I will just break it down a bit, in order to have a clearer understanding of what you are saying.Quote
Thank you for your questions, Susan!
By whom? Do you have a clear definition of this, or a link to information about work on this which is being done following the scientific method? Also which is written in clear, straightforward language.Quote
Since consciousness is now thought of as a primary feature of physics,
Please define ‘expansion of consciousness’. If you mean our brains are capable of adding an infinite amount of information to its trillions of bits already acquired, via the senses, please say.Quote
I would suggest that expansion of consciousness
Unless you can specify and define the ‘ordinary’, how would you know that anyone had gone ‘beyond’ this?Quote
…beyond the ordinary
What does this mean in actual physical terms? As far as I am aware, all apparent trances are products of the person’s imagination combined with an ability to act! The person may believe that he or she is undergoing some non-natural experience, but all experiences are experienced within the brain and nervous system and, until proof is forthcoming, not placed there by some imagined spirit/etc. (Somewhat clumsily phrased, but clear, I think.)Quote
—through shamanic journeying/trance
Where has it been shown, let alone established, that there is such a thing as a ‘psycho-spiritual evolution’? What method is used to show that there is evolution in such an ill-defined concept??Quote
—does influence our psycho-spiritual evolution
People define ‘spiritual’ in as many different ways as there are people. Personally, I do all I can to use the word as it refers to the aesthetic side of human nature and, since every single person has this to a smaller or lesser degree, it is obviously a survival trait.
Ah, such a useful word to cover a multitude of assertions, propositions and ideas which might follow!Quote
I googled ‘epigenetic field’ but the phrase used appears to be ‘field of epigenetics’. How do you see the difference?Quote
then, our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences are integral aspects of the epigenetic field
What benefit can there be from a practice that deals with aspects of thought and imagination which have zero basis in reality? That is, surely, to encourage belief in fantasy as fact not fiction and to intend to delude those watching to believe something for which, so far, zero objective evidence exists.Quote
that influences how our genetic material expresses itself, (Lipton, Bruce, Ph.D.; The Biology of Belief ) then shamanic practice can indeed effect physical changes as it works to alter all of those aspects.
Are you thinking of this in terms of individuals or of populations|?Quote
Furthermore, while these changes are to the phenotype, there is ongoing research exploring whether changes in the phenotype can also affect the genotype.
I take it then that there is not so far any objective evidence and that this is still very much on the fringes of science?Quote
Even from this rapid excursion into development and evolution of phenotypic plasticity, it should be apparent that the scope for its inclusion in the mainstream evolutionary theory is enormous.
Since all such ‘seen and unseen influences’, apart from actual observable ones, remain ideas only, how can a relationship be formed? That belief is rather like a religious one in which people claim a relationship with some god – although here, as with so many things, zero evidence exists for any such being.Quote
As to the “gifted shaman,” I see that as a shaman who is complete in their integration of the ordinary and non-ordinary experience, as well as one who maintains strong relationships with the seen and unseen influences over reality for the purpose of negotiating harmony.
By the way, do you have a directanswer to my question about whether you think it would be far more accurate to say that a shaman believes[/i] he knows – i.e. whatever he claims to know rather than that he 'knows'?