Shamanism and Altered States

  • The Day After Death with Seņor de Qoyllurrit’y. This poem was written after a journey to the annual festival of Qoyllorrit’y in Peru in 1994 with several companions studying Andean mysticism. The paper, Beyond Tourism: Travel with Shamanic Intent explains more of the formal intent of the journey. The poem describes something of my subjective journey.
  • Pain and Surgery: The Shamanic Experience. “In this paper Arthur Colman brings us a chilling view into the world of pain, surgery and healing. Through various means of active imagination—and finally its apotheosis in a full-scale shamanic journey that was all too close to physical death on the surgical table instead of ego death in the psyche—Arthur brought the healing power of shamanism into the antiseptic rooms of a modern hospital.” -From the Foreword by Donald Sandner, editor of The Sacred Heritage (Routledge, 1997).

Shamanism and pain are intimately related. Shamanism, alone of the healing traditions, overtly depends on both the healer and healed achieving an altered state of consiouness for the healing process to occur. Pain is the key that unlocks the door to these states of consciousness and the “other world.”

For healing to occur, a sacrifice is required.