Showing posts with label Trance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trance. Show all posts

Shamanic Heart, Altered Perception And Consciousness - What We Gain Access To When We Are In Alternate States

When we consciously and deliberately practice altering our states, the information we can access is vast and complex, depending on our intent, the specific practice, the depth we reach, how often we practice, such as when we have a daily spiritual meditative practice, and, if we are skilled, which parts of the brain we deliberately activate. 

As a result, the following can only give an overview of various states without pretending to be comprehensive. 

  • Within altered state experiences, the lines between what is normal and what is abnormal are blurry. 
  • While the descriptions, classifications, and maps we create are essential for our minds to make sense of such situations, they are ultimately simply maps that depict the territory rather than the land itself. 
  • The subconscious, unconscious, and collective unconscious are all forms of the subconscious mind. 
  • We obviously access personal information that is buried and concealed on various levels of the subconscious and unconscious realms in psychological terminology. 
  • Memories and previous experiences, pictures that follow a cognitive process, connections to a subject, strongly held beliefs, powerful emotions, and so on are all examples of this kind of information. 
  • We have access to these because, as previously said, we engage some regions of our brains while slowing down activity in others. If we, for example, stimulate the hippocampus and amygdala, which are involved in memory storage and emotions, we will feel intense emotions associated with certain memories. 
  • We may begin to re-associate the memory with the emotion and vice versa if the memory is detached, in the sense that it lives cognitively just as an experience without emotional connection, or if the emotionality existing in the form of an anxious reaction without a memory being connected to it. 
  • We may access connections we've made through time that are linked to that memory/experience and those emotions if we go a step farther. 

In terms of therapy, the next stage would be to consciously integrate by reactivating our normal frontal lobes by, for example, questioning, comprehending, and rationalizing the experiences we experienced in the altered states. 

  • If we take a broader perspective of awareness, we may access regions of the unconscious – for want of a better term – that include data and knowledge that isn't always based on our own experiences. 
  • Those regions, according to Jung (1977), are the collective unconscious, which contains information that has never been in awareness and therefore has never been acquired individually. 
  • Heredity, whether in the form of genetically given information or, if we want to go even farther, the capacity to plug into and access knowledge that exists beyond the limits of our physical brain, is responsible for the content's existence. 

The collective unconscious, according to Jung, contains pictures, potentials, and predispositions acquired from our ancestors, such as anxieties, attractions, and symbols. 

It is universal, preexisting, and comparable in all people, and it manifests itself in archetypal form for us to see. 

  • Archetypes are universal images that may be recognized nearly everywhere in the globe - with minor changes. 
  • Archetypes, unlike memory memories of previous experiences, are not completely formed mental images. 
  • We convert them into visible pictures since they are rather "complexes." 
  • We can access the meaning we connect with archetypes when we start working with them, which is pretty universal. 

Five major archetypes were identified by Jung: 

1. the Self, the psyche's governing center and a promoter of individuation 

2. the Shadow, which includes characteristics that the ego does not wish to associate with (e.g. anger, fear, brutality, sexual urges) 

3. the Anima, a man's feminine mental picture 

4. the Animus, a woman's male image in her mind 

5. the Persona, which serves as a mask for the image and characteristics we project to the world. 

There are many more archetypes. They occur in fairy tales, myths, legends, and folklore all throughout the globe. 

The infant, the maiden, the hero, the mother, the crone, the wise old man, the wise old woman, the trickster, the mentor, the devil or monster, the redeemer, death, and rebirth are all well-known mythical archetypal themes and characters. 

In shamanic terminology, both the personal and collective unconscious regions are important. 

  • The imagery of a modern shamanic journey, for example, has psychotherapeutic effects similar to those derived from Jung's concept of active imagination and other techniques, in that it creates a situation in which the client initiates a dialogue with archetypal material from his or her own unconscious. 
  • Most western therapists believe that the internal conversation with various characters encountered during a shamanic trip is a kind of contact with archetypal material that aids individuation. 
  • Traditional shamans would disagree, viewing the elements and events in the individual and communal unconscious as objective, actual occurrences – as a reality on another level.
  • Traditional shamans would also refer to some of those figures as ‘spirits,' seeing and feeling them inside the energy field of ‘All there is,' rather than within the limitations of the brain, a concept that, as I shall demonstrate later, may be more true than we previously thought. 

It's worth noting that Jung often referred to the collective unconscious as the objective psyche in this context. 

To put it another way, the proper approach toward inner pictures, happenings, and conversations is to regard them as if they were genuine. 

  • When we get to the level of archetypal imagery, we realize how arbitrary the lines we make may be. 
  • Many therapists, I'm sure, have seen archetypal imagery when clients recount abusive events, particularly sexually abusive ones, especially if they occurred while they were young. 
  • The monster that enters the young kid's bedroom may be based on a nightmare experience, a monster from a TV show the child saw, an image for something completely different, or a description of the child's father who tortured him. 
  • In archetypal form, the tiny infant frequently accumulates frightening memories and experiences that it cannot make sense of. 
  • Although the angel or fairy who soothes the kid is an archetype, it's possible that the child's distress stems from a very genuine event.

You may also want to read more about Shamanism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.