Shamanism & Liberation

Sanango Peruvian Amazon, Moyobamba

Who is a Shaman? Which is the “real” shamanism? Is very hard to give answer to these questions based on an ordinary classification of symbols of what we believe as the concrete reality, to be able to comprehend these phenomena; we would precisely have to try to understand the world from a different perspective totally foreign to the daily life. We can’t say that who uses certain symbols or uses a specific dress code and represents a form of belief or belongs to an ethnical group, is a Shaman. This concept escapes from what most people perceive with the basic senses. Shamanism is a process of interior comprehension, not a cultural characteristic like some may believe.

The first characteristic of shamanism is the alter state of consciousness, the state of trance or “vision”. This state can be produced by volunteer induction thru chanting, mantras or musical instruments and/or also through the use of plants that amplify awareness called entheogens. The second characteristic is that the shaman has the possibility to dominate this alter state, making of it a mystical state of healing, utilizing different techniques according his comprehension of the cosmos.

The great difference between a shaman and a healer is that the shaman allows himself to be or not to be, channel of entities and enters in states of pure consciousness that allows him to transmit higher frequencies than those transmitted by healers or warlocks. The state of trance of a shaman is something that science has tried to explained and comprehend, but has only been able to be studied by measuring frequencies in the brain, which were similar as the ones with states of mystical meditation.

In the other hand, they are those who try certain forms of “shamanism”, contaminating its essence with pseudo-scientific beliefs or Judeo Christian paradigms, distorting the shamanic essence of a cosmic and pantheistic reality. They only seek to fit the shamanism in their beliefs and consciously or unconsciously, cut the possibility of growth and healing of humanity. The danger here, is that this persons or institutions, while belonging to the status quo, who manage to blend into the shamanism using shamanic techniques like entheogens or pretending to be native healers with a role of “noble savage”, undergo a pasteurization of the prevailing belief and this is how they get included in a scheme socially accepted by the dominant culture. This allows a false conception and comprehension of shamanism, degrading it, turning it only into a healing tool and castrating it from its core essence, which is the liberation of paradigms, paradigms that are precisely the ones holding this form of thought.

Painting by Alex Grey


In the essential shamanism, we talk about understanding the world from a non-daily perspective, stepping apart from the ordinary beliefs or the cultural classification which he have been submerged in. The shamanism in this culture is necessarily the divergent thinking, is a conception of the universe based in the direct experience and that can takes us to unsuspected forms of knowledge.

Terence Mckenna promoted a theory called “Time Wave Zero” that contained the steps of the individual awakening of a person. The interesting part was that he compared this individual awakening with the human singularity and prehistoric evolution, noticing that the time in which humans obtained new knowledge has been speeding up, doubling, quadrupling up into itself more and more rapidly. If we wanted to start comprehending Mckenna or in this times, the Mayan prophecies, we would necessarily have to escape from our methodology of cultural thinking, escape from the operative system implanted in our minds and develop non classifying forms in our programing. Entheogens whom Mckenna wisely calls “cleaners” of our operative system, allows to deprogram ourselves from this implanted concepts and as a result, see for the first time, free of paradigms, what is real. Now, the intake of entheogens in a shamanic context is twice as decodifying, since there is not only the individual process of each one, but also the transmitted influence of wisdom of the shaman and the collective process of the group. This is not summed up in an eagerness of healing physical and mental symptoms without the liberation of the psyche or to recreate as high priest of “healing” rather than seeking to free human beings with the truth. There is no shamanism without liberation and decodification, tools of truth should not be taken to dump them into the darkness of the paradigms that have led us to this “civilization”. These tools are taken out of fear and ignorance from those who try to blend them into their beliefs.

The conception of time space as understood by the Mayas or Mckenna, is precisely in the deconstruction of the lineal and classificatory thought, matching to a conception that we can only find in the essential shamanism through the direct experience with entheogens or with transcended meditation.

In Atalaya, jungle of Peru, lives an old wise men that went through all the tribes, even the ones not discovered yet, understanding the forms of use and methods of the Ayahuasca. He understood that the technology based in the alteration or amplification of consciousness, vibration, contact, channeling and that awakening the forces like the kundalini, could vary in form, but not in essence of healing, compassion and freedom. He comprehend that getting close to shamanism, is opening the mind and go beyond any paradigm, challenging our fears and ways of thinking, he realize that the truth is far away to be reached from a paradigm, from ignorance or darkness of belief. He concluded that shamanism, is learning the essence of knowledge and healing based in the comprehension of our own truth, directly through the cosmos, free of constraints, beliefs and dogmas that take us away from it.

One Response to “Shamanism & Liberation”

  1. Andrea says:

    Muy interesante los felicito.

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