Dr. Michael Winkelman on the neurological basis of shamanic visions

A portion of an Archaic period Pecos River style painting associated with a prehistoric peyote cult dated to 5000–3000 years before present (ybp).

“Our brain is a complex information processing system that largely excludes most information from consciousness. You’ve heard that we only use 5% or 10% of our brain; the information in the rest of the brain is generally screened out. ASCs (altered states of consciousness) enhance access to this information stream, hence the ability of soul flight to bring information into the complex dream-like visual construction of reality. In shamanic healing this information may be about the patient, and used to construct a diagnosis about the psychosocial dynamics underlying the affliction.” -Dr. Michael Winkelman

Excerpt from GLIMPSE staff writer Carolyn Arcabascio’s interview wtih anthropologist Michael Winkleman. Issue 6, Visions.

Read the full (extended) interview with Dr. Winkelman online here.

-Image courtesy of David S. Whitley.

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