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California Institute of Integral Studies

2013

Consciousness

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Shamanic Cosmology As An Evolutionary Neurocognitive Epistemology, Michael Winkelman Jan 2013

Shamanic Cosmology As An Evolutionary Neurocognitive Epistemology, Michael Winkelman

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The biological foundation for a shamanic epistemology is indicated by the cross-cultural distribution of a shamanic cosmology derived from knowledge obtained during altered consciousness. These special forms of consciousness involve integrative brain conditions that access ancient ways of knowing, expressive systems which have evolutionary roots in the communicative and social processes involved in animal displays or rituals. These were augmented over the course of hominid evolution into expressive and mimetic activities that provided a basis for significant epistemological expansions of consciousness exemplified in shamanic out-of-body (OBE) experiences. These manifestations of consciousness involved new modes of self and processes of knowing ...