Parapsychology

Parapsychology – Scholars and others interested in parapsychological, psychic, or “psi” phenomena and experiences (e.g., telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, psychokinesis, and precognition) have considered shamans as possible subjects for understanding, refuting, or validating competing arguments. The Parapsychological Association provides a good example of the range of relevant interests, citing Maria Luisa Felici’s discussion of North American Indian shamans; Stanley Krippner’s book concerned with the “spiritual dimensions of healing”; Serena Roney-Dougal’s consideration of altered states of consciousness, brain chemistry, psychosis, and hallucinogens; and Bruno Severi’s discussions about altered states of consciousness and ayahuasca use among the Shipibo Conibo of South America. For obvious reasons, there are parallels between these interests and those of psychologists and of Jungian-influenced neo-shamans. However, while the publications mentioned focus particularly on questions of interiority and experience, they do also attend to social roles and performative issues, at least in passing.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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