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Connecting Shamanism and Quantum Physics
By:David Carnes

Shamanism has long asserted that the act of entering certain states of consciousness has the ability to affect the objective world around us. During the mid-20th century, advancements in theoretical physics led to a new view of reality among quantum physicists that resembles the shamanistic world view in fundamental ways.

What Shamanism Is
Shamanism is a mystical philosophy. It asserts that by altering your consciousness, you can travel to other realities outside of time and space. A shaman is one whose mind is trained to enter these altered states of consciousness. While in this state, he will make contact with spirits who provide knowledge and healing. The essence of shamanism is the view that objects such as rocks, clouds and even automobiles have consciousness, and that because of this, it is meaningless to draw any fundamental distinction between mind and matter.

What Quantum Physics Is
Quantum physics was developed in the mid-20th century and is fully accepted by the scientific mainstream. It holds that energy is composed of tiny, discrete units ("quanta"), that elementary subatomic particles such as photons and electrons can behave either as waves or particles depending on the way they are measured, that it is inherently impossible to know both the exact position and the exact momentum of any subatomic particle at the same time, and that the movement of subatomic particles is random. The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics, the most widely accepted interpretation, holds that the physical state of a subatomic particle is actually determined only at the moment of observation by the scientist (known as the "Observer Effect"). This assertion was experimentally confirmed in 1972 by physics professor John Clauser at the University of California-Berkeley, and the result was confirmed by other scientists in 1975, 1976 and 1999 (see link in References).

The Connection
If the physical state of subatomic particle/wave can be affected by the simple act of observation by a conscious being, then the distinction between consciousness and inanimate objects collapses, resulting in a view of the universe similar to that of shamanism. If a human consciousness can affect the physical state of a subatomic particle, then it might be possible for human consciousness to affect matter at a macroscopic level.