Tonight's guest, Hank Wesselman Ph.D., teaches shamanism workshops across the country. "Shamans are men and women who can achieve expanded states of awareness in which they can perceive and communicate in ways not possible in our ordinary waking state of consciousness," Wesselman explained in an interview with Deepak Chopra(1). In traditional cultures, shamans often help to heal community members who are suffering from either physical or psychological maladies.
Referring to shamans as "spiritual activists," Wesselman said their work is often accomplished with the aid of guardian spirit helpers. From the shamanistic perspective illnesses don't really come from bacteria and microbes, but rather from three internal states: disharmony, fear and soul loss. "Soul loss is regarded as the most serious diagnosis and the single greatest cause of premature death or serious illness," Wesselman said.
A person might lose an element of their soul after undergoing severe trauma such as from an assault or accident, Wesselman detailed. In such cases a shaman may embark upon a "soul retrieval" mission, where they team up with their spirit guides to track and recover the missing soul parts. "Only in this way can the soul be restored to its original undamaged state, and only in this way can the patient be sure that the illness will not reoccur," he said.