“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.”Philip K. Dick, VALIS
Reality is the whole of the system in which we exist, both known and unknown. The majority of what most of us think of as “reality” is based entirely upon our sensory perceptions.
Science has revealed there is much more to reality than what we can perceive with the physical senses. We know there is sound outside of the range of our hearing. We know the light we see is only a small spectrum of the wider range of light.
Reality as we know it is, for the most part, defined by what our physical bodies can experience. We cannot see its entirety. We cannot know its ultimate truth. We can discover some of the physically imperceptible parts based on logical expectations. We build tools to look for the things we expect to find. However, there’s also a probability of things that we not only cannot be aware of with our physical senses, but also have no idea of where to look for them.
For example, we have scientific theories that speculate there could be additional layers of our reality that even have different rules of physics. There are likely parts of our reality that are so foreign to us that they exceed our imagination.
I do believe there is more to reality than we know. I believe we are all connected in a way we don’t perceive with our physical senses, but that connectivity affects us none the less. We affect each other. To me, shamanism is the term we use for the exploration of these unknown layers of reality.
I don’t profess to know the science of this journey. I, like so many cultures and peoples before me, simply create my own explanations that work for my purposes. Someday, the realities traveled by shamans may be understood scientifically. To me, that will be an amazing time. It will open up advanced understanding of mental and physical health and allow greater use of those layers of reality to help each other. I’m referring to the realities current and past shamanic practitioners have navigated through traditional teachings or their own personal experiences.
But for now, my grip on reality is intuitive. My understanding of the the lines of connection between all things does not come from studies that can be referenced or knowledge external to my own thoughts and practice.