Michael Harner, Ph.D.
Founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies
Over tens of thousands of years, our ancient ancestors all over the world discovered how to maximize human abilities of mind and spirit for healing and problem-solving. The remarkable system of methods they developed is today known as shamanism. Shamans are especially distinguished by the use of journeys to hidden worlds otherwise mainly known through myth, dream, and near-death experiences. A core feature of shamanism is that the Universe is divisible into three worlds: the Upper, Middle, and Lower. The Middle World, in which we live, has both its ordinary and non-ordinary (or non-spiritual and spiritual) aspects, and belongs only to this immediate moment in time. The Upper and Lower Worlds, in contrast, are purely spiritual and are found only in nonordinary reality, where they exist outside of time. The trained shaman can make “out of body” journeys to these worlds, moving back and forth with discipline and purpose in order to help and heal others. In these journeys, the shaman transcends time, going back to look at the past or traveling into the future to seek assistance on behalf of others from compassionate beings found there. In these worlds, there is no separation between the shaman and everything else. He or she knows, as ancient Siberian shamans knew that, “Everything that is, is alive.” The Universe is experienced as a unified whole, and the shaman partakes of the love and the ecstasy of this transcendent reality.
SAND 2011 is a journey and exploration of the nature of awareness from the perspective of modern science, ancient traditions, philosophy, phenomenology, psychology and direct experience. Hear presentations of
world-renowned quantum physicists, scientists, lecturers and authors like John Hagelin, Stanislav Grof, Lynne McTaggart, Fred Alan Wolf, Menas Kafatos, Gangaji, Rupert Spira, David Peat, Dean Radin, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Jeff Foster and many more, over this four-day conference.
The theme which we will be exploring this year is Time. What is time and does it really exist? Linear, nonlinear time, eternal now, infinity… SAND 2011 will be an exploration of the concept and paradox of
time from the perspective of modern science, ancient traditions, philosophy, phenomenology, psychology and of course direct experience.
Michael Harner Ph.D.
Michael Harner is widely acknowledged as the world's foremost authority on experiential and practical shamanism and shamanic healing, and has had an enormous influence on both the academic and lay worlds. The founder and president of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, he pioneered the introduction of shamanism and the shamanic drum journey to contemporary life and is recognized as the world leader in this movement.
In his over a half century of anthropological fieldwork, cross-cultural studies, experimental research, and firsthand experience, Dr. Harner arrived at the core methods of shamans worldwide. The applicability of this core shamanism to contemporary Westerners has been substantiated by the experiences of his thousands of students. The experiential methods are simple, safe, and have been used successfully by them with positive life-changing results.
Honoring the oral tradition of indigenous shamans, for the last quarter of a century he has conveyed his shamanic knowledge primarily first-hand through teaching and experiential work rather than through writing. Today he and his staff annually teach thousands of students internationally who, in turn, introduce thousands more to shamanism.
Model of the origin of the universe, which holds that it emerged from a state of extremely high temperature and density in an explosive expansion 10 billion15 billion years ago. Its two basic assumptionsthat Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity correctly describes the gravitational interaction of all matter and that an observer's view of the universe does not depend on direction of observation or on locationmake it possible to calculate physical conditions in the universe back to a very early time called the Planck time (after Max Planck). According to the model proposed by George Gamow in the 1940s, the universe expanded rapidly from a highly compressed early state, with a steady decrease in density and temperature. Within seconds, matter predominated over antimatter and certain nuclei formed. It took another million years before atoms could form and electromagnetic radiation could travel through space unimpeded. The abundances of hydrogen, helium, and lithium and the discovery of cosmic background radiation support the model, which also explains the redshifts of the light from distant galaxies as resulting from the expansion of space.
Person who uses magic to cure the sick, divine the unknown, or control events. Both men and women can be shamans. Shamanism is classically associated with certain Arctic and Central Asian peoples, but today the term is applied to analogous religious and quasi-religious systems throughout the world. As medicine man and priest, the shaman cures illnesses, directs communal sacrifices, and escorts the souls of the dead to the other world. He operates by using techniques of ecstasy, the power to leave his body at will during a trancelike state. In cultures where shamanism occurs, sickness is usually thought of as soul loss; it is thus the shaman's task to enter the spirit world, capture the soul, and reintegrate it in the body. A person becomes a shaman either by inheritance or by self-election. See alsoanimism.