Shamanism for the Age of Science: Awakening the Energy Body

Shamanism for the Age of Science: Awakening the Energy Body

by Kenneth Smith

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Overview

A practical guide to understanding and awakening the human energy body

• Shows how the energy body forms our reality from the infinite possibilities presented by our thoughts, feelings, and those around us

• Illustrates the anatomy of the energy body, including its connections to the nervous system, chakras, and meridians

• Provides step-by-step exercises to awaken the energy body, expand awareness, and begin consciously creating your own reality

At a time when consciousness and other aspects of our energetic anatomy are finding their way into modern science, Kenneth Smith blends traditional shamanism with cutting-edge research in bioenergetics, neuroscience, and psychology to offer this user’s guide to the energy body—explaining what it is, what its capabilities are, and how to harness it as a vehicle for higher consciousness and heightened awareness.

For more than 5,000 years, shamans of the Toltec tradition have worked with the energy body, learning its structure and perceptual capacities as well as mapping it as an objective, measurable part of our anatomy. Drawing from his decades-long involvement in this tradition and his work in the field of bioenergetics, Smith explains how the energy body shapes our perceptions, determines our state of consciousness, and forms our reality from the infinite possibilities presented by our thoughts, feelings, and those around us. Illustrating our energetic anatomy and its connections to the nervous system, chakras, and meridians, he provides step-by-step exercises to awaken the energy body, expand awareness, and begin consciously building a creative life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591431190
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 07/26/2011
Edition description: 2nd Edition, Revised, Revised edition of Awakening the Energy Body
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kenneth Smith, writing under the name Ken Eagle Feather, has published several books on Toltec philosophy, including On the Toltec Path and Toltec Dreaming. He apprenticed with Toltec shaman don Juan Matus and has served on the staff of the Association for Research and Enlightenment and The Monroe Institute. The executive director of The Institute for Therapeutic Discovery, a medical science research institute, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Read an Excerpt

Shamanism for the Age of Science

Awakening the Energy Body
By Kenneth Smith

Bear & Company

Copyright © 2011 Kenneth Smith
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781591431190

Chapter 11

The Heartbeat of Learning


Regardless of your stage of development, having the basics of learning under your belt is essential in order to consciously awaken. As characterized by working through altered states to discrete altered states to a new baseline, each shift in cohesion represents learning. The more awareness you have integrated, the more you have learned. The greater you plug into the environment, the more awareness you have. And in an infinite world, there is always more.

The heartbeat of learning consists of continually expanding into imagination and then contracting that awareness into practical application. All of the imagination and learning perspectives in this book serve to help you regulate your energy body to permit this form of accelerated learning. As with anything else, you can keep developing these and other techniques to elevate your level of ability.

Components of Learning

The following section provides an overview of a few key aspects of effective learning. They are meant to enhance understanding of cohesional dynamics as they build on the known world while taking into consideration venturing into the unknown. Skills and processes referenced in the previous chapters promote the development of each these behaviors.

Memory
In daily use we relate to memory as consciously recollecting the past. Examining how this occurs, scientific investigation has defined memory as “the way the brain is affected by experience and then subsequently alters its future responses.” Memory therefore creates a hinge to look at how past events affect future behaviors. In like manner, don Juan holds that our experience of the world is based on memory. Reality, then, both personal and consensus, is constructed in part from a stream of associated memories that create a pattern, a view of the world. There needs to be continuity of learned relationships in order to make a leap from past events to figuring future responses, and the options for this behavior stem from what has meaning, value, and relevance as these are the forces that collect memories.

In a brain model, continuity of perception results from the formation of neural networks. Repetition of experience and the internal narrative that cements the meaning of experience stabilize these pathways, producing long-term memory. A wide range of associations occur during correlating certain letters to form a word, for example, to how biochemical activity gives rise to cellular interactions and pathways. Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel says this process requires an anatomical change, rendering a more lasting and complex network.

This hardwired network changes as the web of memory changes and vice versa. It may expand due to new experiences or dissipate from lack of use. Having more contexts from which to derive meaning from new experiences adds to how the brain adapts. Part of this neuroplasticity, says psychiatrist Norman Doige, comes about as the abilities and functions of memory change as a person grows older. Children’s memory carries different qualities from those of adults, for example. One might speculate that these types of variances are also found among the stages of awakening, with each new stage reflective of a more enhanced neural network or energetic coherence.

Another portion of these mechanics is that a person can use the same plastic quality of the brain to unlearn their continuity by removing associations that lock memories in place. Remove a piece of the interlocking aspects of an event that gave rise to a memory and the neural network dissipates, thereby changing or eliminating the memory. Likewise, if you can summon a sufficient number of associations, you can restore the entire memory.

In this manner, you can also reshape mind. Just as memory reflects your repetitive behaviors and internal narrative, which give meaning to experience, it conditions perception as to what forms your inventory. Mind is therefore structured in the same manner as neural networks. It then follows that the nature of the network indicates the way mind has been conditioned. Perhaps inventories and neural networks are mirror images.

Possibly even more indicative of the flexibility of memory, imagination can be used to intentionally make changes in the pathways and determine new memories, a purposeful remodeling of networks. This doesn’t mean you changed the event that placed the experience-memory in your neural network; it means you have a new perceived relationship with the continuity of experience, which then alters your narrative, your stream of thoughts about your life. In practice, for instance, you may rearrange facts to establish a new past-to-future continuity and in so doing give yourself a chance to respond more intelligently. Applying this to reality, a consensus view of the world results from people sharing a similar network, and this has the effect of reinforcing specific pathways of perception. Change the network sufficiently and you change reality. It’s a matter of how potential and actual interact. This is a bit of the metaphysics behind the formation of what is deemed to be “real.”

In addition, a person’s affective style influences memory. Candace Pert maintains that emotion is a means of activating a neural circuit throughout the entire body. Therefore your emotional stance helps form memory by developing your narrative, the resulting associations, and then the continuity of your reality. Meditation and relaxation promote emotional fluency and therefore the ability to access other states of consciousness.

Continues...

Excerpted from Shamanism for the Age of Science by Kenneth Smith Copyright © 2011 by Kenneth Smith. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1 Shamanism for the Age of Science

2
A World of Energy

3
Anatomy of the Energy Body

4
The Formation of Reality

5
Expanding the Boundaries

6
Stockroom of a Thousand Mirrors

7
Closing in on Fundamentalism

8
Building a Creative Life

9
Living the Unfolding Moment

10
Energy Management Skills

11
The Heartbeat of Learning


Epilogue

Notes

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

What People are Saying About This

Kevin J. Todeschi

“If you want to change your life, simply change your mind. This simple truth is perhaps the greatest tool for personal change that remains unknown by most of the contemporary world. My hope is that Shamanism for the Age of Science might contribute to the understanding that we truly have a major role in co-creating our lives and our world, and it is a role that we can no longer neglect to take seriously.”

Reg Little

“[Smith] has made an important contribution to awakening a slumbering West, as the rest of the world starts to rediscover and reinvent riches from diverse pasts.”

Simon Buxton

“Kenneth Smith eloquently reveals what we all need to know regarding the energy body—its nature, functions, and purpose. By embracing this perennial wisdom we are offered the rarest of opportunities: to once again experience the practical philosophy of the sage, the seer, and the shaman.”

Joseph W. McMoneagle

Shamanism for the Age of Science presents a natural way to explore one’s awakening potential as well as expand one’s ability to heal themselves or others. If you’ve ever wanted to pick up an easy to understand guide for following in the footsteps of a Toltec Master, this is it.”

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