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David Lewis-Williams - Levels, layers and shamanism



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Mind in the Cave – David Lewis-Williams

Shamanistic cosmology is conceived, in the first instance as comprising two realms, the material world and the spiritual realm. Often the spirit world is immanent, interdigitating with the material world as well as separate from it. At the same time, these two realms are conceived of as subdivided and layered, the more socially complex the shamanistic society, the more tiered the subdivisions of the cosmos.  ……………………………..

Altered states of consciousness not only create notions of a tiered cosmos; they also afford access to and thereby repeatedly validate, the various divisions of the cosmos. The tiered shamanistic cosmos and proof of its reality constitute a closed system of experiental creation and verification

The source of the experience

Shaman unspecified

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps