At a recent Pachamama Alliance monthly gathering at Peña Pachamama in San Francisco, Claude Poncelet , visionary physicist, shamanic practitioner and teacher, explained that we all have the innate capacity to connect with the spiritual dimension of reality that he calls, “the shaman within.”
Healing through our Cosmic Ancestors
During his presentation, Claude mesmerized the audience through the retelling of captivating accounts of his personal experience with shamanic journeys. One such experience was his journey to the spirits involved with his "Gamma Knife" cancer therapy.
While journeying during the treatment, he discovered that he was being healed by our cosmic ancestors because we all originated from primordial gamma rays that manifested shortly after the “Big Bang” or the birth of the universe. These same gamma rays were being used in Claude’s treatment. What began as a scary experience for Claude transformed into an experience of the sacred filled with joy, wonder and gratitude.
Journey to the Black Hole
Claude shared yet another shamanic journey he undertook to the black hole in the center of our galaxy in the constellation of Sagittarius so that he could learn more about himself. During this journey he experienced an immense sense of well-being that felt like returning home along with sensations of love, truth, compassion, utter joy, utter simplicity and being deeply present in the now. Following the spirit of the black hole’s advice, Claude encouraged the spellbound audience to pursue these kinds of wonderful experiences to reconnect with the sacred in our everyday lives.
In his new book, The Shaman Within, A Physicist’s Guide for the Deeper Dimensions of Your Life, the Universe, and Everything, Claude provides basic instructions for the classic shamanic journey to enter the spiritual dimension and communicate with spirits. Also included in his book are instructions for shamanic journeys to various cosmic objects such as quasars, pulsars, supernovae, galaxies, black holes, etc. along with brief descriptions of the objects and the phenomena using simple physics.
A Way Out of our Anthropocentric Beliefs
In keeping with Claude’s philosophy of acknowledging the sacred in everything we encounter in this technological, modern world, he offered our intimate gathering a way out of our anthropocentric beliefs that he believes are the roots of our current environmental and social crises. Claude spent the remaining part of the evening discussing the five cultural beliefs that underpin anthropocentrism, the fundamental belief that humans have more value than the rest of nature and other members of the human species.
Here are brief descriptions of the five underlying anthropocentric beliefs that Claude examined along with their shamanic and/or scientific antidotes. Instructions for a deep personal inquiry into those cultural beliefs that we may unconsciously hold concerning nature and others can also be found in his new book.
- Nature and other people are “its” or objects without intrinsic value and divine essence. Conversely, when we contact the spirits of the animals, plants, rocks, rivers, air and other humans through shamanic journeys, we have a direct experience of the sacred and see that everything is a “thou” and is sacred.
- Nature and other humans are separate from each of us. In contrast, ecology and biogenetics show that the earth is a web whose organisms are connected and dependent on one another and on the elements that make up their environments. Through science and shamanic journeying, we can have a direct experience of this interconnectedness.
- Only humans have intelligence and are self-aware. In contrast, quantum scientists have concluded that the elementary particles that make up our universe such as photons, electrons and atoms compute and process information. Therefore, the universe itself, down to its most basic level, is intelligent and self-aware.
- Humans are at the peak of the evolutionary pyramid. On the contrary, shamanic understanding makes us aware of our place in the universe that is that we are different and yet equal.
- “God directed humans to subdue the earth and have dominion over all things,” a sentence taken from Genesis, the Creation myth, in the first book of the Bible. Unlike the Bible’s Creation myth, Claude elucidated a wondrous new Creation story from the modern science of Cosmology. This story tells the evolution of the universe and life on earth from the “Big Bang” until today. It is a story of oneness, diversity and non-separation and equality.
According to Claude, it can be easy for us to observe how others are contributing to the destruction of the natural environment and how others are destroying other people, but the transformation must begin with us.
Through journeying to the Cosmos with Claude Poncelet and shifting our anthropocentric beliefs to believe in harmony, oneness and equality, Claude has invoked the “shaman within” for all of us and a reconsecration of the sacred in our daily lives.