​Inner Ecology and Liminal Spaces 

Guest blogger Sharon G. Mijares shares her conference paper from the 36th annual SAC Spring Conference. Her paper was part of the Mapping  Individual   and  Cultural  Space:   Occultism,   Inner   Ecology  and  Embodied  Cognition panel of the Wisdom Sits in Places conference. If you would like to know more about Sharon Mijares please check out her bio.


Restoring a deepened sense of inner ecological connectedness is vital for humanity’s future.  We need to know and improve our inner landscape, embracing our own inner distinctions and diversity in order to heal the outer world. Archetypal presences can illuminate an awareness of unknown territory. There are places where split off parts of the soul reside, isolated and disconnected from wholeness.  They can lead us into liminal spaces, thresholds of awakening.  Individual healing and expansion illuminates paths for global transformation.

Inner Ecology and Liminal Spaces

© 2016 Sharon G. Mijares, Ph.D.

Liminal spaces are described as “in-between moments” a space of waiting, not-knowing, a potential space of transformation. What opens the doors to these moments?  Many depth spiritual traditions teach one to focus on the pause between the inhale and the exhale or the space between the drum beats.  These are the places where one can enter or slip into another reality.  One can also enter into them without any preparation – a jolt into the unknown.

Consciousness is everywhere and in everything

Generally, consciousness is defined as an “awareness of the mind of itself and the world.” But consciousness is multilayered and not easily explained.  There are altered states of consciousness that can lead us into those liminal spaces, whether it comes by a transcendent spiritual experience initiated through trance; hallucinogenics; breath work, such as holotropic therapy; meditation; chanting or the like (Mijares, 2009; 2016). These processes open consciousness beyond the ordinary mind.

They also open the deep consciousness within our bodies. Be aware that stories are rising from the cellular structures within our bodies. We can learn to listen to the qualities of the breath, a sigh…and observe subtle changes of moods and thoughts. Far too often we limit consciousness to our cerebral hemispheres and fail to hear the narratives whispering, or perhaps shouting, within the consciousness of our tissues and organs. The body is teeming with archetypal energies, subpersonalities and transformative spaces—but more often than not it replicates the disconnection we see in the world.

The great analyst Carl Jung (1964) embarked upon his own inner journey, allowing the archetypal realm to move through him. He saw this as a way to help heal the world. It is also our work to open the gates and experience the vastness and unity within this experience called life. It also means exploring liminal spaces where shadow forces abide. These can both block and lead to the soul, but Jung (1946) noted how “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious” (p. 99).

We can readily observe the disconnection taking place throughout the outer world, but often fail to see the ways we mirror it.  Contributions to this dissociation have conspired to entertain and delude us from our true nature, i.e., social media, religious controls, academic influences, media and advertising, shopping as well as the overall stress of daily living.

The majority of people are disconnected from one another, from nature and from ourselves.  Do we feel and intuit the disconnecting elements limiting the consciousness within our own bodies?  Inner ecology requires a deepening journey into the depths of our own beings.  Somatic awakening is the door to true spiritual awakening (Washburn, 1984).

The Sufi poet Rumi alluded to the magical power of the breath to awaken our awareness of archetypal presences within the body. This message is found in his poem, “A Goal Kneels,”
The inner being of a human being is a jungle.

Sometimes wolves dominate,

sometimes wild hogs.

Be wary when you breathe!

At one moment gentle generous qualities,

like Josephs, pass from one nature to another.

The next moment vicious qualities move in hidden ways;
Wisdom slips for a while into an ox!

A restless, recalcitrant horse suddenly

becomes obedient and smooth-gaited.

A bear begins to dance.

A goal kneels!
Human consciousness goes into a dog,

and that dog becomes a shepherd, or a hunter.

In the Cave of the Seven Sleepers

even the dogs were seekers.
At every moment a new species rises in the chest

now a demon, now an angel, now a wild animal.

There are also those in this amazing jungle

who can absorb you into their own surrender.

If you have to stalk and steal something,

steal from them! (Barks, 1990)
The poem also highlights the idea that mythological, archetypal narratives are woven into the fabric of the body. Archetypes are psychic structures containing biologically related patterns of behaviors consisting of certain qualities and expressions of being. They are related to the instinctive life forces motivating the world’s mythological stories (Mijares, 1997, 2012) as well as our own lives. Our center of attention is focused from lofty cerebral watchtowers and we fail to hear and feel these narratives and guidance whispering within the neural pathways of our beings. Our breath is held, our sensitivities dimmed and fixated by limited attention. The body is alive with archetypical presences waiting to be acknowledged – available to give greater meaning and balance in our world.

Do unconscious entities such as archetypal energies, sub-personalities, introjects and ego-states have a specific brain location or are they manifesting through the cells, molecules and neural pathways of the body-mind (Mijares, 1995, 1997, 2012)?  The body holds the memory of individual and collective neglect and abuse. It also holds the memory and knowledge of vast domains of consciousness.  As we heal ourselves, we heal the world. Memory is inherent within the DNA, genes and cellular structure of the body-mind. The body’s memory becomes activated as neural winds and consciousness stream through the neural networks.  These forces can also be dangerous and fearful.

Jungian analyst Robert Stein, once discussed a client who was experiencing what he called a “regressive infantile seizure.” The client was somatically gripped by an archetypal force acting through him despite his intelligence and mature awareness. In his contemplation, Stein came to the conclusion that “if we lift the veil of our rational analytical bias, we may catch a glimpse of the offended deity who has become incarnate in the pain and anger of the psycho-somatic process.” Stein then asks, “What transgression has caused the painful agony of this greater power to overwhelm him? What offerings or what sacrifice must he make so that harmony, order and wholeness can be re-established?” (1976, p. 74).

Stein explains that his client was caught up in performance-oriented social and mental activities, denying the needs of feelings and body. Until he submits and allows this balance, opposing powers will continue their war within his body-mind. This neglect manifests in individual somatic complaints, mental disturbances and illness. Culturally it manifests in substance abuse, violence and depression, obsessions with social media and anything that contracts awareness.

On a global level, when we take this knowledge to the larger world we can see how the radical terrorist group Da’ish is acting out violent archetypal energies. They represent responses to vast imbalances, stifled voices –manifestations of the neglected self in the individual, the culture and the world. Its’ nature has become that of revenge. In one of his lectures on Tibetan Buddhism titled “The descent to heaven,” the late Joseph Campbell illustrated Tibetan teachings on enlightenment, including blissful and wrathful deities within body consciousness. It is all part of the process. We are seeing the Bardo acting out in the external world. The Bardo is the realm in between life and death. The newly departed journeyer is seeking liberation from the wheel of karma (Thurman, 1994). Hallucinations, terrifying images and so forth are part of the journey that can lead to enlightenment. The journeyer needs to recognize the illusions and focus upon the goal. We are there folks!

So what do we do?

We need to artfully and willingly enter into deeper consciousness. We need to leave the illusion of safety in the ego, and drop into the underworld of our being—slip into those liminal spaces.  Carl Jung’s explorations into the unconscious were indicative of his own embarkation on the hero’s healing journey (Groesbeck, 1989; Jung, 1963, 1964). At the outbreak of World War, he realized that he “had to try to understand what had happened and to what extent [his] own experience coincided with that of mankind in general. Therefore [his] first obligation was to probe the depths of [his] own psyche” (1963, p. 176). Archetypal forces began to flood his consciousness as Jung allowed the control of the ego-mind to relax its’ binding grip. He let go and entered liminal space. He began experiencing a steady stream of fantasies which he could not control. He realized he needed to understand these manifestations forcing themselves upon him. In describing his experience he wrote that he, in his words, stood helpless before an alien world; everything in it seemed difficult and incomprehensible. I was living in a constant state of tension…But there was a demonic strength in me, and from the beginning there was no doubt in my mind that I must find the meaning of what I was experiencing in these fantasies. (pp. 176-177)

Jung found himself experiencing intense psychic assaults as he entered unconscious realms and the onslaught began, but he stuck by his unswerving conviction that he was following a calling. He instinctively knew he had a task to fulfill.

During this period Jung used yogic exercises to help subdue the intensity of emotional flooding. In this journey he personally experienced the powerful forces of the anima, animus, divine child, warriors, demons and sages that are an integral part of humanity’s consciousness. As Jung utilized the inherent power of Eastern yogic exercises based upon breath and physical movement he was further invoking the unconscious realms within the body.

Breath—the essence of life

Eastern spiritual traditions use the breath to reunite mind and body (Mijares, 2009). Mythological narratives are often initiated by breathing practices. This is especially true of Stan and Christina Grof’s process of holotropic breathwork (1988, Grof & Taylor, 2009), a process in which the participants breath faster and deeper for two hours or more. In the liminal spaces that open, cells begin to quiver, muscles quake as messenger molecules travel through the awakening neural circuitry of the body. Literally! The breathwork stimulates the body’s innate intelligence as messenger molecules activate nodal points in the neural information system of body consciousness. When we enter these deepened states of consciousness, the egoic self leaves its cerebral control tower. It is forced into acknowledging its limitations, recognizing there is more to consciousness than itself. Something calls us to take these inner journeys.  It begins what Joseph Campbell (1949) referred to as the call—an awakening to the hero’s journey.

During the awakening of the body-mind, the cerebral and feeling selves become cognizant of each other. But soon another stage in the heroic journey emerges as the obstacle surfaces. This experience is spoken of as a dragon at the gate or similar metaphors. Processes of enlightenment and/or soul retrieval are traditionally challenged by an archetypal, wrathful force at the gate to the hiding place of the treasure.

These strange manifestations are familiar expressions of healing and emergence processes recognized by spiritual teachers of Eastern and Sufi orientations and also by depth psychotherapists using trance processes. In Sufism the subconscious selves and archetypal forces are called the nafs. These presences are seen as part of the journey to Authentic Self, similar to the Tibetan work in the Bardo realm.

Plant Medicine

A new narrative needs to be written that includes psyche and soma (soul and body) while acknowledging the pathos of the human experience as a heroic journey leading to the emergence of authenticity of self. Our humanity is deep in this process.  We see all the manifestations and are caught up in the fear, violence or some illusionary form of escapism, as we’re still caught up in the old narrative influenced by all the karma of the imbalances initiated through patriarchal ideologies and practices. But this is changing. The revolutionary spread of Ayahuasca is helping with this journey as it is leading many practitioners around the world to reconnect with Nature as they enter into other realms and ways of knowing—guided by the wisdom inherent within Nature. It is no accident that these plants, previously hidden in the depths of the Amazon, have emerged and are appearing in various nations around the world. They have been evoked to help us with this transition, moving many beyond the confines of the ordinary ego.

The late mythologist Joseph Campbell said “The passage of the mythological hero…is inward–into depths where obscure resistances are overcome, and long lost, forgotten powers are revivified…” (1949, p. 29). The world’s legends, folk tales and mythological stories describe various stages of the hero/heroine’s journey. Campbell writes that “Each of these bibliographies exhibits the variously rationalized theme of the infant exile and return” (p. 323).

The exiled infant represents our original, pure being.

As noted earlier, themes of dragons and demons guarding the entrances to caves or castles wherein hidden treasures, babies or young maidens reside are often found in myth, legends and fairy tales. In The hero with a thousand faces, Joseph Campbell wrote that,

The unconscious sends all sorts of vapors, odd beings, terrors, and deluding images up into the mind–whether in dream, broad daylight or insanity; for the human kingdom, beneath the floor of the comparatively neat little dwelling that we call our consciousness, goes down into unsuspected Aladdin caves. There not only jewels but also dangerous jinn [Arabic word for etheric spirits] abide: the inconvenient or resisted psychological powers that we have not thought or dared to integrate into our lives. And they may remain unsuspected, or, on the other hand, some chance word, the smell of a landscape, the taste of a cup of tea, or the glance of an eye may touch a magic spring, and then dangerous messengers begin to appear in the brain. These are dangerous because they threaten the fabric of the security into which we have built ourselves and our family. But they are fiendishly fascinating too, for they carry keys that open the whole realm of the desired and feared adventure of the discovery of the self. Destruction of the world that we have built and in which we live, and of ourselves within it; but then a wonderful reconstruction of the bolder, cleaner, more spacious, and fully human life–that is the lure, the promise and terror, of these disturbing night visitants from the mythological realm that we carry within. (p. 8)

Our environment, the earth body, has been neglected as evidenced by the pollution of water, earth and air. Deep healing can result on an individual and planetary level as we integrate and harmonize our mind, feelings and somatic expression.

Rumi warns “be wary when you breathe” for the journey to authenticity can be a treacherous one. Opening to liminal spaces means opening to what is unknown. Archetypal forces of the collective unconscious are present both enabling and preventing the retrieval of authenticity and realization of our divine nature. We enter into new realms gain its gifts, but find ourselves still living and participating in the world.

Joseph Campbell found a common strain in the world’s mythologies concerning the heroic journey. This stage, called the “Return,” speaks of the hero’s return and treasures shared with the community. Healing can occur individually and collectively as we begin to honor these mythological narratives manifesting from within the embodied mind and heal the split between heaven and earth as we develop an inner ecology and enter liminal spaces leading to transformation. The last stanza of the Rumi poem alludes to this journey,

At every moment a new species rises in the chest

now a demon, now an angel, now a wild animal.

There are also those in this amazing jungle

who can absorb you into their own surrender.

If you have to stalk and steal something,

steal from them! (Barks, 1990)



Fordham, M. (1974). Jungian views of the body-mind relationship. Spring. 166-178.
Groesbeck, C. J. (1989, July). C.G. Jung and the shaman’s vision. Journal of analytical psychology, 34,(3),
Grof, S. & Taylor, K. (2009). The healing potential of holotropic breathwork. In S. Mijares (Ed.) The Revelation of the Breath: A Tribute to Its Wisdom, Power and Beauty (pp. 95-106). NY: SUNY Press.
Grof, S. (1988). The adventure of self-discovery. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Jung, C. J. (1969). On the nature of the psyche. The collected works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 8. Princeton: Bollingen series.
Jung, C.J. (1968). Psychology and Alchemy, The collected works of C.G. Jung, Volume 12. Princeton:  Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. J. (1964). Man and his symbols. New York: Doubleday & Co., Inc.
Jung, C. J. (1963). Dreams, memories and reflections. London: Collins & Routledge).
Mijares, S. (September, 2016). Indigenous knowledge and shamanic ways: Inner journeys and soul retrieval. In S. Mjares (Ed.). Modern psychology and ancient wisdom: Psychological healing practices from the world’s religious traditions. Revised Edition. New York: Routledge Mental Health.
Mijares, S. & Fotiou, E. (2015).  Earth, gender and ceremony: Gender complementarity and sacred plants in Latin America. Journal of Transpersonal Research, Vol. 7(1). 57-68
Mijares, S. (2012) Fragmented Self, Archetypal Forces and the Embodied Mind: Dissociative and Re-associative Processes. Saarbrücken, Germany: Lap Lambert Academic Publishing.
Mijares, (2009). The Revelation of the Breath: A Tribute to Its Wisdom, Power and Beauty.. NY: SUNY Press.
Mijares, S. (Winter, 1997). Narratives and neural winds. In Somatics: Journal of mind-body arts and sciences. Novato, CA.
Stein, R. M. (1976). Body and psyche: An archetypal view of psychosomatic phenomena. Spring. 66-80.
Thurman, R. (1994). The Tibetan book of the dead. New York: Bantam Books.
Washburn, M. (1994). Transpersonal psychology in psychoanalytic perspective. Albany: State University of New York Press.


Wisdom sits in Places SAC spring conference schedule

Wisdom sits in Places SAC Spring Conference   Program  

SAC Spring Conference   Program  

Thursday, March 31, 2016  


Thursday Morning  

President’s Welcome and Opening Ceremony: The Wolf Spirit Singers

11:00 am–12:30     
Colonialism and Community Identity: Geopolitical, Indigenous, and Archaeological Implications of Space
Chair: Lee Gilmore

Julia K. Bilek    “Crossing and Dwelling”: Episcopal Hogans in Navajoland

Alexandra Peck   Tamanowas Rock, Intertribal Conflict, and Settler Colonialism: A Sacred   Coast Salish Site in Northwestern Washington  and Its Contemporary Implications for Historical  Archaeology

Lee Gilmore    Turn the World Upside Down: Indigenous Activists at the Parliament of the World’s Religions




Thursday  Afternoon  

2:00   –   3:30     

Mapping  Individual   and  Cultural  Space:   Occultism,   Inner   Ecology  and  Embodied  Cognition  

Session  Chair:  Sharon  G.  Mijares

2:00   –   2:20
David  Miller Biocultural Bases of Places and Spaces

2:20   –   2:40
Brian Bartelt and Mr. Njakoi John Bah Making the Invisible Visible: The Epistemology of Spatial   Experience and the Efficacy of Occult Phenomena in Cameroon.

2:40   –   3:00
Sharon  G.  Mijares:  Inner  Ecology  and  Liminal  Spaces

3:00   –   3:20

3:30   –   4:00


4:00   –   5:30
Creation  &  Consciousness: Paleolithic, Archaeological, & Human-Centered  Mappings  of  Place  and  Space
Session  Chair:  Andrew  Gurevich

4:00   –   4:20
Benjamin Campbell: Consciousness and Place Making in European Paleolithic Cave Art

4:20   –   4:40
Mark Thomas Shekoyan: Partnering with Anima Mundi: From Enframing to Co-‐Creative  Partnership  through Shamanic Biomimicry

4:40   –   5:00
Andrew  Gurevich: The Wisdom of THIS place: The Paisley Caves and the Origins of Symbolic  Consciousness  in  North  America

5:00   –   5:20

5:30  –  7:00  PM
SAC  Board  Meeting:    (Location  TBA)



Conference Program

Friday, April 1, 2016


Friday   Morning  
Check   in

10:00   –   11:30
Landscapes  of  Transformation   –   Encountering   the   Sacred  Session  Chair:  Bryan  Rill

10:00   –   10:20
Nancy  Grace:   Music   and   Ecopsychology:   Making   Place   Through   Sound   in  Space

10:20   –   10:40
Dennis  L.   Merritt:   The   Soul   of   Glacier   Country

10:40   –   11:00
Bryan   Rill:      Making   Sacred   the   Mundane:   Transforming   the   Mountain

11:00   –   11:20

11:30   –   1:30


Friday   Afternoon  
1:30   –   3:00
Romancing   the   Philosopher’s   Stone:   Romantic,   Pyrotechnic,   &  Architectonic   Perceptions   of   Place
Session  Chair:  Jordan  Burich

1:30   –   1:50
Jordan   Anthony   Burich:   Fire   In   the   Mind:   Kindling   a   Discourse   On   the  Role   of   Pyrotechnics   In   Physical   and   Cultural   Evolution

1:50   –   2:10
John   (Sean)   Hinton:   Subconscious   Aspects   of   Place:   Positivistic   vs.  Romantic   Views   of   Place   and   Consciousness

2:10   –   2:30
el-‐Sayed   el-‐Aswad:   Architectonic   Space   and   Cultural   Identity:   A   Case  Study   of   the   United   Arab   Emirates

2:30   –   2:50

3:00   –   3:30



3:30 – 5:15
Sacred Spaces of the Academic Mind 
Session Chair: Jeff MacDonald

3:30 – 3:50
Matthew C. Bronson: “Your Rubric Caged My Songbird”: Reclaiming Assessment as a Sacred Space of Reflection

3:50 – 4:10
Jeff MacDonald: Recreating Sacred Space among Refugees

4:10 – 4:30
Timothy J. Lavalli: Spaces Seldom Considered Sacred

4:30 – 4:50
Mira Z. Amiras: Walk through that door, and something will emerge—


Friday Evening

Experiential Workshop

5:30 – 7:30 Mira Z. Amiras and Erin Vang Sacred Space / Sacred Time: the Jewish Obsession with Creation, Ritual, and the Alphabet.



Conference Program

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Saturday Morning

Check in

10:00 – 11:15
The Wisdom of Shamanic Initiations

10:00 – 11:15
Susan Ross Grimaldi and John R. Lawrence, Jr.: Traveling in Tandem to Invisible Places: A Video Presentation

11:15 – 11:30


11:30 – 1:00      

Zen & the Art of Cultural Healing: Navigating Community and

Session Chair: Andrew Gurevich

11:30 – 11:50
Tara Gallagher: The Shamans of Riverwest: The Anti-power of Community Radio in Social Action

11:50 -12:10
Justin Panneck: Migratory Ascension and Human Potential: Decoding the Wisdom of Culture

12:10 – 12:30
Donna Emsel Schill: Corporeal Navigation and Human Potential

12:30 – 12:45           Discussion

1:00 – 2:30              LUNCH


Saturday Afternoon

2:30 – 4:00

Death and Resurrection: Exploring Mythological and Virtual Concepts of Death and Crisis


Session Chair: Sydney Yeager

2:30 – 2:50         Sydney Yeager: Making Sacred in Virtual Space

2:50 – 3:10         Greg Wright: The Sea of Trees – Suicide, Mental Health, and Place in Japan’s Aokigahara

3:10 – 3:30         Stanley Krippner: Anomalies and Stigmatic Activity in Brasilia

3:30 – 3:45        Discussion


Saturday Evening

6:00 – 7:15

Keynote Address – Tina Fields, PhD

“I am He as You are He as You are Me, and We are All Together” Fostering Ecopsychological Relationship with Place


7:30 – 9:30 Closing Buffet Dinner and Celebration

New Co-Editors for the Journal of the Anthropology of Consciousness

As originally announced in news letter from SAC President Diane Hardgrave: 

We are pleased to introduce Nicole Torres and Gary Moore as the new Co-Editors for Anthropology of Consciousness (AoC). Torres and Moore have a shared vision of what are likely ways to expand the impact and relevance, of AoC while ensuring fiscal health and sustainability.

Nicole Torres, a longtime supporter of SAC current Board Member, is a medical and psychological anthropologist. Courses taught by her include The Social Life of Psychiatry, Expressive Culture and Creativity, Myth, Magic, and Meaning, and Medical Anthropology—many of the required readings for these courses are drawn from readings in the Journal. Her most recent publication, Walls of Indifference: Immigration and the Militarization of the US-Mexico Border addresses consciousness in cultural and institutional settings, with specific concern for the militarization of consciousness in everyday life. Her unique blend of interests as a medical and psychological anthropologist who is also trained in clinical social work will prove to be an asset to scholarly engagement and stewardship of the Journal.

Gary Moore has extensive experience with editing and preparing documents for publication in electronic formats. In 1994, he joined the staff of Linux Journal as Copy Editor, preparing articles by authors of all skill levels for publication. After being recruited as Editor, he built relationships with potential authors and helped contributing authors to craft articles that fit the editorial focus of each monthly issue. In 1997, he started work at Microsoft, where he edited complex, chapter-sized content for publication to paper. Over the subsequent years, he made the transition from paper to electronic formats as industry moved away from designing and publishing paper documentation. As a writer and editor, he has prepared and published content in multiple formats for delivery to the WWW as web pages and downloadable files. He is also a senior member of the Society for Technical Communication and in training as a web developer.

Join us in welcoming Nicole Torres and Gary Moore as our new editors!

We take this opportunity to once again convey our sincere thanks to outgoing co-editors Peter Benson and Rebecca Lester for their excellent work. And finally, SAC gratefully acknowledges the longstanding contribution of Assistant Editor Tanya Collings whose dedication and attention to detail has been exemplary.   We extend our best wishes to Peter, Rebecca and Tanya in their future endeavors.

M. Diane Hardgrave
SAC President

Soceity of the Anthropology of Consciousness’ Bibliography

Bibliography of Consciousness Studies

The list of references presented below has been compiled from suggestions provided by members and friends of SAC, and can provide a starting point for your own studies.  Some of the references listed are from the field of the anthropology of consciousness in sensu strictu, others are from related or tangential fields.  Many of these works have played a significant role in the development of the field, although they may no longer be regarded as accurate, up to date, or correct.  For example, the works of Castaneda, once thought to be valid anthropological studies, are now more properly viewed as works of fiction.  These are nevertheless included here because of the role they played in introducing the notion of “non-ordinary realities” to a wider audience.

Core References (Top 15 References)

Bourguignon, Erika.  1976.  Possession.  San Francisco:  Chandler & Sharp Publishers, Inc.

Castaneda, Carlos.  1968.  The Teachings of Don Juan:  A Yaqui Way of Knowledge.  Berkeley:  University of California Press.

Dobkin de Rios, M.  1984.  Hallucinogens: Cross-Cultural Perspectives.  Albuquerque: University New Mexico.

Eliade, Mircea.  1964.  Shamanism:  Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy.  Bollingen Series LXXVI.  New York:  Pantheon.

Furst, Peter T.  1972.  Flesh of the Gods:  The Ritual Use of Hallucinogens, P. T. Furst ed.  New York:  Praeger Publishers.

–Includes:  Emboden, William  “Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa:  A Historical-Ethnographic Survey”;  Fernandez, James W.  “Tabernanthe Iboga:  Narcotic Ecstasis and the Work of the Ancestors”;  Furst, Peter T.  “To Find Our Life:  Peyote Among the Huichol Indians of Mexico”;  La Barre, Weston  “Hallucinogens and the Shamanic Origin of Religion”;  Reichel-Dolmatoff, Gerardo  “The Cultural Context of an Aboriginal Hallucinogen:  Banisteriopsis Caapi”;  Schultes, Richard Evans  “An Overview of Hallucinogens in the Western Hemisphere”;  Sharon, Douglas  “The San Pedro Cactus in Peruvian Folk Healing”;  Wasson, R. Gordon  “The Divine Mushroom of Immortality”, “What was the Soma of the Aryans?”;  Wilbert,  Johannes  “Tobacco and Shamanistic Ecstasy Among the Warao Indians of Venezuela.”

Furst, Peter T.  1976.  Hallucinogens and Culture.  San Francisco:  Chandler and Sharp.

Grof, Stanislav.  1975.  Realms of the Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research.  New York: Viking Press.

Harner, Michael J.  1973.  Hallucinogens and Shamanism, M. Harner, ed.  New York:  Oxford University Press.

–Includes: Boyer, L. Bryce et al.  “Shamanism and Peyote Use among the Apaches of the Mescalero Indian Reservation”;  Dobkin De Rios, Marlene  “Curing with Ayahuasca in an Urban Slum.”  In Hallucinogens and Shamanism;  Harner, Michael  J.  “The Sound of Rushing Water”,  “The Role of Hallucinogenic Plants in European Witchcraft”;  “Common Themes in South American Indian Yage Experiences”;  Kensinger, Kenneth M.  “Banisteriopsis Usage Among the Peruvian Cashinahua”;  Munn, Henry  “The Mushrooms of Language”;  Naranjo, Claudio  “Psychological Aspects of the Yage  Experience in an Experimental Setting”;  Siskind, Janet  “Visions and Cures Among the Sharanahua”;  Weiss, Gerald  “Shamanism and Priesthood in Light of the Campa Ayahuasca Ceremony.”

Harner, Michael J.  1980. The Way of the Shaman. San Francisco: Harper and Row.

Masters, R. E. L., and Jean Houston.  1966.  The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience.  New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Myerhoff, Barbara.  1974.  Peyote Hunt:  The Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians.  Ithaca:  Cornell University Press.

Reichel-Dolmatoff, Gerardo.  1975.  The Shaman and the Jaguar:  A Study of Narcotic Drugs Among the Indians of Colombia.  Philadelphia:  Temple University Press.

Schultes, Richard Evans and Albert Hofmann.  1979.  Plants of the Gods:  Origins of Hallucinogen Use.  New York:  McGraw Hill.

Tart, Charles T.  1969.  Altered States of Consciousness, C. T. Tart, ed.  New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

–Includes:  Aaronson, Bernard S.  “Hypnosis, Depth Perception, and Psychedelic Experience”;  Bowers, Malcolm B. Jr. and Daniel X. Freedman  “‘Psychedelic’ Experiences in Acute Psychosis”;  Deikman, Arthur, J. “Deautomatization and the Mystic Experience”;  Ludwig, Arnold M. “Altered States of Consciousness”;  Maupin, Edward W.  “Individual Differences in Response to a Zen Meditation Exercise”;  Pahnke, Walter N. and William A. Richards  “Implications of LSD and Experimental Mysticism”;  Stewart, Kilton  “Dream Theory in Malaya”;  Tart, Charles T.  “The ‘High’ Dream:  A New State of Consciousness”;  Van Eeden, Frederik  “A Study of Dreams”.

Weil, Andrew T.  1972.  The Natural Mind:  A New Way of Looking at Drugs and the Higher Consciousness.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company.


A More Complete Bibliography

Aberele, David.  1966.  The Peyote Religion among the Navaho.  Chicago:  Aldine.

Auerbach, Loyd. 1986. ESP, Hauntings and Poltergeists: a Parapsychologist’s Handbook. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc.

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Halifax, J.  1979.  Shamanic voices.  New York: E.P. Dutton.

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Harner, Michael J.  1972.  The Jivaro:  People of the Sacred Waterfalls.  Berkeley:  University of California Press.

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Harner, Michael J.  1980. The Way of the Shaman. San Francisco: Harper and Row.

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Jackson, Michael.  1989.  Paths Toward a Clearing:  Radical Empiricism and Ethnographic Inquiry.  Bloomington:  Indiana University Press.

Jamal, Michele. 1987. Shape Shifters: Shaman Women in Contemporary Society. London: Routledge.

Jung, Carl. 1965. Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.

Kalweit, Holger.  1987.  Shamans, Healers, and Medicine Men.  Boston:  Shambhala, Inc.

Kalweit, Holger.  1984.  Dreamtime and Inner Space:  The World of the Shaman.  Boston:  Shambhala, Inc.

Katz, R.  1982.  Boiling Energy:  Community healing among the Kalahari !Kung.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Krippner, Stanley. 1990. Dreamtime and Dreamwork. S. Krippner, ed.  Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.

La Barre, Weston.  1969. The Peyote Cult.  New York: Schocken Books.

La Barre, Weston.  1970.  The Ghost Dance:  The Origins of Religion.  New York:  Doubleday.

Laughlin, C.,  McManus, J. & d’Aquili, E. 1992.  Brain, Symbol and Experience Toward a Neurophenomenology of Consciousness.  New York: Columbia University Press.

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Leshan, Lawrence.  1974.  The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist:  Toward a General Theory of the Paranormal.  New York:  The Viking Press.

LeValley, Janet. 2001. CyberEmbodiment: Personalizing the Transpersonal. In The Multiple and Mutable Subject. V. LeMecha and R. Stone, eds. Manitoba: St. Norbert’s Press.

LeValley, Janet. 1997. Doing it in Cyberspace: Cultural Sensitivity in Applied Anthropology. Anthropology of Consciousness. 8(4):113-132.

Lewis, I. M.  1971.  Ecstatic Religion:  An Anthropological Study of Spirit Possession and Shamanism.  Middlesex:  Penguin.

Masters, R. E. L., and Jean Houston.  1966.  The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience.  New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

McKenna, Dennis J. & Terence K. Mckenna.  1975.  The Invisible Landscape:  Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching.  New York:  The Seabury Press.

McKenna, Terence. 1992. New Maps of Hyperspace. In The Archaic Revival: Essays and Conversations. Terence McKenna, ed. San Francisco: HarperCollins.

Metzner, Ralph.  1971.  Maps of Consciousness.  New York, The Macmillan Company.

Mishlove, Jeffery.  1993.  The Roots of Consciousness:  The Classic Encyclopedia of Consciousness Studies.  Tulsa:  Council Oak Books.

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Morse, Melvin, with Paul Perry. 1990. Closer to the Light. New York: Ballantine Books.

Mumford, Stan. 1989. Himalayan Dialogues: Tibetan Lamas and Gurung Shamans in Nepal. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Myerhoff, Barbara.  1974.  Peyote Hunt:  The Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians.  Ithaca:  Cornell University Press.

Naranjo, Claudio. 1974. The One Quest. London: the Wildwood House, Ltd.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. 1989. Knowledge and the Sacred. NY: State University of New York Press.

Ornstein, Robert E. 1977. The Psychology of Consciousness. NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

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Penfield, Wilder. 1975. The Mystery of the Mind. NJ: Princeton University Press.

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Richardson, Janet. 1993. Child Incarnate – Child Divine: A Crosscultural Investigation of Development and Spirituality. Ann Arbor, MI: U.M.I.

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Other Consciousness Related Bibliographies









The Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness and the Joseph Campbell Foundation have collaborated to honor the legacy of Joseph Campbell in this interdisciplinary discussion of myth and consciousness and the pivotal role they play in understanding the human condition.

Joseph Campbell did more to popularize the study of myth and its relationship to human consciousness than almost any other figure of his time. Since his death in 1987, however, much has changed in the disciplines of consciousness studies, neuropsychology, hemispheric science and evolutionary biology. This panel seeks to create a dialogue about the lasting influence of Campbell’s work. More specifically we will explore: 1) The nature of the human psyche and its relationship to myth 2) How Campbell’s theories relate to contemporary psychology 3) The inner psychic journey and connecting it to one’s social world. While anthropology, and particularly the anthropology of consciousness, has often focused on cosmological and cognitive systems within and between cultures, it has less often focused on the formation or construction of self-knowledge, which underlies these systems of belief, ritual, and practice. The panel will explore how mythology, in particular Campbell’s view on how it creates and informs culture, contributes to the development of personal and collective identity. New research has increasingly emphasized the role of epigenetic factors such as: environment, experience, evolution, and behavior in shaping organic brain development and function.  Neuroscientists, anthropologists and other social scientists are actively working on integrated models that provide some insight into how mythology, narrative map making and other cognitive technologies inform and underscore the emergent properties of consciousness and culture. Papers will demonstrate a wide range of scholarship from both anthropologists and other experts who cross boundaries of research, practice and cultural activism in the arts, social sciences, education, narrative medicine, and religious studies to explore the ways Campbell’s ideas are still operative in the study of the human psyche.   [Originally Published in the AAA 2013 Conference Program]

Panel Chair: Robert Walter (Joseph Campbell Foundation)

Panel Organizer: Bryan Rill (Florida State University)

Discussants: Robert Alan Segal (University of Aberdeen); Shawn Tassone (Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Center at World Institute of Scientific Exploration); Stephen Schwartz (Samueli Inst);

Presenters: Robert Walter (Joseph Campbell Foundation); Donald Patrick Moss (Saybrook University); Dennis L. Merritt (Jungian Analyst); Andrew Dean Gurevich (Mt. Hood Community College)

Presentations Include:

The Scholar With a Thousand Faces: Joseph Campbell’s Enduring Legacy
Robert Walter (Joseph Campbell Foundation)

The Hero’s Journey and Personal Mythology As Pathways in Mind-Body Healing
Donald Patrick Moss (Saybrook University)

Hermes Adds A Mythic Dimension to Complexity Theory, Attachment Theory, and Ecopsychology
Dennis L. Merritt (Jungian Analyst)

“The Four Functions of Myth & the Divided Brain: How Campbell’s Model Nourishes the Hemispheres.”
Andrew Dean Gurevich (Mt. Hood Community College)

“The Four Functions of Myth & the Divided Brain: How Campbell’s Model Nourishes the Hemispheres.”

Andrew Dean Gurevich (Mt. Hood Community College)

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world — that is the Myth of the atomic age — as in being able to remake ourselves.” –Mahatma Gandhi Major Premise: Joseph Campbell’s “Four Functions of Myth” suggest how mythology both connects one to their individual, inner world and to the interconnected, external world around them. New findings in neurophysiology and hemispheric studies provide a scientific framework to explain how Campbell’s functions engage both hemispheres of the brain in unique ways to assist the individual in building a cohesive, integrated worldview. New research in neuropsychology suggests that the hemispheres of the brain uniquely influence how we see ourselves in relation to one another and to the world around us. In short, the right hemisphere emphasizes connectivity, the left stresses distinction. When applied to Campbell’s model, we can see how the first two functions (pedagogical and sociological) emphasize left-brain activity and help the individual locate themselves in the world as separate, isolated selves. The second two functions (cosmological and mystical) emphasize right-brain activity and thus stress connectivity and the diminishing of the boundaries of Self to help the individual identify with the non-local, quantum field that is the source of their identity and of consciousness itself. Practiced collectively, they nourish the entire brain and allow the individual to epigenetically engage the interwoven processes of self-discovery and self-expression within the context of a unified, mytho-narrative perceptual framework.
[Originally Published in the AAA 2013 Conference Program]

The Hero’s Journey and Personal Mythology As Pathways in Mind-Body Healing

Donald Patrick Moss (Saybrook University)

The concept of life as a journey dates back at least to Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which the protagonist becomes lost in a dark wood at mid-life, and struggles with the help of Beatrice to re-discover his path. Cognitive psychology has attempted to explain the life-journey, using constructs such as expectancy, attribution, and life-schema. From the standpoint of the lived experience of journeying, these constructs are inadequate. They lack a sense of the emotion and passion of facing adversity, a sense of the dark shadow of life, a sense of the transcendent present in many re-awakenings, and a sense of the neurophysiological alarm state that accompanies trauma. Campbell (1972, 1988), and Hillman (1975) have proposed the concepts of story, personal myth and personal mythology as a fundamental framework for approaching the totality of human life. Krippner and Feinstein (2008) proposed personal mythology as a paradigm for a transpersonal psychotherapy. Study of mind-body techniques shows that transforming the state of consciousness can also facilitate the power of personal mythology for healing and transformation. Krippner (1993) narrated a number of the hypnosis-like practices of indigenous healers, including West African shamanic practices and native American healers , showing that the hypnotic-like practices both convey expectancies shaping the experience, and facilitate altered states of consciousness enabling the experience. Others have shown the power of hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, and shamanic practices to enable a greater awareness of personal story or myth, and a greater openness to transformations in personal myths.  [Originally Published in the AAA 2013 Conference Program]


Saturday November 23, 2013  @ 6:15 PM-8:15 PM

in the Chicago Hilton, Astoria Room

Paul Devereux is the Founding co-editor of Time & Mind – Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture; Research affiliate at the Royal College of Art; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; Senior Research Fellow, International Consciousness Research Laboratories (ICRL) group, Princeton; an Honorary Member of the Scientific and Medical Network.

Devereux’s research interests began in the field of archaeology with a particular focus on understanding the mind of the prehistoric people who built and made use of the sacred sites he studied.  This focus eventually led him to broaden his area of study to include anthropological themes, particularly the anthropology of consciousness.  From 1976 to 1996, he edited and published The Ley Hunter journal which applied a skeptical focus on documenting and eventually deconstructing the modern-day leyline myth.  However, his interest in sacred archaic landscapes developed from earlier work.  In his current work he combines his archeological expertise regarding sacred sites, mythic landscapes, and prehistoric consciousness with his interest in investigating contemporary accounts of psi phenomenon, “Earth Mysteries”, and the use of psychoactive plants.

About the Anthropology of Consciousness

Our Interests

States of Consciousness and Consciousness Studies
Dreams, possession, trance, dissociation, theories of mind and cognition, epistemology, methodology, evolution of consciousness, biosocial approaches, psychophysiology, psychotherapy, cultural psychology.
Shamanic, Religious, and Spiritual Traditions
Ethnographic studies of shamanism; modern and core shamanism; Eastern, Western, and indigenous religions; healing practices; ritual; mediumistic, mystical, and transpersonal experiences; magic and witchcraft; music and dance.
Psychoactive Substances
Studies of psychoactive plant use in traditional and contemporary settings, ethnopharmacology, psychopharmacology, healing, addiction and recovery.
Philosophical, Symbolic, and Linguistic Studies
Myth, oral traditions, language, archetypes, body and mind, comparative studies, visual anthropology.
Anomalous Experience
Psychic phenomenon, reincarnation, near-death experiences, mediumistic communication, divination.