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Technoshamanism is a term used to describe various methods of integrating modern technology into shamanic practice (see shamanism). Methods of doing this include such diverse disciplines as synthetic drug use, modern psychotherapy, and raving.
Technoshamans generally embrace the view that mystical experiences are at least partially biological in nature; as such, they find the use of biological and mechanical means to influence and even induce mystical states and experiences perfectly acceptable. Technoshamanism is strongly related to the modern primitive movement.
* 1 Devices Used in Technoshamanism
* 2 Binaural Beats
* 3 Psychoactive Drugs and Technoshamanism
* 4 Technoshamanism and Rave Culture
* 5 See also
* 6 References
 Devices Used in Technoshamanism
Examples of specific technologies used in technoshamanism include sensory deprivation chambers, transcranial magnetic stimulation devices, neurofeedback machines, music, and synthetic drugs, and may one day include cybernetic technology. These devices may be used in isolation or in conjunction with each other, in order to facilitate breakthrough or transcendent experiences or allow shamanic journeying.
 Binaural Beats
Binaural beats are warbling, low amplitude (~3db), low frequency (0-30Hz) waveforms perceived when a person listens to one tone with one ear while listening to a slightly different tone with the other. Listening to them can influence brainwave activity. According to Oster, they produce evoked potentials in the brain that are qualitatively and quantitatively different to those elicited by monaural stimuli. This phenomenon relies upon the 'frequency following response'. The concept is that if one receives a stimulus with a frequency in the range of brain waves, the predominant brain wave frequency tends to move towards the frequency of the stimulus (a process called entrainment).
While it is possible to employ the brain wave-altering effects of binaural beats in technoshamanic practice, many people use binaural beats to meditate or simply relax.
 Psychoactive Drugs and Technoshamanism
MDMA, psilocybe mushrooms, LSD, and other psychoactive drugs can be employed to assist a practitioner in entering trance, achieving ego loss, or realizing another psychic/shamanic goal. Some users classify these drugs as mystical substances that produce meaningful experiences in themselves, while others maintain that psychoactive drugs are simply tools that allow mind-expansion, and that the altered states of consciousness that they produce may or may not be constructive, depending on how the user deals with and ultimately integrates them. A public proponent of the latter view was Timothy Leary.
Technoshamanists tend to embrace futuristic metaphors and imagery when describing the role of drugs in their practice. This is possibly an adaptation of traditional spiritual language to modern technological terms. For example, Steve Mizrach, in an article titled "Modern Primitives: The Accelerating Collision of Past and Future in the Postmodern Era" says that to many self-described technoshamans:
The hallucinogenic mushroom really becomes an extraterrestrial colonizing spore, seeking to link human consciousness with its cosmic roots. The use of mystical drugs like LSD really becomes a means to activate normally dormant "circuits" within the "biocomputer" known as the brain, thus making "metaprogramming" possible.
This view may be informed by Terence McKenna's writing on the potential extraterrestrial origin of mushrooms and Timothy Leary's exopolitical writing. The "circuits" made reference to are not electrical circuits, per se, but rather psychic circuits from Leary's 8-circuit model of consciousness.
Drug users who consider themselves serious technoshamans may or may not be offended by strictly recreational drug use; in general, however, they are proponents of safe and constructive drug use.
 Technoshamanism and Rave Culture
Technoshamanism is often embraced by members of the rave scene, possibly due to the higher level of exposure to entheogens and other so-called consciousness-expanding drugs members of this subculture have.
The repetitive, percussive beats featured in much electronic music can serve the same function as a mantra, that is, by virtue of their repetition provide a point of focus. The natural high provided by the release of endorphins during strenuous physical activity (in this case, dancing) is also used to facilitate shamanic journeying, trance, and meditative states.
 See also
* God helmet
* Core Shamanism
* Plastic Shaman
1. ^ Brady & Stevens, "Binaural-Beat Induced Theta EEG Activity and Hypnotic Susceptibility", American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 2000
2. ^ Auditory beats in the brain, Oster, Scientific American, 229, p94-102
1.) Miller,Iona. Technoshamanism, Institute for Consciousness Science & Technology, 2001, http://www.geocities.com/iona_m/Neurotheology/Technoshaman.html
2.) Duncan, Dave. "A Few Words on Ecstatic Dance and Ritual Symbolism", Spirit of Raving Archive, 1997. http://hyperreal.org/raves/spirit/technoshamanism/Spring_Equinox_Ritual.html
3.) Mizrach, Steve. "Modern Primitives: The Accelerating Collision of Past and Future in the Postmodern Era" Cyberanthropology, http://www.fiu.edu/~mizrachs/Modern_Primitives.html Template:Listref
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technoshamanism"
Categories: Neurotheology | Neoshamanism
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