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Michael Winkelman: Shamanism, Psychedelics, Social Behavior, Religion & Evolution of Human Culture

About the Guest: Michael Winkelman, PhD is a professor at Arizona State University for many years, where he studied topics related to shamanism as practiced by early hunter gatherer societies, and other topics related to human cultural evolution. He is now retired and conducts independent research from Brazil, where he now lives.


Episode Summary: Nick talks to Dr. Michael Winkelman about: what shamanism is & the core features of shamanic ritual practices across historical hunter gatherer cultures; how the various ritual practices associated with shamanism were used by forager societies (e.g. symbolism, group dance and drumming) & the use of psychedelics; evolution of shamanism & religion from prehistoric times to the present; role religion and spiritual practices have played in human evolution; how human culture is akin to virtual reality & how human ritual practices help sculpt the narratives that form within human cultures that regulate human behavior; future of religion & spirituality in the modern age & whether the use of psychedelics as entheogenic substances might have a role to play in that.


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