The possibility that a human being may influence his or her environment ‘directly’ (i.e., through nothing more than an exertion of the will) has been explored in several different ways throughout human existence. The pre-scientific instances fall squarely under the category of ‘magic’, while the more modern approach deals with psionics, the paranormal potential of the human mind.

The most primitive examples, still practiced in some cultures to this day, typically revolve around an individual who is seen as exceptionally gifted and/or trained to produce paranormal acts. It is difficult to completely link the practice of magic with the current conception of psionics, because so many of the practices of magic involved some kind of interaction with the physical world, from elaborate rituals to simple gestures or spoken words. However, the fundamental relationship is similar: the individual utilizes forces outside the usual cause-and-effect relationship between the physical body and its environment.

From the steppes of the Himalaya to the jungles of Guatemala, shamanism is a ritual belief system that has been practiced for thousands of years. A 5th Century Buddhist Master noted: “The Universe is created of Four Elements—Fire, Earth, Water, and Air.” Water is the universal fuel of existence. Life cannot function without water. To a shaman, the Water element symbolizes growth by feeding all life forms on the planet. Although I have lived in the south west US most of my life, my profession as a photographer of indigenous people has taken me to many remote places on this planet. I have met and spoken with a number of shaman. In Elemental Shamanism it is believed that the journey of the shaman is the symbolic journey of creation, the metaphor for the evolution of the human machine. The journey first begins with the destruction of the self and ego through the ritual initiation of the Fire Element. Next the shaman’s journey leads to an understanding of the Earth element by developing a connection with all living things. continuing on the shaman journeys to the land of the Water element to learn compassion. The final journey of the shaman is the voyage the land of the Air Element. After the final realization and a complete mastery of all the elements in the universe—Fire, Earth, Water, and Air, some believe that a shaman will be able to enter altered states of consciousness to journey into non-ordinary Realms of reality.

Living in Las Vegas I recognize the importance of water for my well being which is why I have a bi weekly water delivery to my home by a local company. Tahoe Springs derives their natural spring water from a secluded source deep in the High Sierra Mountains. I can select either fresh drinking water or natural spring water which has been purified through an exhaustive seven-stage process that includes, not only reverse osmosis, active carbon filtration, macro and micro filtration, but also ozonization and ultra-violet light. The result is amazingly pure water with a lower mineral content. My partner prefers their Mountain Spring Water which flows from a 3,000 year old source. Rain and snow filter naturally through rock, creating nature’s own perfect water. The company claims that this water revitalizes your body with minerals and is naturally Sodium-Free. That statement I can’t verify, but I do know that without water, humans won’t survive. To a shaman, the Water element symbolizes growth by feeding all life forms on the planet, and I sure can agree with that concept.

Ho’oponopono Prayer:
Water, I am sorry,
Water, Please forgive me,
Water, Thank you,
Water, I Love you.

Ho’oponopono is a powerful Hawaiian prayer for forgiveness and reconciliation. It is a powerful incantation to the water and allows one the opportunity to make right on any wrong actions, negative thoughts, or negative energy that we have created. This prayer is received by water and thus water will reflected back peace and harmony.

Just recently I finally found a sports medicine doctor via a search online, who was able to successfully help me with my problem that was a result of my many years playing golf. Medical doctors call it medial epicondylitis, although there is also elbow pain caused by playing tennis, pitching (as in baseball), etc. He does a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the issues. He the creates a program based on his specific findings from his evaluation. With specific types of exercises, joint mobilization, and stretching techniques, I eliminated my pain, as well as the muscle weakness, and joint restrictions caused by my body trying to accommodate playing tennis with a chronic sore elbow. He was able to get me back to the game I loved so well and haven’t been able to play in years without constant pain. I had seen a number of other doctors that just never found the right approach to completely eliminating my elbow pain. I almost felt there was some type of psionics involved because of how Dr. Donatelli was able to pin point what the issues were and then came up with a specific rehab program to solve the interconnected issues. Many people say that medicine is an “art”, particularly when it comes to correctly diagnosing a problem. Dr. Donatelli definitely has the magic touch.

While a shaman or healer may have actually provided comfort, or even “cures” for some ailments, there are some conditions for which their expertise may actually be harmful. For example, an infection may very well be beyond the scope of such treatments. In today’s world, alternative treatments like acupuncture and can reliable treat symptoms and effect cures for certain ailments. But if someone contracts a pathogen like a sexually transmitted disease they’re probably best treated by traditional western medicine – even though they may first prefer a quick & easy private home use std test kit offered over the counter or online. These tests may themselves appear to be “magical” or “paranormal” to an uneducated person. Regardless of whether tests or the cures are the result of a ritual or placebo, there is still a place for these out of the ordinary treatments in our contemporary world, especially if they work.

Scientific validity remained a holy grail for those who were convinced that the will could be harnessed without resorting to superstition. Indeed, philosophers of the 19th and 20th century such as Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Kant, and several others provided a stepping stone from the primitive concept of a spirit or soul to the modern concept of mind and identity. Nietzche particularly advocated development to the point where the will alone was sufficient to overcome obstacles and achieve human potential.

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