Book of the Month: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor PhD.
If you haven't read Taylor's book, now is the time! There is a Shamanic angle to it, also. Taylor, a 37 year old Harvard trained brain scientist, experienced a massive stroke on the left side of her brain, the side that processes things logically, knows numbers and sequences. During the stroke, she observed her mind deteriorate, losing the ability to read, talk, walk or remember her life. Taylor's right brain hemisphere noted a sense of well-being, peace, even while her left hemisphere was trying to make sense of how to use a telephone to call for help.
Taylor found the stroke to be a revelation. It taught her that by "stepping to the right" of her left brain, she could uncover the feelings of well-being present in the right brain, which are often overwritten by the left sided "brain chatter".
Taylor writes" Althoug most of us are rarely aware of it, our sensory receptors are designed to detect information at the enery level. Because everything around us - the air we breathe, even the material we use to build with - are composed of spinning and vibrating atomic particles, you and I are literally swimming in a turbulent sea of electromagnetic fields. We are part of it. We are enveloped within it, and through our sensory apparatus we experience what is."
This is very similar to the experience of the Shaman while journeying or doing ceremony. The sense of connectedness to all there is. Neuroanatomist meet Shaman!