Altered States of Consciousness


The American Indians based their religions on direct communication with the deities through a trance state, achieved by: fasting, abstinence, sleep deprivation, self-flagellation, meditation, dance, music, or the ingestion of certain plants. In this state of altered awareness, the perception of the universe drastically shifted, and feelings of oneness with the cosmos and profound revelations emerged.

When the dancing is passionate, precise, beautiful, and the sound of the flutes and the exertion of the dancing brings an altered state of consciousness, the Chinos experience the most enthralling moments of their lives. The Bailes Chinos perpetuate this ancient American shamanic tradition, employing a series of elements such as meditation, fasting, and dance, that enable their ritual celebration to bring about an altered state of perception. 

It is through this changed state of consciousness that the so-called primitive peoples have established their relationship with the supernatural world.