Alberto Villoldo – New Age Fraud? Misinformer? Something else? (aka, an exercise in critical thinking – PART 2)

continued from Part 1….

23) Statement: The shaman works, during soul retrieval, at the level of spirit.  Spirit informs the soul.”  Questions: Again, what is spirit?  How is this being defined? And how exactly does spirit inform the soul?  What is the mechanism of transference? What is the detailed explanation for how this mechanism operates?

24) Statement: “Soul retrieval is not to be taken lightly, because it will touch you at the very core of your being.  When you bring back the soul part, you have to allow for certain parts of your life to die, for the new self to be born.  Otherwise, the soul part will leave again and when it leaves again, it could be very difficult to find the soul part and convince ‘her’ to come back.” Question/Observation: Assuming this is truthful, it also serves as a built-in “out” for the “healer”, to exonerate themselves from any responsibility should something go wrong or become difficult in the client’s life.  In essence, it may be a sort of “get out of jail free” card… a luxury the oft-maligned ‘Western Medicine Doctor’ does not have.  How much of the healing process does the healer take responsibility for and  how much responsibility is the client’s?  This should be made clear in a very upfront manner.  Also, in this instance, soul retrieval is portrayed as an action with drastic effects (old self dying, new self rising), akin to perhaps being dumped into a vat of ice water.  So how does the shaman mitigate such potential side effects?  And does the shaman advise the client in advance of what those possible side effects may be?  Is there full disclosure?  This is not addressed.

25) Statement: “I ask my clients if they are sure about soul retrieval.” Questions: How can anyone be sure about such a procedure, when one is virtually clueless about such phenomenon, its precise mechanics, whether or not it was subject to the scrutiny of scientific research and the results of such research, as well as the integrity of the person performing such a procedure?  When one goes to a heart surgeon, for example, one has the opportunity to do extensive research about the procedure being done, how it works, what the success rate is, what the risks are, recovery time, appropriate after care, and the credentials of the doctor. There is also legal recourse, should the doctor be found negligent in any way.  Such is not the case with soul retrievals.

26) Statement: “Soul loss does not always occur because of something that happens to you.  Soul loss sometimes runs in families.” Questions: How?  How does this work?  Is there such a thing as “soul DNA”? Evidence?  Isn’t the soul an individual unit?  To submit that it runs in families implies collective, as opposed to individual, ownership of the soul.  If it runs in families, can it run in communities? States? Countries? Worlds? Also, why would children be made to suffer for the traumas or “stories” of their parents?  Is this not terribly unjust?  It sounds similar to the idea of the “sins of the father” being visited on the sons/daughters.  Shouldn’t people (according to Villoldo anyway) be discarding this “story”?  (i.e. – the “original sin/getting kicked out of the garden due to Adam’s/Eve’s sin” story?)  For more about Villoldo’s view on this, see this article link to his organization “The Four Winds Society”:

note: An excerpt from that article states:

Those of us born into a Judeo-Christian society grow up internalizing our culture’s “original story” of being cast out of paradise and separated from our divine Creator. This bankrupt story tends to permeate our lives whether we are raised in a religious home or not, causing us a great deal of suffering. When we buy into the story, we do not recognize our own divinity, and depend on an outside force to deliver us from the curse cast upon us as punishment for the sins of our ancestors.”

The underlined portion is indeed ironic, per his following statement (#27 below), as curse removal via soul retrieval is precisely one of the services Villoldo sells. His implication that a simple change in belief system (i.e. – rejecting the “getting kicked out of the garden” story) would negate the need to depend on any outside deliverance force is a curious one.  If this is true, then he is essentially providing a recipe for reducing his own client base/income.

27) Statement: “Doing soul retrieval helps us to not pass on generational ‘curses’, so our children do not have to continue to live our lives and our grandparents’ lives. Question:  What are generational curses?  How do they work?  How are they passed on?  How do these generational curses come to be in the first place? Is soul retrieval via a shaman the only way to remove such a curse?  Why is Villoldo charging large sums of money, in some cases, to do it?  Many in the US have been enraged about the high costs of healthcare, with the majority of those believing it should be ‘free’ or affordable.  Should the services Villoldo provides, which are arguably healthcare related – at the very least falling under the mental/psychological healthcare category – be any exception?  Christians have posited that forgiveness releases believers from their sins/curses.  Forgiveness, financially speaking, is free.  Therefore, what is the financial incentive for exchanging one belief system (Judeo-Christian based) for another (Villoldo’s)?

28) Statement: “The soul parts go into the domain of the shadow, as described by Carl Jung.”  Questions: How might one verify this for him or herself? If there is no means of convincing verification, how is this belief any different from that of say, transubstantiation and why should stock be taken in it?

29) Statement: It’s impossible to go on a soul retrieval by ourselves.  We have to be assisted by another.”  Question: Why?  According to whom? Is this an indisputably proven law? Here is an article written by someone who states otherwise:  Logically speaking, and assuming it could be done – someone would have had to learn to do it first without the assistance of another, else how could the information have arisen/been discovered to begin with?

30) Statement: “The shaman has to go through their own healing journey before they practice on another.”  Question: Does the shaman’s healing journey need to be 100% complete for that shaman to be effective? Would Villoldo say that his own healing journey is 100% complete and there is nothing more to be healed?  It would seem that if this is the case, then living forever is the logical outcome.  After all, if the body is informed by the soul (according to Villoldo), and (again according to Villoldo) the soul is eternal, then would it not follow that a completely whole/retrieved soul = an eternal body?  Villoldo himself has clearly aged.  Does this imply that he is not fully healed?

31) Statement: “Soul retrieval is not a series of techniques that someone does on you.” Question: Then what is it?  Certainly there is a method or methods to accomplish retrieval?

32) Statement: “During journeying we send our luminous body into the lower world/collective unconscious.” Questions: How does one know that this is actually where one is sending his or her luminous body? What is the source of information/point of reference for this?  What is the nature of the lower world?  Collective unconscious is a term but it does not describe the nature of the thing, nor how it came to be, nor why it exists, nor if it can be trusted as a reliable source.  Perhaps there are several versions of the collective unconscious, just as there are several versions of history.  If so, which one to trust? And who or what is the keeper, editor and disseminator of the collective unconscious?  Is this thing or person a reliable and accurate source?  How does one go about determining and verifying this?

33) Statement: The luminous body organizes the physical body in the same way that a magnet organizes iron filings on a piece of glass.” Questions: Are there documented studies/experiments to support this theory?  Where can they be found? Have they been published and subject to peer review? If not, where precisely is this information coming from?  What is the source?

34) Statement: The luminous body is the soul.  This luminous body creates physical bodies, lifetime after lifetime.” Questions: Where is the evidence to support this?  Is this a belief system or a peer reviewed scientific theory?  If a belief system, why is it better than any other available belief system?  If the luminous body creates the physical body, who creates the luminous body?

35) Statement: “During the journey process we send our luminous body into the collective unconscious – into the earth, into the belly of the mother.  During journeying we send our luminous body into the unconscious, which according to indigenous traditions, is deep in the belly of the earth.”  Questions: According to which indigenous traditions?  One of them? Some of them?  All of them?  Does one quite literally travel into the core of the earth to recover soul pieces?  If this is a figurative term, what is “the belly of the earth” meant to represent in actuality? How does one verify that the unconscious is located in the belly of the earth, as opposed to anywhere else?  Is this the only place it is stored?  How is this verified?

36) Statement: “During journeying we have to be sure that we go into the ‘collective unconscious’ and not the ‘personal unconscious’.” Questions: Why?  And how does one access the personal as opposed to the collective?  Is the personal located somewhere else?  Where?  According to whom?  How is this verifiable? How can one be sure that there is not even more information/memories, stored somewhere outside of the collective unconscious? The collective unconscious seems to be limited.  For example, the implication is that it stores information about humanity only.  What about the architect/s of humanity? Where is this information stored? What about alien races? Assuming their existence, do these also have a collective unconscious?

37) Statement: “When we journey through the collective unconscious, we have to be given permission to enter.  We have to go through the gatekeeper.”Questions: Why?  Are there other ways to gain access, much like a computer code can be hacked? This question does not imply one should try to hack in, but who is to say one cannot?  Do gatekeepers ever change guard?  Who puts the gatekeeper in charge to begin with?  Why is one needed at all?

38) Statement: The gatekeeper is a luminous being, according to law, which allows you to enter in order to retrieve what you seek on your client’s behalf.”  Questions: According to whose law?  What is this law exactly? How can the law be verified?  Where can references to it be found in scholarly literature or records, other than Villoldo’s?

39) Statement: There is a saying, among indigenous people, that ‘the white man always comes empty-handed, comes to take, without permission’.” Questions/observations: Is this not simply a ‘story’ they are telling themselves, according to Villoldo’s own belief system?  Perhaps they need to change their ‘story’. After all, the cost of a typical retreat (to the homeland of  ‘indigenous peoples’) is thousands of dollars, according to Villoldo’s own website.  Very few can afford such a luxury to begin with.  One might very well be ’empty-handed’ following this type of expenditure.  Or are the words  ’empty-handed’ meant to denote something else, other than money?  Physical objects, perhaps?  Of what use could an ‘object’ be to a luminous being, who presumably does not exist in physical form?  If not an object, then what else does the luminous being require for price of entry? What does the luminous being intend to do with the ‘payment’?  How is this “currency” used? Is the price worth the entry? Even if the indigenous people think of the white man as coming empty-handed, of what use is it for Villoldo to further propagate a negative sentiment such as this one on the internet, where potentially millions of people may be negatively influenced or manipulated by such a statement?  If the ‘indigenous people’ experience a reality such that the ‘white man’ always comes to take, then by Villoldo’s own logic/belief system, aren’t the indigenous people at least in part responsible for attracting/creating this type of ‘story’ for themselves, much in the same manner that his psychiatrist friend attracted clients who were going through terrible divorces? (Villoldo makes reference to this anecdote in one of the videos.)  Why aren’t the indigenous peoples taking their share of the responsibility for such a scenario, or are they?  If these indigenous healers attracted this sort of negative circumstance/story/contract to themselves, does this in some way imply that they themselves are not fully healed?  Further, if these indigenous healers attracted no negativity to themselves, then who would be left to heal all of the negative people in our negative world?  Would people be expected to heal themselves?  But Villoldo by his own admission states that it is impossible to heal oneself without the help of an expert healer.  By that logic, healers would necessarily need to attract ‘negative, empty-handed takers’, amongst other imperfect persons, so why not have the wisdom and restraint to accept this as fact, as opposed to commenting unfavorably about it?

40) Statement: “Sometimes it might not be healthy for you to journey on someone else’s behalf.  You might be too vulnerable.”  Past Statements: – “The shaman has to go through his/her own healing journey before they practice on another.” – “The only way to heal (soul loss) is through soul recovery/retrieval”. – “After soul retrieval, the world again becomes a safe place.” Questions: If the shaman must go through a self journey before healing others, and once healed, the world is again a ‘safe place’, then why would the shaman be vulnerable/not safe in this, or any other undertaking?  If there are fears or vulnerabilities with respect to the healer journeying on someone else’s behalf, does this imply that the healer has not in fact been fully healed him or herself?  After all, healed = safe, unhealed = unsafe, according to Villoldo’s doctrine.

41) Statement: We have a four-chambered soul, as we have a four-chambered heart – a non-physical map”.  (Chamber of wounds, Chamber of contracts, Chamber of Grace,  Chamber of gifts) Question:”Where does all of this information come from? How is it verified?

Originally this was to be a two part series.  However, it will need to be extended to three due to the sheer volume of written material.  Part 3 to follow soon……





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