The role of the shaman has always been to cross the border into the realm of the not-yet-know and bring it back into cognition. Along the way, the shaman may encounter cultural or emotional taboos. It is one reason why the healer exists—to cross the border, retrieve missing information, find links, act as guide. In an era where many systems are threatening collapse, it is more important than ever to re-discover how to search the invisible—what we sense is around us but can’t quite see.

(This is the kind of condition carers of young children exist in for quite a long time.)

The whole universe is trying to communicate, to live in exchange. The philosopher-biologist Charles Birch, observing the behaviour of organisms, insisted that seeking relationship is the core impulse of all of our cells. From microorganisms, to birds’ patterns of emigration and the habits of waterfalls, we have so much we can learn. It is useful to reflect on how much or little we have developed our perceptions.