All cultures have shamans, who go by different names. A shaman must be able to convince those he lives amongst that his experiences are real, and his guidance valid, or his stature quickly falls. Therefore, shamans in the main are having real experiences that are somewhat familiar, if only in part, to other humans. There are seldom fake shamans, and then not for long. What is a shaman? A shaman is a human who refuses to deny what his intuition is telling him, and thus communicates with entities he cannot see or hear or capture for exhibition, as in a cage. He communicates with the world of spirits, the dead, higher level entities that no longer need incarnate bodies, and as frequently as possible, he is having Out-Of-Body experiences. He may attempt to incarnate, briefly, into other humans, or animals of various types, but he seldom gets permission to do any of this. Imagination plays a great part in shamanism, but is bolstered by real experiences so the shaman's stories can be very compelling.
Many who claim to be speaking to the wind, or animals, or rocks, and genuinely believe this is so, are simply giving a spirit they cannot see a name and source. Humans sensing a spirit in the vicinity are often at a loss to explain what they are sensing. They refer to vibes, or a presence, or an intensity. Nothing can be captured on camera, or grabbed and put in a box for later examination. Spirits communicating with a group, such as an Indian tribe, will often go with the flow, and allow whomever is communicating to assume this presence. It is possible to influence the direction a bird flies, easily, as the reason for flying in this or that direction are few and can be staged for the benefit of the bird. Thus, a Shaman who thinks the bird has a spirit, and finds it flying in patterns that would indicate that, is none the wiser.
All humans have the capacity to be shamans, but in the main lack the faith. They stop themselves. They feel insecure, not being grounded. They prefer to be a spectator. But the family of man, hearing the shaman weaving his spell, remember their tentative experiences along the same lines, and believe. A shaman's followers have gone to the edge with the shaman, and when he describes what was beyond, they recall what they caught a glint of.