"What makes a shaman different from other mystics and visionaries is the intentional journey–or soul flight–into the spirit world. In other words, unlike the common perception that mortals must wait for spirits of nature or the dead to make contact–an occurrence that happens more frequently than most people realize–the shaman initiates contact by going directly into the spirits' world. Rather than waiting for the spirits to visit us, the shaman becomes the visitor into their invisible realms. Because they know the entry points, shamans can cross the borders of ordinary and nonordinary reality at will, enter the spirits' reality, and develop the skill, understanding, and competence for functioning in that dreamlike world."
– Tom Cowan