Writer, psychologist, and medical anthropologist Alberto Villoldo tells an interesting little story about a famous neurosurgeon who is talking with a shaman in a Peruvian jungle:
Neurosurgeon: And what do you do?
Shaman: Well, doctor, I have my flock of llamas, and I raise a little bit of corn, and I do a little bit of healing. What do you do, doctor?
Neurosurgeon: I can cut open a man’s head and cut through the bone and pull out a tumor the size of a walnut, then throw it away and sew his head back up and that man will live. Can you do that?
Shaman: No, doctor, I can’t do that.
Neurosurgeon: Well, what do you do, then?
Shaman: Well, doctor, if someone dies and it’s not their time yet, I can follow their soul through the first, second, and third levels of the spirit world, and right before they arrive back home I can catch it, the way one catches a butterfly, and can bring it back and blow it back into them, and they will live. Can you do that?