When you see a color that is “red”, typically other people will also identify it as red. But while we may have taught our brain that this particular light wavelength is to be called “red”, we are not certain that our actual perceptions of the color are the same.
Some scientists believe that our color perception is influenced by external factors that shape our neural patterns. Researchers state that two people can look at a red object and call what they see as “red” but the unique perceptions of “red” is likely not the same.
For example: We both say the apple on the left is red and we both say the apple on the right is blue. We both identify colors the same, but what our brain says red looks like to us can be different, even if both sets of eyes sensed light the same. So what I see as red, if you were able to see through my perception, might be blue or some other color.
This concept can also be applied to our experiences on a shamanic journey. Our brains make associations to make sense of what it perceives. While on a journey you may meet a spirit you call a “wolf”. Because you have seen wolves in our physical world, your brain may see a wolf because it is similar in size, shape and mannerisms. The spirit sense is different from our physical senses and doesn’t provide the same level of environmental detail to the brain. This means our perception of the upper and lower layers (worlds) are distinctly defined by our experiences.
We are all aware of animals. So our brain will likely associate small and medium spirits with different animals. But that doesn’t mean the spirit is bound by the traits of that animal. We could meet a wolf who is able to stand up and walk with us and carry on a verbal conversation. When spirits shapeshift, it is because our brain is adjusting to the fluidity of their energy form, which is not as rigid as forms in the middle layer (physical world).
Also consider, the colors we see on a journey are not from visible light wavelengths. They are perceptions from our spirit sense as interpreted by a brain that has been programmed primarily by the senses of the physical world. The other layers can start out being very abstract and surreal, but in time, as your brain creates new patterns and associations, it will all become familiar to you.