Tags: graham hancock, shamanism
Graham Hancock’s latest is a great read. This book, while being similar to his other books, is on a subject hitherto unexplored in great detail by other authors. While many authors look at ancient prehistory and alternative archaeology, as Hancock has done, few look at the subject of shamanism and religion as it may have evolved along with those civilizations.
Hancock begins by detailing his first experience with a hallucinogen that shamans in South America use (derived from a mixture of local plants) to induce a trance. This is how he begins his journey, which actually started much earlier (this was, in true Tarantino style, actually the END of his journey).
The basic premise is this: around 35,000 years ago, man began painting in caves and making religious-themed art items. Before that, nothing. Yet man has been, according to mainstream archeology, on the planet in our present physical form for over 100,000 years. So what about the other 2/3 of our history? What were we doing?
Hancock’s premise is that the breakthrough was hallucinations. More specifically, shamanism–the oldest known religion type. The idea is that these seeds and a whole host of related things built what we recognize now as a whole host of separate phenomenon: hallucinations, aliens, polymorphism, etc.
This is probably Hancock’s best work so far and I highly recommend it to everyone. Very eye-opening, whether you agree with the premise or not.