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Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind Paperback – 5 Oct 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (5 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099474158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099474159
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 10.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D&D TOP 50 REVIEWER on 9 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
I've followed Hancock since his first bestseller in 1992 with The Sign and The Seal, then the fascinating Fingerprints of the Gods, followed by many more: The Mars Mystery, Keeper Of Genesis, Heaven's Mirror, Underworld, Talisman, and now Supernatural. Like all Hancock's books, this one is too long and wordy but offers fascinating alternative theories about the past. And like all his previous books - albeit on very different subjects - it's both intelligently and cleverly researched but rather slow and repetitious.

He personally explores the places and things of which he writes, basically putting his heart into it. He is a deep-thinking investigative journalist who made himself into an acclaimed alternative historian who invests huge amounts of time, resources and courage towards evidencing his hypotheses, many of which annoy mainstream archeologists, too many of whom are basically close-minded parrots.

This stimulating book starts by explaining paleolithic cave art in terms of hallucinations and entoptic phenomena (tiny bright dots moving quickly in the visual field). It's a compelling hypothesis that actually fits the known facts far better than the theory accepted among most academics, that the paintings were a form of sympathetic magic to ensure a successful hunt.

Hancock makes a compelling case that the trigger was the experiencing of shamanic visions - essentially the first, core, religious experience. He suggests that the content of these early paintings is quite simply the "visions" perceived in such altered states.
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81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jan 2007
Format: Paperback
This fascinating book by alternative historian Graham Hancock investigates the origins of consciousness with reference to the work of David Lewis-Williams and his theory of the neuropsychological origins of cave art. It also goes further in proposing that those worlds and entities encountered in shamanic visions are not mere hallucinations but very real and that altered states are the means to gain entry to them.

Part One: The Visions, includes the author's experiences with the African hallucinogenic plant Iboga, looks at the cave of Pech Merle and then examines the theory of David Lewis-Williams. It also includes a section on Hancock's use of the South American plant ayahuasca.

Part Two explores the cave art of Upper Paleolithic Europe, with a closer look at the half-human half-animal representations that are so widespread. These "therianthropic" designs also occur in the rock art of Southern Africa and elsewhere. Hancock examines recurring themes in this ancient art, like that of the Wounded Man. He also discusses other aspects of this art, like the dots, starbursts, nets, ladders and windowpane-like geometrical figures. He closely examines the similarities and the differences between the art of ancient Europe and that of Africa. For example, the European art is found in dark subterranean caves while in Africa it is most often found in open rock shelters.

Chapter Six looks at the history of the academic study of rock art and concludes that it led nowhere until the theory of Lewis-Williams came along. Hancock demolishes the criticisms leveled at the work of Lewis-Williams and exposes the smear campaign waged against the South African academic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jean Erasmus on 24 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
I found answers in this book which I have long been searching for. It is not a book for the reductionist or rationalist who wants easily digestable answers to go with binary thinking patterns. In stead it is a book for those who are looking beyond the veil of rational thinking; those searching for the mostly difficult to digest answers to the archetypal meaning of their dreams that haunt them so.

'Supernatural' is well researched with no 'stab in the dark' tactics. It takes the reader from the present to the past, and from your comfortable belief system to one that challenges. It might just be the book that - sometime in the future - sheds light on topics ranging from misunderstood and maltreated scizophrenia to the origins of mankind's mind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lou on 19 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in the evolution of human consciousness this book is a 'must'. As usual, Graham Hancock provides plenty of factual evidence before giving his interpretation, conclusions, and hypothesis.

The first part of the book is a trifle wearisome and concerned with ancient cave art discoveries and conventional theories, but like a steam locomotive Mr.Hancock gradually accelerates until he thunders along and one simply cannot put the book down until one reaches the end.

Great value and a book that will surely give the reader plenty to think about.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By H. Reisenhofer on 14 Feb 2007
Format: Paperback
I've followed Graham Hancock's work for quite some time. Although not entirely disconnected to his previous areas, 'Supernatural' is a somewhat new investigation. I was especially intrigued by the studies into the nature/origin of DNA, and the surprising similarities between Shaman descriptions of their 'visions', ancient rock/cave art, descriptions by alien abductees and European fairy lore. All I can say is it does make you wonder, and if anything the book reminds you of how unexplained many of the questions Hancock raises remain. If we're going to attempt to answer these questions, then surely we need to welcome all open-minded, free thinking into the nature of our origins and the mysteries of the supernatural?
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