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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for anyone interested in ancient art, and anthropology and the origins of religion
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...
Published on 9 Mar 2009 by D&D

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good material, dreadful writing
I got this book on the strength of "Fingerprints of the Gods," which I gave 5 stars to, despite reservations about the repetitive nature of Mr Hancock's writing style. Supernatural is something else though. Like so many "alternative" theorists, the author lacks one thing; a decent and ruthless editor.
A sketch of a cave drawing, accompanied by a very detailed...
Published on 8 Feb 2010 by Robin Catbush


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but not well argued, 6 Jan 2010
This review is from: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind (Paperback)
The premise of the book is intriguing, and Hancock has certainly digged out a mountain of references. Though most of his arguments consist of hand-waving, the book does leave one with the impression that there might be something to the author's point, even if it's just a fraction of what the author seems to imply. Overall, his argument is not well closed, and he leaves more than a few untied ends as far as his logic is concerned. Yet, it is worthwhile reading merely for the fact that the book opens up an unusual avenue of thought by raising several questions for which there are no convincing scientific answers today.

Finally, there is nothing really original in the book; just an extensive elaboration on hypotheses already brought up by other authors. Hancock usually credits these other authors properly, but makes one very unfortunate oversight: he fails to credit Terence McKenna as the originator of the "stoned ape" hypothesis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 25 Dec 2007
By 
Peter Burbery (manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind (Paperback)
Took a little while to really get going, but well worth it. Some of the theories in the book are mind boggling, but having seen some of the San rock art first hand in the Natural History Museum in Cape Town and the accompaniying video footage of Shamanic dancing I find Mr Hancock's theory regarding rock art not only compelling, but the obvious conclusion. The book is well referenced which allows you to check sources or to do follow up reading on specific areas. The reviewers who have given only 1 star I suspect just can't handle ideas that are too "way out there", of which there are many, and have given an unbalanced emotional response because they feel robbed of their time & effort. It is "way out there", but be open minded. My subsequent reading on DMT supports some of the ideas in this book. There are more things in Heaven & Earth, Horatio...
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing in Parts, 24 Jan 2007
This review is from: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind (Paperback)
I thought this book was fairly good. The material is quite well explained, and Hancock has a way of connecting a lot of seemingly disparate information together. My main criticism would be that I can't help feeling that too much emphasis is placed on the use of drugs in the evolution of religion. Although I would agree with his general ideas concerning how certain substances helped promote a shift in evolutionary consciousness, for me he overstates his case by quite a margin.

The supernatural world is indeed a mysterious one, and I think there is more to it than from what you may find from any drug induced mind.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping book on the origin of religion and art, 4 Jan 2007
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind (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, provides 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. Among other interesting topics, he considers the 19th century notebooks of Bleek and Lloyd on the mythology of the San. These valuable documents provide clues to the religion of the San and the trance or altered state experience.

Part Three: The Beings, starts with discussions of the experiences and work of William James, Aldous Huxley, Albert Hoffman and Rick Strassman. It also considers the UFO abduction experience and compares it with the shamanic exploration of other-worlds, with supernatural myths and folkloric traditions like that of fairies and elves. There really are fascinating correspondences between fairy lore, the UFO abduction experience and certain hallucinatory states.

Part Four: The Codes, looks at the structural similarities and connections and the common themes like therianthropic transformations, small robot-like humanoids, the breeding of hybrid infants, the idea of the Wounded Healer, etc. Hancock is convinced that the mind is a receiver and not simply a generator of consciousness. In this section he relates his impressions after smoking DMT, and then goes into a deeper exploration of the work of Dr Rick Strassman who is famous for his work with this substance. The passages on DNA are particularly gripping, especially the idea that our DNA might contain specific information on our origins and future. Hancock also discusses the work of other researchers like Jeremy Narby, Terrence McKenna, Benny Shanon and Francis Crick, the discoverer of DNA.

Part Five: The Religions, examines the belief in supernatural entities in all the world's major religions. He points out how "Father Christmas" and St Sebastian are ancient shamanic figures, the first for his red and white clothes which resemble the colours of the Amanita Muscaria mushroom and the second for being a therianthrope with a dog's head. Dreams and visions are then investigated, including those of Joan of Arc and Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes. Also the vision of Ezekiel, the mysteries of Eleusis and the role of Soma in Vedic religion. Hancock concludes this section with similar themes in the religion and mythology of ancient Egypt and the Maya.

Part Six: The Mysteries, returns to the work of Lewis-Williams and the fact that the ancient cave art is the oldest surviving evidence of the belief in spirit worlds and supernatural beings that exist at the heart of all religions. He disagrees strongly with Lewis-Williams about the reality of these realms and beings, observing that people have consistently reported the same pattern of experiences from every part of the globe and from all cultures. Hancock believes that these alternative realms are very real and that we may gain access to them via the trance state, whether it is brought about by ingestion of substances, trance dances, fasting or other practices that cause a change in consciousness.

There are many black and white illustrations and paintings throughout the book and a set of colour plates that includes, amongst others, the paintings of Peruvian shaman Pablo Amaringo plus photographs of San rock art from Southern Africa. The three appendices are: Critics and Criticisms of David Lewis-Williams' Neuropsychological Theory of Rock and Cave Art; Psilocybe Semilanceata: a Hallucinogenic Mushroom Native To Europe by Professor Roy Watling; and an illuminating interview with Dr Rick Strassman. The book concludes with bibliographic references arranged by chapter, and an index.

Supernatural deals with so many thought-provoking matters that the interested reader might want more information and/or other perspectives on various aspects of the study. The following books may be helpful: DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences by Rick Strassman, Huston Smith's Cleansing The Doors Of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals, William James' Varieties Of Religious Experience, Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness by Abraham, McKenna and Sheldrake, White Rabbit: A Psychedelic Reader by John Miller, Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers by Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann and Christian Ratsch, Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy by Clark Heinrich, The Cave Of Altamira by Pedro Ramos and The Mind In The Cave by David Lewis-Williams.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 9 Feb 2008
By 
T. P. Askin (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind (Paperback)
Another good book by Graham Hancock that like his other books really makes you think.
In the first 2 parts the author looks at stone age art found in caves and rock shelters across Europe and Africa, and how these often very strange looking images frequently featuring beings that look part human part animal could have been depicted based on what the artists may have experienced in altered states of consciousness. He looks at numerous pieces of ancient art as well as descriptions by alot of modern day shamans of their experiences in these realms, the various different methods used to attain this, his own visions under the influence of certain psychoactive plants, as well as the research done by Professor David Lewis-Williams. This takes up about the first 350 pages, and while there is certainly alot to take in ,I think the amount of evidence he presents is necessary, as anything less would have weakened his argument.
The next part deals with folklore and ufo's particularly alien abductions, and the various similarities between the 2. This is very similar to what Jacques Vallee has written about in his books "Passport to Magonia" and "Dimensions" both of which I would recommend reading as this is a fascinating subject and the connection between the 2 phenomena is all too often overlooked in many ufo books.
Part 4 includes details about the experiences of the volunteers who took part in Dr Rick Strassman's DMT project and how alot of them experienced what appeared to be highly artificial computer like realms,and the possible significance of this. He then looks at the possibility that all these visions and experiences in altered states may come from accessing stored information within our DNA and the theory proposed by the nobel prize winner Francis Crick that DNA could have been deliberately rather than naturally created. I think he does a good job in presenting evidence in support of the theory, and it also makes very interesting reading.
In the last couple of parts he looks at how altered states of consciousness and the supernatural have effected religions around the world. I thought he was particularly insightful in this area not just in describing how supernatural experiences may have been the ultimate source and inspiration for alot of beliefs but also in what he describes as the bureaucratisation of shamanism where the original experiences and beliefs can quickly lose their inherent value when the leaders/priests of these religions who having no supernatural experiences themselves seek to deny that crucial aspect.
I thought that the author seemed to get a bit bogged down when he tried to show how experiences in altered states of conscious are just as real as our everyday reality. I think he would have found it alot easier if instead of trying to show how real these supernatural realms and experiences are,if he'd have tried to show how unreal this reality is eg that the universe is essentially just a hologram. Once you realize this, the issue of how real altered states of consciousness are compared to our everyday reality becomes a non issue. For more on this I would recommend the books "stalking the wild pendulum" by Itzhak Bentov and "the holographic universe" by Michael Talbot.
Overall this is a very good book and definately well worth the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Graham Hancock, 5 May 2014
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Book arrived on time and in good condition. It's a book I shall dip into many times. Fascinating and revealing. What a lot of
interesting information.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Supernatural reading, 27 April 2014
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Great book for those of you who know there's more to life than the world you see. It touches on a lot of theories to do with the human mind and our ability to expand it through various means. I would recommend this book to anyone regardless of their outlook on life. It might just get you thinking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and intrguing, 15 April 2014
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This review is from: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind (Paperback)
I got the book, was so excited to open it and when I did I couldn't put it down! So interested and so much to learn from it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Present, 11 Mar 2014
By 
Dr. David Flynn (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind (Paperback)
This was a very thought after present and the person was totally delighted when received it. Good postage time as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 23 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind (Paperback)
Anything that Graham Hancock turns his hand to is worthy in my eyes ,a brilliant and hugely gifted chap, a very knoweledgable author with vast experience in all his fields of work a truly dedicated man with such integrity.I wish he'd taught me history at school.
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Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind
Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind by Graham Hancock (Paperback - 5 Oct 2006)
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