15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable Neolithic Jaunt,
This review is from: Inside the Neolithic Mind: Consciousness, Cosmos and the Realm of the Gods (Hardcover)I enjoyed reading this book. It seems to focus mainly upon Neolithic sites in Turkey and Ireland (and some in Angelsey), but also interjected some interesting comments from various research into indigenous shamanism from all over the world. The most interesting part of the book I thought was the link between the neolithic artwork and symbols seen in altered status of consciousness. I thought it gave a good insight into Neolithic religion, society and the cultural heritage of the Europeans.
Whilst it is well worth the read if you are an archeaologist or a neo-pagan or just interested - what I would say is, I wish the scope of the book had been larger to include more of the neolithic monuments. It makes some passing comments on Avebury complex and Stonehenge, but really could have been more encompassing, perhaps the authors will expand on this in a later work. I found the insights into Bryn Celli Ddu very interesting indeed concerning the stew. The authors also made interesting references to western art and philosophy - particularly in the beginning with the philosophy of Rosseau 'The Noble Savage', which I felt was a kind of tongue in cheek jibe at the seventeen century Druidic revival, which the book seems to comment on in rather a negative fashion, which it later descibes as a mixture 'mumbo-jumbo, socialism, politics etc'. That aside, whether you feel the jibes are justified or not - it is still and excellent read.
What I liked is that it gave a realistic view of religion and society in neolithic times that it wasnt 'A pastoral golden age' as some might paint it, but had competing groups of people and more importantly a religion based around altered states of consciousness. The reader could not but help feel sad that in modern times there is not such a thing. Although the book states 'there was no difference between social and spiritual power' in neolithic times - I think there are some who might dispute this.
I think it will stand however as a landmark in its field, with ideas and concepts which should be further built upon - that perhaps one day we might get close to understanding the Neolithic mind - without modern lunatic cults or the narrow minds of modern archaeologists.
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Initial post: 26 Nov 2013 19:09:27 GMT
Mr. P. Milner says:
Maybe the 1968 Flower Power Hippies were heading towards a new religion based on altered states of mind, but it self destructed with help from the authorities
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