Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind Paperback – 1 Oct 2007
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"Graham Hancock is no stranger to controversy. The former journalist, whose books have sold five million copies in the past 10 years, has repeatedly dared to challenge scientific shibboleths, taking a run at entrenched thinking in archaeology, geology and astronomy."
-The Globe and Mail--Reviews
About the Author
Graham Hancock is the author of the international bestsellers The Sign and The Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Heaven's Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies.
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Graham Hancock must have known he would be going up against a very prejudicial and rigid scientific establishment, and has in turn buttressed his work with first class scholarship. The work covers several areas, which point toward a conclusion that the commonalities found in altered states leave little room for pure coincidence. This includes the ancient cave art found in Europe and Africa, the accounts of what is commonly believed to be Alien Abductions, other societal encounters of the spirit world, the nature of the activating catalyst DMT, and the evidence of shamanistic ritual and beginnings in various different religions. Hancock has also provided his recollections of his own experimentation with altered state inducing drugs, which are included at both the beginning and the end.
Graham Hancock has delivered an excellent theory, solid, compelling evidence, first class research, a first class effort, but unfortunately, rather poorly edited. The section on caves seems to last too long, and although Hancock has worked hard in his research, one feels he could have made his point with fewer examples, similarly with the chapter on alien abductions.
The work includes some interesting insights into the nature of DNA, and the possible supernatural origin of DNA, and pieces together as a comprehensive whole. Supernatural is by no means an easy read, and completing it can seem like a task at some points, but for anyone interested in research into spirituality, altered states, or shaman culture, Supernatural is well worth a read.
Though secondary sources through scholars and scientists are always referred to when they are necessary to reinforce his findings which add an incredible amount of credibility to what he is suggesting, it is his own visions and experiences I find the most compelling.
There are a several different, but ultimately entwined, subjects addressed in this book, the primary one being that hallucinogenic consumption (as well as self-induced trance states) is responsible for the rock art of ancient humans. This book, backed by scholars and scientists easily pushes this particular hypothesis beyond reasonable doubt for me. The next is whether organised religion was founded through the visions received during these trance states and gave birth to the way modern man operates. Again with a lot of evidence and agreement from the experts this too seems entirely likely and I find it almost astonishing that people have only just started to piece this together now. It seems pretty straightforward.
Though there are several more ideas that are knocking about in the novel, my favourite, and perhaps the most infeasible (solely because it would be impossible to prove these with current technology) of his hypotheses is that the entities found in these trance states are in fact organisms, or guides on a different plane of existence that runs alongside ours but just out of reach in our usual conscious states. Though it seems unlikely at a glance, the more you look into it the more you find that it is entirely feasible, if not, possible, for this to occur.
Masterfully he combines psychological/scientific studies from DMT testing, Alien Abductions, Ayahuasca and even the old stories of Fairies and Elves as well as DNA coding to form an impressive speculation that all of these entities are in fact the same and can be accessed through DMT’s effect upon, not just on humans, but many more animals and why we would be hardwired to react to this in the first place in evolutionary terms.
I could talk about this for an exceptionally long time and entirely analyse the book from cover to cover as mentioned before, that would be an entire novel in itself. But as he so constantly does in all of his factual titles, it pushes what you think you know about a subject to the limits and beyond in an enjoyable and always coherent way. It also makes you wonder about exactly what your dreams are and how, just maybe, all those characters and people you’ve met in your dreams, could be the entities that you meet under a DMT trip. (That’s my speculation by the way, not the author’s I would like to point out.)
It is a brilliant novel with plenty of facts for the scientists in us but it never gets tedious for the readers in us. The theories placed beyond doubt, backed by evidence and driven by speculation, (Graham constantly reiterates that they ARE speculations that cannot be proved at this point) are enjoyable and in a strangely straight-forward way, make a lot of sense. If you like to think out of the box, with regards to self-experimentation, pushing the boundaries of your consciousness, spirituality or knowledge, or just want to know about prehistoric cave paintings, some folklore, alien abduction accounts and speculation upon where religion sprang from, this is definitely the book for you.
Five stars from me.
He draws much of his key research from the work of Rick Strassman and his experiments with DMT, so readers who enjoyed Hancock's book should check out 'DMT: The Spirit Molecule' too. However, Hancock develops this further by personally experimenting with a range of hallucinogenic compounds. His experiences make fascinating reading and push us to question the concept of 'reality'.
The only negative is that at times, it was repetitive so it could have benefited from downsizing a little. But otherwise, an enthralling read.