21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing in Parts,
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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Initial post: 11 Mar 2010, 16:59:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Mar 2010, 17:02:10 GMT
Post enlightenment says:
The theory that drug or otherwise induced unusual mind states have a role in the origin of religions has a long and distinguished pedigree. It is part of the enlightenment view. In the last century it was most ably proposed by R. Gordon Wasson and his associates. In the case of Zoroastrianism it is clearly proved by the sacred texts of the faith, although the exact drug or drugs involved are still debated. Is Zoroastrianism an odd case of no interest? Certainly not; it was Zarathustra's Soma induced vision of judgement and heaven and hell that found its way into the Abrahamic religions via the Babylonian exile and gives those religions their distinctive vengeful flavour down the ages to this day. In central and South America plant and fungal psychoactive compounds play a central role in native religions. All this can either be taken to mean that religion is ultimately some kind of hallucinatory trip or that hallucinogens give access to a spiritual world. From my online name you can guess which view I take. But Graham does stay carefully on the fence and gives both sides of the story. Sorry if it upsets religionists but there is a view that St John of Patmos must have been on something pretty strong to write that insane book which tops out the New Testament.
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