Friday, May 8, 2009

Polls Archive 37 - Do shamans see other dimensions?


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kWjfkFIQCk

Poll 37 - "In his book 'Supernatural', Graham Hancock notes the remarkable similarities between ancient cave paintings from across tens of thousands of years and around the world. This shows that ancient shamans were able to see patterns from other dimensions." Poll ended April 11 2009. 38% agreed while the rest disagreed.

I've only recently finished reading this book. (At almost 500 pages, Supernatural is not a book you read in a night!) Along the way, I've alternated between wrestling with my own in-grained skepticism and a feeling that Hancock is lifting the veil on extremely important material. His work connects to a number of the ideas I've promoted with my project: that our reality is connected together in ways unseen, that there are patterns that exist outside of spacetime that are participating in the ongoing process of creation, and that there are a number of ways for people to become more sensitized to these hidden processes. In my book, I lumped altered states resulting from meditation, trance, repetitive tribalistic activities like dance and drumming, and visions seen under the influence of hallucinogens as all being part of the same kinds of processes that could be allowing people to glimpse these patterns, and my song "From the Corner of My Eye" is also about that supposition. In my blog entry The Shaman I added more traumatic experiences such as fasting or intense pain to that list (as these are also not uncommon in shamanistic practices from around the world), but while doing so I noted that even though all of these altered states I've listed may somehow be related, many people immediately jump to the conclusion that any discussion of altered states is really just talking about drugs. This, I think, is unfortunate because it can allow some people to jump to the conclusion that altered states are "unnatural".

For the last century in particular, most of us have had it drummed into us that anything seen under the influence of mind-altering drugs is not to be taken seriously, that it is merely the chemistry of the brain being disrupted, and no good will come of it. When I was writing my book, including psychedelics in the list of useful altered states for sensing extra dimensions was an intuitive leap based upon reading other's reports, since I have no experience with these substances myself. Still, as I've documented elsewhere, I was surprised upon the release of my book to be contacted by so many people who had taken LSD, mushrooms, and so on, telling me that what they saw under the influence of these substances seemed easier to explain within the context of my way of visualizing the dimensions. Nonetheless, I have to admit that most of what I thought they were talking about were geometric patterns and time-shifted artifacts... glimpses into the fifth spatial dimension. Almost six months after launching my project, I decided to set up an "altered states" area over at the tenth dimension forum as people with seemingly-related drug experiences kept contacting me. Since then, I've heard more and more stories from persons using DMT, ayahuasca, salvia divinorum and other drugs, and those people have described some really mind-boggling visions: but to me these were no more mind-boggling than the insights revealed, for instance, in Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's journey into the connections of her own mind to the universe that she recounted in her marvelous "My Stroke of Insight".

In Supernatural, Graham Hancock provides a context to altered states of all kind that is much deeper than what I had suspected, but now that he has done so I see more of the same connections in the stories I have been told by people writing to me in emails or at my forum. He makes some very persuasive arguments that the visions seen under those states have remarkable connections and similarities across tens of thousands of years and around the world, and this highly-detailed repetition alone indicates that our minds are really being allowed to "tune in" to other modalities of existence that actually do exist, but which were inaccessible without entering these altered states (in the same way that a radio can "tune in" to different radio stations - the waveforms coming from those other stations are already out there, just waiting to be heard).

To be clear, what Hancock is referring to here is not just similarities in geometric shapes or visions of bright lights, he has a long list of iconic images and creatures that occur again and again from the recorded visions of ancient man right up to modern time. He makes the bold assertion that these experiences are at the root of the development of civilization, and that all of the world's religions have as their source the ecstatic visionary experiences of those who shared their visions of these "other worlds" with others around them.

I would suggest reading the following blog entries, in the order below, if you would like to follow my reasoning for supporting the challenging conclusions of Graham Hancock's groundbreaking book. And if you have read the above paragraphs and decided to reject these ideas outright (as did 61% of the visitors answering the above poll question), I have some sympathy for that position: it is only through the process of reading Mr. Hancock's book that I have come around to an acceptance of these ideas, and I am almost certainly not going to convince any skeptics in a few paragraphs when it took Mr. Hancock almost 500 pages to carefully lay out his case for these ideas.

The Holographic Universe
The Shaman
You Have a Shape and a Trajectory
Creativity and the Quantum Universe
The Comedian
Where Are You?
Our Non-Local Universe
Illusions and Reality

To finish, here's a somewhat tongue-in-cheek song about those ancient mysteries that connect ancient shamans to you and I: "What I Feel for You".

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w06IRgChaMY

Next - Polls Archive 38 - Do Musicians Have More Empathy?

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