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Conversations on shamanism and mind-altering plants by filmmaker
Jan Kounen, anthropologist Jeremy Narby, and writer/filmmaker
Whilst living amongst Peruvian Indians, anthropologist Jeremy Narby learned of their phenomenal knowledge of plants and biochemical interactions, gained under the influence of the hallucinogen ayahuasca. Despite his initial scepticism, Narby found himself engaged in an increasingly obsessive quest. He researched cutting-edge scholarship in subjects as diverse as molecular biology, shamanism, neurology and mythology, which led him inexorably to the conclusion that the Indians' claims were literally true: to a consciousness prepared with drugs, biochemical knowledge could indeed be transmitted, through DNA itself.
Continuing the journey begun in his acclaimed book "The Cosmic
Serpent," the noted anthropologist ventures firsthand into both
traditional cultures and the most up-todate discoveries of
contemporary science to determine nature's secret ways of knowing.
This adventure in science and imagination, which the Medical Tribune said might herald "a Copernican revolution for the life sciences," leads the reader through unexplored jungles and uncharted aspects of mind to the heart of knowledge. In a first-person narrative of scientific discovery that opens new perspectives on biology, anthropology, and the limits of rationalism, The Cosmic Serpent reveals how startlingly different the world around us appears when we open our minds to it.
This is an adventure in science and imagination which tracks a young French anthropologist through the Amazonian rain forests, the libraries of Europe and the world's most arcane scientific journals, following strange clues, intuitions and extraordinary coincidences, to reveal scientific data.;The beginning of Narby's exploration lay with the Peruvian Indians, who claim that their knowledge of chemistry has its origins in plant-induced hallucinations. He also demonstrates that indigenous and ancient peoples have known for millennia, and have even drawn, the double-helix structure, something conventional science discovered only in 1953. The book opens new perspectives on biology, anthropology and the limits of rationalism.
A survey of five centuries of writings on the world's great
shamans-the tricksters, sorcerers, conjurers, and healers who have
fascinated observers for centuries.
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