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Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge Reprint Edition
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About the Author
Jeremy Narby, Ph.D. is the author of The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. He lives in Switzerland.
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As he says; "My approach in this book starts from the idea that it is of utmost importance to respect the faith of others, no matter how strange, whether it is shamans who believe plants communicate or biologists who believe nature is inanimate." (p.145)
The hypothesis he comes up with, simultaneously far out and down to earth, is that the knowledge of shamanic experience is coming directly from DNA - that mysterious intersection of psyche and substance (spirit and sense) at the root of all Life. The implications of this intuitive and logical perspective are expansive, and ultimately are based in a vision of Life being a consciously driven (i.e. intentional) phenomena.
Much of what he says is a direct critique of science (and the blinders inherent to its Western form), and he obviously gives more respect and credence to the methodologies and conclusions of the Amazonian shamans than science is willing and able to. But he also is no naive new-age enthusiast. Again, Narby perceptively comments, "To my mind, a truly hallucinatory session is more like a controlled nightmare than a form of recreation and demands know-how, discipline, and courage." (p.148)
Here's to the hope that this know-how, discipline and courage stays vibrant and alive amongst the Amazonian shamans.
The only improvement I can imagine is to see him do an updated edition to incorporate what has been learned both in biology and anthropology, as well as what Mr. Narby has continued to learn in the last 15+ years.
The book is very well written in a friendly, warm voice, highly accessible to all levels of reader. If considering new possibilities and a fascination with metaphysical phenomena and ancient cultures interests you, you'll probably enjoy this book quite a bit.
Frederic in Williamsburg
Most recent customer reviews
The way he connected the visions they get when they "hallucinate" to modern Chemistry & Biology is...Read more