THE SHAMANS OF PREHISTORY TRANCE AND MAGIC IN THE PAINTED CAVES

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Chamanes De La Pr Histoire

Author : Jean Clottes
ISBN : UOM:39015054458057
Genre : Art
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The universality of shamanistic power and practice among today's hunter-gatherers - along with the similarity of rock art found in varied sites around the world - has led Jean Clottes and David Lewis-Williams to suggest in this new book that the great art of paleolithic caves can be best understood through the lens of shamanism. Indeed, this is not a monograph on a particular site, but a general discussion of the art of painted caves and their shamanistic meaning. Through the authors' revealing words and the abundant full-color illustrations, we follow shamans into their trance states, and we watch as they carefully paint and engrave on rock surfaces the shapes of animals whose power they seek. As we learn how drawings and rituals were likely modes of shamanistic contact, we understand best the actions, accomplishments, and traces left behind by prehistoric shamans.
Category: Art

The Mind In The Cave Consciousness And The Origins Of Art

Author : David Lewis-Williams
ISBN : 9780500770443
Genre : Art
File Size : 57.3 MB
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The breathtakingly beautiful art created deep inside the caves of western Europe has the power to dazzle even the most jaded observers. Emerging from the narrow underground passages into the chambers of caves such as Lascaux, Chauvet, and Altamira, visitors are confronted with symbols, patterns, and depictions of bison, woolly mammoths, ibexes, and other animals. Since its discovery, cave art has provoked great curiosity about why it appeared when and where it did, how it was made, and what it meant to the communities that created it. David Lewis-Williams proposes that the explanation for this lies in the evolution of the human mind. Cro-Magnons, unlike the Neanderthals, possessed a more advanced neurological makeup that enabled them to experience shamanistic trances and vivid mental imagery. It became important for people to "fix," or paint, these images on cave walls, which they perceived as the membrane between their world and the spirit world from which the visions came. Over time, new social distinctions developed as individuals exploited their hallucinations for personal advancement, and the first truly modern society emerged. Illuminating glimpses into the ancient mind are skillfully interwoven here with the still-evolving story of modern-day cave discoveries and research. The Mind in the Cave is a superb piece of detective work, casting light on the darkest mysteries of our earliest ancestors while strengthening our wonder at their aesthetic achievements.
Category: Art

Journal For The Academic Study Of Magic 2

Author : Dave Evans
ISBN : 1869928725
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 49.31 MB
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This volume is a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed print publication, covering all areas of magic, witchcraft, paganism and all geographical regions and all historical periods.
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Evolution And The Emergent Self

Author : Raymond L. Neubauer
ISBN : 9780231521680
Genre : Science
File Size : 48.37 MB
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Raymond L. Neubauer presents a view of nature that describes rising complexity in life in terms of increasing information content, first in genes and then in brains. The evolution of the nervous system expanded the capacity to store information with relatively open-ended programs, making learning possible. Portraying four species with high brain-to-body ratios&mdashchimpanzees, elephants, ravens, and dolphins&mdashNeubauer shows how each shares with humans the capability for complex communication, social relationships, flexible behavior, tool use, and powers of abstraction. He describes this constellation of qualities as an emergent self, arguing that humanity is not the only self-aware species and that human characteristics are embedded in the evolutionary process and are emerging in a variety of lineages on our planet. Neubauer ultimately shows that human culture is not a unique offshoot of a language-specialized primate, but an extension of a fundamental strategy that organisms have used since the beginning of life on earth to gather information and buffer themselves from environmental fluctuations. Neubauer also views these processes in a cosmic setting, detailing open thermodynamic systems that become more complex as the energy flowing through them increases. Similar processes of increasing complexity can be found in "self-organizing" structures in both living and non-living forms. Recent evidence from astronomy indicates that planet formation may be nearly as frequent as star formation. In February 2011, NASA announced that the Kepler space telescope had located fifty-four planets in the habitable zones around their stars. Life makes use of the elements most commonly seeded into space by burning and exploding stars, and the evolution of life and intelligence that occurred on our planet may be common across the universe.
Category: Science

The Human Eros

Author : Thomas Alexander
ISBN : 9780823252299
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 90.40 MB
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The Human Eros: Eco-ontology and the Aesthetics of Existence explores themes in classical American philosophy, primarily that of John Dewey, but also in the thought of Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Santayana, and Native American traditions. The primary claim is that human beings exist with a need for the experience of meaning and value, a "Human Eros." Our various cultures are symbolic environments or "spiritual ecologies" within which the Human Eros can thrive. This is how we inhabit the earth. Encircling and sustaining our cultural existence is nature. Western philosophy has not generally provided adequate conceptual models for thinking ecologically. Thus the idea of "eco-ontology" undertakes to explore ways in which this might be done beginning with the primacy of Nature over Being, but also including the recognition of possibility and potentiality as inherent aspects of existence. I argue for the centrality of Dewey for an effective ecological philosophy. Both "pragmatism" and "naturalism" need to be contextualized within an emergentist, relational, non-reductive view of nature and an aesthetic, imaginative, non-reductive view of intelligence.
Category: Philosophy

God

Author : Reza Aslan
ISBN : 9780553394733
Genre : Religion
File Size : 57.65 MB
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God. In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large. In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, “Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we’re believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.” But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for justice—but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments. More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives. Advance praise for God “Breathtaking in its scope and controversial in its claims, God: A Human History shows how humans from time immemorial have made God in their own image, and argues that they should now stop. Writing with all the verve and brilliance we have come to expect from his pen, Reza Aslan has once more produced a book that will prompt reflection and shatter assumptions.”—Bart D. Ehrman, author of How Jesus Became God “Reza Aslan offers so much to relish in his excellent ‘human history’ of God. In tracing the commonalities that unite religions, Aslan makes truly challenging arguments that believers in many traditions will want to mull over, and to explore further. This rewarding book is very ambitious in its scope, and it is thoroughly grounded in an impressive body of reading and research.”—Philip Jenkins, author of Crucible of Faith
Category: Religion

The Oxford Handbook Of The Archaeology Of Death And Burial

Author : Sarah Tarlow
ISBN : 9780191650390
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 68.26 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Death and Burial reviews the current state of mortuary archaeology and its practice, highlighting its often contentious place in the modern socio-politics of archaeology. It contains forty-four chapters which focus on the history of the discipline and its current scientific techniques and methods. Written by leading, international scholars in the field, it derives its examples and case studies from a wide range of time periods, such as the middle palaeolithic to the twentieth century, and geographical areas which include Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. Combining up-to-date knowledge of relevant archaeological research with critical assessments of the theme and an evaluation of future research trajectories, it draws attention to the social, symbolic, and theoretical aspects of interpreting mortuary archaeology. The volume is well-illustrated with maps, plans, photographs, and illustrations and is ideally suited for students and researchers.
Category: Social Science

The Neuroscience Of Visual Hallucinations

Author : Daniel Collerton
ISBN : 9781118892800
Genre : Science
File Size : 90.1 MB
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Each year, some two million people in the United Kingdom experience visual hallucinations. Infrequent, fleeting visual hallucinations, often around sleep, are a usual feature of life. In contrast, consistent, frequent, persistent hallucinations during waking are strongly associated with clinical disorders; in particular delirium, eye disease, psychosis, and dementia. Research interest in these disorders has driven a rapid expansion in investigatory techniques, new evidence, and explanatory models. In parallel, a move to generative models of normal visual function has resolved the theoretical tension between veridical and hallucinatory perceptions. From initial fragmented areas of investigation, the field has become increasingly coherent over the last decade. Controversies and gaps remain, but for the first time the shapes of possible unifying models are becoming clear, along with the techniques for testing these. This book provides a comprehensive survey of the neuroscience of visual hallucinations and the clinical techniques for testing these. It brings together the very latest evidence from cognitive neuropsychology, neuroimaging, neuropathology, and neuropharmacology, placing this within current models of visual perception. Leading researchers from a range of clinical and basic science areas describe visual hallucinations in their historical and scientific context, combining introductory information with up-to-date discoveries. They discuss results from the main investigatory techniques applied in a range of clinical disorders. The final section outlines future research directions investigating the potential for new understandings of veridical and hallucinatory perceptions, and for treatments of problematic hallucinations. Fully comprehensive, this is an essential reference for clinicians in the fields of the psychology and psychiatry of hallucinations, as well as for researchers in departments, research institutes and libraries. It has strong foundations in neuroscience, cognitive science, optometry, psychiatry, psychology, clinical medicine, and philosophy. With its lucid explanation and many illustrations, it is a clear resource for educators and advanced undergraduate and graduate students.
Category: Science

Archaeological Approaches To Shamanism

Author : Dragoş Gheorghiu
ISBN : 9781527509559
Genre : Religion
File Size : 24.5 MB
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This long awaited book discusses both ancient and modern shamanism, demonstrating its longevity and spatial distribution. The book is divided into eleven thought-provoking chapters that are organised into three sections: mind-body, nature, and culture. It discusses the clear associations with this sometimes little-understood ritualised practice, and asks what shamanism is and if tangible evidence can be extracted from a largely fragmentary archaeological record. The book offers a novel portrayal of the material culture of shamanism by collating carefully selected studies by specialists from three different continents, promoting a series of new perspectives on this idiosyncratic and sometimes intangible phenomenon.
Category: Religion

The Body In History

Author : John Robb
ISBN : 9780521195287
Genre : History
File Size : 45.78 MB
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This book is a long-term history of how the human body has been understood in Europe from the Palaeolithic to the present day, focusing on specific moments of change. Developing a multi-scalar approach to the past, and drawing on the work of an interdisciplinary team of experts, the authors examine how the body has been treated in life, art and death for the last 40,000 years. Key case-study chapters examine Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Classical, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern bodies. What emerges is not merely a history of different understandings of the body, but a history of the different human bodies that have existed. Furthermore, the book argues, these bodies are not merely the product of historical circumstance, but are themselves key elements in shaping the changes that have swept across Europe since the arrival of modern humans.
Category: History