Do worldwide iconographic parallels in prehistoric rock art reflect common psychedelic experiences?

by · Sep 30, 2016 · 202 views ·

According to a theory of the South African archeologist David Lewis-Williams, prehistoric rock art, dating back up to 40.000 years ago, depicts experiences of shamans under the influence of psychedelic substances. This theory has polarized the discussion about the meaning of these earliest expressions of human art. Lewis-Williams’ opponents interprete the art as representations in the context of early totemism or even just as scenes of everyday life in a hunter-gatherer society. To present, there is no archeologic proof for the use of psychedelics in these early societies. During 15 years after their iboga initiation in Gabon, the authors visited about 1000 rock painting sites in Southern and Central Africa, Northern and Latin America and Europe, trying to understand their spiritual message. Do the striking iconographic parallels reflect common experiences of altered states of conscience? The authors want to share a glimpse of the beauty of this art and open a discussion about it‘s spritual background to an experienced public.

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