Main CategoriesShamanism and EntheogensIndigenous Shamanism and Anthropology Cosmic Serpent, The

Cosmic Serpent, The

Product no.: 978-0874779646
A first-person narrative of scientific discovery that opens new perspectives on biology, anthropology, and the limits of rationalism.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Jeremy Narby takes a serious look at how neurogenetic consciousness informs awareness, knowledge, symbolism and culture. His comparison of the ancient cosmic serpent myths to the genetic situation in every living cell reveals the immortal biomolecular wizard behind the curtain of everyday life. His anthropological study, ayahuasca experience and scientific speculations weave a tale of shamans who bring their consciousness down to molecular levels with sophisticated neurotransmitter potions in order to perceive information contained in the coherent visible light emitted by DNA.

"The Cosmic Serpent is a spellbinding, scholarly tour de force that may presage a major paradigm shift in the Western view of reality."        ~Michael Harner, Ph.D.

"Deftly written, one hopes this book will cause quite a stir. It has already been reviewed in The New York Times. It is a major step toward western science’s reconsideration of the validity of shamanic states. The book’s neutral tone transcends the reactionary politics that infect entheogens within medical research, while avoiding tiresome theological questions. Here is pure exploratory science. Entheogens as heuristic."      ~The Entheogen Review

"Shamanism resembles an academic discipline (such as anthropology or molecular biology); with its practitioners, fundamental researchers, specialists, and schools of thought. It is a way of apprehending the world that evolves constantly. One thing is certain: Both indigenous and mestizo shamans consider people like the Shipibo-Conibo, the Tukano, the Kamsa, and the Huitoto as the equivalents to universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and the Sorbonne; they are the highest reference in matters of knowledge.

In this sense, ayahuasca-based shamanism is an essentially indigenous phenomenon. It belongs to the indigenous people of Western Amazonia, who hold the keys to a way of knowing that they have practiced without interruption for at least five thousand years. In comparison, the universities of the Western world are less than nine hundred years old."

Author Narby, Jeremy
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 272 pp.
Publisher Tarcher/Putnam 1999
Browse these categories as well: Indigenous Shamanism and Anthropology, Neoshamanism and Entheogenic Healing, Metaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation, Ancient Mystic and Modern Scientific Parallelism

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