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The Cosmic Serpent [Format Kindle]

Jeremy Narby
3.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

Biographie de l'auteur

Jeremy Narby, Ph.D. is the author of The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. He lives in Switzerland.

Détails sur le produit

En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Jérémy Narby est licencié en histoire de l'Université de Canterbury et docteur en anthropologie de l'Université de Stanford. Auteur du Serpent cosmique, éditions Georg, 1995, il travaille pour l'organisation d'entraide Nouvelle Planète.

Commentaires en ligne

3.7 étoiles sur 5
3.7 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Sixteen years is a long time in some scientific fields, and it sure is for this book that has aged so fast that it looks like an ancestor, not a precursor, of modern age. And that is why it is worth reading. As the author says, everything is a question of faith and that is his shortcoming. He believes one hypothesis, his, is right and he does not see other elements that would not prove his hypothesis wrong but that would challenge the uniqueness of his hypothesis. I am going to consider some of these challenging elements.

1- The Bible
He quotes – or rather refers to – John’s Gospel:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2)

and he does not see the ternary structure in the first verse and the shift to the binary structure in the second verse. This shift from ternary to binary escapes him and he builds a whole book on the binary principle without seeing it is the basic principle of the Old Testament with in Genesis, the fact that God is seen as double, God and his spirit, and that the universe is seen as triple, God, his spirit and the immensity of water under them. But at once God is going to divide everything into dual pairs.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis, 1:1-2)

We could say John is Genesis, and we would be wrong. That was at the beginning. But in the New Testament God is ternary and John is clear about it: God, the Word and the final Son of God or Son of Man.

And I saw and bore record that this is the Son of God.
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 correct 10 avril 2015
Par ciera
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
anglais basic, simple à la lecture.
enchevêtrement de situations couvrant le fil directeur de l'étude. conclusion???
ou en est la recherche aujourd'hui?
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Cosmic Serpent 15 janvier 2013
Passionnant, une réconcialiation entre la pensée occidentale et les spiritualités, un parcours dans lequel se retrouveront ceux qui ont connu l' Ayahuasca.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  160 commentaires
131 internautes sur 134 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good questions, but inconclusive 16 juillet 2002
Par The Don Wood Files - Publié sur Amazon.com
Jeremy Narby's argument is that when shaman's drink hallucinogenic brews, their consciousness sinks to the molecular level, and literally communicates with DNA, the basic building block of life. DNA appears to shamans, and others who drink these magic brews, as serpents. This is why, Narby claims, serpents loom large in ancient cultures around the world. It is also how shamans get their expert knowledge of plants. When shamans say that the spirit in the plants tell them how to concoct life-saving remedies, they mean what they say. In hallucinogenic trances, the plants speak. Narby goes onto to speculate that the world is one vast communication network among strands of DNA. You don't have to buy the DNA-communication theory to enjoy this book. It is written in an engaging, personal, first person narrative style. It shows how science works, how "eureka moments" occur when one is relaxed and thinking about other things. Maybe his theory is totally off-base, but even so, big ideas like this one often spur research in different, interesting directions. We are only as good as our questions, and Narby's question is a great one: What if the shamans are right?
115 internautes sur 122 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 ...the deer eats the man 21 février 2000
Par Zane Ivy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Very interesting book. Anthropologists tend to project their own world views on the people they "observe." This book, which is basically a "story" - demonstrates how one Anthropologist, through his experiences in South America, has his own LAE (life altering experience) which enables him to examine his OWN culture...and its assumptions/metaphors. As a "Native" person, who went through the "mainstream" education system and wrestled with the hubris and fragmentation (let's disect everything!)...it was a pleasant breath of four winds' air to see him face up to his own field's shortcomings. I recommend the book.
52 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Extraordinary insights into mystical knowledge 11 décembre 1998
Par Betty Sayers - Publié sur Amazon.com
Author, Jeremy Narby leaps between science and mysticism on his quest to explain how several millennia ago Stone-Age hunters living in the Peruvian rainforest learned the botanical properties and the chemistry of plants. Dr. Narby, a Canadian-born scientist, lived two years with the Ashaninca people in the jungles of the Pichis Valley in Peru. Early in his work with the Ashaninca, Dr Narby perceived an enigma. He writes, "These extremely practical and frank people, living almost autonomously in the Amazonian forest, insisted that their extensive botanical knowledge came from plant-induced hallucinations." For Dr. Narby, the hallucinatory origin of botany contradicts two fundamental principles of Western knowledge. First hallucinations cannot be the source of real information, because to consider them as such is the definition of psychosis. Western knowledge considers hallucinations to be at best illusions, at worst morbid phenomena. Second plants do not communicate like human beings. Scientific theories of communication consider that only human beings use abstract symbols like words and pictures and that plants do not relay information in the form of mental images. Dr. Narby said that he often asked Carlos (interpreter) to explain the origin of place names, and Carlos would invariably reply that nature itself had communicated them to the shaman during their hallucinations. Throughout Western Amazonia people drink ayahuasca. (hallucinogenic drug) Carlos said, "That is how nature talks, because in nature, there is God, and God talks to us in our visions. When a shaman drinks his plant brew, the spirits present themselves to him and explain everything." Narby observes that in the jungles of Peru are people without electron microscopes who seem to know about the molecular properties of plants and the art of combining them, and when one asks them how they know these things, they say their knowledge comes directly from hallucinogenic plants, themselves. He says, "I was staggered by their familiarity with a reality that turned me upside down and of which I was totally ignorant." For example, hunters in the Amazonian rainforests developed a muscle-paralyzing substance, curare, as a blow-gun poison. He explains that in the case of curare, a chance discovery seems improbable because... "there are forty types of curares in the Amazon, made from seventy plant species. The kind used in modern medicine comes from the Western Amazon. To produce it, it is necessary to combine several plants and boil them for seventy-two hours, while avoiding the fragrant but deadly vapors emitted by the broth. The final product is a paste that is inactive unless injected under the skin. If swallowed, it has no effect." Narby experienced two drug-induced hallucinations the memories of which motivated him ten years later (when the hot-topic, ethno-biology, was highlighted at the Rio Earth Conference), to develop the hypotheses explored in The Cosmic Serpent: Plants reveal their own properties Indians get molecularly verifiable information from drug-induced hallucinations. His research propels him along a most intricate and twisted path, and one that will fascinate readers who appreciate science as well as those of us who read about spirituality and the occult. Dr. Norby finds that shamans insist with disarming consistency the world over on the existence of animate essences (or spirits,) which are common to all life forms. The interpreter, Carlos, referred to invisible beings, called maninkari, who are found in animals, plants, mountains, streams, lakes, and certain crystals, and who are sources of knowledge. The spirits materialize when the shaman ingests tobacco and ayahuasca. Aboriginal shamans of Australia reach conclusions similar to those of Amazonian shamans, without the use of psychoactive plants, by working mainly with their dreams. Dr. Narby doggedly pursues the facts although the research takes him into areas that science hesitates to explore. Areas, he calls "blind spots." He gathers evidence to conclude that shamans know about the hidden unity of nature precisely because they have access to the reality of molecular biology! I hope to tweak your curiosity with the following intriguing phrases lifted from the text of The Cosmic Serpent: I know that any living soul, or any dead one, is like radio waves flying around in the air. That means that you do not see them, but they are there, like radio waves. Once you turn on the radio, you can pick them up.. The Shaman is simply a guide, who conducts the initiate to the spirits. The initiate picks up the information revealed by the spirits and does what he or she wants with it. Rationalism separates things to understand them. But its fragmented disciplines have limited perspectives and blind spots. And as any driver knows, it is important to pay attention to blind spots, because they can contain vital information. To reach a fuller understanding of reality, science will have to shift its gaze. Could shamanism help science to focus differently? True reality is more complex than our eyes lead us to believe. This is perhaps one of the most important things I learned during this investigation: We see what we believe, and not just the contrary; and to change what we see, it is sometimes necessary to change what we believe. Shamans every where speak a secret language, the language of all nature which allows them to communicate with the spirits.
61 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An Intimate Journalists Journey 11 mars 2000
Par rareoopdvds - Publié sur Amazon.com
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found the writing easy to get along with as its written in narrative form that. Anthropologist Jeremy Narby steps off the plane and into Amazonian country. Here he tries the commonplace hallucinagenic ayahuasca. This plant gives Narby incredible insight into the human soul, body and nature of life. The author then gives his experience in as much detail as he could remember, then passing along the rest of his trip with conversations and whatnot. From here, he sets out to write his book. Although the author does sort of jump to conclusions that the double serpents he sees all over ancient mythology is the double helix of DNA (i.e. the medical symbol caduceus). Although in some cases I tend to agree with his point of view, and I find much of the ancient symbols of the past to correlate strongly with our modern psychology, mathematical sciences and biology. However, in his search, he does not let go of the idea, which may or not not help his cause. The book would have received 5 stars, if he stayed on top of his subject. He began with hallucinagenics in the Amazon, then to DNA, then neurology and smoking ingredients. He writes humbly knowing what he believes wont be taken to heart very lightly. There are no answers in this book, however many questions, pertinent questions no less, which makes this such a valuble and enjoyable book. Definately reccomended. Fans of Joseph Campbell may really enjoy this one.
52 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 An interesting story, but not a compelling argument 18 décembre 2006
Par Patrick D. Goonan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This is a very interesting story by an author with great credentials who seems very sincere. However, his argument that indigenous people truly understood the structure of DNA and gained this knowledge from what the plants told them was not convincing. There were some interesting connections, but I found that Mr. Narby tended to read a lot into his findings. At certain points, I was even annoyed by the leaps in logic and hasty conclusions.

On a more positive note, the story itself is interesting and underlying concept for the book intriguing and thought provoking. When I shifted gears to thinking of this as very speculative and following it like ficition I found it more interesting. While I believe the author was sincere in his attempt to rely the facts, I think he got very caught up in his theory and tended to see proof for it where in fact the evidence was less than certain.

This book is certainly not a scientific treatise. It is a good story that raises some interesting issues about shamanism and the validity of information gained from altered states of consciousness. It raises interesting epistemological questions and certainly entertains, but I found it to be light in terms of making a good arguments for the central premise of the book.
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