Rock Art

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Manystones » Fri May 09, 2008 4:33 pm

Ishtar wrote:The difficulty I’m having here is that I cannot really take seriously the paper of Hodgson who has never in his life experienced a shamanic journey telling me (who has, and who knows many others who have) what the shaman experiences on those journeys, and how it is actually different from what I and most other shamanic practitioners say that we experience.


I cannot see for the life of me why not, since 80% of the paper does not concern shamanism. LW now promotes a broader hypothesis on Altered States of Consciousness (ASC), but actually the paper is more concerned with explaining the Neuro-visual theory and then comparing how the two differing theories compare.

For example and with regard to geometric forms;

Q. Explains geometrics in the art of shamanistic cultures.

Neurovisual theory - Partially
ASC - Partially

Q. Can account for geometric designs in art of non-shamanistic cultures
Neurovisual theory - Yes
ASC - No

Q. Can account for geometric designs where the representation of objects is absent
Neurovisual theory - Yes
ASC - No

Q. Explains the appearance of geometric designs before the Upper Palaeolithic
Neurovisual theory - Yes
ASC - No

Q. Is based on a non-symbolic account
Neurovisual theory - Yes
ASC - Yes

Q. Is related to the ecology of perception and the dynamics of evolution
Neurovisual theory - Yes
ASC - No

Q. Accounts for culturally defined aspects of geometric designs
Neurovisual theory - No
ASC - No

Q. Explains why geometric forms widespread in art despite infrequency in ASC
Neurovisual theory - Yes
ASC - No

Q. Relies on stages (sequential or otherwise)
Neurovisual theory - No
ASC - Yes

Q. Offers a mechanism that links the production of geometric marks directly with the normal functioning visual brain
Neurovisual theory - Yes
ASC - No

Q. Is refutable
Neurovisual theory - Yes
ASC - Yes

Ishtar wrote:It would be like, say, you’d just returned from Egypt to find a load of pendants, who’d never in their lives left the UK, waving papers at you that ‘prove’ that the pyramids don’t exist.

Not only that, but in basing his conclusions on one man’s experiences with hallucinogenics, Hodgson isolated a very particular method of achieving the shamanic altered state, which is in no way representative. That is why I went to trouble to show you all the different ways of reaching that state …so you could see how Hodgson had, by no means, got the full picture.


There was no need to go to such trouble since I have studied the subject well, and as I explained before Hodgson was falsifying a particular notion of LW's that there are three stages;

Stage 1: entoptics
Stage 2: construal
Stage 3: entoptics and iconics

this is clearly not the case.

Ishtar wrote:Art can only ever be a matter of interpretation.


I am only too aware that our interpretations are subjective, to then base a theory on the back of an ‘alien’ interpretation appears to be incredibly naïve.

Ishtar wrote:Science, except in the dating of the rock that it’s on, has no place there anyway. Neurological functions are interesting, but they tell us the ‘what’ – they don’t tell us the ‘why’.


Neurological functions can more than adequately explain many of the characteristics of Palaeolithic art such as the exaggeration of salient features. The visual recognition system has a propensity to recognise certain key visual cues known as sign stimuli. Further, it we know that artificial stimuli (i.e. exaggerated representations) can act as super normal stimuli, i.e. eliciting a stronger or faster neurological response. For an example of this in action think of how caricatures aid in recognition.

Ishtar wrote:Do Hodgson and Bednarik seriously think that Palaeo man sat there rubbing his eyes and then thought, ‘I know. Those pretty dots would make a good picture.” ?


Again, your misinterpretation. I mentioned the geometric forms we see when we close and rub our eyes. Hodgson explains why geometric forms are preferred by the architecture of the visual brain. It certainly has nothing to do with shamanism and wasn’t the exclusive domain of HSS or HNS.

Ishtar wrote:He may have done, of course. But the whole matter about what drove the art and architecture of Palaeo and Neo man is open to interpretation.


Again, everyone is welcome to speculate, but they must recognise that that is all they are doing. But, if they insist on claiming more than this, then the onus of proof rests with them to demonstrate so or withdraw the claim.

Ishtar wrote:Why I came in on this, and started this discussion, was because Bednarik was casually dismissing all the shamanic interpretations out of hand, showing a closed mind to any other possibilities.


Or rather your ‘interpretation’ was subjective. Bednarik has gone to considerable lengths – as have many others – to demonstrate why and how the ASC theory does not stand up to scrutiny. It’s not a casual dismissal of LW’s apparent intransigence and forever adapting theory and to believe so only demonstrates a lack of appreciation for how seriously these people take their subject and the depth of consideration displayed.

Ishtar wrote:So for the moment, I will suspend my disbelief to take your view that Lewis Williams thinks all Palaeo art is shamanic. Then, on the other side, we have Bednarik whose position is equally polarised … he thinks all Palaeo art is definitely not shamanic.


Neither I nor anyone else has said that LW thinks all Palaeoart can be accounted for by the theory of ASC since he cannot credibly make such a claim. What I did imply was that the “blanket” use of the Shamanic theory to account for Palaeoart was fundamentally flawed but regularly invoked by people who don’t know any better. You have yet to prove me wrong.

Ishtar wrote:Neither of them can possibly be sure, and so in the middle there, we have room for debate, discussion and a polite exchange of views on the matter. That’s what I was hoping for anyway…I don’t know how it descended into anything else, but I apologise if I had any part in that.


And likewise I apologise if my somewhat direct nature can appear abrasive or argumentative.

Ishtar wrote:BTW - Copywriters who write book covers are like tabloid headline writers. They write whatever they think loosely fits the contents with a view to grabbing good reviews and selling the book. They usually choose the title too, and the author rarely gets a look in on all of that.


Manystones wrote:And even if the sleeve wasn't written by LW it is certainly accurately descriptive of the theory, and by virtue of being published - sanctioned by the author.

The Mind in the Cave puts forward the most convincing explanation yet proposed for the origins of image-making and art. The Neanderthals, our nearest ancient relatives, lived alongside our Cro-Magnon ancestors for over10,000 years, borrowing stone tool technology but never developing art – how could this be? The answer, David Lewis-Williams shows, lies in the evolution of the human mind. Cro-Magnons, unlike the Neanderthals, possessed a higher-order consciousness and a more advanced neurological make-up which enabled them to experience shamanistic trances and vivid mental imagery.

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Postby Ishtar » Fri May 09, 2008 11:52 pm

Manystones wrote:There was no need to go to such trouble since I have studied the subject well


Shamanism is not something you can study and then claim that you know what it is. It's not an intellectual exercise. That would be like reading the recipe for a chocolate cake and then saying that you know what a chocolate cake is like and that it tastes disgusting - when someone else is standing next to you eating said chocolate cake with a look of utter bliss on their face.

You have not experienced the shamanic journey - but you are willing to go on the word of some chap called Hodgson who also has not experienced the shamanic journey, which supports the view of some other chap who hasn't experienced the shamanic journey, Bednarik, rather than listen to someone who has.

That's OK. It's your choice ...and it just means more chocolate cake for me! :lol:

I really cannot be bothered to go through all this with you again, especially as you don' t seem to hear what I say, neither are you interested in at least considering a new viewpoint.

Nor can you understand that being able to describe the mechanism for something in no way explains the reasons for doing it, anymore than describing how a stomach works explains why we eat said chocolate cake.

You are more concerned with picking through my words with the view to making me look a fool, than having a constructive discussion.

You still haven't answered my question from the other thread about why you erased the one word 'Neolithic' in a quote from me, and then tried to make it look like I didn't know the difference between Palaolilthic and Neolithic. And so until you can do that to my satisfaction, I'm going to find it difficult to even trust in your intellectual honesty.
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Postby Manystones » Sat May 10, 2008 2:39 am

Ishtar wrote:Shamanism is not something you can study and then claim that you know what it is. It's not an intellectual exercise. That would be like reading the recipe for a chocolate cake and then saying that you know what a chocolate cake is like and that it tastes disgusting - when someone else is standing next to you eating said chocolate cake with a look of utter bliss on their face.


You seem to have a habit of misconstruing what I say. I am well aware that Altered States of Consciousness can be arrived at without hallucinogens.

Ishtar wrote:You have not experienced the shamanic journey - but you are willing to go on the word of some chap called Hodgson who also has not experienced the shamanic journey, which supports the view of some other chap who hasn't experienced the shamanic journey, Bednarik, rather than listen to someone who has.


Ishtar, you know this is wrong as a matter of fact. I've already explained to you that I have experienced DMT several times. You call it a shamanic journey I don't - what actual experience have you got to draw from?

Ishtar wrote:That's OK. It's your choice ...and it just means more chocolate cake for me! :lol:

I really cannot be bothered to go through all this with you again, especially as you don' t seem to hear what I say, neither are you interested in at least considering a new viewpoint.


It's not a new viewpoint by any means as I have demonstrated it is over 17 years old and demonstrated to be badly flawed.

Ishtar wrote:Nor can you understand that being able to describe the mechanism for something in no way explains the reasons for doing it, anymore than describing how a stomach works explains why we eat said chocolate cake.


Actually it is your lack of comprehension that the architecture of the brain that LW interprets to be associated only with ASC is the primary driver.

Ishtar wrote:You are more concerned with picking through my words with the view to making me look a fool, than having a constructive discussion.


Now you really are clutching at straws.

Ishtar wrote:You still haven't answered my question from the other thread about why you erased the one word 'Neolithic' in a quote from me, and then tried to make it look like I didn't know the difference between Palaolilthic and Neolithic. And so until you can do that to my satisfaction, I'm going to find it difficult to even trust in your intellectual honesty.


Your generalisations make it clear that you don't appreciate the difference between Palaeolithic (or Paleolithic) and Neolithic.

And I did not misrepresent you as any intelligent poster or reader on this forum can ascertain.

You have misquoted me, misinterpreted me and misrepresented me.

Well done.
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Postby Ishtar » Sat May 10, 2008 2:58 am

Manystones,

My fingers are aching with saying the same thing over and over to you, and I'm getting really bored.

You may have taken DMT - but taking a drug does not make you a shaman, or even give you any insight into shamanism. If it did, most of our young people today, and particularly those in the entertainment industry, would be shamans. However, we know that they are very far from it.

Shamanism is not about taking drugs, although a minority of shamans use them, and that's why Hodgson's and Bednarik's research is flawed.

I believe you've tried to misrepresent me with your constant banging about that I don't know the difference between Palaeo and Neo, and even erasing my own words to make that look like the case. You should at least have apologised for that.

I no longer want to speak to you ... so if you reply to this, don't expect one from me. I won't be wasting any more time on you.
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Postby Manystones » Sat May 10, 2008 2:04 pm

Ishtar wrote:Manystones,

My fingers are aching with saying the same thing over and over to you, and I'm getting really bored.


Not as mind numbling bored as I of you.

Ishtar wrote:You may have taken DMT - but taking a drug does not make you a shaman, or even give you any insight into shamanism. If it did, most of our young people today, and particularly those in the entertainment industry, would be shamans. However, we know that they are very far from it.


Perhaps you'd care to comment on the widespread use of Ayahuasca then since the primary ingredient is DMT or explain the classic photo of Yopo ingestion and tell me it has nothing to do with Shamanism which you apparently can't even recognise;

Image

You may be far removed from reality in cosy Sevenoaks, but I'll explain that it's not widely available in this country and I doubt very much whether more than a handful of "youngsters" have ever tried it. And why is thier experience any less valid than yours? .... oh yeah, you are a White Witch right? :roll:

Ishtar wrote:Shamanism is not about taking drugs, although a minority of shamans use them, and that's why Hodgson's and Bednarik's research is flawed.


Now you are trying to misrepresent Hodgson and Bednarik again.. why do I have to keep going over this time and again, in the course of falsifying LW they had to make reference to the same subject as he had.

Keep up.

Ishtar wrote:I believe you've tried to misrepresent me with your constant banging about that I don't know the difference between Palaeo and Neo, and even erasing my own words to make that look like the case. You should at least have apologised for that.


Get real the only person that thinks that is you.

Ishtar wrote:I no longer want to speak to you ... so if you reply to this, don't expect one from me. I won't be wasting any more time on you.


But you have, so you can't even keep to your word.......

When should we believe you?
Last edited by Manystones on Sun May 11, 2008 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Manystones » Sun May 11, 2008 3:22 pm

Manystones wrote:And yet you have failed to explain why you have blatantly misrepresented me:

Ishtar wrote:Manystones

When you PM-ed me the other day about my approach being 'bad for the discipline', I was too polite to say: "Bad for what discipline? The discipline of seeing faces in stones?"

But I'm not feeling so polite now after reading your arrogant remark about your post getting us ‘back to reality'.

Do you think if you ape the pomposity of the Club, they’ll accept you and your stones? You need to think again.

I write in plain language that most people can understand. So if you can’t understand what I say, you might try a local literacy class.
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Postby MichelleH » Sun May 11, 2008 3:55 pm

The two of you need to move on, stop the pissing contest and get back on topic. This little foray has gone on long enough.

You each have an opinion and should respect the other’s.
We've Got Fossils - We win ~ Lewis Black

Red meat, cheese, tobacco, and liquor...it works for me ~ Anthony Bourdain

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
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Postby Ishtar » Sun May 11, 2008 10:28 pm

OK, I'm willing to shake hands and move on, Manystones. :lol:
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