a Western anthropologist ingests a psychedelic substance under the
of a shaman—let's say ayahuasca in Western Amazonia—the
visions reported will not be within the scientist's cultural context,
but within the indigenous mythology. So that substances
that have been used for
thousands of years wherever plants with
hallucinogenic properties grow, are apparently able to
visiting psyches into local numinous conditions.
Is this the "ethrosphere,"
that anthropologist Wade Davis "describes as
'the sum total
of all thoughts, dreams, ideas, beliefs, myths, intuitions, and
into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness.
It's a symbol of all that we've accomplished and all that we
can accomplish...The ethnosphere is humanity's great legacy.'"?
C.G. Jung's collective
unconscious, psychically boundless and mainly unknown, would be included
here, as receptors of the scientist's brain would not react to
they are not primed to receive. In our journeys over thousands of years,
we have not left each other behind!
Both a scrim
between the sacred and profane and their canvas, rocks reverberate
and subsume the visions
our minds forgot in our struggle to survive. They remind
us that the
artefact in the text is always a discursive object. This theoretically
and conceptually produced object is formed by a process of language
acting on the world. No description is 'pure', nor can any description
be 'total'. Listing the attributes of a house, an axe, a pot or a grave
are at bottom not so much creators and destroyers as dreamers. Our
nomenclature is more about who we wish to be [sapiens,
for example, wise] than who we've actually become.