When considering ancient history, there’s lots of room for imaginations to run wild. One such speculative sprinter is acclaimed, internationally bestselling British author Graham Hancock, whose books Fingerprints of the Gods, Underworld, and Sign and the Seal explore such cryptic topics as lost civilizations and the origins of man, often using world megaliths (Stonehenge, Easter Island faces, etc.) and mysterious, man-made deep-sea structures as his dowsing rod. His books are exciting Indiana Jones–meets–Foucault’s Pendulum–meets–Zecharia Sitchin page-turners, but like ancient-astronaut theorist Sitchin’s, his work is often disputed in academic circles. His new book Supernatural, which he is discussing tonight (as well as host Disinformation Company’s new anthology on ancient civilizations Underground), is a first-person account of his psychonautical sojourns with Indian shamans in Peru while blasted on the “sacred” psychedelic ayahuasca. Like modern-day drug guru Terence McKenna’s experiences, Hancock’s adventures with the shamanic plant have him theorizing about the origins of consciousness as jump-started by hallucinogens and how they have been reflected in art and spirituality. Fittingly, tonight’s event is held at the gallery of mystical painter Alex Grey—an initiate of hallucinogenic experience if there ever was one.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 8, 2005