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Graham Hancock - The War on Consciousness BANNED TED TALK

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    After 6 million years of boredom
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    the evolutionary ascent of our species
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    from the last common ancestor with the chimpanzee,
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    something extraordinary happened to us less than 100.000 years ago,
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    which by the way, is long after we've become anatomically modern.
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    It was a kind of emergence into
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    consciousness less than 100.000 years ago,
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    really less than 40.000 years ago, when we became fully symbolic creatures.
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    And this great change has been defined as
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    the single most important step forward in the evolution of human behavior.
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    Is intimately associated with the emergence of the great and transcendant
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    rock and cave art all around the world.
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    And over the last 30 years researchers led by prof. David Louis Williams,
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    at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, and many others,
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    have suggested an intriguing and radical possibility
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    which is that this emergence into consciousness was triggered by
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    our ancestor's encounters with visionary plants
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    and the beginning of Shamanism.
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    If you analyze the cave art - there's no time to go into details here, but there are
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    so many details that make it clear that this was an art of altered states of consciousness,
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    of visions,
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    and that plants like Amanita muscaria mushroom, or Psilocybin mushrooms,
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    appear to have been directly connected with this sudden and radical change.
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    So to investigate this possibility when I got interested in this mistery,
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    I went down to the Amazon, where are still surviving shamanistic cultures today,
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    and where they drink the powerful visionary brew Ayahuasca,
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    of which the active ingredient is Dimethyltryptamine, DMT,
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    which is actually closelly related at the molecular level to Psilocybin.
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    Now normally DMT cannot be activated orally when we encountered it in the west
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    where it is generally smoked. There's an enzyme in our stomachs
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    called monoaminoxidaze which switches off DMT on contact,
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    but in the Amazon they've got round this problem and they say it was the spirits
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    that taught them how to do it. The DMT in the Ayahuasca brew is contained in these leaves
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    from a plant that they call Shakruna in the Amazon.
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    And there they mix it together with this vine,
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    and out of the 150.000 different species of plants and trees in the Amazon
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    this is the one that contains a monoaminoxidaze inhibitor,
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    which switches off that enzyme in our stomachs
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    and allows the DMT in the leaves when the two are married together and cooked in water
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    to be absorbed orally, and takes us into a 4 hour journey
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    into extraordinary realms.
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    Now it's no joke to drink Ayahuasca.
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    The Ayahuasca brew has a foul taste.
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    Really really hideous and a dreadful dreadful smell.
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    And after you've drunk your cup, you'll find within 45 minutes or so
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    that your sweetening, that you're feeling nauseous.
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    Pretty soon you may well be vomiting, you may well having diarrhea.
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    Nobody is doing this for recreation.
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    And I'd like to add that I don't think any of the psychedelics should be used for recreation.
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    They have much more serious and important mission with humanity.
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    We're not doing this for fun. But what draws people to Ayahuasca again and again
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    to brace themselves for this experience - and you do have to brace yourself -
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    is its extraordinary effects at the level of consciousness.
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    And one of those effects has to do with creativity
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    and we can see the creative cosmogenic impulse of Ayahuasca in the paintings
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    of Ayahuasca Shamans from Peru, like the paintings of Pablo Amaringo here -
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    those richly saturated colors, the amazing visions that they reproduce -
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    and this creative impulse has also spread to western artists.
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    Many western artists now have been deeply influenced by Ayahuasca
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    and are also painting their visions.
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    And as these paintings show, another universal experience of Ayahuasca
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    is the encounter with seemingly intelligent entities which communicate with us telepathically,
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    and I am making no claim one way or another as to the reality status of these entities we encounter.
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    Simply that phenomenologically, in the Ayahuasca experience they are encountered
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    by people all over the world, and most frequently of all,
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    the spirit of Ayahuasca herself - Mother Ayahuasca - who is a healer
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    and although she is kind of the mother goddess of the planet
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    she seems to take a direct personal interest in us as individuals,
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    to heal our ills, to want us to be the best that we can possibly be,
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    to correct errors and mistakes in our behavior that may be leading us down the wrong path,
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    and this is perhaps why, and it's an untold story, really -
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    Ayahuasca has been fantastically successful in getting people off harmful addictions to hard drugs
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    such as heroine and cocaine. Jacques Mabit at the Takiwasi clinic in Peru,
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    brings heroine and cocaine addicts out there for a month,
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    gives them 12 Ayahuasca sessions and they have encounters with Mother Ayahuasca
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    during those sessions that lead them not to wish to take heroine and cocaine any more,
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    and more than half leave completely free of their addiction,
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    never return to it and don't even have withdrawal symptoms
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    The same incredible healing work has been done in Canada by doctor Gabor Mate
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    until the Canadian Government interviened and stopped jis healing practice
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    on the grounds that Ayahuasca itself was an illegal drug.
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    Now I have some personal experience of this. I have not been addicted to heroine or cocaine,
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    but I had a 24 years non-stop cannabis habbit.
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    This started of smoking the herb and laterally vaporizing it,
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    but the basic truth is that for 24 years I was pretty much permanently stoned.
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    And I enjoyed being stoned and I felt that it helped me with my work as a writter and
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    perhaps at some point it did, but when I first encountered Ayahuasca
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    I had already been smoking cannabis for 16 years and almost immediatelly
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    Ayahuasca started giving me messages that this was no longer serving me,
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    that it was leading me to behave in negative and unhelpful ways towards others,
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    and of course I ignored those messages for years and years
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    and went back to being stoned 16 hours a day.
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    But that negative behavior that Ayahuasca was pointing out did actually get worse and worse.
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    I don't want to put down cannabis and I believe it's the sovereign right of every adult
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    to choose to smoke cannabis if they wish to do so,
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    but I think I was overusing it, I think I was abusing it, not using it responsibly
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    and I became more and more paranoid, jealous, possessive, suspicious,
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    I was subject to irrational rages, I often made the life of my beloved partner, Santha
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    a misery, and when I went down for my regular encounter with Ayahuasca,
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    in October 2011, I was given the most unbelievable kicking by Mother Ayahuasca.
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    And I was put through an ordeal. It was a kind of life review
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    and it's not an accident that Ayahuasca is the vine of the dead.
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    I was shown my death, and I was shown that if I came to death
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    and what awaits us after death without having corrected the mistakes that I was making
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    in my life, that it would be a very bad thing for me, and actually
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    Mother Ayahuasca literally took me to hell,
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    and that hell was a little like this "Hell" painted by Hieronymus Bosch
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    a truly horrible place, and a little like the place that
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    the ancient Egyptians called the Judgement Hall of Osiris,
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    where our souls are weighed in the scale in the presence of the Gods
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    against the feather of truth, of justice, of cosmic harmony.
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    And I was shown that the path I was walking,
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    my abuse of Cannabis and the behavior associated with it
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    was going to lead me to be found "wanting" in the judgement
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    and that I might face annihilation in the world beyond death,
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    so perhaps not surprising, but when I came back to England,
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    later in October 2011, I gave up Cannabis
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    and I've never smoked it again since then.
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    And actually and again I'm speaking only personally with no comment on
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    other uses of Cannabis. It's as though a monkey have been lifted off my back.
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    I'm liberated in incredible ways. Far from my creativity being inhibited,
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    I find myself writing much more productively, much more creatively,
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    much more focused and much more efficiently as well,
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    and I began to be able to address those negative aspects of my behavior
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    which Cannabis had revealed and hopefully to make myself slowly -
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    it's a long process into a more nurturing, more loving, more positive person
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    and this whole transformation - it really has been a personal transformation for me -
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    was made possible by this encounter with Death that Mother Ayahuasca gave me.
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    And you know, leads me to ask what is Death?
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    Our materialist science reduces everything to matter,
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    and materialist science in the West says we are just meat, we are just body,
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    so when the brain is dead that's the end of consciousness,
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    there is no life after death, there is no soul,
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    we just rot and are gone.
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    But actually many honest scientists should admit that consciousness is the great mustery of science
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    and that we don't know exactly how it works.
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    The brain is involved in it in some way,
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    but we're not sure how. Could be that the brain generates consciousness
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    the way a generator makes electricity, if you hold to that paradigm then,
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    than of course you can't believe in life after death - when the generator is broken
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    consciousness is gone, but it's equally possible that the relationship,
Title:
Graham Hancock - The War on Consciousness BANNED TED TALK
Description:

Re-uploaded as TED have decided to censor Graham and remove this video from the TEDx youtube channel. Follow this link for TED's statement on the matter and Graham's response: http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/

Graham Hancock is the author of the major international bestsellers The Sign and The Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Heaven's Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. His public lectures, radio and TV appearances, including two major TV series for Channel 4 in the UK and The Learning Channel in the US - Quest For The Lost Civilisation and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age - have put his ideas before audiences of tens of millions. He has become recognised as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity's past.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Hancock's early years were spent in India, where his father worked as a surgeon. Later he went to school and university in the northern English city of Durham and graduated from Durham University in 1973 with First Class Honours in Sociology. He went on to pursue a career in quality journalism, writing for many of Britain's leading newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Guardian. He was co-editor of New Internationalist magazine from 1976-1979 and East Africa correspondent of The Economist from 1981-1983.

In the early 1980's Hancock's writing began to move consistently in the direction of books. His first book (Journey Through Pakistan, with photographers Mohamed Amin and Duncan Willetts) was published in 1981. It was followed by Under Ethiopian Skies (1983), co-authored with Richard Pankhurst and photographed by Duncan Willets , Ethiopia: The Challenge of Hunger (1984), and AIDS: The Deadly Epidemic (1986) co-authored with Enver Carim. In 1987 Hancock began work on his widely-acclaimed critique of foreign aid, Lords of Poverty, which was published in 1989. African Ark (with photographers Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith) was published in 1990.

Hancock's breakthrough to bestseller status came in 1992 with the publication of The Sign and The Seal, his epic investigation into the mystique and whereabouts today of the lost Ark of the Covenant. 'Hancock has invented a new genre,' commented The Guardian, 'an intellectual whodunit by a do-it-yourself sleuth.' Fingerprints of the Gods, published in 1995 confirmed Hancock's growing reputation. Described as 'one of the intellectual landmarks of the decade' by the Literary Review, this book has now sold more than three million copies and continues to be in demand all around the world. Subsequent works such as Keeper Of Genesis (The Message of the Sphinx in the US) with co-author Robert Bauval, and Heaven's Mirror, with photographer Santha Faiia, have also been Number 1 bestsellers, the latter accompanied by Hancock's three-part television series Quest For the Lost Civilisation.

In 2002 Hancock published Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age to great critical acclaim, and hosted the accompanying major TV series. This was the culmination of years of research and on-hand dives at ancient underwater ruins. Arguing that many of the clues to the origin of civilization lay underwater, on coastal regions once above water but flooded at the end of the last Ice age, Underworld offered tangible archaeological evidence that myths and legends of ancient floods were not to be dismissed out of hand.

Graham's next venture Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith, co-authored by Robert Bauval, was published in 2004. This work, a decade in preparation, returns to the themes last dealt with in Keeper Of Genesis, seeking further evidence for the continuation of a secret astronomical cult into modern times. It is a roller-coaster intellectual journey through the back streets and rat runs of history to uncover the traces in architecture and monuments of a secret religion that has shaped the world.

In 2005 Graham published Supernatural: Meetings with The Ancient Teachers of Mankind, an investigation of shamanism and the origins of religion. This controversial book suggests that experiences in altered states of consciousness have played a fundamental role in the evolution of human culture, and that other realities - indeed parallel worlds - surround us all the time but are not normally accessible to our senses.

http://www.grahamhancock.com

These videos are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, so they can be freely shared and reposted. (from http://www.ted.com/pages/about)

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
18:45

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