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Much Ado About Nothing (and Everything),
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Before stating my strong criticisms of Jeremy Narby's book, I would like to salute him for his original intentions of preserving indiginous habitat, his courage, and his enthusiasm.
Dr Narby developed a theory that Ayahuasqueros were actually seeing DNA in their hallucinations, DNA emits electromagnetic radiation in the visual spectrum, and that life on earth is of extraterestial origin. The latter two parts of the theory are poorly documented and don't generally follow the sequence of his arguement. The former (DNA visions) could have been stated in a 2-3 page essay. Also Dr Narby seems to have started with his theroy and then sought corroboration within the world of science; thereby superficially skimming relavant data and ignoring all the rest. For example his exploration of the tree of life, the axis mundi, and the snake/dragon images ignores the world of analytical psychiatry, the collective unconscious, and the multifaceted cross cultural mythological scholarship such as in the work of Joseph Campbell (only briefly alluded to in the text). Also, I believe that Dr. Narby underestimates the power of set and setting in the type of drug/plant experience derived.
My major disatisfaction with the text is that the "science" supporting his arguements is sort of tripped over in Dr. Narby's explorations, and not soundly appreciated as a foundation of serious inquirey. His sources for many important insights can be a conversation with a friend who happens to have a credential, or lesser known and obscure references.
Not enough time is spent on the Ayahuasca side of the equation, and the nature of this experience.
The biochemistry of serotonin like agents, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and neurotransmitors is poorly developed (with several errors).
Somewhat paradoxically I cannot say that Dr. Narby is not close to some aspects of potential biological truth. DNA and the Soma appear to have a relationship that is currently unexplored, and the world of mystery has been all too much supressed by the power of reason.
Finally, I would like to point out that the concept of DNA is itself a metaphor, and it is the metaphor of ayahuasca that meets the metaphor of DNA; not science versus the sublime.
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