Aug 30, 2015

Graham Hancock on Dreams and Awakening

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Graham Hancock's agile and inquisitive mind is on full display here, demonstrating, once again, why his many books have inspired so much interest and controversy. This interview covers a lot of territory, focusing almost entirely on his more recent work and interests.

Hancock has spoken many times of the importance of states of consciousness other than the "alert, problem solving state." Here he talks about how hard it is for "dreamers" in western civilization. I can strongly relate to his stories of criticism by teachers for being a dreamer. My introduction to this academic assault on the imagination started in the first grade, when I was struck daily with a ruler for "daydreaming." Hancock refers to dreams of horn and dreams of ivory. This metaphor traces to book 19, lines 560-69, of the Odyssey, in which Penelope questions her dream of Odysseus's return.

Stranger, dreams verily are baffling and unclear of meaning, and in no wise do they find fulfillment in all things for men. For two are the gates of shadowy dreams, and one is fashioned of horn and one of ivory. Those dreams that pass through the gate of sawn ivory deceive men, bringing words that find no fulfillment. But those that come forth through the gate of polished horn bring true issues to pass, when any mortal sees them. But in my case it was not from thence, methinks, that my strange dream came.

The image is powerful. It suggests that all dreams are of the same substance, but that the false, illusory dream is cut off from its original state. The horn is a solid expression of a vortex. As I wrote here, the horn of plenty, cornucopia in Greek, is a symbol of manifestation into the material world. It seems to me that dreams of horn are soulful dreams, connected to our spiritual origin.

As Hancock also points out, to many shamanic cultures, modern civilization is in the trouble it's in because it's cut off from the spirit world. He goes into great depth here, on his own experiences with Ayahuasca and how it has informed his foray into fiction writing. In his two fiction series, he has been able to explore ideas about the relationship with the spirit world and how it may have impacted history and prehistory. In particular, he discusses his War God series with its dramatic depiction of dark spirits driving events in Mexico at the time Cort├ęs conquered the Aztec empire.

They also discuss transhumanism and how it has the potential to short-circuit our spiritual development. More on the dangers of transhumanism can be found here.

Magicians of the Gods, due out this fall, is discussed in depth. Hancock recounts some of the major discoveries that have occurred since the publication of his international bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods, which, as discussed, is one of my favorite books ever.

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