Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit

Author: David S. Whitley
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615920560
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The magnificent prehistoric art discovered in caves throughout France and Spain raises many questions about early human culture. What do these superbly rendered paintings of horses, bison, and enigmatic human figures and symbols mean? How can we explain the sudden flourishing of artistic creativity at such a high level? And in what ways does this artwork reflect the underlying belief system, worldview, and life of the people who created it? In this fascinating discussion of ancient art and religion, Dr David S Whitley -- one of the world's leading experts on cave paintings--guides the reader in an exploration of these intriguing questions, while sharing his firsthand experiences in visiting these exquisite, breath-taking sites. To grasp what drove these ancient artists to create these masterpieces, and to understand the origin of myth and religion, as Whitley explains, is to appreciate what makes us human. Moreover, he broadens our understanding of the genesis of creativity and myth by proposing a radically new and original theory that weds two seemingly warring camps from separate disciplines. On the one hand, archaeologists specialising in prehistoric cave paintings have argued that the visionary rituals of shamans led to the creation of this expressive art. They consider shamanism to be the earliest known form of religion. By contrast, evolutionary psychologists view the emergence of religious beliefs as a normal expression of the human mind. In their eyes, the wild and ecstatic trances of shamans were a form of aberrant behaviour. Far from being typical representatives of ancient religion, shamans were exceptions to the normal rule of early religion. Whitley resolves the controversy by interweaving the archaeological evidence with the latest findings of cutting-edge neuroscience. He thereby rewrites our understanding of shamanism and its connection with artistic creativity, myth, and religion. Combining a colourful narrative describing Whitley's personal explorations at key archaeological sites with robust scientific research, Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit makes for engrossing reading. It provides a profound and poignant perspective on what it means to be human.

What Is Paleolithic Art

Author: Jean Clottes
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022618806X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Was it a trick of the light that drew our Stone Age ancestors into caves to paint in charcoal and red hematite, to watch the heads of lions, likenesses of bison, horses, and aurochs in the reliefs of the walls, as they flickered by firelight? Or was it something deeper—a creative impulse, a spiritual dawn, a shamanistic conception of the world efflorescing in the dark, dank spaces beneath the surface of the earth where the spirits were literally at hand? In this book, Jean Clottes, one of the most renowned figures in the study of cave paintings, pursues an answer to this “why” of Paleolithic art. While other books focus on particular sites and surveys, Clottes’s work is a contemplative journey across the world, a personal reflection on how we have viewed these paintings in the past, what we learn from looking at them across geographies, and what these paintings may have meant—what function they may have served—for their artists. Steeped in Clottes’s shamanistic theories of cave painting, What Is Paleolithic Art? travels from well-known Ice Age sites like Chauvet, Altamira, and Lascaux to visits with contemporary aboriginal artists, evoking a continuum between the cave paintings of our prehistoric past and the living rock art of today. Clottes’s work lifts us from the darkness of our Paleolithic origins to reveal, by firelight, how we think, why we create, why we believe, and who we are.

A Guide to Rock Art Sites

Author: David S. Whitley
Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing
ISBN: 9780878423323
Format: PDF
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This unique full-color field guide is essential for anyone who seeks to understand why shamans in the Far West created rock art and what they sought to depict. Whitley is on the cutting edge of dating and interpreting the images as well as describing the

The Power of the Herd

Author: Linda Kohanov
Publisher: New World Library
ISBN: 1608683729
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Linda Kohanov is beloved for her groundbreaking articulation of “the way of the horse,” an experiential wisdom known to riders for centuries but little studied or adapted to off-horse use. Now Kohanov takes those horse-inspired insights on the nonverbal elements of exceptional communication and leadership into the realms of our workplaces and relationships. Here we explore the benefits of “nonpredatory power” in developing assertiveness, fostering creativity, dealing with conflict, and heightening mind-body awareness. In “A Brief History of Power,” the first part of this far-reaching book, Kohanov profiles cultural innovators who employed extraordinary nonverbal leadership skills to change history, usually on horseback: Winston Churchill, George Washington, Alexander the Great, and Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), among others. She also draws on the behavior of mature horse herds, as well as the herding cultures of Africa and Mongolia, to debunk theories of dominance hierarchies, challenge ingrained notions of “survival of the fittest,” and demonstrate the power of a consensual leadership in which governing roles are fluid. Kohanov then adapts these lessons into twelve powerful guiding principles we can all incorporate into our work and personal lives. Eloquent and provocative, this is horse sense for everyone who seeks to thrive in the herds we all run in — our communities, careers, families, and friendships.

Shamanism

Author: Michael Winkelman
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 031338181X
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book examines shamanism from evolutionary and biological perspectives to identify the origins of shamanic healing in rituals that enhance individual and group function. * Written by an internationally recognized scholar on shamanism * Illustrates evidence of ancient shamanic practices * A bibliography provides current and historical sources on shamanism

Evolving Brains Emerging Gods

Author: E. Fuller Torrey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231544863
Format: PDF, ePub
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Religions and mythologies from around the world teach that God or gods created humans. Atheist, humanist, and materialist critics, meanwhile, have attempted to turn theology on its head, claiming that religion is a human invention. In this book, E. Fuller Torrey draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to propose a startling answer to the ultimate question. Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods locates the origin of gods within the human brain, arguing that religious belief is a by-product of evolution. Based on an idea originally proposed by Charles Darwin, Torrey marshals evidence that the emergence of gods was an incidental consequence of several evolutionary factors. Using data ranging from ancient skulls and artifacts to brain imaging, primatology, and child development studies, this book traces how new cognitive abilities gave rise to new behaviors. For instance, autobiographical memory, the ability to project ourselves backward and forward in time, gave Homo sapiens a competitive advantage. However, it also led to comprehension of mortality, spurring belief in an alternative to death. Torrey details the neurobiological sequence that explains why the gods appeared when they did, connecting archaeological findings including clothing, art, farming, and urbanization to cognitive developments. This book does not dismiss belief but rather presents religious belief as an inevitable outcome of brain evolution. Providing clear and accessible explanations of evolutionary neuroscience, Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods will shed new light on the mechanics of our deepest mysteries.

The Mind in the Cave

Author: J. David Lewis-Williams
Publisher: C. HURST & CO. PUBLISHERS
ISBN: 9780500051177
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The breathtakingly beautiful art created deep inside the caves of western Europe has the power to dazzle even the most jaded observers.

How Art Made the World

Author: Nigel Spivey
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786722134
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the late nineteenth century, the first discoveries of prehistoric painting were greeted with incredulity. How could there have been such deft and skillful artists in the world over 30,000 years ago? Noted art historian Nigel Spivey begins with this puzzle to explore the record of humanity's artistic endeavors and their impact on our own development. Embarking with the motto, “Everyone is an artist,” Spivey takes us on a quest to find out when and how we humans began to explore the deepest questions of life, using visual artforms. With the help of vivid color illustrations of some of the world's most moving and enduring works of art, Spivey shows how that art has been used as a means of mass persuasion, essential to the creation of hierarchical societies, and finally, the extent to which art has served as a mode of terror management in the face of our inevitable death. Packed with new insights into ancient wonders and fascinating stories from all around the globe, How Art Made the World is a compelling account of how humans made art and how art makes us human.

China Lake

Author: Barret Baumgart
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609384709
Format: PDF, Docs
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Barret Baumgart’s literary debut presents a haunting and deeply personal portrait of civilization poised at the precipice, a picture of humanity caught between its deepest past and darkest future. In the fall of 2013, during the height of California’s historic drought, Baumgart toured the remote military base, NAWS China Lake, near Death Valley, California. His mother, the survivor of a recent stroke, decided to come along for the ride. She hoped the alleged healing power of the base’s ancient Native American hot springs might cure her crippling headaches. Baumgart sought to debunk claims that the military was spraying the atmosphere with toxic chemicals to control the weather. What follows is a discovery that threatens to sever not only the bonds between mother and son but between planet Earth and life itself. Stalking the fringes of Internet conspiracy, speculative science, and contemporary archaeology, Baumgart weaves memoir, military history, and investigative journalism in a dizzying journey that carries him from the cornfields of Iowa to drought-riddled California, from the Vietnam jungle to the caves of prehistoric Europe and eventually the walls of the US Capitol, the sparkling white hallways of the Pentagon, and straight into the contradicted heart of a worldwide climate emergency.

Machine Dreaming and Consciousness

Author: J. F. Pagel
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128037423
Format: PDF, Docs
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Machine Dreaming and Consciousness is the first book to discuss the questions raised by the advent of machine dreaming. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems meeting criteria of primary and self-reflexive consciousness are often utilized to extend the human interface, creating waking experiences that resemble the human dream. Surprisingly, AI systems also easily meet all human-based operational criteria for dreaming. These “dreams are far different from anthropomorphic dreaming, including such processes as fuzzy logic, liquid illogic, and integration instability, all processes that may be necessary in both biologic and artificial systems to extend creative capacity. Today, multi-linear AI systems are being built to resemble the structural framework of the human central nervous system. The creation of the biologic framework of dreaming (emotions, associative memories, and visual imagery) is well within our technical capacity. AI dreams potentially portend the further development of consciousness in these systems. This focus on AI dreaming raises even larger questions. In many ways, dreaming defines our humanity. What is humanly special about the states of dreaming? And what are we losing when we limit our focus to its technical and biologic structure, and extend the capacity for dreaming into our artificial creations? Machine Dreaming and Consciousness provides thorough discussion of these issues for neuroscientists and other researchers investigating consciousness and cognition. Addresses the function and role of dream-like processing in AI systems Describes the functions of dreaming in the creative process of both humans and machines Presents an alternative approach to the philosophy of machine consciousness Provides thorough discussion of machine dreaming and consciousness for neuroscientists and other researchers investigating consciousness and cognition