(Amazon) 2011
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Shaman, Creation and the Rise of Self Expression

Self expression through symbols and using graphics to interpret personal experience and understanding is unique to Homo Sapien Sapien.

How and why our species acquired and developed this trait is interesting but how the manner with which we express ourselves is inextricably connected to our beliefs is even more interesting. How we respresent the world through images, graphic, written and verbal, reveals what we really believe.

The following is a scenario and possible explanation for how self expression emerged in Homo Sapien Sapien society and evolved into an essential tool and integral part of human society.


A family huddle at the mouth of the cave, looking in. The noise is terrifying.

They know it is huge cave bear. They are afraid but they are desperate for shelter. The cave bear stands between the family and survival. They have nowhere else to go. They have no choice. They battle the cave bear, kill him and occupy the cave.

They eat the bear and place the skull on a prominent rock in the middle of the cave.

What led them to believe they could succeed in this dangerous strategy. Previous experience communicated through verbal storytelling reinforced their belief they could succeed. It was vital to their success. But storytelling is always more compelling when illustrated. Illustrations endure where words fade and change.

Shaman paint pictures of the bear on the cave wall and create the songs that celebrate the conquest so that the family and their descendents are reminded that the bear can be killed and that they can do it again. This is particularly useful when life expectancy is short and stories and legends must survive longer than the heroes they tell of.

Shaman improve their creations and teach others to create in order to demonstrate their superiority over other people, their own, and rivals. Higher societies produce better art.

Shaman are explorers. They enter dark places others will not go, caves, isolation chambers, inducing the sensory deprivation that leads them to hallucinations and enlightened understandings.

They use mathematics, words, symbols, images and sculptures to describe what they see and what they understand from what they see.

They describe what they do, in the way they do, because they have seen things and understood things that the uninitiated have not seen.

Euclid, Aristotle, Michaelangelo, Galileo, Da Vinci,Shakespeare, Copernicus, Mozart, Newton, Bach, Picasso, Einstein, the cave painters, Shaman all.

The cave wall is a membrane that separates the spirit world from the physical world. On it, pictures are jumbled and superimposed one upon the other, animal bones and teeth forced into fissures and cracks in the rock, hand prints and fingers imprinted into soft clay as well as bulges in the cave wall incorporated into shape of the animal representation. The painters are creating a bridge between worlds of understanding and continue to do so to this very moment.


(Amazon) 2012
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