FREE DOWNLOAD ☆ The Mind in the Cave Consciousness and the Origins of Art

David Lewis-Williams ☆ 0 FREE DOWNLOAD

FREE DOWNLOAD ☆ The Mind in the Cave Consciousness and the Origins of Art Ä Emerging from the narrow underground passages into the chambers of caves such as Lascaux Chauvet and Altamira visitors are confronted with symbols patterns and depictions of bison woolly mammoths ibexes and other animalsSince its dIon for this lies in the evolution of the human mind Cro Magnons unlike the Neanderthals possessed a advanced neurological makeup that enabled them to experience shamanistic trances and vivid mental imagery It became important for people to fix or paint these images on cave walls which they perceived as the membrane between their world and the spirit world from which the visions came Over time new social distinctions developed as indi. It may seem odd to give this book only four stars and yet give the older Bahn book on Ice Age art five see but there is a reasonThere is absolutely no doubt of the value of Lewis Williams attempt to create a theory of cave art nor the insights that he provides into consciousness studies and what such studies may be able to tell us about the motivations and culture of palaeolithic homo sapiensThe doubt derives from the same scepticism about what we can ever actually know that we recorded in our review of the earlier work The data is too spread out over too great a length of time and is too represented by what can survive materially to allow any strong claims of knowledgeAll theory in this area tends to tell us about our preoccupations than those of pre historic man and woman although one must concede that each intervention by the Academy does add something a new angle to compare with the angles shown to us in the pastBut caution is inevitable much as one should be deeply cautious about constructing theories of rampant matriarchalism from fat little stone ladies when textiles wood carvings and body decoration have long since decayed let alone social structures and micro environmentsYes there are limitations on what might have been thought which arise from simple ecological truths and which do permit some analogy from current indigenous activity but modern indigenes are not ancient peoples – though to be fair Lewis Williams does put in his own caveats hereBut the real warning signs that we may be jumping too far ahead in our thought processes lies in the closing words of the book The author uotes Julian Jaynes in his claim that we see a break in consciousness in the break between the Iliad and the Odyssey in order to make his own claim Oh dear What is it with academics who take textual history as human history Forget Jaynes Lewis Williams dumps text but replaces it with art eually unwarrantably There is no evidence of actual brain structures changing very much in thousands of years for the simple reason that brain structure is an evolved function and evolution is a slow and wasteful processIndeed Lewis Williams’ core argument depends on comparative consciousness studies that assume such long range structural similarities for them to make any sense and yet here we have appeal to the sort of radical view of consciousness change that appeals to New AgersNeanderthals and Homo Sapiens will have had very different modes of consciousness because of their different speciation meaning different brain structures but we see no necessity for the nature of the sapient form to provide than the fact of art rather than its precise formsThis does not diminish the thesis that rock art forms have some derivation from altered states and that possibly which I find plausible 'artists' and shamans could manipulate social conditions to their own benefit Both those propositions are highly plausibleI have no doubt that homo sapiens has heard ‘inner voices’ in the palaeolithic age but we are eually certain that those ‘inner voices’ are not of one kind that morphs into another kind over time but were as variant then amongst individuals as they are nowThe artistic impulse may just as likely then as now be much complex in its relationship to so called spiritual magical and community impulses than we like to think Lewis Williams’ theorizing seems plausible but I repeat we should not be seduced into believing we knowWhat we have to be careful of is assuming that the rock art we see and the social change being postulated is uite so neatly connected as the theory suggests The truth – we do not cannot and never will know In some cases they may be and in others not Grand narratives are presumptuousNevertheless though perhaps a trifle intellectually confused at the end simply pushing Jaynes back a few thousand years with no sounder evidence than Jaynes has for the claims he makes this book is still highly recommended It is full of scholarly and intelligent material on a number of related issues – Western European cave art itself consciousness studies the history of archaeology and the rock art of Africa and the Americas There is easily enough evidence to come to an independent view of one’s own

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Viduals exploited their hallucinations for personal advancement and the first truly modern society emergedIlluminating glimpses into the ancient mind are skillfully interwoven here with the still evolving story of modern day cave discoveries and research The Mind in the Cave is a superb piece of detective work casting light on the darkest mysteries of our earliest ancestors while strengthening our wonder at their aesthetic achievement. 4 stars from a layperson and let me preface this review with that although I'm certainly left feeling that I have a lifetime's worth of knowledge about art and it's place in our culture when compared to the author's understanding to be honest The book is brilliant and thorough as one can be regarding the fragments left from a civilization gone now for ten thousand years it certainly filled in many gaps of understanding as my mild interest in the prehistoric world over the years has turned to obsession Several points where I doubted the book interestingly enough are often pointed out by Lewis Williams Specifically I find it hard to accept that he could preface his thoughts on the full spectrum of consciousness by stating why 'altered states of consciousness' is a poor phrase then go on to use the phrase for the entire book eventually falling into the trap of poorly stereotyping non rational thought that he himself had pointed out earlier Similarly the author does a great job of pointing out present bias as he gives a history of anthropological thought regarding the caves which almost seemsor may have actually been a warning regarding his own present bias I feel that there were many times where Lewis Williams fills in the cracks of knowledge with loaded words when trying to get into the mind of the shamans themselves The oversimplification of the differences in neanderthal and modern human consciousness seemed off though to be fair I don't know if we could ever understand the differences between our brains and theirs and my opinions could be colored by advances in neanderthal understanding that the book precededThe final chapter is where this book went from 5 stars to 4 Honestly after reading a book filled with this much wonder to have the writer trivialize complex cultural conscious phenomena as being nothing but neurobiological processes it makes me think that he has no idea what a shamanor 'art' which he seems to like to put in uotations for some reason actually is or does Hopefully as the years go on this great work will be added to by research from a wider cultural backgroundThe most frustrating thing to me about this book other than the last chapter is that 12 years on I would love to get an update on his ideas considering that the past 12 years have seen a considerable amount of prehistoric progress and discovery not even including most recently the debate on neanderthal burials seemingly closed as well as analysis of neanderthal DNA However nothing seems to be available on the internet regarding any edits or changes to the book or even an author's website which might have answered my uestionsI should also add that there is probably a little bit of jealousy in my review as I will never be able to get over the fact that guys like David have been able to actually stand in these caves while I will never be able to It sucksOverall I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject David Lewis Williams does a masterful job of laying out not only the history of modern thought on the subject but specific case studies of cultures that may have lived similarly from opposite ends of the world It's the type of shit that will always inspire me to make art

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The Mind in the Cave Consciousness and the Origins of ArtEmerging from the narrow underground passages into the chambers of caves such as Lascaux Chauvet and Altamira visitors are confronted with symbols patterns and depictions of bison woolly mammoths ibexes and other animalsSince its discovery cave art has provoked great curiosity about why it appeared when and where it did how it was made and what it meant to the communities that created it David Lewis Williams proposes that the explanat. I'm pretty sure I would have been the person in the deepest cave drawing cats