Did psychedelics shape the human mind in the Stone Age?

You'd almost think that we are the odd ones out. That us trippers knowingly poison ourselves. That we put our well-being on the line just to see some colours. And casually take the risk of jumping out of a window. Is tripping really that pointless? Is it really against human nature?

Look beyond our Western culture and the 20th century: a different image will appear. These wondrous mushrooms and plants have been growing on this planet for quite a while. And everything indicates that the use of psychedelics has meant more to humanity than all the politicians that have kept them illegal.

Let’s look back about 50,000 years. The difference between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom is not nearly as big as it is now. No art, no religion, no use of symbolism, little creativity. That changed drastically: one of the great mysteries of our history.

British investigative journalist Graham Hancock loves a mystery. He delved into the subject and studied prehistoric cave paintings in Spain and South Africa, made at the time of the major change in our consciousness and capabilities.

He found a striking recurring theme: images of creatures with the body of a man and the head of an animal. In nature, our predecessors can’t have seen these creatures passing by. Where did the prehistoric painters get their inspiration?

Graham Hancock makes the link with the use of psychedelic drugs. No strange thought for those familiar with tripping. Hancock visited shamans in the Amazon, which make contact with similar hybrid creatures through the use of ayahuasca.

Did our ancestors in the Stone Age munch down mushrooms? Did their psychedelic experiences contribute to the prodigious leap in communicative and creative abilities? Graham Hancock presents his case in the book Supernatural.

Maybe it's no coincidence that tryptamines fit so well on the receptors in our brains? Perhaps the use of hallucinogens is an ancient and proven method to quickly develop new insights that help advance society?

As a teen I have used shrooms purely for fun (and fun was had). As an adult the mushroom surprised me with a huge mental breakthrough. If you ask me, I think Graham is getting close to the truth.

And, looking at the world around me, I say we could use another leap in human consciousness.



Written by: Steek