fter fulfilling all the requisites to edit a paper on the topic, Jeremy Narby began his book.
He delved into writings about humanist anthropology and used the notes he had gathered during his life with the Ashaninkas.
He tried to visualize what he had gone through without making any value judgements. He gave himself to an exhaustive investigation of the topic during five months.
During a visit to some friends' house, they presented him a design made of many dots. Looking carefully at them, he saw clear images that were hidden amidst that apparent set of dots.
Each detail of his life was important in that moment to understand what he had gone through with the Ashaninkas.
He compared all this to his Ayahuasca-induced visions and interpreted that what he had seen with Ayahuasca had been what we have in front of us but which is not perceptible by our eyes at first glance.
Ayahuasca facilitates perception beyond the habitual state known to man.
In the same fashion, we can use our sight to identify an image within a set of dots.
It was more and more clear for Narby that native Amazon inhabitants accessed information about the properties of plants in their Ayahuasca-induced visions, and that information could be scientifically verified. There were too many coincidences.
The question he asked himself was: 'Did this information come from inside the human brain, as stated by science, or from the external world of plants, as the Indians claimed?'
Narby was totally convinced that everything he saw with Ayahuasca had not previously existed in his mind and that it was impossible that his mind had processed it.
Anthropologist Michael Harner, one of the first scholars that found a relation between Ayahuasca and DNA, narrated his experience with Ayahuasca in his writings, which I know quote:
"They first showed me planet Earth the way it was eons of time ago, before the presence of life. I saw an ocean, a sterile landscape and a deep blue sky. Then, black grains fell from the sky by the hundreds and landed in front of me on the arid land. I could see the "grains" were really big black and shiny creatures with wide pterodactyl wings and whale bodies (…) They explained to me, in a sort of mental language, that they were escaping from something in the Cosmos. They had come to planet Earth to escape from their enemies. Next, the creatures showed me how they had created life on Earth to hide in the midst of a multitude of forms and so dissimulate their presence. In front of my eyes, the magnificence of the creation of plants and animals and species differentiation - active for hundreds of millions of years - developed at a scale and with vigour impossible to describe. I realized that creatures similar to dragons thus resided inside all living beings, including man.
Retrospectively, we could say they were almost like DNA, except that at the time, in 1961, I did not know anything about the subject of DNA."
Narby perceives that the double helix of DNA was similar to two intertwined serpents. Delving into the subject, he quotes an article titled "Brain and Consciousness in Desana Shamanism" by Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatuff. Two pictures come with the text.
The first picture shows a Desana representation of the human brain with a serpent between the two hemispheres:
The second design shows the two brain hemispheres separated by two intertwined serpents
In Desana shamanism, these tow serpents symbolize a "female principle and a male principle", an image of father and mother, water and Earth.
The Desana say that in the beginning of times their ancestors had arrived in canoes shaped like enormous serpents.
Narby starts to find similarities between Hearne's account of his experience with the Conibo in the Peruvian jungle, and the one by Reichel-Domlatoff about his experience with the Desana in Colombia.
Both concurred with the representation of the human brain with reptiles separating the two hemispheres and ships shaped like cosmic serpents that bring life to Earth.
Narby continues with his search and reaches what he considers the most rigorous treatise on the subject:
Jean Pierre Chaumeil, in his book "Voir, Savoir, Pouvoir; le chamanisme chez les yagua du Nord-est péruvien.
He first discovers a "celestial serpent", a design by a Yagua shaman that represented the universe. He then indicates that, according to Chaumeil, the Yagua consider that all living beings have been created by two twin brothers who are the two most important characters in yagua cosmogonic thought.
After an infinity of doubts and despite the typical incredulity of his academic background, Narby decides to set his background aside and as he himself states it, with a playful spirit, he wrote the title "ADN - Serpents"
|Essay about the Book "The Cosmic Serpent"|
of Jeremy Narby by Patricia Burgos