Graham Hancock weaves fascinating theories with facts in Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind.
The author shares with the reader his exploration of caves and other sacred places around the world. He then describes his personal experience with several different drugs that he used to experience the 'other world'. In many cases he attended ceremonies with natives of various tribes and religions. He saw strange geometric shapes, caves, animals, and the many unfamiliar things. Only later, he says, did he research to find that his experience match that of many others.
Hancock discovers that there are many similarities between what people experience when taking various drugs, dancing, and other forms of ecstasy all around the world. Despite the cultural differences many people seem to see the same things he did.
What do aliens, other world spirits, and fairies have in common? All three of these are often described as beings of light or being a combination of various animals. Abductees experiences getting pierced by needles, while those in a more tribal setting experience being pierced by spears. Abductees of both aliens and fairies often describe being forced into taking care of strange babies. There are many more similarities between them.
What do these symbols mean? People experience these things with different symbolism, but the overarching experience is the same. Some scientists speculate that perhaps the spirals people see during their journey represent DNA. Perhaps all of the information is there if we could just access it.
Those who have studied religion and spirituality already know that there are common factors between most systems. Even Christianity, when it first started out, had a shamanic tone to it with the healings and miracles that Jesus performed. These stories can be found all around the world. Are all of these things just coincidence or do they mean something more?
While Hancock's writing overall suggests that the similarities between all of these things must point to one thing, he still points out differences between the many experiences. For me, the book didn't present much new material, I read a lot of this type of book, but it did present new theories to ponder. The curious will find this an captivating read.
Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer by John C. Lilly
The Myth of Eternal Return - Mircea Eliade
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Ancient Aliens - History Channel
Taboo - National Geographic