Graham Hancock

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Approaching Infinity wrote about it here and here. And there's a book review here. Oh, and there a Mind Matters radio show where it's discussed here.

I read it too. It was interesting, and much fits with the discussion on the forum. As for the writing itself, Hancock's writing is a bit long winded but it makes for easy speed reading.

I've also read it having first heard about it on Mind Matters, the guys did a really great job with the show and they've basically covered all the main points from the book. I haven't read other books by Hancock, but he hit the nail on the head with this one, IMO.
 

Cassandane

Padawan Learner
I used to gobble up Graham Hancock's books, but I've read so much further since then that this one seems a bit formulaic and somehow lacking in depth.

I started reading it around the same time as I started Mary Settegast's "When Zarathustra Spoke" and stopped to consider an idea that took hold of my mind and wouldn't let go. This idea was sparked by both Hancock's and Settegast's work as well as the novel "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn and ideas set forth in the works of Joseph P. Farrell.

A little bit of background: In "Ishmael", Quinn gives an interesting take on the Biblical story of Cain and Abel, where Cain, the farmer of grains, kills Abel, the pastoralist who keeps goats, etc. Quinn sees the brothers as representatives of two competing lifestyles at the dawn of the agricultural revolution. Joseph P. Farrell's work aggregates the works of others on history, science, politics and money and is pretty wide-ranging. He uses the vast amount of research he does to extrapolate and speculate about what might really be behind the curtain, so to speak. He thinks the inhabitants of Atlantis were actually planning to take over the world - and had done so to an enormous extent - when disaster struck and their city was sunk and much of the world destroyed. He thinks that what little evidence is available indicates their intentions were NOT benevolent.

So, if bits of the ideas of these four researchers have any bearing on truth, suppose Hancock's seven sages were actually from Atlantis and somehow did survive the destruction of the city. Suppose, at the end of the Younger Dryas after the comets, etc., struck, they did still have some of the technology that had existed and used it to travel the world and spread the knowledge that had existed prior to the cataclysm - knowledge that, if disseminated to the survivors, could enable a rebuilding of the Atlantean civilization.

If that is so, these seven sages appear to have jump-started civilization quite successfully. All over the world, the same ideas seem to have taken root: agriculture, power in the hands of the few, war, religion, money, propaganda, cities full of square buildings, love of material things beyond what is immediately needed for life. Archaeologists seem to be constantly amazed that these ideas appear to have arisen independently in so many places and sprung into being without any preamble. Now these ideas are so accepted as the natural way of human life that we never question why we need to accept them and live this way. They are also quite destructive and inhibiting.

Mary Settegast places Zarathustra much nearer the end of the Younger Dryas than other scholars, and her conclusion seems well-reasoned. She also describes his main message as being mostly about agriculture - possibly the root of the Biblical injunction to "subdue the Earth". Like Quinn, she hints at an interesting picture of what life was like during the transition from hunter-gatherer to a settled, agricultural lifestyle - apparently there was considerable cattle-rustling going on, maybe even enough to convince those who had settled down to go back to their old hunting ways. So, along comes Zarathustra with a message that sways people back to agriculture. He seems to have been wildly successful at convincing people to do what may or may not have been in their long term best interests. Who was he? Where did he get his ideas? He was apparently a priest, although Settegast suggests there may have been more than one "Zarathustra" that was head of a priestly order. Depending on how accurate our measurement of time really is, Zarathustra - or at least the original one - may have been a recipient of knowledge from one of the seven sages, who also apparently stressed agriculture.

I find the idea of a group of men jump-starting civilization after the last cataclysm fascinating, not least because with all the talk of disaster likely to overtake the human race that has been in the air during the last 70 or so years. If you look back at history, in some respects you can see a clear timeline of the development of concepts that are decidedly STS. Humans are relatively short-lived, so how have these ideas managed to maintain traction in the human mind without outside help? Ah, you say, it's human nature. I'm not so sure. I find it hard to believe that real human nature is like that. That's why I found Laura's disseminating of the concept of psychopathy so illuminating. Especially since it's fairly obvious that the knowledge-hoarders who intent to ride out the coming catastrophe are more likely than not to be psychopaths.

Anyway, I would love to know what your thoughts are on what I've written here.
 

Iain

Padawan Learner
I have read a few of his books; Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints and Magicians of the Gods, Supernatural and am nearing the end of America Before.

I do enjoy his writing style and he does put a lot of research and data into his ideas, plenty of references to check out and other authors. At first I had the impression of someone with a very open mind on the subject of an advanced ancient civilisation, but this seems to have waned a bit over time.

As expressed by many here it feels like after Supernatural he became quite focused on the Ayahuasca side of things and hallucinogens in general. As he writes, he very often only mentions other means to to have spirit journeys or to contact 'the spirit world' in passing and then goes straight back to Ayahuasca. Once again this comes up about half way through America Before which I was not expecting, given that most of the book is dedicated to archaeological work and geometry. Of course to him the geometry of many sacred sites seems inextricably linked to drug use...

On the subject of him revising his claimed dates for the pyramids, I'm not sure he has changed his position too much there. For whatever reason, his older dates for the pyramids seem to now refer to previous structures that began the pyramid building project as well as some of the passages below the pyramids themselves. When he and Randal Carlson appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast, they did not seem to change their dating at all.

I do get the impression at points in America Before that the conventional dates for the pyramids suit his dating of various sites in the US more than his previously theorised dates, providing the link between Egyptian and Native American culture.

As I say, not quite finished reading it yet, but there is a feeling of dates being moved around to suit a narrative. I certainly agree with him about an ancient, advanced civilisation – there is more than enough evidence around for that – just perhaps not the narrative spin he currently has on it.
 
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