Paul Devereux - The Bushmen of the Kalahari
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
Paul Devereux – Sacred Places
Ecstatic experience was central to Bushman religious life and to this day the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari conduct trance dances in which healers go into altered mind states in order to …. conduct the business of shamanism generally. Lewis-Williams and Dawson identified characteristic elements in figurative panels of the rock art that suggested they were, in fact, visionary scenes as would have been observed by the shamans as healers themselves in their altered states of consciousness, rather than being everyday records.
The abstract non figurative patterns, they concluded, were derived from ‘form constants’ which are specific motifs such as spirals, concentric rings, zigzags, wavy lines, dots, grids and arabesques that appear in the visions of people undergoing trance.