Observations placeholder

David Lewis-Williams on tunnels

Identifier

004350

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

These two scientists did research comparing the effects of drugs and the cave paintings and other imagery found in neolithic societies

 

 

A description of the experience

Inside the Neolithic Mind – David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce

As subjects move towards stage 3, a more profoundly altered state of consciousness, they often experience a vortex or tunnel at the end of which is bright light.  On the internal surface of the vortex there is sometimes a grid, in the compartments of which appear the first iconic images of people, animals, monsters and so forth

David Lewis-Williams – The Mind in the Cave

At  this  point many experience a swirling vortex or rotating tunnel that seems to surround them and to draw them into its depths.  There is a progressive exclusion of information from the outside; the subject is becoming more and more autistic.  The sides of the vortex are marked by a lattice of squares like television screens.  The images on these screens are the first spontaneously produced iconic hallucinations; they eventually overlie the vortex, as entopic phenomenon give way to iconic hallucinations.  The tunnel hallucination is also associated with near death experiences

Westerners use culture specific words like funnels, alleys, cones, vessels, pits and corridors to describe the vortex.  In other cultures it is often experienced as entering a hole in the ground.  Shamans typically speak of reaching  the spirit world via such a hole.  The Inuit of Hudson bay, for instance, describe a ‘road down through the earth’. They also speak  of a shaman passing through the sea. The Algonkians of Canada travel through layers of the earth '‘ hole leading into the bowels of the earth is the pathway of the spirits'

The source of the experience

Scientist other

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Tunnel

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Taking drugs

Commonsteps

References