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David Lewis-Williams - the Xam and the Unmoving mover

Identifier

019764

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

David Lewis-Williams – The Mind in the Cave

Construal of an entopic form as an object, is of particular interest among the paintings, for it shows how San shamans grappled with and made sense of neurological universals…….  On the left are three variations of the navicular [boat shaped] entoptic phenomenon sometimes known as the fortification illusion; its form has been established by laboratory research.  This is the scotoma frequently experienced by migraine sufferers.  In its more elaborate form, this precept comprises two elements; an outer arc characterised by iridescent flickering bars of light or zigzags, and within the arc, a lunate of invisibility -  a black hole that obliterates veridical imagery.

The next painting takes us even further into the spiritual experiences of the San and shows another way of construing the navicuar entoptic phenomenon.  We now need to distinguish more clearly between the flickering outer arc and the inner area of invisibility of the navicular entoptic phenomenon. Here we see how some shaman artists construed the outer arc; arranged clockwise around the arc are six antelope heads facing the viewer, the profiles of two eland and 12 antelope legs.  Within the curve are the extremely faded remains of some earlier, now indecipherable, images and a cloud of white dots

The source of the experience

African tribal

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Activity not known

Commonsteps

References