Observations placeholder

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.

The source of the experience

African tribal

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Frenetic exercise


Listening to beating sounds