The Cosmic Serpent DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
Author: Jeremy Narby
This book blew me away. All right, I know I have a tendency to get blown away, but still… The Cosmic Serpent, Narby suggests, is the seat of universal knowledge. No, really… bear with me!
Narby spent ten years researching DNA, the structure of life itself, and the intertwined snake symbology he found universally depicted (and - as you'll see - experienced) in the world's shamanistic traditions. His book is a fascinating depiction of a scientist prepared to commit professional suicide in the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, wherever it may lead him. And it leads him all over the place. Through his quest it gradually dawned on Narby that people with no instantly recognizable access to what we call 'science' might nevertheless have direct access to knowledge of the world and wider universe. Knowledge, he concludes, may be able to transmit itself though the 'twin serpents' or 'Cosmic Serpent which is also DNA' directly into human consciousness.
For a time he lives with Peruvian Indians and his account of his own experience of drug induced trance and an encounter with two giant talking snakes is spell binding. He later learns that this direct transaction with the twin snakes is a common experience, and that much of the knowledge of the chemistry of active herbal agents in the rainforests was purportedly gained through such trance experiences.
Narby says it would be impossible for indigenous peoples to have discovered all the medicinal properties of the hundreds of thousands of plants around them through trial and error, and that direct communication (through DNA knowledge - the 'Cosmic Serpent') actually seems more likely! Narby demonstrates that indigenous and ancient peoples have known, and even drawn, the double helix structure for millennia - though conventional science only uncovered it in 1953.
He believes that the twin snakes depicted in so many religions are actually the basis of all reality behind appearance and that under certain circumstances it may be possible to access the knowledge contained in the universe by direct communication with the source of life itself. From the snake in the Garden of Eden to the twin snakes of the cadacus and of Hinduism, snakes and dualism are all around us. The Cosmic Serpent has much to say about the possible nature of a universal knowledge, the limits of scientific rationalism and the importance of respecting and listening to the 'science' of so called 'primitive people'. It's also a great way of learning about DNA which seems to become more mysterious the more science learns about it.
Narby's use of plant hallucinogens was extremely restricted, so this is not just the ramblings of a druggy suffused with half baked 'hippy-ology' but the considered and researched product of a disciplined original thinker.
Don't believe or disbelieve it - but do think about it.
Review by Mark Tyrrell