Jeremy Narby
The Cosmic Serpent

I first encountered Jeremy Narby appearing in the Ayahuasca documentary Other Worlds by Jan Kounen. Since then his name keeps reappearing and everytime I follow the trace I deeply resonate with what I find. I really hope for a new generation of anthropologists of his kind.

I especially wanna introduce you to his book The Cosmic Serpent — DNA and the Origins of Knowledge from 1998, which I just started to read. The topic is absolutely fascinating: Peruvian shamans may be able to access information at the molecular level through the ingestion of Ayahuasca. For some such a claim might sound very far-fetched. But the archetype of the serpent is ever present in the Ayahuasca realm and to me all of this sounds almost obvious. I can totally imagine an experienced shaman retrieving information from DNA strands of a plant or a human being.

Here’s a longer article on the book.

The rational approach start from the idea that everything is explainable and that mystery is in some sense the enemy. This means that it prefers pejorative, and even wrong, answers to admitting its own lack of understanding.

Jeremy Narby



An interview with Jeremy Narby in five parts:
1 2 3 4 5