Delusional madness or just befouled thinking (about UFOs and everything else)?
I have two books on Paleolithic art, both from The University of Chicago but each with its own interpretation of the motivation or causa existentia of cave art.
What Is Paleolithic Art?: Cave Paintings and the Dawn of Human Creativity by Jean Clottes proposes that such art is shamanistic in origin and motivation.
The Nature of Paleolithic Art by R. Dale Guthrie says this:
“Contrary to popular literature, many Paleolithic works do not seem to bear any obvious imprint of ritual and magic but, rather, express more casual and earthy themes
The majority were done quickly and are contingent and undisciplined, with overlapping, incomplete, and often askew imagery. I found details in which I was originally interested coalescing into unanticipated patterns. There are many unskilled Paleolithic drawings that are rarely reproduced in art books. Forensic work with fossil handprints of the artists greatly changed the way I looked at this art: I found that all ages and both sexes were making art, not just senior male shamans.
My main conclusion is that preserved Paleolithic art, unlike most ‘tribal art,’ is a graphic expression whose articulation we can largely comprehend, and that the perspective of natural history offers an essential dimension to that appreciation; it is the ‘code-breaker.’”
John Clottes is a highly respected prehistorian, now retired but still an advisor to various agencies (in France and elsewhere) involved with the preservation of cave art.
R. Dale Guthrie is a natural historian and paleobiologist. He is also a professor emeritus at the Institute of Arctic Biology at UAF.
I’ll have more, upcoming, about both books and their assessment of Paleolithic art, along with other treatises on cave art in general, as many ufologists and proponents, especially alien astronaut buffs see UFOs and space beings in cave art (as noted in a recent posting here).
But for now, I’m addressing the opposing views of two prominent men in their fields who differ as to an explanation for cave art and its practitioners.
I lean toward Guthrie as I find the shaman explanation wanting.
How did certain persons in primitive tribes become shamans? Who determined their qualities and purpose(s)?
(This is akin to the query “How did men become kings, often with an imprimatur from God or some divine entity or alleged divine counsel”)
Is the shamanistic explanation for cave art delusional or befouled thinking? Not in the cases noted here.
But it is a view held by many academics (including some friends of mine) who think there is shaman magic all over the place, in prehistory and more recently and extant among native Americans, aboriginal tribes of Australia, Maori tribes on New Zealand, Inuit and various African and Indo-Asian cultures.
These same academics think hallucinogenic drugs or natural hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, mescaline, et cetera) enhance access to mysteries hidden from common consciousness.
Many believers in the extraterrestrial visitation by UFOs (the ETH), while not attuned to hallucinogens, are just as delusional or wrong-thinking as LSD-prone academics.
What causes such errant thinking?
It’s, I contend, a kind of madness – a topic I will further elaborate upon with excerpts from Foucault and Andrew Scull’s book Madness in Civilization…
One can’t be precisely psychoanalytic about goofy-thinking by UFO buffs but one can intuit psychotic-prone inclination(s) from internet commentary and “avatar” name use.
The UFO enigma is not going to be solved any time soon – it’s an inherent mystery of all-time(s) it seems.
But rational thinking about UFOs is so absent from the ufological dialogue that the phenomenon (or phenomena) is saddled with, not only it’s inherent puzzle, but the corrupt, banal, and simplistic attempts at solving the conundrum by asinine UFO aficionados (not those who comment or read here, by the way).
More to come…..(I regret to inform you).