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The Divine Spark: A Graham Hancock Reader: Psychedelics, Consciousness, and the Birth of Civilization (2015) review


Graham Hancock has become an active proponent of the potentially beneficial effects of psychedelics with his works centred on the nature of consciousness, as well as the powerful role of psychedelics towards the attainment of enlightenment and an acceptance of divinity.
With his book The Divine Spark: A Graham Hancock Reader: Psychedelics, Consciousness, and the Birth of Civilization, Hancock proves that not only he has been a steadfast advocate of psychedelics with some of the most intuitive and provocative essays, but he seeks to challenge the status-quo while unravelling the remarkable potential that psychedelics offer.
“With his work, drug experience is a spiritual thing” and many other radically informative essays, Graham has been able to spearhead a campaign that promotes the awesomely supernatural of the psychedelic experience. The perspective of Graham delivers a pathway to an adventurous discovery of the world and self.
The book is actually a collection of very interesting stories / experiences from 22 writers, edited by Hancock.
Psychedelics like LSD for example affect the mind on ways that eliminate hindrances and inhibitors to creative processes, allowing the artist to create artistic impressions without the restrictive mindset that phobia, competitiveness, and doubt creates. LSD has the unique ability to stimulate receptors in the brain to such degree that the artist may begin to tap into parts of the subconscious that were formerly inaccessible to his creative eye thereby exhuming ideas, emotions, images and expressions of extraordinarily fascination.
In the pages of The Divine Spark the reader is able to find debates about the connections of psychedelic plants and substances to consciousness. The outer space, inner space, and also finds details on the personal psychedelic travels and the effects of Ayahuasca and LSD. 
Psychedelic drugs have been demonized by the media and consequently crucified by public opinion with overwhelming arguments against its potency with an exaggerated representation of its side effects. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of public consciousness towards the many benefits and therapeutic gains that psychedelic drugs possess.


Graham Hancock is a writer that focuses on unconventional theories about ancient civilisations and the altered state of consciousness. He is the author of quite a number of books such as Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, Lords of Poverty, (which earned an honourable mention for the H.L. Mencken Award for outstanding book of journalism in 1990), Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization, ...


The escalating interest for the importance of psychedelic drugs in recent years has been supported by commensurate scientific research in a bid to broaden the applicability of psychedelic drugs to a wider range of medical conditions. On the other hand, there is pervasive awareness amongst artists about the very many incredible psychological effects that psychedelic drugs have on the mind. Although it is politically correct to say that using psychedelic drugs for creative purposes would be illegal. It however, does not marginalise the very many inspirational effects it has on the mind with an incontrovertible potential to alter the mind in ways that can be dramatically enhance the minds of artists. 
The ways that psychedelics alter the mind break the constraint that is created by the way of thinking of the Western World, allowing the mind to feel see and hear things that were unavailable to the natural senses. They provide unequivocal perceptiveness and amplify creative juices in the most unrealistic way, giving artists a proper understanding of their psyche as well and an in-depth understanding of their environment with a radically original view on preexisting perceptions, practices and knowledge. Unarguably, the effect of psychedelics on the artist is breathtaking and transcends the physical, giving a vivid encounter with the spiritual coupled with an incomparable understanding of self and responsibility in the world.   
Most of Graham Hancock’s books are targeted towards demystifying the relationship between consciousness, psychedelics and progression of humanity. Hancock has been touring the world, reaching the global audience with appearances on controversial Tedx talk on ayahuasca and DMT. He promotes the view that psychedelic is a pathway to experience the supernatural. Other distinguished supporters of the psychedelic experience such as Dennis McKenna, Rick Doblin, and Rick Strassman continue to provide some of the most spectacular perspective on the subject.
In the collection The Divine Spark we can find a vivid portrayal of the psychonautic experiences. These experiences give an account of the mind transcending experience while providing humans with insight on how to hold on to reality while removing obstructions that prevent and limit our understanding of the multiverse.   
Hancock through his work has deconstructed the criminalization of the use of psychedelics, demystifying the erroneous views that has been perpetuated over the years while promoting the need to utilise psychedelics ability to alter consciousness through scientific inquiry in a conducive environment that would help bring about unprecedented innovations and insight. He suggests that the continuous refusal of the society to acknowledge the magical effects of psychedelics may have set humanity down the path that prevents the very evolution of our species.     


Let’s not forget other important books and publications such as Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson; The Psychedelic Reader by Leary, Metzner and Weil; Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise by Ronald Seigel; and Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge — A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by Terence McKenna. These books offer unequivocal support to authenticity of the potentials of psychedelics.


- Leo Hackmann
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