In 1984, Jeremy Narby travelled to the Amazon to study with the Ashanica. There, he met shamans who claimed they received their plant knowledge and healing power from drinking ayahuasca. This began an adventure that lasted over ten years and
culminated in Narby's groundbreaking book, The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, which revealed possible correlations between shamanic technologies, myth, and science. He has also authored the book Intelligence in Nature: An Inquiry into Knowledge and served as co-editor of Shamans Through Time: 500 Years on the Path to Knowledge with Francis Huxley.

I met up the visionary anthropologist just before he gave a talk with Alex Grey at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York City. In this interview, Narby discusses photon-capturing DNA, his first terrifying journey with "the spirit vine," the correlation between molecular biology and ayahuasca shamanism, and how modern-day humans could benefit from acknowledging their dark side.

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Filmed by Drew Meeks