Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind: Descending Underground in the Search for Ultimate Truth

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Overview

Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind analyses techniques of searching for ultimate wisdom in ancient Greece. The Greeks perceived mental experiences of exceptional intensity as resulting from divine intervention. They believed that to share in the immortals' knowledge, one had to liberate the soul from the burden of the mortal body by attaining an altered state of consciousness, that is, by merging with a superhuman being or through possession by a deity. These states were often attained by inspired mediums, 'impresarios of the gods' - prophets, poets, and sages - who descended into caves or underground chambers. Yulia Ustinova juxtaposes ancient testimonies with the results of modern neuropsychological research. This novel approach enables an examination of religious phenomena not only from the outside, but also from the inside: it penetrates the consciousness of people who were engaged in the vision quest, and demonstrates that the darkness of the caves provided conditions vital for their activities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Her work is well researched and extremely valuable as a catalog of famous caves and their associated oracles or sages." —Classical World

"Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind is an interesting text that provides a fascinating perspective on caves.... it will appeal to readers interested in classical literature, shamanism, cave art, and the complex interaction of altered states of consciousness and the human mind."—NSS News

"Ustinova's systematic discussion of evidence on underground revelations in ancient Greek culture remains highly valuable."—Catalin Partenie, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199548569
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/15/2009
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Yulia Ustinova is Senior Lecturer, Department of General History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Cave Experiences and the Human Mind
2. Oracles and Caves
3. Seers and Poets
4. Sages and Philosophers
5. Near-Death Experiences: Real and Make-Believe
Conclusions
Retrospect

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

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