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Pablo Amaringo:

A special state of Consciousness

Graham Hancock

P ablo Amaringo was an artistic genius, but he was also so much more than that—a phe-

nomenon, a force of spirit and of nature, a seeker after mystery, and an inspiration to others. While I was researching my book, Supernatural:

Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, I came across a copy of Pablo’s book, Ayahuasca Visions, and was immediately—and forcefully—struck by the cor- respondences between his stunningly beautiful and

enigmatic paintings and the prehistoric rock and cave art of Europe, North America, and South Africa that was then the focus of my research. How could it be, I asked myself, that this Peruvian shaman living and working in the Amazon in the early twenty-first century could be portraying—admittedly in his own absolutely unique and special way—the same themes,

patterns, supernatural entities, and symbols that are so evident in, for example, the art of Chauvet Cave in France, dated to thirty-two thousand years ago, or the art of the San in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa, dated to eight thousand years ago? None of these artists, Pablo included, could pos- sibly have known each other or been comparing notes. Far from it—they were separated by thousands of years of time and thousands of miles of geography. And yet they all seemed to have tapped into the same myste- rious source of inspiration and been transported by it into the same strange and exciting “otherworlds.” I found the answer when I read the text of Ayahuasca Visions, written by the anthropologist Luis Eduardo Luna. The source of Pablo’s inspiration lay in expe- riences unleashed by drinking the powerful visionary

expe- riences unleashed by drinking the powerful visionary pablo in his art school with his paintings

pablo in his art school with his paintings and peter cloudsley

MeMorIes And LeGACy


brew known in the Amazon as ayahuasca—the “vine of souls” or the “vine of the dead.” Like all shamans everywhere, past and present, Pablo’s access to the spirit worlds depicted in his art was not attained in the “normal,” alert, problem-solving state of consciousness that we use to deal with day-to-day life in the physical realm, but in a deeply altered state of consciousness, a pellucid, trancelike, visionary state. In Pablo’s case that special state of consciousness was induced by the consumption of ayahuasca, and I soon discovered that the best archaeological work on prehistoric cave and rock art all around the world, from all periods of history and prehistory, had con- cluded that those ancient artists had been shamans also, and that their art also was an art of altered states of consciousness. Here, then, were the common factors underly- ing all the great visionary art of the world—altered states of consciousness, shamanism, and direct experi- ence of non-ordinary realms. From the moment this became clear to me, the direction of my own research also became clear. I determined that I must travel to the Amazon and experience ayahuasca myself. It was the beginning of a long journey, far longer, richer, and more creatively fulfilling than I could ever have imagined—a journey that still continues for me today. Without Pablo’s extraordinary, transformative art to guide me, I would have been lost and bewildered at first, but with it I was more quickly able to find my feet and sense of direction, and more confidently able to negotiate with and, above all, learn from the enti-

ties I encountered—entities from non-ordinary reali- ties, whom I truly believe are the ancient teachers of mankind. For those who have not yet had the experience of ayahuasca and the benefit of her love and guidance— for ayahuasca is a spirit, she is love, she is a teacher, and she is female—Pablo’s art can play a vital introductory role. He stands at the leading edge of a lineage stretch- ing back thousands of years to those shamans who took the first daring steps in the night of prehistory and who launched themselves on the great adventure that would make us truly human. Look on his art in wonder, remember its vener- able heritage, and learn the lessons it has to teach. It is truly a window on the unseen realities just beyond the reach of our everyday senses, which surround us all the time and are deeply and intimately connected to us and to everything we think and do.


GraHam HanCoCK is the author of the bestsellers The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis, Heaven’s Mirror, and Supernatural. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty-seven languages. His public lectures and broadcasts have further established his reputation as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity’s past. His first work of fiction, Entangled:

The Eater of Souls, is a fantasy-adventure novel that tells the story of a battle of good aganst evil played out against the frame of time. It was inspired by and features ayahuasca.

MeMorIes And LeGACy