22.04.2014 Consciousness

Stirring Consciousness

Visionary or revolutionary? Bestselling author Graham Hancock has enthralled millions with his unconventional theories on ancient civilisations and states of consciousness. He speaks with Jeremy Ball.

I recently interviewed Graham Hancock for his upcoming "Magicians of the Gods" Australia speaking tour. Many of you will know Graham through his impeccably researched and inspired visionary work Fingerprints of the Gods. Published in 1995, it has sold more than five million copies worldwide and was the first book to convincingly explain the existence of past great civilisations in the world, taking the subject out of the topic of myths and legends and into clearly documented scientific fact.

My conversation with Graham was a delight; through it I came to know him as an incredibly intelligent, wise and insightful man. He impressed me as very genuine in his passion to uncover truth, not for his own personal gain but for the enlightenment and liberation of humanity. In fact, I found his humility a teaching in itself.

Graham was born in Edinburgh to devout Protestant parents. His father, a surgeon, elected to take the family to India to work as a medical missionary so Graham spent the most formative part of his life, from four to eight years of age, in the magical and mystical theatre of India.

"India was just a total immersion experience for me as a child from four to eight," says Graham. "Looking back on it in retrospect as an adult, taking account of the immersion in another culture I had at that age, it put me on the path I ended up on. I wouldn't say it was a spiritual path. It was a path that wanted to travel to experience the world, that I was not comfortable in a narrow British environment."

The cocktail of India obviously fired the restive mind of the young Graham to look beyond the familiar. But this was not a spiritual revelation; in fact as much in rebellion against his parents, he was an atheist for most of his life and in the true sense remains so now.

"Being a rebellious sort of fellow I completely rejected it (Christianity) from a very early age. I regarded myself as an absolute atheist from a teenager. Atheist means a disbelief in God, so within a strict definition of terms I would say I remain atheist. I don't believe in God. I am totally open to spiritual realms without buying into one monotheistic religion."

Despite the rejection of his father's religious practice, I got the clear sense that many of his father's values and ideals formed the crucible of Graham's mind. His father turned down the trappings of prestige that automatically come with being a surgeon in British society. Instead, he took his family to India to offer up his skills to those in need for far less material reward, an altruistic act.

Similarly, Graham has dedicated his life to pursuing something of higher substance and lasting merit for society, his scalpel being his incredible intellect and his patient the collective human psyche. His intention has been to liberate us from the cancer of untruth and dogma, and offer us the opportunity to regain our own sovereignty.

While Graham's family returned to Britain in time for him to undertake the major part of his education, he found himself always separate from the in crowd, questioning society's rules and processes; he developed quite a rebellious nature. After attending university in the north of England, the travel bug caught in his younger years in India kicked in.

But he didn't travel as a Westerner abroad; rather, he completely submerged himself in the societies he visited. At 25, he lived in Somalia for a year, staying exclusively among Somali people and eventually marrying a Somali woman. He was seeing life through the eyes of the African people rather than those of a tourist.

Says Graham, "I think the constant factor in my life has been being a constant outsider. Not at the centre of things but at the edge of things, what I would define as a marginal person. I have never been a member of any club, I have never felt myself to be one of the lads. I always ploughed my own furrow."

Graham lived as a Somali with his wife and her family in Mogadishu, seeing life through African eyes and confronting such daily crises as the AIDs epidemic, famine and the failure of the West to help.

These experiences pushed Graham into journalism in order to bring to light the suffering in Africa. Despite writing for major British newspapers, Graham's journalism was always on the margins. Never part of the British establishment, he was a lone voice calling attention to the painful truths, pointing a finger in some uncomfortable directions.

It was while reporting on the Ethiopian famine that Graham's path took a very different turn. He flew into the ancient city of Aksum, the centre of a once powerful kingdom, and heard everywhere the legend of the Ark of the Covenant being buried in the city. This fascinated him and in his spare time he began to research the increasingly plausible legend.

The research took him to Egypt to retrace Moses' steps and it was here he encountered ancient Egyptian texts and his spiritual path opened up. Graham's first book, The Sign and The Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant was published in 1992. Written by an ardent atheist, it convincingly asserted that the Ark still exists and resides in Aksum. Only an atheist would research so meticulously and see the facts without starry-eyed spirituality.

Graham much preferred writing books as a means to convey his message - he was free to research what he wanted and able to write at much greater length than possible with short journalistic pieces. His meticulous research and articulate explanations made him a great success in a field populated until then by less accomplished communicators.

He has gone on to write many other books, most notably Fingerprints of the Gods, which has led many to disbelieve the strict biblical version of human history. Graham is now working on its sequel Magicians of the Gods.

Says Graham: "There is a lot of new evidence that allows us to reopen the case for a lost civilisation, after academics had argued it down. Now compelling new evidence has since emerged that 12,900 years ago Earth was hit by a comet, a very large comet that broke into fragments and created large impact craters, for example the Carolina bays in the US. They threw up large dust clouds that radiated the sun's rays back into space for a thousand years just as the Earth was coming out of an Ice Age, throwing it back into one. Many large species of animals went extinct and we lost a great civilisation, with fragments of this civilisation surviving in Egypt, Peru, Mexico and other places, passing down the tradition and wisdom that had been preserved."

Armed with all this new evidence he wants to create "a whole new dossier of information to argue with the academics to alter the accepted version of history".

As Graham is a man who has looked so keenly into humanity's deep past and has played an active role in bringing international suffering to light with the purpose of social change, I asked him what he understood from the uprisings in Ukraine and Venezuela, the Arab Spring and worldwide March Marches.

He explains: "I think it's very clear what's happening, which is that humanity had been 99% zombied, for the last 2000 years, everybody anaesthetised, asleep. We have been told our spirituality may only be expressed through these big controlling dominating religions and no other way, which is the opposite of spirituality.

"Christianity, Judaism and Islam in their mainstream form are not spiritual at all, they are a huge bureaucracy. They preach at you and they do not offer an experience.

"I think what's happening all around the world is that people are waking up, and the Internet is playing a big part. New communities are forming right around the world. The old idea of the nation, which had such a powerful grip on people's imaginations for so long is beginning to dissolve. After all, if I can communicate with people anywhere in the world why would I only communicate with people in England (where Graham lives)?

"This possibility of instant communication with huge numbers of people all around the world regardless of which country they come from is leading to an amazing cross fertilisation of ideas that is changing the world.

"So people are waking up in different ways in different times. To wake up in Egypt or in Syria means to question dictatorship and control, to wake up in Britain and America means different things. "I think this whole system of control that has been in place for the last 2000 years is falling apart at the seams right now. It's not going to be easy and it may not be all good but out of it I honestly feel something good will come."

Graham Hancock will be visiting Australian centres in May.

Jeremy Ball

At 26, following a “shamanic intervention”, Jeremy closed his business and left London to visit sacred sites and elders, later creating Transformational Tours and SacredFire.

When not roaming mother earth, you will find Jeremy at home in Byron Bay's hinterland, playing with his children and planning the next adventure. jeremy@transformationaltours.com.au