Personal experience, speculation and conjecture leads me to believe luminous places, both inner and outer have played significant roles evolving human brain size and efficiency.
The cradle of early hominins lies upon the greatest (surface) rift zone “the Great Rift Valley” on our planet. It extends from South Africa to Syria (including the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan river); it is centered at the Afar Triangle in Ethiopia. Tectonic forces along this massive rift zone creates forces and pressures generating vast amounts of piezoelectric energy (DNA is a piezo-electric substance), and during earthquakes it can manifest as earthquake lights (EQL).
The sustained or periodic stimulation caused by this invisible electric field, related to piezo-electricity, over millions of years, combined with the consumption of psychoactive herbs might have been important factors which promoted the gradual increase in the brain size of early humans.
The non verbal imaging mind received stimulation from luminous places such as the rift zones, earthquake faults and volcanoes. The ability to make associations between images improved the odds of survival, and this was further developed via stimulate and vision inducing herbs consumed in the course of seeking food from the environment.
A distinguishing characteristic of humans is their fondness for psychoactive herbs and substances. Coffee cherries, khat, and kola nuts are examples. However, the most amazing herbs are those that stimulate visionary activity, such as hops, hemp, opium, datura, catnip, psilocybin and amanita mushrooms, syrian rue, and tabernathe iboga.
There are many varieties of vision inducing plants, and early humans would have found these fascinating and very useful: dramatic increases in the mental power of association, plus vivid images to compare and evaluate. This was long before words and languages: the early human mind “thought” by recalling and comparing images, and the stimulation of luminous places plus psychoactive plants yielded superior mental abilities and thus promoted survival.
(c) Paul C Adams 2015 updated: 5-24-15