ENTHEOGENS, MYTH AND HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS is a much needed accessible exploration into the role of psychoactive sacraments - entheogens - in religion, mythology, and history, and also includes most treatments of the subject focus on modern scientific research, psychotherapy, are auto-bibliographic accounts, or are agenda-driven or otherwise naive and myopic. A great mystery of altered states of consciousness and species development is expanding with new archeological and anthropological discoveries. Religious story telling (myth) is a timeless journey. Surprisingly it’s not about truth. It’s about finding one’s self in the midst of the discovery of the “Other.” It is the story of what is separate and unknown that creates self-consciousness. Our entire life consists ultimately in the discovery of the “Other,” which gives meaning to the discovery of the self. The arts and language are the fossil remnants scattered on our path. ENTHEOGENS, MYTH AND HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS discusses the influence of psychoactive substances on consciousness, human evolution and mystical experiences. It explores how religion, mythology, art and culture stem from entheogenic consciousness and why it's important to us today. "Entheogens, or psychoactive sacraments, have a long, storied history that has played an essential role in the evolution of consciousness, mythology, culture, religion, art - and even history and politics. ENTHEOGENS, MYTH AND HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS outlines this suppressed - yet seminal - undercurrent of history, giving examples of the role of entheogens from the primal shamanic religions through, the historical religions, esoteric mystical traditions including the Mystery Religions, alchemy and Freemasonry, and into contemporary expressions. Authors Ruck and Hoffman draw upon decades of research and personal experience in discussing the best documented examples of historically important entheogenic evidences, various ongoing threads of research and speculation to muse upon the 'meaning' of it all..." Our hominid ancestors experienced a spiritual wakening at the very dawn of consciousness that set them apart from the other creatures of our planet. It was a journey to another realm induced by a special food that belonged to the gods. This was a plant that was animate with the spirit of deity. It was an entheogen. It was the visionary vehicle for the trip of the first shaman. The story was told over and over again until it achieved the perfect form of a myth. The realm was imagined as a topographical place, the outer limit of the cosmos, the fiery empyrean, or its geocentric opposite, our own planet Gaia. Myths multiplied over time, but they always preserved this primordial truth. These myths provide a road map, a scenario, if you can read them, for whoever today wants to follow. However, it is not an easy journey, and it is also fraught with many dangers, of getting lost, of finding no return. Access to the entheogens is now largely prohibited or strictly licensed. The restrictions constitute an infringement of cognitive freedom, limiting the further evolution of human potential into productive creative imagination and experiences that lie beyond the normal, the traditional province of shamans, who can understand the speech of plants and animals, change shape at will, and journey, both physically and in the spirit, to distant exotic realms. In addition, religions have staked out territorial claims to this realm of spiritual consciousness. They have colonized it, identified it with their god, often reserving the access for their own elite. Similarly, trade in drugs, both medicinal and illegal, has colonized the etheogens, making them only chemicals, rationally depriving them of their spirit. ENTHEOGENS, MYTH AND HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS is a guide for the curious that provides a historical overview of the role that entheogens have played in the development of our unique supremacy as a species and offers also pathways and advice for reconnecting with the primordial sources of nature’s power. ENTHEOGENS, MYTH AND HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS investigates the role entheogens have played in the evolution of humankind’s attempt to define reality in a context of metaphysical or theological dimensions. Although other botanical intoxicants will be considered (cannabis, daphne, opium, Syrian rue, datura, mandrake), none, with the possible exception of mandrake, seem to have lent themselves so readily to metaphoric personifications, which make this the subject for a course on mythology. The source of humankind’s fascination and repulsion for fungi, indeed, leads to a fundamental consideration of the psychological nature of mankind’s fascination or awareness of what in the categorization of religions is termed animism and rituals of ecstatic shamanism. In addition, the linking of bread and wine as sacramental foods is due to parallel concepts of controlled fungal growth as a simulacrum of the cosmos itself. The goal is not so much to acquire factual knowledge of this vast subject, but to open up pathways for reflection upon the basic nature of human existence and consciousness. The narrative is the awesome history of discovery and the findings of ancient rituals that meld into twentieth-century controversy and criticism of psychedelics. The future of humanity and the direction of twenty-first century brain science is challenged as well as our sense of social convention. Entheogens have been deemed be prohibited controlled substances and as such is an infringement of cognitive freedom. Whatever the danger of potential abuse, the substance is not the fault, but the user. The hammer is not guilty, but the carpenter who misuses it because of deficient training. In order to exonerate the executioner in Classical antiquity, the axe was brought to trial and found guilty. The prohibition has drastically retarded the investigation into the therapeutic potential of proscribed drugs, including their efficacy in curing addiction. Some of these substances also offer the potential for accessing levels of cognition and consciousness beyond the ordinary, the traditional provenance of mystics and shamans, like bilocation, clairvoyance, and zoomorphism.
In The Origins of Shamanism, Spirit Beliefs, and Religiosity, H. Sidky uses first-hand ethnographic fieldwork and scientific theoretical work in archaeology, psychology, and neurotheology to explore the origins of shamanism, spirit beliefs, the evolution of human consciousness, and the origins of ritual behavior and religiosity.
This go-to resource on substance abuse supplies the broad background knowledge and historical information needed to understand this important sociological issue and provides readers with a range of additional sources for continuing their study of the topic. • Offers a broad introduction to the physiological, anatomical, and psychological changes associated with substance use and a variety of perspectives from subject experts with special knowledge of and/or experience with substance abuse problems • Provides an easily accessible list of nearly 100 books, articles, reports, and electronic sources with additional information on the topic of substance abuse • Addresses sociological aspects of drug use and the current debate over the legalization of certain drugs, such as medical and recreational marijuana • Includes a collection of relevant data and documents, an extensive annotated bibliography, a chronology, and a glossary
Modern Psychology and Ancient Wisdom, 2nd edition, brings together experts who explore the use of ancient healing techniques from Buddhism, Christianity, Goddess, Shamanism, Taoism, and Yogic traditions as well as the mystical practices of Judaism and Islam and their application to modern counseling and therapy professions. Each chapter lays out time-tested techniques used by teachers, guides, and practitioners to facilitate psychological healing, embraces a wide variety of cultural perspectives, and offers a large, varied, and meaningful view of the world. This new edition includes added material on Islam, indigenous, and shamanic healing perspectives and practices, as well as new findings in the fields of neuropsychology and epigenetics. With its vast offerings of new treatment methods from a variety of perspectives—from therapeutic metaphors and breathing exercises to meditation and yoga techniques—this book will be of use to mental health professionals, social workers, and pastoral caregivers.
Can drugs be used intelligently and responsibly to expand human consciousness and heighten spirituality? This two-volume work presents objective scientific information and personal stories aiming to answer the question. • Includes coverage of a variety of drugs, most of which are currently illegal in the United States, accompanied by scientific explanations of how they spur spiritual experiences • Offers compelling narratives from individuals—both laypeople and professionals—who found new dimensions within their lives and heightened their spirituality by the use of entheogens • Supplies information about medical experiments and new treatment modes that provide definitive breakthrough methods for caring for suffering people
In the study of Judaism, the Zohar has captivated the minds of interpreters for over seven centuries, and continues to entrance readers in contemporary times. Yet despite these centuries of study, very little attention has been devoted to the literary dimensions of the text, or to formal appreciation of its status as one of the great works of religious literature. The Art of Mystical Narrative offers a critical approach to the zoharic story, seeking to explore the interplay between fictional discourse and mystical exegesis. Eitan Fishbane argues that the narrative must be understood first and foremost as a work of the fictional imagination, a representation of a world and reality invented by the thirteenth-century authors of the text. He claims that the text functions as a kind of dramatic literature, one in which the power of revealing mystical secrets is demonstrated and performed for the reading audience. The Art of Mystical Narrative offers a fresh, interdisciplinary perspective on the Zohar and on the intersections of literary and religious studies.
John Aiken and his wife Louise, both M.D.'s by profession, have a significant place in the psychedelic chronicles, but their story has been poorly documented. After both sons died by drowning in separate accidents, they retired to New Mexico for spiritual research, with and without psychedelics. Art Kleps, author of The Boo Hoo Bible, has credited their Church Of Awakening as being the very first non-Native American psychedelic church to be registered in the U.S. in 1963, predating both Klep's and Tim Leary's Millbrookers by a couple of years. Aiken’s 1966 Explorations in Awareness, draws on a vast array of ancient and modern sources, presenting an esoteric doctrine of self-realization and ultimate transcendence, told in a pure, stripped-down style that displays self-confidence. It is a delight to read because it was a new psychedelic path with vedic-yogic along with Christian and Native American influences, and not a rehashed insight of Hippy "trips." The book includes trip reports, including one from an Indian guru, who does a respect-worthy attempt to interpret the cosmologic-metaphysic experiences of an acid trip into plain English. Aiken's early discussion of LSD vibe is very different from what followed during the Hippy years, and deserves much greater recognition than received. Aiken’s approach to enlightenment is rooted in meditating while using psychedelics--peyote, magic mushrooms. This derivative of Aiken’s classic Work picks up where Aiken and his wife left off back in the late Sixties--fifty years ago. While Aiken discusses meditation, he doesn’t provide specific techniques for doing so and how to get over resistance and other side-tracks. Meditation had just been introduced to Americans by The Beatles in "We All Live in a Yellow Submarine” and other pop songs that captured psychic explorers’ imagination. In this derivative, author Beverly Potter (Docpotter) will add specific how-to instructions, with illustrations, on how to meditate effectively, including how to "sit,” how to defeat "the Money Mind,” and how to handle other challenges psychonauts meet along the path to enlightenment. The volume will include a foreword by Michale Marinacci, author of California Jesus and Weird California, about the significance of The Church of the Awakening among the early non-Native American psychedelic churches. A second foreword by Dr. Carl Ruck, Professor of Classics at Boston University and author of Mushrooms of the Goddess and Entheogens, Myth, and Human Consciousness will address mystic self-transcendence ecstatic visions achieved with psychedelic meditation and answer the question: can psychedelics lead to God--a question Aiken posed in a 1966 article in Fate Magazine.
The years since the financial crash have seen the realization dawn that the great promise of modern civilization will go unfulfilled. Study hard, work hard, buy a house, retire happy. It's all a lie, spun for the benefit of a tiny elite. The richest eighty-five people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion. Each month, the numbers change but they never improve. Magical and spiritual discourse has failed to keep up with this new reality. The Chaos Protocols aims to fix that. Join Gordon White as he shows you how to use chaos magic not only to navigate these trying times, but to triumph as well. Discover how to become invincible through initiation, and wage the mind war that will keep you moving toward what you really want. From sigil magic to working with spiritual allies, The Chaos Protocols helps you act on the unwavering belief that your life should matter and you're not going to let something as trifling as the apocalypse get in the way of it. Praise: "Gordon White gives a master class on the hard economic realities and the kind of low down and dirty magic for which he has become famous. Pragmatic, sharp, and funny, The Chaos Protocols is a treasure of a book."—Peter Grey, author of Apocalyptic Witchcraft "Take two parts Magick Without Tears, a measure of The Wealth of Nations, a pinch of Ian Fleming and a dash of Noel Coward and you have this almost promiscuously readable text. Whoever said books on magick can't be fabulously entertaining as well as eminently practical has obviously not read up on their Gordon White. Remedy that situation."—Chris Knowles, author of The Secret History of Rock n' Roll and Our Gods Wear Spandex
Curandero: Ethno-Psychotherapy & Curanderismo Hispanic Mental Health in the 21st Century, is the product of more than 50 years of the study of curanderismo and Hispanic mental health. In this book, Dr. Zavaleta examines curanderismo and the folk beliefs carried by immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. In the United States, the Hispanic population is notoriously underserved in both physical and mental health care. In Curandero, Dr. Zavaleta reviews the history of curanderismo, beginning with pre-Columbian populations, and traces the development of curanderismo over the past 500 years. He also examines the history and practice of psychiatry and the emergence of ethno-psychotherapy as well as psychiatry’s historic failure to incorporate culture in the treatment of the mental health of Hispanic populations. Dr. Zavaleta seeks to introduce curanderismo to psychiatry with the intention of incorporating its important aspects in the treatment of Hispanic mental health.
This volume presents a broad panorama of the current status of research of invertebrate animals considered belonging to the phylum Cnidaria, such as hydra, jellyfish, sea anemone, and coral. In this book the Cnidarians are traced from the Earth’s primordial oceans, to their response to the warming and acidifying oceans. Due to the role of corals in the carbon and calcium cycles, various aspects of cnidarian calcification are discussed. The relation of the Cnidaria with Mankind is approached, in accordance with the Editors’ philosophy of bridging the artificial schism between science, arts and Humanities. Cnidarians' encounters with humans result in a broad spectrum of medical emergencies that are reviewed. The final section of the volume is devoted to the role of Hydra and Medusa in mythology and art.
Entheogens and the Development of Culture makes the radical proposition that mind-altering substances have played a major part not only in cultural development but also in human brain development. Researchers suggest that we have purposely enhanced receptor sites in the brain, especially those for dopamine and serotonin, through the use of plants and fungi over a long period of time. The trade-off for lowered functioning and potential drug abuse has been more creative thinking--or a leap in consciousness. Experiments in entheogen use led to the development of primitive medicine, in which certain mind-altering plants and fungi were imbibed to still fatigue, pain, or depression, while others were taken to promote hunger and libido. Our ancestors selected for our neural hardware, and our propensity for seeking altered forms of consciousness as a survival strategy may be intimately bound to our decision-making processes going back to the dawn of time. Fourteen essays by a wide range of contributors—including founding president of the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology of Religion section Michael Winkelman, PhD; Carl A. P. Ruck, PhD, Boston University professor of classics and an authority on the ecstatic rituals of the god Dionysus; and world-renowned botanist Dr. Gaston Guzma, member of the Colombian National Academy of Sciences and expert on hallucinogenic mushrooms—demonstrate that altering consciousness continues to be an important part of human experience today. Anthropologists, cultural historians, and anyone interested in the effects of mind-altering substances on the human mind and soul will find this book deeply informative and inspiring. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Reveals entheogens as catalysts for spiritual development and direct encounters with the sacred • With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Charles Tart, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, Frances Vaughan, and many others • Includes personal accounts of Walter Pahnke’s Good Friday Experiment as well as a 25-year follow-up with its participants • Explores protocols for ceremonial use of psychedelics and the challenges of transforming entheogenic insights into enduring change Modern organized religion is based predominantly on secondary religious experience--we read about others’ extraordinary direct spiritual encounters in the distant past and have faith that God is out there. Yet what if powerful sacraments existed to help us directly experience the sacred? What if there were ways to seek out the meaning of being human and our place in the universe, to see the sacred in the world that surrounds us? In this book, more than 25 spiritual leaders, scientists, and psychedelic visionaries examine how we can return to the primary spiritual encounters at the basis of all religions through the guided use of entheogens. With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Charles Tart, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, Frances Vaughan, Myron Stolaroff, and many others, this book explores protocols for ceremonial use of psychedelics, the challenges of transforming entheogenic insights into enduring change, psychoactive sacraments in the Bible, myths surrounding the use of LSD, and the transformative ayahuasca rituals of Santo Daime. It also includes personal accounts of Walter Pahnke’s Good Friday Experiment as well as a 25-year follow-up with its participants. Dispelling fears of inauthentic spirituality, addiction, and ill-prepared encounters with the holy, this book reveals the potential of entheogens as catalysts for spiritual development, a path through which faith can directly encounter God’s power, and the beginning of a new religious era based on personal spiritual experience.