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Entheogen

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

Its March 12, 2017, and we are discussing psychedelic healing with Dr. Neal Goldsmith.

Neals book Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development provides copious discussion points for our conversation today.

Neal’s therapy practice, and how his use of psychedelics has informed his practice of psychotherapy

Imago therapy

LSD is a tool: Charles Manson becomes more Charles Manson; Richard Alpert becomes Ram Dass.

The substitution of the eucharist as a proxy for the original psychoactive sacrament. Can we please go back to the active version? What are the consequences of inactive substitutes in religious ceremonies? How have alternative spiritual practices sprung up in the absence of sanctioned Entheogenic rituals?

George Carlins Modern Man.

Are we in the midst of McKennas Archaic Revival? Is this another way to internalize the unfolding ecological apocalypse?

If were going to be post-post-modern, if were going to be integral, we cant have a fight between tribalism and modernity. We cant have a fight between spirituality and the material world.

Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, breathing

Deep breathing to expel carbon dioxide in addition to inhaling oxygen.

McKennas conjecture that its possible to get to the same state of consciousness that psychedelics provide access to, using meditation or chanting or drumming, but who has time for that?

What do you recommend to listeners who might be interested in some form of psychedelic therapy, present company included?

The dichotomy of tribalism vs. modernism: our human ancestors living naturally but for shorter time, vs. modern humans living longer but disconnected from nature. Spiraling up vs. retreating to tribalism.

Spirituality vs. science. The concept of rational mysticism. Einstein quote via Rick Doblin: There’s no real conflict between science & religion; there’s a conflict between bad science & bad religion.

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Entheogen

Psychedelics touted as solution for society – Ashland Daily Tidings

By John Darling for the Tidings

While psychedelic drugs rose to prominence in the 1960s, the attendees at an Ashland conference say the nation and world would be a better place if the non-addictive drugs regained their footing in society.

The peace and love message of the ’60s inspired in part by psychedelic drugs hasnt changed over the last five decades, speakers told the approximately 300 attendees at the fourth annual Exploring Psychedelics conference, held May 25-26 at Southern Oregon University.

Pointing to a spiritual crisis in the west, conference organizer Martin Ball, an SOU adjunct faculty member, said mind-altering substances such as psilocybin mushrooms have been a positive part of culture since the beginning of history. But the federal government’s War on Drugs over the last 50 years demonized the non-addictive entheogens (literally: generating god within) and pushed the movement to the periphery of society.

A psychedelic renaissance is underway as researchers and society learn of its benefits in health, healing and creativity in art, music, philosophy and a greater understanding of how to solve societys problems, says Ball. Were not talking about back-alley druggies and Grateful Dead concerts here. These are important members of our society.

Ball produces a podcast, the Entheogenic Revolution, with a motto, Just Say Know, a play on the Drug Wars just say no credo. Noting that psychedelics are not in the same category as meth or crack, he said they should stop being criminalized.

In the wake of the states legalization of marijuana, Tom and Sheri Eckert of Portland have organized the Oregon Psilocybin Society, which they said is promoting a ballot measure to legalize the mind-altering substance. The measure would set up a process for overseeing and training facilitators of trips, licensing, getting medical clearance for users who must be over 21 but would not legalize personal possession.

The psychedelic movement is rising to prominence and if humanity is to survive, we need to heal the culture, said Sheri Eckert. “Its bottoming out and forcing us to look at ourselves. We have to evolve and claim our higher consciousness or else. Psilocybin helps us reclaim our truth.

The plant offers relief for depression, end-of-life anxiety, addiction and PTSD, the Eckerts said.

When the history of this time is written in a thousand years, said Tom Eckert, a therapist, I bet they wont focus on our absurd politics but how we valued the inner dimension.

In a talk on marijuana, Michael Scott said psychoactive drugs are at the tipping point, with less and less suppression. More and more folks are talking about changing the world to a better place.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

Read the original:

Psychedelics touted as solution for society – Ashland Daily Tidings

So A Minister, A Rabbi And A Buddhist Took Drugs For Science… – Huffington Post South Africa (blog)

On April 20, 1962, a group of theology students and professors gathered outside Boston Universitys Marsh Chapel, waiting for Good Friday services to begin. These particular services were to be unlike any other: On their way into the chapel, Harvard psychiatrist Walter Pahnke administered the group a dose of psychedelic mushrooms.

As part of his Ph.D. thesis under Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (aka Ram Dass), Pahnke sought to test his hypothesis that psychedelic drugs, taken in a religious setting, could provoke a genuine spiritual experience. His investigation would go down in psychedelic history as the Good Friday experiment.

He was right. Nine out of the 10 students who took the mushrooms reported having a mystical experience.One of those students was the historian Huston Smith, who went on to writeCleansing the Doors of Perception, a classic philosophical work exploring the potential of psychedelic drugs as entheogens, or God-revealing chemicals.

The experience was powerful for me, and it left a permanent mark on my experienced worldview, Smith, who passed away in December, reflected. I had believed in God… but until the Good Friday experiment, I had no personal encounter with God of the sort that bhakti yogis, Pentecostals and born-again Christians describe.

Today, another research project is taking up where the Good Friday experiment left off this time, with modern research tools and leaders from not just the Christian faith but an array of world religions.

As part of a small pilot study, psychologists at Johns Hopkins and New York University are giving psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to spiritual leaders. Their aim is to demystify the transcendent and deeply meaningful experiences that people often report having under the influence of psychedelic drugs.

A Zen Buddhist roshi and an Orthodox Jewish rabbi have embarked on consciousness-expanding journeys in the name of science, along with Episcopal, Presbyterian and Eastern Orthodox Christian clergy. The research team is about halfway done with the study, which will include a total of 24 participants. (Theyre still looking for Muslim imams and Catholic and Hindu priests.)

Theyre helping us map out this landscape of mystical experience with their incredible training and experience, Dr. Anthony Bossis, project director of the NYU Psilocybin Religious Leaders Project, told The Huffington Post.

By working with leaders of different faiths, the researchers hope to learn something about the shared mystical core of all the worlds major religions what the author Aldous Huxley called the perennial philosophy. Understanding these mystical experiences might also shed light on the therapeutic benefitsof psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs, which researchers are exploring as treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder, end-of-life anxiety and depression, addiction and other psychological conditions.

If you give psilocybin psychedelics to 20 different people, you get 20 different experiences, Bossis said. But there is a common mystical experience… It seems that the efficacy of these medicines is in their ability, pretty reliably in the right set and setting, to activate or trigger this mystical experience.

This experience of deep connection with the sacred can have long-lasting effects. Mushroom-triggered mystical experiences have been linked with positive changes in behavior and values, and with lasting increases in the personality domain of openness to experience, which encompasses intellectual curiosity, imagination, adventure-seeking and engagement with music and art. People commonly reportthat the experience is one of the most personally and spiritually meaningful of their lives.

The term mystical experience might not sound especially rigorous, but its something that has actually been studied in depth. Psychologists define the experience based on its major components, including a sense of sacredness, feelings of unity, ineffability, peace and joy, transcendence of time and space and feelings of being confronted with some objective truth about reality.

The experiences are often said to be impossible to put into words. But Bossis and his colleagues hope that the unique expertise of these spiritual leaders will provide greater insight into their workings.

One of things I was struck by, doing this research, was the experience of love that they spoke of, he said. Its quite striking to witness… people speak about this overwhelming experience of love loving-kindness to self, love towards others, and what the Greeks called agape,this kind of universal, cosmic love that they say permeates everything, and which recalibrates how they live.

You may feel tempted to brush off this sort of talk as mere drug-induced reverie. (One thinks of the Onion articleUniverse Feels Zero Connection To Guy Tripping On Mushrooms.) But early research and anecdotal reports suggest that chemically induced mystical experiences may not be so different from those that occur as a result of years of meditation and prayer.

Mystical experiences, whether drug-induced or spontaneously occurring,seem to connect the individual with the mystical core of all the worlds major religions a sense of unity, oneness and interconnection with all beings.

I think to understand the depth of religion, one needs to have firsthand experience, saidJewish Renewal movement leader Rabbi Zalman Schacter Shalomiin an interview published in 2005. It can be done with meditation. It can be done with sensory deprivation. It can be done a number of ways. But I think the psychedelic path is sometimes the easiest way, and it doesnt require the long time that other approaches usually require.

The psychedelic path has led many people, including the American Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, to take up more traditional spiritual practices as a way to stay connected in their daily lives to the sorts of insights and sensations they first experienced with psychedelics.

In spiritual communities, we need an honest exploration of this delicate and sometimes taboo topic, Kornfield wrote in 2015. Let us approach the use of these drugs consciously.

While psychedelics may have a stigma attached in todays culture,altered states of consciousness have long been an aspect of human spirituality, and theyve featured in religious rituals around the world for thousands of years.

For the past several years, entheogens have been quietly making their way into modern medicine.A landmark study from NYU and Hopkins, published last month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, showed a single dose of psilocybin to be effective in relieving death-related anxiety in cancer patients.

In a majority of the patients, the psilocybin triggered a mystical experience, which may be largely responsible for the renewed sense of meaning and relief from existential distress described by the patients. In fact, the extent to which the patients experienced reductions in depression, anxiety and fear of death correlated directly with the intensity of the mystical experience.

Increasingly, it appears that the mystical-type experiences measured immediately after a session is predictive of enduring positive effects, Dr. Roland Griffiths, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins and one of the studys lead authors, told HuffPost. Thats consistent across studies of healthy volunteers, addicted cigarette smokers, and in psychologically distressed cancer patients. Theres something about the nature of those experiences that is predictive of subsequent positive effects.

Dr. Craig Blinderman, director of adult palliative care services at Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said the research presents an exciting meeting of the minds between modern medicine and ancient healing modalities.

A return to entheogens for the treatment of psycho-existential suffering may signal that medicine has come full circle, Blindermanwrote in a commentary published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, to embrace the earliest known approach to healing our deepest of human agonies, by generating the divine within.

See more here:

So A Minister, A Rabbi And A Buddhist Took Drugs For Science… – Huffington Post South Africa (blog)

So A Minister, A Rabbi And A Buddhist Took Drugs For Science… – Huffington Post

On April 20, 1962, a group of theology students and professors gathered outside Boston Universitys March Chapel, waiting for Good Friday services to begin. These particular services were to be unlike any other: On their way into the chapel, Harvard psychiatrist Walter Pahnke administered the group a dose of psychedelic mushrooms.

Those services would go down in history as the Good Friday experiment. As part of his Ph.D. thesis under Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (aka Ram Dass), Pahnke sought to test his hypothesis that psychedelic drugs, taken in a religious setting, could provoke a genuine spiritual experience.

He was right. Nine out of the 10 students who took the mushrooms reported having a mystical experience.One of those students was the historian Huston Smith, who went on to writeCleansing the Doors of Perception, a classic philosophical work exploring the potential of psychedelic drugs as entheogens, or God-revealing chemicals.

The experience was powerful for me, and it left a permanent mark on my experienced worldview, Smith, who passed away in December, reflected. I had believed in God… but until the Good Friday experiment, I had no personal encounter with God of the sort that bhakti yogis, Pentecostals and born-again Christians describe.

Today, another research project is taking up where the Good Friday experiment left off this time, with modern research tools and leaders from not just the Christian faith but an array of world religions.

As part of a small pilot study, psychologists at Johns Hopkins and New York University are giving psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to spiritual leaders. Their aim is to demystify the transcendent and deeply meaningful experiences that people often report having under the influence of psychedelic drugs.

A Zen Buddhist roshi and an Orthodox Jewish rabbi have embarked on consciousness-expanding journeys in the name of science, along with Episcopal, Presbyterian and Eastern Orthodox Christian clergy. The research team is about halfway done with the study, which will include a total of 24 participants. (Theyre still looking for Muslim imams and Catholic and Hindu priests.)

Theyre helping us map out this landscape of mystical experience with their incredible training and experience,study co-author Dr. Anthony Bossis, a psychiatrist and psychedelic researcher at NYU, told The Huffington Post.

By working with leaders of different faiths, the researchers hope to learn something about the shared mystical core of all the worlds major religions what the author Aldous Huxley called the perennial philosophy. Understanding these mystical experiences might also shed light on the therapeutic benefitsof psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs, which researchers are exploring as treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder, end-of-life anxiety and depression, addiction and other psychological conditions.

If you give psilocybin psychedelics to 20 different people, you get 20 different experiences, Bossis said. But there is a common mystical experience… It seems that the efficacy of these medicines is in their ability, pretty reliably in the right set and setting, to activate or trigger this mystical experience.

This experience of deep connection with the sacred can have long-lasting effects. Mushroom-triggered mystical experiences have been linked with positive changes in behavior and values, and with lasting increases in the personality domain of openness to experience, which encompasses intellectual curiosity, imagination, adventure-seeking and engagement with music and art. People commonly reportthat the experience is one of the most personally and spiritually meaningful of their lives.

The term mystical experience might not sound especially rigorous, but its something that has actually been studied in depth. Psychologists define the experience based on its major components, including a sense of sacredness, feelings of unity, ineffability, peace and joy, transcendence of time and space and feelings of being confronted with some objective truth about reality.

The experiences are often said to be impossible to put into words. But Bossis and his colleagues hope that the unique expertise of these spiritual leaders will provide greater insight into their workings.

One of things I was struck by, doing this research, was the experience of love that they spoke of, he said. Its quite striking to witness… people speak about this overwhelming experience of love loving-kindness to self, love towards others, and what the Greeks called agape,this kind of universal, cosmic love that they say permeates everything, and which recalibrates how they live.

You may feel tempted to brush off this sort of talk as mere drug-induced reverie. (One thinks of the Onion articleUniverse Feels Zero Connection To Guy Tripping On Mushrooms.) But early research and anecdotal reports suggest that chemically induced mystical experiences may not be so different from those that occur as a result of years of meditation and prayer.

Mystical experiences, whether drug-induced or spontaneously occurring,seem to connect the individual with the mystical core of all the worlds major religions a sense of unity, oneness and interconnection with all beings.

I think to understand the depth of religion, one needs to have firsthand experience, saidJewish Renewal movement leader Rabbi Zalman Schacter Shalomiin an interview published in 2005. It can be done with meditation. It can be done with sensory deprivation. It can be done a number of ways. But I think the psychedelic path is sometimes the easiest way, and it doesnt require the long time that other approaches usually require.

The psychedelic path has led many people, including the American Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, to take up more traditional spiritual practices as a way to stay connected in their daily lives to the sorts of insights and sensations they first experienced with psychedelics.

In spiritual communities, we need an honest exploration of this delicate and sometimes taboo topic, Kornfield wrote in 2015. Let us approach the use of these drugs consciously.

While psychedelics may have a stigma attached in todays culture,altered states of consciousness have long been an aspect of human spirituality, and theyve featured in religious rituals around the world for thousands of years.

For the past several years, entheogens have been quietly making their way into modern medicine.A landmark study from NYU and Hopkins, published last month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, showed a single dose of psilocybin to be effective in relieving death-related anxiety in cancer patients.

In a majority of the patients, the psilocybin triggered a mystical experience, which may be largely responsible for the renewed sense of meaning and relief from existential distress described by the patients. In fact, the extent to which the patients experienced reductions in depression, anxiety and fear of death correlated directly with the intensity of the mystical experience.

Increasingly, it appears that the mystical-type experiences measured immediately after a session is predictive of enduring positive effects, Dr. Roland Griffiths, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins and one of the studys lead authors, told HuffPost. Thats consistent across studies of healthy volunteers, addicted cigarette smokers, and in psychologically distressed cancer patients. Theres something about the nature of those experiences that is predictive of subsequent positive effects.

Dr. Craig Blinderman, director of adult palliative care services at Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said the research presents an exciting meeting of the minds between modern medicine and ancient healing modalities.

A return to entheogens for the treatment of psycho-existential suffering may signal that medicine has come full circle, Blindermanwrote in a commentary published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, to embrace the earliest known approach to healing our deepest of human agonies, by generating the divine within.

Read the original post:

So A Minister, A Rabbi And A Buddhist Took Drugs For Science… – Huffington Post

A conversation with Haroon Mirza – Ocula Magazine

Haroon Mirza, 2011. Photo: Simon Pollock.

I’ve worked with organic materials before quite a lot, mainly water and ants. I’ve also worked with plants before, but not in any great detail. I’ve always been interested in organic matter, material, and organisms because of their chaotic, unpredictable and autonomous nature, and also as a metaphor for other things – water and the sound of water is quite interesting because it produces white noise. Ants are chaotic systems, so you can create truly chaotic systems from using natural material. But then, on top of that, I’ve used a natural material constantly in my work over the last 10 years: electricity. Electricity is also a natural phenomenon, which we kind of think we control but we don’t really. Electricity is completely chaotic.

The most recent piece I developed with ants was called Pavilion for Optimisation (2013). To talk about the ants in the work, the term ‘optimisation’ is a mathematical reference to a kind of logic. So for instance, satellite navigation systems use optimisation algorithms, which they derive from ants. Ants find a food source and use pheromones to communicate where that source is in relation to their nest, and then find the shortest route from the nest to the food and communicate that. That method of communication and of finding the shortest route is also how navigation systems work. And it’s similar with water. If you think of a window when it’s raining, you get the little droplets of water coming down a window. The water works as a whole to create the shortest routes, and then other particles of water can join and follow the same route. It’s partly to do with gravity as well, but there is sort of this optimisation logic that takes place, which is chaotic but controlled. So there is that tension in nature. Chaos theory itself is about those sorts of structures and logic in chaotic systems, like patterns, recognition, and microcosms. These are really exemplified by fractals, like in geometry. Fractals kind of work their way back round to psychedelics and entheogens, because they’re a part of what’s more commonly known as entoptic phenomenon, which is commonly what’s seen when you ingest psychedelics or you have endogenous-altered states of consciousness. Whether it’s induced by psychedelics or by other natural means – stress to the body, for instance – that’s the first stage of psychedelic experience: images of geometric patterns and fractals.

The first thing that led me to psychedelics was just being a teenager and doing LSD. Taking acid as a kid, that was my first interaction with psychedelics. Then it kind of went away and I sort of made sure to not really take drugs and concentrate on other things. But I know full well those kinds of experiences have had a profound influence on my aesthetic and theoretical taste, specifically the aesthetics of audio or the timbre of sound that I adopt in my work. It predates going to Brazil, but that trip did lead me to ayahuasca.

My interests lie in consciousness, and how consciousness relates to scientific endeavours: what we know about the physical world and universe, and how that doesn’t make sense in terms of metaphysics and consciousness, because we don’t understand consciousness in scientific terms. But we claim to understand it through either religion or other forms of spiritual engagement, whether it’s yoga, Vedic traditions or more westernised traditions of spiritual practice, or these mind-altering substances or practices that do the same thing. It’s the same effect. It’s not a proven thing, but it could be argued that a high-level effect of yoga is DMT releasing in the mind, which is the same as meditating or other spiritual experiences. It’s linking these metaphysical and physical things, which are what we know about the world and the universe. But what joins these two together is consciousness, and that’s the crux of my interest.

That’s a funny one, because those words literally refer to objects that are in the piece. There’s a speaker that’s branded an ‘Adam’ speaker and there’s another that’s branded ‘Eve’ – they’re kind of similar marketing schemes. Then there’s a little LED device that is called a UFO. So ‘the others’ are just the other speakers in the installation, but at the same time they set up this sort of narrative that has all these references. It’s a two-fold thing. It’s about the real, everyday reality of the physical, reductionist, materialist world that we live in, which we sort of have to accept somehow to come to consensus. But then it also refers to this metaphysical, spiritual world that we don’t really have any access to. We’re not allowed legally to take a plant out of the ground and ingest it; we literally don’t have access to this other world, or other level of consciousness.

There are various processes that are going on. The caps of the mushrooms are placed onto the copper and release spores to reproduce, so you get prints that are the fingerprint of the mushroom. Some are done like that, some are electro-etched. Through the mushroom you run a negative charge, and you complete the circuit with a positive charge on the copper so the moisture in the mushroom will actually oxidise on the copper itself. That can be quite beautiful, and specifically beautiful with the peyote cactus and the San Pedro cacti. A lot of the titles refer to what they look like, so there’s one that looks like a cosmological nebula, and one that looks like a comet. Sometimes the titles are just descriptive of what they are – some of the mushrooms refer to constellations.

Yes, there’s a sort of cosmological narrative in there – this relationship with cosmology, ritual, and psychedelic experience that kind of collapses. That’s identified mostly in Dec 21 [a work included in the Contemporary Art Gallery show], which is a representation of an astrotheological idea. Astrotheologists are a group of people who believe that many religions are tied to celestial events. One of the most famous is the astronomical event happens every 21 December: Winter Solstice. If you look up at the sky on 21 December, you will see Orion. Orion’s Belt has been known throughout history as the Three Kings, and also referred to as the Three Wise Men. Southwest of that is a very bright star called Sirius, which is in the Canis Major constellation. If you make a line from the three stars of Orion’s Belt to Sirius and continue that line to the horizon, on that point is where Virgo and the sun both rise. Astrotheologists believe it was the personification of this event that led to lots of religious ideas. Nativity, for example, is apparently based on this: the Three Kings in the story follow the brightest star in the sky, and then the Virgin Mary gives birth to the Son. When you personify these celestial objects, the story and the myth grows.

It’s pronounced ‘ahh,’ like you’re thinking about something. It’s a funny one, because it’s playing with typography. This has more to do about typography and syntax, typography and its relation to sound and linguistics. It comes from, in a convoluted way, McLuhan’s idea of acoustics in visual space. He talks about how pre-linguistic man perceived visual space and acoustic space as one form of perception. It was only with language and the advent of syntax and spoken word that we started abstracting the thing itself. -[O]

Continued here:

A conversation with Haroon Mirza – Ocula Magazine

Entheogens – Reality Sandwich

A selection of the best articles on entheogens:

In the Beginning: The Birth of a Psychedelic Culture By John Perry BarlowThe introduction of LSD may have been the most important event in the cultural history of America since the 1860s. Before acid hit, even rebels such as Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitmanbelieved in God-given authority. But after one had rewired one’s self with LSD, authoritybecame hilarious, and there wasn’t much we could do about it.

Voyaging to DMT Space with Dr. Rick Strassman, M.D. By Martin W. BallDr. Rick Strassman, pioneering psychedelic researcher, discusses his new book,Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys to Alien Worlds through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies as well as Zen Buddhism, psychedelics and spirituality, Old Testament prophecy and more in this fascinating interview.

LSD as a Spiritual Aid By Albert HofmannThere is common consent that the evolution of mankind is paralleled by the increase and expansion of consciousness. From the described process of how consciousness originates and develops, it becomes evident that its growth depends on its faculty of perception. Therefore every means of improving this faculty should be used.

Positive Possibilities for Psychedelics: A Time of Tentative Celebration By James FadimanFor those of us involved with psychedelics, this is a time of unexpected changes, a time of tentative celebration. After decades of winter, the ice is thinning. The warming trends toward legalization; increased religious, medical, and psychotherapeutic use; scientific exploration; and cultural acceptance are encouraging.

2012 and the Psychedelic Shamans By Thomas RazzetoIn my opinion, world conditions are not the point of the 2012 message. The message is more profound. It is about the fundamental principle of reality, as revealed by the psychedelic experiences of the shamans.

Heart of the Great Spirit: The Peyote Cactus By Stephen GrayI’ve been hesitant to share details regarding the NAC. It was only the approval of Native spiritual elder Kanucas that gave me the feeling it was appropriate to share this information with a wider audience. This church is a refuge of sanity in a disturbed world. It’s a sacred treasure to be protected and nurtured with the utmost respect and sensitivity.

Mushroom Gnosis: Simon Powell’s Psilocybin Solution By Diana Reed SlatteryPracticing xenolinguist Diana Slattery writes about Simon Powells new book,”The Psilocybin Solution, The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning,” that concerns the ability of the psilocybin experience to deliver high-speed downloads; information transmission as communication with the Other; and especially, information delivered as a visual language of intense concentration.

Consciousness and Asian Traditions: An Evolutionary Perspective By Roger WalshThe original shamans and their external technologies induce a sense of freedom from embodiment. The early yogis carry that freedom into the disentanglement of consciousness from phenomena and the world. The Vedantic tradition recognizes that the self and the divine are actually one, and the non-dual traditions recognize that all is divine.

The Universal Heart By Daniel MolerThe shaman is the pure embodiment of Love. He spent every waking moment giving of himself and healing our spirits, as the true embodiment of self-sacrifice. I understand now why the Peruvian shamans had no issue with adopting the Christ story into the Pachakti Mesa tradition.

What Can Entheogens Teach Us? By James OrocThe more a compound disrupts the Ego, the physically safer (less toxic) that compound will be, while the more a ‘drug’ reinforces and inflates the sense of Ego, the more physically harmful (toxic) that compound will be.

The First Supper: Entheogens and the Origin of Religion By Ruck Hoffman Gonzalez CeldranIt has been speculated that the rapid increase in hominid brain size 1.5 million years ago occurred when our ancestors began to consume consciousness-altering foods. Perhaps our species became truly human when we began eating sacred foods ritualistically in groups, in what can be seen as First Suppers.

On the Edge of Life and Death: The Nios Santos Way By Sarah MaidenWhen I first encountered the mushrooms, I had been taking antidepressants for years. The mushrooms told me I was an addict and that the pills were toxic to me. After being hospitalized due to my reaction to Paxil at age 19, I decided the mushrooms were right. Eventually, I met a Mazatec grandmother who holds a Nios Santos lineage of curandisimo.

Energy, Ego, and Entheogens: The Reality of Human Liberation from Illusion By Martin W. BallRecently, I published an article criticizing Terence McKenna’s lectures on DMT. The article generated a great deal of backlash and some serious questions. Now I’d like to follow up on the issue of human liberation from self-generated illusions.

Meditation and “Drugs” By Jay MichaelsonIt’s a not-so-dirty little secret that most of today’s leading meditation teachers were interested in drugs. By “drugs,” of course, I don’t mean alcohol or Oxycontin, but rather that subset of chemicals which our society has deemed unfit for human consumption, including cannabis, psilocybin, MDMA, and others.

Salva Divinorum: Intensification By J.D. ArthurSalvia allows one, even instructs one, to gradually, and without fear, abandon the framework of reason that’s based on a cumbersome conceptual reference. It can lead to a unique state that one might characterize as “thoughtless awareness.” This state, although on the surface seemingly paradoxical, is actually strangely and reassuringly familiar.

When Prayer Meets Medicine By Stephen GrayWhen the peyote takes effect and the energy really gets rolling, the songs begin to sing the singers, the drum is a living spirit, and the fire has things to show us. It’s a radically different way to pray. If we can find skillful ways to combine the visionary, teaching, healing medicines with our intentions, with our prayers, a whole new landscape of possibility opens up.

Adventures with Mazatec Mint: Exploring the Mind-Bending World of Salvia Divinorum By David Jay BrownAnumber of researchers think that salvinorin A, the potent dissociative psychedelic compound found in this perennial herb from Oaxaca, may have applications as an antidepressant, an analgesic, and as a therapeutic tool for treating drug addictions, some types of stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Divine Voyeurs: Salvia on YouTube By Rak RazamSalvia divinorum, also known as “Diviner’s Sage,” has been called “the most powerful hallucinogenic known to mankind” by enthusiasts on the net. So how does it feel to be on salvia with a camera phone in your face? In the post-Jackass, reality-TV generation nothing is sacred.

Entheogenic Spirituality as a Human Right By Martin W. BallU.S. law sees “freedom of religion” as referring primarily to the freedom to believe and secondarily to the freedom to practice. However, something sorely missing from our legal protections is any recognition of the significance of direct spiritual experience itself, including with sacred plants.

Emerging from the Dark Age: The Revival of Psychedelic Medicine By Charles ShawAfter a forty-year moratorium on research driven by propaganda and political repression, treating some of lifes most challenging illnesses with psychedelic compounds has made a miraculous comeback. A deeply personal story about some of these miracles.

Drugs and Dharma in the 21st Century Allan BadinerTwo great directions in human thought and activity have recently been coming into sharper focus.Interest in Buddhism has not been greater since it was first introduced to China where it proceeded to grow steadily for 500 years, and the serious and thoughtful use of psychedelics is making a resurgence, perhaps more profoundly than in the Sixties.

DMT, Creativity and a Philosophy of Psychedelics By Terra CelesteIn this interview, Mitch Schultz, director of DMT: The Spirit Molecule, describes how a DMT experience inspired him to create a series of documentary films exploring quantum awareness, humanity’s relationship to the life force of Earth, and the role of music, open source ideas, and the cyber-realm in generating new, non-destructive meta-mythiologies.

Back to RS Gnosis Files.

Go here to see the original:

Entheogens – Reality Sandwich

Urban Dictionary: entheogen

A term derived from the Greek ‘entheos’, directly translated to mean having “God (theos) within” or more loosely translated as “inspired” and ‘genesthe’ meaning “to generate”. ‘Entheos’ was typically used to describe poets, musicians and other artists who were believed to receive their gifts from the divine. The word entheogen thus exposes itself as meaning “that which generates God/the divine in a person”. The term was first coined in 1979 as a replacement for ‘psychedelic’ and ‘hallucinogen’ which both carry with them certain denigrating connotations. The cultures of those who use psychoactives that fall within the category of entheogen (or enthnobotanical, a related term which refers specifically to psychoactive plants) and those who use such substances for ‘recreational’ or secular uses are in some cases, strongly at ends, and in others allied. Entheogen is a term to be used in strict reverence of substances that act as divine sacraments and facilitate transcendent experiences.

I participated in the ritual use of the entheogen, Mescaline/Peyote when I went on a spirit walk at the Peyote Way Church in Arizona.

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‘God within us’, those plant substances that, when ingested, give one a divine experience, in the past commonly called ‘hallucinogens’, ‘psychedelics’, ‘psychotomimetics’, etc etc, to each of which serious objections can be made. A group headed by the Greek scholar Carl A.P. Ruck advances ‘entheogen’ as fully filling the need, notably catching the rich cultural resonances evoked by the substances, many of them fungal, over vast areas of the world in proto- and prehistory. See Journal of Psychedelic Drugs Vol 11.1-2, 1979, pp 145-6. We favor the adoption of this word. Early Man, throughout much of Eurasia and the Americas, discovered the properties of these substances and regarded them with profound respect and even awe, hedging them about with bonds of secrecy. We are now rediscovering the secret and we should treat the ‘entheogens’ with the respect to which they were richly entitled. As we undertake to explore their role in the early history of religions, we should call them by a name unvulgarized by hippy abuse.”

Side note – an example is pretty obsolete, as the only people that actually use the word in every day conversation are wankers;)but if you have too, its pretty interchangable with hallucinogen or psychedelic (within the terms of the definition above

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A drug used to bring about spiritual connections.

We ate some entheogens and saw jesus.

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Generally used in place of “psychedelics” or “hallucinogens” by wannabe Hippies playing as much semantics as the Bush administration.

Actual shaman probably would laugh at the people who call hallucinogens this term because physical and psychological trials usually accompany the ingestion of hallucinogenic substances in shamanistic cultures and these people just sit in the comfort of their air conditioned parents’ house and think they’re getting in touch with the divine.

Used by people with no knowledge of anthropology and those who would probably be considered Orientalists by those who don’t live in Western societies.

Funny how white people say entheogen s are a pathway to god when there is no definitive proof for the existence of a deity and most indigenous societies don’t use psychedelics.

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Urban Dictionary: entheogen

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Entheogens including Salvia, LSD, Peyote, and Mushrooms …

(Entheogen Defined) “‘Entheogen’ is a word coined by scholars proposing to replace the term ‘psychedelic’ (Ruck, Bigwood, Staples, Ott & Wasson, 1979), which was perceived to be too socioculturally loaded from its 1960s roots to appropriately denote the revered plants and substances used for traditional sacred rituals.What kinds of plants or chemicals fall into the category of entheogen is a matter of debate, as a large number of inebriants – from tobacco and marijuana to alcohol and opium – have been venerated as gifts from the gods (or God) in different cultures at different times (Fuller, 2000). For the purposes of this paper, however, I will focus on the class of drugs that Lewin (1924/1997) terms ‘phantastica,’ a name deriving from the Greek word for the faculty of the imagination (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1973). Later these substances became known as hallucinogens or psychedelics, a class whose members include lysergic acid derivatives, psilocybin, mescaline and dimethyltryptamine; these all shared physical, chemical, and, when ingested, phenomenological properties and, more importantly, have a history of ritual use as cultural tools to cure illness and/or to mediate cosmological insight (Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1998; Rudgley, 1994, Schultes & Hofmann, 1992;).”

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(Entheogens as Psychedelics) “Another peculiar effect of these drugs is a dramatic change in perception: it appears to the person as if the eyes (the ‘doors of perception’) have been cleansed and the person could see the world as new in all respects ‘as Adam may have seen it on the day of creation’ as Aldous Huxley (1954, p. 17) pointed out in his popular and influential book. This new reality is perceived and interpreted by some individuals as manifestation of the true nature of their mind; hence, the term ‘psychedelic’ was suggested by Osmond (1957). This interpretation has been embraced not only by professional therapists but also by some segments of the public, and gave rise to the ‘Summer of Love’ in San Francisco in 1967 with free distribution of LSD. This perception resulted in the formation of numerous cults, communes, and drug-oriented religious groups (Freedman 1968), permeated the lyrics and style of popular music (acid rock), and was viewed by some as one of the contributing sources of the occasional resurgence of popularity of illegal drug use (Cohen 1966, Szra 1968).”

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(Entheogens as Hallucinogens) “The term ‘hallucinogen’ is widely used and understood in both professional and lay circles, in spite of the fact that hallucinations in the strict psychiatric sense of the word are a relatively rare effect of these drugs (Hollister 1962). What is probably the first reference to hallucinations as produced by peyote appears in Louis Lewins book published in 1924 in German and later translated into English with the nearly identical title Phantastica (Lewin 1924, 1964). In this book by the noted German toxicologist, the term ‘hallucinatoria’ appears as a synonym for phantastica to designate the class of drugs that can produce transitory visionary states ‘without any physical inconvenience for a certain time in persons of perfectly normal mentality who are partly or fully conscious of the action of the drug’ (Lewin 1964, p. 92). Lewin lists peyotl (also spelled ‘peyote’) (Anhalonium lewinii), Indian hemp (Cannabis indica), fly agaric (Agaricus muscarius), thornapple (Datura stramonium), and the South American yahe (also spelled ‘yage’) (Banisteria caapi) as representatives of this class.”

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(Description of Ayahuasca) “Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic tea originally from the Amazon Basin that is supposedly able to induce strikingly similar visions in people independent of their cultural background. Ayahuasca users commonly claim that this regularity across peoples visions is evidence that their visions are not simply the products of their own brains, but rather are representations of spiritual information learned from plant-spirits that one gains access to by drinking the tea.”

(Description of Ayahuasca) “Ayahuasca is a psychedelic decoction made from plants native to the Amazon Basinmost often Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridisand which contains harmala alkaloids and N,Ndimethyltryptamine (DMT), the latter being a controlled substance scheduled under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.”

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(Ayahuasca Folk Healers) “Vegetalismo is a Peruvian Spanish term denoting the folk healing traditions of mestizo curanderos, or healers of mixed indigenous and non-indigenous ancestry who use ayahuasca and other ‘master’ plants for diagnosis and treatment of illnesses (Beyer, 2009; Dobkin de Rios, 1972; Luna, 1986). Known as ayahuasqueros, such folk healers undergo a rigorous process of initiation and training, requiring adherence to strict dietary and sexual abstinence protocols, and sometimes prolonged isolation in the jungle.”

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(Ayahuasca Healing Ceremonies) “Cross-cultural vegetalismo refers to ayahuasca ceremonies based, to varying degrees, on vegetalismo or equivalent traditions from other regions of the Amazon, but conducted primarily for (and increasingly by) non-Amazonians. Urban centres in the region are presently witnessing a boom in what has been pejoratively characterized as ‘ayahuasca tourism’ (Dobkin de Rios, 1994; see also Davidov, 2010; Holman, 2011; Razam, 2009), but cross-cultural vegetalismo ceremonies are also increasingly common outside the Amazon (Labate, 2004). Canadians and other foreigners regularly invite indigenous or mestizo Amazonian ayahuasqueros to their home countries to conduct ceremonies for people in the circles and networks of the sponsors friends and acquaintances (Tupper, 2009asee Appendix). Some individuals are undertaking apprenticeships in the vegetalismo tradition to become neo-shamanic practitioners of ayahuasca healing, in a manner similar to how yoga, Buddhist monastic, ayurvedic, or Chinese medicine practices have been taken up by modern Western disciples exogenous to the respective cultures and traditions of origin.”

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(Legal Status of Ayahuasca) “On February 21 of this year, 2006, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Centro Esprita Beneficente Unio do Vegetal (the UDV) in the case Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General, et al. Petitioners v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Unio do Vegetal et al. The UDV is now legally allowed to drink ayahuasca (which contains the controlled substance DMT) in their ceremonies here in the US.”

(Therapeutic Potential of Ayahuasca) “Aside from indicating a general lack of harm from the religious use of ayahuasca, biomedical and ethnographic studies have also generated preliminary evidence in support of the therapeutic potentials of ayahuasca or its constituents for alleviating substance dependence (Grob et al., 1996; Labate, Santos, Anderson, Mercante, & Barbosa, 2010) and mood and anxiety disorders (Fortunato et al., 2010; Santos, Landeira-Fernandez, Strassman, Motta, & Cruz, 2007). The study of ayahuasca could thus contribute to advances in ethnopharmacology and the cognitive sciences (Shanon, 2002), yet such studies are severely compromised when these traditions face the threat of legal sanction.”

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“LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. It was discovered in 1938 and is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.”

(NIDA’s Description of the Physical Characteristics of LSD) “LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide)also known as acid, blotter, doses, hits, microdots, sugar cubes, trips, tabs, or window panes is one of the most potent moodand perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. It is a clear or white, odorless, water-soluble material synthesized from lysergic acid, a compound derived from a rye fungus. LSD is initially produced in crystalline form, which can then be used to produce tablets known as ‘microdots’ or thin squares of gelatin called ‘window panes.’ It can also be diluted with water or alcohol and sold in liquid form. The most common form, however, is LSD-soaked paper punched into small individual squares, known as ‘blotters.'”

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(LSD Effects According to NIDA) “Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs in people under the influence of LSD. The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in large enough doses, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. The users sense of time and self is altered. Experiences may seem to cross over different senses, giving the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds. These changes can be frightening and can cause panic. Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings of despair, fear of losing control, or fear of insanity and death while using LSD. “LSD users can also experience flashbacks, or recurrences of certain aspects of the drug experience. Flashbacks occur suddenly, often without warning, and may do so within a few days or more than a year after LSD use. In some individuals, the flashbacks can persist and cause significant distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning, a condition known as hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD). “Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop its use over time. LSD is not considered an addictive drug since it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior. However, LSD does produce tolerance, so some users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug. In addition, cross-tolerance between LSD and other hallucinogens has been reported.

(Prevalence of and Trends in LSD Use Among Youth) “LSD, one of the major drugs in the hallucinogen class, showed a modest decline in use among 12th graders from 1975 to 1977, followed by considerable stability through 1981 (Figure 5-4g). Between 1981 and 1985, there was a second period of gradual decline, with annual prevalence of use falling from 6.5% to 4.4%. However, after 1985, annual prevalence began to rise very gradually to 5.6% by 1992, making it one of the few drugs to show a rise in use in that period. The increase continued through 1996, with annual prevalence reaching 8.8%, double the low point in 1985. After 1996, annual prevalence declined, including sharp decreases in 2002 and 2003, reaching 1.7% in 2006, the lowest LSD prevalence rate recorded since MTF began. By 2011 the rate was up slightly to 2.7%, having risen by a significant 0.7 percentage points in 2010. We believe that the decline prior to 2002 might have resulted in part from a displacement of LSD by sharply rising ecstasy use. After 2001, when ecstasy use itself began to decline, the sharp further decline in LSD use likely resulted from a drop in the availability of LSD, because attitudes generally have not moved in a way that could explain the fall in use, while perceived availability has.”

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(LSD and Marijuana Use by women) “Our results indicate that this population of sexually active female adolescents and young adults have similar rates of lifetime use of LSD (13%) as reported in other surveys,1,30 and half of these young women report using LSD one or more times in the last year. Prior data suggests that the use of hallucinogens by African Americans is virtually nonexistent across all ages of adolescents and young adults.2,9 In fact, we found that none of our African American young women reported using LSD. However, the proportion of African Americans who reported using marijuana was much greater than either caucasian or Mexican American women.”

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(Effects of LSD) “The physiological effects of this powerful drug have been well documented. These effects can be grouped into five general areas of action: LSD works on the sympathetic nervous system (which is involved in regulation of heart muscle, smooth muscle and glandular organs in a response to stressful situations); the motor system (which is involved in carrying out limb movements); the affective states; thought processes; and it has profound effects upon the sensory and perceptual experience.

“LSD is a semisynthetic preparation originally derived from ergot, an extract of the fungus Claviceps purpurea, which grows as a parasite on rye wheat. The dosage that is required to produce a moderate effect in most subjects is 1 to 3mcg per kilogram of body mass, and the effects can last from seven to 10 hours (Bowman & Rand 1980).

“Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system following LSD ingestion can lead to effects such as hypothermia with piloerection (hairs standing on end, such as can be found in reports of religious ecstasy), sweating, increased heart rate with palpitations, and elevation of blood pressure and blood glucose levels. These reactions of the autonomic nervous system are not as significant as other effects upon the body: action on the motor system can lead to increased activity of monosynaptic reflexes (such as the knee-jerk response), an increase in muscle tension, tremors, and muscular incoordination. This latter effect of muscular incoordination is also a symptom of religious ecstasy in many cultures, where the worshipper has such a profound feeling of love of God that he is said to be ‘intoxicated by God.'”

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(Creation of LSD) “Chemist Albert Hofmann, working at the Sandoz Corporation pharmaceutical laboratory in Switzerland, first synthesized LSD in 1938. He was conducting research on possible medical applications of various lysergic acid compounds derived from ergot, a fungus that develops on rye grass. Searching for compounds with therapeutic value, Hofmann created more than two dozen ergot-derived synthetic molecules. The 25th was called, in German, Lyserg-Sure-Dithylamid 25, or LSD-25.”

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(Addictive Properties and Tolerance) “Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop its use over time. LSD is not considered an addictive drug since it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior. However, LSD does produce tolerance, so some users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug. In addition, cross-tolerance between LSD and other hallucinogens has been reported.”

(Physical Effects of LSD According to NIDA) “The effects of LSD depend largely on the amount taken. LSD causes dilated pupils; can raise body temperature and increase heart rate and blood pressure; and can cause profuse sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.”

(Description of Peyote) “Peyote is a small, spineless cactus in which the principal active ingredient is mescaline. This plant has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of religious ceremonies. Mescaline can also be produced through chemical synthesis.”

(Description of Peyote) “The top of the peyote cactus, also referred to as the crown, consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the roots and dried. These buttons are generally chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating liquid. The hallucinogenic dose of mescaline is about 0.3 to 0.5 grams, and its effects last about 12 hours. Because the extract is so bitter, some individuals prefer to prepare a tea by boiling the cacti for several hours.”

(Effects of Mescaline and Peyote) “The long-term residual psychological and cognitive effects of mescaline, peyotes principal active ingredient, remain poorly understood. A recent study found no evidence of psychological or cognitive deficits among Native Americans that use peyote regularly in a religious setting.2 It should be mentioned, however, that these findings may not generalize to those who repeatedly abuse the drug for recreational purposes. Peyote abusers may also experience flashbacks.”

(Physical Effects) “Its effects can be similar to those of LSD, including increased body temperature and heart rate, uncoordinated movements (ataxia), profound sweating, and flushing. The active ingredient mescaline has also been associated, in at least one report, to fetal abnormalities.”

“Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is obtained from certain types of mushrooms that are indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico, and the United States. These mushrooms typically contain less than 0.5 percent psilocybin plus trace amounts of psilocin, another hallucinogenic substance.”

(Methods of Use) “Mushrooms containing psilocybin are available fresh or dried and are typically taken orally. Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) and its biologically active form, psilocin (4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), cannot be inactivated by cooking or freezing preparations. Thus, they may also be brewed as a tea or added to other foods to mask their bitter flavor. The effects of psilocybin, which appear within 20 minutes of ingestion, last approximately 6 hours.”

(Effects of Psilocybin) “The active compounds in psilocybin-containing ‘magic’ mushrooms have LSD-like properties and produce alterations of autonomic function, motor reflexes, behavior, and perception.3 The psychological consequences of psilocybin use include hallucinations, an altered perception of time, and an inability to discern fantasy from reality. Panic reactions and psychosis also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a large dose. Long-term effects such as flashbacks, risk of psychiatric illness, impaired memory, and tolerance have been described in case reports.”

(Physical Effects of Psilocybin) “[Psilocybin] can produce muscle relaxation or weakness, ataxia, excessive pupil dilation, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness. Individuals who abuse psilocybin mushrooms also risk poisoning if one of many existing varieties of poisonous mushrooms is incorrectly identified as a psilocybin mushroom.”

(Psilocybin and Mystical Experiences) “Overall, the present study shows that psilocybin can dose-dependently occasion mystical-type experiences having persisting positive effects on attitudes, mood, and behavior. The observations that episodes of extreme fear, feeling trapped, or delusions occur at the highest dose in almost 40% of volunteers, that anxiety and fear have an unpredictable time course across the session, and that an ascending sequence of dose exposure may be associated with long-lasting positive changes have implications for the design of therapeutic trials with psilocybin. Considering the rarity of spontaneous mystical experiences in the general population, the finding that more than 70% of volunteers in the current study had ‘complete’ mystical experiences suggests that most people have the capacity for such experiences under appropriate conditions and, therefore, such experiences are biologically normal.”

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(Safety of Psilocybin) “An important finding of the present study is that, with careful volunteer screening and preparation and when sessions are conducted in a comfortable, well-supervised setting, a high dose of 30 mg/70 kg psilocybin can be administered safely. . It is also noteworthy that, despite meetings and prior sessions with monitors ranging from 8 h (when psilocybin was administered on the first session) up to 24 h (when psilocybin was administered on the third session) of contact time, 22% (8 of 36) of the volunteers experienced a period of notable anxiety/dysphoria during the session, sometimes including transient ideas of reference/paranoia. No volunteer required pharmacological intervention and the psychological effects were readily managed with reassurance. The primary monitor remained accessible via beeper/phone to each volunteer for 24 h after each session, but no volunteer called before the scheduled follow-up meeting on the next day. The 1-year follow-up is ongoing but has been completed by most volunteers (30 of 36). In that follow-up, an open-ended clinical interview reflecting on the study experiences and current life situation provides a clinical context conducive to the spontaneous reporting of study-associated adverse events. To date, there have been no reports of persisting perceptional phenomena sometimes attributed to hallucinogen use or of recreational abuse of hallucinogens, and all participants appear to continue to be high-functioning, productive members of society.”

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(Medicinal Potential of Psilocybin) “Today, the medical value of hallucinogens is again being examined in formal psychiatric settings. One substance under investigation is psilocybin, 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine, which occurs in nature in various species of mushrooms. Psilocybin is rapidly metabolized to psilocin, which is a potent agonist at serotonin 5-HT1A/2A/2C receptors, with 5-HT2A receptor activation directly correlated with human hallucinogenic activity.16 Psilocybin was studied during the 1960s to establish its psychopharmacological profile; it was found to be active orally at around 10 mg, with stronger effects at higher doses, and to have a 4- to 6-hour duration of experience. Psychological effects were similar to those of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), with psilocybin considered to be more strongly visual, less emotionally intense, more euphoric, and with fewer panic reactions and less chance of paranoia than LSD.”17,18

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(Safety of Psilocybin in Clinical Setting) “Our investigations provided no cause for concern that administration of PY [psilocybin] to healthy subjects is hazardous with respect to somatic health. However, as our data revealed tendencies of PY to temporarily increase blood pressure, we advise subjects suffering from cardiovascular conditions, especially untreated hypertension, to abstain from using PY or PY-containing mushrooms. Furthermore, our results indicate that PY-induced ASC [altered states of consciousness] are generally well tolerated and integrated by healthy subjects. However, a controlled clinical setting is needful, since also mentally stable personalities may, following ingestion of higher doses of PY, transiently experience anxiety as a consequence of loosening of ego-boundaries.”

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(Psilocybin and Treatment of End-Stage Cancer Anxiety) “Despite the limitations, this study demonstrates that the careful and controlled use of psilocybin may provide an alternative model for the treatment of conditions that are often minimally responsive to conventional therapies, including the profound existential anxiety and despair that often accompany advanced-stage cancers. A recent review from the psilocybin research group at Johns Hopkins University describes the critical components necessary for ensuring subject safety in hallucinogen research.36 Taking into account these essential provisions for optimizing safety as well as adhering to strict ethical standards of conduct for treatment facilitators, the results provided herein indicate the safety and promise of continued investigations into the range of medical effects of hallucinogenic compounds such as psilocybin.”

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(Description of Salvia Divinorum) “Salvia divinorum is a perennial herb in the mint family native to certain areas of the Sierra Mazateca region of Oaxaca, Mexico. The plant, which can grow to over three feet in height, has large green leaves, hollow square stems and white flowers with purple calyces, can also be grown successfully outside of this region. Salvia divinorum has been used by the Mazatec Indians for its ritual divination and healing. The active constituent of Salvia divinorum has been identified as salvinorin A. Currently, neither Salvia divinorum nor any of its constituents, including salvinorin A, are controlled under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).”

(Effects of Salvia Divinorum) “Consistent with results from nonhuman animal research (Mowry et al.,2003), the present results suggest a safe physiological profile for salvinorin A at the studied doses, under controlled conditions, and in psychologically and physically healthy hallucinogen-experienced participants. Salvinorin A produced no significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure; no tremor was observed; and no adverse events were reported. Participants tolerated all doses. However, because of the small sample and the healthy, hallucinogen-experienced status of participants, conclusions regarding safety are limited.”

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(Description of Salvia and Its Effects) “Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive plant that can induce dissociative effects and is a potent producer of visual and other hallucinatory experiences. By mass, salvinorin A, the psychoactive substance in the plant, appears to be the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen. Its native habitat is the cloud forests in Mexico. It has been consumed for hundreds of years by local Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions.57 It is also used in traditional medicine at lower doses as a diuretic to treat ailments including diarrhoea, anaemia, headaches and rheumatism. Effects include various psychedelic experiences, including past memories (e.g. revisiting places from childhood memory), merging with objects and overlapping realities (such as the perception of being in several locations at the same time).58 In contrast to other drugs, its use often prompts dysphoria, i.e. feelings of sadness and depression, as well as fear. In addition, it may prompt a decreased heart rate, slurred speech, lack of coordination and possibly loss of consciousness.59”

(Effects of Salvia Divinorum) “The putative primary psychoactive agent in SD [Salvia divinorum] is a structurally novel KOR [kappa opioid receptor] agonist named salvinorin A (Ortega et al., 1982; Valds et al., 1984). Consistent with KOR agonist activity, users describe SD in lay literature as hallucinogenic: it produces perceptual distortions, pseudo-hallucinations, and a profoundly altered sense of self and environment, including out-of-body experiences (Aardvark, 1998; Erowid, 2008; Siebert, 1994b; Turner, 1996). SD therefore appears to have the potential to elucidate the role of the KOR receptor system in health and disease (Butelman et al., 2004; Chavkin et al., 2004; Roth et al., 2002).”

(Potential for Abuse or Dependence of Salvia Divinorum) “There was little evidence of dependence in our survey population. At some point, 0.6% (3 people) felt addicted to or dependent upon SD, while 1.2% (6) reported strong cravings for SD. The DSM-IV-R psychiatric diagnostic system in the United States classifies people as drug dependent based on seven criteria. Of the three who reported feelings of addiction or dependence on SD, only one endorsed any DSM-IV criteria (strong cravings and using more SD than planned). When asked about these signs and symptoms individually, 2 additional respondents (0.4%) reported three dependence criteria. None of these individuals reported more than 2 of 13 after-effects characteristic of mu-opioid withdrawal (such as increased sweating, gooseflesh, worsened mood, and diarrhea).”

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(Prevalence of Use of Salvia Divinorum Among Youth) “A tripwire question about use of salvia (or salvia divinorum) in the past 12 months was added in 2010. Salvia is an herb with hallucinogenic properties, common to southern Mexico and Central and South America. Although it currently is not a drug regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, several states have passed legislation to regulate its use. The Drug Enforcement Agency has listed salvia as a drug of concern and is considering classifying it as a Schedule I drug, like LSD or marijuana. The drug has an appreciable annual prevalence: 1.6%, 3.9%, and 5.9% among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in 2011, while lifetime prevalence would be somewhat higher.”

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Entheogens including Salvia, LSD, Peyote, and Mushrooms …

Entheogens and Spirituality | Kava | Kratom | Teacher Plants

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by Keith Cleversley | Feb 23, 2016 | Kava Kava | 1 Comment

I’ve spent more than half my life exploring and working with various plants. One of my favorite plants to help me relax is one that continues to gain steam in the mainstream, but is still very much in the shadows; Kava Kava. I’ve been in the Kava biz for nearly 20…

by Keith Cleversley | Nov 3, 2015 | Kava Kava, Research | 1 Comment

Ona late 2015 trip to the Hawaiian Islands, I had the pleasure of experiencing a cultivar of Kava unlike any other I had experienced previously. This variety was called Hiwa (pronounced HEE-vuh), and I had the pleasure of experiencing this incredible cultivar over a…

by Keith Cleversley | Mar 30, 2015 | Kava Kava, Research | 0 Comments

I was having difficulty finding an articles regarding Kava benefits in terms of health and nutrition, so I thought an article here would be appropriate. What I discovered, is that since Kava lost its “food” status (called GRAS) in the early 2000’s, and is only…

by Keith Cleversley | Dec 19, 2014 | Kratom, News Articles | 0 Comments

Recent developments in Florida indicate that Palm Beach County officials are backing away from an outright ban on kratom and may instead implement educational initiatives to teach consumers about kratom, its effects, and its potential risks. The initiative would include warning labels on packages of kratom, partnerships with schools, and distributing information at community events and through social media.

by Keith Cleversley | Dec 7, 2014 | Features, Kava Kava | 3 Comments

Now that Cannabis is legal for recreational use in three states as of the writing of this article, it feels important to address what will undoubtedly be a continuing flood of questions regarding combiningkava and cannabis (marijuana). Customers from both Washington…

by Keith Cleversley | Nov 25, 2014 | Kava Kava | 0 Comments

To indigenous peoples throughout the South Pacific, kava is a central aspect of social and religious life. In the spirit of exploring the lesser-known aspects of kava, this article brings you a collection of the myths, legends, and rituals surrounding kava in Hawaiithat piece of the South Pacific closest to our shores!

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The word entheogen is a modern term derived from two Ancient Greek words, (entheos) and (genesthai). Entheos literally means “god (theos) within”, more freely translated “inspired”. The Greeks used it as a term of praise for poets and other artists. Genesthai means “to cause to be” or becoming. So an entheogen is “that which causes God (or godly inspiration) to be within a person”.

In its strictest sense the term refers to a psychoactive substance (most often some plant matter with hallucinogenic effects) that occasions enlightening spiritual or mystical experience, within the parameters of a cult, in the original non-pejorative sense of cultus. In a broader sense, the word “entheogen” refers to artificial as well as natural substances that induce alterations of consciousness similar to those documented for ritual ingestion of traditional shamanic inebriants, even if it is used in a secular context.

The word “entheogen” was coined in 1979 by a group of ethnobotanists and scholars of mythology (Carl A. P. Ruck, Jeremy Bigwood, Danny Staples, Richard Evans Schultes, Jonathan Ott and R. Gordon Wasson). The literal meaning of the word is “that which causes God to be within an individual”. The translation “creating the divine within” is sometimes given, but it should be noted that entheogen implies neither that something is created (as opposed to just perceiving something that is already there) nor that that which is experienced is within the user (as opposed to having independent existence).

The term was coined as a replacement for the terms “hallucinogen” (popularized by Aldous Huxley’s experiences with mescaline, published as The Doors of Perception in 1953) and “psychedelic” (a Greek neologism for “soul-revealing”, coined by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, who was quite surprised when the well-known author, Aldous Huxley, volunteered to be a subject in experiments Osmond was running on mescaline). Ruck et al. argued that the term “hallucinogen” was inappropriate due to its etymological relationship to words relating to delirium and insanity. The term “psychedelic” was also seen as problematic, due to the similarity in sound to words pertaining to psychosis and also due to the fact that it had become irreversibly associated with various connotations of 1960s pop culture.

The meanings of the term “entheogen” were formally defined by Ruck et al.:

Since 1979, when the term was proposed, its use has become widespread in certain circles. In particular, the word fills a vacuum for those users of entheogens who feel that the term “hallucinogen”, which remains common in medical, chemical and anthropological literature, denigrates their experience and the world view in which it is integrated. Use of the strict sense of the word has therefore arisen amongst religious entheogen users, and also amongst others who wish to practice spiritual or religious tolerance.

The use of the word “entheogen” in its broad sense as a synonym for “hallucinogenic drug” has attracted criticism on three grounds. On pragmatic grounds, the objection has been raised that the meaning of the strict sense of “entheogen”, which is of specific value in discussing traditional, historical and mythological uses of entheogens in religious settings, is likely to be diluted by widespread, casual use of the term in the broader sense. Secondly, some people object to the misuse of the root theos (god in ancient Greek) in the description of the use of hallucinogenic drugs in a non-religious context, and coupled with the climate of religious tolerance or pluralism that prevails in many present-day societies, the use of the root theos in a term describing non-religious drug use has also been criticised as a form of taboo deformation. Thirdly there are some substances that at least partially fulfil the definition of an entheogen that is given above, but are not hallucinogenic in the usual sense. One important example is the bread and wine of the Christian Eucharist.

Ideological objections to the broad use of the term often relate to the widespread existence of taboos surrounding psychoactive drugs, with both religious and secular justifications. The perception that the broad sense of the term “entheogen” is used as a euphemism by hallucinogenic drug-users bothers both critics and proponents of the secular use of hallucinogenic drugs. Critics frequently see the use of the term as an attempt to obscure what they perceive as illegitimate motivations and contexts of secular drug use. Some proponents also object to the term, arguing that the trend within their own subcultures and in the scientific literature towards the use of term “entheogen” as a synonym for “hallucinogen” devalues the positive uses of drugs in contexts that are secular but nevertheless, in their view, legitimate.

Beyond the use of the term itself, the validity of drug-induced, facilitated, or enhanced religious experience has been questioned. The claim that such experiences are less valid than religious experience without the use of any chemical catalysts faces the problem that the descriptions of religious experiences by those using entheogens are indistinguishable from many reports of religious experiences without drugs. In an attempt to empirically answer the question about whether drugs can actually facilitate religious experience, the Marsh Chapel Experiment was conducted by physician and theology doctoral candidate, Walter Pahnke, under the supervision of Timothy Leary and the Harvard Psilocybin Project. In the double-blind experiment, volunteer graduate school divinity students from the Boston area almost all claimed to have had profound religious experiences under the influence of psilocybin. (A brief video about the Marsh Chapel experiment can be viewed here.)

Naturally occurring entheogens such as Datura were, for the most part, discovered and used by older cultures, as part of their spiritual and religious life, as plants and agents which were respected, or in some cases revered. By contrast, artificial and modern entheogens, such as MDMA, never had a tradition of religious use.

Currently entheogens are used in three principal ways: as part of established traditions and religions, secularly for personal spiritual development, and secularly in a manner similar to recreational drugs. A lesser use of entheogens for medical and therapeutic use is rarely pursued due to legislative and cultural objections.

The use of entheogens in human cultures is generally ubiquitous throughout recorded history. The number of entheogen-using cultures is therefore very large. Some of the instances better known to Western scholarship are discussed here.

The best-known entheogen-using culture of Africa is the Bwitists, who used a preparation of the root bark of Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga).[1] A famous entheogen of ancient Egypt is the blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea). There is evidence for the use of entheogenic mushrooms in Cte d’Ivoire (Samorini 1995). Numerous other examples of the use of plants in shamanic ritual in Africa are yet to be investigated by western science.

Entheogens have played a pivotal role in the spiritual practices of most American cultures for millennia. The first American entheogen to be subject to scientific analysis was the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). For his part, one of the founders of modern ethno-botany, the late Richard Evans Schultes of Harvard University documented the ritual use of peyote cactus among the Kiowa of Oklahoma. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_E._Schultes) Used traditionally by many cultures of what is now Mexico, its use spread to throughout North America in the 19th century, replacing the toxic entheogen Sophora secundiflora (mescal bean). Other well-known entheogens used by Mexican cultures include psilocybin mushrooms (known to the Aztecs under the Nahuatl name teonanacatl), the seeds of several morning glories (Nahuatl: tlitliltzin and ololiuhqui) and Salvia divinorum (Mazateco: Ska Pastora; Nahuatl: pipiltzintzintli).

Urarina shaman, 1988

Indigenous peoples of South America employ a wide variety of entheogens. Better-known examples include ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi plus admixtures) among indigenous peoples (such as the Urarina) of Peruvian Amazonia. Other well-known entheogens include: borrachero (Brugmansia spp); San Pedro Trichocereus spp); and various tryptamine-bearing snuffs, for example Epen (Virola spp), Vilca and Yopo (Anadananthera spp). The familiar tobacco plant, when used uncured in large doses in shamanic contexts, also serves as an entheogen in South America.

In addition to indigenous use of entheogens in the Americas, one should also note their important role in contemporary religions movements, such as Rastafarianism and the Church of the Universe.

The indigeneous peoples of Siberia (from whom the term shaman was appropriated) have used the fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria) as an entheogen. The ancient inebriant Soma, mentioned often in the Vedas, may have been an entheogen. (In his 1967 book, Wasson argues that Soma was fly agaric. The active ingredient of Soma is now presumed to be ephedrine, an alkaloid with entheogenic properties derived from the soma plant, identified as Ephedra pachyclada.)

The use of entheogens in Europe was all but eliminated with the rise of post-Roman Christianity and especially during the great witch hunts of Early Modernity. European witches used various entheogens, including deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum) and henbane (Hyoscyamus niger). These plants were used, among other things, for the manufacture of “flying ointments”. In Christian society, witches were commonly believed to fly through the air on broomsticks after coating them with the ointment and applying them to the skin. Consequently, any association with these plants could have proven extremely dangerous and lead to one’s execution as a practitioner of witchcraft. The imposition of Roman Christianity also saw the end of the two-thousand-year-old tradition of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the initiation ceremony for the cult of Demeter and Persephone involving the use of a possibly entheogenic substance known as kykeon. Similarly, there is evidence that nitrous oxide or ethylene may have been in part resposible for the visions of the equally long-lived Delphic oracle.

In the Christian era the Eucharist plays a symbolic role in religious tradition that has occasionally attracted the label of “entheogen” or “placebo entheogen”, even though it does not conform to the original definition involving the use of vision-inducing substances.

The entheogenic use of substances, particularly hashish, by ancient Sufis is well-documented. Its use by the “Hashshashin” to stupefy and recruit new initiates was widely reported during the Crusades. However, the drug used by the Hashshashin was likely wine, opium, henbane, or some combination of these, and, in any event, the use of this drug was for stupefaction rather than for entheogenic use. It has been suggested that the ritual use of small amounts of Syrian Rue is an artifact of its ancient use in higher doses as an entheogen. John Marco Allegro has argued in his book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross that early Jewish and Christian sects and cults were based on the use of Amanita muscaria,[2] though this hypothesis has not achieved widespread currency.

Indigenous Australians are generally supposed not to have used entheogens, although there is a strong barrier of secrecy surrounding Aboriginal shamanism, which has likely limited what has been told to outsiders. Natives of Papua New Guinea are known to use several species of entheogenic mushrooms (Psilocybe spp, Boletus manicus).[3] It has been suggested that the Mori of New Zealand used Mori Kava (Macropiper excelsum) as an entheogen (Bock 2000).

Although entheogens are taboo in Christian and Islamic societies, their ubiquity and prominence in the spiritual traditions of other cultures is unquestioned. The entheogen, “the spirit, for example, need not be chemical, as is the case with the ivy and the olive: and yet the god was felt to be within them; nor need its possession be considered something detrimental, like drugged, hallucinatory, or delusionary: but possibly instead an invitation to knowledge or whatever good the god’s spirit had to offer.” (Ruck and Staples)

Most of the well-known modern examples, such as peyote, psilocybe and other psychoactive mushrooms and ololiuhqui, are from the native cultures of the Americas. However, it has also been suggested that entheogens played an important role in ancient Indo-European culture, for example by inclusion in the ritual preparations of the Soma, the “pressed juice” that is the subject of Book 9 of the Rig Veda. Soma was ritually prepared and drunk by priests and initiates and elicited a paean in the Rig Veda that embodies the nature of an entheogen:

The Kykeon that preceded initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries is another entheogen, which was investigated (before the word was coined) by Carl Kereny, in Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter. Other entheogens in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean include the poppy, Datura, the unidentified “lotus” eaten by the Lotus-Eaters in the Odyssey and Narkissos.

According to Ruck, Eyan, and Staples, the familiar shamanic entheogen that the Indo-Europeans brought with them was knowledge of the wild Amanita mushroom. It could not be cultivated; thus it had to be found, which suited it to a nomadic lifestyle. When they reached the world of the Caucasus and the Aegean, the Indo-Europeans encountered wine, the entheogen of Dionysus, who brought it with him from his birthplace in the mythical Nysa, when he returned to claim his Olympian birthright. The Indo-European proto-Greeks “recognized it as the entheogen of Zeus, and their own traditions of shamanism, the Amanita and the ‘pressed juice’ of Soma but better since no longer unpredictable and wild, the way it was found among the Hyperboreans: as befit their own assimilation of agrarian modes of life, the entheogen was now cultivable” (Ruck and Staples). Robert Graves, in his foreword to The Greek Myths, argues that the ambrosia of various pre-Hellenic tribes were amanita and possibly panaeolus mushrooms.

Amanita was divine food, according to Ruck and Staples, not something to be indulged in or sampled lightly, not something to be profaned. It was the food of the gods, their ambrosia, and it mediated between the two realms. It is said that Tantalus’s crime was inviting commoners to share his ambrosia.

Even in cultures where they are acceptable, improper use of an entheogen, by the unauthorized or uninitiated, has led to disgrace, exile, and even death. The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden can be understood as such a parable of an entheogen misused, for the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge by its very nature is clearly part of what is denoted by “entheogen” a point made clearly by God:

Indeed the entheogen offers godlike powers in many Traditional tales, including immortality. The failure of Gilgamesh in retrieving the plant of immortality from beneath the waters teaches that the blissful state cannot be taken by force or guile: when Gilgamesh lay on the bank, exhausted from his heroic effort, the serpent came and ate the plant.

Another attempt at subverting the natural order is told in a (according to some) strangely metamorphosed myth, in which natural roles have been reversed to suit the Hellenic world-view. The Alexandrian Apollodorus relates how Gaia (spelled “Ge” in the following passage), Mother Earth herself, has supported the Titans in their battle with the Olympian intruders. The Giants have been defeated:

Consumption of the imaginary mushroom anochi as the entheogen underlying the creation of Christianity is the premise of Philip K. Dick’s last (science fiction) novel, “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer”.

Aldous Huxley’s final novel, Island (1962), depicted a fictional entheogenic mushroom termed “moksha medicine” used by the people of Pala in rites of passage, such as the transition to adulthood and at the end of life.

In his book “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East”, [2] John M. Allegro argues etymologically that Christianity developed out of the use of a psychedelic mushroom, the true body of Christ, which was later forgotten by its adherents.

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ENTHEOGENS

Spiritual and Traditional Use of Psychoactives

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Entheogens: Whats in a Name? The Untold History of …

Articles in this Series: 1) R. Gordon Wasson: The Man, the Legend, the Myth. Beginning a New History of Magic Mushrooms, Ethnomycology,and the Psychedelic Revolution. By Jan Irvin, May 13, 2012 2) How Darwin, Huxley, and the Esalen Institute launched the 2012 and psychedelic revolutions and began one of the largest mind control operations in history. Some brief notes. By Jan Irvin, August 28, 2012 3) Manufacturing the Deadhead: A Product of Social Engineering, by Joe Atwill and Jan Irvin, May 13, 2013 4) Entheogens: Whats in a Name? The Untold History of Psychedelic Spirituality, Social Control, and the CIA, by Jan Irvin, November 11, 2014 5) Spies in Academic Clothing: The Untold History of MKULTRA and the Counterculture And How the Intelligence Community Misleads the 99%, by Jan Irvin, May 13, 2015 PDF version: Download latest version v3.5 – Nov. 20, 2014

Computer generated Text-Aloud audio version:

Youtube computer generated version with onscreen citations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYmScOSmlxU

Franais: (Full text translated to French) http://triangle.eklablog.com/l-histoire-secrete-de-la-spiritualite-psychedelique-a125061104

Franais (French) translation PDF: http://www.gnosticmedia.com/txtfiles/Histoire-secrte-spiritualit-psychdlique.pdf

Today there are many names for drug substances that we commonly refer to as hallucinogens, psychedelics, psychoactives, or entheogens, et al. But it hasnt always been that way. The study of the history and etymology of the words for these fascinating substances takes us, surprisingly, right into the heart of military intelligence, and what became the CIAs infamous MKULTRA mind control program, and reveals how the names themselves were used in marketing these substances to the public, and especially to the youth and countercultures.[1]

The official history has it that the CIA personnel involved in MKULTRA were just dupes, kind of stupid, and, by their egregious errors, the psychedelic revolution happened thwarting their efforts. The claim is that these substances got out of the CIAs control. Words like blowback and incompetence are often tossed around in such theories regarding the CIA and military intelligence, but without much, if any, supporting evidence.

Its almost impossible today to have a discussion regarding the actual documents and facts of MKULTRA and the psychedelic revolution without someone interrupting to inform you how it really happened even though most often they have never studied anything on the subject.

As we get started, I would like to propose that we question this idea of blowback: Who does it benefit to believe that it was all an accident and that the CIA and military intelligence were just dupes? Does it benefit you, or them? It might be uncomfortable for a moment for some of us to admit that maybe they (the agents) werent so stupid, and maybe we were the ones duped. Sometimes the best medicine is to just admit hey, you got me and laugh it off. For those of you whove heard these blowback theories and havent considered the possibility that the CIA created these movements intentionally, this article may be challenging for you, but stick with it, as it will be worth your while.

Now were ready. Because, defenses aside, a more honest, and less biased, inquiry into the history and facts reveals, startlingly, something quite different from the popular myths. This paper reveals, for the first time, how the opposite of the official history is true, and that the CIA did, in fact, create the psychedelic revolution and countercultures intentionally.

As Ill show in this article, the goal had changed and they wanted a name that would help sell these substances to the masses as sources of spiritual enlightenment rather than insanity. In their book The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, we see doctors Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert explain:

Of course, the drug dose does not produce the transcendent experience. It merely acts as a chemical key it opens the mind, frees the nervous system of its ordinary patterns and structures. The nature of the experience depends almost entirely on set and setting. Set denotes the preparation of the individual, including his personality structure and his mood at the time. Setting is physical the weather, the room’s atmosphere; social feelings of persons present towards one another; and cultural prevailing views as to what is real. It is for this reason that manuals or guide-books are necessary. Their purpose is to enable a person to understand the new realities of the expanded consciousness, to serve as road maps for new interior territories which modern science has made accessible.[2] Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, Richard Alpert

But what was the purpose of all of this? They state The nature of the experience depends almost entirely on set and setting. As well discover on this etymological trip, it was all about marketing the CIAs marketing regarding set and setting. Sound like a whacky conspiracy theory yet? As well soon discover, its not. The CIAs MKULTRA program was very real, was exposed before Congress in the Rockefeller and Church Commissions, and was all over the news media in the 1970s. But that was 40 years ago and this is now. So why should we care? Because much of the program wasnt revealed in the 1970s and persists to the present, and it affected just about everyone. It wasnt limited to just a few thousand victims of the CIAs secret human experiments. There were actually many more victims millions more. You may have been one of them.

As well see, this idea that the psychedelic revolution and counterculture were intentionally created affects most of us: the youth caught up in drug use, the parents, the anti-war movement, those involved in the psychedelic revolution or in politics; as well as artists, or people who use these substances for spirituality, or even anyone whos ever spoken the word psychedelic. It affects us because, as well see, thats what it was meant to do.

In the early years of research into these drugs, psychology researchers and military intelligence communities sometimes called them, aside from hallucinogen, by the name “psychotomimetic” which means psychosis mimicking. The word hallucinogen, to generate hallucinations, came just a few years before psychotomimetic. The same year that psychotomimetic was created we also saw the creation of the word psychedelic which means to manifest the mind. The last stage of this etymological evolution, as well see, was the word entheogen which means to generate god within. Well return to hallucinogen and these other words in the course of our journey.

While these words may have told what these substances do in the intelligence communitys collective understanding, accurate or not, they are loaded with implications. Suggestibility, otherwise known as set and setting, is one of them. The study of the history of these words, their etymology, reveals how MKULTRA researchers covered up and kept covered up until now that is this aspect of the MKULTRA mind control program.

In the 1950s most CIA candidates and agents were required to take psychedelic or hallucinogenic drugs to prepare them for chemical and biological warfare attack. This requirement didn’t turn the agency into hippies. As this article will show, marketing and PR people that the Agency later hired created that end result.

19 November 1953

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

The Medical Office commented also on the draft memorandum to DCI from Director of Security, subject: Project Experimental Project Utilizing Trainee Volunteers; to the effect that it was recommended the program not be confined merely to male volunteer trainee personnel but that the field of selection be broadened to include all components of the Agency and recommended that the subject memorandum be changed as appropriate to the broadening of such scope. The Project committee verbally concurred in this recommendation. [][3] ~ CIA MKULTRA files

As Jay Stevens, author of Storming Heaven, reveals in the following quote, suggestibility plays a large part in the way psychedelic drugs work.

To drive someone crazy with LSD was no great accomplishment, particularly if you told the person he was taking a psychotomimetic and you gave it to him in one of those pastel hospital cells with a grim nurse standing by scribbling notes.[4] ~Jay Stevens

Psychotomimetic (psychosis mimicking) is a word loaded with implications, suggestibility being the most important.

This is something that Aldous Huxley, Dr. Timothy Leary, R. Gordon Wasson and others made clear in their books and articles. In order to suggest what the creators of the psychedelic revolution wanted, they had to pay particular attention to the name(s) used for these substances.

What’s in a name? … Answer, practically everything.[5] ~ Aldous Huxley

However, for marketing and PR purposes, the word psychotomimetic was abandoned, or remarketed, not long after it was created in 1957.

But why is all of this important?

As Huxley just admitted above: What’s in a name? … Answer, practically everything.

Insanity, or psychosis mimicking, or even generating hallucinations, arent attractive terms and dont work well for marketing purposes or for the outcome of the psychedelic or, more importantly, the entheogenic experience.

Though this may sound implausible at first, the purpose of making these substances more attractive was to intentionally sell them, and not just to patients in hospital wards and to those in a chair with their therapists, but, especially, to the youth and countercultures of the world a nefarious purpose indeed. Here Leary reflects on Arthur Koestlers work regarding juvenilization:

From Koestler I learned about juvenilization, the theory that evolution occurs not in the adult (final form) of a species but in juveniles, larvals, adolescents, pre-adults. The practical conclusion: if you want to bring about mutations in a species, work with the young. Koestlers teaching about paedomorphosis prepared me to understand the genetic implications of the 1960s youth movement and its rejection of the old culture.[6] ~ Timothy Leary

The understanding of suggestibility, or set and setting, including the name given these substances, is everything in how psychedelics work and were studied (and used) by the CIA for social control.

What could the name be replaced with? This was the problem set before those interested in remarketing these substances to the youth, counterculture and artists around the world. When discussing how to market these drugs with Humphry Osmond, Aldous Huxley remarked:

About a name for these drugs – what a problem![7] ~ Aldous Huxley

Over a couple decades this project would be undertaken by two different teams: Aldous Huxley, Humphry Osmond and Abram Hoffer; and the second, headed by Professor Carl A. P. Ruck of Boston University, included R. Gordon Wasson, and also Jonathan Ott, Jeremy Bigwood and Daniel Staples.

Some of us formed a committee under the Chairmanship of Carl Ruck to devise a new word for the potions that held Antiquity in awe. After trying out a number of words he came up with entheogen, god generated within, which his committee unanimously adopted[].[8] ~ Gordon Wasson

And though they defend them, Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain reveal some of these remarketing tactics in Acid Dreams:

The scientist who directly oversaw this research project was Dr. Paul Hoch, an early advocate of the theory that LSD and other hallucinogens were essentially psychosis-producing drugs. In succeeding years Hoch performed a number of bizarre experiments for the army while also serving as a CIA consultant. Intraspinal injections of mescaline and LSD were administered to psychiatric patients, causing an “immediate, massive, and almost shocklike picture with higher doses.”

Aftereffects (“generalized discomfort,” “withdrawal,” “oddness,” and “unreality feelings”) lingered for two to three days following the injections. Hoch, who later became New York State Commissioner for Mental Hygiene, also gave LSD to psychiatric patients and then lobotomized them in order to compare the effects of acid before and after psychosurgery. (“It is possible that a certain amount of brain damage is of therapeutic value,” Hoch once stated.) In one experiment a hallucinogen was administered along with a local anesthetic and the subject was told to describe his visual experiences as surgeons removed chunks of his cerebral cortex.[9] ~ Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain

In the following quote the authors reveal their bias in the situation, arguing for the spiritual aspects, while in the same book denying the psychosis aspects and that the psychedelic revolution was intentionally created by the CIA:

Many other researchers, however, dismissed transcendental insight as either “happy psychosis” or a lot of nonsense. The knee-jerk reaction on the part of the psychotomimetic stalwarts was indicative of a deeply ingrained prejudice against certain varieties of experience. In advanced industrial societies paranormal” states of consciousness are readily disparaged as “abnormal” or pathological. Such attitudes, cultural as much as professional, played a crucial role in circumscribing the horizon of scientific investigation into hallucinogenic agents.[10] ~ Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain

Here Lee and Shlain resort to name calling and ridicule, for example referring to psychotomimetic stalwarts and deeply ingrained prejudice, as the foundation of their argument rather than looking at the evidence itself which sounds ironic in a book about the CIA using these same substances for mind control. And who were these psychotomimetic stalwarts? Was it only Dr. Hoch? As well see, Lee and Shlain seem to also be referring to Aldous Huxley, Humphry Osmond, Albert Hofmann and Sasha Shulgin.

Lee and Shlain, while partially exposing MKULTRA, then promote the idea that the psychotomimetic theory was invalid. They continue:

Despite widespread acknowledgment that the model psychosis concept had outlived its usefulness, the psychiatric orientation articulated by those of Dr. Hoch’s persuasion prevailed in the end. When it came time to lay down their hand, the medical establishment and the media both “mimicked” the line that for years had been secretly promoted by the CIA and the militarythat hallucinogenic drugs were extremely dangerous because they drove people insane, and all this talk about creativity and personal growth was just a lot of hocus pocus. This perception of LSD governed the major policy decisions enacted by the FDA and the drug control apparatus in the years ahead.[11] [emphasis added] ~ Marty Lee and Bruce Shlain

Here we see the idea that the psychosis concept had outlived its usefulness. What does that mean exactly? Its an ambiguous statement. Most assume it to mean that the substances didnt actually create psychosis. But is that true? What if, instead, due to the above-mentioned suggestibility factor and set and setting, they decided to remarket these drugs as spiritual rather than psychotic? If we entertain this idea, we realize it could take just a new name to change not only everything about the outcome of the experience, but how quickly the youth and counterculture would adopt them. Well expand on this idea throughout this article.

On a side note, it should probably be mentioned that it was actually Timothy Leary and Arthur Kleps who went (along with Walter Bowart and Allen Ginsberg) before Congress in 1966 recommending regulation. You cant have a good youthful rebellion with legal substances!

Senator Dodd. Don’t you think that the drug needs to be put under control and restriction?

Dr. LEARY. Pardon, sir.

Senator Dodd. Let me rephrase my question. Dont you feel that LSD should be put under some control, or restriction as to its use?

Dr. LEARY. Yes, sir.

Senator Dodd. As to its sale, its possession, and its use?

Dr. LEARY. I definitely do. In the first place, I think that the 1965 Drug Control Act, which this committee, I understand, sponsored, is the high water mark in such legislation.

Dr. Leary. Yes, sir. I agree completely with your bill, the 1965 Drug Control Act. I think this is—

Senator Dodd. That the Federal Government and the State governments ought to control it?

Dr. Leary. Exactly. I am in 100 percent agreement with the 1965 drug control bill.

Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts. So there shouldnt be—

Dr. Leary. I wish the States, I might add, would follow the wisdom of this committee and the Senate and Congress of the United States and follow your lead with exactly that kind of legislation.

Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts. So there should not be indiscriminate distribution of this drug should there?

Dr. Leary. I have never suggested that, sir. I have never urged anyone to take LSD. I have always deplored indiscriminate or unprepared use.[12]

As the University of Richmond website relates:

Leary was one of many experts who testified at the 1966 subcommittee hearings, which showed both ardent support and uncompromising opposition to LSD.[] Just several months after the subcommittee hearings, LSD was banned in California. By October 1968, possession of LSD was banned federally in the United States with the passage of the Staggers-Dodd Bill, marking a tremendous step towards the War On Drugs campaign that would arise in the 1970s.[13]

But who within the CIA had promoted this term psychotomimetic?

For a moment, lets turn to the Oxford English Dictionary, where, under the definition of psychotomimetic, it states:

psychotomimetic, a. and n.

A.A adj. Having an effect on the mind orig. likened to that of a psychotic state, with abnormal changes in thought, perception, and mood and a subjective feeling of an expansion of consciousness; of or pertaining to a drug with this effect.[14]

Under the quotations in the OED for psychotomimetic, we further see that R. W. Gerard is listed for 1955, and the second entry for 1957 is from Dr. Humphry Osmond:

1956 R. W. Gerard in Neuropharmacology: Trans. 2nd Conf., 1955 132 Let us at least agree to speak of so-called psychoses when we are dealing with them in animals. Along that same line, I have liked a term which I have been using latelypsychosomimeticfor these agents instead of schizophrenogenic. 1957 Neuropharmacology: Trans. 3rd Conf., 1956 205 (heading) Effects of psychosomimetic drugs in animals and man. 1957 H. Osmond in Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. LXVI. 417 The designation psychotomimetic agents for those drugs that mimic some of the mental aberrations that occur in the psychoses had been suggested by Ralph Gerard and seemed especially appropriate.[15] [emphasis added]

If we read the OED entry carefully, what we see above is that Gerard actually used the term psychosomimetic with an s, rather than psychotomimetic with a t. In fact, it appears from the OED that it was Osmond himself who was first to begin using the term psychotomimetic, which was also adopted by the CIA and military for their purposes. This same Osmond, as well soon discover, just months later created the name psychedelic for these substances. Notice that Osmond states The designation psychotomimetic agents [] seemed especially appropriate. That Osmond created the word psychotomimetic is a fact that Lee and Shlain seem to want to avoid.

In another interesting quote in the OED from 1970, we see none other than Sasha Shulgin referring to ibogaine as a psychotomimetic:

1970 A. T. Shulgin in D. H. Efron Psychotomimetic Drugs 25 Ibogaineis another example in the family of psychotomimetics, with complex structures and no resemblance to known metabolic materials.[16]

Was this a slip by authors Lee and Shlain revealing that Osmond and Shulgin were CIA?

It is true, in fact, that both worked for the government. While Shulgin worked for the DEA, he was also a member of the infamous Bohemian Club[17]; and as we’ll see below, Osmond is revealed in the CIAs MKULTRA documents.[18] But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Well come back to this shortly.

In 1954, pre-dating the OEDs reference to Huxleys close friend Humphry Osmond, in The Doors of Perception Huxley stated:

Most takers of mescalin [sic] experience only the heavenly part of schizophrenia. The drug brings hell and purgatory only to those who have had a recent case of jaundice, or who suffer from periodical depressions or chronic anxiety.[19] ~ Aldous Huxley

He continued:

The schizophrenic is a soul not merely unregenerate, but desperately sick into the bargain. His sickness consists in the inability to take refuge from inner and outer reality (as the sane person habitually does) in the homemade universe of common sensethe strictly human world of useful notions, shared symbols and socially acceptable conventions. The schizophrenic is like a man permanently under the influence of mescaline[20] ~ Aldous Huxley

In Heaven and Hell Huxley went on:

Many schizophrenics have their times of heavenly happiness; but the fact that (unlike the mascalin [sic] taker) they do not know when, if ever, they will be permitted to return to the reassuring banality of everyday experience causes even heaven to seem appalling.[21] ~ Aldous Huxley

In their letters, Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond were very concerned over what to call these substances, but why should the public have cared what these two people wanted to call them? They were still mostly secret at this time and hardly anyone knew about them except through marketing efforts and publications. Furthermore, why were Huxley and Osmond so concerned, and why would it be a problem, unless there were an ulterior motive?

The issue here is a Bernaysian/Koestler-type marketing strategy. With a word like psychotomimetic these substances would have never taken hold in the youth and countercultures. It was fine for underground LSD and other studies by the intelligence community, but for the new purpose, theyd need a new name. From Huxleys letters in a book titled Moksha, we find:

740 North Kings Road, Los Angeles 46, Cal. 30 March, 1956

Dear Humphry,

Thank you for your letter, which I shall answer only briefly, since I look forward to talking to you at length in New York before very long. About a name for these drugs – what a problem! I have looked into Liddell and Scott and find that there is a verb phaneroein, “to make visible or manifest,” and an adjective phaneros, meaning “manifest, open to sight, evident.” The word is used in botany – phanerogam as opposed to cryptogam. Psychodetic (4) is something I don’t quite get the hang of it. Is it an analogue of geodetic, geodesy? If so, it would mean mind-dividing, as geodesy means earth-dividing, from ge and daiein. Could you call these drugs psychophans? or phaneropsychic drugs? Or what about phanerothymes? Thymos means soul, in its primary usage, and is the equivalent of Latin animus. The word is euphonious and easy to pronounce; besides it has relatives in the jargon of psychology-e.g. cyclothyme. On the whole I think this is better than psychophan or phaneropsychic. []

Yours, Aldous

“To make this trivial world sublime,

Take half a gram of phanerothyme.

(4) Osmond had mentioned psychedelics, as a new name for mind-changing drugs to replace the term psychotomimetics. Huxley apparently misread the word as “psychodetics,” hence his mystification. Osmond replied: “To fathom Hell or soar angelic, Just take a pinch of psychedelic.

Huxley still did not get the spelling, which he made psychodelic [Smith’s note]. Huxley invariably uses psychodelic for psychedelic, as he and others thought the latter term incorrect. Huxley’s spelling has been retained, as this was undoubtedly his preference. However, it fails one criterion of Osmond, which is that the term be “uncontaminated by other associations.”[22] [emphasis added]

Why was it important to meet the criterion for the new word to be uncontaminated by other associations? They dont say, but we can surmise that its because of this remarketing strategy and they needed to be careful of the term chosen. The word psychodelic contains psycho, but psycho carries negative associations. This explains why psychedelic is the only word in the English language to use psyche rather than psycho the criterion it failed was complete avoidance of any name that could imply a negative experience. Lee and Shlain in Acid Dreams give their version of the story thus:

The two men had been close friends ever since Huxley’s initial mescaline experience, and they carried on a lively correspondence. At first Huxley proposed the word phanerothyme, which derived from roots relating to “spirit” or “soul.” A letter to Osmond included the following couplet:

To make this trivial world sublime,

Take half a Gramme of phanerothyme.

To which Osmond responded:

To fathom hell or soar angelic

Just take a pinch of psychedelic.

And so it came to pass that the word psychedelic was coined. Osmond introduced it to the psychiatric establishment in 1957. Addressing a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences, he argued that hallucinogenic drugs did “much more” than mimic psychosis, and therefore an appropriate name must “include concepts of enriching the mind and enlarging the vision.” He suggested a neutral term to replace psychotomimetic, and his choice was certainly vague enough. Literally translated, psychedelic means “mind-manifesting,” implying that drugs of this category do not produce a predictable sequence of events but bring to the fore whatever is latent within the unconscious. Accordingly Osmond recognized that LSD could be a valuable tool for psychotherapy. This notion represented a marked departure from the military-medical paradigm, which held that every LSD experience was automatically an experimental psychosis.[23] ~ Marty Lee & Bruce Shlain

Its ironic that they claimed the term psychedelic, for mind manifesting is neutral. A more appropriate word to describe it would be ambiguous. But notice that its gone from mimicking psychosis to manifesting the mind. And just months earlier Osmond was promoting the word psychotomimetic, which he said seemed especially appropriate. Here Lee and Shlain admit that Albert Hofmann was involved with this public relations scheme:

Link:

Entheogens: Whats in a Name? The Untold History of …

Entheogen – Wikipedia

An entheogen (“generating the divine within”)[4] is any chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context[5] that often induces psychological or physiological changes.

Entheogens have been used to supplement many diverse practices geared towards achieving transcendence, including meditation, yoga, prayer, psychedelic art, chanting, and multiple forms of music. They have also been historically employed in traditional medicine via psychedelic therapy.

Entheogens have been used in a ritualized context for thousands of years; their religious significance is well established in anthropological and modern contexts. Examples of traditional entheogens include traditional psychedelics like peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, and ayahuasca, psychedelic-dissociatives like Tabernanthe iboga, atypical psychedelics like Salvia divinorum, quasi-psychedelics like cannabis, deliriants like Amanita muscaria, but also controversial entheogens including sedatives like ethanol. Traditionally a tea, admixture, or potion like bhang is the preferred mode of ingestion.

With the advent of organic chemistry, there now exist many synthetic drugs with similar psychoactive properties, many derived from the aforementioned plants. Many pure active compounds with psychoactive properties have been isolated from these respective organisms and chemically synthesized, including mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, salvinorin A, ibogaine, ergine, and muscimol. Semi-synthetic (e.g., LSD used by the Neo-American Church) and synthetic drugs (e.g., DPT used by the Temple of the True Inner Light and 2C-B used by the Sangoma) have also been developed.[6] Cannabis is the world’s most widely used psychedelic drug, though it is more accurately referred to as a quasi-psychedelic drug, since its effect profile lacks the hallucinogenic and cognitive effects of traditional psychedelics.

More broadly, the term entheogen is used to refer to any psychoactive drugs when used for their religious or spiritual effects, whether or not in a formal religious or traditional structure. This terminology is often chosen to contrast with recreational use of the same drugs. Studies such as Timothy Leary’s Marsh Chapel Experiment and Roland Griffiths’ psilocybin studies at Johns Hopkins have documented reports of mystical/spiritual/religious experiences from participants who were administered psychoactive drugs in controlled trials. Ongoing research is limited due to widespread drug prohibition; however, some countries have legislation that allows for traditional entheogen use.

The neologism entheogen was coined in 1979 by a group of ethnobotanists and scholars of mythology (Carl A. P. Ruck, Jeremy Bigwood, Danny Staples, Richard Evans Schultes, Jonathan Ott and R. Gordon Wasson). The term is derived from two words of ancient Greek, (entheos) and (genesthai). The adjective entheos translates to English as “full of the god, inspired, possessed”, and is the root of the English word “enthusiasm.” The Greeks used it as a term of praise for poets and other artists. Genesthai means “to come into being.” Thus, an entheogen is a drug that causes one to become inspired or to experience feelings of inspiration, often in a religious or “spiritual” manner.[7]

Entheogen was coined as a replacement for the terms hallucinogen and psychedelic. Hallucinogen was popularized by Aldous Huxley’s experiences with mescaline, which were published as The Doors of Perception in 1954. Psychedelic, in contrast, is a Greek neologism for “mind manifest”, and was coined by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond; Huxley was a volunteer in experiments Osmond was conducting on mescaline.

Ruck et al. argued that the term hallucinogen was inappropriate owing to its etymological relationship to words relating to delirium and insanity. The term psychedelic was also seen as problematic, owing to the similarity in sound to words pertaining to psychosis and also due to the fact that it had become irreversibly associated with various connotations of 1960s pop culture. In modern usage entheogen may be used synonymously with these terms, or it may be chosen to contrast with recreational use of the same drugs. The meanings of the term entheogen were formally defined by Ruck et al.:

In a strict sense, only those vision-producing drugs that can be shown to have figured in shamanic or religious rites would be designated entheogens, but in a looser sense, the term could also be applied to other drugs, both natural and artificial, that induce alterations of consciousness similar to those documented for ritual ingestion of traditional entheogens.

In essence, all psychoactive drugs that are biosynthesized in nature by cytota (cellular life), can be used in an entheogenic context or with entheogenic intent. To exclude non-psychoactive drugs that sometimes also are used in spiritual context, the term “entheogen” refers primarily to drugs that have been categorized based on their historical use. Toxicity does not affect a drug’s inclusion (some can kill humans), nor does effectiveness or potency (if a drug is psychoactive, and it has been used in a historical context, then the required dose has also been found).

High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increase in the likelihood of experiencing auditory hallucinations. A study conducted by the La Trobe University School of Psychological Sciences revealed that as few as five cups of coffee a day could trigger the phenomenon.[9]

Many man-made chemicals with little human history have been recognized to catalyze intense spiritual experiences, and many synthetic entheogens are simply slight modifications of their naturally occurring counterparts. Some synthetic entheogens like 4-AcO-DMT are theorized to be prodrugs that metabolize into the natural psychoactive, similar in nature to how the synthetic compound heroin is deacetylated by esterase to the active morphine. While synthesized DMT and mescaline is reported to have identical entheogenic qualities as extracted or plant based sources, the experience may wildly vary due to the lack of numerous psychoactive alkaloids that constitute the material. This is similar to how pure THC is very different than an extract that retains the many cannabinoids of the plant such as cannabidiol and cannabinol.

Yohimbine is an alkaloid naturally found in Pausinystalia yohimbe (Yohimbe), Rauwolfia serpentina (Indian Snakeroot), and Alchornea floribunda (Niando), along with several other active alkaloids. There are no references to these species in traditional use to induce past memories, most likely because their alkaloid content is too low; However, laboratory extracted yohimbine, now commonly sold as sport supplement, may be used in psychedelic therapy to facilitate recall of traumatic memories in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[16]

L. E. Hollister’s criteria for establishing that a drug is hallucinogenic is:[17]

Common recreational drugs that cause chemical dependence have a history of entheogenic use. Perhaps because they could not access traditional entheogens as shamans were very secret with their sacraments who regarded non-visioning sacraments as hedonistic. The drugs mentioned here have occasionally been used by some shamans but they are psychoactive drugs that are not classified as hallucinogens (psychedelic, dissociative or deliriant).

This means that chewing the leaves or drinking coca tea does not produce the intense high (euphoria, megalomania, depression) people experience with cocaine.

Drugs, including some that cause physical dependence, have been used with entheogenic intention, mostly in ancient times.

Alcohol has sometimes been invested with religious significance.

The present day Arabic word for alcohol appears in The Qur’an (in verse 37:47) as al-awl, properly meaning “spirit” or “demon”, in the sense of “the thing that gives the wine its headiness.”[citation needed] The term ethanol was invented 1838, modeled on German thyl (Liebig), from Greek aither (see ether), and hyle “stuff”. Ether in late 14c. meant “upper regions of space,” from Old French ether and directly from Latin aether, “the upper pure, bright air,” from Greek aither “upper air; bright, purer air; the sky,” from aithein “to burn, shine,” from PIE root *aidh- “to burn” (see edifice).[25]

In ancient Celtic religion, Sucellus or Sucellos was the god of agriculture, forests and alcoholic drinks of the Gauls.

Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian tutelary goddess of beer.[26]

In the ancient Greco-Roman religion, Dionysos (or Bacchus) was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy, of merry making and theatre. The original rite of Dionysus is associated with a wine cult and he may have been worshipped as early as c. 15001100 BC by Mycenean Greeks. The Dionysian Mysteries were a ritual of ancient Greece and Rome which used intoxicants and other trance-inducing techniques (like dance and music) to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return to a natural state. In his Laws, Plato said that alcoholic drinking parties should be the basis of any educational system, because the alcohol allows relaxation of otherwise fixed views. The Symposium (literally, ‘drinking together’) was a dramatised account of a drinking party where the participants debated the nature of love.

In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, a cup of wine is offered to Demeter which she refuses, instead insisting upon a potion of barley, water, and glechon, known as the ceremonial drink Kykeon, an essential part of the Mysteries. The potion has been hypothesized to be an ergot derivative from barley, similar to LSD.[27]

Egyptian pictographs clearly show wine as a finished product around 4000 BC. Osiris, the god who invented beer and brewing, was worshiped throughout the country. The ancient Egyptians made at least 24 types of wine and 17 types of beer. These beverages were used for pleasure, nutrition, rituals, medicine, and payments. They were also stored in the tombs of the deceased for use in the afterlife.[28] The Osirian Mysteries paralleled the Dionysian, according to contemporary Greek and Egyptian observers. Spirit possession involved liberation from civilization’s rules and constraints. It celebrated that which was outside civilized society and a return to the source of being, which would later assume mystical overtones. It also involved escape from the socialized personality and ego into an ecstatic, deified state or the primal herd (sometimes both).

Some scholars[who?] have postulated that pagan religions actively promoted alcohol and drunkenness as a means of fostering fertility. Alcohol was believed to increase sexual desire and make it easier to approach another person for sex. For example, Norse paganism considered alcohol to be the sap of Yggdrasil. Drunkenness was an important fertility rite in this religion.[citation needed]

Many Christian denominations use wine in the Eucharist or Communion and permit alcohol consumption in moderation. Other denominations use unfermented grape juice in Communion; they either voluntarily abstain from alcohol or prohibit it outright.[citation needed]

Judaism uses wine on Shabbat and some holidays for Kiddush as well as more extensively in the Passover ceremony and other religious ceremonies. The secular consumption of alcohol is allowed. Some Jewish texts, e.g., the Talmud, encourage moderate drinking on holidays (such as Purim) in order to make the occasion more joyous.[citation needed]

Kava cultures are the religious and cultural traditions of western Oceania which consume kava. There are similarities in the use of kava between the different cultures, but each one also has its own traditions.[citation needed]

Entheogens have been used by individuals to pursue spiritual goals such as divination, ego death, egolessness, faith healing, psychedelic therapy and spiritual formation.[29]

There are also instances where people have been given entheogens without their knowledge or consent (e.g., tourists in Ayahuasca),[30] as well as attempts to use such drugs in other contexts, such as cursing, psychochemical weaponry, psychological torture, brainwashing and mind control; CIA experiments with LSD were used in Project MKUltra, and controversial entheogens like alcohol are often mentioned in context of bread and circuses.

Entheogens have been used in various ways, e.g., as part of established religious rituals, as aids for personal spiritual development (“plant teachers”),[31][32] as recreational drugs, and for medical and therapeutic use. The use of entheogens in human cultures is nearly ubiquitous throughout recorded history.

Naturally occurring entheogens such as psilocybin and DMT (in the preparation ayahuasca), were, for the most part, discovered and used by older cultures, as part of their spiritual and religious life, as plants and agents that were respected, or in some cases revered for generations and may be a tradition that predates all modern religions as a sort of proto-religious rite.

One of the most widely used entheogens is cannabis, entheogenic use of cannabis has been used in regions such as China, Europe, and India, and, in some cases, for thousands of years. It has also appeared as a part of religions and cultures such as the Rastafari movement, the Sadhus of Hinduism, the Scythians, Sufi Islam, and others.

The best-known entheogen-using culture of Africa is the Bwitists, who used a preparation of the root bark of Tabernanthe iboga.[33] Although the ancient Egyptians may have been using the sacred blue lily plant in some of their religious rituals or just symbolically, it has been suggested that Egyptian religion once revolved around the ritualistic ingestion of the far more psychoactive Psilocybe cubensis mushroom, and that the Egyptian White Crown, Triple Crown, and Atef Crown were evidently designed to represent pin-stages of this mushroom.[34] There is also evidence for the use of psilocybin mushrooms in Ivory Coast.[35] Numerous other plants used in shamanic ritual in Africa, such as Silene capensis sacred to the Xhosa, are yet to be investigated by western science. A recent revitalization has occurred in the study of southern African psychoactives and entheogens (Mitchell and Hudson 2004; Sobiecki 2002, 2008, 2012).[36]

Entheogens have played a pivotal role in the spiritual practices of most American cultures for millennia. The first American entheogen to be subject to scientific analysis was the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). For his part, one of the founders of modern ethno-botany, the late-Richard Evans Schultes of Harvard University documented the ritual use of peyote cactus among the Kiowa, who live in what became Oklahoma. While it was used traditionally by many cultures of what is now Mexico, in the 19th century its use spread throughout North America, replacing the deadly toxic mescal bean (Calia secundiflora) who are questioned to be an entheogen at all. Other well-known entheogens used by Mexican cultures include the alcoholic Aztec sacrament, pulque, ritual tobacco (known as ‘picietl’ to the Aztecs, and ‘sikar’ to the Maya (from where the word ‘cigar’ derives), psilocybin mushrooms, morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor and Turbina corymbosa), and Salvia divinorum.

Indigenous peoples of South America employ a wide variety of entheogens. Better-known examples include ayahuasca (most commonly Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis) among indigenous peoples (such as the Urarina) of Peruvian Amazonia. Other entheogens include San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi, syn. Trichocereus pachanoi), Peruvian torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana, syn. Trichocereus peruvianus), and various DMT-snuffs, such as epen (Virola spp.), vilca and yopo (Anadenanthera colubrina and A. peregrina, respectively). The familiar tobacco plant, when used uncured in large doses in shamanic contexts, also serves as an entheogen in South America. Also, a tobacco that contains higher nicotine content, and therefore smaller doses required, called Nicotiana rustica was commonly used.[citation needed]

Entheogens also play an important role in contemporary religious movements such as the Rastafari movement and the Church of the Universe.

Datura wrightii is sacred to some Native Americans and has been used in ceremonies and rites of passage by Chumash, Tongva, and others. Among the Chumash, when a boy was 8 years old, his mother would give him a preparation of momoy to drink. This supposed spiritual challenge should help the boy develop the spiritual wellbeing that is required to become a man. Not all of the boys undergoing this ritual survived.[37]Momoy was also used to enhance spiritual wellbeing among adults . For instance, during a frightening situation, such as when seeing a coyote walk like a man, a leaf of momoy was sucked to help keep the soul in the body.

The indigenous peoples of Siberia (from whom the term shaman was borrowed) have used Amanita muscaria as an entheogen.

In Hinduism, Datura stramonium and cannabis have been used in religious ceremonies, although the religious use of datura is not very common, as the primary alkaloids are strong deliriants, which causes serious intoxication with unpredictable effects.

Also, the ancient drink Soma, mentioned often in the Vedas, appears to be consistent with the effects of an entheogen. In his 1967 book, Wasson argues that Soma was Amanita muscaria. The active ingredient of Soma is presumed by some to be ephedrine, an alkaloid with stimulant and (somewhat debatable)[by whom?] entheogenic properties derived from the soma plant, identified as Ephedra pachyclada. However, there are also arguments to suggest that Soma could have also been Syrian rue, cannabis, Atropa belladonna, or some combination of any of the above plants.[citation needed]

Fermented honey, known in Northern Europe as mead, was an early entheogen in Aegean civilization, predating the introduction of wine, which was the more familiar entheogen of the reborn Dionysus and the maenads. Its religious uses in the Aegean world are bound up with the mythology of the bee.

Dacians were known to use cannabis in their religious and important life ceremonies, proven by discoveries of large clay pots with burnt cannabis seeds in ancient tombs and religious shrines. Also, local oral folklore and myths tell of ancient priests that dreamed with gods and walked in the smoke. Their names, as transmitted by Herodotus, were “kap-no-batai” which in Dacian was supposed to mean “the ones that walk in the clouds”.

The growth of Roman Christianity also saw the end of the two-thousand-year-old tradition of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the initiation ceremony for the cult of Demeter and Persephone involving the use of a drug known as kykeon. The term ‘ambrosia’ is used in Greek mythology in a way that is remarkably similar to the Soma of the Hindus as well.

A theory that natural occurring gases like ethylene used by inhalation may have played a role in divinatory ceremonies at Delphi in Classical Greece received popular press attention in the early 2000s, yet has not been conclusively proven.[38]

Mushroom consumption is part of the culture of Europeans in general, with particular importance to Slavic and Baltic peoples. Some academics consider that using psilocybin- and or muscimol-containing mushrooms was an integral part of the ancient culture of the Rus’ people.[39]

It has been suggested that the ritual use of small amounts of Syrian rue is an artifact of its ancient use in higher doses as an entheogen (possibly in conjunction with DMT containing acacia).[citation needed]

Philologist John Marco Allegro has argued in his book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross that early Jewish and Christian cultic practice was based on the use of Amanita muscaria, which was later forgotten by its adherents. Allegro’s hypothesis is that Amanita use was sacred knowledge kept only by high figures to hide the true beginnings of the Christian cult, seems supported by his own view that the Plaincourault Chapel shows evidence of Christian amanita use in the 13th century.[40]

In general, indigenous Australians are thought not to have used entheogens, although there is a strong barrier of secrecy surrounding Aboriginal shamanism, which has likely limited what has been told to outsiders. A plant that the Australian Aboriginals used to ingest is called Pitcheri, which is said to have a similar effect to that of coca. Pitcheri was made from the bark of the shrub Duboisia myoporoides. This plant is now grown commercially and is processed to manufacture an eye medication. There are no known uses of entheogens by the Mori of New Zealand aside from a variant species of kava.[41] Natives of Papua New Guinea are known to use several species of entheogenic mushrooms (Psilocybe spp, Boletus manicus).[42]

Kava or kava kava (Piper Methysticum) has been cultivated for at least 3000 years by a number of Pacific island-dwelling peoples. Historically, most Polynesian, many Melanesian, and some Micronesian cultures have ingested the psychoactive pulverized root, typically taking it mixed with water. Much traditional usage of kava, though somewhat suppressed by Christian missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries, is thought to facilitate contact with the spirits of the dead, especially relatives and ancestors.[43]

Some religions forbid, discourage, or restrict the drinking of alcoholic beverages. These include Islam, Jainism, the Bah’ Faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Church of Christ, Scientist, the United Pentecostal Church International, Theravada, most Mahayana schools of Buddhism, some Protestant denominations of Christianity, some sects of Taoism (Five Precepts and Ten Precepts), and Hinduism.

The Pali Canon, the scripture of Theravada Buddhism, depicts refraining from alcohol as essential to moral conduct because intoxication causes a loss of mindfulness. The fifth of the Five Precepts states, “Sur-meraya-majja-pamdahn verama sikkhpada samdiymi.” In English: “I undertake to refrain from meraya and majja (the two fermented drinks used in the place and time of writing) to heedless intoxication.” Although the Fifth Precept only names a specific wine and cider, this has traditionally been interpreted to mean all alcoholic beverages. Technically, this prohibition does also not even include light to moderate drinking, only to the point of drunkenness. It also doesn’t include other mind-altering drugs, but Buddhist tradition includes all intoxicants. The canon does not suggest that alcohol is evil but believes that the carelessness produced by intoxication creates bad karma. Therefore, any drug (beyond tea or mild coffee) that affects one’s mindfulness be considered by some to be covered by this prohibition.[citation needed]

Many Christian denominations disapprove of the use of most illicit drugs. The early history of the Church, however, was filled with a variety of drug use, recreational and otherwise.[44]

The primary advocate of a religious use of cannabis plant in early Judaism was Sula Benet, also called Sara Benetowa, a Polish anthropologist, who claimed in 1967 that the plant kaneh bosm – mentioned five times in the Hebrew Bible, and used in the holy anointing oil of the Book of Exodus, was in fact cannabis.[45] The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church confirmed it as a possible valid interpretation.[46] The lexicons of Hebrew and dictionaries of plants of the Bible such as by Michael Zohary (1985), Hans Arne Jensen (2004) and James A. Duke (2010) and others identify the plant in question as either Acorus calamus or Cymbopogon citratus.[47] Kaneh-bosm is listed as an incense in the Old Testament. It is generally held by academics specializing in the archaeology and paleobotany of Ancient Israel, and those specializing in the lexicography of the Hebrew Bible that cannabis is not documented or mentioned in early Judaism. Against this some popular writers have argued that there is evidence for religious use of cannabis in the Hebrew Bible,[48][49] although this hypothesis and some of the specific case studies (e.g., John Allegro in relation to Qumran, 1970) have been “widely dismissed as erroneous, others continue”.[50]

According to The Living Torah, cannabis may have been one of the ingredients of the holy anointing oil mentioned in various sacred Hebrew texts.[51] The herb of interest is most commonly known as kaneh-bosm (Hebrew: -). This is mentioned several times in the Old Testament as a bartering material, incense, and an ingredient in holy anointing oil used by the high priest of the temple. Although Chris Bennett’s research in this area focuses on cannabis, he mentions evidence suggesting use of additional visionary plants such as henbane, as well.[52]

The Septuagint translates kaneh-bosm as calamus, and this translation has been propagated unchanged to most later translations of the old testament. However, Polish anthropologist Sula Benet published etymological arguments that the Aramaic word for hemp can be read as kannabos and appears to be a cognate to the modern word ‘cannabis’,[53] with the root kan meaning reed or hemp and bosm meaning fragrant. Both cannabis and calamus are fragrant, reedlike plants containing psychotropic compounds.

In his research, Professor Dan Merkur points to significant evidence of an awareness within the Jewish mystical tradition recognizing manna as an entheogen, thereby substantiating with rabbinic texts theories advanced by the superficial biblical interpretations of Terence McKenna, R. Gordon Wasson and other ethnomycologists.

Although philologist John Marco Allegro has suggested that the self-revelation and healing abilities attributed to the figure of Jesus may have been associated with the effects of the plant medicines, this evidence is dependent on pre-Septuagint interpretation of Torah and Tenach. Allegro was the only non-Catholic appointed to the position of translating the Dead Sea scrolls. His extrapolations are often the object of scorn due to Allegro’s non-mainstream theory of Jesus as a mythological personification of the essence of a “psychoactive sacrament”. Furthermore, they conflict with the position of the Catholic Church with regard to transubstantiation and the teaching involving valid matter, form, and drug that of bread and wine (bread does not contain psychoactive drugs, but wine contains ethanol). Allegro’s book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross relates the development of language to the development of myths, religions, and cultic practices in world cultures. Allegro believed he could prove, through etymology, that the roots of Christianity, as of many other religions, lay in fertility cults, and that cult practices, such as ingesting visionary plants (or “psychedelics”) to perceive the mind of God, persisted into the early Christian era, and to some unspecified extent into the 13th century with reoccurrences in the 18th century and mid-20th century, as he interprets the Plaincourault chapel’s fresco to be an accurate depiction of the ritual ingestion of Amanita muscaria as the Eucharist.[citation needed]

The historical picture portrayed by the Entheos journal is of fairly widespread use of visionary plants in early Christianity and the surrounding culture, with a gradual reduction of use of entheogens in Christianity.[54] R. Gordon Wasson’s book Soma prints a letter from art historian Erwin Panofsky asserting that art scholars are aware of many “mushroom trees” in Christian art.[55]

The question of the extent of visionary plant use throughout the history of Christian practice has barely been considered yet by academic or independent scholars. The question of whether visionary plants were used in pre-Theodosius Christianity is distinct from evidence that indicates the extent to which visionary plants were utilized or forgotten in later Christianity, including heretical or quasi- Christian groups,[56] and the question of other groups such as elites or laity within orthodox Catholic practice.[57]

Daniel Merkur at the University of Toronto contends that a minority of Christian hermits and mystics could possibly have used entheogens, in conjunction with fasting, meditation, and prayer.[citation needed]

According to R.C. Parker, “The use of entheogens in the Vajrayana tradition has been documented by such scholars as Ronald M Davidson, William George Stablein, Bulcsu Siklos, David B. Gray, Benoytosh Bhattacharyya, Shashibhusan Das Gupta, Francesca Fremantle, Shinichi Tsuda, David Gordon White, Rene de Nebesky-Wojkowitz, James Francis Hartzell, Edward Todd Fenner, Ian Baker, Dr. Pasang Yonten Arya and numerous others.”[58] These scholars have established entheogens were used in Vajrayana (in a limited context) as well as in Tantric Saivite traditions.[58] The major entheogens in the Vajrayana Anuttarayoga Tantra tradition are cannabis and Datura which were used in various pills, ointments, and elixirs. Several tantras within Vajrayana specifically mention these entheogens and their use, including the Laghusamvara-tantra (aka Cakrasavara Tantra), Samputa-tantra, Samvarodaya-tantra, Mahakala-tantra, Guhyasamaja-tantra, Vajramahabhairava-tantra, and the Krsnayamari-tantra.[58] In the Cakrasavara Tantra, the use of entheogens is coupled with mediation practices such as the use of a mandala of the Heruka meditation deity (yidam) and visualization practices which identify the yidam’s external body and mandala with one’s own body and ‘internal mandala’.[59]

In the West, some modern Buddhist teachers have written on the usefulness of psychedelics. The Buddhist magazine Tricycle devoted their entire fall 1996 edition to this issue.[60] Some teachers such as Jack Kornfield have acknowledged the possibility that psychedelics could complement Buddhist practice, bring healing and help people understand their connection with everything which could lead to compassion.[61] Kornfield warns however that addiction can still be a hindrance. Other teachers such as Michelle McDonald-Smith expressed views which saw entheogens as not conductive to Buddhist practice (“I don’t see them developing anything”).[62]

R. Gordon Wasson and Giorgio Samorini have proposed several examples of the cultural use of entheogens that are found in the archaeological record.[63][64] Evidence for the first use of entheogens may come from Tassili, Algeria, with a cave painting of a mushroom-man, dating to 8000 BP.[citation needed] Hemp seeds discovered by archaeologists at Pazyryk suggest early ceremonial practices by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BC, confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus.[citation needed]

Although entheogens are taboo and most of them are officially prohibited in Christian and Islamic societies, their ubiquity and prominence in the spiritual traditions of various other cultures is unquestioned. “The spirit, for example, need not be chemical, as is the case with the ivy and the olive: and yet the god was felt to be within them; nor need its possession be considered something detrimental, like drugged, hallucinatory, or delusionary: but possibly instead an invitation to knowledge or whatever good the god’s spirit had to offer.”[65]

Most of the well-known modern examples, such as peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, and morning glories are from the native cultures of the Americas. However, it has also been suggested that entheogens played an important role in ancient Indo-European culture, for example by inclusion in the ritual preparations of the Soma, the “pressed juice” that is the subject of Book 9 of the Rig Veda. Soma was ritually prepared and drunk by priests and initiates and elicited a paean in the Rig Veda that embodies the nature of an entheogen:

Splendid by Law! declaring Law, truth speaking, truthful in thy works, Enouncing faith, King Soma!… O [Soma] Pavmana (mind clarifying), place me in that deathless, undecaying world wherein the light of heaven is set, and everlasting lustre shines…. Make me immortal in that realm where happiness and transports, where joy and felicities combine…

The kykeon that preceded initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries is another entheogen, which was investigated (before the word was coined) by Carl Kernyi, in Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter. Other entheogens in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean include the opium poppy, datura, and the unidentified “lotus” (likely the sacred blue lily) eaten by the Lotus-Eaters in the Odyssey and Narcissus.

According to Ruck, Eyan, and Staples, the familiar shamanic entheogen that the Indo-Europeans brought knowledge of was Amanita muscaria. It could not be cultivated; thus it had to be found, which suited it to a nomadic lifestyle. When they reached the world of the Caucasus and the Aegean, the Indo-Europeans encountered wine, the entheogen of Dionysus, who brought it with him from his birthplace in the mythical Nysa, when he returned to claim his Olympian birthright. The Indo-European proto-Greeks “recognized it as the entheogen of Zeus, and their own traditions of shamanism, the Amanita and the ‘pressed juice’ of Soma but better, since no longer unpredictable and wild, the way it was found among the Hyperboreans: as befit their own assimilation of agrarian modes of life, the entheogen was now cultivable.”[65]Robert Graves, in his foreword to The Greek Myths, hypothesises that the ambrosia of various pre-Hellenic tribes was Amanita muscaria (which, based on the morphological similarity of the words amanita, amrita and ambrosia, is entirely plausible) and perhaps psilocybin mushrooms of the Panaeolus genus.

Amanita was divine food, according to Ruck and Staples, not something to be indulged in or sampled lightly, not something to be profaned. It was the food of the gods, their ambrosia, and it mediated between the two realms. It is said that Tantalus’s crime was inviting commoners to share his ambrosia.

The entheogen is believed to offer godlike powers in many traditional tales, including immortality. The failure of Gilgamesh in retrieving the plant of immortality from beneath the waters teaches that the blissful state cannot be taken by force or guile: When Gilgamesh lay on the bank, exhausted from his heroic effort, the serpent came and ate the plant.

Another attempt at subverting the natural order is told in a (according to some) strangely metamorphosed myth, in which natural roles have been reversed to suit the Hellenic world-view. The Alexandrian Apollodorus relates how Gaia (spelled “Ge” in the following passage), Mother Earth herself, has supported the Titans in their battle with the Olympian intruders. The Giants have been defeated:

When Ge learned of this, she sought a drug that would prevent their destruction even by mortal hands. But Zeus barred the appearance of Eos (the Dawn), Selene (the Moon), and Helios (the Sun), and chopped up the drug himself before Ge could find it.[66]

The legends of the Assassins had much to do with the training and instruction of Nizari fida’is, famed for their public missions during which they often gave their lives to eliminate adversaries.

The tales of the fidais training collected from anti-Ismaili historians and orientalists writers were confounded and compiled in Marco Polos account, in which he described a “secret garden of paradise”.[citation needed] After being drugged, the Ismaili devotees were said be taken to a paradise-like garden filled with attractive young maidens and beautiful plants in which these fidais would awaken. Here, they were told by an old man that they were witnessing their place in Paradise and that should they wish to return to this garden permanently, they must serve the Nizari cause.[67] So went the tale of the “Old Man in the Mountain”, assembled by Marco Polo and accepted by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall (17741856), a prominent orientalist writer responsible for much of the spread of this legend. Until the 1930s, von Hammers retelling of the Assassin legends served as the standard account of the Nizaris across Europe.[citation needed]

Notable early testing of the entheogenic experience includes the Marsh Chapel Experiment, conducted by physician and theology doctoral candidate, Walter Pahnke, under the supervision of Timothy Leary and the Harvard Psilocybin Project. In this double-blind experiment, volunteer graduate school divinity students from the Boston area almost all claimed to have had profound religious experiences subsequent to the ingestion of pure psilocybin. In 2006, a more rigorously controlled experiment was conducted at Johns Hopkins University, and yielded similar results.[68] To date there is little peer-reviewed research on this subject, due to ongoing drug prohibition and the difficulty of getting approval from institutional review boards.[69]

Furthermore, scientific studies on entheogens present some significant challenges to investigators, including philosophical questions relating to ontology, epistemology and objectivity.[70]

Between 2011 and 2012, the Australian Federal Government was considering changes to the Australian Criminal Code that would classify any plants containing any amount of DMT as “controlled plants”.[71] DMT itself was already controlled under current laws. The proposed changes included other similar blanket bans for other substances, such as a ban on any and all plants containing Mescaline or Ephedrine. The proposal was not pursued after political embarrassment on realisation that this would make the official Floral Emblem of Australia, Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle), illegal. The Therapeutic Goods Administration and federal authority had considered a motion to ban the same, but this was withdrawn in May 2012 (as DMT may still hold potential entheogenic value to native and/or religious peoples).[72]

In 1963 in Sherbert v. Verner the Supreme Court established the Sherbert Test, which consists of four criteria that are used to determine if an individual’s right to religious free exercise has been violated by the government. The test is as follows:

For the individual, the court must determine

If these two elements are established, then the government must prove

This test was eventually all-but-eliminated in Employment Division v. Smith 494 U.S. 872 (1990), but was resurrected by Congress in the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993.

In City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997) and Gonzales v. O Centro Esprita Beneficente Unio do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006), the RFRA was held to trespass on state sovereignty, and application of the RFRA was essentially limited to federal law enforcement.

As of 2001, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas had enacted so-called “mini-RFRAs.”

Many works of literature have described entheogen use; some of those are:

Others

Others

See the article here:

Entheogen – Wikipedia

List of entheogenic/hallucinogenic species – Wikipedia

This is a list of species and genera that are used as entheogens or are used in an entheogenic concoction (such as ayahuasca). For ritualistic use they may be classified as hallucinogens. The active principals and historical significance of each is also listed to illustrate the requirements necessary to be categorized as an entheogen.

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List of entheogenic/hallucinogenic species – Wikipedia


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