Author: Terence McKenna
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Drug abuse
A journey to some of the Earth's most endangered people in the remote Upper Amazon. . . . a look at the rituals of the Bwiti cults of Gabon and Zaire. . . . . a field watch on the eating habits of 'stoned' apes and chimpanzees - these adventures are all a part of ethnobotanist Terence McKenna's extraordinary quest to discover the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. He wonders why, as a species, we are so fascinated by altered states of consciousness. Can they reveal something about our origins as human beings and our place in nature? As an odyssey of mind, body and spirit, Food of the Gods is one of the most fascinating and surprising histories of consciousness ever written. And as a daring work of scholarship and exploration, it offers an inspiring vision for individual fulfilment and a humane basis for our interaction which each other and with the natural world. 'Brilliant, provocative, opinionated, poetic and inspiring. . . . . Essential reading for anyone who ever wondered why people take drugs.' Rupert Sheldrake
Im Jahre 1971 macht sich eine Gruppe junger amerikanischer Anthropologen und Botaniker auf ins Amazonasgebiet, um die Wirkung von halluzinogenen Pflanzen auf das Weltbild der eingeborenen Schamanen zu erforschen. Die Einnahme dort wachsender Psilocybin-Pilze versetzt zwei von ihnen, Terence McKenna und seinen Bruder Dennis, selbst in den Zustand, den sie an visionssuchenden Schamanen untersuchen wollten. Dieses Erlebnis überzeugte McKenna, dass die Welt der ekstatischen Trance des Schamanen, die visionäre Welt des Psilocybins und die Welt, in der man Ausserirdische antrifft, verschiedene Aspekte ein und derselben paradoxen Realität sind. In den Jahren danach festigte sich seine Ansicht, dass man Psilocybin dazu benutzen kann, das Verhältnis von Geist und dem Unbekannten zu erforschen. Als Forscher einer neuen Generation erkundete er die nicht rationalen Teile der Psyche und entwickelte mit Hilfe seiner rationalen wissenschaftlichen Ausbildung eine "Quantenpsychologie". Sein Buch liest sich so spannend wie ein Bericht über die Erkundung eines fremden Kontinents.
Author: Richard M. Doyle
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Release Date: 2011-10-01
Are humans unwitting partners in evolution with psychedelic plants? Darwin�s Pharmacy shows they are by weaving the evolutionary theory of sexual selection and the study of rhetoric together with the science and literature of psychedelic drugs. Long suppressed as components of the human tool kit, psychedelic plants can be usefully modeled as �eloquence adjuncts� that intensify a crucial component of sexual selection in humans: discourse. Psychedelic plants seduce us to interact with them, building an ongoing interdependence: rhetoric as evolutionary mechanism. In doing so, they engage our awareness of the noosphere, or thinking stratum of the earth. The realization that the human organism is part of an interconnected ecosystem is an apprehension of immanence that could ultimately benefit the planet and its inhabitants. To explore the rhetoric of the psychedelic experience and its significance to evolution, Doyle takes his readers on an epic journey through the writings of William Burroughs and Kary Mullis, the work of ethnobotanists and anthropologists, and anonymous trip reports. The results offer surprising insights into evolutionary theory, the war on drugs, the internet, and the nature of human consciousness itself. Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xof-t2cAob4
Author: Michael York
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2003-04-01
In Pagan Theology, Michael York situates Paganism—one of the fastest-growing spiritual orientations in the West—as a world religion. He provides an introduction to, and expansion of, the concept of Paganism and provides an overview of Paganism's theological perspective and practice. He demonstrates it to be a viable and distinguishable spiritual perspective found around the world today in such forms as Chinese folk religion, Shinto, tribal religions, and neo-Paganism in the West. While adherents to many of these traditions do not use the word “pagan” to describe their beliefs or practices, York contends that there is an identifiable position possessing characteristics and understandings in common for which the label “pagan” is appropriate. After outlining these characteristics, he examines many of the world's major religions to explore religious behaviors in other religions which are not themselves pagan, but which have pagan elements. In the course of examining such behavior, York provides rich and lively descriptions of religions in action, including Buddhism and Hinduism. Pagan Theology claims Paganism’s place as a world religion, situating it as a religion, a behavior, and a theology.
Inhaltsübersicht: Einleitung. - Ess-Störungen in Sigmund Freuds Psychoanalyse. - Schattenwürfe des Geschlechtsunterschieds - einige durch den psychoanalytischen Blick nahegelegte Verdunkelungen. - Zum traditionellen neuzeitlichen Umgang mit Schmerz. - Herz und Geschlecht. - (Anhang, inkl. Literatur).
".....It's the story of the human race and God's unfailing presence. ...." "This fascinating account of humankind, from our beginnings in Africa seven million years ago to the present, blends history, anthropology, and spirituality to demonstrate that god has been and always will be with us. ...[from back cover]
This work uses classical sociological theory to demonstrate how the processes of rationalization and modernization have altered why, how, and how frequently people consume drugs. It is with great pleasure that I introduce this important book on drug use. While books on the subject abound, it is always refreshing to find a scholarly text on drug use that offers a new vantage point on this complicated and ever present social phenomenon. This is such a book. James Hawdon has skillfully synthesized classic sociological thought to craft a general theory of drugs that provides us with significant insights into human drug use. He has also painstakingly gathered the existing data on drug use throughout the world to put his new theory to the test. The result is a broad macro-sociological theory of drug use, firmly grounded in a wealth of empirical evidence, which has much to offer both academics and policy makers alike. drug and what is not, the book provides a working definition of drugs that includes both the psychoactive aspects of substances and the political reality that goes into defining what substances society recognizes as drugs. Drugs have become extremely politicized. Whether it is moral entrepreneurs concerned with saving souls, political entrepreneurs concerned with constituencies and elections, or some other interested parties, drugs have come to be defined as magical substances that are somehow different from other things. Hawdon demonstrates that this special status that drugs have acquired is largely unfounded. While drugs can be very powerful substances, treating drugs as totally different from all other commodities has led many to approach issues related to drug use in a manner that is often misguided or even counterproductive. It is important to remember that drugs, both legal and illegal, are basically just commodities. The same economic forces of supply and demand that influence the consumption patterns of other commodities impact the consumption of drugs. rationalization, also shape these consumption patterns. And demonizing these substances tends to obscure the social reality of drugs and drug use. The nature of drug use is largely predicated on the context in which the drug use takes place. Hawdon points out that whether or not a drug has been socially defined as sacred by a social group plays an essential role in how a drug is used and the extent to which it is abused by members of that group. There is nothing inherently sacred about any given drug. A drug becomes sacred only when the collectivity defines it as such and maintains beliefs and rites that support the drug's sacred status. Moreover, social forces such as modernization and scientific rationality have increasingly impacted religious practices and, in turn, changed the nature of sacred drug use. This influence is especially evident in the patterns of drug use in more modernized western societies. Hawdon notes that the differences in social control over sacred versus profane drug using behaviors are important. certain drug using behaviors as well. In contrast, restrictions on drugs defined as profane are basically negative in nature, either restricting or prohibiting drug use, but not requiring drug use. The difference has significant ramifications. Sacred drug use requires the use of the sacred drugs by certain people at specific times and in a specific manner. At the same time, generally, the proscriptions of sacred drug use tend to make abuse of these drugs much less likely and the rituals related to sacred use also serve an integrative function for the people within this belief system. Conversely, the use of profane drugs is not so influenced, thus drugs defined as profane are prone to greater variations in who, when, and how they are used. Profane drugs are also more likely to be abused and to be socially disintegrative with regard to the larger society, fostering the development of distinct subgroups. And while groups within a society may disagree on what is sacred drug use and what is not, these insights can have important policy implications. the nature of sacred and profane drug use. Pre-modern societies saw a world filled with the supernatural in which sacred drug use could literally transform people, facilitate spiritual journeys to other worlds, and manipulate the gods. In modern societies, however, the growing influence of modernization, science and rational thought has led to a demystification of the world, which has reduced the emphasis on religion and dealing directly with the supernatural. As the predominant worldview has grown more secular, drug use has become more profane and less subject to the sacred proscriptions of earlier times. Sacred drug use has become more abstract, symbolic, and otherworldly in focus with less direct control on drug use. Meanwhile, an increased emphasis on rational thought and science has produced a stronger emphasis on individual instrumental action, resulting in an increase in recreational drug use. Secular society is a society based largely on laws but, unlike the absolute nature of religious beliefs, laws are more relative and change much more rapidly. control of drug use is more derivative than direct. Thus, modern western societies that glorify individualism and the freedom to make personal choices by their very nature reduce the influence of communal restraints and increase the likelihood of greater variation in who uses drugs, what drugs they use, and how they use them. Subcultures may develop in reaction to the disenchantment of the world and use their own sacred drugs to reintroduce the mystical, but the rationalization process eventually changes even these groups. Hawdon's work, supported by numerous examples and global data, show that rates of drug use are higher in nations or in regions that are more developed. The rise of synthetic drugs and the continuous growth and spread of pharmaceutical knowledge makes many new drugs readily available. Modern factories produce drugs faster. Drugs become cheaper and easier to obtain. Thus, the process of modernization increases the variety of drugs available and the variety of drugs used for all segments of society. Modernization also affects the structure of social control mechanisms related to drug use. pattern of drug use in modernizing societies throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. As industrialization rapidly modernizes various aspects of a given society, drug use expands rapidly, and then slowly stabilizes. This is followed by a dramatic decrease in drug use. This curvilinear pattern is related to changes in social control mechanisms. Traditional sources of informal social control are weakened by the processes of modernization and eventually replaced by formal social control in the form of anti-drug laws. The changing nature of work and the growing interdependence of social institutions, both nationally and internationally, contribute to a new emphasis on sobriety. This has been coupled with a shifting emphasis on the importance of achieved over ascribed status in modern societies. The result is an increasing correlation of drug use patterns with achieved social status in contrast to less modernized societies where ascribed status plays a much greater role in determining drug use patterns. drug use as societies become more modern and more egalitarian. Hawdon provides ample evidence to demonstrate how cyclical patterns of drug use found within societies are closely related to the status of those who are using the drugs and the perceived dangers of the drugs being used. Typically, new drugs come along or old drugs are rediscovered by societal elites. Over time, the use of these drugs spreads to other segments of society and eventually to people in the lower segments of society. Then the use of these drugs falls out of favor in elite circles, perhaps due to the arrival of another new drug or the increased social costs of being associated with a drug that is now identified with low social status. It is at this point in the cycle that anti-drug laws tend to appear which target these drugs that are now primarily used by people with lower social status. Not coincidentally, these lower status users have fewer resources to influence the law making process or to conceal their drug use.