Hallucinogens and Shamanism: A Brief Article Barre VT

The use of psychoactive drugs was studied in the 1960s by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert who looked at LSD and psilocybin who studied shamanic teachings and practices around the globe. These shamanic traditions involve non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by a variety of methods including ingesting hallucinogenic plants, but also drumming, fasting, wilderness vision questing, use of sweat lodges and others.

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11 Main Street
Randolph, VT
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(800) 639-6360
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Washington County Youth Service Bureau
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38 Elm Street
Montpelier, VT
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Hallucinogens and Shamanism: A Brief Article

In the western area, many drugs are highly refined and attempted excessively or habitually, in ways that are addictive and harmful. However, in traditional societies powerful mind-active plants are consumed ritually for therapeutic purposes or for transcending normal, everyday reality. In this article I will look in detail at the ritual use of mind-active drugs for therapeutic mind-expansion as part of shamanic traditions in comparison to the modern abuse of pharmaceutical drugs as part of drug addictions and dependencies.

The use of psychoactive drugs was studied in the 1960s by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert who looked at LSD and psilocybin who studied shamanic teachings and practices around the globe. These shamanic traditions involve non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by a variety of methods including ingesting hallucinogenic plants, but also drumming, fasting, wilderness vision questing, use of sweat lodges and others.

Metzner notes that indigenous people have a profound knowledge of plants and herbs and their effects on the body and mind and are well able to distinguish harmful from beneficial medicines. For this reason the vision-inducing plants that have a tradition of shamanic usage are much more likely to be safe, in contrast to newly discovered and synthesized drugs, the use of which may often involve unknown long-term risks.

Western psychotherapy and indigenous shamanism use similar psychoactive substances for healing and obtaining knowledge (call...

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