Native Americans and Peyote Use

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Psychedelic drug, Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants Pages: 6 (2208 words) Published: April 24, 2013
For better or worse, many societies of the modern world tolerate certain methods of self-intoxication. Despite the possibility of negative consequences, all the cultures of the world the consumption of substances like alcohol and tobacco are sanctioned under particular circumstances. All societies face the reality that significant proportions of mankind seek to the same time expressly criminalizing others. This irony is made more bizarre by the evidence that a myriad of rich cultural timelines can supply to demonstrate that there is reasonable historical precedence in existence to show the use of alternative forms of drugs being cultivated and utilized.(McKenna) The concept of an individual person deliberately changing their perception of reality with mind-altering substances is taboo for many people. Decades and centuries of culturally ingrained ideas regarding consciousness and meta-physics have led to the public censure of current dialogue. The possible ramifications of introducing an external object that is intrinsically imbued with special abilities Studies have actually shown that psychedelic drugs, if used responsibly, are actually less harmful than alcohol. (Landry) A common misunderstanding exists that psychedelic drugs can only be used for recreational purposes. There are, however, numerous cultures across the globe that take advantage of their psychoactive properties for religious and spiritual reasons. (Schultz) Popular research has even gone so far as to suggest that responsible use of psychedelics can lead to positive change for individuals and societies. (Masters and Houston) It is therefore essential to understand their potential role in contemporary American society. psychedelic drug use is an important aspect of Native American culture that can reap positive benefits for individuals and society. The general population of the United States, and the government of the USA in particular, should reconsider the legal status of their cultivation and use because of the potential role that these drugs could have within American culture. The Psychedelic Experience

Psychedelic drugs can be defined as chemical substances that people exploit for their ability to adjust cognitive function and perception. Unlike most other modern drug groupings, such as depressants and stimulants, psychedelic paraphernalia is often not consumed with an intent purpose of altering one’s temporal state. In contrast to many illicit substances, drugs of the psychedelic ilk are considered by most to be inadequate for modifying social behavior. Psychedelics are instead used most frequently as a trigger for “release” of certain aspects of the inner psyche, which proponents theorize is inaccessible under normal circumstances. (Schultz) Psychedelic drugs (called “enthiogens” when used as a spiritual tool) have been utilized for thousands of years by people who desire to alter their temporal and spiritual perceptions. A few of the distinctive effects that they can produce are: distortions in spiritual sensitivity, changes in physical perception, and certain modifications of cognitive function. The combination of these repercussions is often referred to as “the psychedelic experience.” (Masters and Houston) The famed American psychologist Timothy Leary has described the “psychedelic experience” as “a journey to new realms of consciousness. [Its] purpose is to enable a person to understand the realities of expanded consciousness,” and “to serve as a road map for new interior territories.” (McKenna)

Foundation of Ritual
In recent times, some scholars and historians have sought to explain the role that enthiogens may have played in the development of philosophy and religious thought within mankind. It is theorized they have been influential since the earliest eras of human existence. Some have gone so far as to argue that hallucinogenic drugs were likely catalysts for the development of mankind’s ability to reason and comprehend. (McKenna) A...
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