David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (2):159-170 (2010)
Botanical preparations used by shamans in rituals for divination, prophecy, and ecstasy contain widely different psychoactive compounds, which are incorrectly classified under a single denomination such as “hallucinogens,” “psychedelics,” or “entheogens.” Based on extensive ethnopharmacological search, I proposed a psychopharmacological classification of magic plants in 1979. This paper re-evaluates this taxonomy in the context of consciousness research. Several groups of psychodysleptic magic plants are proposed: (1) hallucinogens—psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline cacti, dimethyltryptamine snuffs, and the synthetic ergoline lysergic acid diethylamide induce strong perceptual changes, affective intensification, and cognitive enhancement. Their ethnobotanical uses include long lasting divination rituals, prophecy, and sacramental practice. (2) Trance-inducers—ergoline Convolvulaceae and South American Banisteriopsis produce quietness, abstraction, lethargy, mild sensorial and cognitive changes, and salient visual imagery changes used in trance rituals and specific divination practices. (3) Cognodysleptics—marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other terpene-containing plants induce changes in thought, imagination, and affective functions and are used in short-term divination or oneiromancy. (4) Deliriants—tropane-containing Solanaceae, wild tobacco, and Amanita muscaria (muscimol) induce a delirium characterized by dim and clouded consciousness, stupor, confusion, disorientation, perception distortion, difficulties in recollection, anxiety, irritability, excitation, and behavioral disorganization employed in sorcery, purification, or exorcism rituals. The core mental effects required for a drug to be used in shamanistic rituals include light-headedness, enhanced imagery, and experience intensification. This constellation was the reason why, in his classification of psychoactive compounds, the pioneer German psychopharmacologist Louis Lewin established in 1924 a group of drugs under the appropriate name of Phantastica.
|Keywords||Psychoactive plants Hallucinogens Trance-inducers Cognodysleptics Deliriants Psychedelic experience Psychedelic visual phenomena|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
William James (1991). The Varieties of Religious Experience. Triumph Books.
Benny Shanon (2002). The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience. OUP Oxford.
Allan L. Smith & Charles T. Tart (1998). Cosmic Consciousness Experience and Psychedelic Experiences: A First Person Comparison. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (1):97-107.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Janine Tatjana Schmid, Henrik Jungaberle & Rolf Verres (2010). Subjective Theories About (Self-)Treatment with Ayahuasca. Anthropology of Consciousness 21 (2):188-204.
Amber D. Carpenter (2011). Embodied Intelligent (?) Souls: Plants in Platos Timaeus. Phronesis 55 (4):281-303.
Robert N. McCauley (2006). How Far Will an Account of Ritualized Behavior Go in Explaining Cultural Rituals? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (6):623-624.
Alexandra H. M. Nagel (1997). Are Plants Conscious? Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (3):215-230.
Imants Baruss (2003). Psychedelics. In Alterations of Consciousness: An Empirical Analysis for Social Scientists. American Psychological Association 161-185.
Bethe Hagens & Steven Lansky (2012). Personal Report: Significance of Community in an Ayahuasca Jungle Dieta. Anthropology of Consciousness 23 (1):103-109.
Francois Blanc (2010). Trance and Shamanic Cure on the South American Continent: Psychopharmacological and Neurobiological Interpretations. Anthropology of Consciousness 21 (1):83-105.
Elaine Perry (2002). Plants of the Gods: Ethnic Routes to Altered Consciousness. In Elaine Perry, Heather Ashton & Andrew W. Young (eds.), Neurochemistry of Consciousness. John Benjamins 36--205.
Added to index2010-04-18
Total downloads41 ( #98,273 of 1,792,839 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #464,764 of 1,792,839 )
How can I increase my downloads?