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Traces the ritual use of natural hallucinogens throughout history, and argues that Western culture should find also find a place for them in its spiritual life
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Paul Devereux is an experienced and respected author and researcher primarily dealing with archaeological themes and ancient lifeways, unusual geophysical phenomena, and consciousness studies. His work spans the range from academic to popular. While making his subject matter attractive and accessible to a wide audience, his material is factually based. He has written or co-written 25 books since 1979, been involved in a number of television productions, and has also written a range of peer-reviewed academic papers.From Kirkus Reviews:
An independent specialist breezily and a bit tendentiously summarizes the archaeological and anthropological understanding, such as it is, of the widespread use of hallucinogenic plants around the world since the earliest times. Devereux's interpretation of indirect archaeological evidence of psychedelic use in ancient western Europe often comes across as highly speculative. But it's an intriguing look at the kinds of clues ``cognitive archaeologists'' use to reconstruct long-lost behavior, and in any case the brisk global tour of long-exploited psychoactive plants leaves no doubt of the intimate relation between these drugs and most human cultures--the notable exception being our own. From early Eurasia (the familiar red-capped fly agaric mushroom and the legendary soma) to Africa (ibogaine and khat), through the arcane traditions of Native Americans and the plant lore of ``witchcraft,'' natural hallucinogens have been an integral part of shamanic religions' belief in a higher plane. Devereux, constantly emphasizing the role of context in any psychedelic experience, takes pains to show that hallucinogens were usually strictly regulated aspects of a coherent culture's rites. Thus, while not simply proselytizing for the indiscriminate use of psychedelics, Devereux is fanatically keen to demonstrate what modern Western culture is missing out on in its underappreciation of this history (as well as of expanded consciousness itself). Because of this underappreciation, much such study has been performed outside of mainstream anthropology and archaeology. As a consequence, perhaps, while Devereux's book is a handy summary of this research, much information seems sketchily documented, when it is not outright unexplained assertion. Devereux's claims for the true insights afforded by psychedelics (including prediction and remote viewing) invite some skepticism, too. But he shows that judgments would be better made in a climate of rational inquiry into the obviously basic human predilection for altered consciousness. (83 b&w illustrations, not seen) (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Penguin Books August 1997, 1997. Trade Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 49742
Book Description Penguin Books, 1997. Paperback. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 0140195408_abe_bn
Book Description Penguin Books, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0140195408
Book Description Condition: Brand New. New. Seller Inventory # DH pb 29pg1482to1781-17664
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0140195408