Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Amazon Healer: The Life and Times of an Urban Shaman.
Dobkin de Rios, Marlene. (1992).
Bridport, Dorset: Prism.
Description: paperback, viii + 180.
Contents: 10 chapters, glossary, bibliography, acknowledgment.
Excerpt(s): ... it may be wise at first to see how elements of Christianity
in the form of folk Catholicism were incorporated successfully into Amazonian
beliefs. After all, 83 per cent of don Hildeís clientele are practicing
Christians and 17 per cent of them are Evangelic Protestants, influenced in
the last thirty-five years by the presence of the Summer Institute of
Linguistics and their active missionary programme in Peru.
Traditional beliefs concerning witchcraft are not foreign to the Old and New
testaments of the Bible. the concept of duality, especially Satanic evil, is
not stranger to the devout Christian. Missionaries in small rainforest
hamlets are quite aggressive, even today, in putting fear of an angry God
into the hearts of most communicants. As an example, one informant during my
fieldwork in Iquitos told me, when I described my own ayahuasca experience,
that I would never see the face of Jesus when I died if I continued such
... In the Bible, ordinary people healed inspired by the gifts they believed
emanated from Jesus. Spirit communication influenced men and women. trance
phenomena were entered into freely; healers touched to cure. Dreams of
miraculous healing are scattered throughout the Bible. Matthew and Luke were
charged to heal the sick, cast out devils and give freely of themselves. So,
too, do many curanderos in the region, who often claim their healing talents
come to them as gifts of God. They exorcise evil spirits and frequently
charge little for their service. trance, induced by numerous plant
psychedelics, was probably used by nomadic rainforest Indians from the
earliest of times, and Christian scriptures are full of examples of trance
behavior; for instance, Saulís journey to Damascus, Paulís trance in
Jerusalem, or Danielís visions of two saints speaking to him. In 1
Corinthians, Jesus speaks of how the righteous can discern spirits ó
congruent with Septrionic beliefs, as well as earlier animistic concepts
originating in tribal periods.
Trance is very well know among many adult men in the Amazon, who seek out
such personal experiences by means of drug plants, either out of curiosity or
themselves of a witchcraft-induced disorder. (pages 60-61)
Thus, despite the influence of several hundred years of Christianity,
continue to flourish side by side with Catholic doctrine. Even don Hilde
himself to be especially graced by Christian spiritual protection, as the
appeared to him when he began his career as an ayahuasca healer. (pages
[Error Creating Counter File -- Click for more info]
Compilation copyright © 1995 2001 CSP