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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

Visionary Vine: Hallucinogenic Healing in the Peruvian Amazon.

Dobkin de Rios, Marlene. (1984).
Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

ISBN: 0-88133-093-0

Description: Paperback, xii + 181 pages. Originally published in 1972.

Contents: Illustrations, acknowledgments, Map of Peru, "Oh Amazonas Putrefacto" by Roger Rumrill, 9 chapters, glossary, bibliography, index.

Excerpt(s): For too many years, such inner states had been off-limits to psychological investigation, which focused its attention on mental activity that was measurable and objectively discernible. Since interior states were not amenable to available measurement techniques, they were often disregarded. However, it is just those areas of hallucinogenic-drug use that measurement of subjective states becomes an almost impossible task. Despite the subjective nature of a drug experience, what would appear to be the most important aspect of my ayahuasca research was to see how cultural variables such as belief systems, attitudes, expectations, and values concerning the use of a powerful psychedelic plant can structure one of the most personal experiences that a social scientist can examine. Recurrent features and regularities of individuals' drug experiences in the Peruvian Amazon will be an important part of the analysis in the pages to follow. (page 9)

We have looked at the plant hallucinogen, ayahuasca, as an example of man's traditional use of such substances in the treatment of disease. As I pointed out at the beginning of this book, although it is convenient to separate out categories of drug use in which disease is viewed apart from supernatural concerns, it is important to reiterate here that ayahuasca healing in the Peruvian Amazon has very definite supernatural components of etiology, diagnosis, and cure as well as being viewed by healers and patients alike in terms of a philosophy of caus ation. The visions induced by the plant are interpreted by the ayahuasca healer to be the personal or spiritual force responsible for illness, a major concern prior to the effecting of any cure. (page 140)

This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP

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