An Anthropological Perspective
Chapter Five: Entheogens and Religious Experience
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Entheogens and Religious Experience
As we have seen in the previous two chapters, the central feature of human spirituality is the mystical experience of a transcendent reality. This is the foundation upon which religion is built. Paula Hruby (2001: 59) describes mystical experiences as “intense phenomenological experiences of awe/wonder, unity, and expanded sense of self.” While such mystical states are typically spontaneous and unpredictable, nearly identical experiences have been achieved though the ingestion of substances referred to as entheogens (Nichols and Chemel 2006: 26). This raises the question: What is the role of entheogens in religiosity?
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