Beyond Peyote
October 10, 2002 10:25 PM   Subscribe

Everyone's heard of peyote as a psychotropic drug of choice coming from Native American tradition, but peyote is far from the only kid on the block.
posted by nick.a (10 comments total)
salvia divinorum
dude im tripping balls
i cant feel my face

i cant feel my face !!
posted by shadow45 at 10:43 PM on October 10, 2002

There's a really cool book that just came out called "Breaking Open the Head," by Daniel Pinchbeck. Roughly, it's about the current exploration within our society of the indigeneous traditions of entheogenic use.

"While psychedelics are outlawed, 27 million Americans currently take antidepressants such as Zoloft or Prozac. These days, most people are far more suspicious of plant compounds safely ingested by human beings for tens of thousands of years than they are of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or other powerful, utterly synthetic, mood and mind-altering drugs created in the last decadeds by a pharmacological industry motivated by profit." -Breaking Open the Head, pg. 4

Everyone has probably heard about the high rate of alcoholism among Native Americans. What a lot of people haven't heard is about the extremely low numbers of Native Americans who use peyote as a sacrament in the Native American Church that suffer from alcoholism.

They don't want you to heal yourself. Or to explore and know the boundaries of your own mind. They want you to be a good little worker cog in the economic/industrial machine, producing and consuming more.

There's also

And there's also my friend Vs. Spy's views on the Drug War, which fits well into the discussion here.
posted by geekhorde at 10:50 PM on October 10, 2002

And as Bill Hicks once said, the truth is that drugs can just be FUN.
posted by geekhorde at 11:00 PM on October 10, 2002

And we should not ignore the wonderful Super Mario mushroom.

The use of psychoactives for spiritual exploration, both ancient and modern, has the advantage over other spiritual forms in that it promises, and delivers, some sort of potent experience with every usage. This experience does, of course, run the range from enlightening karmic bliss to soul-rending skull fuck, and is obviously not something to be taken lightly. I'm still skeptical that use will move much beyond the "enlightenment in a dose" market, so effectively cornered by MDMA, unless substantively linked to larger movement like Santo Daime, or something of the sort.

I would also be extremely hesitant to blame the rejection of psychonauts as a legitimate species of spiritual wanderer on some capitalist desire to keep the masses from nirvana. Let us be frank: seeing someone in the throes of hallucination is bloody disconcerting. While you may hold court with Vishnu and Dionysus for a time, the sacred nature is diminished somewhat when you awaken hurling oranges into a newly dug backyard "pool" and singing old-fashioned spirituals in the key of Brad Roberts. Psychoactives frighten the bejeezus out of most people and I don't think we're likely to change the minds of a generation that knows how bad the brown acid really is.
posted by apostasy at 1:00 AM on October 11, 2002

yeah, how come I never noticed until now that Mario Bros was a video game totally driven by an addiction to "shrooms"?
posted by sarguy at 3:05 AM on October 11, 2002

Anyone had experience with the psychotropics listed above? How do they compare?
posted by tranceformer at 3:42 AM on October 11, 2002

I sent $75 to the guy and got a bag of what, by its effects and appearance, could have been green tea.
posted by goethean at 6:53 AM on October 11, 2002

This related story is interesting:

"The Quiet Resurgence of Psychedelic Compounds as Instruments of Both Spiritual and Scientific Exploration"

More info here:
posted by Morphic at 7:24 AM on October 11, 2002

Admittedly, it's very superficial but the impression from the face of the "Indian holding peyote" in the photograph on the opening page of the first link doesn't encourage me to seek spiritual revelation from that source.
posted by semmi at 7:56 AM on October 11, 2002

I have smoked Salvia Divinorum several times, and have never had a cool experience with it. I have heard varying reports on dosage/procedure for smoking. Some say to smoke as much as you can as fast as you can, some say it must be water-filtered. I even had one person tell me that you don't really feel any drug effect unless you are alone in the dark. I have tried all of these things, and it has never done anything but put me to sleep. The only weird thing was this Saliva-induced conversation:

Me: I wish I was a mechanic, would could hang out in the garage.
Friend: Yeah, then we could hang out in the cars.
Me: Nah, they'd all be up on the lifts.
<4 5 minutes of silence>

For now, I'm sticking to beer and weed.< !->
posted by TurkishGolds at 9:52 AM on October 11, 2002

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