Altering Consciousness, Vol. 2

Vol. 2 ("Biological and Psychological Perspectives") Contents






Shamanic Ecstasy

Fred Previc



Transcendent Experiences

Mario Beauregard



DMT & Consciousness

Mishor & McKenna



LSD & Consciousness

Nichols & Chemel



Peyote & Meaning

Stacy B. Schaefer



Addiction & Dynamics

Bla:tter & Fachner



Sexual Activity

Maliszewski et al




Etzel Carden~a



Visionary Spirituality

David Lukoff



Paradoxically Healing

Mishara & Schwartz


capp. 3-6.



Shamanic Ecstasy

Fred Previc


p. 55 archaeological evidences of praehistoric shamanic shamanism

"there is clear evidence in rock art and cave paintings of shamanistic themes (e.g., animal-human therianopes) in various parts of the world by 35 kya {kya = 1000 years ago}, including

Fumane Cave in Italy (Broglio et al., 2009) and

Chauvet Cave in France (Valladas et al., 2001)."

"Although ... the shamanic consciousness emerged, its demise can be traced to the rise of agriculture approximately 10 kya in the Middle East".

{It is not just simply "the rise agriculture" per se, but the rather the ascendency of severely repressive ruling-classes which accompanied the vogue of agriculture, that hath in so-called "civilized" cultures (and only there) restricted the praevalence of shamanism. Howbeit, in praesent-day urban cultures (along with the development less repressive social conditions), shamanism is in the process of returning into vogue.}

Broglio et al. 2009 = A. Broglio, M. de Stefani, F. Gurioli, P. Pallecchi, G. Giachi, T. Higman, & F. Brock : "L’art aurignacien dans la de’coration de la Gotte de Fumane". L’ ANTHROPOLOGIE, 113:753-61.

Valladas et al. 2001 = H. Valladas, J. Clottes, J. M. Geneste, M. A. Garcia, M. Arnold, H. Cachier, & N. Tisne’rat-Laborde : "Palaeolithic Paintings". NATURE, 413:479.



Transcendent Experiences

Mario Beauregard


p. 76 active thinking in the absence of brain-activity

a case "at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona" : "the blood was completely drained from her head and her EEG brain waves flattened into total silence ... . Her brain stem became unresponsive ... and her temperature fell to 15o centigrade. ...

She reported later that at that point, she felt herself "pop" outside her body and hover above the operating table. From her out-of-body position, she could see the doctors working on her lifeless body. ... At a certain point, she became conscious of floating out of the operating room and traveling down a tunnel of light. Deceased relatives and friends were waiting at the end of this tunnel ... . She entered the presence of a brilliant, wonderfully warm and loving Light and sensed that ... everything in existence was created from the Light ... (Sabom, 1998)."

Sabom 1998 = M. Sabom : Light and Death : one doctor’s ... account of near-death experiences. Grand Rapids (MI) : Zondervan.

p. 77 near-death experiences during cardiac arrest

"It is noteworthy that NDEs [near-death experiences] are reported by approximately 15 per cent of cardiac arrest survivors (Greyson, 2003; Parnia, Waller, Yeates, & Fenwick, 2001; van Lommel, van Wees, Meyers, & Elfferich, 2001)."

Greyson, 2003 = G. Greyson : "Incidence and Correlates of near-Death Experiences in a Cardiac Care Unit". GENERAL HOSPITAL PSYCHIATRY, 25:269-76.

Parnia, Waller, Yeates, & Fenwick, 2001 = S. Parnia, D. G. Waller, R. Yeates, & P Fenwick : "A Qualitative and Quantitative Study of the Incidence ... of Near Death Experiences in Cardiac Arrest Survivors". RESUSCITATION, 48:149-56.

van Lommel, van Wees, Meyers, & Elfferich, 2001 = P. van Lommel, R. van Wees, V. Meyers, & I. Elfferich : "Near Death Experiences in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest ... in the Netherlands". LANCET, 358:2039-45.

p. 77 the brain is not a producer of thought

"William James (1898) proposed that the brain may serve a permissive/transmissive/expressive function rather than a productive one in terms of mental events ... . Following James, Henri Bergson (1914) and Aldous Huxley (1954) speculated that the brain acts as a filter or reducing valve by blocking out much of and allowing registration and expression of only a narrow band of perceivable reality. ... This outlook implies that the brain normally limits the human capacity to have a TE ["transcendent experience", i.e. extrasensory perception]."

James 1898 = William James : "Human Immortality" (a lecture, delivered in 1898). In :- G. Murphy & R. O. Ballou (edd.) : William James on Psychical Research. NY : Viking, 1960.

Bergson 1914 = Henri Bergson : "Presidential Address, 1914". PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, 27:157-75.

Huxley 1954 = Aldous Huxley : The Doors of Perception. NY : Harper & Row, 1954.

{The brain is a sort of mental prison whose function is to restrict thinking and to dullen the mind; just as the body’s prison-like function generally is to restrict our activities and to limit our talents and to cripple our capacities.}



DMT and Consciousness

Zevic Mishor; Dennis J. McKenna; J. C. Callaway


p. 87 archaeological evidences of praehistoric Amerindian consumption of psychedelic drugs





ground peyote material

Shumla Caves nigh Rio Grande, TX


puma-bone smoking pipes with Anandenanthera colubrina seed remnants

Inca Cueva in n.-w. Argentina


stone smoking pipes and crushed Anandenanthera colubrina seeds

Huachichocana rock shelter in Argentina

pp. 93-4 impressions from DMT

p. 93

"Terence McKenna (1992, p. 258) wrote,

Under the influence of DMT, the world becomes ... complex and wordless awe ... and the sense of a reality-unlocking secret nearby pervade the experience. ... One has the impression of entering into an ecology of souls that lies beyond the portals of what we nai[:]vely call death. ... Here is a tremendum barely to

p. 94

be told, an epiphany ... of that which is stranger than we can suppose."


"a one is being propelled somewhere with a mighty force. ... Feelings of sheer amazement ... euphoria ..., and joy may be felt, one after the other, or all at the same time. ...

The feeling of being surrounded by an intelligent awareness or awarenesses, as one "breaks through" into a different realm, can be very strong. ... There are visions and perceptions of incredibly beautiful objects, of machines and technologies, fashioned ... even of the matrix of language and thoughts themselves. There may be insights into the nature of the world or into death, experiences as a gestalt or through visions involving ... archetypal beings. One may feel a mystical union with the cosmos ... . ...

And throughout the experience ... [is] the feeling of weirdness and amazement, so great, that "the danger is the possibility of death by astonishment" (T. McKenna, 1990)."

McKenna 1992 = Terence McKenna : Food of the Gods : ... the original tree of knowledge. London : Rider.

McKenna 1990 = Terence McKenna : "... Workshop with Ethnobotanist, Shamanologist, and Psychedelico, Terence McKenna". Time and Man.

p. 108 DMT-containing snuffs in the Amazon River Basin

indigenous names


vilca; cebil

Anandenanthera colubrina

cohoba; yopo

Anandenanthera peregrina

epana; ebena; nyakwana

Virola spp.

p. 108 "in the Colombian Vaupe`s region, these snuffs were ... used by shamans only, for the diagnosis and treatment of disease, for divination and prophecy".

pp. 108-9 modes of praeparing and of ingesting DMT-containing snuffs in the Amazon River Basin


process of praepation


"preparing Virola" : "stripping the bark from the tree,

heating the bark over a low fire to force the resin to the surface,

scraping the resin into a container, and then

evaporating it over a low fire until ... reduced to a reddish-brown syrup.

The syrup is then dried, pulverized ..., and sifted ... .

An important admixture ... was either wood ash or mineral lime ... . ...


Ash and lime provide the snuff with a basic pH".


"Snuff products are often administered by one person using a tube to blow the powder into the nostrils of another."

p. 110 species of Ayahuasca

indigenous name



Psychotria viridis


Diplopterys cabrerana

pp. 111-2 myth & mystery

p. 111

"origins of Ayahuasca ... is frequently attributed to supernatural events involving the spirit world and is often intrinsically linked to a central creation myth for the human species as a whole (Shanon, 2002)."

"The use of Ayahuasca is steeped in mysteries that provide complete cosmological and practical frameworks for ... the

p. 112

Ayahuasca shaman ... to enter the spirit realm and bring useful knowledge back to the ordinary world, where it is subsequently applied."

Shanon 2002 = B. Shanon : The Antipodes of the Mind. Oxford U Pr.

p. 112 religious "sects ... that utilize the Ayahuasca beverage as a sacrament"

Portuguese name of sect

meaning of name

date of founding

Santo Daime

"Saint Give unto Me"



"Little Boat"


Unia~o do Vegetal

"Union of Vegetal"


p. 116 cognitive effect of DMT

"DMT provides access to alternate realities ... . ...

"DMT ... opens a portal to some kind of other dimension or reality".



LSD and Consciousness

David E. Nichols & Benjamin R. Chemel


p. 126 psychedelics drugs are ideal sacraments for the dying

"Employing hallucinogens in dying patients ... can both eliminate the fear of death and lead to personal transformation. The experiences of death and rebirth that can be induced by psychedelics can ... lead to radical changes in the patient’s attitude toward death and dying, resulting in

relief of pain and distress (Grof & Grof, 1980).

{The "relief of pain" is occasioned by the praesence of deities who are invoked by the ingesting of the psychedelics, which are the authentic religious sacraments for the dying.}

These changes largely parallel that that are observed following a so-called near-death experience (Noyes, 1980) and further emphasize the potential similarity between an actual physical encounter with death and the perception of one that may be induced by an hallucinogen."

Grof & Grof 1980 = S. Grof & C. Grof : Beyond Death : the Gates of Consciousness. London : Thames & Hudson.

Noyes 1980 = R. Noyes, Jr : "Attitude Change Following Near-Death Experiences". PSYCHIATRY, 43:234-42.

p. 129 ineffable, numinous

"Transcendental or visionary states have the quality of being ineffable; there is no language that can adequately convey the richness of the experience.

{Such language needs must be theological; for it must intimate the praesence of deities. Commonly, mystics are unwilling to employ such language, lest they be accused of hairesy.}

Similarly, psychedelics can produce a powerful and profound sense that something ominous or momentous is about to occur or is occurring, producing awe and amazement. These descriptors are the same as those we might find attached to a visionary experience and resemble Rudolph Otto’s "numinous" (Otto, [1926])."

Otto 1958 = Rudolph Otto : The Idea of the Holy. Oxford U Pr, 1926. (Das Heilige, transl. by John W. Harvey)

pp. 139-40 who we are

p. 139

"hallucinogens could be extremely powerful tools to help us understand who we are ... . As a modern society, we must open to the possibilities

p. 140

presented by these substances ... for their ability to reconnect us with primary spiritual experiences that are largely absent from modern religions.


Sadly, delving too deeply into these questions may provide knowledge that many people simply do not wish to know, and ... that is part of the fear of these substances.

{Such "many people" are the members of the materialistic greed-maddened capitalist-class, commonly known as the "class-enemy".}

{The authors are, quite understandably, reluctant to disclose that the adversary in this, as in most other matters of societal public-ethics, is the capitalist-class.}


Etzel Carden~a & Michael Winkelman (edd.) : Altering Consciousness : Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Praeger (an imprint of ABC-CLIO), Santa Barbara (CA), 2011.