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Psychology of religion, ethnology or history of religion — all re- search, within their own scopes, the origin of this phenomenon, and its influence on the person experiencing them. Religious rituals or rites oriented towards spiritual illumination often en- tailed the use of psychedelic substances. These are such an integral part of the human experience that only one known society the Inuit people have not harvested any psychedelic substances, due to their environmen- tal situation being completely unsuitable for cultivation of any narcotic plants.
Opium reached the An- cient Greece through Egypt, and it was used for religious reasons during temple fumigation and oracle rituals, it was offered to the gods and in- gested as psychedelic during the mysteries.
Zarys Pro- blematyki, [in:] J. Libera, K. This last people revered the gods Haoma and Soma, who were sanctified forms of hallucinogenic plants used for cult purposes for millenia.
Over the centuries, the mystery religions of Bacchus and Diana, Attis and Kybele97 were subjugated by the hierarchical religions, which formed a clearly hostile approach to narcotics, including alcohol Islam , seeing them as the cause of sin.
To illustrate, one can use the example of the Inca people, among whom the use of coca can be traced as far back as BC, according to the latest archeological research. The war on coca, started by the church, was partly halted by the conquistadors themselves when they realised they can use it to enhance productivity of colonised workers. Studia socjologiczne i kulturoznawcze, red.
Anczyk, pp. Cyboran, Klasyczna joga indyjska, Warszawa , p. Hobhouse, Ziarna zmian. Warszawa , p. Since official religious currents have rejected narcotic substances from their array of techniques for worshipper-divinity contact due to their need to control their flock, but also due to the changing social attitude towards the substances themselves , psychedelic substances have emerged in esotericism.
Sometimes they are used as means of gaining in- sight into extrasensory worlds, but they have also and this is the major- ity been ascribed to esoteric practitioners by the apologists of official re- ligions as means of discrediting esotericism, due to the negative image of narcotics themselves.
Sieradzan rightly said, the defini- tion of esotericism is so fluid that what some researchers deem to be eso- tericism, others consider to be Satanism or occultism, or the other way W.
Hanegraaff ed. Tiryakian ed. Faivre, four important traits of western esotericism and two less important traits which do not have to occur. The pharmacological effect of hal- lucinogenic substances entails heightened sensory sensitivity, especially visual and auditory, so psychedelics lead to a stronger presence of sub- conscious content in consciousness. For this reason, using entheogenic substances is, in archaic cultures, always steeped in religious and ritual context.
Thus, they can lead J. Pasek ed. Hanegraaff, Esotericism and the Academy. Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture, London The attitude of esotericism towards narcotics is not univocal. It has been changing throughout the centuries, taking various forms, from complete negation, through reserved acquiescence, to complete hallowed ac- ceptance.
The entire history of psychedelic use in esotericism has not been described in Polish literature so far, most of the articles on the subject coming from Western science. It should be noted that researching the matter is not an easy task. Firstly, the social attitude towards narcotics has changed dramatically through the ages. Mid-nineteenth century, some narcotics which are prohibited today were legally on sale over the counter. Naturally, an important part of this change was the advance- ment of medical knowledge on the addictive and crippling effects of some narcotic drugs.
Secondly, as already mentioned, ascribing narcotic use to certain groups was a deliberate attempt of discrediting an individual or community in the eyes of other religions or society as a whole.
In such a case it is very difficult to distinguish the truth from purposeful manipulation. The third matter is somewhat related to the first.
Currently, many esoter- icsists or esoteric congregations officially distance themselves from the use and promotion of narcotics as an element enhancing the mystical in- sight, or aiding contact with sacrum. Nevertheless, psychedelics are used unofficially, and the adherents know very well that they may even be re- quired on a certain level of initiation.
Thus, official teachings of a given master or group should be distinguished from the inner practices. Hofmann, Eliksir Hofmanna.
LSD i nowe Eleuzis. Albert Hofmann i inni, rozmowy i eseje w opracowaniu Amandy Feilding, Warszawa , p.
Hanegraaff mentions this in his Entheogenic Esotericism, a text which will be cited later. It is thus important that research on the relations between narcotics and esotericism takes all these problems into account. Cultural context must be researched, as must be the perception of a given individual or group by the dominant religions of their environment, and their official and un- official position on ideas and practices.
It could have been induced through the smoke of burned plants or through vol- canic fumes. The smoke in question is the cannabis smoke, the main source of ecstasy for Thracians and Scythians as well.
Plutarch described nauseating vapors rising from fissures in the stony temple floor. A British scholar, A. Oppe, made an extensive research in the temple and stated authoritatively that there are no significant fissures in it, while Pierre Amandry stated that the area of the Delphi temple has been volcanically inac- tive for a long time and thus produced no toxic gases.
This has, for many years, stopped any scientific debate on the subject, until new research has been made, and an interdisciplinary team of J Z. De Boer, J R. Hale and J. It stated that the presence of a tectonic fault, with its overlapping strata and friction, results in heat production. This heat causes evaporation of bitumi- nous calcium deposits, which in turn produces methane, ethane and ethylene.
This ehtylene is theorised to be the narcotic the oracle used. This thesis was subsequently refuted in a publication by J. Foster, D. Eliade, Szamanizm i archaiczne techniki ekstazy, Warszawa , p. This term was propagated in Europe by Marco Polo in his account of his time in Persia in Dziekan, Arabia magica. Eliade, op. I, rozdz. Hasan himself was said to give hashish to them, and lead the intoxicated men to rooms which were specifically made to imitate the gardens of paradise and staffed by beautiful houris.
It is very useful to western esotericism, since the Assassins had contact with the Templars, and such organisations as the Ordo Templi Orientis, an order of sexual magic, claim to be the heirs of Templar traditions. This idea of an esoteric master intoxicating and programming his believers through hashish is disproved by, among others, W. Barlett in his book Assassins.
In his opinion, the Fedayeen could not have acted under the influence of hashish due to the tactics they chose. To fulfill his mission, he waited for a suitable mo- ment and only attacked when the chances of success were greatest, thus having to wait patiently and closely observe.
This task needed a method- ical person who could control their actions and emotions, and these are not the traits of a person under the influence of narcotics.
Bartlett, Asasyni. Banek, op. As a side note, the Catholic church itself also made use of narcotic plants during its holy ordeals. Basing on the as- sumption that, if the defendant is innocent, God Almighty shall shield them from death, they were given poisonous plants. This practice was outlawed in At least two medieval authors have supplied trustworthy information on the composition: Weirus, a 17th century doctor, and Jean de Nynauld, in his treatise De la Lycanthropie, Transformation, et Extase des Sorciers Paris, Helena Petrovna Blavat- sky — , founder of theosophy, was a staunch opposer of narcot- ics and alcohol, as manifest in her responses to questions gathered in her fundamental work, The Key to Theosophy : A.
Motyka, J. Rudgley, Alchemia kultury. Od opium do kawy, Warszawa , p. Harner, The role of hallucinogenic plants in European witchcraft, [in:] M. Harner eds , Hallucinogens and Shamanism, New York , p. On the subject of Polish witches, see: W. Then with regard to the use of wine and spirits, I suppose you do not advise people to drink them? There may be research workers who for legitimate reasons wish to undertake experiments, but I cannot conceive of any legitimate reason for introduc- ing a neophyte to the drug habit.
Many secret magic asso- ciations tried to propagate the idea of a noble and upstanding character H. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy, London , p. Yet the picture would not be complete without a presentation of the other — less prominent, at least officially — attitude towards psychedelic sub- stances.
Their important role in esoteric development is confirmed by such works as Almanac Prophetique from , which shows a crowd watching a mage who looks upon the future with a telescope. There are at least seven detailed and extensive biographies of Crowley.
Kaczyn- ski, valued among researchers for its incisiveness. Crowley himself, it seems, had never chosen any one direction and definition of himself.
Articles in peer-reviewed academic anthologies and journals Hall, Dorota, Antagonism in the making: Religion and homosexuality in post-communist Poland , [in:] S. Sremac and R. Ganzevoort eds. Hall, Dorota, Od kontrkultury do New Age?
Insygnia runiczne w III Rzeszy Niemieckiej