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      Peak-experience and the entheogenic use of cannabis in world religions

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          Abstract

          This paper demonstrates that cannabis can evoke “peak-experiences”—the name psychologist Abraham Maslow gave to fleeting moments of expanded perception indicative of self-transcendence—when used alongside more traditional religious practices such as meditation, fasting, contemplative prayer, and sacramental ritual. For that reason, religious seekers around the globe have deployed cannabis as a deliberate psychoactive to trigger the peak-experiences that stir feelings of ecstasy, wonder, and awe and resolve the “dichotomies, polarities, and conflicts of life.” As such, peak-experiences exemplify a form of spiritual revelation that has played a pivotal role in the history of religion, and because of its ability to elicit unitive consciousness at the heart of mystical insight, cannabis has been utilized as a mild entheogen across culture and tradition for millennia.

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          Author and article information

          Contributors
          Journal
          2054
          Journal of Psychedelic Studies
          JPS
          Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
          2559-9283
          2060-5587
          15 January 2021
          17 July 2020
          : 4
          : 3
          : 179-191
          Affiliations
          [1] State University of New York , 108 Ravine Parkway, Oneonta, NY, 13820, USA
          Author notes
          []Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 607 436 2427 E-mail: mark.ferrara@ 123456oneonta.edu
          Article
          10.1556/2054.2020.00122
          70826986-a525-405c-a5da-3833b21e3c23
          © 2020 The Author(s)

          Open Access. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

          Page count
          Equations: 0, References: 79, Pages: 13
          Categories
          Research Article

          Evolutionary Biology,Medicine,Psychology,Educational research & Statistics,Social & Behavioral Sciences
          entheogens,hierarchy of needs,self-transcendence,mysticism,shamanism,Abraham Maslow,psychedelics,peak-experiences,world religions,cannabis

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