Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. vii

List of Tables and Illustrations

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p. ix

Acknowledgments

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p. xi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

The ancient world of gods and demigods is for us difficult to imagine. Even the appalling living conditions of prehistory are beyond our comprehension. Yet in those dark and mysterious times lived the first experts in modified states of consciousness, the perhaps inaptly‑named shamans, so important to all the ancient tribes of man. We say inaptly because, strictly speaking...

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1. Foundations of the Research

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pp. 11-40

If by “religion” we mean (1) a structured system of repeated and repeatable cults and rituals, (2) a reference to alleged divinities or supernatural beings, (3) the existence of some kind of officiants’ hierarchy, (4) places specifically assigned to this purpose, and (5) a notable number of followers or believers who recognize themselves...

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2. Sites of the Research

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pp. 41-66

To what extent, if any, has the “psychedelic question” played a part in the analyses of the referential sciences in prehistoric studies? An overview of what has been written seems to indicate that it has entered “on tiptoe” as just another minor variable, one that is of no great consequence. Simple reference to the ritual use of psychoactive substances...

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3. The Significance of the Research

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pp. 67-81

In various parts of this study we have noted the role currently played by psychology in the attempt to understand the often obscure significance of rock art. The psychoanalyst Nicola Peluffo’s comments on this interdisciplinary collaboration are particularly pertinent...

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4. Origins of Psychedelia

Peter Webster

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pp. 83-111

The search for evidence that human tribes and societies throughout global history have used psychoactive plants for religious, shamanic, philosophical, and medical purposes has met with great success. Publications citing such evidence come from an entire spectrum, from drug‑use oriented screeds to the most conservative of scientific journals. The ultra‑respectable...

Notes

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pp. 113-123

Index

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pp. 125-126