Psychedelic Theodicy: The Tendency to Deny and Downplay the Harms of Psychedelics

A theodicy is an attempt to justify or defend the Omni-God (an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing god), given the fact of evil in the world. The evil in the world is of two kinds: human-caused evil and natural evil. These refer, respectively, to the sometimes atrocious and abhorrent suffering that people cause to other people or…

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Part Human, Part Animal: What Therianthropes and Tricksters Reveal About Human Nature

A therianthrope is a mythical being that is part human, part animal, with some examples including the centaur, faun, satyr, werewolf, weredog, werecat, mermaid, siren, and minotaur. In furry fandom slang, the term therianthrope term also refers to someone who feels or believes she is partly or wholly a non-human animal, but for the purposes…

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The Psychology of Initiation Rites

Initiation rites are an integral part of traditional societies. An initiation rite is a ritual or ceremony marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. In modern society, initiation ceremonies usually mark the transition into adulthood, as demarcated by the community. Examples of such ceremonies would include the Christian baptism, the Jewish Bar and…

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Schizophrenic or Shamanic? It Depends on the Cultural Context

An individual can display certain symptoms, but whether they are an indication of schizophrenia or shamanic abilities depends largely on the cultural context. By cultural context I mean the collective beliefs, values, expectations and responses of the community which shape the mentality and behaviour of the individuals within that community. Mental illness is heavily influenced…

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The Mysterious Origins of Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca, the hallucinogenic brew, is a combination of two plants native to the Amazon rainforest: the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the leaves of Psychotria viridis. The caapi vine contains MAOIs which allow the DMT in the leaves of the Psychotria plant species to become orally active in the human body. If DMT-containing plants are taken…

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