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“'The Words of McKenna': Healing, Political Critique, and the Evolution of Psychonaut Religion since the 1960s Counterculture”.
J Am Acad Relig. 2016 Mar 31.
Terence McKenna (1946-2000) spent thirty years advocating for the religious use of hallucinogenic substances. Picking up where Timothy Leary left off, McKenna inspired later generations of Psychonauts ("consciousness explorers") and continues to do so even today. McKennan religion treats humanity as in flux, with imminent evolutionary milestones rapidly approaching. These metamorphoses will occur in conjunction with substance use and the help of other entities. American Psychonaut religion developed alongside the Drug War, which has had far-reaching consequences for its evolution. In establishing an enforced state opposition to substances that Psychonauts consider sacraments, the American legal system catalyzed the development of countercultural religion. Psychonauts following McKenna's philosophy have embraced anarchism and anticapitalism, adhering to an ideology that presents "archaic" society as an ideal set against America's current "dominator" society. Beyond the Psychonauts themselves, the Drug War also appears to have inhibited scholarly inquiry into how substance use can function as a religious practice.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the American Academy of Religion. All rights reserved.
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