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Psychology



Ayahuasca ShanonAltered States and the Study of Consciousness – The Case of Ayahuasca. 

The Journal of Mind and Behavior Spring 2003, Volume 24, Number 2 Pages 125-154

Benny Shanon The Hebrew University

This paper is part of a comprehensive research project whose aim is to study the phenomenology of

the special state of mind induced by the psychoactive Amazonian potion ayahuasca. Here, I focus on

those aspects of the ayahuasca experience that are related to basic features of the human

Consciousness. The effects of the potion are discussed in terms of a conceptual framework

characterizing Consciousness as a cognitive System defined by a set of parameters and the values that

they take. In various theoretical contexts, these values have been assumed to be basic, paradigmatic

properties of human Consciousness. The phenomenological data pertaining to ayahuasca indicate that

the features at hand can be modified. Following earlier suggestions by William James and Aldous

Huxley, I conclude that any general theory of Consciousness should be based not only on the study of

so-called ordinary Consciousness, but also on that of non-ordinary states.

Ayahuasca Shanon 

 

 

Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences Abraham H. Maslow

Appendix A
Religious Aspects of Peak-Experiences

Practically everything that happens in the peak-experiences, naturalistic though they are, could be listed under the headings of religious happenings, or indeed have been in the past considered to be only religious experiences.

For instance, it is quite characteristic in peak-experiences that the whole universe is perceived as an integrated and unified whole. This is not as simple a happening as one might imagine from the bare words themselves.                             

 

Sapan Inka Ayahuasca Retreat Centre
Cusco, Perú 2008 - 2017

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