Richard Evans Schultes
Hallucinogenic Plants - A Golden Guide | 5,3 Mb PDF
Schultes, Richard Evans. (1976).
Racine, WI: Golden Press
No matter whether we believe that man's intake of hallucinogens in primitive or sophisticated societ ies constitutes use, misuse, or abuse, hallucinogenic plants have undeniably played an extensive role in human culture and probably shall continue to do so. It follows that a clear understanding of these physically and socially potent agents should be a part of man's general education. (foreword by Schultes, page 2)
In his search for food, early man tried all kinds of plants. Some nourished him, some, he found, cured his ills, and some killed him. A few, to his surprise, had strange effects on his mind and body, seeming to carry him into other worlds. (page 5)
MUSHROOM WORSHIP seems to have roots in centuries of native tradition. Mexican frescoes, going back to A.D. 300, have designs suggestive of mushrooms. Even more remarkable are the artifacts called mushroom stones excavated in large numbers from highland Maya sites in Guatamala and dating back to 1000 B.C. Consisting of a stem with a human or animal face and surrounded by an umbrella-shaped top, they long puzzled archaeologists. Now interpreted as a kind of icon connected with religious rituals , they indicate that 3,000 years ago, a sophisticated religion surrounded the sacramental use of these fungi.
It has been suggested that perhaps mushrooms were the earliest hallucinogenic plants to be discovered. The other-worldly experience induced by these mysterious forms of plant liafe could easily suggested a spiritual plane of existence. (page 59)