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Drug use in ancient civilizations

Drug use in ancient civilizations
December 24, 2012, 05:09:48 AM
I'm writing a paper on drugs in ancient civilizations, and I'd like some input from the metalheads here.

Which cultures in the pre-modern world had well-established traditions of drug use? Which religions had mild-altering drugs as an important part of the ceremonies? What role did this play in their societies at large?

(I'm basically too lazy to do the hours of research myself.)

Re: Drug use in ancient civilizations
December 24, 2012, 01:48:33 PM
Here's my input:

Why don't you break the mold and admit to yourself drugs won't give you the answer? It's disheartening to see all these elite youth so obsessed with drugs. I understand you are bored, so take up skateboarding, baseball, instruments, something that will actually benefit you in the long run. Why don't you do research on the military history of ancient rome or the history of music in ancient cultures instead?

If that doesn't persuade you, then maybe the fact that nice girls don't like druggies will :)

Re: Drug use in ancient civilizations
December 25, 2012, 02:29:46 PM
DL, all the nice girls I know are "druggies"; the sluts and whores stick to alcohol and tobacco, along with all of the safe people!  In fact, the nicest people I know make healthy use of psychedelics, either frequently or rarely depending on the person's natural pace.  They're far more engaging and enjoyable to be with than straight-edge or stimulant/depressant types (who can still be nice, if a little less centered).

Here's a short list, Heresiarch, since it's the middle of Christmas: Egyptians = blue lotus/water lily, used by Priests to enter the Realms of the Dead (as in Tibetan Buddhism or Celtic Mythology, for example); Greeks used Kykeon to experience the sum of existence, the totality of being (this was the source of most ancient Greek philosophy, incl. Parmenides, Heraclitus, Thales and other Milesians, Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato, etc.); Vedics had Soma, Zoroastrians had Houma, both were used to instill vigour and reverence for God (though whichever used opium instead of cannabis was less preferred); Americans had peyote, psilocybin, and DMT, depending on area (for various uses, though generally for entry into spirit worlds/communication with ancestors/God); Western/Northern Europeans had psilocybin, cannabis, lycergic acid amides, and amanita muscaria.  East Asians used cannabis for communication with demons/spirits.  I know little about African and Australasian hallucinogens, though I do know that many African hallucinogens are geared towards ancestor worship/communion and enhanced dreaming (especially dream recollection, for which there are many naturally occurring substances in Africa).  Of course, DMT is almost everywhere in the world; various different peoples may have discovered/forgotten how to use it at various times, I don't think we can ever be sure.

This list is, as with the other I did here, inexhaustive - entheogen use is/has been worldwide, crossing all geographical, social, and religious borders.  Don't listen to people who did it wrong! : )

Re: Drug use in ancient civilizations
December 25, 2012, 03:29:46 PM
You will find most established religions and philosophical teachings will encourage abstinence, even after finding exception. Anyway, what is your research paper going to prove if you're too lazy to do the research? Perhaps the topic hardly even interests you in the end and you should consider re-working the question.

Perhaps do a paper describing the difference between the ancient and modern usage of drugs. Were ancient cultures predominantly escapist in their pursuits? Where drugs used as a one-off means to an end, or an end in themselves?