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Author Partridge, Christopher H. (Christopher Hugh), 1961- author.

Title High culture : drugs, mysticism, and the pursuit of transcendence in the modern world / Christopher Partridge
Published New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2018]


Description 1 online resource
Contents Introduction -- 1. Technologies of transcendence. Technologies of the self ; Psychedelic gnosis and the transcendence of ordinary consciousness ; Perennialism and the experience of oneness ; Shamanism and ekstasis ; Concluding analysis : the drug problem? -- 2. Opium dreams. Opium in Britain in the early nineteenth century : some background notes ; The art of dreaming ; The English opium-​eater ; Opium and the Orient : fear and fascination ; Concluding comments -- 3. Anesthetic revelation. A ladder to the heaven of heavens ; Syntax, surgery, and celestial visions ; Benjamin Blood's anesthetic revelation ; Anesthesia and the Society for Psychical Research ; Concluding comments -- 4. Hashishdom. Cannabis and clinical research in the nineteenth century ; The old man of the mountain and the assassins ; Artificial paradises ; The American hashish-​eater ; Concluding comments -- 5. Occultism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Mesmerism, hashish, and somnambulism ; Dowameskh, the Orient, and neoplatonic esotericism ; Abstinence and ambivalence ; Theosophical reflection ; Discourses of decadence ; W.B. Yeats, Maud Gonne, drugs, and fin de siècle occultism ; The highs and lows of a drug fiend ; A note on drugs and post-​Crowleyan thelemic thought ; Concluding comments -- 6. The antipodes of the mind. Psychedelic research : some background notes ; A mystic and a scientist ; Mysticism, sacred, and profane ; Concluding comments -- 7. Revolution in the head. Adventures in the chemistry of consciousness ; A religious set and setting ; Notes on the counterculture ; Millbrook and psychedelic religion ; The neo-​American church ; The psychedelic sacrament ; Turning on and turning East ; Concluding comments -- 8. Psychedelic shamanism. Archaic techniques of ecstasy ; The long trip and the origin of religion ; The sorcerer's apprentice? ; Alien dreamtime ; Concluding comments
Summary "History is littered with evidence of humanity's fascination with drugs and the pursuit of altered states. From early Romanticism to late-nineteenth-century occultism and from fin de siècle Paris to contemporary psychedelic shamanism, psychoactive substances have playedcatalyzing people. Yet serious analysis of the religious dimensions of modern drug use is still lacking. the use of drugs and the pursuit of transcendence from the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the Romantic fascination with opium, it chronicles the discovery of anesthetics, the psychiatric and religious interest in hashish, the bewitching power of mescaline and hallucinogenic fungi, the more recent uses of LSD, as well as the debates surrounding drugs and religious experience. This fascinating and wide-ranging sociological and cultural history fills a major gap in the study of religion in the modern world and our understanding of the importance of countercultural thought, offering new and timely insights into the controversial relationship between drugs and mystical experience."--Publisher's website
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on June 07, 2018)
Subject Hallucinogenic drugs and religious experience -- History
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT -- Inspiration & Personal Growth.
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT -- Spirituality -- General.
RELIGION -- Christianity -- General.
RELIGION -- Devotional.
RELIGION -- Spirituality.
Hallucinogenic drugs and religious experience
Genre/Form History
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2018022220
ISBN 9780190459147