Entheogen: Psychoactive Catalyst for Human Experiences of Divinity
Entheogen is a word coined by Carl Ruck (author of Entheogens, Myth and Human Consciousness)which means “to generate inner divinity”. Since its inception, entheogen has gained a prominent and distinguished status in the lexicon used to describe psychedelics, especially in a spiritual or religious context. Promoted by Aldous Huxley, Psychedelic means “mind-manifesting”; in a spiritual sense this could easily interchangeable with entheogen – “spirit-manifesting” if you will. If viewed from a transpersonal psychology perspective (a view founded by Abraham Maslow, in the way that “psycho-spiritual” covers a comprehensive, interactive, and inseparable perception of our experience of consciousness as influenced by the subconscious. A merging of psychological experience and spirituality gives us a holistic human experience. For this reason I use the term psychospiritual. Entheogen I use for the same reason: mind and spirit are not separate phenomenon, but rather different perspectives of the same experience.
Terence McKenna developed the Stoned Ape Hypothesis. It is a hypothesis because it could not be demonstrated as verifiable or invalid. Therefore it remains a hypothesis…one that I agree with, but a hypothesis nonetheless.
The Stoned Ape hypothesis postulates that during the Neolithic era, hominids stumbled across psilocybin-containing mushrooms growing in dung and began consuming them. Consumption of these blue streaked fungi led to acuity in perception, vision, consciousness, spirituality and the overall human psycho-spiritual experience.
Psychedelics have long been praised for their affect on human psychology and spirituality. Many observations (both subjective and objective – peer-to-peer and clinically) have signified the marked interwoven aspects of mind and spirit; so interwoven that they perceived as inseparable. Such similarities justify entheogen as a sufficient descriptor in replacement of psychedelic in such context.