You will prepare and submit a term paper on Ritualistic or Reverent Use of Psychedelics in Indigenous Societies: Cognition Effects. Your paper should be a minimum of 1750 words in length. This paper takes an objective and neutral position that respects the personal, subjective experiences, thoughts, and experiential interpretations of the indigenous societies and thinkers in the chosen works, and attempts to arrive at equally objective integration of all those into a cohesive picture of the cognitive effects of such reverent use of psychedelics. The treatment in other words is akin to the way the work of Sandra Ingerman on soul retrieval is treated, and that is with a measure of respect and seriousness as befits a work by a woman who has the clinical and scientific credentials of a counseling psychologist and therapist (Ingerman). On the other hand, the treatment is also akin to the way Carlos Castaneda himself treated the more fringe and mind-blowing experiences he had been with the mystic and Yaqui shaman, Don Juan, with an eye to being as exact and as respectful of those experiences, treating them with the kind of regard that serious anthropologists do any fantastic artifact, knowing that in each of those experiences lie minefields of insights into the nature of psychedelics’ impact on human cognition as well as insights into the deep aspects of the culture and people that Don Juan represented. The treatment is also akin to taking the accounts of McKenna for instance with the kind of respect that one gives a person who deserves the benefit of the doubt, and who at the very least deserves to be heard for what he has to say about an experience that is deeply personal and in many ways inaccessible to more ordinary minds living in more ordinary states of consciousness. The rest of the paper pursues this aim and applies the same kind of respect, impartiality, and presence to the works and thoughts of the other writers and their books (Castaneda. McKenna).
DeKorne discusses the nature of shamanism and goes right into the nature of shamanic work as essential work that alters cognitive processes as the byproduct of altered states of consciousness that shamans are well-versed in, and from which perspective they are able to peer into the ultimate reality of things.