Sacred Bliss: A Spiritual History of Cannabis

Sacred Bliss: A Spiritual History of Cannabis

by Mark S. Ferrara


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Sacred Bliss: A Spiritual History of Cannabis by Mark S. Ferrara

One of the most important relationships that human beings have with plants is changing our consciousness—consider the plants that give us coffee, tea, chocolate, and nicotine. Sacred Bliss challenges traditional attitudes about cannabis by tracing its essential role in the spiritual and curative traditions in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas from prehistory to the present day. In highlighting the continued use of cannabis around the globe, Sacred Bliss offers compelling evidence of cannabis as an entheogen used for thousands of years to evoke peak-experiences, or moments of expanded perception or spiritual awareness.

Today, the growing utilization of medical cannabis to alleviate the pain and symptoms of physical illness raises the possibility of using cannabis to treat the mind along with the body. By engaging sacred and secular texts from around the world, Sacred Bliss demonstrates that throughout religious history, cannabis has offered access to increased imagination and creativity, heightened perspective and insight, and deeper levels of thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538118986
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/15/2018
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.97(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Mark Ferrara is associate professor of English at SUNY Oneonta. He is the author of several books, including Palace of Ashes: China and the Decline of American Higher Education.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Cannabis, Consciousness, and Healing 1

1 Vedanta, Sadhu Priests, and the "Lord of Bhang" 11

2 Shamans, Sufis, and the "Green Man" 31

3 Chinese Pharmacopoeia and the Golden Flower 51

4 Dagga Cults, Coptic Churches, and the Rastafari 71

5 Peak-Experiences and the Ineffable 99

6 Hashish Eaters, Hobbits, Leaf, and the Pantagruelion 119

Afterword: Fierce Bliss 149

Notes 159

Bibliography 175

Index 181

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