Dale Pendell

Medicine and Poison: Sacred Intoxication


Breitenbush Hot Springs 1999 Herbal Conference

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(Class for All Levels) The philosophical context for intoxication. The Greeks gave a special status to "divine madness." The god Dionysus brought renewal, but also upheaval. Philo of Alexandria tried to solve the dilemma by creating "sober intoxication," intoxication that was sacred rather than profane. Nonetheless, the major world religions have all tended to shun ecstatic experience, especially if mediated by a plant. What this means in a

mythopoetic worldview.