Trance, Possession, and Altered States
Discuss the ritual and religious use of otherwise illegal substances, based on the readings in Chapter 5 and the assigned videos. Do you think that people should be able to use controlled and/or illegal substances in religious rituals? Why or why not? Who should decide which uses of drugs and other substances are ritual or just secular and, therefore, illegal uses? Is it fair to compare the Santo Daime’s use of Ayahuasca to American ravers’ use of psychotropic drugs? Why or why not? Do you think that the use of trance, possession, and other altered states of consciousness can be a window into religious experience? Why or why not?