The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries

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North Atlantic Books, 2008 - History - 167 pages
5 Reviews
The secretive Mysteries conducted at Eleusis in Greece for nearly two millennia have long puzzled scholars with strange accounts of initiates experiencing otherworldly journeys. In this groundbreaking work, three experts—a mycologist, a chemist, and a historian—argue persuasively that the sacred potion given to participants in the course of the ritual contained a psychoactive entheogen. The authors then expand the discussion to show that natural psychedelic agents have been used in spiritual rituals across history and cultures. Although controversial when first published in 1978, the book’s hypothesis has become more widely accepted in recent years, as knowledge of ethnobotany has deepened. The authors have played critical roles in the modern rediscovery of entheogens, and The Road to Eleusis presents an authoritative exposition of their views. The book’s themes of the universality of experiential religion, the suppression of that knowledge by exploitative forces, and the use of psychedelics to reconcile the human and natural worlds make it a fascinating and timely read. This 30th anniversary edition includes an appreciative preface by religious scholar Huston Smith and an updated exploration of the chemical evidence by Peter Webster.
  

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Review: The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries

User Review  - Michael Rinella - Goodreads

This book was pretty much what launched my own study of drugs in ancient Greece, Pharmakon: Plato, Drug Culture, and Identity in Ancient Athens (Lexington, 2010). Read full review

Review: The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries

User Review  - Steven Miller - Goodreads

Who spiked the kykeon? Read full review

Contents

PREFACE TO THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY EDITION by Robert Forte
5
HINDSIGHT by Carl A P Ruck
19
u A CHALLENGING QUESTION AND MY ANSWER A H
35
in SOLVING THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERY C A P R
45
ANCILLARY DATA
61
DOCUMENTATION C A P R
85
ENTHEOGENS Carl A P Ruck Jeremy Bigwood
139
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About the author (2008)

R. Gordon Wasson (1898--1986) was a pioneer investigator of sacred indigenous mushroom rituals in Mexico in the 1950s. Albert Hofmann, the famed chemist who discovered the curious properties of LSD in 1943, recently celebrated his 100th birthday in Switzerland. Carl A. P. Ruck, an expert on ancient Greek ethnobotany, lives in Massachusetts.

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