Book: The Doors Of Perception And Heaven And Hell by Aldous HuxleyIt was in 1886 that the German pharmacologist, Louis Lewin, published the first systematic study of the cactus, to which his own name was subsequently given. Anhalonium lewinii was new to science.
To primitive religion and the Indians of Mexico and the American Southwest it was a friend of immemorially long standing. Indeed, it was much more than a friend. In the words of one of the early
Spanish visitors to the New World, "they eat a root which they call peyote, and which they venerate as though it were a deity."
Why they should have venerated it as a deity became apparent when such eminent psychologists as Jaensch, Havelock Ellis and Weir Mitchell began their experiments with mescalin, the active principle of
peyote. True, they stopped short at a point well this side of idolatry; but all concurred in assigning to mescalin a position among drugs of unique distinction. Administered in suitable doses, it changes the
quality of consciousness more profoundly and yet is less toxic than any other substance in the pharmacologist's repertory.
Keywords: origins taoism british traditional sikh beliefs buddhism development eliphas levi agnostic atheist guide life book tincture protestant cross magie ritual transcendental near exploring body jermyn family