Marcel Eliade took the position that hallucinogenic shamanism was decadent, and Gordon Wasson, very rightly I believe, contravened this view and held that actually it was very probably the presence of the hallucinogenic drug experience in the life of early man that lay the very basis for the idea of the spirit.
Here is the mistake of the cut-and-dried man of culture. He goes about with the secret of having learned to appreciate the "grandstyle." He has lived in Homer till he can recall the roll of that many-sounding sea. He has pored over the lofty and pictorial thought of Plato till he begins to pique himself upon its grandeur. His fancy has been fed on the quaint old-world genius of Herodotus, his judgment on the melancholy wisdom of Tacitus and the complacent cynicism of Gibbon--and of all this he is conscious and proud.
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