The paper 'Native Americans Hallucinogenic Sacramental Drug Peyote' is a marvelous example of a research paper on religion and theology.
The use of Peyote traces back to the ancient North American society, which used the plan to attain some religious concepts among society members. The introduction of modern religion into ancient society was accepted but some ancient cultures were maintained. The reasoning of those who maintain their traditions is based on their actions to find a link between modern religion and traditional worship. The research will focus on the Native Americans Hallucinogenic Sacramental Drug Peyote. The analysis will be based on the moral acceptance of the drug and the impact on individuals who are subjected to it. A hallucinogenic sacrament is aimed at connecting spirits within an individual and trigger negative forces within a living soul.
The research will focus on The Peyote Church Way Church of God. Based on the by Trujilo (2012), the research will focus on three people in the church hierarchy. The account of each person will be taken into consideration and the result recorded based on his or her personal opinions. The three personal will be the spiritual leaders, a male member of the church and a female member of the church. This will give an opinion of those who support the usage of Peyote as a sacrament in Native American churches. The research will also involve an outsider and his experience after using peyote. To account for this, the research will focus on Grinspoon and Bakalar (1983). The book will provide an account experienced by an outsider after using Peyote. The research will be comparing the accounts of the two case studies in an effort of establishing the effect of the plant both psychically and mentally.
The church boasts of more than 140 members (Trujilo, 2012) and a sizable number of spiritual heads. The spiritual leader describes the nature in which the drug enhances peace of mind increases concentration, which is important to a person’s spiritual life. The male member, on the other hand, describes how the sacrament shifts his mind from the normal human space and closer to the supernatural world. This effect is similar to what the spiritual leader described as increased concentration as the mal member accounts concentration shifts from the human ways of thinking towards a more concentrated spiritual mind. The female member, on the other hand, indicated an energy increase and improved spiritual connection. The human vision of the world changes, increase in concentration and commitment towards spiritual matters. Grinspoon and Bakalar (1983) account different experience, which includes hallucination, nausea, memory lapse and fatigue resulting from the aftermath of the sacrament usage.
Effect of the peyote on the brain
The National Institute of Drug Abuse (2009) classifies peyote as a hallucinogen. The effect on the brain is similar to using other forms of hallucinogenic substances. The impact of the substance on the levels of communication within the nerves is evident. This explains the num state the members experience within the earlier hours of the sacrament usage. Nausea explained by Grinspoon and Bakalar (1983), explains the long-term effect one may experience after lengthy exposure to peyote. The communication breakdown associated with the substance could affect the cognitive abilities of a person to the normal environment. The experience by the church members explains the cognitive ability disabled by the substance. The connection to the spiritual world describes a state where a person forgets his personality and takes over a different personality with a claim of spiritual experience.
The usage of peyote is more of the spiritual aspect and focuses on the moral aspect of the usage. The requirement of any teaching based on the bible is to separate the evil from good. The question begs on who should set morals between ancient traditions and Christianity. People may choose to use their cognitive ability to separate the church requirements and traditional society requires of them. Allan (2013) places religion as a tool in which society draws its morals. Religion then is supreme compared to individual perception. The nature to amalgamate traditional practices with the church then introduces the question of diversity and the moral impact it may to a society (Allan, 2013). The moral standard varies depending on society thus one needs to create his beliefs and moral concept based on a single source.
The legal aspect
The usage of the substance in North America is limited to the church members of the Peyote faith. The possession of the substance by other members of the society is considered illegal and hence punishable by the law (Mosher & Akins, 2014). The law is set to control the usage of substances that may have a harmful effect on users. All substances either drugs or stimuli would be classified as harmful or may possess an element of medical importance. Peyote according to American law falls under illegal substances and hence its usage regulated. This indicates the impact of the drug on the health of individuals. The illegal nature of the substance hence brings in the debate on how viable is the substance towards the human body. In the case of employment, unite versus Smith, the argument was on what purpose had peyote been used. The law regulation on the substance thus creates a room for analysis between the spiritual concept of the substance and the moral aspect of the hallucinogen.
The positive effect
The church creates a society where people congregate based on collective consciousness (Allan, 2013). The human nature to create a sacred world depends majorly on their collective thinking. In this scenario, the common element is Peyote. People produce the much-needed moral energy from the usage of the substance. The connection between the cultural concepts and the religious expectation is visible by the use of peyote as a sacrament in the church. The concern on what diversity may cause to the cultural moral standards is ascertained by the fact that culture and religion may reach a common understanding
There is a need to appreciate the culture and protect it from the existing mechanism. In an effort to ensure the culture protects the church should embrace it and allow people to follow the culture but should be guided by the religious teaching of the bible. Those practices that threaten the Christian faith should be eliminated and replaced with what is considered morally right. In matters holy communal, the church should engage itself in practices that do not affect the person's mind and peace. The introduction of the church among the Native Americans should be in line with practices that do not depict the church as immoral. A person choosing between the church and culture should either fully practice what the church expects or follow the traditional cultural practices to the latter.
The Native Americans' usage of peyote is limited to spiritual matters and the introduction of the church into the territory kept the locals at a dilemma. The choice between cultural practices and Christianity falls solemnly on an individual. The concept of joining the two may compromise the moral standard of both teachings. The church is guided by the concepts of good versus evil. The connection between the human body and divine power lies in Saul more than the psychical aspect of the human body. The legal requirement limits peyote usage to the Native Americans. Prove of mental effects of the substance questions the usage of the hallucinogenic substance in matters church. The church develops its morals based on the interest of the human wellbeing. What affects the body and mind are considered immoral based on the evidence gathered on Native Americans hallucinogenic sacramental drug peyote, it is evident how different people perceive the usage.
Allan, K. (2013). Explorations in classical sociological theory: Seeing the social world.Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Grinspoon, L .& Bakalar, J. (1983). Psychedelic Reflections. New York: Human Science press
Mosher, J., & Akins, M. (2014). Drugs and Drug Policy. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications Inc.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse. (2009). Drug Facts: Hallucinogens - LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens-lsd-peyote-psilocybin-pcp
Trajillo, I. (2012). Peyote way church of God: Testimonial. Retrieved from http://www.peyoteway.org/testimonials.php