The Native American Church, Peyote, And Health : Expanding Consciousness For Healing Purposes

The Native American Church, Peyote, And Health : Expanding Consciousness For Healing Purposes

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In his article “The Native American Church, Peyote, and Health: Expanding Consciousness for Healing Purposes,” Jones (2007) reports the significance of the use of Peyote with the Native American Church. Jones breaks down the reasoning behind the use of this known hallucinogen known as peyote in their pan- Indian religious tradition. The Native American Church believes this allows one to expand their consciousness for healing purposes. In order for Jones to explain these significances he first enlightens us with a brief history behind the NAC. In doing this he explains that Native Americans having been using peyote for thousands of years dating back to late 1600s to early 1700s. (Jones 413) Since peyote was native to the area extending from Texas to Mexico it can be understood that the knowledge of peyote and its use by many southwestern tribes in the United States, as well as tribes located in present-day Mexico, for thousands of years. In the 1800s Christianity was introduced, while many tribes were forced out of their native homes into the newly formed Indian territory by Euro- Americans. It was then in the 1880s that the use of horses to bring in the peyote to the Native Americans, where it was used in ceremonies that were incorporated into the Christian teachings that were supported. During the formation of reservations and their ensuing power-based social arrangements in the late 1800s, the ‘new peyote ceremony’ emerged which came to be called the NAC. Members had to protect their use of peyote due to the fact the hallucinogenic drug was known as a Schedule I controlled substance due to the passage of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. NAC members were allowed to use the peyote under the Titl...


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...ngly simple. First the alter is set up and the peyote is dispersed to the individual who has requested the ceremony. It is known then that once the peyote is dissolved into the blood stream it expands the consciousness allowing then to access new cognitive structures and mechanisms. Due to the expansion the individual is able to resolve various physical, mental, and spiritual imbalances.
In conclusion I feel that allowing the Native American Church the right under abiding law the use of peyote. I completely understand by the chemical makeup of the plant making it recognizable under the Substance I controlled substance list. I feel that if they were not allowed to use it, it would have taken away from who they are as a whole. To be quite honest I would love to try this particular ceremony to see if something like this would be a benefiting factor is medicine today.

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