Sep 24, 2023  
2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

RE 201 Altered States of Consciousness

The course explores the phenomenon of altered states of consciousness as it appears in cultures throughout the world. The journeys of shamans, the use of sacred teacher plants by indigenous people, the meditative states of Hindu yogis and Buddhist monks, lucid dreaming and dream yoga, the dance of Sufi whirling dervishes, the poetry of Rumi, Coleridge, and Poe, and the practice of soul possession in Voodoo are a sample of the topics to be covered. The approach is multi-disciplinary and includes cognitive neuroscience, ethno-botany, biological anthropology, musicology, and literary interpretation. Readings include Plants of the Gods by Richard Evans Shultes, One River by Wade Davis and the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldridge by Philip K. Dick. Trips include the Morris Arboretum and the Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.