Altered-States-of-Consciouness (ASC): The Causes and the Impact on Society

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Religion is fraught with stories and myths of otherworldly journeys. There are a variety of reasons; however, the two main ones one may notice are humans’ innate pattern recognition, and our necessity to define and understand the world in which we live. These otherworldly excursions, out-of-body-experiences OBEs, near-death-experiences NDEs, and altered-states-of-consciousness ASCs are side effects of trauma rather than real experiences. In this paper ASC will be the basic reference unless otherwise noted. Therefore, it is prudent to explore those examples of forced ASCs, the causes, and the impacts on the society. An ASC experience within a religion may serve an important purpose in the belief system, yet it is a personal experience of …show more content…

The Myth of Er was a brief religious and philosophical closing in Plato’s The Republic and is described by Socrates. A hero named Er is found dead on the battle field but after twelve days his body is unspoiled. Yet while his body appeared dead he was having an otherworldly journey. Wherein there appeared two destinations after death up into the sky for the good, and down into the earth for the wicked. On his funeral pyre Er awakens and recounts this tale, which had a lasting impact on Greek and future religions. At its core, the Vision of Er is a myth, a tale so old its source could not be remembered or verified. However, what was described was not an otherworldly journey, it was an NDE. Forget that it was a myth in told by Socrates; it was in whatever light, a personal experience with no more legitimacy other than one person’s word.
Yet, the Myth of Er had a lasting impact on the Platonic philosophy and much of the Greek religion. Though, as is the case even today, when knowledge outstrips the old religion, and eschatology can no longer substitute, changes must be made! Plutarch made those changes near the end of the 1st c CE. He wrote in a series of texts of various visions, and attempted to redefine stuff in a way that people could accept. Plutarch’s style is reminiscent of satire and seems critical of authority and religion in general; however, he likely would

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