Entheogenic contributions to the origins and evolution of the earliest shamanic practices are indicated by the substantial parallels between the basic principles of shamanism and the experiences induced by psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics.
British philosopher Aldous Huxley made a prediction back in the 1950s, in the wake of his sublime experience with mescaline, peyote’s visionary compound. In The Doors of Perception from 1954, Huxley recorded his own taste of “ego-lessness” resulting in the epiphany that “All is in all—that All is actually each.”
His mescaline-occasioned mystical experience was described as the closest a “finite mind can ever come to ‘perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe.’” Decades ahead of the unchurching of America and most of Europe, Huxley spotted an antidote to the “ninety minutes of boredom” that was already plaguing the average Sunday churchgoer.
In a later opinion published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1958, he foresaw a future where psychedelics might turn organized religion into a thing of the past.
Brian Muraresku, author of The Immortality Key had this to say.
My own belief is that, though they may start by being something of an embarrassment, these new mind changers will tend in the long run to deepen the spiritual life of the communities in which they are available.
That famous “revival of religion,” about which so many people have been talking for so long, will not come about as the result of evangelistic mass meetings or the television appearances of photogenic clergymen. It will come about as the result of biochemical discoveries that will make it possible for large numbers of men and women to achieve a radical self-transcendence and a deeper understanding of the nature of things.
And this revival of religion will be at the same time a revolution. From being an activity mainly concerned with symbols, religion will be transformed into an activity concerned mainly with experience and intuition—an everyday mysticism underlying and giving significance to everyday rationality, everyday tasks and duties, everyday human relationships.