This passage comes from the conversation between Mustapha and John in Chapter 17 . Mustapha is trying to convince John that soma solves one of humanity’s oldest problems: it offers a way to deal with unpleasant emotions that lead to inefficiency and conflict. He claims that soma allows everyone to accomplish something that previously took years to attain. He also makes a connection between religion and soma. The word soma comes from an unidentified, probably hallucinogenic drug that was used in ancient Indian Vedic cults as part of religious ceremonies. The soma of Brave New World is a perversion of this ancient drug. Instead of giving insight, it clouds over the truth. Instead of being used in solemn religious ceremonies, it is used whenever a slightly unpleasant emotion is felt. Mustapha describes soma as a tool that allows everyone to be moral, but it can also be seen as a tool that the State uses to keep its citizens from becoming unhappy enough to try to change the society in which they live. John rejects Mustapha’s “Christianity without tears” as being too easy, too simple, and too superficial. To John, soma seems to be little more than an opiate of the people.