Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The Aquarian Conspiracy:
Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s.
Ferguson, Marilyn. (1980).
Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher.
Description: First edition, 448 pages.
- ISBN: 0-87477-116-1 publisher
- 0-312-90418-5 distributor
- 0-87477-191-9 paperback
Contents: Foreword by
Max Lerner, acknowledgments, introduction, 13
chapters, references and readings, index.
STAGES OF TRANSFORMATION
The first stage is preliminary, almost happenstance;
an entry point. ...
For a great many, the trigger has been a spontaneous
mystical or psychic experience, as hard to explain as it is to
deny. Or the intense alternative reality generated by a psychedelic
It is impossible to overestimate the historic role
of psychedelics as an entry point drawing people into other transformative
technologies. For tens of thousands of "left-brained"
engineers, chem ists, psychologists, and medical
students who never before understood their more spontaneous, imaginative
right-brained brethren, the drugs were a pass to Xanadu, especially
in the 1960s. (page 89)
As one chronicler of the sixties remarked, "LSD
gave a whole generation a religious experience." But chemical
satori is perishable, its effects too overwhelming to integrate
into everyday life. Non-drug psychotechnologies offer a controlled,
sustained movement toward that spacious reality. The annals of
the Aquarian Conspiracy are full of accounts of passages: LSD
to Zen, LSD to India, psilocybin to Psychosynthesis.
For whatever glories the mushrooms and saturated
sugar cubes contained, they were only a glimpse-coming attractions,
but not the main feature.
The entry-point experience hints that there is a
brighter, richer, more meaningful dimension to life. Some are
haunted by that glimpse and drawn to see more. Others, less serious,
stay near the entry point, playing with the occult, drugs, consciousness-altering
gam es. Some are afraid to go on at all. (page 90)
For many people in many cultures, psychedelic drugs
have offered a beginning trail if seldom a fully transformative
path. Aldous Huxley, who had no illusion about drugs as permanent
routes to enlightenment, pointed out that even temporary
self-transcendence would shake the entire society to its rational
roots. "Although these new mind-changers may start by being
something of an embarrassment, they will tend in the long run
to deepen the spiritual life of the commu nities
that the long-awaited religious revival in the United States would
start with drugs, not evangelists. "From being an activity
concerned mainly with symbols religion will be transformed into
an activity concerned mainly with experience and intuition-an
everyday mysticism." (pages 374-375)
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Compilation copyright © 1995 2001 CSP