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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.


In Search of the Ultimate High: Spiritual Experiences Through Psychoactives.

Saunders, Nicholas; Saunders, Anja, and Pauli, Michelle. (2000)
London: Rider.


ISBN: 0-7126-7087-4

Description: paperback, 272 pages.

Contents: Acknowledgments, preface by Alexander and Ann Shulgin, Introduction, A Guide to This Book, 7 chapters, Practical Information: Medical, Legal, Glossary, Resources, Annotated Bibliography, Notes.

Note: Dedicated to Nicholas Saunders who died on 3 February 1998 in South Africa, whilst travelling to research this book. May he have reached the Ultimate High. (page 2) This is just the book that needed to be written. - TBR

Excerpt(s): Preface The spiritual path that makes use of visionary plants and psychedelic drugs is full of pitfalls and even dangers, which is why the wise traveller will always have a knowledgeable and experienced friend by his side when he embarks on such an journey. This minimises the threat of despair that may arise if one of the dark places is opened and the psyche delivers the message that this, too, is part of the universe and must be acknowledged. The friend will know that the traveller is not obliged to stay in a place of greyness and sorrow, but is meant to find his way through and out, back to the world of Kwan Yin, the goddess of mercy and compassion, the Christ, bringer of love and light, and the Buddha, the archetype of wisdom, cosmic laughter and forgiveness. (Alexander and Ann Shulgin, page 9)

Introduction This book deals specifically with the spiritual quest through the use of psychoactive substances. We do not intend to promote the general or symptomatic use of drugs and this book is not about the substances themselves, but about their spiritual use. It considers psychoactives as powerful medicines that deserve to be handled with respect by the taker. They should not be used as a distraction to life, but only taken with clear positive intent to learn from and experience the spiritual life more to the full. Preparation of oneself and one's environment are required before a psychoactive is taken. A caring and safe atmosphere whilst taking 'the sacrament' is also needed, and in integration of the process afterwards.

The accounts we have selected for this book reflect this. We have chosen to give much space to personal accounts. As well as being fascinating stories in themselves, we hope that they will help people who have had a spiritual experience on a psychoactive to better understand it through identifying with someone else's experience. the accounts are written by people who honestly seek spirit and truth, and who use psychoactives not as an escape route, but as a way to en-spirit, to inspire their lives. (page 12)

Addiction is a common disease in our society and affects those who take psychoactives equally. Some people are by nature more susceptible to addiction than others and therefore may be more vulnerable to dependency behaviour. Timing is another critical factor. Psychoactives taken at the wrong time in one's life or in the wrong place or circumstances can do a great deal of harm. Where people have reported a spiritual experience, they typically speak of a sense of dissolving, of boundlessness and structure in one's life before embarking on a psychoactive journey. The substances that people use for spiritual development have the capacity to break habits in thinking and perception. This can lead to the frightening state of total loss of control as well as bringing new perspectives in possible ex-static (out of static) states.

Lack of guidance is one of the main problems one encounters and so a whole chapter of this book is devoted to the subject of guidance, preparation and integration. Those who are attracted to the path of psychoactives to experience the sacred do not easily find spiritual guides within conventional settings, since most churches do not recognize psychoactives as having a role within spirituality. Even though the role of established churches has diminished, people have not stopped searching for spirit and keep looking for new ways, which may be even closer to the very old ways. (pages 13-14)

In indigenous cultures all over the world, plants have been used as teachers and to help form a bridge between the seen and the unseen worlds. In some cultures only the shamans or shamanas, the medicine people, take the plants. In other cultures everyone in the tribe uses the plants as teachers. Whether it be the Aztecs or Siberian shamans who use mushrooms, or the Huichol Indians who take peyote, whether it is ayahuasca taken in the rainforest, or San Pedro in the mountains, the plant teacher is always treated with respect. Plant medicine is used to understand more about life on this earth and its connection to the worlds beyond. (page 14)

There are not many people who can act as guides, given the illegality of psychoactives and general unfamiliarity with these altered states of consciousness. People who have been there before and have come back; who can hold the hands of those going through a growing experience with psychoactives. People who can tell stories of how it was for them. People who can be supportive when fears and doubts need to be faced bravely by those under the influence of psychoactives. Spaces that are safe can be hard to find in public; places where people can be surrounded by love and care from friends, without fear of the opprobrium of society or the dangers of the black market; safe places where the sacredness of psychoactives can be guarded. This book cannot replace a caring guide or create a safe place, but it may be a stepping stone for finding one. (page 15)

Why beyond the emotional? Feeling uneasy, depressed, confused or fearful is not helpful when taking psychoactives. With the guidance of an experienced therapist it is possible to use psychoactives to work through emotional blockages and this can open the way to spiritual experiences. However, psychotherapy work is not directly spiritual. We saw many account s of people who came across psychological issues on their inner journeys. The substances can give insight into the perceptions of oneself that are getting in the way. For example, I remember one session when I realised I was getting exhausted by constantly being strong and independent, totally overlooking my connectedness with other people and cutting myself off from the help that was offered all the time. this insight has helped me to open myself up, which may have brought me closer to spirit. A necessary step for me - but this was not a spiritual experience.

So here we look beyond the physical, emotional and mental into the transpersonal realm where we connect with something that expands our entire sense of self. (page 16)

The 1960s generated an interest in Eastern religions and alternative spiritual practices on an unprecedented scale. In many circles it became the most common thing to sit in the lotus position, sing Krishna mantras, meditate on emptiness or surround oneself with pictures of the Maharishi. The sometimes very unearthly quest for spirit was enhanced by the sweet fragrance of incense, little bells and various drugs. Not everyone managed to come out of this period unscarred, but those who did often speak fondly of a time when life was uniquely expanding or deepening. ...

The end of the 1980s produced a second wave of people who were looking for more in life than simply material reward. Unemployment and social divisions had left many disillusioned. Whilst the churches emptied, new age ideas were thriving. The desire to explore different ways of thinking, complementary medicine, ecology and holistic living. Those who had left religion did not seem to have abandoned a search for spirit. The religious 'middle men', like priests and gurus, became less popular, but there was an increased desire to have a direct personal connection with God or the Source of the Spirit, however, one wants to name it. The use of mind-altering substances was once again seen as a path to fulfillment.

With the more widespread use of Ecstasy (MDMA), Britain saw, in 1988, the 'second summer of love'. The rave movement took off. A whole new spiritual imagery appeared in clubs, much of it drawn from shamanic roots. The music and the names of many bands and tracks directly referred to the shamanic cultures of the Americas. Whereas in the 1960s the Eastern religions were the centre of attention, now the native American Indians were the inspiration. The rave awakened a sense of tribal belonging. The vast numbers of people, often in big open places, the beat of the music, trance dancing, and the open heart connection that Ecstasy brings about, gave people a renewed sense of connectedness with each other. There was a revived interest in ritual. 'A secular society does not train people in ritual experience. The rave brings some of that back,' as Professor Roger Griffin put it. (pages 19-21)

What is the search for the ultimate high?
There seems to be an inherent longing in people to make sense of, to give sense to, to deeply sense life. To be alive. This state, once experienced, is so profound - as we can see from the accounts in this book - that it at once brings us to the centre of all that is life as well as expands our states of consciousness to embrace the vastness of life. the psychoactives teach us of the world beyond ourselves and at the same time show us the depth within us. They can bring us awareness and promote an awakening. ...

It seems to me that the search for the ultimate high involves dying and being reborn. it involves learning about our shadows and our light. It involves facing fears of the unknown and letting go of what does not stand the test of space and time. The practice of letting go of matter and being reborn into spirit. Breathing out and breathing in. (pages 22-23)

In 1996 Nicholas had a 'peak experience'. He wrote:

After my first psychedelic trip, I had an even more profound experience on LSD. The setting was perfect: I was with Anja in the country in a beautiful secluded place on a perfect summer's day. We had made love and were in love, felt calm, relaxed and open to one another. At one point I felt that I was able to let go completely, like never before, and the result was to allow my 'essence' to flow out and to rejoin its source. it was like 'coming home' but far more so. It was incredibly 'right' and joyful and I wept with joy. ...

I also contemplated the experience, and it felt 'natural' in that I felt sure that this was something essentially human, and that it had been experienced by people of all cultures throughout time. In fact, I had the insight that mankind invented religions in order to provide the explanation or framework, for such experiences, so as to give them validity in our normal consciousness. That is what religions are for, and why people believe them. I saw how my experience related to the Christian teachings of everlasting life, with God in the other realm of consciousness and Jesus as the link between realms of consciousness.
When he died, would he have recognized the lessons previously taught? Was he able to let go of matter and allow his essence to rejoin its source? (pages 23-24)

Drugs and Spirituality? (Chapter 1)
While the elements of the experience itself appear to be universal, interpretation is dependent on the context within which it takes place. A Christian might interpret the experience as an ascent of the soul or as coming closer to communion with the saints. A Buddhist, meanwhile, might describe it as reaching a state of eternal nothingness. But the context does not need to be pre-existing belief in a particular faith. While some feel led to convert to a religion after their experience, this is by no means always the case.
The only faith I had when I had my first spiritual experience was faith that there was no God, only science. At 17 I was a complete doubter, and actually had long conversations with my brother the night before this one particular trip about how I was sure that religion was developed to protect the weak from the strong. I figured that the weaker and smaller people made up religion so their butts wouldn't be kicked all the time. Ha!

The next day (April Fool's Day, 1978, my awakening day) we waited for a guy we knew to get home with a fresh batch of moonshiner LSD. ...

Then, all of a sudden I realised that there is a God, a living spirit from the earth, and it loved me. I couldn't understand that at all, I was so against religion that I was preaching atheism to all my friends. But this experience was so powerful that I was changed in a moment. I was being blessed by these trees, and they kept telling me how they loved me and would protect me. I would not have anything to fear as long as I knew that trees were my friends. They were so happy that I could hear them. I was blown away. Where I had no faith, now I had an unshakable faith that never left me. What was strange to me was that evolution was one of the main reasons I hadn't believed in God, but the trees kinda explained how science is fact, but it fits in perfectly with God, it is God's thing. It is the Church that is screwed up. I now could see how true this was. The trees were speaking for the earth, and they were speaking directly to me. I was special to them, but they said all are and that I was only lucky because I could hear them. They would be my friends for ever, and now I have found that all plants are cacti are my friends. So, faith may help in spiritual experiences, but it is definitely not required. if the spirits find it appropriate, no faith in anything is needed. It was the LSD that opened my eyes, but the trees were the ones that taught me about spirituality. I've never has such visual hallucinations like that since. Whatever the reason, it changed my life within an hour. ... (Jim, aged 36, USA) (pages 34-35)
A variation on the 'too easy' argument is that drugs provide a quick route to a mystical state which by its very speed can cause difficulties. This is a more serious objection. The loss of previously take-for-granted certainties can cause real problems. A sudden dissolving of the ego, common to both spiritual experiences and powerful drug journeys, can be terrifying. As the spiritual teacher Ram Dass points out: 'you've got to have somebodyness before you can have nobodyness. Drugs for kids aren't cool because they screw around with nobodyness too soon and then they don't know where they are. You've got to have somebodyness to come back to.' Later in this book we discuss ways to help avoid the difficulties caused by a sudden paradigm shift. Careful preparation, where possible, and integration of the experience afterwards are key factors in turning difficult situations into valuable experiences. (page 42)

The results clearly supported Pahnke's hypothesis that psilocybin, when taken in a religious setting by people who are religiously inclined, can facilitate valid spiritual experiences. He also found that the subjects who received the psilocybin experienced positive and persisting effects in attitude and behaviour.

In the six-month follow-up Pahnke found that:
life enhancing and enriching effects similar to some of those claimed by mystics were shown by the higher scores of the experimental subjects when compared to the controls ... the experimenter was left with the impression that the experience had made a profound impact ... on the lives of eight out of ten of the subjects who had been given psilocybin. Although the psilocybin experience was unique and different from the 'ordinary' reality of their everyday lives, these subjects felt that this experience had motivated them to appreciate more deeply the meaning of their lives, to gain more depth and authenticity in ordinary living, and to rethink their philosophies of life and values. (pages 45-46)
A Different Kind of Church (Chapter 2)
Santo Daime
The Santo Daime Church, founded in Brazil but now spreading all over the world, is best known for it use of the psychoactive plant drug ayahuasca. The mix used by the Santo Daime consists of the bark of a vine Banisteriopsis caapi, which contains harmaline, and leaves of a plant called Psychotria viridis which contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Also known as yage, "vine of the soul" and caapi, ayahuasca can produce visions and insights, and in Santo Daime services these are integrated into a collective religious experience. The doctrine of Santo Daime includes beliefs from both Christianity and nature religions, and the services, at least in Brazil, are strongly community affairs. (page 51)

John's account
I am an academic, specialising in one of the 'hard' sciences, male, late fifties, married but with no children

... Another thing that I remember from this period is feeling - because I had left the central group - that I was one of the failures, one of the fallen ones, the ones that couldn't keep faith. I found myself wondering whether there was a place in the scheme of things for us weak ones, fallen ones. And then I suddenly thought: this is supposed to be a religious ritual, this is supposed to be a going to God, and I badly wanted reassurance that there was indeed a God to go to. The answer was instantaneous: what a silly question - of course there is! Now, I would have expected this experience to be one of intense emotion. On the contrary, it was just an utterly matter-of-fact realisation that God is, and God is in me and God is in everything, not concentrated as a God 'out there', but God none the less. No doubt my lack of emotional response reflected the fact that I had secretly ached for contact with a manifestation of a personal God. ...

How do I evaluate my encounter with the Santo Daime? To begin with, what I witnessed and experienced leaves me in no doubt whatever that the Santo Daime celebrants in whose company I spent that extraordinary six hours are authentic seekers after the spirit and that the ritual is indeed a genuine and profound religious event. (pages 61-64)

Barquinha
As with Santo Daime, Barquinha incorporates beliefs from Christianity, spiritism, and native Brazilian rainforest religions, but it also includes elements of African Umbanda spirituality. Ancestors may be contacted, as well as African deities known as orixas. Singing and dancing are importrant features of the ceremony. (page 64)

Uniao do Vegetal
Another church which uses the sacrament of ayahuasca is the Uniao do Vegetal (UDV). It also has its roots in Brazil and its members claim that their new religion dates back to the tenth century before Christ and that, due to humanity's insufficient spiritual evolution, the UDV lay dormant before reappearing in the fourth and fifth centuries BCE, in the Inca civilisation in Peru. What we consider the UDV Church was founded on 22 July 1961 in Porto Velho Rondonia, Brazil by Jose de Costa (Mestre Gabriel). (page 65).

The ritual ceremonies are less 'active' than those of the Santo Daime and are more like a Quaker meeting. Long periods of silence are included in the service, where members seek self-knowledge through mental concentration. The 'vegetal' (ayahuasca tea) facilitates this and is described as being the 'key' to the process. There is space for people to share the teaching they received from the vegetal or to ask the 'mestre' (who leads the ceremony) questions. The members of the UDV emphasise the oral tradition in their doctrine and in the rituals the teachings of Mestre Gabriel are spoken, chamadas (similar to mantras) are chanted and hymns sung. They believe that this simplicity reflects the life of their founder and that one of their roles is to 'worship and preserve his peasant roots, which translates the purity of his teaching; keeping alive the memory of the fact that one's degree of spiritual evolution is not dependent upon erudition or academic titles'.

The teachings of the UDV are Christian-based but believers also stress the role of nature, describing the UDV as 'a religion based on the superior Christian values of love and fraternity among men, in full communion with Nature through the tea Hoasca, a vehicle synchronizing it with the Divinity ... ecology and spirituality are indivisible.' (pages 65-66)

Gnostisismo Revolutionario de la Concienca de Krishna
The name "Gnostisismo' relates to the group's association with the Gnostic movement. 'Revolutinario' refers to a (non-violent) 'revolution in consciousness as a means for changing the world to a place where people live in equality and freedom as brothers and sisters.' 'De la concienca de Krishna' comes from an affinity of the community with spiritual traditions of India and Krishna. The group is very ecologically and politically motivated, campaigning for the human rights of campensinos who live in the jungle, and initiating ecological projects. Ayahuasca (known as yage) is drunk in twice-weekly ceremonies. It is revered as a teacher and spirit guide and seen as a spiritual path which can be followed to gain access to the realms of healing, divination and inner knowledge, as well as for maintaining an intimacy with the immediate environment and the planet. The community is led by a shaman named Vasudev who has been living in the jungle for seventeen years, studying with indigenous shamans from Caqueta and Putamayo. (page 69)

Bwiti
In Gabon, use of the root bark of the shrub Tabernathe iboga, known as iboga or eboka, is widespread. Iboga contains the alkaloid ibogaine, which has stimulating properties at moderate doses and produces a trance state in larger quantities. Iboga is used in both the traditional religion of Pygmy tribes living in the equatorial forest and also as part of a more recent syncretic religion - Bwiti.

The Bwiti religion is a mix of traditional iboga religion and Christianity, and emerged over the last 150 years as a result of the attempts by Catholic missionaries to convert indigenous populations of Apindji, Mitsogho and Fang. Bwiti embraces various sects. The main different between them is generally how far they have absorbed Christian rites and symbols into their ceremonies. Each community head will also introduce certain changes in the ceremonies so that they reflect his personal interpretation of the religion. Both the traditional and Bwiti iboga religion can be considered 'mystery religion', meaning that initiates undergo a deep revelatory experience and are forbidden to reveal certain details of the rite and their experience afterwards. (pages 71-72)

A Bwiti ceremony is a week-long procedure, when rushed for Europeans. Two days are spent cleansing (internal/external) and then imbibing one or two days afterwards, then three or more days needed for rest and recuperation. The process is understood as being first day dying, second day death, third day onwards rebirth. This is a serious plant - iboga is regarded as the ultimate sacrament. (page 76)

Rastafarianism
Rastafarians are members of a Jamaican messianic movement dating back to the 19320s. Within Rastafarianism, marijuana, or ganga, is considered to be the 'holy herb'. Rastafarians identify it as the substance written of in Psalm 104:14 of the Bible: "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man.'. (page 81)

Ganga, used as a sacrament by Rastafarians, is likened to the communion wine of the Christian churches. It was brought to Jamaica by Indian laborers in the nineteenth century and became rooted in folk beliefs as a panacea. Rastafarians adapted the Indian method of smoking it to form their own ritual. The chillum pipe is called a 'chalice'. To 'lick the chalice' is to partake in a communal sharing of ideas, as the chalice passes from hand to hand. This sacred ritual is called 'reasoning'. (page 83)

Temple of the True Inner Light
The Temple of the True Inner Light was formed in 1980, by Alan Birnbaum, as an offshoot of the New York City branch of the Native American Church. The Temple uses dipropyltryptamine (DPT) as its sacrament and Temple followers regard it as the actual manifestation of God, rather that a means to access God. DPT is a short-acting tryptamine, inducing psychedelic experiences which last for about three and a half hours and often end abruptly. (page 83)

Sections of the Old and New Testament are re-examined and found to contain many references to psychedelics. A Temple member, Michael Hoana, says
This religion, the true religion, is not something that started in the '60s. If you look at the scriptures, the Bible, there are certain things like oil and unctions, that teach people, that teach directly. What can that possibly be? If it is an oil that is teaching you something then we are obviously talking about something extracted from a plant ... there is the presence bread. Why would somebody call something 'presence' bread? They mention a living spirit in it and that is obviously not wheat. And to actually say that this is food from heaven, they can only be talking about a psychedelic.' (page 84)
A deeper reason for the reluctance of mainstream religions to acknowledge that psychoactives may have a role to play in spiritual life could lie in the question of control. The word 'religion' itself comes from the Latin to bind (religare to bind back), whereas drugs are often seen as a vehicle of release. Mystical experiences on drugs tend to be very private, personal affairs. it is generally a solitary path. While there are some churches that use a drug as a sacrament in a communal setting, such as the Santo Daime in Brazil, even then when an individual is in the depths of their experience they are completely alone. This has implications for religions where the priest of teacher has a mediating role. If a follower is able to experience a direct, personal relationship with the divine, the need for an intermediate authority may be replaced. (page 92)

Conversion
One of the ways in which the alliance of drugs and spirituality has most strongly challenged the mainstream faiths is through people who convert as a result of their drug experiences. This has been more an issue for some religions than for others.

In January 1996 the Buddhist magazine Tricycle published a special issue called 'Psychedelics: Help or Hindrance?' In a survey included in the magazine over 40 per cent of readers said that their interest in Buddhism was sparked off by psychedelics; 59 per cent thought that psychedelics and Buddhism do mix, while 41 per cent disagreed; 71 per cent believed that 'psychedelics are not a path, but can provide a glimpse of the reality to which Buddhist practice points'. The age of respondents was significant, with more using psychedelics over 50 or under 30 than those aged between 30 and 50, the latter category being the most against the use of drugs. (page 97)

Questions raised by a drug experience can spark off a spiritual quest which leads the seeker to explore a variety of paths to find that which best matches their values, beliefs and backgrounds. In this way John, and Englishman, became a Quaker after an LSD trip.
Before I had the experience (on LSD), I was in a really negative state of mind. I was suffering from clinical depression, and I was prescribed various antidepressants. ...

The experience itself is very difficult to describe. I was having intense feelings of infinite knowledge ... It was as if I had discovered the true nature of the universe. There was a great sense of unity. I knew that I had died, or at least that I was no longer human, but that brought with it some kind of ecstatic freedom. It was as if I was one with the universe, or one with God (personally, I don't differentiate between the two).

The trip did turn sour though. I think it was because it had been challenging all my previous thoughts about spirituality, and maybe as I was coming down, my rational mind was taking over again. I had some really frightening hallucinations

... My experience was the first step in helping me form my own spiritual beliefs. I became a Quaker because I wanted to share my thoughts and meditation with others, and yet my spiritual beliefs did not conform to those outlined by other religions. ... (pages 98 - 99).
Lee, a social worker from the American Midwest, became a Christian sixteen years ago, he attributes much of his spiritual growth to his experiences with LSD at the time of his conversion. In his account here he focuses on his struggle to reconcile his inner need to explore entheogen use and mysticism with the strict views of his conservative evangelical church:
When I was 21 years old, I became a Christian after spending most of my teenage years avoiding the sermons and influences of pious relatives. I had come to the end of my ability to tolerate the bitter, self-absorbed young man I had become, and my conversion marked a significant point of development for me in my spiritual growth. This, and even the mental conception of my life as having a spiritual dimension, was dramatically influenced by a series of experiences I had a year earlier involving the use of LSD. In my view, none of my subsequent religious commitments would have happened if not for the opening to the spirit that this substance facilitated.

My experience as a Christian has almost entirely been in the context of conservative evangelicalism, a way of belief that is notoriously mistrustful of most forms of mysticism, especially those that involve drugs or trance states. For most of the past fifteen years, I publicly subscribed to the Church's view that psychoactive drugs were taboo unless prescribed by a doctor, and that intentionally seeking an altered state of consciousness in order to make spiritual discoveries was opening the door to deviant and deceptive forms of spirituality. ... (pages 100-101)

I've recently stopped attending my conservative Church and I'm looking at more inclusive, less authoritarian expressions of Christianity. The use of entheogens is way outside the parameters of our Church's teaching and practice, and this interest has probably hastened my withdrawal from the congregation and emboldened me to express my doctrinal disagreements. But I'm reluctant to concede that I've fallen away due to drugs. To me, this is a path that I've been on for a number of years, and drugs are just one small component of a larger vision I'm, pursuing. ...

I know that most people on either side of this issue regard drugs ad Christianity as utterly opposed and incompatible, but despite this tension, there is a tremendous amount of creative potential when the two sources of insight are brought into contact. They both have enormous power to shape the manner in which we interact with other people and our environment, and I believe that if we can get beyond the atmosphere of suspicion and hostility that each group holds towards the other, many good things will result. The Christian legacy of evocative symbols and compassionate ethics (when rightly applied) runs deep through Western consciousness and has much to offer to global society. Likewise, the psychedelic vision can have a profound effect in snapping the materialistic and egocentric straitjackets that have bound us to many destructive habits, as long as we are able to avoid abusing the substances.

In some ways I feel like an isolated pioneer who knows that there's gold hidden in the hills, but I just haven't found the tools and people that will help me bring it out to the full light of day. I pray that more people will be drawn to join in this endeavour. (page 105)
A means to an end Finding either lay members or those with leadership responsibilities in the mainstream faiths who are willing to talk openly about positive aspects of drug use is difficult. If anything, it is more difficult now than in the 1960s when greater numbers of people moved toward world religions as a result of their drug experiences.

Yet it is clear from the accounts and interviews in this chapter that psychoactives can have a role to play in the spiritual life of those in mainstream religions. It is also clear that those who do not use them in this way do so with an awareness of their potential for spiritual growth, but also of their limitations. These accounts show psychoactives used with respect and care. Preoccupation with their use is discouraged, as is confusing the messenger with the message. (page 109)



This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby

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