Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Meditation: An Outline for Practical Study
Sadhu, Mouni. (ca. 1967)
No. Hollywood, CA: Melvin Powers Wilshire Book Co.
ISBN: 0-87980-096-8 paperback
Description: Paperback, 364 pages, plus viii advertisements.
Contents: Foreword, 33 chapters divided into 5 parts: 1. Theoretical Preliminaries, 2. Techniques of Meditation, 3. Regular Meditation, 4. Advanced Meditation, 5. Introduction to Contemplation, Epilogue, bibliography, index.
Note: From title page verso: "First Published in 1967," copyright "George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 1967." This may be an American reissue of a British book, ".. for sale only in the United States of America ...".
Excerpt(s): Before I started my experiment with drugs, I did not believe that they would be able to involve me in any involuntary mental processes, of which visions, and so on, are a major part. But experience alone could give the categorical answer. So, to that end, I arranged for a session with three friends, all of whom were doctors and each having had personal experience with Psilocybin and Mescalin.
The first dose of 15 mg. of Psilocybin, taken orally, was probably insufficient. Apart from tension in the ears and deformation of the faces of those present little else occurred. I was quite conscious of everything and was even able to start a game of chess on the suggestion of one of the doctors. There were no visions, nor any emotional, or mental disturbances.
However, it was the second test, to which I invited two of the doctors from the first one and a psychologist (who had had personal experience with the drug L.S.D.) to ensure full control, which proved to be successful.
Denis (one of the doctors) took all the necessary precautions, duly testing my heart, blood pressure and lungs and finally declared me completely fit to proceed. This time the dose was much stronger, being about 24 mg. The antidote, in the event that I would want to interrupt the action of the drug, was placed ready, along with a small glass of brandy just in case nausea might become unbearable, as sometimes happens with certain people. Ronald, the psychologist, said that he would like to make tests when the drug started to act. We waited and talked about twenty minutes. ...
Another twenty minutes elapsed and I felt nothing except more nausea. 'Probably this test is also a flop,' I said to my friends. 'I think I had better take the brandy and finish the business.'
'You are probably immune to the drug,' said Ronald, 'for in my practice this is the first time that a patient has reacted (or rather not reacted) in such a way.'
'Quite possibly!' said Denis. 'Or it may be your subconscious resistance, because you can stop your mental functions at will.'
I wanted to reply and then it happened! Next moment I was as if beyond the room and beyond my own personality. Fully conscious and with eyes closed, I was aware of my body as if from a great distance, while it sat quietly on the divan, but I was in no way connected with it. I knew that everything was well with it, but its pulse was imperceptible to ME. I saw nothing, neither darkness, nor light. An overwhelming feeling of happiness, no, much more, of a great bliss embraced all my being. It was full of absolute peace, beyond time and the slightest thought, or emotion. I was merged as if in a crystal-like, immaterial substance, being, at the same time, my true awareness, I was inseparable from IT, IT WAS ALL! By which means did I record all of this? It was not by any thinking, it was direct knowledge, beyond any mental processes. I knew that I could speak, if required and could hear words directed to me by my friends around the table, a yard or so from me. And I made a firm decision-NOT TO FORGET THIS EXPERIENCE FOR ANY PRICE. Then I ordered my distant (but, at the same time, very close when I wished) body to speak. 'It has happened!' I said. 'I am in that State, beyond all and everything, but I am alive and aware more than ever. I cannot compare the powerful bliss of this State with anything, it is beyond all words and thoughts. Forgive me if I am speaking slowly, but I do not feel any desire to talk. It is for the purpose of the experiment that I am speaking. But I must choose every word. It is quite different to the ordinary state of consciousness.'
'We can understand you very well,' Ronald's voice said, 'do not talk if it is painful for you!'
'Painful for me?' How could anything painful touch me now? My nausea was forgotten and I knew that my body was over-flowing with well-being. (pages 344-346)
Aloofness, blissful freedom and absolute harmony, this is an infinitesimal part of my present state, which I can describe in words. It is similar to my first experience of spiritual consciousness, experienced in the summer of 1949, at the feet of an Indian Rishi-Ramana. Later, the same state was induced many times by deep meditation, based on complete concentration of the mind, by excluding every thought, but it always required stillness of the body, separation from all the senses and the impossibility of speaking, hearing, or moving. And all the time one is compelled to be watchful, in order not to be thrown back into the physical world, because of interrupted concentration. But now, it is all so simple, so effortless! I am that concentration itself, and when I do contact the abandoned world, it is only a concession, like stepping down for a while.'
'Have you a deeper feeling of knowledge of our individualities, more sympathetic, perhaps?' asked Ronald.
I looked through my closed eyelids and said: 'Rather no, for I do not see your personalities, your perishable expressions, but just that, which you really are, beyond all limitations, as I am now.' And I felt an overwhelming desire to unite all of them, as they sat around that table, in my magic orb of absolute consciousness, of that indescribable peace and bliss. Then I said slowly, with due gravity: 'Come to me here, into this state of Truth, of Eternity, be with me, as blissful as I am!' ...
Some formal tests followed. I answered all the questions, slowly and willingly, but always as if from an infinite distance, as if from another galaxy, or planet. I knew that I had lost the ability to be inimical to anybody: I simply could not find such a feeling any more. Was I in God? But once more, that was a word, a limitation, no longer acceptable to me. Eternity, Truth, Love, Harmony, Peace, Bliss-if they are His attributes, then I was in Him. I did not know anything more, but If I wished I could know everything, that was certain! Only, there was nothing in me which would inquire about anything. I am-that is all, for ever! (pages 347-349)
Together we tried to draw conclusions from my experience.
'If your state was basically similar to those you had previously, by your own efforts, then the drug was like a back-door to the same temple, giving access without toil and effort,' said Ronald wittily.
'Yes, it seems so to me,' I replied. 'But that back-door can stay open only for those, who have been in the temple before, entering through the front one by their own labour.'
'What then is the actual role of the drug?' asked Denis.
'Judging from the fact, that the majority of people who take it have no spiritual experience, but simply visions and hallucinations, which augment their own mental faculties and memories, it would seem that the drugs merely perform the functions of a magnifying glass, operating on the existing values in man. But they cannot "create", or "add" anything. There is no wisdom to be achieved by drugs, and no revelation can be produced.
'Nevertheless, in cases where the individual has been able to eliminate his mind's consciousness before the experience, as in my own case, the magnifying glass is unable to catch any "object". Instead, the drug evidently contributes to the suppression of all the lower functions in man, just as the efforts at concentration and meditation did before, and then it leaves the man facing his own imperishable counterpart, his spiritual Self. An apparent privilege is, that then we are not compelled to enter into any trance, as some yogis and occultists do, in order to experience the highest and, without losing our spiritual State, we can communicate with our environment with mutual profit. And still there remains something in us, which makes the next experiences easier, even without any drug.'
But can we recommend the use of these drugs to all and sundry? It would be the greatest mistake and nonsense, as we may see from the foregoing. Only a few, who have been able to exclude the whimsies of their minds for good beforehand, can count on true spiritual experience. For all the others, the magnifying glass of the drug will only enlarge their weaknesses and frailties. No man of common sense would enter on to such a useless and dangerous path. That is what we have to know. (pages 349-350)
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