Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Student's Guide to "The Long Search: A Study of Religions."
Miami-Dade Community College. (1978).
Dubuque, IA : Kendall/Hunt.
Description: Paperback, xiv + 255 pages.
Contents: Introduction, 11 chapters, epilogue, Viewing With a Purpose — Guiding Questions for Each Video Segment.
Note: This book was written to accompany the television series The Long Search.
Excerpt(s): In order to understand the spiritual search of contemporary America, it is necessary first to survey the decade of the 1960s, a period of turmoil and ferment in American Culture.
From the generation who came of age in the '60s, the world was especially suspect. Raised to believe in American ideals of justice and fair play, this generation felt acutely the disappointments of foreign policy, racism, and technocracy. Basically this was a phenomenon of the middle-class young, who formed their own communities in and around college campuses and expressed their disillusionment by getting high on drugs, joining communes, or testing the authority of the police.
A particularly striking aspect of this youth culture was the linkage between political activity and the quest for visionary experience, sparked by the easy availability of psychedelic drugs. On the one side there were mystical longing, a fascination with the occult, and attraction to Eastern gurus, both authentic and charlatan, a frenetic pursuit of polymorphous sexuality and blissed-out experience; on the other side were community organizing, ecological awareness, the protests against the war in Vietnam.
During the decade of the '70s, there has been a remarkable shift in the way we perceive ourselves in the world. Somehow the preoccupations of the '60s have faded; political radicals have become earnest young lawyers; the draft has been replaced, and the troops have left Vietnam. while the use of marijuana has become something of a commonplace for the middle-class (so much so that its use is rapidly being decriminalized) other drugs have been supplanted by alcohol, formerly the symbol of the straight and up-tight world.
The feverish discontent of the '60s, the fury, the violence, and irrationality of its disaffection could not be sustained without the surplus of money which allowed this youth culture the luxury of self-expression. When economic circumstances became tighter in the early '70s, and when the young inevitably grew older, the ardor of discontent cooled. Yet something remained, a sense of possibility which prompted a search for personal development, personal enlightenment of one kind or another. (page 230)
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This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP