Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Thanatos to Eros: Thirty-five Years of Psychedelic Exploration.
Stolaroff, Myron J. (1994).
Berlin: Verlag fur Wissenschaft und Bildung.
Contents: Foreword by
Alexander T. Shulgin,
preface, acknowledgments, introduction, 15 chapters, 4 appendices:
A. Foundation [ International
Foundation for Advanced Study] Papers, B. Degree
of Intensity Scale, C. Procedure, D. The Nature of the Self.
Excerpt(s): My major
vocational accomplishment was growing up with Ampex Corporation.
Ampex started as a very small, obscure firm manufacturing electric
motors and grew into a world lead er in the field
of magnetic recording. I progressed from design engineer of magnetic
recording components to production engineer to application engineer
to Director of Instrumentation Sales to Assistant to the President
for Long Range Planning.
It was in the last position that I had my first
encounter with LSD. At the time I was familiar with the frontiers
of many technological fields of knowledge, for we were designing
special magnetic recording equipment to aid research in most of
these fields: telemetering essential information from missiles
and aircraft that would aid in making design decisions, automotive
engineering, geophysical exploration, recording the output of
various sensing devices in laboratories, computers, and finally
developing the world's first successful video tape recorder. I
felt abreast of most scientific developments. Yet after my first
LSD experience, I stated with confidence about LSD: "This
is the greatest discovery that man has ever made." While
I have learned a great deal in the ensuing years about the proper
use and misuse of this substance, nothing has ever brought into
question the accuracy of this evaluation. (page 18)
And the revelations also included profound realizations
that God is absolutely real, and that there is only One Person,
of which we are all a part. I held LSD to be the most important
discovery man has ever made, and would devote my life to learning
more about it and how to use it effectively, not only for myself
but for others. ... I grew confident in my understanding of how
to work with this substance, and verified that LSD was not a psychotomimetic
as the medical profession claimed. I also understood why they
made the claim. I see two major factors. If one has no understanding
of the vast dimensions of the mind beyond ordinary experience
(such as extra-sensory perception) or the spiritual basis of reality,
one might feel that experiencing such actualities is insanity.
(pages 24- 25)
A key experience came for me in 1959, when I took
a much larger dose than usual, 150 micrograms, Al [ Hubbard]
deeming that I was ready for it. The outstanding event of this
experience was a dynamic breakthrough in which I was shown that
Jesus was God, and that I was God! With this realization
I broke down completely and sobbed and sobbed without letup for
fifteen minutes. Later I sat down to play the piano, and played
as I have never played before. I felt that I was playing the music
as the composer realized it, and able to express the marvelous
depth of feeling the composer was portraying. This experience
led to a quantum-step improvement in my ability to play the piano,
which remained with me from that time on. (page 27)
One cannot help but ponder the strange dichotomy
that the nation based on establishing individual freedom has now
outlawed every substance which might aid in the exploration
of that last and most important frontier, the human mind. Alexander
Shulgin, world-renowned chemist in the
field of psychoactive drugs, is quoted in a recent periodical:
"Our generation is the first ever to have made the search
for self-awareness a crime." (page 37)
For those who have been privileged to enter the
sacred regions and appreciate the vast array of learning at our
disposal, the psychedelics are priceless substances. But one stands
out as especially unique, with outstanding characteristics exclusively
its own. This is MDMA, code name for 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine.
The most fitting description that I can give it is that it is
an outstanding Grace. ... After a number of trials of MDMA with
other people, it became apparent that this was the best substance
with which to introduce people to psychoactive drugs. With other
substances, we had always used great care to make sure that the
subject was ready for an experience that would greatly alter his
perceptions, understanding, and perhaps his view
of himself and his behavior. MDMA is so generally euphoric
and non-threatening that a much wider range of subjects can benefit
from the experience without discomfort. (pages 41- 42)
If one's psyche is relatively clear, the descent
is quite euphoric, and the remainder of the day is spent in a
very satisfying state of contentment.
However, if there is unresolved material in the
unconscious that did not get dealt with completely, the drop in
the action of the drug seems quite sudden, and one is left physically
uncomfortable and somewhat unsettled.
To counteract this we thought, why not supplement
with another, more powerful substance? This turned out to be a
splendid idea. ...
This worked very effectively. In fact, everyone
invariably reported that their experience with the psychedelic
supplement was better than using that particular substance alone.
MDMA is an empowering launching pad. (page 43)
She had a remarkable breakthrough. She was positive
that she was going to die, so she decided to let herself die.
She melted into the ground, and then appeared before a profound,
brilliant light, the throne of God. She knew that she was with
God, and that she was God. She was in ecstasy, and began
to sing. She turned into a delightful little girl, utterly alive,
bright, full of joy and wisdom. She was so beautiful, inside and
out, that she was a joy to witness. She felt her channel was wide
open directly to the Source and was extremely insightful about
whatever took our attention. (page 47)
As I review my own use of the sacraments, I am aware
that much of my life has been a struggle to become free of ponderous
weights that seem to drag like heavy anchors. But as the anchors
were recognized and cut free, and more importantly, as I recognized
and accepted the forces in the universe that are there to pick
up the weights and cut the entangling ropes, I was able to achieve
greater freedom and joy. (page 180)
I can see that when immersed in the celestial light,
life is completely transformed. As Brother Lawrence
describes in The Practice of the Presence of God, the most
menial task can be irradiated with this heavenly
light that it is our privilege to emit. The most irksome task
can be an act of worship and celebration. (page 181)
When I am whole, there is no distinction between
God and myself. Such concepts disappear, and life flows with an
indescribable, spontaneous grace. But in my present state many
things pull me down, and I cannot maintain such a state of wholeness.
When I relapse, the most effective means I have found to establish
my true self is my understanding of being a partner with God,
and of how this partnership works. This is a partnership, as I
understand it, that every being must work out for him/herself.
Full partnership requires a comprehensive understanding of the
remarkable role that we have been created to fill, and how unstintingly
our loving endeavors are supported. Short of full union with God,
it is in this partnership that life reaches its most glorious,
sublime, exciting, purely joyous heights.
It is my earnest hope that these pages have revealed
enough information to inspire others to start or deepen their
commitment to the path of true fulfillment. (pages 182-183)
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This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP