Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The Call of Spiritual Emergency: From Personal Crisis to Personal Transformation.
Bragdon, Emma. (1990).
San Francisco: Harper & Row.
original, xii + 234 pages.
11 chapters, glossary, resources, notes, references, index.
Excerpt(s): Intent on
coming to terms with the Pandora's box of my inner world, I also
sought explosive techniques of expanding my consciousness. After
nine months of being at the monastery, when I was living in San
Francisco within the Zen Center community, I asked Allan, my dear
friend, to initiate me into the world of LSD. As the trip began,
I became wondrously ecstatic. I was immersed in the inner worlds
that felt like home to me. I reconnected with the source of inner
wisdom that I'd had at birth. I was an American Indian shaman
giggling at the effort of men and women to find the truth. The
truth was so obvious! What did they need-a sledgehammer to hit
them on the head to awaken them? Coming back down into ordinary
consciousness was traumatic. I felt the mantle of fear, the self-doubt,
the everyday concerns of what I had to do to survive. It seemed
the inner wisdom again had to be covered, stay underground, so
I could function as a wage-earner, shopper, student ,
etc. I turned to Allan for comfort, to hold me, to acknowledge
the reality of all that I had seen and to acknowledge the difficulty
of balancing these two worlds. (pages 19-20)
Which drugs can be used therapeutically, and which
drugs are harmful? All drugs, conventional and unconventional,
have the capacity to give us new information about ourselves,
from coffee which speeds us up, to LSD which takes us dramatically
past the boundaries of our ordinary mind, to alcohol which reduces
our inhibitions. Any of these drugs, in an appropriate dosage,
with the appropriate set and setting, can be positive. Any of
these drugs which are the most addictive-alcohol, narcotics,
nicotine, cocaine, and crack-are also the most degenerative. The
psychedelics are the ones most capable of catalyzing mental illness.
All drugs are physically taxing. (page 166)
Psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, various
plants from ancient shamanistic cultures):
These drugs produce powerful sensory, emotional, and/or transpersonal
experiences. Any of them may be overwhelming. Hallucinations are
typical. Because these experiences are so powerful, the need to
integrate them is essential and challenging. Without integration,
the powerful experiences may be split off from the rest of the
personality and be of minimal use, or even impede personal growth.
A safe environment and an experienced guide are important during
the experience. Used in on-going therapy, psychedelics will accelerate
With the empathogens and psychedelics, it is especially
easy to open life myth, open psychically, and experience karmic
patterns, shamanic journeys, and kundalini awakening. Especially
with the psychedelics, the contents of the unconscious seem to
explode from their subterranean home. (pages 167-168)
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