Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Does It Matter?: Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality.
Watts, Alan. (1970).
Description: First edition,
xvi + 125 pages. Pantheon Books is a division of Random House.
Contents: Foreword, 5
chapters, 7 short essays.
to allowing use of psychedelic drugs originates in both religious
and secular values. The difficulty in describing psychedelic experiences
in traditional religious terms suggests one ground of opposition.
The Westerner must borrow such words as samadhi or moksha
from the hindus, or satori or kensho
from the Japanese, to describe the experience of oneness with
the universe. We have no appropriate word because our own Jewish
and Christian theologies will not accept the idea that man's inmost
self can be identical with the Godhead, even though Christians
may insist that this was true in the unique instance of Jesus
Christ. Jews and Christians think of God in political and monarchial
terms, as the supreme governor of the universe, the ultimate boss.
Obviously, it is both socially unacceptable and logically preposterous
for a particular individual to claim that he, in person, is the
omnipotent and omniscient ruler of the world-to be accorded suitable
recognition and honor.
Such an imperial and kingly concept of the ultimate
reality, however, is neither necessary nor universal. (page 87)
If, however, in the context of Christian or Jewish
tradition an individual declares himself to be one with God, he
must be dubbed blasphemous (subversive) or insane. Such a mystical
experience is a clear threat to traditional religious concepts
Nothing could be more alarming to the ecclesiastical
hierarchy than a popular outbreak of mysticism, for this might
well amount to setting up a democracy in the kingdom of heaven-and
such alarm would be shared equally by Catholics,
Jews, and fundamentalist Protestants. (page 88)
Under present laws, I, as an experienced stud ent
of the psychology of religion, can no longer pursue research in
the field. This is a barbarous restriction of spiritual and intellectual
freedom, suggesting that the legal system in the United States,
is, after all, in tacit alliance with the monarchical theory of
the universe and will, therefore, prohibit and persecute religious
ideas and practices based on an organic and unitary vision of
the universe. (page 95)
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