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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

The Doors of Perception.

Huxley, Aldous. (1954, 1970).
New York: Harper & Row.

ISBN:first edition none
paperback 0-06-080171-9

Description: First edition, 79 pages. [1954]
Paperback, Perennial Library edition, 79 pages. [1970]

Contents: 1 essay.

Note: The best essay on entheogen experience.

Excerpt(s): According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular plant. To formulate and express the contents of this reduced awareness, man has invented and endlessly elaborated those symbol which we call languages. Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born-the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people's experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things. That which, in the language of religion, is called "this world" is the universe of reduced awareness, expressed, and, as it were, petrified by language. The various "other worlds," with which human beings erratically make contact are so many elements in the totality of the awareness belonging to Mind at Large. (pages 24-25)

The urge to transcend self-consciousness is, as I have said, a principal appetite of the soul. When, for whatever reason, men and women fail to transcend themselves by means of worship, good works and spiritual exercises, they are apt to resort to religion's chemical surrogates-alcohol and "goof pills" in the modern West, alcohol and opium in the East, hashish in the Mohammedan world, alcohol and marijuana in Central America, alcohol and coca in the Andes, alcohol and barbiturates in the more up-to-date regions of South America. (page 67)

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