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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

Dreams and Dreaming.

MacKenzie, Norman. (1965).
New York: The Vanguard Press.

ISBN: None

Description: 351 pages.

Contents: 11 chapters, appendix: Two Clinical Reports [transcripts of interviews with patients under LSD treatment], index, acknowledgments.

Note: This exemplifies a psychoanalytic interpretation of psychedelics.

Excerpt(s): The LSD experience seems, therefore, not merely an extension of dream interpretation but superior to it in intensity and in the wealth of material that it makes available. One of the outstanding British specialists in this work, Dr. R. A. Sandison, has said that it "is a kind of development of the dream life of the individual." Dr. Sandison thinks it possible, from observing hundreds of LSD sessions, that they offer a much more comprehensive view of unconscious mental life than the dream as it is consciously recollected. By the time we have woken up and tried to capture the fleeting images of a dream, we are left with no more than a fragment of it. Under LSD and other hallucinogens, several hours are available for contemplation and experiencing of fantasy. It may be that the dream (if we could recall it in its entirety) would prove to be very similar, and that the distortion and loss that occur are subsequently imposed on the dream material by waking consciousness-that is, by the ego.

We can now see why LSD and similar drugs have begun to play such an important part in psychotherapy. Unlike sedatives and tranquilizers, which can temporarily allay severe anxiety or even bring severely hallucinated persons into closer touch with reality, the hallucinogenic drugs evoke a great deal of psychological stress and induce fantasies. But they do so under conditions that enable an individual to confront, rather than repress, what is disturbing him. As all sch ools of psychotherapy believe, the more an individual is able to achieve insight into the conflicts and feelings that trouble him, the better he is able to acknowledge them and to integrate them into normal conscious life. Psychoanalysis, which uses dream interpretation, is one way of doing this. But the hallucinogens may be a quicker and possibly more effective way of achieving the same result. In both cases, the objective is to break down the defenses an individual has created to protect consciousness from uncomfortable or disruptive feelings-and thus enable him to see himself and his relation to other people in a different perspective. We can put it simply by saying that the hallucinogens permit him to discover a fuller and richer sense of his own identity. They involve a change in his ego, in his consciousness of himself, ... (pages 311-312)

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