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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

Ecstasy: The MDMA Story.

Eisner, Bruce. (1989).
Berkeley, CA: Ronin Publishing.

ISBN: 0-914171-25-9

Description: Paperback, viii + 228 pages.

Contents: Foreword by Stanley Krippner, introduction by Peter Stafford, preface, 6 chapters, appendices: 1. MDMA's Family Tree: Chemistry & Physiological Effects, 2. Risk Assessment: The FDA & MDMA Research, 3. An Annotated Bibliography of the Scientific Literature References to MDMA by Alexander Shulgin.

Excerpt(s): Acceptance of this "gratuitous grace." The chance to give in via MDMA to one's "underlying mysticism," sense of wonder, and feelings of love for a fellow human and/or one's "fate" is frequently overwhelming-so much so that some users may try to deny the validity of the evoked experience ... when later back in their usual states of mind and their everyday routines. It may seem "unfair," for an instance, that such a level of exultation could have been achieved via mind molecules without exertions and deprivations that accompany traditional methods for "enlightenment." This attitude may arise especially among those imbued with the "Protestant ethic," and/or various religious notions of an essential sinful condition predestined for humans.

Alternative views opened up by MDMA can thus be troublesome to the individual user, as well as society. It appears now, at the end of the '80s, that an eventual integration will come about only after a considerable amount of conflict. To express a factor in this briefly, the idea of a "free lunch" is not all that easily accepted-even when it comes as first-hand experience. (Peter Stafford, Introduction, page xxi)

Having made the distinction between the interpersonal and intrapersonal modes of experience, we should note that the two aspects are intimately linked. When a person feels better about others, he or she also feels better about himself or herself. Feeling better about ourselves is the inward side, and feeling better about others the outward side, of the same experience.

I noted this relationship in the last chapter when discussing what could be called a feeling of "the all-rightness of the universe." There was a concomitant experience in the interpersonal domain-"unconditional love." Here "all-rightness of the universe" and "unconditional love" are like mirror images of each other. (page 51)

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