Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Saunders, Nicholas. (1997).
London: the author.
Description: Paperback original, iv + 348 pages.
Contents: Introduction, 25 unnumbered chapters, bibliography by Alexander Shulgin, index.
Note: Previous editions of this book were published in English as E for Ecstasy, Ecstasy and the Dance Culture, and Ecstasy, Dance, Trance and Transformation in the USA. Variations have been published in German, French, italian, Portuguese, Czech and Hungarian with other translations in progress.
Connected to God
Ecstasy has brought me closer to my family.
I fell under the influence of the lasers, fog, and darkness of the main room. I was standing at one point staring up at the lasers above my head and thought how wonderful life was and how lucky I was to have been born. I silently thanked my parents and God. I believe this was the first time I felt connected to God.
An hour later I found myself tearing up the dance floor and having one of the best times of my life. I no longer cared how I appeared to other people as long as I was true to myself and put on no "masks".
During the next few days, my life changed as I experienced a heightened sense of my surroundings. I was told by my guide that these effects were normal and that I should use them to my advantage. I became a more open and considerate person. I also found myself coming closer to my family. Conversations with my mother became easier and more relaxed. Since then, my relationship with my mother has grown stronger and stronger.
— 18 year old from Atlanta, Georgia USA (pages 255-256)
Higher states of consciousness
I now have a new outlook on life.
For me a spiritual experience is one that opens you up to the flow of life. An experience that allows your natural state of oneness to be unobstructedly expressed. With all drugs that I take I search for that feeling, that amazing warmth of allowing love to flow through your body like waves. The most profound experience I have ever had has been with ecstasy. My life is a constant journey to achieve that beautiful state without the assistance of psychoactive drugs, however, I am still young and haven't found it yet. Sharing nature with ones that I love has brought me close before though. There is definitely powerful magic in Mother Nature's splendor.
I cannot stress more the importance of this experience to me. I now have a new outlook on life and feel that this has helped me in my journey to enlightenment. This morning I woke up with a smile and felt the sun streaming through the window and knew that my life was headed in a new direction. I am in love with life in a way that I never was before.
— An 18 year old American woman. (page 259)
Life after death
I am changed after a near death experience
I have taken ecstasy since I was 15 or 16 to enjoy myself, "be out of my mind", and feel part of the group. But one night something very strange happened that changed my life.
I came home from a party early, before the drug had worn off. When I lay on my bed I started to feel my heart beat faster, then slower until I could hardly feel it. I was frightened by this and thought I was dying.
I felt very light and "saw" that above me everything was good, and below everything was bad, with me in the middle. I knew that if I wanted, I could choose to go up, but I chose not to go, because that would mean death. I chose to stay in the middle and tried to focus my mind on good things. Eventually I started hearing birds singing, and it seemed they were speaking to me, showing me the way to come back.
This experience deeply changed my life. I had never thought about "something after death" before. I don't know if it was heaven and hell, and real life in the middle. I feel stupid saying that, but I'm sure it was something regarding a part of my mind which does not die. From that moment I started to use drugs to explore myself, not only to enjoy myself during parties or raves, and everyone says that I'm really changed.
— Italian woman aged 20. (page 260)
When you take all else away love is what is left. Science tells us that everything is made of atoms and energy and stuff. Science can't handle love. Atoms and energy and stuff all dance with love. The Universe is love. And that moves on to: God IS love. But how different to actually experience it. Seeing the words written down or hearing it preached means nothing compared to this. God/love. One is the other. That's it. So simple. No big deal about it. My God, when I start to open myself to the full energy of love I feel overwhelmed. (I need several really deep breaths at this point.). No wonder we hide it under all that crap. We couldn't cope if we just opened up and allowed ourselves the full experience. (I'm having to take great lung fulls of breath to cope with all this). Much easier to let love enter in little tiny doses. And we spend all of our lives looking for it. Another revelation. Love actually is an energy. Immeasurable but definite. How many people actually allow themselves to experience love as it really is?. And it needs an act of will to personally experience it. So, what do I do about it? Accept, that that's how the world is. And me? How about a message for myself? Be as honest to myself and others as possible. For me that is important. I am unique, the most perfect me there ever has been. That feels as if that's all I'm going to get in that direction today. I need time to assimilate all this stuff. Go for a walk. With a bit of concentration I dress. I wander along the track into the bush, talking as more thoughts come. I have my favourite spots where I can stop for a few minutes and watch the plants, birds and insects. Everything is as it should be, not the big deal that one would have on Acid, but a quiet, loving-correctness. I've had a glimpse of reality today.
— New Zealand man. page 272
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