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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

Explorations in Awareness.

Aiken, John W. (1966).
Socorro, NM: The Church of the Awakening.

ISBN: None

Description: Paperback, textured heavy wraps, 88 pages.

Contents: Introduction, 15 chapters divided into 2 parts: 1. Meditations on the Way, 2. Psychedelics and Self-Realization.

Excerpt(s): The Mystic Way, the Secret Path, is the way of Self-knowledge. It is the way to higher levels of consciousness, in which one identifies himself with his Higher Self. When we do this, we find that truly "the Father and the I are One," and we also become one with the world. Then one truly loves God with his whole heart and his neighbor as himself! It is the way of Self-Realization, by which we learn. Who we really are, transcending both body and mind, and finding the Reality of pure consciousness within, the "Inner Light" which is one with the Eternal Sun. (page 58)

There is much interest at present in psychedelic substances for helping beginners to find the reality of mystical experience, helping them to gain insight, and understanding of their inner Selves. These preparations include peyote, a southwestern cactus, mescaline (a derivative of peyote), and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). These substances seem to produce a dissociation of consciousness from the usual physical centering, and to bring about an awareness of more inclusive Reality. Because it is a good description of a typical reaction, and because it gives some glimpse into what we refer to as "mystical experience", I quote what one experimenter reported:

"As the drug takes effect, one appears to an outside observer to be lethargic, perhaps even asleep, but this is far from being the case, for he is going through what is probably the most remarkable experience of his life! For during this stage, when one appears to be sleepsleeping, comes that experience called by mystics `the realization of the God within us'. This comes to many under these drugs, and is an indescribable, piercing, beautiful knowing, which goes beyond the body, the mind, the reason, the intellect, into an area of pure knowing. One sees that body, mind, reason, intellect, etc., are all man-made concepts, with very little relation to Reality. It is an inwardly sure knowing. There is no sensation of time. God is no longer only `out there' somewhere, but He is within you, and you are one with Him. ...

"The uninitiated complain that what one experiences under these conditions is merely hallucination. But one having experienced this or something similar, you know beyond any doubt that you have made immediate and direct contact with God within you. No discussion or argument or criticism by anyone or group, no matter how learned they may be, can ever dissuade you. ... Utilizing this Inner Self as the working basis of your life, you realize fully that nothing can ever hurt you or bother you, not even death. It gives life a completely new meaning, and one which is indestructible, and which fits in with the scheme of things. You no longer find yourself an outsider, separated from Nature and separated from God, and separated from fellow beings. Frankly, I prefer this `hallucination' to the one perpetrated by our `normal' fellows!" (pages 59-60)

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