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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 Feast of Fools: A Theological Essay on Festivity and Fantasy.

Cox, Harvey. (1969).
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

ISBN: 0-674-29525-0

Description: Hardcover, xii + 204 pages.

Contents: Overture, introduction, 10 essays in 3 untitled parts, coda, appendix: Some Relevant Theological Currents, notes, index of names.

Excerpt(s): We drink alcohol not just because we like its taste but because it produces a certain state of consciousness. Nor is our society particularly opposed to inducing other desired states of consciousness (or unconsciousness) with substances in addition to alcohol. We quaff caffeine to cajole our brains into awakening in the morning. We drag on a pipe to relax. We order a martini to help clinch a business deal or madeira to speed a seduction. We pop Sleep-eze or sip warm cocoa to encourage slumber. But when it comes to the well-publicized drugs now increasingly used by young people, we suddenly turn angry and petulant. We serve champagne at wedding receptions but put people behind bars for smoking marijuana.

Why? There seems to be no really convincing reason. Certainly what medical knowledge we have of alcohol and marijuana would not support such wildly disproportionate attitudes. But in this confused and emotion-packed area, reason seems to have little place. Our whole approach to stimulants, depressants, psychedelic drugs and hallucinogens today is a quagmire of irrationality, prejudice, and inconsistency. We unthinkingly lump hard and soft, addictive and nonaddictive substances together under the scare of "dope." We list marijuana with heroin as though both belong in the same bin. We have created a panicky atmosphere that makes careful, controlled research in the new synthetic drugs like LSD virtually impossible. Consequently wild stories, abuse, and sensationalism have run amuck, and rational discussion of the issue seems impossible. (pages 105-106)

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