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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


Grist for the Mill.

Ram Dass, and Levine, Stephen (Collaborator). (1977).
Santa Cruz, CA: Unity Press.


ISBN: 0-913300-16-0 paperback
0-913300-17-9 hardcover
Description: Paperback, 173 pages, A Mindfulness Series Book.

Contents: The Economics of This Dharma, Collaborator's Note, 15 unnumbered chapters.

Excerpt(s): Interwoven from lectures, retreats, articles and interviews given during 1974-1976 in Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City and Aspen, these words are offered as the gift of the Dharma which is ever and always present to each of us. (Stephen Levine, Collaborator's Note, page 11)

How does LSD affect the spiritual journey? On later questioning, he [ Maharaj-ji] said, "Well it [LSD] could be useful, in a cool place, where you are feeling much peace, and your mind is much turned toward God, and when you're alone." He said that it would allow you to come in and pranam or bow to Christ, but you could only stay for two hours, and then you would have to leave again. He said, "You know, it would be much better to become Christ than to just visit him. But your medicine won't do that, because it's a false samadhi"-which is exactly what Meher Baba has said to me. "Though," he said, "it's useful to visit a saint; it strengthens your faith." Then he added, "But love is stronger medicine."

Now, what I did was, after that, once each year I would take LSD when I was peaceful and was alone and my mind was turned toward God, to sort of find out what was happening, each time was a very profound experience. These past few years, when I started to do this more intensive work, there came a point in my sadhana where I was working with extraordinarily intense shakti energies, and I came to be aware of an incredible amount of tension in the back of my head. This turned out to be the result of the immense amount of acid that I had taken which, while it did not permanently physiologically damage me in any way, had created a kind of psychic resistance; psychic in the same sense that chakras are psychic phenomena, rather than physical phenomena. The usage of acid had created a psychic blockage in my medulla, which made my spiritual work, for quite a while, more difficult, in terms of working with these incredible pressures in my head. It turns out that had I not ingested so much psychedelics I would have been able to get through that space much faster. So my conclusion about it now is: For those who don't know about other levels of reality it could, under proper conditions, if they are truly turned towards spiritual life, show them that possibility. It did so for me. Once they know of the possibility, and they really want to get on with it, the game is not just to get high again, but to "be" and be includes high and low....

I don't deem that for a being on the spiritual path the LSD experience is any longer necessary. It is very clearly not a full sadhana; it won't liberate you. Because there is a subtle way in which there is attachment, in the sense of feeding your unworthiness because you aren't it without it; and you have to look outside yourself to get hold of it. As a method it also has the limitation that it overrides stuff that you would best deal with. Grabbing at experiences and pushing aside old habit-patterns in order to get high is ultimately just delaying the process. Because ultimately you have to confront those habit-patterns and purify them.

After you know of the possibility you get on with it and any time you're just after another experience you're just getting more hooked on experiences and experiences are all traps. The game is to use a method and then when you're finished with it let it go. This isn't a good or evil matter; it's just a question of honesty with yourself as to whether in fact you are using your opportunities in order to awaken as effectively as you can. (pages 100-102)



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