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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 Haight-Ashbury: A History.

Perry, Charles. (1985).
New York: Vintage.

ISBN: 0-394-74144-7

Description: Paperback, xii + 306 pages.

Contents: Preface, 7 chapters, epilogue, index.

Excerpt(s): The dissolution of all solid boundaries, especially the distinction we feel between ourselves and the outside world, led to deep philosophical questions. Before psychedelics a college philosophy teacher might have given anything to get thousands of people to question so seriously the reliability of sense data, the nature of the self and the ultimate reality of the universe. The welling, oceanic feeling of an acid trip was felt as the presence of a single experience/entity pervading everything, the world and the individual alike, and acidheads described the essence of reality in terms suggesting this lack of individuation or discord: Peace, Love, Oneness, Harmony, Beauty, Bliss, Freedom. Or they might speak more abstractly of a transcendental Consciousness that was as one with Being. The spectrum of philosophical positions ranged from solipsism.

One common development was what might be called gnosticism, because it resembled the strain in Western thought according to which the universe is not the work of a loving Creator but a trap, or at least a mistake, into which our have wandered from the perfect world that is their true home. ... But one strain of Gnosticism associated the perfect world with the mind itself: Gnostic salvation was sometimes called "inheriting the First Mind." In the psychedelic community the experience of seeing everything disappear into a ceaseless froth of change and relativity often led spontaneously to the idea that reality had to be consciousness itself, rather than an object of consciousness. (pages 265-266)

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