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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 Healing Journey: New Approaches to Consciousness.

Naranjo, Claudio. (1973).
New York: Random House.

ISBN: 0-394-48826-1

Description: Hardcover, xx + 235 pages.

Contents: Preface by [Stanislav] Grof, foreword, 5 chapters, index, about the author.

Note: Psychoactive drugs featured in this book are MDA, MDMA, harmaline and ibogaine.

Excerpt(s): Among psychotherapists using LSD and similar drugs, it seems clear that there has been a tendency for some to seek one-sidedly the elicitation of peak experiences and to consider the "bad trip" as an accident that they do not take as a challenge to work through. On the other hand, there are those who are skilled in handling pathological manifestations and conflicts but feel at a loss in the face of blissful episodes that have no place in their conceptual framework.

When it comes to the understanding of drug experience, the attitudes or beliefs about the relationship between psychotherapy and the spiritual quest vary as much as when human experience at large is the issue. The most widespread tendency, through, is to see them as unrelated, either one or the other being all-important. Thus, there are those who stress the "transcendental" side and regard psychotherapy as a rather trivial matter and those who either look on everything "mystical" with suspicion or see it as of cultural interest though irrelevant to the higher goal of healing the mind. Psychotherapists who see the relevance of spiritual disciplines to their field of endeavor (like Fromm, Nicoll) or religious thinkers interested in psychotherapy (like Watts) are a minority, and their number diminishes when we look for those who have definite notions as to how the ideas and procedures of these different domains are related, and not just divided interest.

In my own view, "psychotherapy" (rightly understood) and "mysticism" or "esotericism" (rightly understood) are but different stages in a single process of consciousness expansion, integration, self-realization. The central issues of both are the same, though the phenomena encountered, psychological states dealt with, and techniques appropriate to them may differ. (pages 16-17)

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