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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

If This Be Heresy.

Pike, James A. (1967).
New York: Harper & Row.

ISBN: none

Description: hardcover, xiv + 205 pages.

Contents: 8 chapters, index.

Excerpt(s): Research and discovery in the fields of anthropology and the history of religions have established that connected with most primitive religions has been the use of one or another of the many psychedelic drugs as part of the sacramental rites of the cult. This has been found to be true of various American Indian tribes and of the primitive stages of Oriental religions. Too, there is some reason to think that the oil of anointing and shew bread of primitive Judaism was psychedelic in nature. And now one of the prominent developments of our times has been the discovery (or rediscovery) of a variety of consciousness-expanding drugs and the rapid increase in their use by individuals, alone or in groups, in an explicitly religious context or apart from such. Many persons have been able to describe their “trips” and articulate to a degree the meaning such trips have had for them — whether on LSD, psyilocybin, a species of Mexican mushroom, mescaline, peyote, romilar, marijuana, or hashish.

... It is unfortunate that the recent widespread scare about the use of psychedelic drugs, especially LSD (a scare which is by no means entirely paranoid, since it is increasingly evident that the unsupervised use of such drugs involves a number of explicit dangers which are increasingly definable and understandable), while apparently not reducing the consumption of such drugs in an undisciplined and unprofessional way, has nevertheless considerably restricted the scientific exploration. It is to be hoped — even assumed — that in due time the latter will pick up again, and indeed be increased in breadth and scope. (pages 128-130)

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