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.
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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