Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The Inner Eye: Mysticism and Religion.
Johnston, William. (1978).
Contents: Preface, 20
chapters divided into 4 parts: 1. Mysticism, 2.
Journey, 4. Mystical Action, books and articles
quoted in the text, index.
Note: While this excerpt
has only a passing reference to psychedelics, it portrays an area
which religion and psychology share-exploring the human mind to
its greatest, religious depths. Many contemporary psychologists
would say that Johnston is in error when he accepts the psychodynamic
assumption, "In our waking states ordinarily it is the higher
voices that dominate and lead, ..." They claim that the highest
voices are best heard in some altered states, specifically those
produced by entheogens.
Excerpt(s): In order
to understand the nature of mystical knowledge it is helpful to
reflect on the human psyche as seen by some modern psychologists.
With them we can picture the mind as a huge iceberg of which only
the tip rises above the water, while underneath lies a whole world
of wonder and terror, of light and darkness, of good and of evil.
Or we can see the psyche as composed of many layers of consciousness,
one superimposed upon the other. Or we can reflect on the mind
as a huge polyphony in which there are higher and lower voices.
In our waking states ordinarily it is the higher voices that dominate
and lead; but our conduct is all the time influenced by the lower
voices too. In this way of thinking the word unconscious is, strictly
speaking, a misnomer; nothing is unconscious in the psyche.
Whatever way we envisage it, the microcosm or inner
universe is investigated by psychologists and explorers in consciousness
and from D. H. Leary.
What precisely it contains we do not yet know but one thing is
clear; the deep forces of the so-called unconscious are profoundly
stirred by love. Love of man for woman or of woman for man, love
of mother for child or of child for mother-this is the power that
moves the inner universe and stirs mysterious, unknown, uncontrollable
forces within us.
But there is a human question which psychology never
asks and which leads people to religion; namely, what is at the
deepest realm of the psyche? What is the basis or centre or root
of it all? Put in Jungian terms I might ask: When I go beyond
the ego, beyond the personal unconscious, beyond the collective
unconscious, beyond the archetypes, what do I find? And in answer
to this all the great religions speak of a mystery which they
all call various names; the Buddha nature, Brahman and Atman,
the divine spark, the ground of being, the centre of the soul,
the kingdom of God, the image of God and so on. They use different
terms; but all, I believe, are pointing towards a single reality.
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