Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
LSD: Still With Us After All These Years.
Henderson, Leigh A., and Glass, William J. (Editors). (1994).
New York: Lexington-Macmillan.
Description: Hard cover, first edition, viii + 163 pages.
Contents: introduction, 7 chapters, appendix: Major Data Sources, notes,
Contributors: Michael Agar, Cynthia Favret, William J. Glass, Leigh A.
Henderson, James MacDonald.
Note: To readers of this guide, this book's most remarkable feature may be
its authors' outstanding ignorance of the entheogenic effects of LSD.
Excerpt(s): LSD exerts a fascination like no other drug. Although experience
with it goes back fifty years, it remains one of the most poorly understood
illicit drugs. ... The emotional response can be one of euphoria and contentment or,
less often, confusion, fear, anxiety, and despair. Some users believe they
achieve profound new insights into themselves, or even into the nature of God or the
The appeal of drugs that tranquilize or sedate, such as narcotics and
barbiturates, can be easily understood. We have all experienced times when we
would like to close ourselves off, to make the world go away, or to relieve
pain. Similarly, the appeal of drugs that keep us awake, dull our appetites, and
seem to let us do more than we thought possible -- drugs like cocaine,
amphetamines, and even caffein -- is also comprehensible.
The appeal of LSD, however, remains elusive. Our five senses are the
tools we use to interpret the world. LSD alters the way these senses,
particularly sight and hearing, function. Thus, like the sensation of an earthquake, LSD
undermines the stability of the world as we know it. In the most literal
sense, if you cannot believe your eyes, what can you believe? A receptive user may
welcome these novel perceptions and become more aware of how the senses
function and their interrelationships. To others who try LSD, however, these
alterations of the senses can become profoundly disturbing. And to a large
public, reasons for desiring such sensations are simply incomprehensible.
Danger is a positive part of tripping because it animates what would
otherwise be simply a series of interesting illusions. Danger changes an
amusing visual show into the adventure that the adolescents seemed to crave. Again
and again the adolescents spoke of exploring and journeying while on a trip, and
they spoke of LSD adding mystery and giving epic proportions to an
experience. On LSD, wandering through the neighborhood park can be a dramatic voyage.
By repeatedly emphasizing the dangers of the drug, those in authority make
it seem more·rather than less·attractive to youths considering use. (page 29)
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