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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


LSD - A Total Study.

Sankar, D. V. Siva. (1975).
Westbury, NY: PJD Publications.


ISBN: 0-9600290-3-6

Description: hardcover, 960 pages.

Contents: prologue, historical perspectives, 34 unnumbered chapters divided into 11 unnumbered parts: 1, Molecular Investigations, 2. LSD- Past Imperfect, Future Indefinite, 3. Psychological Investigations, 4. Neurological and Physiological Investigations, 5. Genetic Investigations, 6. Biochemical Investigations, 7. Pharmacological Investigations, 8. Psychiatric Investigations, 9. Patterns of Non-medical Use, Sociodynamic Investigations, 10. Religion, Law and Public Education, 11. Drugs of Past and Future; appendices, author index, subject index.

Contributors: Collaborating authors: Harold Abramson, Ronald Bradley, Steven Eagle, Roland Fisher, Leonide Goldstein, Jack Peter Green, Albert Hofmann, Carl Johnson, Sungzong Kang, John R. Smythies, Peter N. Witt.

Excerpt(s): Religion has two fundamentally different, but functionally fused sides. One concerns the moral, ethical and "heavenly" aspects of human life. The classical disciples of religion, not necessarily philosophers, have experienced fusion with the state. Apparently in this state of "samadhi", body boundaries are lost, a state of perpetual <"nirvana"> is achieved. The oneness of the universe, the omnipotence of the Almighty are all felt by the yogi who thus becomes a part of this vast uniqueness which has no beginning, no middle part and no end. ... The other aspect of religion is one of a sociological utilitarianism modified by service to the society, prayer for the soul through the body, and by furnishing the starved with dry milk powder and the sick with tincture of iodine. Modern religion quite often is more entangled with the second part than the first part. Without trying to judge which is more important, it may be pointed out that the effects of LSD have been claimed to depersonalize one and supposedly make him realize (to diverse extents) what it is to be a part of that immense unique vastness without a proper materialistic three-dimensional concreteness. (pages 783-784)

Quite probably, the basic tenets of yoga and samadhi and nirvana had great appeal to the Western person whose religion is more concerned with the social welfare of parishioners. LSD is apparently one possible, though a frighteningly elusive road to the recognition of oneness with the (page 785)

However, what Leary and other similar people forgot is the incompatibility between a materialistic culture based on achievement and an escapist culture based on discarding worldly wealth. Whether anybody could make a happy marriage between the two and live the life of a drop of water shining like a diamond in the morning sun on the lotus leaf in unabused natural environment, is still to be seen. The present author feels that dependence on external drugs is certainly not the correct to achieve the state of pearly wisdom. The strength must come from within. The use of the drug is part of the heathenistic culture incompatible with the beauty of the inner soul. (pages 785-786)

The capacity for mystical experience could be something inborn which could be released rather than generated by LSD. Similarly, marijuana, considered by some to be non-addicting and non-habit forming, could also give rise to a questionable release of the inner mystic qualities. (page 789)

Superimposed on our mortal limitations is a strong teaching that self is God eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient. Drugs have aided mankind in not only healing the body, but perhaps disturbing the mind. The recent reports of exorcisms point out the basic inability of man to deal with what he may consider his supernatural. Sickness, life, birth and death all demonstrate to us the imprisonment of our "supernatural part" in our mortal body. Drugs, by taking the boundaries of the mortal body away, liberate the sense of the supernatural. (page 792)

Sato pointed out correctly that Zen and the use of psychedelic drugs are essentially different in purpose. Drugs induce a vision or experience in a person that may not be ready to receive them; whereas Zen is fundamentally concerned with the person who is the subject of visions. Zen, Hinduism, and other religions which have stressed the person, are concerned with passing beyond the barriers of fundamental questions, leading to the development of a higher mental state. Persons like Huxley have achieved this mental state. The effects of LSD in the bodies and minds of such people are quite different from the effects of psychedelic drugs on the body and mind not trained, qualified or ready to receive them. This is perhaps where the dichotomy between the mystical effects of LSD transcending ego barriers may lead to creativity in a Huxley or to a potentuous suicide or homicide in an ignoramus, or a "drop out". (page 792)



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