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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

The Master Game:

Pathways to Higher Consciousness Beyond the Drug Experience.

de Ropp, Robert S. (1968).
New York: Delacorte Press.

ISBN: None

Description: First edition, 252 pages, a Seymour Lawrence Book.

Contents: 10 chapters, notes and bibliography (106 entries, some annotated), 4 appendices: A. Physical Awareness and Exercise, B. Autogenic Training, C. Prayer of the Heart, D. Building the Spiritual Edifice, index.

Note: Several paperback editions exist.

Excerpt(s): This book is concerned with games and aims. It has been stated by Thomas Szasz that what people really need and demand from life is not wealth, comfort or esteem but games worth playing. He who cannot find a game worth playing is apt to fall prey to accidie, defined by the Fathers of the Church as one of the Deadly Sins , but now regarded as a symptom of sickness. Accidie is a paralysis of the will, a failure of the appetite, a condition of generalized boredom, total disenchantment ... (page 11)

TABLE I (page 13)
Meta-games and Object Games
Master Gameawakening
Religion Gamesalvation
Science Gameknowledge
Art Gamebeauty
Householder Game raise family
No Gameno aim
Hog in Troughwealth
Cock on Dunghillfame
Moloch Gameglory or victory

What games did these mystics play? Within the matrix imposed by their religion, these players were attempting the most difficult game of all, the Master Game, the aim of which is the attainment of full consciousness or real awakening. It was natural for these players to play their game within a religious matrix. The basic idea underlying all the great religions is that man is asleep, that he lives amid dreams and delusions, that he cuts himself off from the universal consciousness (the only meaningful definition of God) to crawl into the narrow shell of a personal ego. To emerge from this narrow shell, to regain union with the universal consciousness, to pass from the darkness of the ego-centered illusion into the light of non-ego, this was the real aim of the Religion Game as defined by the great teachers, Jesus, Gautama, Krishna, Mahavira, Lao-tze and the Platonic Socrates. (page 19)

When this writer states that the taking of psychedelics is not a lawful way to play the Master Game, he speaks from his personal experience. He does not expect anyone to believe him without personally testing the correctness of the statement. An enlightened legislature would make such testing possible for people who feel this need to know more about their inner world. Instead of enacting blanket prohibition s, they would provide proper facilities under which the psychedelic experience could be studied by any who wished to find out what it had to offer in the way of insights and illuminations. Such enlightened legislation would avoid the pitfall of making psychedelics more attractive to the rebellious by endowing them with the aura of the forbidden. It would prevent a lot of dangerous experimentation with inferior black-market materials, taken without proper supervision and under wrong conditions. It would be in keeping with those guarantees of freedom of religion which figure prominently in the Constitution, for it is clear that devotees of the psychedelic cult regard the drugs as pathways to religious experience. Even the poor persecuted American Indian has been allowed by the all-powerful whites to use peyote for religious purposes. If the Indian is allowed to use peyote, why forbid the non-Indian to use LSD or hashish?

None of which alters the fact that the Master Game, which involves the awakening of the powers latent in man, can no more be played by swallowing a pill than can a difficult mountain peak be ascended by sitting in an armchair drinking beer and indulging in daydreams. If the spiritual heights could be ascended by taking psychedelics, then both the Sufis of Islam and the yogis of India would long ago have discovered the fact, for the subtlest and most `spiritual' of all psychedelics (hashish) has been available in the East for centuries. (pages 23-24)

Compilation copyright © 1995 – 2001 CSP

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