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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 Natural Depth in Man.

Van Dusen, Wilson. (1972).
New York: Harper & Row.

ISBN: 06-068854-8

Description: Hardcover, viii + 197 pages.

Contents: 12 chapters, appendix: The Life of Emanuel Swedenborg, references.

Excerpt(s): The next level of enlightenment is ushered in by an even greater degree of loss of ego-awareness. The ordinary individual who stumbles into this realm may well find himself terrified. He may feel like he is dying or completely losing his mind. The result is a horrible, half-born satori. I prefer the Japanese term satori to the more Western enlightenment. Enlightenment we apply to anything a little better than the average; a cigarette ad can be enlightened. Satori is an uncommon but normal experience. Awareness of one's self as an individual temporarily disappears and there follows a spontaneous blossoming of awareness of the real nature of creation. The gate to satori is through the death of self ( John 3:3). (page 160)

We stumbled into a whole new area of human experience. Selfhood was palpably an obstacle to the mystical experience. Some foundered on this border to enlightenment, producing a terrifying experience later described by illegal drug users as a "bad trip." It was critical that the guide spot the hang-up and be able to guide the individual around it. Examples will illustrate this.

Under LSD one woman was feeling everything move. Inwardly she hung on with fear and began to feel sick. She was encouraged to go with the movement. In moments she broke into a world of beautiful religious images. Another man was on the edge of losing personal identity. With a worried look he said over and over, "Who is so-and-so?"-his own name. It wasn't until the issue of name\identity became inconsequential that he got beyond this. Another young woman fought the gradual loss of identity. She felt she was undergoing slow surgery that was cutting off pieces of herself. In the final cutting apart of her heart she died and suddenly awoke joyfully to the One life. (page 162)

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