Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The New Religious Consciousness.
Glock, Charles Y., and Bellah, Robert N. (Editors). (1976).
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Description: xviii +
Contents: Foreword by
P. J. Philip, preface, 16 chapters in 7 parts:
1. New Religious
Movements in the New
Quasi-religious Movements, 3. New
Religious Movements in the Western Tradition, 4. The Response
of the Established Religions, 5. The Historical
Perspective, 7. Conclusions, about the contributors, index.
H. Alfred, Robert N. Bellah, Charles Y. Glock, Barbara
Stone, Jim Wolfe,
Excerpt(s): This suggests
that the rejection of the material benefits of American
affluence was only a surface indication of a more deeply rooted,
less tangible form of rebellion. The comfortable affluence of
the life of the American dream seemed, for many youths ,
to lack a sense of ordeal, of challenge or hardship. Designated
life plans (such as college, graduate schools , and
professional employment) were merely carefully prescribed expressions
of parental ideals. ...
The ordeals of politically oriented
youth over the 1960s are well documented: this decade saw several
variations on this theme, from the migration of northern white
youth to rural southern poverty regions in the early 1960s to
the jailings, police-riot beatings, and chemical warfare
subsequently suffered by student dissidents. A
different version of the same theme is offered by the segment
of youths oriented toward drug use; these persons explored hazardous
psychological territory while living in cold-water poverty in
San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury or New York's Lower
The strict adherence to a religious discipline can
be comprehended as another decisive example of a selected ordeal.
... How did this transformation of the ego occur? The accounts
of the devotees [to the Hare Krishna movement] suggest that the
answers to this question lay in their experiences with hallucinogenic
drugs prior to conversion. ...
When I asked Tamal how many of the other
devotees had used hallucinogenic drugs prior to conversion, he
replied: Almost all of us, I suppose ... maybe 95 percent or more
Although drugs were strictly forbidden in devotional
service, many devotees freely discussed their past drug experiences.
Several described drugs as a necessary but insufficient precondition
to achieving a psychological state permanently sustained by the
bhakti yoga discipline (its chanting and food especially). "It
opened the door, but Krishna let me step through," said one
devotee. "It freed my mind, it washed out the old structures,"
claimed another. Rather than the pleasurable or sensual aspects
of drug use, the devotees stressed the use of psychedelics as
a means to internal discovery. The sense of ordeal so prevalent
in the discipline of devotion to Krishna seemed also essential
to drug-induced enlightenment. (Gregory Johnson, "The Hare
Krishna in San Francisco," pages 40-41)
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