Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Open Mind, Discriminating Mind: Reflections on Human Possibilities.
Tart, Charles T. (1989).
San Francisco: Harper & Row.
Description: First edition,
xx + 391 pages.
- ISBN: 0-06-250855-5 hardcover
- 0-06-250894-6 paperback
prologue, 29 chapters divided into 6 parts: 1. Dreams, 2. Psychic
Phenomena, 3. Psychological Growth,
4. Spiritual Growth, 5. Meditation, 6.
Death, epilogue, acknowledgments, notes, index.
Excerpt(s): This book
looks at waking and dreams, living in clarity and living in illusion,
firewalking, delusions about the psychic, mystical experiences,
psychic healing, dream yoga, defenses against reality, bodily
intelligence, prayer, altered states of consciousness, and many
other "strange" ad yet familiar experiences. When you
disagree and react strongly I encourage you to open your mind
to understanding why you disagree. You may still disagree
with me but you will have learned more about yourself. When you
agree completely I encourage you to open and examine your mind
even more strongly. The beliefs we do not examine can be far more
dangerous to us than the ones we reject. (Introduction, page xv)
J.T.: [Judy Tart]
Do you see any use for psychedelics or any other type of drugs
on the spiritual path? Or, conversely, do you find that the effects
that they have actually hold you back from where you want to go?
S.Y.: [Shinzen Young]
Answering this question is a good way for me to lose friends!
But I do have some ideas on the subject. I abused mind-altering
substances for over a decade, so I do speak from some experience.
In point of fact, I probably never would have gotten involved
in meditation if I hadn't smoked marijuana. It got me interested
in the possibilities of other states of consciousness.
I used to do a lot of meditation while I was stoned
on marijuana and other substances. What I found was that, yes,
I could learn things. But the price was that I developed a compulsion
around the use of the substances. Any compulsiveness is antithetical
to the ultimate goals of spiritual practice. That truth is particularly
emphasized in the Buddhist tradition, but is also acknowledged
in other traditions.
... When I would meditate using substances the meditation
would get real interesting. I'd have a lot of energy to do it.
I could look at very fine, microscopic levels of consciousness,
pick up stuff that was harder to pick up on when I wasn't stoned.
By and large most drugs tend to magnify consciousness, at least
most of the ones I would likely use-marijuana or psychedelics.
But anything that I saw when I was stoned I could
see at other times, only maybe I'd have to wait six months or
a few years for my awareness to be that way in an unstoned state.
And maybe I'd have to work harder to raise the motivation to practice,
because there wasn't that immediate sort of interest that the
drugs generate. So drugs would give a boost to the practice. But
there was an unacknowledged drivenness around their use and the
name of the game in mediation is to reduce drivenness. (Chapter
26, Meditation and
Psychology: A Dialogue, pages 306-307)
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Compilation copyright © 1995 2001 CSP