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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 Other Side: An Account of My Experiences with Psychic Phenomena.

Pike, James A. with Diane Kennedy. (1968).
Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

ISBN: none

Description: hardcover, x + 398 pages.

Contents: foreword, 12 chapters, afterwords, topical bibliography, organizations for research and information.

Excerpt(s): He held up his hands and looked at them "I see myself that way. I feel connected to the ground, yet I can't move. I don't feel small now. And I feel one with everything around. I'm separate, yet I'm one. I'm One, The One, I'm God."

I knew this wasn't megalomania, or even arrogance. This was a reported experience of what millions of perfectly sane, modest Buddhists see as the shape of reality. Not pantheism (with which label we Western religionists have so often mistakenly dubbed and dismissed it), not believing that everything's all one blur or blob. But panentheism: everyone and everything is separate, yet continuous with the grounding of the All which is the One, is God. Already I had raised seriously in my mind, and also in a long footnote in a book which was even then being set in type, whether dualism (tied to the Creature/creature dichotomy matching the matter/energy duality, now gone since all is seen as energy, and the soul/body distinction, now seriously modified by the insights of psychosomatic medicine) or panentheism was the most plausible world view.

And that he wasn't feeling arrogant was clear from the next comment: "Don't you feel it your connectedness with it all that you're God?" (pages 32-33)

I thought of what a distinguished Roman Catholic theologian had said to a friend of mine after an experimental LSD session under the auspices of a leading medical school's Department of Psychiatry: "As a Thomist, I'm a dualist. But I was a Buddhist for those eight hours. Not relating to God, but being God." I recalled the descriptions of Western mystics Meister Eckhart, Lady Juliana of Norwich, St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross reflecting non-dualistic experiences. Hence the Church's perennial nervousness about all this. "Mysticism = misty + schism" was a phrase I remembered from seminary days. (pages 32-33)

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