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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


Proceedings of Two Conferences on Parapsychology and Pharmacology.

Parapsychology Foundation. (1961).
New York: Parapsychology Foundation.


ISBN: none

Description: hardcover, x + 86 pages.

Contents: Conference on Parapsychology and Psychedelics, preface, introduction, list of participants, summaries of 15 papers. Conference on Parapsychology and Pharmacology, introduction, text of resolutions, list of participants, summaries of 14 papers.

Contributors: Conference on Parapsychology and Psychedelics, Nov. 15 and 16, 1958: Duncan B. Blewett, Martin Ebon, Eugene Exman, Eileen J. Garrett, Abram Hoffer, Francis Huxley, S. David Kahn, Robert W. Laidlaw, Betty H. Nicol, Fraser Nicol, Karlis Osis, Humphry Osmond, Thomas T. Paterson, Ira Progoff, Carlton M. Sherwood, John R. Smythies, Cedric W. M. Wilson, Mrs. Ambrose Worrall. Conference on Parapsychology and Pharmacology, July 6 - 10, 1959. Alain Assailly, Duncan B. Blewett, Roberto Cavanna, Martin Ebon, Eileen J. Garrett, Celia Green, J. L. Halliday, Rosalind Heywood, Abram Hoffer, Francis Huxley, Leon Katz, Fr. Reginald-Omez, Humphry Osmond, Karlis Osis, Thomas T. Paterson, Ernst Rothlin, David Stafford-Clark, Emilio Servadio, J. R. Smythies.

Excerpt(s): The discovery of the psychedelic drugs marks the greatest advance yet made in the field of psychology. During the last 150 years there has been a remarkable acceleration in the rate of advance in the physical sciences and their attending technology. The psychedelics offer the means of a parallel advance or, indeed, revolution in social understanding and human relations.

At present there is a confusion of purpose and of techniques on the part of the experimenters. Some subjects take the drug and become ill, some become psychotic, while others have transcendental reactions. (Duncan B. Blewett, Investigating the Psychedelic Experience, page 8).

We have heard a good deal of personal testimony during this meeting, so that we all know that the experience brings with it a heightening of reality; a higher sense of unity and a more profound sense of being, a sense of order and of beauty.

Thus, ecstatic experiences are achieved, because we have a sense of belonging to that which is. We have a feeling of participation, of being a part of the creativity that is the base of the universe. That experience is in itself valid. It is not unlike a mystical experience I had when I was about seventeen years old. that experience was similar to an experience at the height of taking LSD. (page 10)

Biblical theology, throughout the country, is suspicious of experience. So whether you have the mystical experience, noninduced by the drug, or the experience of spiritual reality induced by the drug, you are open to suspicion. I made that point first.

The second one is that we should not by any means think this is something we can discuss openly and willingly. No, because it will be doing great harm. But isn't it also quite true that you, Dr. Smythies, will have as much difficulty in trying to establish, among the orthodox in philosophy, and physiology that the brain is not the very center of the mind, as we would have in organized religion to try to demonstrate that the experience of religion, the significance of it, is embodied in this experience?

...if there can be a practical exposition of the spiritual experience which we theoretically know into the practically felt and understood, we have, it seems to me, a basis, an empirical basis, on which to go to people who are skeptical.

[NOTE: Later Mr. Exman had the psychedelic experience a second time. While he still believes that what is revealed is of a super-sensible or spiritual nature, he is convinced that it should not be sought after, either to authenticate the religious experience or as a means of spiritual growth.] ([The previous bracketed statement appears in brackets in the original.] Eugene Exman, Individual and Group Experiences, pages 12-13)



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