Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Masters, R. E. L., and Houston, Jean. (1968).
New York: Grove Press.
Description: First edition,
190 + i pages. Edited, designed, and produced by Marshall Lee,
a Balance House book.
Contents: List of 30
color plates and 110 illustrations, 4 chapters including ones
by Barry N. Krippner,
was exclusive; psychedelic art is inclusive; it does not withdraw
from the external world but rather affirms the value of inwardness
as complementary awareness. The aim of psychedelic experience
is to expand the consciousness so that it can be a consciousness
of more. Unlike surrealism, psychedelic art makes a basic
tenet of spiritual harmony with the universe. Psychedelic art
is not antagonistic to the religious art of the past and does
not find its affinities with daemonic and heretical art as such.
It is more mature than surrealism in declining to equate the beautiful
with the bizarre. It has no fascination with madness or the hallucinations
of madness. It seeks out the images and other phenomena to be
found in the depths of the normal expanded mind. It shares with
surrealism, and much other art, the intent to shock the viewer
into a transformed awareness.
Where surrealism is magical, psychedelic art would
be scientific in its approach to "mind." It also would
be religious and mystical and finds no incongruity between being
all these things; in fact, it might be called a scientific-religious
or mystical-scientific art. In some ways more naive than surrealism,
psychedelic art has yet to work its way through a kind of childish
wonder at the realities uncovered in the altered states. Particularly,
psychedelic art tends to be naive in its metaphysical outlook
and in its religious and mystical awareness. These are generally
shallow and rather primitive. Barry Schwartz calls psychedelic
art "the surrealism of the technological age." This
is true if we understand that psychedelics, with technology, have
worked a transvaluation of many of surrealism's concerns. (page
The hunger for some kind of religious or transcendental
experience is genuine. Especially so in America and some other
countries where, for the first time in history, many millions
of people no longer have a primary economic concern. Among some
of these people, a religious man is replacing the old economic
man. At the same time, the traditional religions are felt by more
and more people to be inadequate. They do not, for one thing,
provide means for personal growth; and the ritual
content of much psychedelic experience suggests that this is one
critical area of failure. These facts explain some of the appeal
of psychedelics and also the current embracing of superficial
but new and sensational religions with their false gods and prophets.
Much psychedelic art is presently limited by some
degree of adherence to these pseudo-theologies and neo-primitive
concepts. There is no reason why it must remain so. When circumstances
are more favorable, a profoundly spiritual art should be able
to emerge. (pages 100-101)
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