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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

Religious Experience: Its Nature and Function in the Human Psyche.

Clark, Walter Houston; Malony, H. Newton; Tippett, Alan R. (1973).
Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

ISBN: 0-398-02550-9

Description: First edition, xii + 151 pages.

Contents: Foreword by Lee Edward Travis, preface by H. Newton Malony, 7 chapters, appendix: Questions and Answers to Lectures, index.

Note: The first John G. Finch Symposium of Psychology and Religion.

Excerpt(s): The thrust of Doctor Clark's position is that man has the capacity for religious experience within himself. His approach is in the classical tradition of William James, which sees the roots of religion not in its secondary growth of church, belief, or ethics, but in religious experience. ... The book shows that properly directed, profound religious experiences are potent sources of personality change. ... This is a theory long neglected by psychologists and too often by the churches. The most controversial aspect of the lectures is Doctor Clark's affirmation of the value of induced religious experience through the use of drugs. (dust jacket)

In the early years of the 1960's, certain religious scholars began to be aware of a superlative instrument for the study of religious experience. This was the psychedelic or "mind-revealing" drugs. They are mind revealing in the sense that people who ingest them nearly always become aware of capacities they did not know they possessed, the most surprising being their mystical potentialities. I have written about this subject in my Chemical Ecstasy (1969). Some self-styled experts have labeled the religious effects of the drugs illusory, a kind of religious fake. I have carefully and critically studied the subject for 10 years through firsthand investigation and self-experimentation and have come to the conclusion that if this a fake religion, then the fake is frequently better than the real thing. There are many well-attested cases on record of dramatic, lasting conversions and religious growth of a profound nature following use of LSD-type drugs. (page 17)

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