Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Secularization and Spirituality.
Duquoc, Christian. (Editor). (1969).
New York: Paulist Press.
viii + 179 pages. Series: Concilium: Theology in the Age of Renewal,
Vol. 49, various translators.
Contents: Preface, 13
chapters divided into 3 parts: 1. Articles, 2. Bibliographic Survey,
3. Documentation Concilium, biographical notes.
Note: The chapter " Psychedelic
Drugs and Religious Experiences"
by Dominique Salman is most relevant to readers of this guide
Excerpt(s): Suppose that
the psychedelic experience is deliberately undertaken by a sincerely
religious subject who expressly wants to take it to deepen and
reinforce his religious beliefs and convictions. He undergoes
the experience under the watchful eye of competent psychiatrists.
In this case, the subject's activity would certainly be religious,
and there is no reason why it should not remain religious during
the experiment. This would be all the more true, insofar as he
would be constantly guided by the suggestions of those assisting
him in the experiment. In such a case one cannot question the
religious nature of the experience.
On the other hand, it seems to me that we have every
right to question the spiritual quality of the process
and its results. Under the influence of the drug, the reflections
of the subject certainly become less lucid, and his behavior less
autonomous. Moreover, he places himself in a position of profound
dependence on the people who are guiding and assisting him through
it. How can a person believe in the divine character of an experience
which he himself has initiated, which owes its basic context to
his own prior beliefs and those of his assistants, and which is
convincing only because of the credulity that he himself has set
free? Under such circumstances one can hardly believe that he
is engaged in spiritual progress that is tied up with God's action.
At the most he can believe in the reality of a therapeutic activity
which transforms certain personality structures
and thus facilitates a real religious undertaking. (page 129)
It matters little that these new beliefs may be
"true," or regarded as true by the subject and his assistants.
For it is their quality, not their content, that is the problem
here. A religious man should believe freely, in the light of authentic
religious experiences that he has undergone lucidly and by personal
effort. His religious beliefs should not stem from fixations that
were formed artificially in a delirious state. His good intentions
and motivations are not in question here. It
is the quality of his religious belief that is in question, along
with the personality structure that has produced it. (page 130)
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Compilation copyright © 1995 2001 CSP