Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The Seeker's Handbook: The Complete Guide to Spiritual Awakening.
Lash, John. (1990).
New York: Harmony Books.
xx + 442 pages.
Contents: Preamble, Part
1: The Classics and Basics, 4 chapters; Part 2: The Essays, 31
chapters; Part 3: The Lexicon, afterword, great promise, index.
Note: The book is heavily
cross-referenced in a manner similar to hypertext on a computer.
Excerpt(s): While The
Seeker's Handbook will serve as a reference manual, providing
ready access to information on all aspects of the new spirituality
(and a fair share of the old!), its larger purpose is to foster
comprehension and grounding. To this end, it can be read by meandering
through the pages, slowly and searchingly, sometimes following
the crossweave that has been carefully inscribed into the contents,
sometimes wandering off to make your own tracks.
As a short browse through its pages will show, the
Handbook covers an enormous territory of themes, principles,
systems, practices, movements, scenarios, studies, case histories,
methodologies, originating impulses, technicalities, idioms, and
leading characters (both human and divine). (page xvii)
LSD-25 D-lysergic acid
diethylamide tartrate, a synthetic chemical produced from the
extract of ergot (fermented rye), said to have been accidentally
discovered by Swiss chemist Albert [ Hofmann]
in April 1943; later to become a cause of much delight and confusion
among God-seekers and thrill-seekers of the 1960s. See Psychedelic
Experience. (page 312)
PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS Mescaline,
psilocybin, peyote, LSD. Used to expand consciousness and produce
sensory enhancement; catalysts of chemical ecstasy; sacramental
tools for accessing the otherworld. Previously used worldwide
in their natural form for sacred rites such as the Dionysian orgies;
recently used in synthetic form on a mass scale-a situation that
supports the definition of Kali Yuga as the time in human religious
experience when all the sacraments become profaned.
In the 1960s, the experience of taking LSD as an experiment in
self-initiation and a conscious act of revolution, using the chemical
aid to break away from the consensus-reality and enter a world
of expanded horizons and mystical beauty where all things become
possible. In some cases, treated as an analogy to the death experience;
in others, as a "magical tour" (Beatles, 1967) into
euphoria and childlike wonder. Characterized by seeing atmospheric
wave-patterns ("paisley"), radiant colors, or actual
hallucinations; also by hearing one's thoughts audibly, by detecting
low-frequency "whispers," or plunging into the "sounds
of silence" ( Garfunkel,
1965)-all due to the chemical alteration of the normal boundaries
of audio-visual perception. Possibly, a result of gaining direct
access to the genetic code through biochemical alterations produced
by the drug. (page 349)
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Compilation copyright © 1995 2001 CSP