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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

The Seeker's Handbook: The Complete Guide to Spiritual Awakening.

Lash, John. (1990).
New York: Harmony Books.

ISBN: 0-5127-57797-6

Description: Hardback, 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.

PSYCHEDELIC EXPERIENCE 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)

Compilation copyright © 1995 – 2001 CSP

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