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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

Simulations of God: The Science of Belief.

Lilly, John C. (1975).
New York: Simon and Schuster.

ISBN: 0-671-21981-2

Description: Hardcover, 288 pages.

Contents: Note to the reader, prologue, preface, introduction, 23 chapters, epilogue, Appendix 1. Reprints of articles by John C. Lilly, Appendix 2. Poems by John C. Lilly, bibliography, acknowledgements.

Excerpt(s): It is far better to use consistent daily exercises mental, physical and spiritual than it is to use drugs.

I rather resent the fact that when I take a drug, I have signed a contract with a chemical for the specific period of time that it exerts powerful influences upon everything I do, think, feel, or am. Then the effect wears off, leaving me in a state of wonderment that such a small quantum of a substance could so profoundly affect my being. It was after I had experimented with Ketamine that I saw that LSD, Ketamine, and various other chemicals that change one's thinking, feeling, being, and doing are merely small tools in a much larger context. They are not the psychotomimetic or psychosis producing, or horror brainwashing, substances that the public press has taught us to believe they are. They are merely chemical tools useful in the proper context for those who are exploring the human brain and the human mind and the possible parameters and variations of its states of being. (Page 14).

These belief systems are usually iceberg-like: about ninety percent of them lies below our usual levels of perception. In specifically programmed states of consciousness it is possible to become more fully aware of these belief systems and some of their operations. (Page 28).

In this book we are thus examining those simulations, those scenarios, those myths, those models of inner and outer reality which lie at the base of our thinking-feeling-doing. We choose those simulations that classically are considered "the most important" by certain large groups of humans. A great many of the total group of important simulations are "simulations of God." For our purposes these "God" simulations are those simulations that are most important to an individual, a group, a nation, a world. The wellsprings of deep motivations are in the individual, the group, the nation or the world.

Recently, John A. Wheeler, the "black hole" physicist, said, "The most important source of energy is the human being and what he believes. I can't think of anything more important than people's views of how man fits into the scheme of the universe." (Page 29).

On the modern American scene there are literally millions of people who take drugs. Some of the drugs are taken on prescription with Establishment approval; others are taken illegally. In modern times we label as "drugs" many substances which are, more scientifically speaking, "purified chemicals," generally organic meaning: consisting of carbon compounds of one sort or another. There are also the products of the biological activities of other organisms, called "biologicals" (penicillin is one of these). Of the literally thousands of such chemical compounds, only those that in some way change a person's consciousness concerns us here. It is these "drugs" that are of prime importance in the "God as Drugs" belief system.

Concomitant with those drugs that change one's consciousness there is what we call "the program written on the pill" kind of reasoning. If one is given a pill that is said to do something to his body or mind, he then expects the pill to have certain effects. We call these expectations "programs"; if the programs are powerful enough, then we call them "God as Drugs programs." (Page 97)

Very careful research into this question shows that this placing of heroin as God, all-powerful and capable of destroying personalities, is true for only those who believe it to be true. It has been demonstrated again and again that addicts have particular kinds of personalities before they start on heroin, personalities that make them susceptible to practically any kind of addiction. They can become alcoholics, they can become morphine addicts, they can become addicted to gambling, and so on. There is something basically different about these people. For example, in Spanish Harlem in New York City it has been shown that when all the boys of age sixteen mainlined on heroin, only 3 percent of them became addicted. The rest were strong enough to go through withdrawal with no overpowering temptation to use heroin again. However, facts such as this are not popular, and for those whose livelihood depends upon "drug" pushing, the belief system of God as Drugs will not be changed. (Page 98).

However, these are well-established, acceptable, social ways of changing one's consciousness. If one is going to assume the belief in Drugs as God, then he can assume it within the Establishment legally by using these substances. With the drug industry, the alcohol industry, and the tobacco industry, one can become legally addicted and remain so without the problems attendant upon the extra-legal substances. As yet there is no legal psychedelic chemical available on prescription. Until more is known about the psychedelic effects of various substances and until there is more Establishment acceptance of the altered states of consciousness that these substances can induce, it looks as if psychedelics are going to remain a national problem, costing millions of dollars for enforcement of non-realistic paternalistic laws.

In my own particular belief system, it seems to me that the alternative ways of changing one's consciousness which are non-chemical should be taught to our youngsters so that they can master them while they are still young enough to be sufficiently flexible to change their programming. The alternatives to God as Drugs have been around a long time and should be explored in great depth within our culture. With the new imports of teachers from Tibet, from Japan, from China, many of these techniques are entering into our culture. The alternative belief systems of the esoteric schools for obtaining altered states of consciousness are very ancient and well established. Other alternatives are discussed elsewhere in this book. (Page 104).

This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP

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