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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 Tantric Mysticism of Tibet .

Blofeld, John. (1987).
Boston: Shambhala.

ISBN: 0-87773-421-6

Description: Paperback, Dragon Editions, 257 pages.

Contents: Foreword, illustrations, 9 chapters divided into 2 parts: 1. Background and Theory, 2. Practice, glossary, list of useful books containing material on Tantric Buddhism.

Note: Originally published in 1970 by Dutton: New York.

Excerpt(s): This aspect of Tantric Buddhism has led to the great error of confounding it with libertinism. Though all things are employed as a means, they must be rightly used and their right use is far removed from sensual gratification. The possible use of drugs such as mescaline which produce psychedelic effects provides a good example. Suppose a medieval traveller has been about to undertake an arduous journey through burning deserts and icy mountains in search of some fabled city, and someone had shown him an authentic picture of the place; his will to endure the terrible hardships involved would have been enormously strengthened. At least he would have been freed from gnawing doubts as to whether the city really existed. Similarly, mescaline does in many cases imbue the users with an absolute conviction of the existence of a spiritual goal of the kind postulated by mystics. Therefore, using it once or twice, with proper preparation and under suitable conditions, might benefit newcomers to the path; on the other hand, its continued use would be disastrous-bliss so easily attainable would be likely to reconcile them to life as it is and induce them to be content with drug-induced experiences instead of actually treading the path. Fingering the picture of a city is no substitute for going to live there. If the path were abandoned, the effort to negate the ego would be abandoned with it and unutterable loss sustained.

[footnote] During my one experience with such a drug, I was plunged into a state of ecstasy in which dawned full awareness of three truths I had long accepted intellectually but never experienced as being self-evident; now, all of a sudden, they became as tangible as the heat of a raging fire. There was awareness of undifferentiated unity embracing perfect identification of subject and object; logic was transcended and I beheld a whirling mass of brilliant colours and forms which, being several, differed from one another and yet were altogether the same at the moment of being different! The concept `I' had ceased to be; I was at once the audience, the actors and the play! Secondly, I recognized the unutterable bliss I was experiencing as the only real state of being, all others amounting to no more than passing dreams. Thirdly came awareness of all that is implied by the Buddhist doctrine of `dharmas,' namely the doctrine that all objects of perception are alike devoid of own-being, mere transitory combinations of an infinite number of impulses. I experienced the rising of each impulse and the thrill of culmination with which it ceased to be, waves mounting and dissolving in a sea of bliss. That experience, which, since it was almost too intense for flesh and blood to bear, I have no desire to repeat, gave me an incomparable insight into the true meaning of what I had learned from my Lamas. Undoubtedly I benefitted as the traveller in my analogy would have benefitted from the picture of the city, but I am no nearer Liberation than before; therein lies the limitation of the drug-induced experience. (pages 33-34)

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

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