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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

Thanatos to Eros: Thirty-five Years of Psychedelic Exploration.

Stolaroff, Myron J. (1994).
Berlin: Verlag fur Wissenschaft und Bildung.

ISBN: 3-86135-453-5

Description: Hardcover, 192 pages.

Contents: Foreword by Alexander T. Shulgin, preface, acknowledgments, introduction, 15 chapters, 4 appendices: A. Foundation [ International Foundation for Advanced Study] Papers, B. Degree of Intensity Scale, C. Procedure, D. The Nature of the Self.

Excerpt(s): My major vocational accomplishment was growing up with Ampex Corporation. Ampex started as a very small, obscure firm manufacturing electric motors and grew into a world lead er in the field of magnetic recording. I progressed from design engineer of magnetic recording components to production engineer to application engineer to Director of Instrumentation Sales to Assistant to the President for Long Range Planning.

It was in the last position that I had my first encounter with LSD. At the time I was familiar with the frontiers of many technological fields of knowledge, for we were designing special magnetic recording equipment to aid research in most of these fields: telemetering essential information from missiles and aircraft that would aid in making design decisions, automotive engineering, geophysical exploration, recording the output of various sensing devices in laboratories, computers, and finally developing the world's first successful video tape recorder. I felt abreast of most scientific developments. Yet after my first LSD experience, I stated with confidence about LSD: "This is the greatest discovery that man has ever made." While I have learned a great deal in the ensuing years about the proper use and misuse of this substance, nothing has ever brought into question the accuracy of this evaluation. (page 18)

And the revelations also included profound realizations that God is absolutely real, and that there is only One Person, of which we are all a part. I held LSD to be the most important discovery man has ever made, and would devote my life to learning more about it and how to use it effectively, not only for myself but for others. ... I grew confident in my understanding of how to work with this substance, and verified that LSD was not a psychotomimetic as the medical profession claimed. I also understood why they made the claim. I see two major factors. If one has no understanding of the vast dimensions of the mind beyond ordinary experience (such as extra-sensory perception) or the spiritual basis of reality, one might feel that experiencing such actualities is insanity. (pages 24- 25)

A key experience came for me in 1959, when I took a much larger dose than usual, 150 micrograms, Al [ Hubbard] deeming that I was ready for it. The outstanding event of this experience was a dynamic breakthrough in which I was shown that Jesus was God, and that I was God! With this realization I broke down completely and sobbed and sobbed without letup for fifteen minutes. Later I sat down to play the piano, and played as I have never played before. I felt that I was playing the music as the composer realized it, and able to express the marvelous depth of feeling the composer was portraying. This experience led to a quantum-step improvement in my ability to play the piano, which remained with me from that time on. (page 27)

One cannot help but ponder the strange dichotomy that the nation based on establishing individual freedom has now outlawed every substance which might aid in the exploration of that last and most important frontier, the human mind. Alexander Shulgin, world-renowned chemist in the field of psychoactive drugs, is quoted in a recent periodical: "Our generation is the first ever to have made the search for self-awareness a crime." (page 37)

For those who have been privileged to enter the sacred regions and appreciate the vast array of learning at our disposal, the psychedelics are priceless substances. But one stands out as especially unique, with outstanding characteristics exclusively its own. This is MDMA, code name for 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine. The most fitting description that I can give it is that it is an outstanding Grace. ... After a number of trials of MDMA with other people, it became apparent that this was the best substance with which to introduce people to psychoactive drugs. With other substances, we had always used great care to make sure that the subject was ready for an experience that would greatly alter his perceptions, understanding, and perhaps his view of himself and his behavior. MDMA is so generally euphoric and non-threatening that a much wider range of subjects can benefit from the experience without discomfort. (pages 41- 42)

If one's psyche is relatively clear, the descent is quite euphoric, and the remainder of the day is spent in a very satisfying state of contentment.

However, if there is unresolved material in the unconscious that did not get dealt with completely, the drop in the action of the drug seems quite sudden, and one is left physically uncomfortable and somewhat unsettled.

To counteract this we thought, why not supplement with another, more powerful substance? This turned out to be a splendid idea. ...

This worked very effectively. In fact, everyone invariably reported that their experience with the psychedelic supplement was better than using that particular substance alone. MDMA is an empowering launching pad. (page 43)

She had a remarkable breakthrough. She was positive that she was going to die, so she decided to let herself die. She melted into the ground, and then appeared before a profound, brilliant light, the throne of God. She knew that she was with God, and that she was God. She was in ecstasy, and began to sing. She turned into a delightful little girl, utterly alive, bright, full of joy and wisdom. She was so beautiful, inside and out, that she was a joy to witness. She felt her channel was wide open directly to the Source and was extremely insightful about whatever took our attention. (page 47)

As I review my own use of the sacraments, I am aware that much of my life has been a struggle to become free of ponderous weights that seem to drag like heavy anchors. But as the anchors were recognized and cut free, and more importantly, as I recognized and accepted the forces in the universe that are there to pick up the weights and cut the entangling ropes, I was able to achieve greater freedom and joy. (page 180)

I can see that when immersed in the celestial light, life is completely transformed. As Brother Lawrence describes in The Practice of the Presence of God, the most menial task can be irradiated with this heavenly light that it is our privilege to emit. The most irksome task can be an act of worship and celebration. (page 181)

When I am whole, there is no distinction between God and myself. Such concepts disappear, and life flows with an indescribable, spontaneous grace. But in my present state many things pull me down, and I cannot maintain such a state of wholeness. When I relapse, the most effective means I have found to establish my true self is my understanding of being a partner with God, and of how this partnership works. This is a partnership, as I understand it, that every being must work out for him/herself. Full partnership requires a comprehensive understanding of the remarkable role that we have been created to fill, and how unstintingly our loving endeavors are supported. Short of full union with God, it is in this partnership that life reaches its most glorious, sublime, exciting, purely joyous heights.

It is my earnest hope that these pages have revealed enough information to inspire others to start or deepen their commitment to the path of true fulfillment. (pages 182-183)

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

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