Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience.
Watts, Alan. (1960).
New York: Pantheon.
Contents: Preface, 6
Excerpt(s): It is important
here, too, to stress the point that ecstasy is only incidental
to the authentic mystical experience, the essence of which might
best be described as insight, as the word is now used in psychiatry.
The present work takes its title from a hitherto
unpublished essay on the experience of "cosmic consciousness,"
including the author's account of his own ventures into this inward
realm. Appearing also for the first time are essays on " Instinct,
Intelligence, and Anxiety," a study of the paradoxes of self-consciousness,
" Spirituality and Sensuality,"
a lively discussion of the false opposition of spirit and matter,
and "The New Alchemy," an especially sane and balanced
account of states of consciousness akin to spiritual experiences
induced by the aid of lysergic acid. The collection also includes
the text of his celebrated pamphlet, " Beat
Zen, Square Zen, and Zen." (jacket)
In our normal experience something of the same kind
takes place in music and the dance, where the point of the action
is each moment of its unfolding and not just the temporal end
of the performance. ...
Such a translation of everyday experience into something
of the same nature as music has been the beginning and the prevailing
undertone of all my experiments. But LSD does not simply suspend
the selective process by cutting it out. It would be more exact
to say that it shows the relativity of our ordinary evaluation
of sense-data by suggesting others. It permits the mind to organize
its sensory impressions in new patterns. (page 135)
It is generally felt that there is a radical incompatibility
between intuition and intellect, poetry and logic, spirituality
and rationality. To me, the most impressive thing about LSD experiences
is that these formally opposed realms seem instead to complement
and fructify one another, suggesting, therefore, a more of life
in which man is no longer an embodied paradox of angel and animal,
of reason fighting instinct, but a marvelous coincidence in whom
Eros and Logos are one. (page 153)
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This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP