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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

This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience.

Watts, Alan. (1960).
New York: Pantheon.

ISBN: None

Description: Hardcover, 158 pages.

Contents: Preface, 6 essays, bibliography.

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. (page 129)

The present work takes its title from a hitherto unpublished essay on the experience of "cosmic consciousness," including the author's account of his own ventures into this inward realm.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)

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

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