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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

Varieties of Psychedelic Experience.

Masters, R. E. L., and Houston, Jean. (1966).
New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

ISBN: None

Description: First edition hardback, viii + 326 pages.

Contents: 9 chapters, epilogue, notes.

Excerpt(s): S, at one year after his session , continued to regard himself as "transformed" and to behave as he feels he could only behave as a consequence of an authentic transformation. These two criteria: subjective certainty that a transformation has occurred, and behavioral changes of a positive character supporting the certainty of transformation, seem to us to be sufficient evidence that the person has in fact been transformed. This does not mean that all questions are thereby answered.

We have said that this is an authentic religious experience. By that we can only mean that it is authentic in terms of such criteria as we are able to devise for measuring whether such an experience is or is not authentic. Someone else may say that "God can't be found in a bottle" and go on from there to say that one cannot have a religious experience without God. Ergo, whatever else may be involved in this case, it is not a religious experience. Definition then excludes the possibility that we are correct and the discussion ends there. However, anyone arguing in this way must also, we think, rule out most of the "religious experiences" of many famous mystics and saints, since these persons, too, induced in themselves physiological changes instrumental in bringing about confrontation with God and mystical union. Drugs are quicker, but the principle would seem to be the same. (page 299)

That the "entelechical" process so often moves toward confrontation with the most potent and beneficent of all man's symbols-God-scarcely should surprise us. Neither should we be surprised when we know how often the movement is just toward this "Symbol," that the God is potent and that the confrontation with God, the authentic religious experience, does have the power to transform. (page 301)

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

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