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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

WHEE! We, wee All the Way Home: A Guide to the New Sensual Spirituality.

Fox, Matthew. (1976).
Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Co.

ISBN: 0-8434-0606-2 hardcover

Description: Hardcover, [x] + xiv + 226 pages.

Contents: Introduction, 18 chapters in 4 parts: 1. The Experience of Ecstasy as the Experience of God: WHEE!, 2. Becoming Like God: We, 3. Obstacles (Small and Large Dragons) to Experiencing Ecstasy and the God of Ecstasy: wee, 4. Toward a Theology of a Sensual Spirituality, conclusion, appendix: Paraphernalia for the Journey, references.

Excerpt(s): In addition to our common experience of natural ecstasies, the human race has devised other means for forgetting ourselves, for getting high, for experiencing divinity. ... tactical ecstasies-should be taken seriously. For, unlike natural ecstasy wherein we are recipients of ecstasy, these experiences are tactics or strategies or means (i.e., consciously devised plans) for taking ourselves out of the everyday world onto a more spiritual plane. (page 13)

Another form of tactical ecstasy is the taking of drugs. Recently, Americans have become so uptight about the abuse of drugs and subsequent legal and moral issues about them that the spiritual dimension is seldom considered. But here again, if one considers the peyote of the North American Indian ceremony or the incense of the Hindu or of Eastern and Western Catholicism, one realizes the use of drugs for spiritual effects is an age-old religious tradition. Because there are abuses in its use, and devastatingly lethal abuses, does not erase the wisdom of religious sages throughout the centuries as to the tactical efficacy of drugs in teaching us to see and not just look. What ex-alter boy of the incense era of Catholicism is not witness to the Yes-saying qualities of incense, say at a solemn High Christmas Mass? Like the other means of tactical ecstasy, drugs can render one level of our consciousness numb and relaxed while conjuring up other depths of our unconscious. (page 17)

In discussing our experience of ecstasy, I have distinguished between natural and tactical kinds of ecstasy. ... it corresponds to a profound and far-reaching contrast between the two kinds of ecstasy. To ignore these differences, as religions tend to do when they get flabby, is to invite spiritual disaster. Before we treat the differences, let us recapitulate what we have said by reproducing the lists side by side. Most readers, I am confident, will recognize the differences on seeing the activities in list form.

Nature Chant and ritual dance
Friendship processions, ritual
Sex Fasting
Arts and craftsmanship Abstinence
Sports Drugs, drink
Thinking Celibacy
Travel and visiting Yoga, Zen exercises
Involuntary deprivations TM, formal meditation
Celebration retreats
Work Biofeedback

The most fundamental contrast between natural and tactical ecstasies is that a natural ecstasy is an end in itself while a tactical ecstasy, as the name implies, is only a means. How simple and basic this rule, yet how frequently violated! By calling natural ecstasy an end in itself, we mean that God is directly experienced in these actions. In tactical ecstasy a person is rendered vulnerable for a God-experience, but the tactic itself is no guarantee of God's presence-it is a preparation for an event but not the event itself. The natural comes first because first, spiritual man receives. The tactical is second because it is man-made, a strategy devised by man and his religious cultures. The personal experience of creation needs to precede cultural experience, and when this basic rule is violated, an act of repression risks being canonized a sacred act. The tactical, then, presumes the natural and should build on it. Tactical divorced from natural ecstasy is an invitation to danger. For example, celibacy without first knowing the sexual; or fasting without first knowing the joys of eating; or drugs without friendships or highs from nature. (pages 21-22)

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

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