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
[x] + xiv + 226 pages.
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|
|Arts and craftsmanship ||Abstinence|
|Sports ||Drugs, drink|
|Travel and visiting ||Yoga, Zen exercises|
|Involuntary deprivations ||TM, formal meditation|
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.
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This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP