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Long out-of-print yet often cited in psychedelic literature, THE BOOK OF SACRAMENTS, originally published in 1970, was a Holy book from the (now defunct) Church of the Tree of Life, established and incorporated by John Mann. A fundamental belief was that we have the right to alter our consciousness with plants extracts for medical, spiritual, and even recreational (re-creating) purposes.
THE BOOK OF SACRAMENTS consists of introduction and discussion of several sacred plants, most still legal and easy to obtain, that have been used traditionally in religious (spiritual, consciousness expanding) rituals by native people.
While the Church of the Tree of Life disbanded decades ago, the longing for a spiritual connection continues. One way to achieve such a connection with with the ritual use of magical plants. THE BOOK OF SACRAMENTS describes the ceremonial practices and rituals used by natives for thousands of years in some cases and gives guidelines for employing such practices in one's personal worship, including how to prepare the plant and oneself for the ritual.
The mind has self-healing power. Spiritual experiences can lead to dramatic healing. Ritual is a method for organizing experience - mentally- and creating order around an inner experience to enable one to surrender to the experience without fear - due to the security provided by the repetitive and reliable ritual. The ritual helps to conjure up a frame of mind that is conducive to an ecstatic experience. When used properly ritual use of magical plants can open up new channels of awareness. The plants alone cannot bring about the desired results - the individual mind must be engaged.
THE BOOK OF SACRAMENTS identifies over 20 magical plants for ritual use and tells how to prepare the potion and oneself for the journey and gives instructions for classic rituals as well as creating one's own variations. Finally it discusses how to process the experience afterwards to gain the maximum benefit from the journey.
John Mann, who published under the pseudonym, Adam Gottlieb and H. Grubber, is one of the earliest and most prolific of the psychedelic authors, releasing The 20th Century Alchemist series and other ground breaking works on marijuana horticulture and preparation and its culture. He broke into the mainstream with Secrets of Life Extension, one of the earliest books in the field.