Psychedelics and Spirituality

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-08-04
  • Publisher: Park Street Pr

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Reveals how psychedelics can facilitate spiritual development and direct encounters with the sacred

• With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Charles Tart, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, Brother David Steindl-Rast, and many others

• Includes personal accounts of Walter Pahnke’s Good Friday Experiment as well as a 25-year follow-up with its participants

• Explores protocols for ceremonial use of psychedelics and the challenges of transforming entheogenic insights into enduring change

Modern organized religion is based predominantly on secondary religious experience--we read about others’ extraordinary spiritual encounters with God but have no direct experience ourselves. Yet there exist powerful sacraments to help us directly experience the sacred, to help us seek out the meaning of being human and our place in the universe, and to help us see the sacred in the world that surrounds us.

In this book, more than 25 spiritual leaders, scientists, and psychedelic visionaries examine how we can return to the primary spiritual encounters at the basis of all religions through the guided use of psychedelics. With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Charles Tart, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, Brother David Steindl-Rast, Myron Stolaroff, and many others, this book explores protocols for ceremonial and spiritual use of psychedelics, including LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, and MDMA, and the challenges of transforming entheogenic insights into enduring change. It examines psychoactive sacraments in the Bible, myths surrounding the use of LSD, and the transformative ayahuasca rituals of Santo Daime. The book also includes personal accounts of Walter Pahnke’s Good Friday Experiment as well as a 25-year follow-up with its participants.

Dispelling fears of inauthentic spirituality, addiction, and ill-prepared encounters with the holy, this book reveals the potential of psychedelics as catalysts for spiritual development, a path through which faith can directly encounter God’s power, and the beginning of a new religious era based on personal spiritual experience.

Author Biography

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., is professor emeritus at Northern Illinois University, where he taught the world’s first college-listed psychedelics course in 1981. A founding member of MAPS, former visiting scientist at Johns Hopkins, and author of The Psychedelic Future of the Mind and MindApps, he lives in Sycamore, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Note--A Tale of Three Book Titles
Thomas B. Roberts


Foreword to the 2012 Edition: The Varieties of Mind-Enhancing Practices
Roger Walsh

Introduction: Psychoactive Sacramentals
Brother David Steindl-Rast

1 If I Could Change Your Mind
Rev. Mike Young

2 Do Drugs Have Religious Import? A Thirty-Five-Year Retrospect Huston Smith

3 From State to Trait: The Challenge of Transforming Transient Insights into Enduring Change
Roger Walsh

4 The Potential of Entheogens as Catalysts of Spiritual Development Stanislav Grof

5 Psychoactive Sacramentals: What Must Be Said
Charles T. Tart

6 Unitive Consciousness and Pahnke’s Good Friday Experiment
Paula Jo Hruby

7 Pahnke’s Good Friday Experiment: A Long-Term Follow-Up and Methodological Critique
Rick Doblin

8 A Pilgrim’s Visit to Marsh Chapel
Thomas Jenden Riedlinger

9 Las noches de los ayahuasqueros
Will Penna

10 Mysterious Tea
Annelise Schinzinger

11 A Scientist’s View of Miracles and Magic
Alexander T. Shulgin

12 LSD as a Spiritual Aid
Albert Hofmann

13 Strychnine and Other Enduring Myths: Expert and User Folklore Surrounding LSD
David E. Presti and Jerome Beck

14 Manna, the Showbread, and the Eucharist: Psychoactive Sacraments in the Bible
Dan Merkur

15 What Is Entheology?
Rev. Aline M. Lucas

16 A Protocol for a Sacramental Service
Myron J. Stolaroff

17 A Theology of Human Liberation and Entheogens: Reflections of a Contemplative Activist
Rev. George F. Cairns

18 Consciousness and Asian Traditions: An Evolutionary Perspective Roger Walsh

19 The Strengthening Aspects of Zen and Contemporary Meditation Practices
Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

20 Transpersonal Counseling: Some Observations Regarding Entheogens Frances Vaughan

21 The New Psychotherapy: MDMA and the Shadow
Ann Shulgin

22 The Birthing of Transcendental Medicine
Rev. Karla A. Hansen

23 The Judicial Architectonics of Psychoactive Sacramentals Richard Glen Boire

24 On Nomenclature for the Class of Mescaline-Like Substances: And Why It Matters
Robert Jesse

25 An Entheogen Idea-Map--Future Explorations
Thomas B. Roberts

About the Council on Spiritual Practices


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