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.
About the Author
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., is professor emeritus at Northern Illinois University and a former visiting scientist at Johns Hopkins. The coeditor of Psychedelic Medicine and the author of Psychedelic Horizons, he has spoken at international conferences on psychedelics, consciousness, and psychedelic science. He lives in Sycamore, Illinois.
“A major contribution to ensuring the continued expansion of the renaissance in psychedelic research. This book would be an outstanding textbook in all courses of psychedelic psychotherapy, mysticism, and spirituality.” — Rick Doblin, Ph.D., founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychede
“An all-star lineup of psychedelic cognoscenti.” — Julie Holland, M.D., editor of The Pot Book and author of Weekends at Bellevue
“A powerful testimony from pioneers of consciousness research, spiritual teachers, and scholars about the potential of psychedelic plants and their compounds to bring spirituality to modern society and help alleviate the dangerous alienation that has brought humanity to the brink of destruction.” — Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of LSD Psychotherapy, Psychology of the Future, and When the Impossible
“A useful reference work that presents the current state of understanding from the relevant scientific, practical, and judicial perspectives.” — Dennis McKenna, Ph.D., founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute and coauthor of The I
“Explains all aspects of the psychedelic experience as a tool for spiritual evolution--from personal accounts to detailed information and practical instructions. A key book.” — Dieter Hagenbach, president of Gaia Media Foundation
“Essential reading for people interested in humanity’s efforts to experience the divine. This is an outstanding collection of essays and studies on mystical experience.” — Michael Nielsen, professor and chair of psychology, Georgia Southern University
“A tour de force of the history of the Western reencounter with these perennial sacred plants, written by leading figures from many disciplines. The broad coverage exemplifies the importance of psychedelic plants for many disciplines and their diverse potentials for personal and social transformation.” — Michael Winkelman, Ph.D., author of Shamanism: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm of Consciousness and Heali
“This essential collection forces a reexamination of the legal status of controlled substances in view of the benefit that mind-altering sacramental entheogens offer for psychotherapy and spiritual growth.” — Carl A. P. Ruck, professor of classical studies, Boston University, and author of Mushrooms, Myths,
“Tom Roberts is the keeper of the flame for the study of psychedelics, the chief librarian of the entheogenic archive. In this soul-nourishing book he’s compiled the wisdom, humanity, and technical expertise the world just might be ready for now in order to provide us legally accessed soul-manifesting sacramental experience via psychedelics.” — Charles Hayes, editor of Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures
“For those who value profound religious experiences and who wish to become increasingly well informed about how entheogens could become responsibly integrated into meditative practices and the offerings of spiritual retreat centers, there is much to be learned from the well-chosen essays in this book.” — William A. Richards, S.T.M., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Bayview School of Medici
“Some of the most serious, sustained, thoughtful, and mature voices on the subject of entheogens and religion. The contributors reflect on the historical trajectories of this conversation, address the common stereotypes and misconceptions, and offer new directions of thought and vision, reminding us again of what this conversation has always been about: the extraordinary cosmic being we so casually and carelessly call the human being.” — Jeffrey J. Kripal, professor of religious studies, Rice University, and author of Mutants and Mystic
“Makes the case for primary religious experience through entheogens as a way to experience the sacred and realize personal transformation.” — Bruce Sewick, LCPC, RDDP, CADC, therapist and addiction counselor