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Spiritual Growth with Entheogens: Psychoactive Sacramentals and Human Transformation [Format Kindle]

Thomas B. Roberts Ph.D. , Thomas B., Ph.D. Roberts , Roger Walsh , Brother David Steindl-Rast

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Reveals entheogens as catalysts for spiritual development and direct encounters with the sacred

• With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Charles Tart, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, Frances Vaughan, 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 direct spiritual encounters in the distant past and have faith that God is out there. Yet what if powerful sacraments existed to help us directly experience the sacred? What if there were ways to seek out the meaning of being human and our place in the universe, to 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 entheogens. With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Charles Tart, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, Frances Vaughan, Myron Stolaroff, and many others, this book explores protocols for ceremonial use of psychedelics, the challenges of transforming entheogenic insights into enduring change, psychoactive sacraments in the Bible, myths surrounding the use of LSD, and the transformative ayahuasca rituals of Santo Daime. It 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 entheogens 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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 825 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 320 pages
  • Editeur : Park Street Press; Édition : Reprint (19 mars 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007Q1CLTE
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8 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Spiritual Growth Induced 2 juin 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur

Thomas B. Roberts, Editor, Spiritual Growth with Entheogens; Psychoactive Sacramentals and Human Transformation (Rochester, N.Y.: Park Street Press, 2012; paperback, reissue of the hardcover edition of 2001, with an altered title and a new foreword).

Reviewed by Rudolf M. Bisanz, Ph.D.

This anthology of 296 pages features two dozen articles, several with references and bibliographies, by experts on psychosomatics. It is complemented by thematic and technical contributions by Roberts, a noted authority on the present topic. The book opens a plethora of affirmative views on the evolution, interpretation, and application of hallucinogenic mind-alteration with a special bearing on metaphysical results. Some authors balance aspects of potentially sanctifying derivatives of drug usage with cautionary and harmful indicators of outcomes. Others inform the reader on the execution and effects of psychedelics-induced cognitive and behavioral changes, including those caused by uncertified or felonious substances. As a major collection of diverse views, the book recommends itself as a notable contribution to its often misunderstood, troubled, and controversial field of inquiry. In the following, a few select observations.

T. Robert's translates Luke 17:21 (p. xiii), as "The kingdom of God is within you," according to KJV/NKJV. But current Greek scholarship translates "He basileia tou theou estin entos hymon" as "the kingdom of God is among you," or "in the midst of you," as per N-A 26, and its satellites, NAB, NIV, NASB, NRSV, NLT, ESV, a.o.. Addressing a group of Pharisees, Jesus thus infers His presence and work among them, and the Kingdom of God to come to His faithful. This lends the neologism entheogen, "(that which) generates God within (a person)," a dramatically different ideational accent.

R. Walsh's "Foreword" (2012; xix f.), balances the risks and benefits of consuming chemicals for mind-altering purposes. He helpfully sketches the grave dangers of psychological disruption, on the one hand, and the lofty values of elevated psychic experience, on the other. In his "Introduction" (p. 1 f.), Brother David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B., devoutly warns against approaching psychoactive sacramentals with anything less than utmost gravity of personal intent. He conscientiously describes "genuine spirituality" as both difficult to perceive and elusive when felt. He remonstrates against the real devastations brought on by the imprudent use of drugs, and differentiates between primary and secondary religious phenomena. And he counsels most seriously for a reverent attitude in pursuing the highest objective, God, while commending an open mind in studying the complex of practice and ideas implicit in the subject of psychosomatics in the pursuit of spiritual goals.

Interestingly, in his later work, well-known LSD researcher S. Grof (p. 31 f.), opted for a an all-transforming protocol of, what he calls, "holotropic breathwork." This combines breathing exercises with allusive music, for the purpose of inducing psychological change, free of substance use. A. T. Shulgrin (p. 130 f.), addresses chemistry as a means of arriving at a synthesis of religion and pharmacology. By stressing its character as "a" tool, he infers that other mind-expanding apparatuses await to be explored. A particularly assertive article is that by D. Merkur (p. 161 f.), a noted voyager in the more abstruse phases of biblical divination. His impeccable segue from Psilocybe Cubensis to manna, showbread and the early patristic "Eucharist," while erudite--if intensely speculative-is both persuasive and genuinely entertaining. I am surprised that the Rev. A. M. Lucas (p. 169 f.), in masterfully delineating entheology and churchly liturgy, does not really pause at, let alone dwell on, the arguably single most importunate, and potentially "entheogenic," infiltration into the Catholic worshipers' domain: Incense!

May the reader be warned before encountering M. J. Stolaroff's version of "the supervised, structured use of various entheogens before the substances were made illegal," to wit LSD and MDMA (p. 178 f.). The list of frightening toxic detriments of the former is well known to the general public. The index of liabilities of the latter, an early 20th Century German molecular concoction for weight loss and a jocund ego, strikes one as just as scary, if not more so. K. O'Shaughnessy's contribution (p. 211 f.), gives the impression of being wholly confessional and authentic. Interestingly, it pivots around two, lastly incongruous, poles, yoga and entheogens, a state of affairs she lucidly defines as "Zen is slow motion." Identical psychosomatic results are therefore achievable with either method, one having a delayed gratification feedback, the other hastened along with the assist of modern chemistry. Robert's main entry (p 263 f.), is a carefully balanced, sedulous, and notably informative summation of the state of the problem today, the multiplicity of mind-body psychotechnologies, the religious aspirations of users of entheogens, and the spread of interest in, and the future of the utilization of, those substances for God-inferential purposes

Many other thought-provoking, if often debatable, essays make up this challenging collection of expertises on psychedelics as beneficent, mind-enhancing substances. At the same time, the topic of the use of psychoactive substances for phenomenologically, spiritually, psychologically, and socially consequential purposes also collides with numerous forensic obstacles and religious parries. Many of these complications are pointed out by the authors, but others in that complex of notions cannot possible be dealt with extensively. As they merge with medicine, law, education, and politics, as well as other fields of interest, they form a ponderous intellectual amalgam. All of these factors render the topic as a whole a multi-disciplinary, seemingly infinite, as well as factious concatenation. Moreover, many articles in the anthology revolve around, but mostly fail to resolve satisfactorily, the critical dichotomy of the "controlled" versus the "free" use of psychedelics. Lastly, the terminus "entheogen," with its stress on "God," may typify only one of various anagogic objectives that both "controlled" and "free" users may aspire to with their employment of mind-transforming media. In the end, these and many other variables render the topic virtually intractable, if also hugely absorbing.

Herewith a small sampling of transformative regimens minus hallucinogenic aids. Presumably sans entheogenic potions, medieval mystics, e.g., Meister Eckhart, Hildegard von Bingen, Hadewijch of Antwerp, practiced what scholars term Wesensmystik (ontological mysticism). They famously arrived at a "blessed state" via contemplation, meditation and alike cogitative exercises. Also without drugs, their latter day successors, e.g., Faustina, Teilhard, Rahner, continued practicing their basal spiritual metabolism to arrive at analogous God-imminent ends. Catholic sacramentals range from rosary recitation and prayer, to illumined stained glass, candles, holy water, blessings, and on to pilgrimages. These may produce in the devout the effect of apparent saintly grace, virtue, unity, fellowship, harmony, etc., without recourse to nostrums. Equally unsullied by psychoactive additives, Zen Yoga, for example, can lead to forms of deific "enlightenment." Popularizing related protocols, Marc Allen seems to also have followed S. Grof's advice, and has successfully sold countless "Stress Reduction and Creative Meditation" tapes and CDs in recent years. These feature breathing drills cum soothing music, aspiring to induce calm, peace and a transcendent sense of universal consonance and amity in the listener's body and mind, and all of that without the aid of drugs. Past and recent history thus does indeed teach the distinct option of often profound psycho-physical transformation, including that which culminates in the "nearness-of-god" phenomenological event, devoid of chemical elixirs.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Great book -- if you don't already have it. 22 mars 2014
Par S. Hill - Publié sur
My problem is not with the content of this book, which deserves 5 stars, but with the fact that the publisher, Park Street Press, simply reissued *Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Enthogens and Religion* with a new title. I only discovered this when their version arrived. Very disappointing. I see they have done the same thing with another book, Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness. Perhaps one can detect this slight-of-hand by carefully reading the fine print, but what a marketing strategy! So what's up Park Street Press?
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A New Era of Spiritual Intelligence? 6 février 2013
Par Julie Clayton - Publié sur
In 1995 a week-long conference was held at Vallombrosa Center (CA) for an unlikely grouping of theologians, scientists, clergy, psychologists, and mental health professionals. The theme of the conference was "psychoactive sacramentals." Generally one doesn't find these words used in conjunction, but this dedicated group of participants was (and still is) passionate about the role of hallucinogenic drugs, specifically "enthoegens," in enhancing psychological and spiritual well-being and maturity. The term entheogen means, "awakening the god within." More specifically, most of the conference attendees had participated in some kind of experimental research with entheogens, either theoretical or experiential. Hence the conference also addressed the broader questions of what it means to be human, what it means to have a spiritual experience, how psychoactive drugs may facilitate medicinal treatments and psychological treatments, and whether the church or spiritual organizations can find a way to legitimately and responsibly assist their membership to employ psychoactives as sacramentals--as gateways to having a spiritual experience. And if not to have a spiritual experience, then "to seed a spiritual life" as Brother David Steindl-Rast says in the introduction. For as he explains, there is no guarantee of having a spiritual experience with the use of entheogens, and having a spiritual experience does not guarantee living a spiritual life.

This book is an updated collection of reflections and essays from the participants in that conference, many of whom are renowned and esteemed leaders in their field, such as Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Charles Tart, Frances Vaughan, and Roger Walsh. They offer a rich and broad mix of science, anecdotes, therapeutic indications, and spiritual philosophies for the lawful and sacred use of entheogens as tools for a new religious era that is based on spiritual experience.

As someone who previously had the predictable questions and objections to the use of psychoactive substances, based largely on my own misunderstandings and misperceptions, I can assure you that reading this book may stretch your conventional orders of perception, but the rewards of keeping an open mind will shift your perspective and give you a greater appreciation for the possibilities of the underlying intent--the dawning of a new era of spiritual intelligence.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 good historically, but not up-to-date !.....this material is originally from a 2001 conference 1 novembre 2013
Par Wyfy Issente - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
succinct chapters by famous authorities in this field . some good stuff (and alot of ho-hum,hum-drum, if youre already well aquainted with this subject) Also, there's too much of the christian, the buddhist, and of theology in general. There's too much talk of the early parts entheogenic phenomenon's 70 year (modern) history and no description of the happenings since 2001.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 nice 7 mars 2013
Par Robert Thompson - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
excellent condition, great topics, and enables one to further their inner explorations. Psychedelics are not an answer, they are an instrument
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