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Spiritual Growth with Entheogens: Psychoactive Sacramentals and Human Transformation

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More than 25 spiritual leaders, scientists, and visionaries examine how, through the guided use of entheogens, we can return to the direct spiritual experience at the basis of all religions. With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, and many others. Publishers Weekly (04/09/2012): "Psychoactive" and "sacramentals" aren't generally...

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More than 25 spiritual leaders, scientists, and visionaries examine how, through the guided use of entheogens, we can return to the direct spiritual experience at the basis of all religions. With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, and many others.
Publishers Weekly (04/09/2012):
"Psychoactive" and "sacramentals" aren't generally joined words, but for a group of theologians, scientists, and psychologists, "psychoactive sacramentals" was the theme for a weeklong conference held in California in 1995. Psychoactive substances employed in a sacred rite for spiritual growth (rather than recreational drug use) have been designated as "entheogens, " meaning, "awakening the god within." Hence, conference participants addressed profound questions about what it means to be human and the role of entheogens in enhancing psychological and spiritual well-being and maturity. The essays in this book are an updated collection of reflections from those participants, including transpersonal pioneers such as Roger Walsh, Stanislav Grof, and Frances Vaughan, combined with new material. They offer a rich and broad mix of science, anecdotes, therapeutic indications, and spiritual philosophies exploring the legitimate and responsible use of entheogens if not to produce genuine religious experiences, to "seed a spiritual life, " as Br. David Steindl-Rast says in an introduction. The authors expect that the ideas presented in this collection may stretch conventional orders of perception, but that the rewards of an open mind may reshape a new era of spiritual intelligence. (May) Copyright 2012 Reed Business Information.

Jacket Description/Back:
SPIRITUALITY / ENTHEOGENS "A major contribution to ensuring the continued expansion of the renaissance in psychedelic research. Spiritual Growth with Entheogens would be an outstanding textbook in all courses of psychedelic psychotherapy, mysticism, and spirituality." --Rick Doblin, Ph.D., executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies "An all-star lineup of psychedelic cognoscenti." --Julie Holland, M.D., editor of The Pot Book and author of Weekends at Bellevue 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. 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 entheogens, consciousness, and psychedelic science. He lives in DeKalb, Illinois.

Brief Description:
Proceedings of a conference held in 1995 in Menlo Park, Calif.

Review Quotes:
."..a rich and broad mix of science, anecdotes, therapeutic indications, and spiritual philosophies exploring the legitimate and responsible use of entheogens--if not to produce genuine religious experiences, to "seed a spiritual life," as Br. David Steindl-Rast says in an introduction. The authors expect that the...rewards of an open mind may reshape a new era of spiritual intelligence."

Review Quotes:
."..this book reveals the potential of entheogens as catalysts for spiritual development and the beginning of a new religious era based on personal spiritual experience."

Review Quotes:
""Spiritual Growth with Entheogens" is 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."

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"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."

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"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."

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"A useful reference work that presents the current state of understanding from the relevant scientific, practical, and judicial perspectives."

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"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."

Review Quotes:
"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."

Review Quotes:
"It is one thing to understand that people can move into altered states of consciousness; it is quite another to understand that this fact is not just a psychological side-show, but deeply, even centrally important for understanding the human mind. Roberts' book argues this point on every page, through riveting accounts retold by pioneers and leaders in the field of transpersonal psychology. This book is mind-altering in the best sense of the word."

Review Quotes:
"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."

Review Quotes:
"This book really enlightened me as to the history, practices and general sentiments of the diverse professionals who value entheogens as a valid and very worthwhile complement to spiritual practices. It's been added to my Top 10 list of important books to read."

Review Quotes:
"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."

Review Quotes:
"This is an invaluable collection of presentations that dispels the fog about the multi-faceted relationships between psychedelic experiences and spiritual experiences, between faith and experience, and the intricate dance still going on between them."

Review Quotes:
"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."

Table of Contents:
Editor's Note--Out of Society's Secret Corners
Thomas B. Roberts
Acknowledgments
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 Hansen, M.Div.
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
Epilogue
About the Council on Spiritual Practices
Index

Biographical Note:
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 entheogens, consciousness, and psychedelic science. He lives in DeKalb, Illinois.

Review Quotes:
"If we can encounter God through a sunrise seen from a mountaintop, why not through a mushroom prayerfully ingested."
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.

Review Citations:
Publishers Weekly 04/09/2012 pg. 50 (EAN 9781594774393, Paperback)
Contributor Bio: Roberts, Thomas B
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., is professor emeritus at Northern Illinois University, where he has taught the world's first catalog-listed psychedelics course since 1981. A former visiting scientist at Johns Hopkins, the editor of "Spiritual Growth with Entheogens", coeditor of "Psychedelic Medicine", and author of "Psychedelic Horizons", he lives in DeKalb, Illinois.

Contributor Bio: Walsh, Roger
Walsh is professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology at the University of California college of medicine at Irvine.

Contributor Bio: Steindl-Rast, David
Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine monk and the author of A Listening Heart, Belonging to the Universe.

Contributor Bio: Smith, Huston
Huston Smith is internationally known and revered as the premier teacher of world religions. He is the focus of a five-part PBS television series with Bill Moyers and has taught at Washington University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and the University of California at Berkeley. The recipient of twelve honorary degrees, Smith's fifteen books include his bestselling "The World's Religions", "Why Religion Matters", and his autobiography, "Tales of Wonder".

Contributor Bio: Grof, Stanislav
Stanislav Grof, M.D., is a psychiatrist who has been principal investigator at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Chief of Psychedelic Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, and assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. He is now professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. His 20 books include "Beyond the Brain, Psychology of the Future, The Cosmic Genius", and "Spiritual Emergency". He lives in California.

Contributor Bio: Hofmann, Albert
Hofmann is a world renowned scientist and Fellow member of the World Academy of art and Science. He is a leader in pharmaceutical-chemical research.

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