History is littered with evidence of humanity's fascination with drugs and the pursuit of altered states. From early Romanticism to late-nineteenth-century occultism and from fin de siècle Paris to contemporary psychedelic shamanism, psychoactive substances have playedcatalyzing people. Yet serious analysis of the religious dimensions of modern drug use is still lacking. the use of drugs and the pursuit of transcendence from the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the Romantic fascination with opium, it chronicles the discovery of anesthetics, the psychiatric and religious interest in hashish, the bewitching power of mescaline and hallucinogenic fungi, the more recent uses of LSD, as well as the debates surrounding drugs and religious experience. This fascinating and wide-ranging sociological and cultural history fills a major gap in the study of religion in the modern world and our understanding of the importance of countercultural thought, offering new and timely insights into the controversial relationship between drugs and mystical experience.
Provides a framework for understanding the enormous amount of information available on psychoactive substances. Stafford relays the history, botany, chemistry, physical and mental effects, forms, sources, and preparations of LSD—the most potent and representative of class of drugs called psychedelics. Stafford claims that psychedelics offer surprising benefits to society and he explores the record of promising studies that were truncated in the 1960s, along with a commentary of developments since that time.
This useful two-volume set will provide buyers of subject encyclopedias with a substantial amount of valuable information they can use in making their purchasing decisions. It will also provide all types of librarians and their patrons with a quick, one-stop method for locating the appropriate subject encyclopedias for their needs and for locating articles in the 100 encyclopedias. Librarians who specialize in bibliographic instruction will also find it to be a useful tool for teaching students how to locate needed information.
The post-World War II era was a tumultuous period in the world of psychiatry. Medical history has cast it as a clash between biology and psychoanalysis or as a time that lacked objectivism, that is until the introduction of psychotropic drugs such as chlorpromazine which triggered a change in our treatment of mental health as profound and far-reaching in its consequences as the war itself. In the early years of this psychopharmacological revolution, hallucinogens such as mescaline and LSD played as much of a role as other psychotropics. In fact, psychedelics constituted a scientific revolution in their own right, one that does not however fit the narrative of twentieth century scientific history. Looking beyond the countercultural manifestations and references that have for decades obfuscated the psychedelic story, historian P.W. Barber delves into a serious examination of both the science and the people behind the research. Showing why and how this experimentation unfolded, what its findings were and how these findings were received both within and outside the scientific community, Psychedelic Revolutionaries completely resets a long-misunderstood history by following the work of three pioneering psychiatrists - Humphry Osmond, who coined the term ‘psychedelic’ and administered Aldous Huxley his first dose of mescaline, Abram Hoffer and Duncan Blewett, also known as the ‘Leary of the North’. While considering how it is that scientific discoveries become accepted as established truths, Barber invites us to ask: what is it that makes a scientific discovery revolutionary?
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.
An examination of the use of psychedelics for understanding ourselves, connecting with the world around us, and enacting outer change through inner transformation • Explores sacred tools and technologies to help us reestablish a lost ideology of unity, with a specific focus on natural plant/fungi psychedelics • Looks at the history of psychedelics and their role in facilitating natural intelligence’s ability to increase itself through ongoing analysis of its own experience • Provides guidelines for safely using natural plant/fungi psychedelics and integrating them into society to access unified consciousness and restore balance to our world Our ecological, social, and political issues all stem from the ideologies that drive our collective actions. In contrast to our innate humanity, which is rooted in unity, these ideologies have led us to believe that we are separate from each other, separate from nature, and separate from the results of our actions. Such a worldview encourages individuals to maximize self-interest, which then causes fragmentation, conflict, pollution, and the depletion of natural resources. Offering practical steps that we can take to heal ourselves and our fragmented world, author Daniel Grauer explores the use of sacred tools and technologies, such as natural psychedelics, meditation, and yoga, in order to reestablish an ideology of unity, work in symbiotic harmony with the Earth, and restore our world as a sustainable and prosperous whole. Grauer explains how individuals--and by extension societies--benefit from safely accessing transcendent states of consciousness, such as those provided by psychedelics. He explores how psychoactive substances have been used throughout history all over the world for healing, personal growth, spiritual development, and revealing hidden truths, such as in the Eleusinian Mysteries, Soma practices in Vedic India, and rituals in several South American indigenous cultures. Drawing on the plant intelligence work of Paul Stamets and Stephen Buhner, Grauer shows that the growth of individual and collective intelligence is hindered by the prohibition of psychedelics, which naturally foster humanity’s capacity for analysis, innovation, and cooperation. In addition to creating a sense of unity with all things, psychedelics offer the mind a new perspective from which to analyze its experience and heighten its awareness. Drawing on his own experience and research, Grauer provides guidelines for how to safely use natural plant/fungi psychedelics in order to access the unified consciousness of our ancestors and induce the states of awareness we need to restore natural harmony to our world.