You are on page 1of 14

Entheogens in the Study of Religious Experiences: Current Status Author(s): William A.

Richards Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Winter, 2005), pp. 377-389 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27512886 . Accessed: 10/01/2012 11:15
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Springer is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of Religion and Health.

http://www.jstor.org

Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 44, No. 4,Winter 2005 (? 2005) DOI: 10.1007/sl0943-005-7177-8

Entheogens of Religious Current

in

the

Study

Experiences: Status*

WILLIAM A. RICHARDS
and mystical addresses of archetypal This article the potential ABSTRACT: experi significance are employed ences contexts. in supportive, when sometimes entheogens legal research reported to pursue which has been difficult due to Federal in recent decades This area of research, legis as a frontier is presented in the psychology of religious about lation and concerns drug-abuse, our understanding of to have that could prove for advancing implications profound experience to how the action of consciousness. is given dimensions Consideration spiritual of experiential the apparent be understood, the question validity, universality and initial reflections. and mystical experiences, theological of entheogens may of both archetypal

KEY

WORDS:

entheogens;

mystical

experiences;

archetypal

experiences;

consciousness.

The

abuse

of an

instrument

and

resistance

to paradigm

change

In a scene from Bertolt Brecht's the 1939 play Galileo, observing by carefully a newly-invented moons of Jupiter instrument called the telescope, through as they rotate behind Galileo has noted that the moons periodically disappear he In conjunction with his other observations and calculations, the planet. to be valid of the universe that the geocentric model concludes presumed to mention and the psychological spiritual contemporaries?not by his the that accompanied it?is limited and outmoded. Beyond Weltanschauung is the universe of Ptolemaic of the crystalline spheres Astronomy, alleged beauty more vast and awesome. Bruno had been burned Ten years previously infinitely
is a clinical also theologically-trained, A. Richards, Ph.D. William S.T.M., currently psychologist, as a senior in private in Baltimore and pursuing fellow of the research with practice entheogens on Spiritual are from the Yale Divinity Council Practices School, degrees (csp.org). His graduate studies with Hanscarl School and Catholic the Andover-Newton University, including Theological at the University Two of his of G?ttingen and Abraham at Brandeis Maslow Leuner University. of and Health: have been published articles of Religion by he Journal previously "Implications LSD and Experimental to William articles Mysticism" co-authored with Walter Pahnke in 1966, and "Mystical

and Archetypal Experiences


Correspondence *The current

of Terminal Patients

in DPT-Assisted

Psychotherapy"
Conference

in 1978.
and

A. Richards, richards3@earthHnk.net. on a paper presented to the Research is based

on Religion

Spirituality, APA Division 36, Loyola College, Columbia Maryland, March 2003.
377 ? 2005 Blanton-Peale Institute

378

Journal

of Religion

and Health

at the

stake

support in the company stands beside his telescope of So, in Brecht's play, Galileo a theologian of his day: a philosopher, the authorities and a mathematician. He invites them to look through the instrument and see for themselves that a new paradigm marvelous their confirmation of his discovery. of reality awaits the scholars demur and ultimately refuse his invitation, for they are However, convinced that they already know the truth about the structure of reality. and the church fathers, all who say that the They quote the divine Aristotle comments is valid. Someone Galileo that, if they humored system geocentric and looked through his silly tube, and if they thought they saw what he claims to be true, they'd know it was only?a hallucination. after all, have Telescopes, a very bad reputation as they've been selling in Amsterdam and very well have been using them to spy on women. voyeurs scholars leave Galileo isolated and frustrated. Later in the play other censor him and force him to recant. Though he crumbles under the of his day, he knows within power and the conceptual political paradigm that the vistas he has seen still are valid and someday will be redis himself covered by scientists in future generations. on the sacred molecules we now call "entheo In the scholarly literature but previously names have called many different 2001) (Jesse, gens", authorities (including psychedelics, hallucinogens, psycholytics, phantastica, psychotom various and psychodysleptics), imetics, mysticomimetics writers?including Grof (1975)?have Alan Watts likened these substances (1962) and Stanislav or microscopes, to telescopes them to be incredibly valuable tools if considering we learn to use them wisely and responsibly. As the telescope is to astronomy, or the microscope so are entheogens to psychiatry is to biology, and especially, As the cosmos of religious is not within the psychology experience. nor the contents so the remarkable of cells within the microscope, telescope, states of consciousness alternative encountered the action of entheo during are not intrinsic states and archetypal to the gens, including mystical visions, substances themselves. to break down when we seek spatio-temporal This metaphor loca begins tions for the content experienced during the action of entheogens for, though we may be able to pinpoint the parts of our brains that manifest increased when states of consciousness different noetic occur, the intuitive, activity that accompanies transcendental knowledge experiences profound typically includes a conviction that the spiritual world is beyond the Kantian categories and Substance. Fm reminded of Karl Jaspers' (1954) Space, Causality are fundamentally more reminder than they that, "Human beings repetitive know, or ever can know, about themselves." of Time, to the The

for uttering this claim.

the

same

heresy,

but Galileo

now

has

evidence

to

When Aldous Huxley


calling reality

(1963) published The Doors of Perception

in 1954,
of

to the profundity attention of the mystical glimpses he personally had experienced the action during

into the nature of mescaline?the

William A. Richards

379

of the Peyote cactus used today in religious rituals of ingredient psychoactive Church?a well the Native Roman American Catholic, respected British, R.C. Zaehner of comparative countered scholar (1954), religions, Huxley's an article assertions "The Menace of Mescaline." entitled by publishing Zaehner stressed the difference between what he called "monistic mysticism" con and "theistic mysticism" and claimed that "artificial interference with to do with what Christians sciousness" could have nothing call "The Beatific Not of variables of set and setting, Vision." the potency comprehending so far as to take mescaline Zaehner went himself and pub (1961) eventually lish a report of his experience to prove his point. It is true that he did not

experience anything close to the Beatific Vision during the period of time
mescaline aesthetic active in his system; the report he published mild described encountered with very low dosage or with persons imagery, typically who have strong psychological defenses. In spite of the brilliance of his mind, Zaehner found himself in the Roman Church's lack of caught up irrationally and fear of entheogens, well captured in the following confessional knowledge a Spanish de Leon, that Padre Nicholas in Mexico, wrote for missionary to use with penitent Indians 1938): priests (LeBarre, Art thou a sooth-sayer? Dost thou foretell events by reading omens, interpreting dreams, or by tracing circles and figures on water? ... Dost thou suck the blood of others? Dost thou wander about at night calling upon demons to help thee? Hast thou drunk peyote or given it to others to drink ...? was

Entheogenic

research

and

alternative

states

of consciousness

and psychologist of religion, I have During my career as a clinical psychologist to be able to work within had the unique frame good fortune legal research to interact with many and personally works different human beings while were active in their systems. Most of my experience has centered entheogens around research studies (Kurland, Pahnke, 1971; Grof, & Olsson, Savage, et al., 1977; Richards et al., 1972, Rhead & 1997; Richards, 1980; Savage & Dryer, et al., 1976), employing 1973; Yensen McCabe, 1995; Yensen lysergic acid diethylamide (DPT), methylenedioxyamphet (LSD), dipropyltryptamine amine of the sacredmushrooms (MDA) or psilocybin (the active ingredient in religious used for at least 2000 years ceremonies in Mexico and Central as potential of psychotherapeutic and as tools in America) processes catalysts itself. I have had the honor of offering my presence, as they have experienced to these persons and guidance dif many support of consciousness, ferent realms to personal ranging from sensory-aesthetic and classically psychodynamic, perinatal, psychotic, visionary-archetypal, states. Over the years, in collaboration I have sought with colleagues, mystical the study of consciousness

380

Journal of Religion and Health

for experiences with to develop the art of preparing and refine persons for safety and benefit, in ways that maximize the potential and entheogens characterized minimize of states of consciousness the likelihood by confusion, visions and which I choose to label "psychotic." Archetypal panic or paranoia, are very different from the everyday forms of consciousness unitive, mystical in most but I would not use the label "psychotic" of us experience, to them. In accordance with Abraham Maslow's of (1964) discussions of these experiences I believe that many truly may be experiences, major peak health and the so-called of exceptional mental and indicative revelatory awareness reference of human nature". "higher reaches and I In this article, I will discuss a few of the observations my colleagues over the years of that could have for the psychology relevance have made are subject to continuing I which All of these observations research, religion. to pursue. some readers might become motivated earnestly hope

Concerning To address

the question

of experiential

validity

states of consciousness and mystical the validity of the archetypal Imust preface these observations the action of entheogens, by reported during It may that: an experience. be that "any life experience is simply noting or mildly or incomplete, or dis pure utterly convincing suggestive, complete or influenced The by many hopes and suggestions. torted; fresh and surprising one assigns of private to any life experience is a matter truth-value judgement to alternative I would and faith" (Richards, 2002). apply this same attitude or meditation, of prayer states of consciousness that occur during periods or sensory isolation times of sensory or athletic in artistic performance, or natural interaction sexual religious liturgies, or validity sume to judge of the sacredness I might to treasure, chooses question although overload, during exceptional or during sacred moments in not pre childbirth. I would that another any experience or interpreta the integration to engage in behavior felt compelled

during moments

if that person tion of someone's experience destructive. that I considered in our neurochemical activities between That there appear to be correlations or secular, is fascinating brains and various sacred (d'Aquili & experiences,

Newberg,

1999; Newberg

& d'Aquili, 2001), as is the knowledge

that

is secreted in the (DMT), a powerful entheogen, normally dimethyltryptamine each of our skulls, and may well be a factor chemical factories within biological and mystical in so called (Strassman, experiences religious "spontaneous" 2001). It is reasonable has changed by traditional always riencing focused attention, postures, sleep special including practices, of breathing that and patterns and particular diets, fasting chemistry. been to hypothesize influenced that and the biochemical substrate of expe meditative

deprivation, alter blood

William A Richards

381

The It is

universality important

of archetypal to stress

and mystical

experiences

that both visionary-archetypal and classically to be accessible for many, if not most, persons appear mystical experiences in supportive the action of entheogens visions, during settings. Archetypal in which the Christ, the ego, or everyday the self, beholds Bodhisattvas, or Quan Yin or any of compassion), Buddhist (the goddess Virgin Mary or ab in the pantheon other of gods and goddesses, presence impressive stract such as precious and light itself, typi symbols, metals, gemstones cally occur just prior to, or following, The term "mystical", consciousness. of religion, refers to states psychology subject-object dichotomy oes back to Philo through the
mind."

psychic

structure",

of perception. Carl Jung stones of (1959), refers to "foundation the innately of the perhaps symbolic "furnishings

of mystical forms of emergence in the used and technically strictly of awareness the ego, or the beyond ech which The term "archetypal",

the

the archetypes "come from" is a mystery. they are geneti Perhaps or spiritually are known to encounter As people accessed. we know that more is in enculturation, foreign to their personal archetypes volved than the particular in the literature belief system or readings person's of comparative who works with learns Anyone religions. entheogens quickly that Locke's idea of our minds tabula rasa at birth?sheets of paper being on which It may well be anyone may write?is white, woefully inadequate. Where cally encoded, in the crib not only is seeing mental images of teddy bears and of the Christ if this is visions and of Shiva dancing. duckies, Alas, true?as Wordsworth and others have suggested?the fades as lan memory guage and ego develop. I have attempted Classical which to define elsewhere mystical experiences, that the infant but also

(Pahnke & Richards, 1966; Richards, 1978) in the six categories of (1)Unity,
(2) Transcendence called of Time and Space, (3) Intuitive Knowledge, (4) Sacredness,

(5)Deeply Felt Positive Mood, and (6) Ineffability & Paradoxically,

often are

or nirvana?so-called as samadhi, "eastern satori, by such names seems to encom term "The Beatific Vision" terms." The Christian for many vision of the Christ and, for some, the experience of pass both the archetypal one's essence drawn in and through into the unity the vision being lovingly of the Godhead and wisdom itself. I've chosen to illustrate this by quoting briefly from two reports of entheogen the first by a cancer patient who received (DPT) sessions, dipropyltrypamine in conjunction with brief psychotherapy, and the second, the published report of a minister and mystical (Hart, 1968), who described archetypal experiences in the context occasioned of a period of (LSD) by lysergic acid diethylamide in the early 1960s: psychotherapy

382

Journal

of Religion

and Health

The

cancer

patient

wrote:

I first went to a place that seemed to completely [After entheogen administration] lack the qualities of this world as we know it. I seemed to transcend time and space and I lost complete identification with the "real" world. The experience seemed to me to be as if Iwas going from this world back to another world before this life had occurred. The actual changing from this life to whatever was before this life seemed to be involved in a very bright silver mass of energy with very strong electrical current. Strangely enough I felt that I had been in that mass of energy at one time before. When Iwas there everything seemed to make sense. It was a very beautiful world, one in which love was very much a part. The basic theme that I perceived was that life continues to go on and we are basically some I form of essence from a Supreme Being and we are part of that Supreme Being don't have the fear of death that I once had I have found that everyday living seems to be much more enjoyable. Small things in life that Imay have overlooked of I seem to appreciate now. I have a much greater and deeper understanding other people ... and a much greater capacity to try to fulfill other people's needs. ... Overall I think that I am a much more content individual, having had the great opportunity to just glimpse for a very short moment the overall thinking of God, of possibly being brought into his confidence for just a brief period, to be reassured that there is a very beautiful, loving masterful plan in this Universe for all of us. The minister (Hart, 1968), using a more free, poetic style, wrote: Vastness. Incredible luminescent light. A different, radiant quality here, never seen before. Filled all space. Exquisite. Beyond description. Unforgettable. Magnificent of flames of fire. Indestructible fire. Like power. Then moments power?friendly Moses' unconsumed burning bush. I could have walked through these friendly flames unharmed. Magnificent light.
Oneness. All one. In-Godness. Indescribable. Utmost. Emotionless. No self. No

Self was within and without. Time gone. Space gone. Nowhere, but infinitely everywhere. No time, but eternally now. No wholly other or beyond but in it. IN the infinite. In the eternal and infinite. In mystery. Part of it. All one. This seemed an eternity or in no time. sensations. Could see God's view of humanity. Watching mankind destroy itself. Felt helpless for all those suffering souls to stop it. Utmost love and pity and compassion unable to see beyond their own senses, their feelings, their lusts and desires, their machines of destruction, their wars, hates and jealousies, their bodies, their five little senses. Profound love. in resplendent, vision of Christ standing motionless radiant Then, a magnificent beauty. He had form, but I could almost see through Him; yet I was not really seeing. There was immeasurable power, love. I love Him with a profundity be I did not walk to Him but was and time 'there"?space yond description. I was bodyless, selfless. Yet I could grasp His feet and ankles. meaningless.

William A. Richards

383

I embraced this formless form with an infinite the light. Beyond words. Unforgettable. A slow shifting back to the sense I merged, then became separate.
Trinity?three in one, separate yet

love. Friendly

power and love filled

of being In-God, and In-Christ. They and sense out of the idea of the It makes
one, person and non-person.

of God giving his Son to this suffering A most deep understanding of the meaning world Imoved into His love-suffering and felt the cost of His life. I took on all the pain of the world, not in general, but person by person, infinitely, all mankind at the once. A universal sense of the purpose of the crucifixion?the meaning, tragedy, the profound love and pity of suffering humanity. and those of many I humbly that Mary Hart's experience, May suggest and mystical other persons who have been blessed by profound archetypal of entheogens the past few decades, the action during during experiences merit of psychologists is it that we the serious attention of religion? Why are much more prone to quote from Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, or Plotinus, or Shankara, than contemporary and Meister mystics? Eckhart,

As Paul Tillich (1966, p. 81) so aptly quipped, "God has not left Himself
unwitnessed."

Some

theological

reflections

such experiences their occur For those who might tend to devalue because rence appears to have been rendered more of an probable by the ingestion to wrestle. One there are several fascinating thoughts with which entheogen, is Brother David Steindl-Rast's that entheogens (2001) suggestion may best be as "sacrament?is"?manifestations of nature, akin to spring water, viewed or herbs, which faith encounters this God's power." Within ashes "through to framework, they are seen as sacred molecules by the Creator provided is congruent to personal and spiritual contribute This perspective growth. in which with the manner they are viewed by Indians, past and present, who revere them as intrinsic to their religious rituals, the leaders of the including in the United have fought to Native American Church States, who successfully of Religion of Freedom retain legal access to them under our guarantee (Smith

& Snake 1996).


of the everyday offer is that the stereotype I would ego thought of to arrogantly crash through the gates the power of an entheogen "a stereotype." to claim the holy grail of enlightenment, is simply come close to have and never taken entheogens persons repeatedly Many or psychodynamic, states of consciousness, experiencing spiritual profound of the potency of set and of variables largely due a lack of understanding Another using heaven

384

Journal

of Religion

and Health

as well as factors of purity one approaches and dosage. When the setting, afforded the action of an entheogen with of attitudes opportunities by to the Sacred, unconditional humble and devotion transcen trust, courage as gifts humbly are experienced as dental experiences inevitably received, the ego, or everyday its own death and insignificance. To self, encounters those who would that the experiences that occur are "cheap grace", suggest not fueled by sufficient and mortification, I would years of meditation point to the condensed and personal agony suffering experienced by many as they struggle their psychodynamic forms of resistance persons through and as they view their past failings in life in the light towards the Divine of experiences of unconditional love. As Huston Smith (2000, p. 27) has is not fun." out, "Ecstasy pointed as a highly who many will Huston readers esteemed Smith, recognize the significance scholar of comparative has acknowledged of his own religions, in his professional with and personal experiences entheogens development, has articulated the important distinction between "religious repeatedly in the West, with our puritanical and "religious lives." Especially experiences" we have tended to be wary of religious and Calvinistic if heritage, experiences to have direct applicability to social change and active do not appear they in the world. It could be that the "otherwordliness" and ques involvement with some meditative and spiritual is tionable relevance associated disciplines the result, not of going "too deep" into the psyche, but rather the consequence of "not going deeply meditative and traditions procedures enough." Many are very time-consuming access and may to very provide unquestionably more states of consciousness altered much than intense mildly readily to spend and mystical The compulsion increasing experiences. archetypal a glimpse amounts of Enlightenment of time in search of for some be may of the meditative of frustration and incompleteness fueled by a feeling expe use of entheo This also may be a factor in the repetitive riences themselves. in settings that are less than gens by persons who employ very low dosage an unfulfilled for experiences desire that never optimal, quite engendering seem fully to occur. In contrast, when it occur, relatively mystical complete experiences an intensified to contribute discover that many persons appears impetus to normative to the historical world in their return upon consciousness, with Ideal" or the "Suffering the ancient "Bodhisattva Servant" harmony as expressed in the Hindu in the Second Isaiah. Although, of theme concept or in Neo-Platonic the everyday world to be less is perceived maya, theory, every and in and the historical dramas and meaning, interpersonal relationships as having their own significance. which we participate may be viewed Many men states of mind who have glimpsed and women enlightened by what ever means and care for their brothers do chop wood, and carry water, day world nevertheless beauty fundamental or basic states of consciousness, than the mystical seems to become illumined by new the also

William A Richards

385

to observe It is of interest that many persons who have or archetypal the action during experienced experiences profound mystical to repeat in the an entheogen little eagerness the experience of manifest to integrate and short-term, they have much apply, feeling typically to pursue It is at this point that many become motivated here and now. with more traditional meditative disciplines discipline. sisters in the world.

Future

frontiers

in the psychology

of religious

experience

on the thoughts does not focus primarily that men have about the nor about in response to the ever-changing how they behave to about the universe; it boldly attempts that is being discovered knowledge as they must be at itself and its laws. Awestruck the universe comprehend to make their telescopes, astronomers times as they peer through still manage new models of reality. measurements and to formulate Astronomy universe, to of religion in addition could it be that psychologists someday, of people who call themselves the thoughts and behavior religious, studying of the mystery could focus on the study of Transcendence itself?the Sacred, in of God, the Structure of Being, How God Manifests the Mind Revelation, even the illusive essence of Consciousness itself? Consciousness, perhaps of religion, like Would we view such study as "profane", or could psychologists Similarly, revere is discovered? As and appreciatively what astronomers, humbly in his book The Psychology Maslow of Science, stressed (1966, p. 150) does not necessarily the mystery it. Indeed, this is the best profane "Studying sacralization and greater way towards greater respect, richer understanding, at a much higher level of richness." and sanctification in the could be the safest of entheogens, One tool in this process employed manner. most wise and responsible how could this occur? First, Realistically, are most we need to determine which entheogens persons safe, for which they and how the selected be made be most substances may safe, may most wisely For now, this requires of the collaboration of psychologists legally accessible. and medical with psychopharmacologists in well-designed colleagues religion of federal that meet the standards, and merit research the approval, projects this States in the United and in other countries. During agencies, regulatory process, and respectful with it requires incredible communication patience can be employed never fear that entheogens who may safely and colleagues known and yet There are many different substances, entheogenic responsibly.

to be synthesized,
ferent most approaches including

(Shulgin & Shulgin, 1991, 1997) and there are many dif
of their use, relationship

to ensuring the safety and potential benefit of a healthy the prior establishment interpersonal

386

Journal

of Religion

and Health

with

a guide and the incorporation of visual and auditory forms of support states of consciousness. the period of alternative during If this were research retreat and interdisciplinary accomplished, at which centers could be established volunteer who someday subjects and could receive pass medical screening psychological entheogens. rea to come to such centers for personal, Some might apply spiritual sons alone, in research. interest and have little be willing Others might to contribute to research, in this area. of us who are or choose to participate in order to foster our

knowledge For those

in advancing and pursuing interested knowledge about themselves the nature of human many research, present questions and spiritual and about the laws and processes consciousness that awareness, as one navigates a few so-called "inner space." Let me mention apply through

possibilities that I find especially intriguing:


If indeed, Jung's concept of the "Collective Unconscious" is not only a creative but an inner realm to which all of us have potential access, it awaits further idea, It should be relatively and systematic mapping exploration. simple to validate or not we really have access to experiences and images that are not part whether To throw out a hypothesis, of our personal of enculturation. I would processes 25% of a sample of culturally-isolated that approximately Christians suggest some Hindu of culturally would experience imagery, while the same percentage some Christian isolated Hindu subjects would experience imagery. area of potential concerns of the nature exploration fascinating see all know and mystical We themselves. that we visionary experiences But, dare we ask things when our eyes are closed, even in nocturnal dreaming. has been made what really is going on? One intriguing suggestion by Jeremy to our five externally-oriented (1998) who speculates that, in addition Narby sense that somehow can perceive oriented the senses, we have an internally even DNA is made, life and consciousness stuff out of which perhaps spirals Another the genes that comprise that fade them, and the ultimate themselves, quanta of indestructible to the into the mystery calls our attention energy. Narby that such light and suggests that DNA does emit light, or photons, discovery if we learn to look inward. and described may be experienced by human beings can any of us as schizoid, it is easy to dismiss such speculation Although an alternative to begin to explain such phenomena? is a model Here propose of knowledge threshold could explore experience The noetic (intuitive) that both physicists and psychologists of religious together.

are profound, in mystical states insights invariably of the reality of God or whatever one's favorite (1) confirmation including alleged noun may be for the ultimate Source or Ground of Being, (2) the indestructibility of us all within that is, immortality, of consciousness, (3) the interrelatedness out of which the idea of the Brotherhood ofMan arises, and (4) the consciousness, of truth, beauty and love?an almost absurd idea to consider absoluteness of philosophical could explore the reliability Research relativism. period in this of such

William A. Richards

387

in different ways by different perhaps how they are expressed people insights, or catalyze in may and, above all, how such knowledge engender changes in subsequent and behavior attitudes everyday living.

The What

current

status

of research status" of research with entheogens? As a whole, we must

is the "current perhaps and the

admit that this entire field, bursting with possibilities,


ignored,

largely has been

as an expression of our concerns about the drug abuse of governments to lump all the world tendency throughout problem nar between and not to distinguish them, not even between drugs together cotics and entheogens. it is of interest to note that, when we asked Actually, in treatment to compare heroin addicts with LSD-assisted the psychotherapy two substances, stated that the two drugs stood in polar they invariably to one another: whereas heroin lured one away from one's prob relationship

lems and failed relationships, LSD tended to lead one directly into the heart of
them, and entheogens community repressed experienced they have to the growing and spiritual edge of personal growth. That is why to have a bad reputation have in the narcotic-abusing tended users to escape from have tried them and sought as, when emotions the period of drug action, during they have typically so-called run from "bad trips", characterized are their own Jungian by panic and paranoia. What as well as potential Shadows and spiritual acceptance; psychological

of resolution and divine experiences demands the confrontation of the Shadow. and befriending growth have been around for at least 2000 years, if not since the dawn Entheogens of man, and they have been rediscovered and then forced into the underground as most are is especially This cultures. remarkable by many entheogens to have very low addiction considered and negligible potential organic toxicity interest 1984). It is of special 1993; Strassman, that, in (Cohen, 1960; Gable, in their religious rituals, to be cultures that include entheogens there appears what we tend to fear is not the very little abuse of these substances. Perhaps, to which but the knowledge themselves, they may provide access. entheogens of Alan truth. I'm reminded Perhaps we want to know truth, but not too much on "the taboo of knowing who you are." The dangers, Watt's (1966) comments and the promise lie in when of these substances, employed, knowledgeably and spiritual. psychological who now reapproach must research with entheogens Scientists do so with conscious respect towards the sacred realms to which they may provide access. in a spirit of interdisciplinary After a They also need to progress cooperation. realms of dormancy, century quarter in some sites in Europe again now will progress with very and carefully-designed the United States. and with wisdom. is beginning research are many who There In the psychology of

share the hope that the pitfalls of the 1960s will be avoided and that research
steadiness

388

Journal of Religion and Health

of "interspirituality" frontier and the theological religious experience of renewed research with entheogens 1993; Teasdale, 1999), the findings intercultural prove to be of profound import in fostering understanding world peace.

(Eck, could and

References Brecht, B. (1955 [1939]). Leben des Galilei, Berlin: Suhrkamp.


S. (1960). Lysergic acid diethylamide:Side Cohen, and Mental Disease, 130,30-40. effects and complications. Journal of Nervous

D'Aquili, E. and Newberg, A.B.

(1999). The Mystical Mind: Probing

the Biology of Religious


and and acute of 19,

NY: Viking from LSD Research. Press. The Crucifixion. In R. Metzner in God, The Vision of Christ, (ed.). (1968). The Oneness Hart, M. of Ralph Metzner. NY: Macmillan, The Ecstatic Adventure by permission Reprinted (pp. 80-81). & Row. and Hell. NY: Harper and Heaven A. (1963). The Doors of Perception Huxley, : trans. New Haven Yale University R. Manheim, Press. K. (1954). Way to Wisdom. Jaspers, on In T.B. Roberts Sacrament?is: R. (2001). On Nomenclature. (ed.). Psychoactive Jesse, Essays on Spiritual Council Practices. San Francisco: and Religion Entheogens (pp. 225-231). 9. (pp. 4-5). NY: Pantheon. trans. R.F.C. (1959). Collected Hull, Vol. Works, Jung, CG., in the treatment J. (1971). LSD Grof, S., and Olsson, C, Pahnke, W.N., Kurland, A.A., Savage, and Neuro-Psychopharmakologie, alcoholics. 4, 83-94. Pharmakopsychiatrie Press. Yale University Cult. New Haven: W. (1938). The Peyote LeBarre, Columbus: State University Values and Peak Experiences. Ohio A. (1964). Religions, Maslow, Press. Maslow, Narby, Newberg, Belief. Pahnke, Journal J. A Reconnaissance. and Row. NY: Harper The Psychology (1966). of Science: NY: Tarcher. the Origins DNA and The Cosmic (1998). of Knowledge. Serpent: & The Biology Brain Science E. (2001). A. and D'Aquili, Why God Won't Go Away: Books. NY: Ballantine of LSD and experimental and Richards, WA W.N. (1966). mysticism. Implications A. of

Press. Fortress Minneapolis: Experience. Press. God. Boston: Beacon (1993). Encountering Eck, D.L. a comparative of dependence R.S. overview (1993). Toward Gable, American Journal used nonmedically. substances psychoactive 263-281. Observations Unconscious: Grof, S. (1975). Realms of the Human

potential of Drug

Alcohol

toxicity Abuse,

of

and Health, 5, 175-208. of Religion W.A., Yensen, R., Kurland, R.A., Turek, I., Richards, Rhead, J.C., Soskin, with alcoholics: (1977). (DPT)-assisted Psychedelic drug psychotherapy Journal 9, 287-300. Drugs, of Psychedelic in the study of mystical and archetypal W.A. (2002). Entheogens Richards,

A. A., and Ota, K.Y. A controlled study. experiences. Research

in the Social Scientific Study of Religion,


Richards, and W.A. (1978). Mystical Journal of Religion psychotherapy. WA. (1980). Richards, Psychedelic cancer. Journal terminal of Altered

13, 143-155.
patients in DPT-assisted

from persons suffering States 5, 309-319. of Consciousness, A.A. and Kurland, (1972). LSD-assisted WA, L.E., Richards, Grof, S., Goodman, psychotherapy with death. Journal encounter and the human 3, 121-150. of Transpersonal Psychology, A.A. The (1977). R., and Kurland, Yensen, F.B., Richards, W.A., J.C., DiLeo, Rhead, peak cancer with Journal variable in DPT-assisted patients. of Psy psychotherapy experience chedelic 9, 1-10. Drugs, for the narcotic addict: C. and McCabe, O.L. (LSD) therapy (1973). Residential psychedelic Savage, a controlled 28, 808-814. of General Psychiatry, study. Archives Love Story. Berkeley: Press. Transform Chemical A. and Shulgin, A. (1991). PIHKAL.A Shulgin, Transform The Continuation. A. (1997). TIHKAL: Press. A. and Shulgin, Berkeley: Shulgin,

of terminal experiences archetypal and Health, 17, 117-126. with psychotherapy drug-assisted

William A Richards

389

H. (2000). Cleansing Smith, Plants and Chemicals. NY: H. Smith, Church. Steindl-Rast, Entheogens Strassman, of Nervous Strassman, Religions. Watts, A.

of Perception: Tarcher/Putnam. and Snake, R. (1996). One Nation Under Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers. In T.B. Roberts D. (2001). Foreward. and R.J. R. San Francisco: Religion. reactions (1984). Adverse Disease, DMT: The 172, Spirit Council

the Doors

The God:

Religious The

Significance

of Entheogenic American

Triumph

of the Native

and Mental (2001).

on Sacrament?is: (ed.). Psychoactive Essays on Spiritual Practices. to psychedelic of the literature. Journal drugs: A review 577-595. Rochester VT: Park Street Press.

Molecule.

Teasdale, W.

(1999). The Mystic Heart: Discovering


CA: New The Book: The Joyous World On Library. the Taboo Cosmology:

a Universal Spirituality
Who You Are. NY:

in the World's

Novato (1966). (1962).

Tillich, P. (1966). The Future of Religions. NY: Harper and Row.


A. Watts, Pantheon. Against Knowing in Adventures Pantheon. NY: the Chemistry of Consciousness.

A.A. Yensen, R., DiLeo, F.B., Rhead, J.C., Richards, W.A., R.A., Turek, Soskin, B., and Kurland, with A pilot study. Journal neurotic (1976). MDA-assisted psychotherapy outpatients: of Ner vous and Mental Disease, 163, 233-245. R. and Dryer, D. (1995). Thirty Years Research: The Spring Grove Exper Yensen, of Psychedelic iment and Its Sequels, Yearbook of the European for the Study of Consciousness (ECBS) College Berlin: fur Wissenschaft und Bildung. 1993-1994, (pp. 73-101). Verlag R.C. Sacred and Profane. NY: Galaxy 212-226. Books (1961). Mysticism, Zaehner, R.C. of Mescalin. (1954). The Menace Zaehner, 35, 412-413, p. 310. Blackfriars,