Back Cover Copy
“Collectively, these essays constitute the best single inquiry into the religious significance of chemically occasioned mystical experiences that has yet appeared.”
--Huston Smith, Ph.D., author of The World’s Religions
We live in a time when a great many voices are calling for a spiritual renewal to address the problems that face humanity, yet the way of entheogens--one of the oldest and most widespread means of attaining a religious experience--is forbidden, surrounded by controversy and misunderstanding. Widely employed in traditional shamanic societies, entheogens figure prominently in the origins of religion and their use continues today throughout the world. They alter consciousness in such a profound way that, depending on the set and setting, they can produce the ultimate human experience: union with God or revelation of other mystical realities.
With contributions by Albert Hofmann, Terence McKenna, Ann and Alexander Shulgin, Thomas Riedlinger, Dale Pendell, and Rick Strassman as well as interviews with R. Gordon Wasson and Jack Kornfield, this book explores ancient and modern uses of psychedelic drugs, emphasizing the complementary relationship between science and mystical experience and the importance of psychedelics to the future of religion and society. Revealing the mystical-religious possibilities of substances such as psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, and LSD, this book exposes the vital need for developing an organized spiritual context for their use in order to fully realize their transformative and sacred value. Stressing the importance of academic and religious freedom, the authors call for a revival of scientific and religious inquiry into entheogens so they may be used safely and legally by those seeking to cultivate spiritual awareness.
ROBERT FORTE, AMRS, began his work with psychedelics as a student of Stanislav Grof and Frank Barron, cofounder of the Harvard Psilocybin Project. He obtained his master’s degree under Mircea Eliade and has collaborated with many of the leaders in the field of psychedelics, including R. Gordon Wasson, Timothy Leary, and Huston Smith. A former director of the Albert Hofmann Foundation, he teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies.