Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals / Edition 1 by Huston Smith | 9781591810087 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals / Edition 1

Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals / Edition 1

by Huston Smith
     
 

ISBN-10: 1591810086

ISBN-13: 9781591810087

Pub. Date: 03/01/2003

Publisher: Sentient Publications

In this book, renowned philosopher and scholar of religion Huston Smith, takes a serious look at the use of psychedelic drugs as a means to achieve mystical union with the divine. In a unique blend of direct experience and academic depth, Smith examines this controversial subject and describes the historic and turbulent academic experiments of the sixties in which

Overview

In this book, renowned philosopher and scholar of religion Huston Smith, takes a serious look at the use of psychedelic drugs as a means to achieve mystical union with the divine. In a unique blend of direct experience and academic depth, Smith examines this controversial subject and describes the historic and turbulent academic experiments of the sixties in which he was both a subject and an observer. Smith begins by telling the story of his own initiation into the world of psychedelic drugs in the company of Timothy Leary—a meeting arranged by Aldous Huxley—and the profound effect it had on his understanding of reality. In wrestling with the question—Do drugs have religious import?—he draws on history, theology, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology.

He tells of fascinating experiments that attempted to shed light on this question, such as the one in which he participated as a guide, where twenty volunteers—mostly seminary students—were given psilocybin before they attended a traditional Good Friday church service. He discusses as well the use of peyote in Native American sacred rituals and the hallucinogenic plant soma in ancient India. Throughout, he does not approach the question of drugs and religion from any fixed standpoint. Instead, he mines his own experiences and his relationships to pioneers in this field to come up with insights on this intriguing subject that are not available in any other book written for the general public.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591810087
Publisher:
Sentient Publications
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Edition description:
First Reprinted Sentient Edition
Pages:
173
Sales rank:
769,371
Product dimensions:
6.09(w) x 9.11(h) x 0.49(d)

Table of Contents

Prefacexv
Introduction1
Chapter One. Empirical Metaphysics9
Chapter Two. Do Drugs Have Religious Import?15
Chapter Three. Psychedelic Theophanies and the Religious Life33
Chapter Four. Historical Evidence: India's Sacred Soma45
Chapter Five. The Sacred Unconscious65
Chapter Six Contemporary Evidence: Psychiatry and the
Work of Stanislav Grof79
Chapter Seven. The Good Friday Experiment99
Chapter Eight. The Case of Cardinal John Henry Newman107
Chapter Nine Entheogenic Religions: The Eleusinian
Mysteries and the Native American Church113
Chapter Ten. Something Like a Summing-Up127
Appendices
Appendix A Secularization and the Sacred: The
Contemporary Scene135
Appendix B Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove: A
Televised Interview149
Notes and References159
Index165

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >