Altered States: Buddhism and Psychedelic Spirituality in by Douglas Osto

By Douglas Osto

Within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, american citizens mixed psychedelics with Buddhist meditation to accomplish direct event via altered states of realization. As a few practitioners turned extra dedicated to Buddhism, they deserted using psychedelics in want of stricter psychological self-discipline, yet others carried on with the scan, advancing a desirable alchemy known as psychedelic Buddhism. Many imagine exploration with psychedelics and Buddhism light with the progressive spirit of the sixties, however the underground perform has developed right into a model of religiosity as eclectic and hard because the period that created it.

"Altered States" combines interviews with famous figures in American Buddhism and psychedelic spirituality--including Lama Surya Das, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei, Rick Strassman, Charles Tart, and Erik Davis--and own tales of daily practitioners to outline a incredibly American non secular phenomenon. The nuanced point of view that emerges, grounded in a close background of psychedelic non secular adventure, provides serious intensity to debates over the managed use of psychedelics and drug-induced mysticism. The ebook additionally opens new paths of inquiry into such matters as re-enchantment, the boundaries of rationality, the biochemical and psychosocial foundation of altered states of cognizance, and the character of subjectivity.

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Extra resources for Altered States: Buddhism and Psychedelic Spirituality in America

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Logic, intelligence, and reason are satisfied, but the heart goes hungry. For the heart has learned to feel that we live for the future. Science may, slowly and uncertainly, give us a better future—for a few years. And then, for each of us, it will end. It will all end. However long postponed, everything composed must decompose. Despite some opinions to the contrary, this is still the general view of science. In literary and religious circles it is now often supposed that the conflict between science and belief is a thing of the past.

We can’t reimpose old myths on ourselves or believe in new ones made up out of a desire for comfort; therefore, the path of self-examination is the only one a person of conscience can reasonably follow. Otherwise, we will only numb ourselves to the meaninglessness of life, seizing present pleasure to avoid pain, a futile strategy—here Watts has slipped in the second noble truth, which is that pleasure can never cure pain since the two are connected. Trapped between outworn myths and despair, there is another way, but it requires a revolution in thought.

But he cannot help himself. This is the typical human problem. The object of dread may not be an operation in the immediate future. It may be the problem of next month’s rent, of a threatened war or social disaster, of being able to save enough for old age, or of death at the last. This “spoiler of the present” may not even be a future dread. It may be something out of the past, some memory of an injury, some crime or indiscretion, which haunts the present with a sense of resentment or guilt. The power of memories and expectations is such that for most human beings the past and the future are not as real, but more real than the present.

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