‘If the drugs reveal more of reality than would otherwise be available to the knower, we must call into question the knowledge that we already posses. For it is obvious that the dependability of our powers of knowing external reality would become questionable.’
– Catholic philosopher, Raphael Waters
The book, Understanding Marijuana: a new look at the scientific evidence, by Mitchell Earleywine, mentions a scientific study of the effects of marijuana in which one-fourth of the subjects reported spiritual effects of marijuana which had a dramatic effect on them. These effects paralleled reports of religious ecstasy. About one-fifth of the subjects said that the intoxication had acquired religious significance for them. contemporary authors also assert that the drug can enhance spirituality. Many encourage pensive meditative use of the drug and discourage its mindless consumption.
Another book,The Healing Magic of Cannabis, by Beverly Potter and Dan Joy mentions the Good Friday Experiment conducted using LSD by Timothy Leary and his colleagues at Harvard. However after numerous other experiments using LSD and Cannabis by other people during the New Age movement, many researchers felt that Cannabis offered a brief and non-threatening initiation into psychoactivity. While LSD was considered appropriate only for occasional use, Cannabis could be used more frequently to recall the spiritual intensity of LSD experiences and help nurture, maintain and integrate into daily life the insights they yielded.
The book Cannabis Spirituality, by Stephen Gaskin discusses the continuing contemporary entheogenic use of Cannabis as a form of alternative spirituality.
Another interesting book called, The psychedelic sacrament: manna, meditation, and mystical experience by Daniel Merkur talks about Philo, a Jew who lived in Alexandria between 20 B.C.E. and 50 C.E. and wrote extensive commentaries in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called Septuagint. Philo mentions that the Israelis had manna in the morning and also had visions of the glory of God in the morning. The author of the book argues that ergot a psychedelic fungus that grows on cereal grains was consumed to induce religious experiences as a matter of public knowledge in the era of Moses through David and subsequently it became a secret tradition in biblical Israel, rabbinical Judaism and various Christian churches. The author discusses the unfortunate prejudice that the Academia share with popular culture that ‘mystical experiences’ are by definition irrational while they off-hand dismiss historical records of Mystics who were rational thinkers and who advocated mystical teachings.
The same holds true for modern-day intellectuals who are respected as rational men and women untill they start talking about their ‘mystical’ experiences under the influence of psychotropic plants !! For further discussion on this please refer to the following link: