THOMAS B. ROBERTS
THOMAS B. ROBERTS
THE ENTHEOGEN REFORMATION
Five-hundred years ago, the invention of movable type made books widely available; this democratized access to religious texts, Western civilization was never the same. In the 21st Century, entheogens are democratizing primary religious experiences – mystical experiences. The ‘nones’ and people who see themselves as ‘spiritual, not religious’ can feel at home with entheogens, and historical and current religious leaders have recognized mystical experiences as a foundation of religion. But are entheogenic mystical experiences genuine or are they faint substitutes? What changes lie in store for us and for future generations? Early sightings point to the religion of direct, sacred experience replacing text-based, word-based, belief-based religion. Research to date claim mysticism’s self-transcendent experiences often boost personal values, raise social concerns, and improve ethical actions. Well-being, spirituality, meaningfulness, altruism, and open-mindedness have been experimentally induced with psilocybin. Do theological studies and related scholarly fields in psychology, philosophy, sociology, and history of religion dare to try entheogen experiments?
TOM likes to start things. He is a founding member of MAPS, co-founder of the Council on Spiritual Practices and of the International Transpersonal Association. In 1984, he wrote the first letter to the DEA requesting a hearing on MDMA scheduling. Starting in 1981, he taught the first university catalogued course in Psychedelic Studies, and for the 2006 Basel conference, originated Rising Researchers sessions. He is author of The Psychedelic Future of the Mind, editor of Spiritual Growth with Entheogens, co-editor of The Psychedelic Policy Quagmire and of Psychedelic Medicine plus more books and several hundred articles, book reviews, and chapters, and so forth. Currently, he is trying to convince the humanities and religion that they can benefit from psychedelics, but he expects that originating the celebration of Bicycle Day will be his most-known life contribution. See: www.niu.academia.edu/ThomasRoberts