Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse

Springfield, Vermont

Why Are We Talking About Psychedelics at Church?

Dear Friends and Members,

    As You may be aware, psychedelics or entheogens was the subject which I preached about in 2019 on January 6, the Epiphany.  And later in the year I offered part two of the sermon.  We then had a book group discussion of Michael Pollan’s book, “How to Change Your Mind.”  Why is this topic worthy of our attention?  As we leap into the world we need, what we need most is a shift in our consciousness.  To quote Einstein, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”  We need a more expansive awareness of ourselves, the world and our interconnectedness.  We need mystical experiences.  There are many practices that can invite these experiences such as meditating, chanting, creating music, singing, dancing, praying, walking in nature and so many more.  We can’t force them but we can invite them. 

    Are psychedelics a valid avenue of mystical experience?  Intelligent, well-intentioned people disagree on this question.  It turns out that we’re in a psychedelic renaissance.  Since the 1990’s, research is being conducted once again legally at major institutions including Johns Hopkins.       Evidence is growing for the benefits of entheogens for numerous problems including alcoholism, PTSD, anxiety, end-of-life distress, addiction and more.  There is also a growing understanding of the benefits of entheogens for healthy people who are seeking psychological or spiritual unfoldment rather than treatment for a malady.   In his book, Michael Pollan explains and explores this beautifully.  I think it behooves us as religious seekers to learn about, openly explore and respectfully discuss all avenues of mystical experience, including entheogens.  You’re invited to join us for this exploration if You feel so inclined.  May our expanded conversations and consciousness help us find creative ways to help heal our beautiful and broken world.  See You at the Meetinghouse.

With Love,