Psychedelic Christianity discusses what we should hope and believe about the ultimate goal of living and uses psychedelic experience and Christianity as its guiding stars. The book reconciles three seemingly inconsistent claims: that we have already attained the ultimate goal; that there is more than one ultimate goal; that there is and always will be another ultimate goal coming. Psychedelic Christianity also argues that Jesus taught that worldly politics will never lead to the kingdom of heaven.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Psychedelic Christianity is not a book about Christian information, it is more of a transformational reading experience. The term “all in all” is explored in how a psychedelic trip can bring you towards an experience in the truth of the Word and remain in the Word. Psychedelic Christianity may be a book ahead of its time! This is a read that has a Divine lure which includes and transcends the tradition; a bold view of the Kingdom of God. ~ James F. Skalicky, Ph.D., Psychotherapist, Professor of Psychology, Citrus College (ret.)
Psychedelic Christianity is an entertaining and lucid evaluation of the usefulness of hallucinogens on achieving insights into key questions that underlie a spiritual quest. These include our relationship to a higher deity and what is expected of us. The argument leads us to examine the ultimate question concerning the goal of existence. Jack Call argues that while this goal has already been reached, it is not the end of the road. All in all, a fresh examination of the overlap between substance-induced spiritual experiences and Christian teachings, and the revelations that one may have on the other. Psychedelic Christianity is an innovative and provocative read that feeds the inquiring mind. ~ Rick Brown, Ph.D., Psychology Dept., Citrus College
Psychedelic Christianity offers a refreshingly relevant, philosophically rigorous approach to how modern Christians can practice an ancient faith in a complex world. Author Jack Call draws on his own experiences as a philosopher and a Christian, along with his occasional use of LSD, to offer a path toward re-conceptualizing a relationship with God. While Call’s anecdotes are deeply personal, and some of his experiences unique, his spiritual journey is easy to relate to.
Despite its presence in the book’s title, the psychedelic experience is used only as a lens, and the book’s point is not exclusive to that specific experience. Instead, the book begins by exploring important philosophical concepts that nicely frame some of the big questions in Christianity, including the idea of having an “ultimate goal” in life and the question of an afterlife. With the philosophy established, the book moves on to a discourse about how finding a more meaningful relationship with God can inspire us to be creative, to interface with the mystery of spirituality, and to make decisions about how to treat other people.
Written with humor, clear language, and a practical approach to the spiritual journey, Psychedelic Christianity does its readers a great service by reflecting on what many of us have probably thought or wondered, but few of us have the context and rigor to evaluate on our own. ~ Michael Dennis, Moderator, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
Bravo!! Loved it. This book contains marvelous insights. ~ The Rev. Bill Garrison, Rector, St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Whittier, California
. . . a breath of fresh air at a time when many folks are losing their religion. The book offers bold and refreshing takes on age-old questions in a modern context. . . . I highly recommend this book for believers, non-believers, and those that are undecided. The author has built a large tent for all of us to be together in peace. ~ Bruce Olav Solheim, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, Playwright, Citrus College, Glendora, California
Jack Call plunges deeply into concerns of meaning and purpose. "What's the point?" he asks. If there is only one ultimate goal, that points to "an eternity that scares me ... frozen, motionless, stale and suffocating." Instead, he paints a vibrant picture of hope for "absolutely fresh newness, as on the day of Creation, with solids that look like they have just gelled from liquid, and liquids that look like shining solids, and everything breathing and squirming with life." Wow!
This book deepened my understanding of the kingdom Jesus spoke of; it deepened my faith. My own experiences of "spiritual ecstasy" have come through REALLY good music and nature. It was fascinating to read how Jack Call's psychedelic experiences have given him deeply beautiful spiritual insights.
I hated to have the book end. I know I will read it again. ~ Barbara Kremins, Registered Nurse, retired
According to Luke, Jesus says about the Kingdom of Heaven that it isn’t something to be found down the road, but is already here. Similarly, Thomas reports Jesus as having said that the Kingdom of Heaven is already on earth, but that men do not see it. In Psychedelic Christianity, Jack Call echoes these profound and yet puzzling proclamations. Psychedelic Christianity is Jack Call’s most recent exploration into connections he and others have made between insights gained by way of psychedelic and “traditional” religious experience. This is a connection first suggested in God is a Symbol of Something True (2009), and pursued further in some detail in the follow up Dreams and Resurrection (2014). A highly trained philosopher, Jack Call (PhD, Claremont) takes great care to present clear and convincing arguments, and as someone who has walked the walk, speaks with authority about both psychedelic and religious experience. One of the aims of this book is to show how Christianity, how its system of archetypes that constitutes its intelligible framework, can work toward healing the spiritually blind, so that they may now see the Kingdom of Heaven that has been here all along.
~ Kurt Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Jack Call’s Psychedelic Christianity offers readers a kaleidoscope of profoundly personal experience and emergent theology-- hoping for “glorious joy” in life-after-life while exploring this life, focusing on human desire for moral, sensual and intellectual beauty in the here and now. Not “an aging hippie,” Call shoots from the hip; he is both self-reflective and frankly straight-forward in opinion (e.g. opposing politicized Christianity). Scripture is generously cited. ~ Deanna Wilcox, Executive Director, Kids-Net LA, Inc., a non-profit in service to young foster children
I was brought up with little religion. My mom and dad are non practicing Christians, and my stepfather is most likely an atheist. What little I know regarding Christianity, I have learned from my grandmothers and I have picked things up here and there. I admit, I am an agnostic and am still trying to figure this all out. That's part of the reason why I wanted to read this book. The other being I've never taken an LSD trip. As someone who is afraid of death and what happens after, this book has brought some comfort. If anything it has taught me a little more about Christianity from a completely different viewpoint. As a scientist, I like things that make logical sense. Not everything does, but the author did an excellent job of using logic in many of his arguments. I enjoyed this, as I felt the author was using more than blind faith to justify his views and to me that is important. Evidence and thought. As a philosopher the author has a way of keeping the reader intrigued by using evidence and logic, some may find the reading a bit dense at times, but others will also appreciate the preciseness of the language used. ~ Paul Swatzel, Professor of Mathematics, Citrus College, Glendora, California
A challenging read but worth it. A philosophical inquiry into the nature of God, with the author’s experiences with psychedelic assistance in opening to the wonder of the Divine. ~ Cathy Dehaven, hospice RN (ret.)
This is not an easy read yet the rewards are worth the perseverance, particularly if the reader is not used to the mental gymnastics required. The work is undoubtedly more at home in the domain of the philosopher rather than the theologian in the first few chapters, but it seems a wordy way of saying 'It is better to travel in hope than to finally arrive' or that 'it is human to strive for "something", otherwise there is only a form of death'.
One thing it cannot fail to achieve, however, is to stretch the reader's understanding of spirituality and the soul's growth. In its working of logical arguments it highlights the dissatisfaction of a classic position leading to either an exciting train of thought that explores many other possibilities or be a trap of monumental mental proportions that ensnares the reader in a spirituality that is essentially Gnostic.
In time the initial inference of the title is made plain with the assumption and encouragement that one takes mind expanding assistance of some kind or other to experience a form of transcendence that will ultimately change all who partake of such things in a positive spiritual way and open themselves up to love. Although words such as 'grace' are used there is no mention, however, of the traditional spiritual discipline and understanding of prayer in relation to Grace, Redemption and Faith but an underlying concept of reaching out for an 'ultimate' goal through experience.
This book will not be everybody's cup of tea nor rest easily with their way of thinking. Having been a psychiatric nurse, am an ordained priest, a psychic and a Counsellor/Psychologist I am not attracted to try this route for myself for I have seen too many adverse reactions, but before there be any words of condemnation I suggest the reader attempts to place their religious scruples and prejudices to one side to consider just what Jack Call is saying alongside the suggestion of psychedelic chemical use and evaluate where the practice has led him. It might surprise them.
~ Rev John Littlewood, BSc (Hons), Cert Pastoral Theology (Cambs), Cert Theology (Cambs)
Psychedelic Christianity tackles the deepest questions we all ask of ourselves: Why are we here? What, if anything, is our purpose? What is God’s plan for each of us? Using the words of Jesus and Paul as his jumping off point, Jack Call merges teachings from the New Testament with insights from history’s greatest philosophers to build his own philosophical argument that seeks to answer those very questions. Always logical, and often deeply personal, Psychedelic Christianity is a book that helps the reader reconsider his or her assumptions about the nature of God, free will, the Golden Rule, social justice, and the relationship between psychedelics and the divine. ~ Jason Lambert, Executive Director, Content Licensing & Metadata, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Jack Call’s Psychedelic Christianity is a carefully written journey of a soul, chronicling the development of the author’s thought over the last ten years. As a Baby Boomer who experimented with LSD and spent much of his adult life as a secular humanist, he has now returned to Christianity but has had trouble finding a congregation that is neither too politically progressive nor dogmatically fundamentalist. Echoing Huxley, he describes his youthful psychedelic experiences as having an “absolutely fresh newness, as on the day of Creation.” But now as a self-identified Protestant Christian, he believes that Christianity offers “the best religious expression” of his psychedelic experiences. As with psychedelics, Christianity reveals truths that are “forgotten, ignored, [and] . . . hidden,” and although some view psychedelics to be the domain of hippies, the author contends that “Psychedelic Christianity is as fresh as the tender shoots of spring . . . [because the] psychedelic experience is a way of learning how to be in the right relationship to God.” To skeptics, he encourages them to try psychedelics and find out for themselves. He has considered the possibility of starting his own congregation but thinks he lacks “the talent for it.” He wants a church that does not use “shame, fear, and guilt as tools to enforce social conformity.” People instead should be “acting from love . . . [and not] because one has been forced.” With utopian fervor, he asserts that “the kingdom of God happens when everyone . . . freely chooses to be fair and just, full of pity and love for the next person.” The author has already established the Institute for the Advancement of Psychedelic Christianity and manages a website for the organization. Perhaps the next step will be to take the plunge and start a new denomination. ~ David Overly, Ph.D., Professor of English, Citrus College