After a talk which touched on the need to prepare for death, I asked a
question about the value of MDMA in terminal patients (referring to Charles
Grob's study in LA). He replied that MDMA was valuable for the dying as
much as at raves in that it allowed the feeling of oneness and seeing life
from a new aspect. Prohibition is not the best way to deal with substances
that can be used in ways that are as sacramental as communion wine. They
may arouse feelings of awkwardness which may be uncomfortable but are
essential for deeper understanding of our selves. However, there are other
methods such as are described in a book called Mind Aerobics.
At the end, the rabbi beckoned me to come up onto the stage. He took me
into a fire exit staircase, out of earshot of his entourage, and told me
that he could not afford to undermine his project by publicly supporting
the use of illegal drugs, but that he had my book (which he praised) and he
believed that MDMA and other psychedelics cold be used to immense benefit.
Not only for personal awareness, but also for the sake of Gaia or the
cosmic wellbeing of the planet. He hinted that the MDMA experience was of
the same quality and potential value as other mystical experiences, and
suggested that priests should take the drug themselves both in order to
understand young people and to see the validity of spiritual experiences
produced by drugs. He referred Masro's conclusion concerning 'peak
experiences' that taking drugs was like reaching the top of a mountain by
cable car instead of the toil of climbing - it can be seen as cheating, but
it gets you to the same place. He ended by giving me a big hug and
encouraging me in my work.