My publisher is worried that the audience for my new little book on psychedelic Christianity, which should go on sale about one year from now, is too small, thinking there aren’t enough people who believe in Christianity and also believe that psychedelic experience is religious experience. Potential readers tend to associate psychedelics with Asian religions like Hinduism and Buddhism (see Ram Dass and Alan Watts) or with shamanistic practices of indigenous peoples (see Terrence McKenna and like-minded authors), while they associate “the Christian Right” with “the War on Drugs.” This is a reasonable worry. After all, as I have written in that new book, “Psychedelic Christianity is just the religion of people who have had profound psychedelic experiences and believe that Christianity is the best religious expression of what they have experienced. We may be rare birds, but we exist.” And publishers are not in the business of trying to sell books to tiny audiences.
Apparently, however, I have said enough in the rest of the book to allay those worries somewhat. At any rate, what I want to make clear here is that the Institute for the Advancement of Psychedelic Christianity addresses its efforts to all those who either believe in Christianity or believe that psychedelic experience is religious experience. I realize that there are Christians who believe that psychedelics are anathema and that there are psychedelicists for whom Christianity is anathema. The goal of the Institute is to try to convince both of those groups that they are really natural allies, that the truths revealed by psychedelic experience fit the truths revealed in Christianity like a hand fits into a glove. We want to reach out not only to those who already see themselves as psychedelic Christians but also to those who see themselves as Christians and to those who see themselves as psychedelic enthusiasts.