Lilly was only one of many psychiatrists, anthropologists, and other researchers who realized the connection between drugs and the occult. Here was another powerful factor in the death of materialism. Psychedelic drugs open the doorway to a whole universe beyond the material world. Two generations of Westerners have been set free from materialism by drugs, only to be swallowed up by the occult.
No argument could any longer convince those who had experienced the “altered state” that reality was limited to the physical world. The sights, tastes, smells, sounds, and above all the exhilarating feelings in this strange new land of the mind often seemed even more vivid and real than those in the so-called “real world.” Ordinary reality seemed drab and tasteless by comparison. The magical door to what Carlos Castaneda called the “sorcerer’s world,” a realm surpassing even Alice’s Wonderland, had swung open, and America would never be the same. That world was inhabited by entities who would masquerade in any form that best suited their purpose.
Though Harvard professor William James at one time was convinced that human personality and behavior could be explained in materialistic/deterministic terms, he became a supporter of religious and mystical experiences for which there was no materialistic explanation. Unfortunately, he clung to the “scientific method” for understanding the realm of the spirit. As a consequence, James, not unlike the cult members of Rancho Santa Fe, fell victim to the belief that “higher powers exist and are at work to save the world. …”
Why should these allegedly “higher powers” be interested in saving the world? Might they not be determined to destroy us for their own selfish reasons? Is it not possible that such evil entities as demons actually exist?