Glimpses of God and Reality (Glimpses) is about how to integrate psychedelic experiences of sacredness. Glimpses was put together by Inner Peace Fellowship (IPF). IPF is a group that took psychedelics in the 1960s and since then has been integrating those experiences into our everyday life. We studied eastern religions and listened to holy men. Some of us lived with saints while others spent considerable time alone in high, remote mountains. We met in the 1970s when we came together to form a community of several thousand to explore reality through meditation. Many of us have been practicing nondirective mantra meditation now for over 40 years. Some of us have had careers and raised families while meditating two to four hours every day while others have lived in reclusion and meditate 6 hours every day. We are friends and neighbors who have been sharing one another's successes and mistakes for a lifetime, and our community continues to experiment, to learn and to thrive. This book is about what we learned and the mistakes we made.
Glimpses of God and Reality is about how to increase inner peace, goodness and sacredness. It is about how to have a direct, personal relationship with whatever created life through your experience; not through beliefs, middlemen or organizations. A million new people each year (2021) use our web site InnerPeaceFellowship.org in 236 countries and jurisdictions.
We are made from the dust of stars that exploded long ago. Somehow that stardust came alive 3.8 billion years ago and no one knows what made that happen. The view in Glimpses is that whatever created life cannot be known through words, ideas or beliefs, but rather that whatever created life is known through your experience. Further, the view in Glimpses is that our experience of being alive is the direct experience of our Creator. And finally, the view in Glimpses is that insisting your beliefs about our Creator are the truth – insisting that your beliefs somehow actually own our Creator – is idolatry that is tearing our world apart.
Glimpses describes our relationship with our Creator in terms of science. In terms of science, the story of how Earth was created and how life arose on Earth is much more astonishing and awe inspiring than any story told by religions. Glimpses was inspired by the work of Richard Feynman, David Christian and Edward O. Wilson who said:“Altogether, the results of the neuroscience of religion thus far suggest strongly that a religious instinct does indeed exist … [but] … surely there exist ways to find spiritual fulfillment without surrender and enslavement.” Glimpses expands on Wilson’s view that humans came to dominate Earth through cooperation and goodness. Glimpses describes how to connect with your instincts for cooperation and goodness, and then use those instincts to create balance in your life and in your society.
Glimpses is about gaining self-knowledge and remaining empowered. Self-knowledge comes from the fact that you know better than anyone what increases or decreases your inner peace, what is good and what is bad, and what brings you closer to sacredness; that you know better than anyone what works best for you. You gain self-knowledge by learning to trust yourself, your experiences and your instincts. And the self-knowledge gained is what then enables you to retain your power and not become disempowered by others.
Glimpses provides instructions for a 3,000 year old Vedic meditation technique from India based on original Sanskrit mantras from that time. This meditation has now been used and refined by yogis for thousands of years and is easy to learn. Glimpses provides a simple meditation practice for beginners that can be expanded into deeper and deeper practice over time. Through regular meditation you become more familiar with the silence and stillness inside of you, which in turn can increase your sense of well-being and make you more present. Some call those effects from meditation enlightenment, moksha, liberation, self-realization, awakening or nonduality.
Glimpses is about overcoming the fear of death. Throughout history we have managed our fear of death with religious beliefs. Recently however research with terminal cancer patients at Johns Hopkins University found that psychedelic experiences can greatly diminish and even overcome the fear of death. In our experience, psychedelics, when administered professionally, have the ability to establish enduring inner peace and well-being, and the potential to end holy war.
What readers have said about the work of Inner Peace Fellowship:
“Am 23 years, and am from Kenya. I have loved your mind relaxing technique. It has changed my mind completly. Inner Peace Fellowship is My Hero” Eric
“Thank you for your wonderful book and instructions. The absence of models to explain the unexplainable really resonates with me. I feel I have been looking for something like this for a long time.”Julie
“The ideas in this book have transformed my life. Letting go of certainty is such an amazing experience, especially for intellectuals trapped in their minds. I could never thank you enough for writing this book.” Robert
“Reading the Quiz questions opened my heart and my mind to a deeper level than I could have even imagined.” Catskills
“I have been meditating for many years having done intensive Vipassana and Mindfulness meditation yet felt that I had not found the right technique for me. This gentle mantra meditation works quite well. Thanx.” Lecia
“I have been meditating for a very long time (I am 75 years old), but have always ended up trying or trying not to try! Your meditation instructions have relieved me of this tendency and I really find this meditation very relaxing and easy to do.” Julie
Part 1 – Why We Have Sacred Experiences With Psychedelics
Inner Peace Fellowship
Life’s Intelligence Has Many Forms
The Default-mode Network of Our Brain
Part 2 – A Conversation With Michael
How To Approach This New Beginning
This Astonishing Mystery Called Life
Your First Meditation
Daily Practice of Meditation
Expanding Your Mantra
Side Effects and Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Instructions For Advanced Inner Peace Meditation
Expanded Practice Time
Side Effects and Cautions
Words and Teachings About Freedom
Our Biggest Problem
The Rise of Abstract Thinking
You Are Stardust
Stardust Comes Alive
Life Learned How To Learn
Still The Same Old Mystery
How Humans Came to Dominate Earth
Learning to Control Fire
Building And Defending An Established Nest
What Has Value
How To Build Good Values
Learning To Do The Right Thing
Good Values Are Earned and Quiet
Determining The Values of Others
The Work You Do
Are Your Caveman Instincts Making You Crazy?
We Are One Group
Shri Guru Charanam
My Sweet Lord
Power and Authority
The Business of Selling the You Back Your Higher Power
Faith and Beliefs
Abstract Thought and The Fear That Arises From It
The I That Will Die
Managing Abstract Thought
The Mind and The Heart Compete
An Idea The Heart Can Follow
Your Spiritual Home
1.Portions of Part 1 were adapted from David Christian’s Big History Project
2.“Factor Analysis of the Mystical Experience Questionnaire: A Study of Experiences Occasioned by the Hallucinogen Psilocybin”; Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (2012) 51(4):721–737; MacLean, Leoutsakos, Johnson, Griffiths; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The Questionnaire was developed by Walter Pahnke (1963, 1969), who referenced the work of W. T. Stace and Abraham Maslow.
3.“Searching for a baseline: functional imaging and the resting human brain”; Gusnard D.A, Raichle, ME; Washington University; Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2001 Oct;2(10):685-94
4.“The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs”; Robin L. Carhart-Harris, Robert Leech, Peter J. Hellyer, Murray Shanahan, Amanda Feilding, Enzo Tagliazucchi, Dante R. Chialvo, David Nutt; Imperial College; Front. Hum. Neurosci., 03 February 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020
5.“Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin”; Robin L. Carhart-Harris, David Erritzoe, Tim Williams, James M. Stone, Laurence J. Reed, Alessandro Colasanti, Robin J. Tyacke, Robert Leech, Andrea L. Malizia, Kevin Murphy, Peter Hobden, John Evans, Amanda Feilding, Richard G. Wise, and David J. Nutt; Imperial College; www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1119598109/-/DCSupplemental; 2012
6.“Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity”; Judson A. Brewer, Patrick D. Worhunsky, Jeremy R. Gray, Yi-Yuan Tang, Jochen Weber, and Hedy Kober; Yale University; edited by Marcus E. Raichle, Washington University St. Louis, St. Louis, MO; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; December 13, 2011 108 (50) 20254-20259; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1112029108
7.Jeffery A. Martin, The Finders; Integration Press; 2019; and “Clusters of Individuals Experiences form a Continuum of Persistent Non-Symbolic Experiences in Adults”; 2014, and revised in Consciousness: Ideas and Research for the Twenty First Century; 2020, Vol 8, Issue 8
8.E. O. Wilson; The Social Conquest of Earth; Liveright, 2013
9.“A New Understanding”; http://vimeo.com/ondemand/anewunderstandingpa/ or from Amazon.com; “The Trip Treatment”; New Yorker; February 9, 2015
10.Roland Griffiths; “Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Project – Implications for Spirituality & Therapeutics”; at 00:25:49 of video presentation to the Psychedelic Science 2017 Conference
11.This section was adapted from: E. O. Wilson; The Social Conquest of Earth; Liveright, 2013, and David Christian’s Big History Project
12.Edward O. Wilson; The Meaning of Human Existence; Liveright, 2014 [and] The Social Conquest of Earth; Liveright, 2013
13.You are 93% stardust by mass. The remaining 7% of our mass is hydrogen, which was created at the time of the Big Bang and thus is not stardust.
14.The following sections were adapted from David Christian’s Big History Project.
15.David Reich; Who We Are And How We Got Here; Pantheon, 2018
16.Recent surveys by the Pew Foundation have found that most people in the United States still believe in God or a universal spirit.
17.Parts of this chapter were adapted from The Social Conquest of Earth and The Meaning of Human Existence by E. O. Wilson; and from David Christian’s Big History Project.
18.Edwin Catmull, Creativity, Inc.; Random House, 2014
19.Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden; Basic Books, 1995
20.Christopher McDougall, Born To Run; Knopf Doubleday, 2009
21.The six other permanent nest builders are the naked mole rat, the Damaraland rat, honeybees, mound-building termites, leaf cutter ants, thrips and aphids.
22.Steven A. LeBlanc, Constant Battles – Why We Fight; St. Martin’s, 2002
23.Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Discipline, “Urban Promise”; Penguin, 2009
24.Alison Gopnik, “Our Sense of Fairness Is Beyond Politics”; Wall Street Journal.; January 21, 2021
26.Viveka-Chudamani (The Crest Jewel of Discrimination); Isherwood, Prabhavananda translation; p. 40
27.Ibid; p. 75
28.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (Washington: Pew, 2008), p.162.
29.Ibid; p. 162
30.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (Washington: Pew, 2008), p.162.
31.Barton Swaim quoting Brad Gregory from his book The Unintended Reformation in the Wall Street Journal. article “Blame It On Calvin & Luther”; January 14, 2012.
32.Marc Andreessen in the Wall Street Journal. article “Why Software Is Eating the World”; August 20, 2011.
33.Diana Butler Bass, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (New York: HarperCollins 2012)
34.Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 5 - 7.
35.Amy Sullivan, “The Rise of the Nones”, Time, March 12, 2012.
36.What most people want from their relationship with higher power is to have their heart filled with more love and brotherhood, to increase happiness and inner peace, to improve luck and good fortune, and to keep stuff they’re afraid of away from their life.
37.Jay Stevens and Ralph Steadman, Storming Heaven; LSD and the American Dream; New York, Grove Press, 1998
38.Tom Wolfe, Hooking Up; London, Macmillan 2010
39.Stevens and Steadman, op. cit.; page 178; references the Journal of Neuropsychiatry; Nov-Dec, 1962
40.Michael Pollen, How to Change Your Mind; What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence; New York, Penguin 2018; also, Michael Pollen, "The Trip Treatment"; New Yorker; February 9, 2015
41.John Edward Dalberg (Lord Acton) in an 1887 letter to Mandell Creighton; from “Notable & Quotable” in the Wall Street Journal.; May 19, 2012
42.This section was adapted from Edward O. Wilson, The Social Conquest of Earth, and from David Christian’s BigHistoryProject.com
43.King James Version of the Christian Bible