THE BIBLE AND PSYCHEDELICS

(Skip the preamble and get right to the evidence)


Thesis: The major heroes of the Bible were inspired by psychedelic plants.

We’ll start simple. I don’t think there’s any of us here that would deny that drugs and religion can go hand in hand sometimes. Outside of the Developed World, this union is still alive and well. One glimpse at South America or Northwest Africa with their snuffs and fungi will confirm this. Even in America, there’s the Native American Church, the legally-embattled U.S. branch of the Uniao de Vegetal, and the New York City-based Temple of the True Inner Light.

Drugs have religious import - period. After four decades of re-ignited scholarly interest in the topic, this is incontrovertible fact.

I’m arguing a stronger claim: that most of what we know as religion, including the Judeo-Christian heritage that most Americans share to some extent can be traced back to the use of sacred psychedelics. The evidence has been staring us right in the face:

-Did anyone ever question why Jews and Christians regarded meals as such sacred events?
-When other contemporaneous religions had sacred meals, they were about mushrooms. Why are these two groups different?
-Does anyone really feel comfortable believing that our spiritual ancestors had such an unhealthy devotion to bread?
-Can we really accept that the Eucharist – the culmination of Jesus’ ministry and the last crucial thing he did before accepting death – was just a symbolic cannibalistic ritual?
-Were people back then hypersensitive to this kind of “symbolic value?”
-Hypersensitive enough so that Jesus’ words alone could make people devote themselves to voluntary poverty and martyrdom?
-Were his words really powerful enough to seduce people away from the dozens of other drug-using (and thus profoundly more “convincing”) religions in the surrounding areas?
-Doesn't it seem more likely that our tendency to explain everything away as "symbolic" is just an artifact of our modern sense of un-reality?
-Did Judaism and Christianity really evolve in a vacuum without picking up any rituals or rites from the religions they evolved under and around?
-We know that the writers of the Bible adapted many of their stories from nearby existing cultures. If these pagan stories were based largely on mushrooms (which many of they are), doesn’t this mean that the Bible stories are also rooted in mushrooms?

These questions should be enough to shake us out of our 21st-century American “War on Drugs” haze, but they usually aren’t. In response, I’ve compiled info from a bunch of books, websites, and personal theories that attempt to prove (in my opinion, extremely conclusively) that the major heroes of the Bible were drug heroes. The list is not comprehensive. There are still several books on the topic that I haven’t read, so this will be updated eventually. Also, when reading this, realize that these tidibits were meant to be taken as an interrelated whole. Any one of them by itself is not very convincing, but when you start weaving the web for yourself, you'll see how coherent it is.

I’d appreciate any comments from those of you who are still skeptical after reading the list. I’d like to know why. Again, I don’t get mad at people for not believing, because it’s so hard to accept this idea. I just want some feedback. Here, it's important to point out that I am not trying to make the argument that the Bible is "all about drugs." Like most religious documents, it has layers on top of layers of symbolism. I'm merely suggesting that chemical prescriptions for religious consciousness alteration is one of those layers.

I'll also note that I’m not much of a history buff, so if any of my historical claims are too strong, please call me out on it. However, keep in mind that this page is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of the topics discussed. At best, this is a teaser. If this ccompilation has the intended impact on the reader, he or she will click on the links below to buy one of the brilliant source books listed for more in-depth study. One final note: despite the fact that this list may come across as an effort at proselytizing, I truly just want to get this info out there so it can be considered, critiqued, revised, and integrated into our understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition.




THE EVIDENCE

HISTORY


* If you plot them on a map, all of the religious groups in the surrounding areas whose psychedelic use is in less dispute (to varying degrees) form a circle around the holy land: Vedic religion, Vedanta, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Siberian Shamanism, Norse Shamanism, Celtic Druidism, Babylonian religion (e.g., the Epic of Gilgamesh), Canaanite fertility cults, Manicheism, Mandeism, Gymnosophists, Nivkhi Shamanism, the Therapeutai, Egyptian religion (e.g., pyramid initiations, Mysteries of Osiris), Mithraic Mysteries, Zoroastrianism, Eleusinian Mysteries, Greek religion, Iranian Haoma religion, Roman religion, some African Tribal Religion (e.g., Bwiti), and Shepardic mountain cults. All of these religions, to some extent, made use of psychedelics. There is no good a priori reason to think that Judaism and Christianity (at the center of this circle) did not do the same.

* Many of the Gnostic offshoots from the original Roman Catholic Church used psychedelic plants (until the church wiped these groups out). For example, Manicheism was a Christian offshoot that used what seem to be mushrooms in a ritual called the "Mystery of the Tree of Knowledge." The Catholic Church accused them of heresy and gradually wiped them out. The Cathars were also "purified" by some sort of similar mystery...until the Catholic Church killed them off.


* St. Augustine himself, an ex-Manichean-turned-Catholic Church's philosophical hitman, denounced the practice of consuming mushrooms in his writings. He also condemned the practice of drinking urine (which is common to many amanita mushroom rituals, since the urine of someone who is intoxicated can intoxicate several others...can anyone think of another reason why these early Christian religious cults would make a sacred practice out of drinking each other's urine?). Why would this early defender of the Church care so much about these two mushroom-related practices if they weren't widespread in many, if not all, of the "heretical" offshoots of Christianity?


* When Manicheism spread to China, its followers were wiped out there, too, for being drug-using "vegetable-demon worshippers." Remember, this religion is largely an offshoot of original Christian congregations trying to escape the condemnatory, power-hungry Church.

* African offshoots of Christianity (probably too far away to be effectively persecuted by the Catholic Church) originally depicted the Tree of Knowledge as a big mushroom. This depiction is found in many Western European groups, too, though not as universally as it was in Africa, and these European depictions have been criticized by art scholars as being more like stylized pine trees. It's still suspicious, in my opinion.

* Medieval Alchemy, which was practiced in Europe starting in the late 1100's, used symbolism to conceal their now-known use of psychedelics from the Catholic Church. Why would the Church care so much if they weren’t actively stamping out religious drug use? It should be noted that many Church officials purportedly even lived double lives as alchemists.

* Pliny the Younger, a Roman responsible for the official investigation into the early Christians was particularly interested in their Eucharistic practices and strove fervently to wipe them out.

* The original persecution of the Christians by the Romans was based on suspicion of their communion rituals, then held in individuals’ homes. The Romans claimed that they had been witnessed engaging in sorcery and black magic. Most early magic and witchcraft (even up until at least the Middle Ages in Europe) made use of drugs. This isn't surprising since the line between early magic and shamanism is really fuzzy. Either way, the Romans were thus accusing the Christians of drug use for nefarious purposes.

* The Doctrine of Transubstantiation was forced upon Christians by the Church, resulting in many of them martyring themselves. In other words, the early Church, once it banned home prayer meetings, claimed that only it could give the Eucharist and made all Christians swear that the Eucharist they gave out was literally (NOT symbolically) the body of Christ. When many of them answered, "No! It's just a symbol!" they were killed. Why would they stand so firm in this conviction? If the point were merely doctrinal, would they have gone to their graves for it? Maybe, but probably not. It seems more likely that the Church was giving out placebos (i.e., bread), whereas the people were used to the real thing (i.e., mushrooms) in their home meetings. (For more evidence of this Church-lead suppression of Christian mushroom use, read the letter from Clement below)

* In the four revisions of the Old Testament (Yahweh, Elohim, Deuteronomical, and Priests versions), the democratic access to manna is gradually eroded, eventually leaving its consumption for just the priests. Did the high-ranking Jews keep manna for themselves, as did the early Church? Is returning it to the people the sacrilege for which they wanted to persecute Jesus? I realize that he had broken plenty of other laws, but this may have been "the big one," since it is probably what gained him his large, devout following.

* Philo of Judea equated the rites surrounding the Christian Eucharist with the Biblical description of the Pentecost, i.e. speaking in tongues and ecstatic, hysterical dancing. Why don’t people act this way when receiving Communion nowadays?

* Philo also claimed to have been "initiated under Moses the God-beloved into his greater mysteries. He also said that Moses was "the keeper and guardian of the mysteries of the Existent One." This is significant since Philo made frequent references to religious experiences amongst the Jews.

*Philo of Judea wrote of passover bread (quoted in Merkur):

They who became partakers in the messer before the greater mysteries judged wisely, as I think, for they "baked their dough which they brought out of Egypt into buried unleaved cakes"...And the method by which they softened it and wrought it to something better was revealed to them by divine inspiration, and they did not utter it aloud, but treasured it in silence. Their hearts were not lifted up by the revelations; rather they were bowed in submission, and all proud thoughts were humbled.

Being admitted into the inmost mysteries, [the soul] will learn not to blab or babble them thoughtlessly, but to store them up and guard them in secrecy and silence. For it is written "make buried cakes," because the sacred story that unveils to us the truth of the Uncreated and His potencies must be buried, since the knowledge of divine rites is a trust which not ever comer can guard aright."


* Maccabbees II 6:7 - Some OT descriptions of Jewish rituals equate Yahweh with Bakchos-Sabazios, the Phyrgian version of Dionysus. Dionysus is most certainly a drug god and is celebrated through ecstatic rites. Here is conclusive proof that Judaism did engage in syncretism with drug-using contemporary religions.

* More proof: The Therapeutai were a cult of Jews known by their contemporaries as "visionaries" who learned their chrismation rituals from the Gymnosophists, who were direct Ethiopian descendants of the Soma cult. They did this ritual every 7th Sabbath and were described as "fasting, anointing themselves with oils, and then dancing ecstatically for hours." They eschewed all alcohol explicitly, but described their own rituals as "a beautiful drunkenness that made them not heavy at head or dozing off but more awake." They were “drunk” on something other than alcohol. They use the word "methe" rather than "oinos" to describe their wine, making it clear that it's about a psychedelic potion, not alcohol. They also claimed to be the true followers of Moses. Read more about Moses and mushrooms below.

* Another mystical cult of Jews, the Essenes (which Jesus, Mary, and Joseph belonged to), were heavily tied to the Therapeutai and shared the same "healing rituals."

* Philo of Judea even lumped the Essenes into the same "shamanic" category as other well-known drug using groups in the area (e.g., the Iranian "Haoma" priests)

* Initiates into the Essene cult had to take very strict vows to keep the contents of the rituals secret.

* Paul himself declared Jesus to be "the new Mystery." Other "Mysteries" up until that point were about initiations into drug cults. (e.g., Mithraic mysteries, Eleusinian mysteries, Egyptian mysteries, etc.)

* Corinth, where Paul set up shop, was less than 40 miles away from the Eleusinian mysteries. Just to give you an idea of how close these cultures were.

* Jesus' "brother" James was the leader of a contemporaneous visionary cult that also derived from Essene tradition and used sacred drugs. Since many scholars doubt that James was Jesus’ literal brother, the term “brother” may refer to them being members of a sacred Essene cult.

* Most biblical baptisms, from John's to Jesus' to Paul's, all resulted in ecstatic babbling in tongues. Remember that chrismatic immersion in liquid was psychedelic in many other surrounding cultures, including Jewish (e.g., the High Priests and cannabis, the Essenes, the Therapeutai). In fact, the High Priest could only enter the inner sanctum of the Temple after taking one of these chrismatic oil baths (Leviticus 16:4). Also, remember that speaking in tongues is now known as glossolalia and is a characteristic of psychedelic trips.

* Pope Clement, one of the original founding fathers of the Church, said in one of his letters that we still have a fragment of today that the teachings given out to the public:
when Peter died a martyr, Mark came over to Alexandria, bringing both his own notes and those of Peter, from which he transferred to his former book the things suitable to whatever makes for progress toward knowledge. Thus he composed a more spiritual Gospel for the use of those who were being perfected. Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered, nor did he write down the hierophantic teaching of the Lord, but to the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover, brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils. Thus, in sum, he prepared matters, neither grudgingly nor incautiously, in my opinion, and, dying, he left his composition to the church in Alexandria, where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries.

...the wisdom of God, through Solomon, advises, "Answer the fool from his folly," teaching that the light of truth shall be hidden from those who are mentally blind. Again it says, "From him who has not shall be taken away," and "let the fool walk in darkness," but we are "children of light."


So the true, "more spiritual" "mysteries" (remember what that word meant up until this point in history) of Christ were admittedly being withheld from the general public by the early Church. This may also imply some mushroom use in Solomon, which is highly likely, since as we go further back in time, religion becomes more and more associated with drugs.

* Speaking of Solomon, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux equated "Solomon's bread" with the psychoactive, mystical experience-producing bread of the Song of Songs. So it seems likely that Solomon may have derived some of his wisdom from the mystical potential of psychedelics, which fits well with his dictum that "the start of all wisdom is the fear of God" - something that psychedelics can certainly inspire with their potential to evoke awe.

* The Valentinians, a group of Egyptian quasi-Gnostics who picked up on the Christ myth explicitly defined the body of Jesus as a "fruit" that brought "Illumination" and "Grace." Irenaeus, an early Church father, accused Marcus (at the time, the leader of the Valentinians) of using drugs as "aphrodisiacs" and "secret sacraments." It should be noted that Irenaeus' wife was wooed into joining Marcus' cult!

* Roman Magi also conferred "grace" through their psychedelic anointments.

*Irenaeus also saw the Israelites' use of manna as something that gave rise to love and devotion in a seemingly psychoactive way.

* In Polish Christian traditions, mushrooms sprout from the spittle of the apostle Peter as he walks behind Jesus.

* The apostle John was often depicted with a serpent (near-universal psychedelic symbol) coiled around his Eucharistic vessel. He also had a "secret church" at the time that consisted of a Mystery cult.

* In Old French (a language spoken in central Europe between 1000 and 1300), the words for Satan are "le bot" or "pied bot," which roughly mean "one foot" or "clubbed foot" (remember the Sanskrit Aja Ekepad, "one foot," referring to mushrooms in India and its cognates used in Greece). These Old French terms were also used to refer to mushrooms. Here we see Middle Ages Christianity demonizing mushrooms. A grudge this persistent isn't arbitrary. They had a serious problem with people taking these mushrooms.

* There is a large amount of art, from early Biblical days to the alchemists to the Renaissance to the Enlightenment that depicts scenes from the Bible with subtle but clear mushroom references. This is beyond the scope of my scholarship and I thus won't get into it, but it's there and there's lots of it.

OLD TESTAMENT STORIES


* An early Christian communion hall in northern Italy (pre 330 A.D.) has dozens of stylized mushrooms carved into the walls.

* The sins listed by Yahweh in the Old Testament include the "insufficient offering of cannabis (kaneh bosm)." Apparently, God gets mad if you don’t burn enough pot in his honor. Some scholars still take this word ("kaneh bosm") to refer to a plant called calamus, but in surveying much of the facts surrounding this controversy, I think the evidence comes out in favor of cannabis. Many scholars have been adopting this position as well, based on a few Internet articles I came across.

* David, Samuel, and Saul all went into a swoon on a threshing floor, possibly from ingesting too much airborne ergot. The ergot fungus (an psychedelic fungus, from which the precursors of LSD were extracted) grows on grain and has been implicated in countless cases of inadvertent, hallucinogenic poisoning (e.g., St. Anthony's fire, the witch hunts of the Dark Ages, accounts of demon possession) that would require a whole other discussion. Suffice it to say, though, that the word "halo" literally translates to "threshing floor." Those "possessed by the spirit" are usually depicted with halos. The connection seems straightforward.

* In Judgment 6, Gideon has an encounter with an angel on a threshing floor as well. Ergot inhalation seems like the primary suspect for his visions.

*Judges 7:13-14:

13 Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. "I had a dream," he was saying. "A round loaf of moldy barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed." 14 His friend responded, "This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands."
Moldy barley is most certainly a reference to ergot. Look at all the barley references in the Hymn to Demeter and other documents related to the ergot fungus-using Eleusian Mysteries for more proof of this. Was the strategic use of ergot intoxication what is referred to by "Gideon's sword?" This passage strongly suggests that.

* In Numbers 5:11-31, there is a pretty clear reference to the intentional, ritual ergot poisoning of a woman accused of adultery. The Jews made use of the toxic effects of ergot. Is it possible for them to have known how to do this without having also experienced the psychedelic effects of ergot? It's not likely.

* The OT story of Joseph and the fleece corresponds almost exactly to the Greek story of Jason and the Golden Fleece. The latter of these stories is most certainly about mushrooms. Another example of religious syncretism?

* Adam means "Red, Ruddy, and From the Soil." Amanita mushrooms are all three of these things.

* Eating from the Tree of Knowledge "opened Adam and Eve's eyes." Every religion that makes use of mushrooms treats it as the reception of some sort of divine wisdom.

* When the trees in the Garden of Eden are referred to as "pleasant to the sight," the Hebrew term used is "nekhmad lemareh." This term can also mean, "good for having visions!"

* Tons of other religions also use trees as “cosmic axes” by which on can ascend to the heavens. In most of these myth systems, the reason trees have this divine status is because of the mushrooms that can only grow within their root systems. Siberian shaman climb the cosmic tree, Odin found the well of wisdom at the bottom of an ash tree (Yggdrasil), the Buddha and Nagarjuna both encountered tree goddesses springing from the base of trees (where they thus attained enlightenment), the major Egyptian gods emerged from the acacia tree of Saosis, the Arabian “Tale of Buluqiya” talks of a tree of immortality encrusted with red jewels, Chinese mythology tells a story about a tree of knowledge that is nearly identical the the OT story, the Epic of Gilgamesh involves a tree, Mesopotamian mythology mentions them, Celtic mythic hero Finn MacCoul searches for enlightening berries that fall from a tree, North and South American (e.g. Aztecs) Native Americans talk about “trees of the world,” trees in Greek mythology (e.g., the one under which Perseus slays Medusa) are obvious mushroom symbols – especially when sought out by heroes for the voyage-inducing “golden apples” or “golden fleeces” that grow on them, etc.

* Could this tree-mushroom connection extend beyond the Bible in cabalistic Judaism, too? They organize their sepiroth around a “tree of life,” which is usually equated with the same tree in the Garden of Eden. If other mystics used psychedelics, did the cabalists (i.e., mystic Jews) do the same?

* The serpent is an important symbol, too. In Greek, Hindu, and other systems of mythology, snakes (or serpents, dragons, etc.) are psychedelic symbols. Often, they are either fertility/wisdom-inducing good guys or guardians of secret knowledge that must be vanquished by a hero on a quest. So should it come as a surprise that the OT Hebrew word for serpent is “nahash,” meaning “to decipher” or “to discover?”

* Genesis 14 - Melchizedek brings Abraham bread after he defended Sodom from outside attack. Does it seem likely that a king would reward a victorious hero with a load of bread? It must have been special "bread," which is curious in light of the fact that Melchizedek's school was known as one of three places where the Holy Spirit manifested itself (i.e., where entheogenic, ecstatic experiences of some sort were happening).

* The OT "Song of Songs" is most certainly about a psychedelic. It almost serves as a catchall list of drug symbols. However, I've read equally convincing theories linking it to mushrooms and to pot, so I withhold judgment. But it should be clear by now that the Bible mentions both of these drugs in a sacred context.

MOSES


* * * It’s crucial to note at this point that amanita mushrooms need to grow symbiotically in the roots of certain plants in moist environments. In the Holy Land deserts, the only place these kinds of plants grew was in the mountains, and moisture was most easily procured in rainy, mountainous areas .
-Side note: There are a few neuroscientists studying the neural correlates of religious experience who suggest that the frequent appearance of mountains in revelatory stories (e.g., Jesus', Moses', Mohammed's, OT Prophets', etc.) is due to the higher altitude’s effects on consciousness. I think this is quite a stretch when compared to the mushroom theory, but it just goes to show how far people will go to avoid equating psychedelics and religion.

* Moses grew up in Pharaoh's home, a hotbed for Egyptian magic and mysticism. He must have learned something there. He was also a Shepard and no doubt had exposure to Shepard mountain cults, which were largely about mushrooms.

* Jethro, Moses' old boss, was a Midianite priest and thus almost certainly knew about mushrooms.

* Moses' first encounter with God was when he wandered astray into the desert one day, high up onto a strange mountain (the only place where mushrooms grow in the desert) while grazing his sheep (only done in the rainy season, which is when mushrooms grow). He encountered "a plant that had a flame in its center but was not consumed by it." Amanita mushrooms are bright, flaming red and grow symbiotically in the roots of certain plants.

* The "burning plant" gave him three signs of its power. All of them are Amanita mushroom symbols: 1) It turned his staff into a snake - in other known psychedelic-using religions (e.g., Greek, Hindu), serpents symbolize mushrooms. 2) It covered his hand with "white, leprous patches" – amanita mushroom caps are covered in white, leprous patches. 3) It turned water into blood – an amanita mushroom dropped in a cup of water will turn the water blood red.

* A mushroom in its early stages looks just like an uncircumcised penis. As it grows, it breaks through its veil and then looks exactly like a circumcised penis. Could this explain the Jewish custom of circumcision?

* When Moses "wrestles with God" on his way in from the desert one day, he is saved by his wife circumcising their son and holding the foreskin up in a symbolic act of sympathetic magic.

* Exodus 15:25-29:
25 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

"Wood" could be an ergot infestation from a stalk of grain, which looks and feels like a rotting piece of wood.

* From Exodus 16:
11 The LORD said to Moses, 12 "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' "
13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, "It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer [a] for each person you have in your tent.' "
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning."
20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much-two omers [b] for each person-and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, "This is what the LORD commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.' "
24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 "Eat it today," Moses said, "because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any."
27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, "How long will you [c] refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out." 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.


Note that amanita mushrooms spring up overnight, and if they are not picked within 24 hours, die and are eaten by maggots, giving off a terrible stink. Flies love to lay their eggs on them, hence their nickname "fly agarics." Only drying it and/or baking it into a paste can save it from rotting. This also strengthens its connection to flesh, since flesh left exposed will fill up with maggots and stink.

* On another mountain-related note, remember the strict prohibitions that Moses gave his followers about following him up onto the mountain. He told them that if they so much as touched the mountain, they'd die.

* Also, every time Moses came down from the mountain after talking to God, his followers were too afraid to look at his "radiant" face. This “inheritance” of redness from the mushrooms must have strengthened the people’s belief in the consubstantiality of the drug and drug-user.

* Note also that the God of Abraham first identifies himself as "El Shaddai," which translates to "Mountain God." Abraham also calls the mountainous area of his near-sacrifice of Isaac "God Appears."

* God sends Moses out of the desert with the courage to convince Pharaoh to let the Jews go, but then attacks him later that night! How can this dual nature of God make sense, unless viewed through the notion of mushrooms giving one both euphoric and difficult trips?

* Remember also that after a similarly difficult desert encounter with an angel, Jacob is given the name "Israel," which means "One who struggles with God."

* In Exodus stories, Moses only ascends Mount Horeb after it rains. Mushrooms only grow the after a rain.

* While in the desert, the Jews complained about being really hungry. They were promptly attacked by God's fiery serpents and were only saved when they looked upon Moses' constructed metallic serpent. Seems strange, but note: Raw amanita mushrooms are "fiery" red and contain unpleasant levels of toxins. When dried, they turn a metallic gold color and are less toxic. Did the Jews get hungry and eat raw mushrooms they found (against Moses' command)? Did Moses then save them with the safer mushrooms?

* The tradition of eating unleavened bread couldn't have been started by the Jews having to leave Egypt too early in the morning since Moses had already told them the night before not to eat leavened bread. Coincidentally, the whole city started going nuts the next day, babbling and acting hysterical, which allowed the Jews to escape. Since Moses knew of the Egyptian plant medicines (from living in Pharaoh's palace), he most certainly knew of the ergot fungus (mentioned above) that grows on wheat. He could have identified tainted grain stalks, slipped them into the city bakery (most likely run by Jewish slaves), and caused the whole town (or at least those who ate leavened bread) to go temporarily crazy. How else would the Egyptians be willing to let the Jews take all of their possessions, as the Bible says they were?

* Mushrooms and ergot fungus also have powerful anti-appetitive effects, which could account for such "miracles" as keeping the Jews satiated in the desert or Jesus (during his sermon on the mount) being able to feed hundreds with just "a few loaves of bread." If these loaves of bread were ergot-infested, people would have felt full, and it also would have caused the religious fervor that he was able to whip them into.

* The "stream of water coming from the rock" (as Moses causes in the desert) appears in Greek and alchemical references to mushrooms, as well as in Apocryphal Christian descriptions of receiving the "word" of Jesus.

* No one was allowed to touch or look into the Ark of the Covenant - the box that Moses filled with tablets documenting the Word of God. What was really in there?

* Now that I think about it, the very physical description of the Ark given in the Bible proves that it couldn't have possibly held stone tablets. It was 52 x 31 x 31 inches and held by poles inserted through pure gold rings. If the pure gold rings were supporting 50,000 cubic inches of stone, they would have snapped. Gold is one of the most pliable metals out there. It must have contained something much lighter than stone.

* The "Golden Bull" (being worshipped by the Jews when Moses got back) is one of the most common symbols for psychedelic sacraments, employed in (just off the top of my head) Hindu, Celtic, Canaanite, Mithraic, Midianite, and Greek mythology. Someone must have gotten fed up with Yahweh, went up the mountain, and used the mushrooms to worship some prior mushroom cult god. This would also explain why, when Moses came down, he ground up the bull, made the people drink it, and then forced them to swear allegiance to Yahweh or die.

* Exodus 24:9-11 - Moses, Aaron, two priests, and 70 elders climbed a mountain, ate a sacramental meal to symbolize the covenant with God, and then had heavenly visions. Remember the mushroom-mountain connection and this one is a slam dunk.

* The first thing that the burning plant told Moses was to "take off his shoes. For he was on holy ground." Was it trying to avoid being stepped on?

MANNA

*Here's a summary of the qualities that the Bible attributes to manna and how each one relates to the amanita muscaria psychedelic mushroom:

It has a short lifespan. If not collected within a day, it gets stinky and full of maggots (Exodus 16:20) Flies have a proclivity to lay their eggs on Amanitas. If left exposed for a day, they will be consumed by maggots and give off the stink of rotting flesh.
It is "bread of the mighty," and something that gave its eater "the strength of angels." (Psalm 78:25) A typical quality of Amanita intoxication is a surge of energy, leading to feats of great strength. The Vikings and Celts may have used it to fuel their rage in battles.
It tastes like honey Amanitas taste like honey.
It was offered by Yahweh as proof of his sovereignty (Exodus 16:12) A characteristic of most psychedelic experiences is a strong awareness of an omnipresent entity in the room and a generalized sense of awe at Creation.
It grows at night (Numbers 11:9) Amanitas grow at night, after a rain.
It was meant to humble the Jews and show them that “people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3) Another characteristic of most psychedelic experiences is a pervasive sense of higher purpose and something akin to "spiritual nourishment."
It was “rained down” by God (Psalm 78:24) Amanitas (and mushrooms in general) are often noted for their seemingly miraculous birth from nothing but rainfall since their spores are invisible to the naked eye.
After the Jews stopped eating it, it was said to be “hidden away in Heaven.” (Revelation 2:17) Other psychedelic sacraments are often withheld from mortals in some divine place, e.g., ambrosia of the Greek gods
It had anti-appetitive effects Amanitas have anti-appetitive effects


* In Hebrew, Manna means "What is this?!?" That is a common reaction after one's first mushroom trip.

* The Encyclopedia Judaica lists manna as one of the ten objects specifically called into being by God during the Sabbath of creation. It was important.

* The Greek term for the mushrooms ("Amanita") was not found in their language until the Hellenistic period (where there was a lot of contact with the Jews). Manna may thus be the root of Amanita since there's no strictly Greek etymology for it.

* Manna is described in the Bible as "ground by the angels," "food for the saintly," "heaven's grain," "bread of the mighty," and something that gave its eater "the strength of angels." If you’re skeptical about this mushroom-induced strength, note that the Vikings and Celts may have also used amanitas to fuel their rage while plundering towns.

* Manna is also said to taste like honey, which is true of amanita mushrooms.

* The Kabalistic text of the Zohar refers to manna as "holy apples" transformed from the white dew frost. They're round, red, and grow in periods of climatic moisture. Celtic, Norse, Greek, and medeival grail-related mythology talk about magic apples, too, and this is always representative of a psychoactive plant. Also, note that amanita mushrooms grow at night and are thus often found in the morning dew.

* The prophet Jeremiah referred to manna as "the word of the Lord." Throughout a multitude of other manna references in stories of saints and other writings, this edibility of the word of God is maintained in the concept of manna.

* Philo of Judea referred to God's gift of manna as "food that costs no toil or sufferring, the food which without the cares and pains of men came not from the soil in the common way, but was sent, a wonder and marvel from heaven for the benefit of those who should use it." Honestly, can this be anything other than mushrooms?

* Gospel of Mark, where manna is identified as what sustained the Jews' faith and is also now offered as proof of Jesus' divinity:
26Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
30So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'[a]"
32Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34"Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread."



*Deuteronomy 8:3:
Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the LORD.

So manna was more than simple bread and is equated with the word of the Lord.

OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS


* The OT relies heavily on "prophetic dreams" as origins for its rites and rules. I can say from personal experience researching this sort of thing that, many times, when you see reference to "prophetic dreams" in the study of a religion, it is referring to psychedelic experiences. Either the original writers change the wording to avoid divulging their secrets or biased modern-day scholars avoid drawing the reference to psychedelic plants (e.g., as I have found with oracle interpretations and the cult of Asclepius).

*Here's a summary table of the OT prophets (plus Jonah) and how they attained communion with God:

Elijah After a rain, sitting under a tree, he came across “a cake of bread baked over hot coals.”He ate it and lay down. (1 Kings 19:6) Amanitas grow in the roots of trees after rain, they have the consistency of bread, and they can resemble fiery coals in shape and color
Isaiah He became a servant of God after atonement and a series of visions brought on by “a live coal” taken from the altar of God (Isaiah 6:6) Amanitas can resemble fiery coals in shape and color
Ezekiel After a rain, he sees creatures described variously as “burning coals,” straight-legged, shining like “burnished bronze,” and “wheels…full of eyes” that contained the spirit of animals. (Ezekiel 1) Amanitas grow after a rain and can resemble fiery coals. They stand on straight legs. When properly dried, they have a bronze color. They are round and covered in small eye-like flecks.
Jonah He is given a shade-producing “vine” by God that is eaten by a maggot after a day. (Jonah 4:5-7) Amanitas are parasol-shaped and are eaten by maggots within a day or so.


* Isaiah has his first vision after a "burning coal has touched his lips." The visions he has are another laundry list of mushroom metaphors, such as red, burning angels and genitals breaking through veils (as the penis-like mushroom grows to burst through its veil).

* Isaiah has mostly bad trips, coining phrases such as "bread of suffering" and "waters of distress."

* Ezekiel (again, out in the desert during a storm!) sees four creatures with wings and fiery, flaming torches. They each had a "small, shiny wheel" with "eyes all around the rim" (just like the little white flecks on mushrooms). There was a fiery throne above them that emitted a voice, commanding Ezekiel to eat a "scroll" that tasted like honey, which then took him to Yahweh in a state of amazement. It doesn't get any clearer than this.

* God also gives Jonah shade by a "shade-giving (i.e., parasol-shaped) plant" that springs up overnight and is gone the next day - just as mushrooms grow overnight and rot away almost immediately. A maggot attacks this plant, just as maggots attacked any manna stored overnight.

* All of these prophets (Moses, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Elijah) are thus apparently told to go back and preach to the Israelites by mushrooms. So Hebrew prophetic religion can be accurately traced back to these plants, just like many other prophetic religions.

* Jonah (as in "Jonah and the whale") means "dove." The dove was a mushroom symbol in many other religious systems.

* 1 Kings 17:6 - Elijah is brought miraculous bread by a raven in the desert. In Norse Siberian, Northwest Indian, and Greek mythology, ravens are frequently associated with mushrooms. Afghanis at the time also referred to mushrooms as "Raven's bread" and recognized it as a spiritual "eye-opener."

* When the prophet Elijah went out into the desert in search of Mount Horeb (the same mountain Moses dealt with) he came across a "round cake that had been baked on top of fiery coals" (remember mushrooms' similarity to fiery coals) that an angel urged to eat a lot of. After eating it, he "found" Mount Horeb and saw God just as Moses had. Note that this all happened the night after a storm (when mushrooms grow), the Bible tells us.

* Elijah then anointed three followers. Remember what was said earlier about anointments? And how many initiates did Jesus take into the "final temptation" in the Garden of Gethsemane? These parallels between Jesus and Elijah are crucial, since Luke's gospel has been recognized widely by scholars to be a deliberate attempt to make the Jews think that Jesus was "the new Elijah." (e.g., they both were out in the desert for "40 days and 40 nights.") So, if it seems like Elijah was doing mushrooms, the parallels in the story of Jesus were meant to convey the same hidden meaning about Christ. And vice-versa.

* Elijah is taken up to heaven in a "fiery chariot." Fire, as we've mentioned before, is often a religious symbol for mushrooms. So are chariots (e.g. Odin's chariot in Norse mythology).

* From II Kings 2:
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?"
"Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied.
10 "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours-otherwise not."


* 4 Ezra (Latin Apocalypse of Ezra) 14:37-48. Paraphrased:
I took the five men as the Most High commanded me, and we went forth into the field. A voice called me: Ezra, open thy mouth and drink what I give thee to drink! I opened my mouth, and there was reached unto me a full cup, which was full as it were with water, but the colour of it was like fire. I took it and drank; and when I had drunk, my heart poured forth understanding, wisdom grew in my breast, and my spirit retained its memory. My mouth opened, and was no more shut. The Most High gave understanding unto the five men, and they wrote what they were dictated in order, in characters which they knew not. So they sat forty days. They wrote in the day-time and at night did eat bread. I spoke in the day, and at night was not silent. So in 40 days were written ninety-four books. When the forty days were fulfilled, the Most High spake unto me saying: The twenty-four books that thou hast written publish, that the worthy and unworthy may read therein. But the seventy last thou shalt keep, to deliver them to the wise among thy people. For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the stream of knowledge.

NEW TESTAMENT

* The Greek equivalent of the name "Jesus" was "Iason," a drug-based hero of Greek mythology. The first part of this name (Iao) literally translates to "drug" as in "drug healer." It was meant to designate one as a shaman.

* Mark 2:17 - Jesus refers to himself with the word "Iaotros" which means "drug healer." Again, this seems to designate him as a shaman.

* "Christos" in Greek and "Messiah" in Hebrew translate to "the anointed one." "Anointing" in both of these cultures referred to the use of sacred psychoactive herbs applied in a chrismation ceremony. (For instance, the Old Testament specifically notes that myrrh, frankincense, and possibly cannabis were used to anoint the High Priest - all of these substances are psychoactive). So labeling Jesus as “Messiah” is akin to labeling him as a drug healer.

* Even one of Jesus' contemporary "competitors," Apollonius, was an "anointer" and "healer." He reportedly studied with the Soma cult of India and used a chrismatic ritual identical to theirs. Jesus' rituals were nearly identical to both of these. Since scholars regard Apollonius as a competitor of Jesus’ and we know he was a drug-using shaman, isn’t it sensible to think that Jesus was one, too?

* When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, a dove appeared. In Hindu, Greek, and Canaanite mythology (and even in the OT story of Jonah and the whale – read below), a dove was a mushroom symbol. Remember that this tradition of ritual liquid immersion almost certainly evolved from Soma priests -> Gymnosophists -> Therapeutai -> Essenes (Jesus)

* The Jewish High Priest wears a small red cap on his head that is referred to as "the crown of Yahweh's crismation." Small red cap? Like the Vatican's cardinals?

* Early Christian hymns made frequent reference to the "sweet taste of Jesus." Amanitas taste like honey.

* The Gospel of Mark has Jesus saying this (4:11-12):
He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,
" 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'"


In other words, “I explain everything to the outsiders in symbols and parables, but in our private ‘meals’ together, I show you guys what I'm really talking about.”

* The Gospel of John has Jesus saying this (6:26):
You are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you are your fill of the loaves.

* The eucharistic ceremony is referred to as the "baptism of fire" in remembrance of the first Pentecost, when the holy spirit descended on the apostles in the form of a small shoot of fire, making them ecstatic and prompting them to speak in tongues. Remember that in Hindu, Greek, and Jewish mythology (to list just a few off the top of my head), mushrooms were equated with fire. For example, the mushroom god Soma was "partnered" with the fire god Agni, and we've already discussed Moses' "burning bush." The Prometheus story is also thought to be about his theft of fire/mushrooms from the gods for mortals.

* The "wine" served with the Eucharist is not wine. The word for wine is never used in this context. The words used here are "genema tes ampelou," or "fruit of the vine." In the "parable of the vineyard," recounted in three of the four Gospels, Jesus metaphorically identifies himself as a vine.

* The root "charis" as in "Eucharist" translates to "grace." This term most certainly describes a state of spiritual connection with God characterized by religious ecstasy. Even Paul describes it this way in his letters several times. Of course, this doesn't conclusively prove anything in and of itself, but the use of this term in other religions often connotes a psychedelic experience. For instance, in Gnosticism (the Church's early competitor for the accepted meaning of Christ's teachings) grace was almost definitely associated with the consuming of a psychedelic. Also, the use of the term “grace” to describe the Eucharistic ritual explicitly links the whole process of eating the flesh of a god (by far, the most common metaphor for mushrooms, worldwide) in bread-like form to the attainment of ecstatic spiritual union with the divine.

* Paul reprimands the early Christians in his letters for letting the Eucharistic sacraments get too unruly and hedonistic (it's hard to imagine how a bread party would turn out this way). He reminds them that abusing the Eucharist was a sin and that many have fallen gravely ill from doing so (evidence of God's disfavoring of this behavior). This sounds like there’s a lot more at stake than bread.

* Early Christian Eucharist vessels bear the phrase "Phage Manna" (or "Eat Manna"), further identifying the body of Christ with manna.

* I can say from personal experience that dried Amanita mushrooms look and feel just like bread. And as noted above, putting them in water makes the water look like blood. There's your blood and bread. (However, the mushroom dropped in water won't make the wine psychoactive. Another fungus (discussed below) called ergot makes the water red AND psychoactive. If this seems like a potential contradiction, just remember that shamans at the time -as was Jesus- had their own “pharmocopias” made up of an extensive knowledge of many drugs. Knowing how to utilize one drug wasn’t very impressive and certainly wouldn’t have garnered the kind of following Jesus acquired).

* The Vedanta name for their psychedelic plant ("Soma") was the same word as the Greek term for body ("Soma"). Since there was most definitely crossover between these two cultures (e.g., the gymnosophists in Ethiopia), this could further explain the notion of eating "the body of Christ."

* Jesus had his final sweaty (the sweat is emphasized in the story – amanita mushrooms cause profuse sweating) "temptation" (when he wished that this "cup" would "pass him by") in the garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane translates to "oil press," which is what one would use to create a chrism for anointing out of dried mushrooms. The Indian Soma priests referred to Soma as "the pressed one."

* From John 7:
37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

One peculiar thing about amanita mushrooms is that drinking the urine of someone under their influence will have strong psychedelic effects on you, too. The ibotenic acid in the mushrooms takes a few passes through the system before it's entirely converted to muscimol (the active chemical) and can thus be excreted in the urine. This drugged urine was typically referred to (in other systems of mythology) as "living water." In fact, the major clue that allowed for the unraveling of the Indian Soma mystery was that the Soma ritual involved drinking each other's urine. Here, Jesus is saying that those who drink of him will piss "living water." Remember, this is one of the occult practices that St. Augustine found sound repulsive and thus rallied against.

* When Jesus gives the thirsty Samaritan woman "living water" at the well, she is initially offended (for unclear reasons) but Jesus assures her that she will never again "thirst after righteousness" and that "the water I shall give will turn into a spring inside you, welling up to eternal life." Was he on mushrooms and pissing in her bucket?

* The story of the transfiguration: When Jesus takes 3 apostles up on a mountain, they see him "transfigured." His face glows radiantly (amanita mushrooms cause a severe flushing of the cheeks) and his communicates with Moses and Elijah (two other mushroom users). His face looks so "radiant" that they are terrified to look at him. The apostles are sworn to secrecy. Remember also, mushrooms mainly grow on mountaintops in the desert.

* Most scholars claim that Jesus (and his Essene brethren) made a voyage to Egypt and/or India during the twenty-something years of his life left unaccounted for by the Bible. As mentioned many times above, it is well known that religious drug use and Mystery cults were existent in these places.

* The story of Jesus rolling back the rock and emerging from the tomb after three days is strikingly similar to an Egyptian initiation ritual in which the initiate is enclosed in a sarcophagus for three days while in a psychedelic trance in order to visit the world of the dead. This is the (or one of the) ritual(s) around which the Egyptian Book of the Dead was probably based, and this book is most certainly about eating a psychedelic for an encounter with the afterlife.

* When Jesus turned "water into wine" in Cana, the drunken partygoers said, "This new wine is much better than the stuff we've been drinking all night!" The modern mind might think, "Oh, they must have cracked open a bottle of the expensive stuff," but realize that there probably wasn't any truly appreciable difference in wine quality back then (viticultural techniques were still in their infancy) - at least not enough to impress a whole crowd of 1st century, middle-class drunks. It must have been different in some other way.

* Putting ergot fungus in water turns the water red and psychoactive when the active chemicals are released. Could this be how Jesus turned water into "new wine?" This is akin to the water-based wine produced in the Greek Eleusinian mysteries just 40 miles up the shore.

* John (2:11) calls this wine transformation "the first of [Jesus'] signs" that "revealed his glory!"

* Also, note that when the Apostles experienced the ecstatic possession of the Holy Spirit during the Pentecost, onlookers remarked, "They must be drunk on new wine." Remember that the new wine used by the Apostles was referred to by a different word altogether than the "old wine." There are many indications that the two things were entirely different. This distinction (between wine-wine and mushroom-psychedelic-wine) is made in strikingly similar way in the Greek rites of Dionysus. His followers drank alcohol and fungus-based teas, depending on the time of the year.

* The Last Supper was very clandestine. It was held in a hidden room safe from the Pharisees. This is where Jesus divulged the secret of his body and blood.

* The little white flecks on the cap of a mushroom look like the crown of thorns that Jesus was forced to wear during his execution.

* The myth of the virgin birth is common in other mythologies, particularly Greek. Usually, when a Greek god is born of a virgin, he is a mushroom symbol, since mushrooms seem to grow without a seed (spores are invisible to the naked eye). However, the Bible doesn’t mention anything about Mary being a virgin. Could the symbol have been adopted later in order to solidify the link between Jesus and Greek drug gods?

* Jesus was born in a manger (feeding trough). Does this symbolize his edibility?

* The 3 Magi who visited the baby Jesus were Persian. Most Persian Magi were part of the Haoma cult, which is the Persian/Iranian version of the India Soma cult.

* In his desert temptation, Jesus is told that "since he is God, he should jump off the top of the Temple just to prove it." Health teachers nationwide will happily supply you with horror stories of mushroom users who thought they could fly. Jesus had to get these kind of grandiose thoughts under control, as do most modern psychedelic users.

* A general note: Isn't the thrust of Christ's teachings, complete, agape love for all mankind, consistent with psychedelic user stereotypes of peace and love? This correlation doesn't prove anything, but it's certainly consistent.

* When asked for a sign that he was divine, Jesus responded that the only sign he would give was "that of Jonah." Remember the parasol plant that God grew for Jonah? That was Jesus’ proof of his divinity?

* Jesus' "close friend" Lazarus was "dead" and had to be revived by Jesus. When Jesus got word of this, he didn't seem upset. He waited two days before leaving to go see him. When he got there, he "revived" Lazarus by merely calling his name. Lazarus was just in a state of intoxicated paralysis (the worst kind of bad trip - but possible on amanitas) where he "felt the maggots within him." He was having a near death experience that brought him in touch with his own terrifying mortality - something common in psychedelic trips.

* All of Jesus' acts described in the Gospels occur within one growing season. Is this what he meant when he told everyone that he would return within their lifetimes? And what about his "resurrection?" It seems like everyone he met on the first Easter, after he had risen again, became ecstatic and possessed to do all sorts of bizarre things (e.g., the Apostles' Pentecost, Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus, etc.). “Jesus-resurrected” as a symbol for mushrooms would also allow for the conflicting stories in the four gospels to all be true. Jesus-as-a-man couldn't be in four different places at once. Jesus-as-mushrooms could have.

* To add to this, remember that his disciples didn't immediately recognize him after his resurrection. If he had been feeding them dried mushrooms (the only type that can have strong, positive effects), then maybe they didn't immediately recognize the "reborn" fresh mushrooms in the field. When they did, they were overjoyed.

* * * This is a big one: Jesus compared himself directly to this metallic gold serpent held up by Moses! That serpent is, in my opinion, the clearest mushroom symbol in the Bible.

* This makes me think...if Frankincense and Myrrh are psychoactive (which they are) then maybe the Magi's third gift (gold) referred to golden dried mushrooms. It's more likely to fit with the other two gifts than is actual gold, and Magi, by definition, were ritual drug healers.

* Saul was well known amongst early Christians as a persecutor. Could his conversion experience have been the result of someone slipping some ergot in his water before he left town to arrest Jesus? His conversion did happen very suddenly somewhat down the road, corresponding to the hour it would have needed to take effect. He fell off his horse, heard voices, experienced blindness, and a lack of hunger - all representative of ergot intoxication.

* I should also point out the radical change that took place to convert Saul from the interrogator of Christianity to the promulgator of it. That must have taken a profound conversion experience.

* The Book of Revelations reads like a compendium of the other mushroom symbols listed above. I challenge you to read it and NOT liken it to a psychedelic experience. * From John 4: (albeit, a bit out of context)
30They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."
32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."

* From John 5:
45"But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"

* Many accounts of early Christian prayer meetings in individual's houses has them drinking "new wine" and reclining quietly with their eyes closed. This is not what is typically done when getting drunk on wine.

* Ancient Hellenic texts from Biblical times say that wine had to be mixed with 3 to 20 parts water or else death or insanity would result. So there was stuff going around at the time that was called "wine" but clearly wasn't alcohol, since the fermentation processes of the day could -at best- produce 11 to 13% alcohol in a drink.

* In Matthew 15, Jesus gets yelled at for not washing his hands before eating. The following argument ensues, but it is possible that he was trying to get across another point in a very subtle way:
10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "
12Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"
13He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.[e] If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
15Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."
16"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "


APOCRYPHA


* Apocryphal gospels (Christian writings often equal in legitimacy to the Canonical Gospels that were only excluded from the Bible by the early Church because they didn't suit their purposes) repeatedly talk about all sorts of mystery initiation rituals that Jesus conducted in private for followers. As you may have guessed, they’re full of likely psychedelic symbols - FAR too many to list here. In these Gospels, Jesus also says stuff like this:
"The Pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed entering those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves." (Gospel of Thomas)
Remember the symbolic drug associations of serpents and doves from the surrounding cultures.

* In the Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, there's a scene in which the Apostles "drink and eat" and then adorn themselves with chrismatic ointment. All of the places they are said to have smeared it are mucousal membranes where absorption of any chemicals would have been possible. It apparently wasn't just for symbolic decoration, since decorating one's gums, nostrils, and inner ears is not too likely.

* The food and drink eaten in this Gospel of Thomas description is referred to as "immortal food" or "ambrosia." Ambrosia in Greek mythology (and Amrita in Vedic/Hindu/Buddhist writings) is definitely psychedelic. This food (in the Gospel of Thomas) is also described as intoxicating, yet having many attributes that are not true of alcohol (e.g., "doesn't give neither thirst nor desire"…alcohol definitely leads to both) but correlate perfectly with nearly identical OT descriptions of manna.

* Some more Gospel of Thomas quotes:
o "Thou Lord art he that revealeth hidden Mysteries and maketh manifest words that are secret."
o "So then you, my brother Thomas, have beheld what is obscure to men?"
o Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person and hidden things shall be revealed to him."


* Even the Christian grail knights, starting in the 12th century, made it their mission to find the "cup that contains the blood of Christ." Did they seriously believe that there was a cup that held some of Christ's blood (from when he was punctured on the cross) for 1200 years, or did they recognize it as a symbol? Note that a fully frown amanita mushroom turns its sides up like wings and looks a lot like a goblet. Search for some images.

* There were many grail myths with many different descriptions of the grail - all consistent with amanita mushrooms: (1) a large platter, (2) a Eucharist wafer, (3) a chalice, and (4) a luminous stone. These should all look familiar from the sections above.

* Most of these grail myths also liken the experience of the grail to a visionary experience that culminates in an ecstatic, symbolic death, like that of Ezekiel and Christ.

* The grail was also "grown from a branch on the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden."

* On the topic of trees, let me note that trees have always been symbolic of a mushroom-induced shamanic journey, most likely due to amanita mushrooms' need to grow within the root matrix of trees. Essentially all of the traditions listed above in the first point (and even North and South American ones, in addition) had some sort of tree relating to the shamanic voyage.

* When Sir Galahad reached the Grail castle, he had a beatific vision of Christ. When he peered into the grail, he died in a state of rapturous bliss and ascended into heaven immediately. Much like psychedelic ego death.

*Here are some potential mushroom references in the newly unveiled Gospel of Judas. My notes follow each quote:

“Often he did not appear to his disciples as himself, but he was found among them as a child.”

I would love to find out what Greek term was used for “child,” and to get into its etymology. I’m pretty sure that it’s in Greek mythology (note that this gospel was originally written in Greek) that mushrooms are often referred to in childish terms (e.g., the “little ones”). This line is especially suspect since the rest of the passage makes no reference to Jesus as a child.

"One day he was with his disciples in Judea, and he found them gathered together and seated in pious observance. When he [approached] his disciples, [34] gathered >>together and seated and offering a prayer of thanksgiving over the bread, [he] laughed. The disciples said to [him], 'Master, why are you laughing at [our] prayer of thanksgiving? We have done what is right.' He answered and said to them, 'I am not laughing at you. are not doing this because of your own will but because it is through this that your god [will be] praised.' They said, 'Master, you are […] the son of our god.' Jesus said to them, 'How do you know me? Truly [I] say to you, no generation of the people that are among you will know me.'
...
“When Jesus observed their lack of [understanding, he said] to them, 'Why has this agitation led you to anger? Your god who is within you and […]'
...
'Knowing that Judas was reflecting upon something that was exalted, Jesus said to him, 'Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom.'"


Jesus seems to be mocking their “bread eating” ritual by noting that it’s putting them in touch with a different god. Judas, on the other hand, gets favored and enters into “conversation” with Jesus because only he rightfully identifies him. As you know, different species of Amanitas look pretty similar, and even when you find the right (psychoactive) one, they’re notoriously hard to get a psychedelic trip out of. Maybe this difficulty is what’s contributing to their “praising of another god.”

“A great angel, the enlightened divine Self-Generated, emerged from the cloud.”

Self-generated? From the cloud? Self-generation is unavoidable for a Creator god, but this “great angel” was brought into being by a greater power. Why would the text run the risk of coming across as self-contradictory by dubbing him/her/it “self-created?” This odd, quasi-incorrect description of the angel sounds like a traditional mythic mushroom reference to me (i.e., no visible seed, springing up in the wake of clouds).



Sources:

* Arthur, James. Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion. San Diego: The Book Tree, 2003.
* Buehrens, John A. Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals. Boston: Beacon Press, 2003.
* Heinrich, Clark. Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy. Rochester: Park Street Press, 2002.
* Merkur, Dan. The Mystery of Manna: The Psychedelic Sacrament of the Bible. Rochester: Park Street Press, 2000.
* Ruck, Carl A. P., Clark Heinrich, & Blaise D. Staples. The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2001.
* Spong, John Shelby. Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1996.
* Wasson, Gordon R., Stella Kramrisch, Carl Ruck, Jonathan Ott. Persephone’s Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1986.

* Hajieck-Dobberstein, Scott. (1995). "Soma siddhas and alchemical enlightenment: psychedelic mushrooms in Buddhist tradition." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 48, 99-115.
* Ruck, Carl A.P. (1981). "Mushrooms and philosophers" Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 4, 179-205.
* Ruck, Carl A.P. (1982). "The wild and the cultivated: Wine in Euripides' Bacchae." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 5, 231-270.
* Ruck, Carl A.P. (1983). "The offerings from the Hyperboreans." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 8, 177-207.

* Erowid.org
* The Bible
* Rotten Library
* James Arthur’s Home Page
* Michael Hoffman’s Home Page
* Some thoughts of my own thrown in for good measure



Email me: wtb208 -at- nyu -dot- edu

Last Update: April 17th, 2006