Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Founders of Christianity were Potheads?

Just read an article on Moses.

An Isreali researcher has just released a paper asserting that Moses was probably high as a kite (and then some) when he heard God recite the ten commandments. He was also, most probably, totally stoked when he saw the burning bush.

The article states that "mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times." This is according to Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.

"As far as Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics..."

The drug of choice, in those days, was brewed from the bark of acacia trees. The ancient drug apparently contains the "same psychoactive molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic... ayahuasca is prepared."

In another article on the same subject Shannon is quoted as writing:

"In advanced forms of ayahuasca inebriation, the seeing of light is accompanied by profound religious and spiritual feelings... On such occasions, one often feels that in seeing the light, one is encountering the ground of all Being ... many identify this power as God."

Once again, one marvels at the ironies and contradictions at the root of religious belief.

The so-called "War on Drugs", for example, has always been closely tied to the conservative Christian ethos. No doubt, religious believers of all stripes will dismiss Shannon's assertions out of hand. Easier to believe in a sky-god that handed Moses stone tablets than to believe that tribal, religious zealots, several thousand years ago, took psychedelic drugs. Gee, just like now. Think of it, the founder of Christian "morality" could have been a "pothead". A drug induced haze is likely responsible for thousands of years of not just religious war & peace, but all the great works of art, music, literature, sculpture, painting, political writing, etc... even Jesus. Does it get better than that?

One could argue that the war on drugs, if it had been in force in Moses' day, could have stopped Judaism *and* Christianity DEAD in their tracks. Hmmm.... On the other hand, just think of all the Bach Cantatas we would be forced to give up, the architecture, literature and painting... Maybe religion is worth it.

Pass the bong...

There has never been and never will be a successful "war" on drugs.


Aaron said...

Wow, I never knew this. Not terribly surprising. I have always seen fasting and ceaseless prayer and supplication mentioned repeatedly throughout the bible as a natural drugless way to induce altered chemical states in the body. But really, has there ever been an ancient culture who, upon discovering an hallucinogen didn't make it part of their rites?

The only question needing to be asked is "were the herbs around?" and "did they know about them?"

upinVermont said...

Isn't it supremely ironic that frequently the very people who vilify drug-use in any and all forms, then go pray under the auspices of a religion which may have been founded by drug users? -- whose narcotically induced visions they uncritically accept as evidence of God?

I tell you, it just doesn't get better than that.

Aaron said...

And John on the isle of Patmos writing Revelation- Ha! Timothy Leary could not have belched a greater clusterfuck of sheer nonsense.