Moses and the Psychedelics

Moses

Professor Benny Shanon, whose book The Antipodes of the Mind investigated the Amazonian shamans' brew ayahuasca, has stirred controversy by claiming that Moses may have been on a psychedelic trip when he received the Ten Commandments:

Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.

"As far 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," Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.

Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the "burning bush," suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.

Now, when they say Shanon has "dabbled", they of course mean that he has drunk the potent ayahuasca brew over 160 times (each of which normally entails a psychologically and physically demanding 6 to 8 hours minimum). There are certainly ayahuasca analogues in the Middle East (that is, plants that contain similar psychotropic chemicals as to the ones used in South America), but I haven't heard of any hard evidence for usage in the Middle East. Probably worth getting a hold of the Time and Mind paper mentioned in the article to see what Shanon has to say about it all...

You can pick up Shanon's classic The Antipodes of the Mind from Amazon US and UK. Thanks for the heads-up Filip.

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red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
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59 min 22 sec

So, the 'burning bush' was probably Marijuana, eh? Imagine that :-)

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It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

Rick MG's picture
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2 May 2004
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And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the horn, and the mountain smoking. from the Book of Exodus.

The Datura flower is trumpet-shaped.

epgrondine's picture
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23 October 2006
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Hi Rick -

You can pretty well set the Exodus to 1628 BCE, at the time of both the eruption of Thera and a close encounter with Comet Encke.

This is also described in the "storm stela" of Ahmose I.

If you are trying to identify ancient near eastern psychoactive factors, may I suggest starting with the works of John Allegro and R.G. Wasson?

E.P. Grondine
Man and Impact in the Americas

middleworld's picture
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22 January 2007
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Absolutely zero evidence of anyone named Moses. Zero evidence of Exodus. Look it up. NONE. The history of the early Jews in the Bible is entirely fake as "history".

Mention it to the good Dr. I'm sure the drug parts are true. All religion comes from ecstatic visons initially. Hinduism. Nobody believes Krishna actually existed.

Rick MG's picture
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2 May 2004
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Are you saying blue-skinned, multi-armed deities never existed? ;)

There's a terrific book by Ahmed Osman, suggesting that the heretical Pharaoh Akhenaten was Moses (Amazon US or UK). The evidence Osman presents is very convincing. The story of Moses had too great an influence on Biblical history to be entirely fictitious; there's truth to be found within the myth.

Come to think of it, there's absolutely zero evidence anyone named Harry Potter ever existed either...

anthonynorth's picture
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13 April 2007
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Good morning everyone,
All the religious figures, patriarchs, avatars and icons existed, and continue to exist. Take away the culture and in each case you're left with the Hero archetype.
They exist, have always existed, and continue to exist, as deeply entrenched 'cultural' influences within our mind. THAT is where religion comes from.
As for the Bush, that's changed. Prior to the Iraq War it seemed that we don't talk to IT any more, but God came and talked to the Bush himself :-)

...

I'm fanatical about moderation

Anthony North

Kathrinn's picture
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10 August 2004
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5 weeks 4 days

Very funny, Anthony!!

Regards, Kathrinn

Anonymous's picture
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19 October 2004
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6 years 20 weeks

I respect the faith you have in all that you believe.

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My apologies go out to all who were just offended by this hostile, confrontational and completely unreasonable post.

Anonymous's picture
Member since:
19 October 2004
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6 years 20 weeks

Amazing how some "theories" get concocted when someone is doped up. LOL

Hey, whatever makes your square pegs fit into your round holes.

--------------------------------------
My apologies go out to all who were just offended by this hostile, confrontational and completely unreasonable post.

Greg's picture
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35 min 56 sec
Anonymous wrote:

Amazing how some "theories" get concocted when someone is doped up. LOL

Hey, whatever makes your square pegs fit into your round holes.

Interesting you bring that up. Hallucinogens certainly do seem to spur creativity and theoretical thinking. Frances Crick reportedly had the inspiration for his DNA breakthrough while tripping on LSD. Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis also said that LSD use was crucial to his own breakthrough in DNA research. A lot of the computer industry has its roots in hallucinogen use - Steve Jobs included, and also the inventor of the mouse, Douglas Englebart. Many of the virtual reality pioneers also.

Carl Sagan said that his usage of marijuana helped his creative thinking and scientific theorizing, dismissing the notion that the 'high' inspiration was an illusion: "I am convinced that this is an error," wrote Sagan, "and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights; the main problem is putting these insights in a form acceptable to the quite different self that we are when we're down the next day."

Shanon is no psychedelic spacenaut throwing out ideas for the sake of it - his book is a very careful, scientific investigation. You can read through parts of it via Google Books.

Kind regards,
Greg
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You monkeys only think you're running things

earthling's picture
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These examples that Greg has are interesting. I suggest that these are people who think about their technical problems all the time. They think genetics, or computer input devices (the mouse guy), or cosmology (Sagan) when they are sober, drunk, high, hungry, satisfied. And when they are asleep.

If that is the case, then the effects you get from being asleep, or drunk, or high, can be helpful - you get a release from strict reasoning. I say this can help to make the jump to something you cannot find by strict single step reasoning.

Having said that, being high or drunk or asleep all the time won't get you to those solutions. Perhaps the initial spark for the solution comes at those times, but you have to make it real when you are awake and sober.

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wherever you go, there you are

Anonymous's picture
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19 October 2004
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What a wet blanket you are. We should all get high and make the world a better place!

;)

--------------------------------------
My apologies go out to all who were just offended by this hostile, confrontational and completely unreasonable post.

earthling's picture
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22 November 2004
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Precisely. Drinking and driving is good. Just not at the same time. After all you might hit a bump in the road and spill the drink. That is alcohol abuse!
[insert emoticon here]

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wherever you go, there you are

red pill junkie's picture
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The problem here is that hallucinogenic substances that were used in sacred ceremonies with respect and sobriety (no pun intended here), have come to be considered nothing more than recreational drugs in our current society. So instead of using them to attain spiritual insight, knowledge, enlightment or whatever, they are exploded as sources of far-out mind trips.

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

alevangel's picture
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http://www.varchive.org/ce/shamir/burbus...

"The bush, to his amazement, was burning, yet the flame did not consume it (Exodus 3:2-4). Should we assume that it was some natural phenomenon, interpreted by Moses as a miracle, we would be put before the choice: either it was a phenomenon of phosphorescence, or some similar radiation, or it was a phenomenon of an electrical nature, such as that known to us as St. Elmo fire. In the first instance...."

alevangel

emlong's picture
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18 September 2007
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4 hours 5 min

Primates like to get high - it has been going on for millions of years.

See video

Everybody gets high one way or another:

See video