The psychedelic origin of Christianity (2023)

The psychedelic origin of Christianity (1)

The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross(1970) is a book by British archaeologist John Marco Allegro. His early career focused on the study of the earliest manuscripts of the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, many say this book ruined his career, while others say it gave him the fame he deserved.

The basic idea behind the book is that primitive religions were based on fertility rites (rituals that replicate the reproductive processes of nature, either symbolically or through sex). Allegro believed that fertility cults like this used the hallucinogenic mushroom,Amanita muscaria(or fly agaric, the red mushroom with white spots). He also said that these mushrooms are at the root of many religions, including early Christianity. Christianity was essentially the product of a cult of sex and the mushroom, with the mushroom seen as a gateway to understanding God. This understanding was also believed to promote fertility.

Allegro argued that the fungus and its powers were a mystery, so they had to be written in the form of codes hidden in mythical tales. In his own words: “This is the fundamental origin of the New Testament stories. They were a literary vehicle to disseminate among the faithful the rites of cult to mushrooms”. Jesus in the Gospels was a code for them.AmanitaFungus, after Allegro. All the leading academics rejected Allegro's ideas, including his academic mentor. Even his publisher regretted the publication of the book.

Allegro draws on some interesting evidence to support his hypothesis. He argues that the fresco was made in the 13th century.ºThe 19th century chapel at Plaincourault in central France clearly shows Adam and Eve standing next to a large tree.Amanita muscariaFungus. The snake snakes around the tree. It seems strange that this mushroom appears in what is arguably the most famous story in the Bible.

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Fresco in the Plaincourault chapel

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Terence McKenna herefood of the godshe also claims that the fruit Adam and Eve ate symbolized a psychedelic mushroom, as it gave them "knowledge" (for example, that they were naked) that they did not have before.

In October 2008, Jan Irvin launchedThe Sacred Mushroom: Evidence for Mushrooms in Judaismwhich was the first book to present texts supporting Allegro's theory. for example a 16ºChristian text of the century calledThe letter to the apostate bishopsspecifically mentions and discusses "the sacred mushroom." Irvin provides dozens of Christian images to support Allegro's ideas, images that were not available at the time.The Sacred Mushroom and the Crosswas originally released in 1970. Irvin's book cover has one of these photos: some mushrooms can be seen. Some say that this is not the case with this type of image.AmanitaA mushroom is shown, but psilocybin mushrooms like the ones pictured below.

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Other examples of mushrooms in Christian art (including some more dubious examples that people often use to support the psychedelic hypothesis of Christianity):

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Allegro claims that it is not such a controversial idea that religions can be based on the use of psychedelic plants. It has been said that other ancient cultures may also have used psychedelic plants in their religious rituals. In book 9 of the classical Hindu text, theRig veda, called "squeezed juice".somait is mentioned as something drunk by priests. A kind of visionary state is reported: "Make me immortal in that realm where bliss and ecstasy, joy and happiness are combined and burning desires are fulfilled."

Some say thatsomacould have been a psychedelic mushroom, maybe thatAsmall handMushroom: This was the opinion of R. Gordon Wasson. Terence McKenna infood of the godssays a more likely candidate for Soma is due to its better effectiveness in inducing psychedelic statesPsilocybe cubensisMushroom. This fungus can grow in cow dung in certain climates, which may explain why the cow has achieved such sacred status in Hindu tradition. However,other academics say yessomait was hemp. Additionally, the blue lotus flower was revered by the ancient Egyptians and is now known to have some psychoactive properties.

The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held each year for the worship of Demeter and Persephone in ancient Greece. a drink calledKykeonwhat was consumedIliasit consisted of barley, water, herbs and goat cheese. In itOdyssey, however, the character adds a magic potion to Circe. Some speculate that the barley used in this drink was infested with ergot (a fungus) and that the psychoactive properties of the fungus were responsible for the intense experiences reported by the people of Eleusis. Ergot contains ergotamine, a precursor to LSD; this is why Albert Hoffman used ergot to synthesize LSD.

"Mushroom cults" in Mesoamerica date back to at least 1000 BCE. as evidenced by stone images of mushrooms found in the Guatemalan highlands. Additionally, frescoes from central Mexico dating to AD 300 show signs of mushroom worship. "Sacred mushrooms" also appear in Aztec texts: Codex Vindobonensis, for example, visually shows the ceremonial use of psychedelic mushrooms. The Aztecs called these mushroomsteonanacatlwhich literally means "flesh of the gods". (Here is more information on using ancient mushrooms.). Allegro argues that Christianity is just another example of a religion that, at its core, involves the use of psychedelic plants as a gateway to the "divine."

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The mushroom statues indicate the presence of "mushroom cults" in ancient Mesoamerica. Anthropology professor John A. Rush, in his bookThe fungus in Christian artattempts to support Allegro's position that Jesus is not a historical figure but a psychedelic mushroom. He uses these artistic examples as evidence. Rush also makes the case for a hallucinogenic basis for Christianity, emphasizing - in aThe Da Vinci Code-how - the mysterious nature of this knowledge. But as Psychedelic Press UKDiseasein his book review:

As with any interpretation of art, separating symbology from its cultural context can be extremely difficult, and this is perhaps the most challenging part of this project. Rush succeeds? Usually yes and no. Yes, because Rush demonstrated that the mushroom plays a special role in Christian art, a fact that has been largely ignored by religious scholars. But no, because the basis for the reinterpretation of the symbology rests on a still poorly documented theory, and the notion that knowledge of the mushroom actually remained secret to an elite priestly class within the Church all this time needs more. evidence that that the art itself.

Just because mushrooms have been depicted in Christian art does not mean that Christianity is based on the use of magic mushrooms. Allegro may have been guilty of putting forward a sensational hypothesis about the origins of Christianity. It might also be a leap to say that these examples of mushrooms depicted in Christian art necessarily imply that the religion is based on the consumption of psychedelic mushrooms. In the case of the Aztecs, on the other hand, the evidence for the consumption of magic mushrooms is much clearer. That ispossiblethat magic mushrooms were a key factor in the birth and development of Christianity (perhaps even a driving force), but this idea is still in the realm of speculation.

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1. Psychedelics and the Founding of Christianity (w/ Brian C. Muraresku)
(Thom Hartmann Program)
2. The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Christianity
(Jerry Brown)
3. Soma: The Psychedelic Origins of Religious Experience
(Raja Choudhury)
4. Psychedelic Origins of Gnostic Christianity
5. The Psychedelic Gospels - Secret History of Christianity, by Jerry Brown
(Jerry Brown)
6. Psychedelics: The Ancient Religion with No Name?
(Harvard Divinity School)
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