Author: Jerry B. Brown
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2016-09-15
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Reveals evidence of visionary plants in Christianity and the life of Jesus found in medieval art and biblical scripture--hidden in plain sight for centuries • Follows the authors’ anthropological adventure discovering sacred mushroom images in European and Middle Eastern churches, including Roslyn Chapel and Chartres • Provides color photos showing how R. Gordon Wasson’s psychedelic theory of religion clearly extends to Christianity and reveals why Wasson suppressed this information due to his secret relationship with the Vatican • Examines the Bible and the Gnostic Gospels to show that visionary plants were the catalyst for Jesus’s awakening to his divinity and immortality Throughout medieval Christianity, religious works of art emerged to illustrate the teachings of the Bible for the largely illiterate population. What, then, is the significance of the psychoactive mushrooms hiding in plain sight in the artwork and icons of many European and Middle-Eastern churches? Does Christianity have a psychedelic history? Providing stunning visual evidence from their anthropological journey throughout Europe and the Middle East, including visits to Roslyn Chapel and Chartres Cathedral, authors Julie and Jerry Brown document the role of visionary plants in Christianity. They retrace the pioneering research of R. Gordon Wasson, the famous “sacred mushroom seeker,” on psychedelics in ancient Greece and India, and among the present-day reindeer herders of Siberia and the Mazatecs of Mexico. Challenging Wasson’s legacy, the authors reveal his secret relationship with the Vatican that led to Wasson’s refusal to pursue his hallucinogen theory into the hallowed halls of Christianity. Examining the Bible and the Gnostic Gospels, the authors provide scriptural support to show that sacred mushrooms were the inspiration for Jesus’ revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven and that he was initiated into these mystical practices in Egypt during the Missing Years. They contend that the Trees of Knowledge and of Immortality in Eden were sacred mushrooms. Uncovering the role played by visionary plants in the origins of Judeo-Christianity, the authors invite us to rethink what we know about the life of Jesus and to consider a controversial theory that challenges us to explore these sacred pathways to the divine.
Author: Clark Heinrich
Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Co
Release Date: 2002-09
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
An illustrated foray into the hidden truth about the use of psychoactive mushrooms to connect with the divine. • Draws parallels between Vedic beliefs and Judeo-Christian sects, showing the existence of a mushroom cult that crossed cultural boundaries. • Contends that the famed philosophers' stone of the alchemist was a metaphor for the mushroom. • Confirms and extends Robert Gordon Wasson's hypothesis of the role of the fly agaric mushroom in generating religious visions. Rejecting arguments that the elusive philosophers' stone of alchemy and the Hindu elixir of life were mere legend, Clark Heinrich provides a strong case that Amanita muscaria, the fly agaric mushroom, played this role in world religious history. Working under the assumption that this "magic mushroom" was the mysterious food and drink of the gods, Heinrich traces its use in Vedic and Puranic religion, illustrating how ancient cultures used the powerful psychedelic in esoteric rituals meant to bring them into direct contact with the divine. He then shows how the same mushroom symbols found in Hindu scriptures correspond perfectly to the symbols of ancient Judaism, Christianity, the Grail myths, and alchemy, arguing that miraculous stories as disparate as the burning bush of Moses and the raising of Lazarus from the dead can be easily explained by the use of this strange and powerful mushroom. While acknowledging the speculative nature of his work, Heinrich concludes that in many religious cultures and traditions the fly agaric mushroom--and in some cases ergot or psilocybin mushrooms--had a fundamental influence in teaching humans about the nature of God. His insightful book truly brings new light to the religious history of humanity.
Author: James Arthur
Publisher: Book Tree
Release Date: 2000-01
For thousands of years on our planet, humanity has been involved in a symbiotic relationship with plants. Not only have plants supplied mankind with a never-ending food source, the necessary nourishment for our bodies, and life itself, but they have also served us in another way: an extremely important and intricate one, yet an often overlooked one. This book uncovers the natural link between man, consciousness, and God.
Author: Robert Gordon Wasson
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 1986
This fascinating book discusses the role played by psychoactive mushrooms in the religious rituals of ancient Greece, Eurasia, and Mesoamerica. R. Gordon Wasson, an internationally known ethnomycologist who was one of the first to investigate how these mushrooms were venerated and used by different native peoples, here joins with three other scholars to discuss his discoveries about these fungi, which he has called entheogens, or 'god generated within.'
Author: John A. Rush
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Release Date: 2013-07-30
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Entheogens and the Development of Culture makes the radical proposition that mind-altering substances have played a major part not only in cultural development but also in human brain development. Researchers suggest that we have purposely enhanced receptor sites in the brain, especially those for dopamine and serotonin, through the use of plants and fungi over a long period of time. The trade-off for lowered functioning and potential drug abuse has been more creative thinking--or a leap in consciousness. Experiments in entheogen use led to the development of primitive medicine, in which certain mind-altering plants and fungi were imbibed to still fatigue, pain, or depression, while others were taken to promote hunger and libido. Our ancestors selected for our neural hardware, and our propensity for seeking altered forms of consciousness as a survival strategy may be intimately bound to our decision-making processes going back to the dawn of time. Fourteen essays by a wide range of contributors—including founding president of the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology of Religion section Michael Winkelman, PhD; Carl A. P. Ruck, PhD, Boston University professor of classics and an authority on the ecstatic rituals of the god Dionysus; and world-renowned botanist Dr. Gaston Guzma, member of the Colombian National Academy of Sciences and expert on hallucinogenic mushrooms—demonstrate that altering consciousness continues to be an important part of human experience today. Anthropologists, cultural historians, and anyone interested in the effects of mind-altering substances on the human mind and soul will find this book deeply informative and inspiring. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: William A. Richards
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2015-12-08
In the early 1960s, scientists openly advocated for experimentation with psychedelics. This effort, however, quickly turned into a discredited enterprise involving recreational drug use. But what if a study of psychedelics was undertaken with trusted scientific rigor? William A. Richards does just that in Sacred Knowledge, the first well-documented, sophisticated account of the effect of psychedelics on biological processes, human consciousness, and revelatory religious experiences. Richards argues that, if used responsibly and legally, psychedelics have incredible potential to assuage human suffering and constructively contribute to the quality of life on our planet. His work is based on nearly three decades of legal research with volunteers aged twenty-four to eighty-one. Sacred Knowledge enriches humanities and scientific scholarship, expanding work in philosophy, anthropology, theology, and religious studies, as well as in mental health, psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology. Richards’s analysis also contributes to social and political debates over the responsible integration of psychedelic substances into modern society. His book is an invaluable resource for readers who, whether spontaneously or with the facilitation of psychedelics, have encountered meaningful, inspiring, or even disturbing states of consciousness and seek clarity about their experiences. Testing the limits of language and conceptual frameworks, Richards makes the most of experiential phenomena that stretch our concepts of reality and advances new frontiers in the study of belief, spiritual awakening, psychiatric treatment, and social well-being.
Author: John Marco Allegro
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release Date: 1979
Was Jesus of Nazareth a real historical person or a fictional character in a religious legend? What do the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal about the origins of Christianity? Has there been a conspiracy to suppress information in the Scrolls that contradicts traditional church teaching? John Allegro addresses these and many other intriguing questions in this fascinating account of what may be the most significant archaeological discovery of the twentieth century.As one of the original scholars entrusted with the task of deciphering these ancient documents, Allegro worked on some of the most important texts, including the Biblical commentaries. In 1961, King Hussein of Jordan appointed him to be honorary advisor to the Jordanian government on the Dead Sea Scrolls. In his engaging and highly readable style, Allegro conveys the excitement of the initial archaeological find and takes the reader on a journey of intellectual discovery that goes to the heart of Western culture. Allegro suggests that Christianity evolved out of the Messianic theology of the Essenes, the Jewish sect that wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.This new edition of Allegro's book also contains an essay in which he describes the in-fighting among the scholars assigned to study the scrolls and his thirty-year battle to release all of the texts to the public. Allegro was one of the first scholars to protest the long delay in publishing the Scrolls and to criticize his colleagues for their secretive and possessive attitudes. This issue has recently been the focus of national media coverage, with the result that after forty years, open access to all of the Dead Sea Scrolls has finally been permitted.If he had lived to see it, John Allegro would have been very pleased by this resolution of the controversy. In the same spirit of free inquiry that Allegro championed, Prometheus is reissuing his book in paperback to encourage open discussion of these important ancient texts.Well-documented ... a must for those interested in the origins of Christianity. -The American Rationalist
Author: Diana Slattery
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Release Date: 2015-01-06
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Are language and consciousness co-evolving? Can psychedelic experience cast light on this topic? In the Western world, we stand at the dawn of the psychedelic age with advances in neuroscience; a proliferation of new psychoactive substances, both legal and illegal; the anthropology of ayahuasca use; and new discoveries in ethnobotany. From scientific papers to the individual trip reports on the Vaults of Erowid and the life work of Terence McKenna, Alexander and Ann Shulgin, and Stanislav Grof, we are converging on new knowledge of the mind and how to shift its functioning for therapeutic, spiritual, problem-solving, artistic and/or recreational purposes. In our culture, pychonautics, the practices of individuals and small groups using techniques such as meditation, shamanic ritual, ecstatic dance and substances such as LSD and psilocybin for personal exploration, is a field of action and thought in its infancy. The use of psychonautic practice as a site of research and a method of knowledge production is central to this work, the first in-depth book focusing on psychedelics, consciousness, and language. Xenolinguistics documents the author's eleven-year adventure of psychonautic exploration and scholarly research; her original intent was to understand a symbolic language system, Glide, she acquired in an altered state of consciousness. What began as a deeply personal search, led to the discovery of others, dubbed xenolinguists, with their own unique linguistic objects and ideas about language from the psychedelic sphere. The search expanded, sifting through fields of knowledge such as anthropology and neurophenomenology to build maps and models to contextualize these experiences. The book presents a collection of these linguistic artifacts, from glossolalia to alien scripts, washed ashore like messages in bottles, signals from Psyche and the alien Others who populate her hyperdimensional landscapes. With an entire chapter dedicated to Terence and Dennis McKenna and sections dedicated to numerous other xenolinguists, this book will appeal to those interested in language/linguistics and the benefits of psychedelic self-exploration, and to readers of science fiction.
Author: Judith Anne Brown
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Release Date: 2005
This book explores the life and work of John Allegro, freethinker and rebel, whose work on the Dead Sea Scrolls led him to challenge the Church, the editing team, and most conventional assumptions about the development of Christianity.
Author: Cody Johnson
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Release Date: 2018-06-15
Genre: Health & Fitness
Cody Johnson beautifully balances historical knowledge with cutting-edge science to produce a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening read which paints a holistic picture of the risks and benefits of psychedelic use in modern day medicine and culture. --Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). The history of psychedelic plants and substances is full of colorful, fascinating facts and stories, and intriguing questions. Did U.S. Army Intelligence really use LSD as an enhanced military interrogation technique? Why does Ayahuasca have such a long history of use in Peru? Science is beginning to research what traditional cultures have told us for years: psychelics have transformative healing properties. Many psychedelic plants and substances have a long history of being incorporated into various healing traditions -- such as cannabis and opium in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This Magic Medicine explores the fascinating history of psychedelic substances and provides a contemporary update about their growing inclusion modern medicine, science, and culture.
Author: Thomas Hatsis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-08-17
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
An exploration of the historical origins of the “witches’ ointment” and medieval hallucinogenic drug practices based on the earliest sources • Details how early modern theologians demonized psychedelic folk magic into “witches’ ointments” • Shares dozens of psychoactive formulas and recipes gleaned from rare manuscripts from university collections all over the world as well as the practices and magical incantations necessary for their preparation • Examines the practices of medieval witches like Matteuccia di Francisco, who used hallucinogenic drugs in her love potions and herbal preparations In the medieval period preparations with hallucinogenic herbs were part of the practice of veneficium, or poison magic. This collection of magical arts used poisons, herbs, and rituals to bewitch, heal, prophesy, infect, and murder. In the form of psyche-magical ointments, poison magic could trigger powerful hallucinations and surrealistic dreams that enabled direct experience of the Divine. Smeared on the skin, these entheogenic ointments were said to enable witches to commune with various local goddesses, bastardized by the Church as trips to the Sabbat--clandestine meetings with Satan to learn magic and participate in demonic orgies. Examining trial records and the pharmacopoeia of witches, alchemists, folk healers, and heretics of the 15th century, Thomas Hatsis details how a range of ideas from folk drugs to ecclesiastical fears over medicine women merged to form the classical “witch” stereotype and what history has called the “witches’ ointment.” He shares dozens of psychoactive formulas and recipes gleaned from rare manuscripts from university collections from all over the world as well as the practices and magical incantations necessary for their preparation. He explores the connections between witches’ ointments and spells for shape shifting, spirit travel, and bewitching magic. He examines the practices of some Renaissance magicians, who inhaled powerful drugs to communicate with spirits, and of Italian folk-witches, such as Matteuccia di Francisco, who used hallucinogenic drugs in her love potions and herbal preparations, and Finicella, who used drug ointments to imagine herself transformed into a cat. Exploring the untold history of the witches’ ointment and medieval hallucinogen use, Hatsis reveals how the Church transformed folk drug practices, specifically entheogenic ones, into satanic experiences.