Entheogens And The Roots Of Christianity

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1 Entheogens And The Roots Of Christianity Michael Hoffman With the most recent scholarship in entheogens and the roots of Christianity, Jesus can now be recognized as the king and paradigmatic example of the drug policy reformers. Let us hope that our success at making psychedelics freely available for everyone comes sooner than his success has so far. The other one is Patriarchy and Drug Propaganda, by Dan Russell. This explains the transition from very common psychedelic plant usage to the rise of the authoritarian Catholic Church, which persecuted users of entheogenic plants. Both explain the psychedelic origin of Christianity, and the tension between those who want everyone to access psychedelics, and the exclusivists who only want the elite power wielders to access psychedelics. There is now a strong case for psychedelic allusions in the Bible. Also Barbara Thiering's Jesus The Man. Together, these books imply the strong hypothesis that Jesus was crucified for providing ergot-bread directly to everyone for free, making an end-run around the artificial scarcity and controlling power of the priests. Common between the priest family who ran Eleusis, the Jewish temple priests, and perhaps even the Catholic priests: they took free access to psychedelics away from the people. "Mystery" means "keep your mouth shut about how to make ergot, or we'll get rid of you." I first read in Strange Fruit the proposal that Socrates was put to death for revealing the formula for Kykeon, the ergot beverage used in the mystery cults such as Eleusis. I think this is extremely plausible when you consider that the ceremonies were controlled and run by families who only permitted a single experience. They had a secret that was always at risk of publication, and their income depended on it. It would have been easy to turn this entheogenic formula into a source of power, income, and manipulative and possibly oppressive systems of belief, by creating and controlling an artificial scarcity. Buddhism as well has an exclusivism that Buddha didn't intend. A research programme would be to investigate if Mystery Religions, Catholicism, Judaism, and Buddhism all had psychedelic foundations but the public knowledge of the psychedelics was deliberately suppressed in order to gain power over the people. The book Strange Fruit tells how Moses used the poisonous type of ergot to put the Egyptians out of commission -- an example of how knowledge of psychedelics can be turned into political power. God's word told the Jewish priests to always put ergot bread on public display in the temple, but the priests moved it into the restricted secret zone -- the Holy of Holies, taboo and off limits to all but the inner circle (Merkur). Jesus however wanted everyone to access the Holy bread, rather than restricting the people to the Common bread/loaves (Thiering). Taking this a bit furthur, it even suggests that Jesus' real complaint in the temple courtyard was that the priests were selling ergot, and at exorbitant prices, and only to a very select few. That way, the poor could never afford to buy a hit of ergot to experience ego death, unity consciousness, and heaven-on-earth. But Jesus gave them ergot for free, so that they could experience ego death, and the priests -- who had a thriving business -- were infuriated and seriously threatened, and had to get him out of the way to preserve their artificial scarcity. Then the miraculous healings were actually healings of the illusory split between self and world, and Jesus gave them religion meaning re-connection of the separateself-sense with the world. The conspiracy activists should assume that like the temple priests, the prohibitionist leaders actually are heavy drug users and their real goal is to gain power through The acid-rock group Rush, in the album 2112, complains about the priests controlling everything and controlling consciousness and forbidding psychedelics. However, the real problem with the priests is that they hoard ergot technology all to themselves and won't let the public have it -- so that the starving (1 of 6)4/15/2004 8:50:05 PM

2 public then can be strung along on lies and false promises of delayed fulfillment and empty assurances to give a feeble sense of reconciliation of self and reality, while seeking that which they really thirst for, while being robbed by the manipulative priests, like televangelists with a cache of psychedelics who use psychedelics just to think of more ways to fleece the flock. I think prohibition will be repealed when prohibition is understood as a conspiracy rather than as mere accidental confusion, an innocent misunderstanding of human nature. The prohibitionist leaders know damn well what they are doing. You think you have anything to teach them?! The Mystery Religion leaders (families) in Greece were conspirators and monopolists of ergot technology, same with the Jewish priests and possibly the Catholic hierarchy, Buddhist high gurus, and possibly the prohibitionist leaders. Bush likes coke and brought in coke to target blacks for addiction and jail, and the CIA loves LSD, so it is totally likely that the prohibitionist leaders love to trip. The utmost in naivete is to assume that LSD makes you a nice person, or that if a person takes drugs, they want drug users to walk in freedom. None of these authors seem to have discovered the passages I found in the Manual of Discipline, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls which obsesses over the sacred meals and the worst punishment being forbidden to eat the sacred meals, and prohibiting sharing one's sacred meals with a violator of the community's rules. I recall that's part of the Qumran community's scrolls, which would prove that this extremely regimented and radically predestinarian community was *centered around* psychoactive food (ergot loaves). It is not firmly established, from what I've read, that Jesus was in the Qumran community, but at this point I believe Barbara Thiering's Jesus The Man is correct and he was a rebel from within the Qumran religious community. Her theory of pescher reading technique agrees with the end of The Mystery Of Manna (Dan Merkur) -- we should read the Bible and scrolls as utilizing magical stories to describe actual, inner mystical experiences. The Other Bible: Ancient Alternative Scriptures - includes Manual of Discipline on page that is part of the Dead Sea Scrolls and was used by the Qumran community. "If... a man... lies... he shall be excluded from the sacred food of the masters for a year, and shall be deprived of a fourth of his food ration.... he shall not touch the sacred food of the masters [or] touch the drink of the masters.... If any man of the community partakes with him of his sacred food... his sentence shall be like his.... he shall be separated from the sacred food." Thanks to Merkur's book, I can finally tell a complete, simple, plausible story about Jesus' real mission and why the priests tried to get rid of him. I have also become confident that the cross experientially is the altered-state perception of oneself being frozen in spacetime, suspended and controlled consciously by the all-powerful ground of being which one has no choice but to trust in -- no ultimate choice, since the Ground is ultimately the source of each and every thought and movement of one's own will. Jesus then becomes not so much a savior as a *model* offered to us just as the saviors in the dramatic enactments of the mystery religions. He provides a particularly vivid symbol of the death of the sovereign ego, and symbolic proof that one can go through ego death and yet be permitted to live, and recover. I have to repeat for those who haven't read me, that the purpose of the Shroud of Turin is to demonstrate that Jesus' "death" on the cross was merely a dramatization of death (The Jesus Conspiracy, Holger Kirsten, is now back in print thank goodness); by his leaving proof that he didn't die bodily, Jesus explains to us his spiritual descendents that the real meaning of the cross concerns the experience of ego death, and heaven is something reached in this world through ego death, not in the afterlife after bodily death. All magic and prophetic aspects of the Bible are to be discarded by the spiritually mature. Psychedelics in manna and in the eucharist had to be suppressed for reasons of power struggles. Barbara Thiering thinks that the pescher-writing-technique (systematic obfuscation/encoding) was required because Jesus really was a rebel leader. We don't know if Jesus really did want the throne he inherited from David. But he did use the opportunity put (2 of 6)4/15/2004 8:50:05 PM

3 before him to bodily and vividly tell a story about putting down our experience of sovereign rulership (the ego) to experience ego death and attain knowledge of truth -- in this life, for free, for everyone. This message was intended for anyone accessing the lysergic peak state, which he *hoped* would be a large audience. He thought that if heaven is knowing the truth about our inner nature, reaching heaven is a matter of ego death (seeing through the illusion of the inner king), not a matter of bodily death and of surface morality and the afterlife. He told his story of genuine mystic inner experience in a way that could also be taken by the spiritually immature *and* by the enemies the priests/ exclusivists/prohibitionists as silly magic tales -- that's why he talks of miracles and magic and confirms all sorts of nonsense such as questions about hell, and put on a dramatic hoax of dying on the cross. That hoax can be read one way by the immature, and another way by the tripper, and made the priests believe that Jesus "Trips for All for Free" Christ was safely out of the way so that they could continue their business of doling out ergot only to the highest bidders and only to the most well-connected, the inner circle of the elite. As much as I fear Merkur invading my area -- explaining the experience of ego death in terms of selfcontrol cybernetics -- there is much still to put together, to truly understand how the founding dramas of Christian symbolism equate to contemporary ergot peak experiencing. I don't see that it was a good or effective idea for Jesus to put on this mystery drama; it didn't accomplish his wish of everyone having access to ego death, though it is quite a coherent symbolic drama packed with meaning, when finally understood through the resonant lens of the psychedelic peak. If the Jews are to finally "believe in Jesus and worship him", that means that the Jews -- the intellectuals -- will again publicly access the ergot loaves and put the ergot loaves back out in the open in the temple, on the sacrifice table, rather than hiding them in the exclusivist holy of holies inner sanctum trip-room where only the priest family can enjoy knowing the Truth. This train of explanation also leads to a clearer relationship between the ergot bread and blood sacrifice. No scholar of psychedelics and/or Christianity has addressed this connection, but ergot's lesson of ego death lead Abraham to being willing to terminate his family's bloodline if so commanded -- but finally the command of truth is ego death, *not* bodily death. Finally, the would-be sacrifice of Isaac is about ego death, not blood sacrifice, and the Cross is about ego death and enlightenment, not bodily death and resurrection. Ergot, death, symbolism, self-transgression, breaking of conventional moral restraint, and sacrifice... these elements come together in Abraham at the foundation of Judaism and are reflected again in the drama of the cross, but with a shift from winning land and mundane worldly power, to winning the consciousness of heaven and the accompanying self-knowledge that -- from the point of view of unity consciousness -- we are not really prime movers or sovereign kings or responsible agents. Merkur suggests that the secret which had to be suppressed for political reasons is the psychedelic nature of the sacrament (manna and the Eucharist), and the secret of the procedure for extracting desirable type of ergot from the poisonous kind, from grains. However, he is a psychoanalyst and a historian, but not a philosopher: the secret that one had to keep was also that responsible moral agency is an illusion (from the point of view of high metaphysics). This was common belief, anyway, in ancient Greece; only Fate, the ultimate ruler even of the gods, could really be blamed or praised. The death of the responsible egoic agent is an affront to the entire human system of morality which is part of civilized culture. Before civilization, there wasn't much reason to prop up the delusion of the responsible sovereign egoic agent, the individual as prime mover. There was a primitive unity consciousness, though ancient Greece just before the legal invention of personal responsibility in the city-states could hardly be called "primitive". Since people then had psychedelics, some of them were more advanced in their self-understanding than typical people are today, in some fundamental respects. Exodus 16:32, Yahweh commands Moses to preserve manna throughout the generations, so that they all would *see* the bread with which their ancestors were fed in the desert. But the powerhungry priests eventually moved this displayed ergot bread into the secrecy of the inner sanctum. (3 of 6)4/15/2004 8:50:05 PM

4 Leviticus 14:10, Jesus asked the healed leper to take a sample of ergot bread to the priests, as proof that Jesus had the power to kick down the temple and undermine their false scarcity by giving away ergot bread for free to any and all -- like Microsoft trying to destroy Netscape corporation by giving away a web browser for free, thus destroying the possibility of anyone making sales of web browsers into a financially profitable and viable business. If you have a religion based on charging fees for religious fulfillment and reconciliation, but the same result is available for free in ergot bread, openly released onto the Web by Jesus: the people's hacker, you can bring down that entire temple and that entire business/religion, just as David brought down the temple by pulling together its two main supports. The main support of the Jewish temples and the Eleusian priest-families was the *artificial scarcity* of ergot extractions. Destroy that artificial scarcity (which is really pretty easily, as far as natural resources), and you destroy the templebusiness, the money-making machine, built upon that artificial scarcity. Ironically, I doubt that Jesus used psychedelics while on the cross, unless the coma-inducing drugs he took happened to have had a psychedelic side-effect. His bodily dramatization of mystic death and resurrection would likely have been unconvincing had he actually been on psychedelics at the time. However, he could have had some mystic state consciousness due to the traumatization of the ordeal. Also reading these books, and Strange Fruit, I picked up the equation: mushrooms = the little mysteries, ergot = the great mysteries. In Strange Fruit, the author proposes that Christian psychedelic experience used the Amanita entheogen. I do think there could be a place for Amanita in the foundation of Christianity; however, I think ergot is the main psychedelic/entheogen that founded Christianity. In Christianity, the *main* vehicle for the Holy Spirit has been ergot, rather than mushrooms. Way back in the 60s, reformers argued that psychedelics effectively mimic authentic mystic techniques. Lately, we argue that psychedelics are more authentic than meditation -- that the authentic technique for causing the mystic altered state is psychedelics (entheogens) and the flimsy and untrustworthy simulation is other techniques, such as meditation and sensory deprivation without augmentation with psychoactives. Now, for Christian entheogens, we are moving on to taking for granted all that, and getting on with debating *which* entheogens founded Christianity, debating what the most open channel is for the Holy Spirit -- mushrooms or ergot, and which strain and extraction techniques were used. Merkur's book shines enough brilliant light on the suppressed entheogenic roots of Christianity and Judaism to warrant its copyright date of This western religion offers us a cup of ergot extraction and a loaf of ergot bread, leading to effective death of the illusory, false, inner egoic king and consciousness of heaven in which everything fits together as one; shall we refuse the cup that we have been given by this religion? The price is that we must figuratively kill the magical savior and the magical resurrection, to gain a merely mystical savior and mystical resurrection. I remember the day I shed my skin of magical thinking and differentiated it from rational mystical thinking. I don't remember if I wept when the magic Jesus died and left me instead holding the shroud of a living man, gazing upon the returned 4-footed image of Jesus the human mystic trickster. Merkur makes a strong case for the Holy Grail being a vessel and/or platter for ergot-bread, but he overlooks again and again the Shroud. I think it is likely that the Holy Grail will turn out to involve *both* the ergot-vessel idea *and* the worship of the Shroud. The passion tells of Jesus' chalice and the eucharist at the Last Supper, *and* it tells of his shroud. Just so, the Holy Grail worship includes a psychedelic chalice *and* worshipping the image of Jesus in his shroud, where the psychedelic opens the mind to see the shroud as forensic evidence that Jesus was prematurely removed from the Cross, so that the Holy Grail participants are aware of literally gazing upon the image of a living Jesus who never had died. This makes the tripper look upon the shroud and weep and tremble and gasp, saying anew, "oh.. my.. God...he's alive, Jesus lives! Look upon the (4 of 6)4/15/2004 8:50:05 PM

5 living Jesus... that changes *everything*..." It changes resurrection from a matter of bodily death and miraculous recovery, to a matter of mystic "ecstatic death" (Merkur) and post-rapture recovery. It shifts, all together, all the magical tales of the Bible into mystic allegories referring to the genuine mental phenomena that occur in this life. Jesus does return, in the Shroud; he does live, in the picture in the Shroud, and heaven does arrive, metaphysically, and one does die and is resurrected, spiritually. The book Holy Blood, Holy Grail argues that Jesus did not die on the cross, but went on to have children and pass on his royal blood to the Cathars in France, who worshipped the Holy Grail -- but he struggles to make sense out of references which are obviously, now, references to the Shroud of Turin, which both shows the 4- footed image of Jesus and is a container of his blood, *and* is concrete forensic evidence that his death on the cross is a virtual, mystical death rather than mundane bodily death -- which explains why the shroud was such a threat to the Church and had to be kept absolutely secret by those who possessed and worshipped it. The tales in the Bible are true, as far as psychedelic phenomena are concerned -- they are mystically true, as well as accurate, rational, coherent, and meaningful (that's how Merkur concludes the book). He also points out that in the verses in which Jesus defends consuming anything because impurity comes from within, he starts off implicitly talking about meat, but switches -- remarkably -- to talking about plants. That stands out as a strong signal to trippers because plants never were involved in purity/impurity, only meat -- so why defend taking in any and all *plants* that God planted in the Earth? For plant, here, think especially ergot of grain -- a cultivated plant which could be deliberately brushed with a wild inedible grain which favors the good kind of ergot, as Albert Hofmann concludes in The Road to Eleusis. The most relevant religious freedom is that freedom which Jesus wanted and which the word of God gave to the Israelites: the freedom for every person to eat manna, "What is it?", the holy ergot-bread, and experience truth and ego death. Other religious freedoms are valid but secondary to this, the most central and relevant religious freedom. Psychedelic religion is the most important religious freedom. Jesus' burning desire was for everyone, even the poor, to be able to consume the holy ergot bread, and his hatred was specifically against those who would hoard the holy ergot bread, charge exorbitantly for it, and take it away from the common people and make it against the law for the "impure" to consume it. Thus Jesus is the figurehead, model, and leader of the drug law reformers, and drug law reform is the very essence of the most sincere, informed, and insightful followers of Jesus. Fundamentalist Christian author Dave Hunt has a new book out, Occult Invasion, with significant coverage of psychedelics. Interestingly, his objection to psychedelics is purely that they are associated with spirit guides. He doesn't mention the idea of psychedelics giving a vision of the Christian Holy Spirit, though such would fit. A more coherent fundamentalist position that is informed by true understanding of psychedelics would be that psychedelics are the main vehicle for the Holy Spirit, but beware of occult spirit guides. I suspect that Moses wanted others who consumed the ergot bread to reach the same views he did and have a similar experience of unity consciousness -- a rational experience with little anthropomorphism. A central part of his view was that God was a single controller-entity that had full control over each person's actions. But many who consumed the ergot bread instead adopted a partying approach and experienced a variety of magical spirit-beings. Moses disapproved of that response to the psychedelic food; he felt it was regressive and careless. (5 of 6)4/15/2004 8:50:05 PM

6 Psychedelic Christian theologists should run out and get two books. A new, most-excellent book is The Mystery of Manna: The Psychedelic Sacrament of the Bible. Dan Merkur. (6 of 6)4/15/2004 8:50:05 PM