Tuesday, May 31, 2011

jesus was a mushroom?

Video - Allegro (RIP) was one of the chaps who completely translated and released documents granted to him called The Dead Sea Scrolls.

Wikipedia | As a philologist, Allegro analysed the derivations of language. He traced biblical words and phrases back to their roots in Sumerian, and showed how Sumerian phonemes recur in varying but related contexts in many Semitic, classical and other Indo-European languages. Although meanings changed to some extent, Allegro found some basic religious ideas passing on through the genealogy of words. His book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross relates the development of language on Eurasia to the development of myths, religions and cultic practices in many cultures. Allegro believed he could prove through etymology that the roots of Christianity, as of many other religions, lay in fertility cults; and that cultic practices, such as ingesting hallucinogenic drugs to perceive the mind of god, persisted into Christian times.

The reaction to The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross ruined Allegro's career.[3] His detractors considered his somewhat sensationalist approach deplorable and his arguments somewhere between unconvincing and ludicrous. Prof J. N. D. Anderson observed that the book was "dismissed by ... experts...as not being based on any philological or other evidence that they can regard as scholarly."[4] Sumerian expert Anna Partington summarized some of the problems, stating that The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross "uses a number of hypothetical Sumerian words not attested in texts. These are marked with an asterisk following philological convention. This is akin to proposing there is a word in the English language 'bellbat' because the individual words 'bell' and 'bat' are known to exist separately. Then again words of different languages are gathered together without the type of argument which would be expected in order to demonstrate possible relationship."[5]

However, Allegro's work has been adopted by some alternative authors. In May 2006, Michael Hoffman of egodeath.com and Jan Irvin wrote an article for The Journal of Higher Criticism[6] entitled Wasson and Allegro on the Tree of Knowledge as Amanita [7] that suggested that Allegro's work should be evaluated on its merits like that of any other scholar and not dismissed merely because its arguments fall outside the mainstream. In 2008 Prof. John Rush of Sierra College published Failed God [8] that also gives heavy support for Allegro's theories. In November 2009 The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross was reprinted in a 40th anniversary edition with a preface by Jan Irvin, a foreword by Judith Anne Brown, and a 30 page addendum by Prof. Carl A.P. Ruck of Boston University with new linguistic evidence that supports Allegro's theories.[9]

"The concerted and biased attempts to destroy Allegro's discoveries have failed. The confirmatory evidence is mounting in his favor. The critics can now raise their voices again. Let us hope that they do, since the matter is not settled, but they should be advised to do so with more careful consideration. This book that many have prized in secret is now available again. It demands the serious consideration of theologians, mythologists, and students of religion. No account of the history of the Church, both West and East, can afford to leave the poor despicable fungus unconsidered, nor the role that entheogens in general have played in the evolution of European civilization." ~ Professor Carl A. P. Ruck, Boston University

Allegro went on to write several other books exploring the roots of religion; notably The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth, which seek to relate Christian theology to Gnostic writings, classical mythology and Egyptian sun-worship in the common quest for divine light.

Allegro believed the Dead Sea Scrolls raised issues that concerned everyone. It wasn't just a matter of dusty manuscripts and disputed translations. Rather, the story of the scrolls raised questions about freedom of access to evidence, freedom of speech, and freedom to challenge orthodox religious views.

"... with the unhappy record of the church for destroying documents and whole libraries of which it disapproved, as well as its predeliction for controlling the reading habits and opportunities of the faithful, one can only continue to be apprehensive about the church's attitude when religiously sensitive information comes into its hands,..." [10]

Allegro believed that through understanding the origins of religion people could be freed from its bonds to think for themselves and take responsibility for their own judgments.


arnach said...

A most interesting way to "close the loop" so to speak given the oft-noted applicability of sub-focused mycological products to quiet-minded mystic/contemplative studies, whether those be religious or scientific.

CNu said...

Anything helping to bring subthreshold processes into awareness is of tremendous value.

Enlarging on that psychological note, of possible historical and explanatory interest is the research and resources developed by the late Fr. John Romanides that help explain/account for the great institutional/cultural schism http://www.romanity.org/cont.htm