Showing posts sorted by relevance for query mushroom. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query mushroom. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the man-child born of a virgin


Video - John Marco Allegro in an interview with Van Kooten & De Bie.

TSMATC | Describing the growth of the mushroom ( boletos), Pliny says: “the earth produces first a ‘womb’ (vulva) . . . and afterwards (the mushroom) itself inside the womb, like a yolk inside the egg; and the baby mushroom is just as fond of eating its coat as is the chicken. The coat cracks when (the mushroom) first forms; presently, as it gets bigger, the coat is absorbed into the body of the footstalk (pediculi) . . . at first it is flimsier than froth, then it grows substantial like parchment, and then the mushroom. • is born. 1

More prosaically, perhaps, the process is thus described by a modern mycologist: “In the genus Amanita a membrane surrounds the young fungus. In addition to this wrapper or volva there is another membrane, stretching from the margin of the cap and joined to the stem, as in the mushroom. Thus it is as if the “button stage” were surrounded by an outer skin. As the fungus develops this is torn apart. If its texture is sufficiently tenacious to hold it together, it is left as a cup at the base of the stem . . . With growth the membrane covering the gills tears and is left as a ring on the stem.” Of the Amanita phalloides, the writer adds: “Before the volva breaks the fungus looks somewhat like a pigeon’s egg half-buried, or like a small phallus ‘egg’. It is common in glades in woods and adjoining pastures after the first summer rains, and continues through early autumn.”2

It was the fertilization of the “womb” that most puzzled the ancients, and remained a mystery until the end of the last century. To Pliny the fungus had to be reckoned as one of the “greatest of the marvels of nature”, since it “belonged to a class of things that spring up spontaneously and cannot be grown from seed”.3 It was surely “among the most wonderful of all things” in that it could “spring up and live without a root”.4 Until the invention of the microscope the function of the spore, produced by each fungus in its millions, could not be appreciated. The mushroom has, indeed, no seed in the accepted sense, germinating and giving out a root and later a stem apex with or without seed leaves. The walls of each minute spore extrude to form thread-like tubes which branch further until all mass together to form the spongy flesh of the fungus. The result is neither animal nor vegetable, and the mystery of its proper classification persisted until relatively modern times. Thus a sixteenth-century naturalist wrote: “They are a sort of intermediate existence between plants and inanimate nature. In this respect fungi resemble zoophytes, which are intermediate between plants and animals.”5

One explanation for the creation of the mushroom without apparent seed was that the “womb” had been fertilized by thunder, since it was commonly observed that the fungi appeared after thunderstorms. Thus one name given them was Ceraunion, from the Greek keraunios, “thunderbolt”. Another was the Greek hudnon, probably derived from Sumerian *UD_NUN, “storm—seeded”.6

It was thus uniquely-begotten. The normal process of fructification had been by-passed. The seed had not fallen from some previous plant, to be nurtured by the earth until in turn it produced a root and stalk. The god had “spoken” and his creative “word” had been carried to earth by the storm-wind, angelic messenger of heaven, and been implanted directly into the volva. The baby that resulted from this divine union was thus the “Son of God”, more truly representative of its heavenly father than any other form of plant or animal life. Here, in the tiny mushroom, was God manifest, the “Jesus” born of the Virgin “the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation • . in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell . . .“ (Col I:15ff.).

The phallic form of the mushroom matched precisely that of his father, whom the Sumerians called ISKUR, “Mighty Penis”, the Semites Adad, or Hadad, “Big—father”, the Greeks Patër-Zeus, and the Romans Jupiter, “Father-god”.7 To see the mushroom was to see the Father, as in Jesus the uncomprehending Philip was urged to look for God: “He who has seen me has seen the Father. . . Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?” (John 14:9ff.). Even the detutns recognized him as “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24), and it was as “the Holy Plant” that the sacred fungus came to be known throughout the ancient world. The slimy juice of the mushroom which, in some phalloidic species, spills over the “glans” and clown the stem, seemed to the ancients like the viscous exudation of the genital organs prior to coitus and the seminal discharge at orgasm. The Hebrew word for “smooth, slimy” derives from a Sumerian phrase meaning “semen running to waste”,8 and figures in a number of biblical allusions to the mushroom.9 It was otherwise known as “spittle”, and Job asks if there is any taste in the “spittle of the mushroom” (as we should now read the name of that plant) (Job 6:6).10 To have “spittle in the mouth” was a euphemism in the Jewish Talmud for “semen in the vagina”, ll and the close relationship between the two fluids resulted in the very widespread belief that spittle had strong curative and prophylactic properties. Thus, as human semen was a cure for scorpion stings, according to Pliny,12 spittle was a repellent to snakes and an antidote to snake venom.13 Jesus is pictured making a clay poultice to lay over the eyes of the man born blind (John 9:6), mixing his spittle with dust, as Pliny reports that saliva used each morning as an eye ointment cured ophthalmia.14

Rain, the semen of the god, was spurted forth from the divine penis at his thunderous orgasm in the heavens, and was borne as “spittle” from the lips of the glans to earth on the storm wind.15 It was a unique concentration of this powerful spermatozoa in the juice of the “Holy Plant” that the Magi believed would give anyone anointed with it amazing power. They could “obtain every wish, banish fevers, and cure all diseases without exception”.16 So the Christian, the “smeared or anointed one”, received "knowledge of all things” by his “anointing from the Holy One” (I John 2:20). Thereafter he had need of no other teacher and remained for evermore endowed with all knowledge (v. 27). Whatever the full ingredients of the Christian unction may have been, they would certainly have included the aromatic gums and spices of the traditional Israelite anointing oil: myrrh, aromatic cane, cinnamon, and cassia, all representing the powerful semen of the god. Under certain enclosed conditions, a mixture of these substances rubbed on the skin could produce the kind of intoxicating belief in self-omniscience referred to in the New Testament. Furthermore, the atmosphere of the oracular chamber would be charged with reek of sacred incense consisting of “sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense . . .“ (Exod 30:34), giving the kind of overpowering hypnotic effect referred to by an early Christian writer when he speaks of “the frenzy of a lying soothsayer” as a “mere intoxication produced by the reeking fumes of sacrifice”.17

That these ingredients formed only part of the sacred incense formula is well known. Josephus says there were thirteen elements,18 and the Talmud names eleven, plus salt, and a secret “herb” which was added to make the smoke rise in a vertical column before spreading outwards at the top.19 With the characteristic shape of the mushroom in mind, we can hazard a fair guess now at this secret ingredient.

Knowledge and healing were two aspects of the same life-force. If to be rubbed with the “Holy Plant” was to receive divine knowledge, it was also to be cured of every sickness. James suggests that anyone of the Christian community who was sick should call the elders to anoint him with oil in the name of Jesus (Jas 5:14). The Twelve are sent out among their fellow-men casting out demons and anointing the sick with oil (Mark 6:13). Healing by unction persisted in the Church until the twelfth century,20 and the anointing of the dying, the so-called “extreme unction” has persisted in the Roman Catholic Church to this day.21 The principle behind this practice remains the same: the god’s “seed—of— life”, semen, found in spring or rain water, in the sap or resins of plants and trees, and above all in the slimy mucus of the mushroom imparts life to the ailing or the dead.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

mushroom men mashup...,



realitysandwich | I recently put my foot in it. I stepped, as they say, on a hornet's nest. All hell broke loose and verbal fury was loosed upon me. Here's what happened.

Some months ago, a chap called Jan Irvin, who runs Gnostic Media, put out a request for funds to help him pursue a project concerned with unveiling a sinister Elite/CIA/NWO conspiracy. Mind you, this was not just any old sinister Elite/CIA/NWO conspiracy. This one involved, allegedly, a vast labyrinthine PSYOPS involving psychedelic mushrooms, Gordon Wasson, Aldous Huxley, The Esalen Institute, Teilhard De Chardin, 2012 eschatology, Alan Watts, Terence McKenna, and all manner of other psychedelic spokesmen and counter-culture luminaries. The gist of it is that the whole hippy psychedelic movement was stage managed by the CIA/Elite/NWO and that the malign manipulations of these ultra-powerful puppet masters stretch back further even than Albert Hofmann's infamous LSD trip bicycle ride (Irvin even thinks Hofmann's bicycle trip was a "fabrication" and "BS"). Thus, Irvin is attempting nothing less than a total rewrite of psychedelic history. Believe me, with everything being bent into an infernal conspiracy shape, it's scary bad trip stuff. Of course, one might simply dismiss all this as the lunatic fringe, yet Irvin is backed and supported by numerous fans and supporters. Indeed, he has already managed to raise 3,000 bucks to fund this latest work.

What originally got me involved were Irvin's insinuations about Gordon Wasson. Recall that Wasson was the ethnomycological scholar who published a groundbreaking article about psilocybin mushrooms in Life magazine in 1957. This article was just as significant as Aldous Huxley's 1954 book The Doors of Perception in sparking the West's interest in psychedelics. Wasson was instrumental in channeling the psilocybin mushroom's mind expanding influence from the backwaters of Mexico to the very heart of the West. If you have ever experienced "magic mushrooms," then you have Gordon Wasson to thank -- at least in part.

Now, the conventional view of Wasson is that there was indeed a connection with dodgy mischief-makers -- in this case the thin-tied, shade-wearing CIA. But this connection was minor and indirect. The conventional view, which has been well documented, is that the CIA got an agent to infiltrate one of Wasson's mushroom hunting trips to Mexico. Here is what I wrote about it in my book The Psilocybin Solution:

"In his book The Search for the ‘Manchurian Candidate,' John Marks tells us of the CIA's covert involvement with our hero Wasson. In its relentless and arguably psychotic search for ever-more effective weaponry, the CIA had, by the 1950s, initiated a massive twenty-five million dollar long-term program called MKULTRA. True to its suspicious-sounding name, Project MKULTRA involved finding chemical and biological materials for use in "mind kontrol" and other psychological unpleasantries. Despite the morally questionable nature of such an unsavory federal project, its dogmatic pursuit meant that it was soon to pick up on rumors of sacred Mexican mushrooms. After learning of Wasson's 1955 experiences with the mushroom, an unscrupulous chemist named James Moore immediately began to work undercover for the conspiratorial agency. Presumably dollars changed hands surreptitiously. At any rate, in 1956, Moore craftily wrote to Wasson informing him that he knew of a foundation willing to finance another Mexican trip in order that he and Wasson bring back some of the legendary mushrooms. Moore innocently claimed that, as a chemist, he simply wanted to study the chemical structure of the mushroom's active constituents. The foundation was the CIA-backed Geschwickter Fund for Medical Research, and they were offering a two-thousand dollar grant. Would Wasson be interested?

Understandably, Wasson took the bait, and so it came to pass that the CIA's secret quest for the sacred mushroom became Subproject 58 of the MKULTRA program, possibly representing the most crass approach to psilocybin to date. It was as if the CIA were lobbing stones at angels. Fittingly, it transpired that the double-dealing Moore was well out of his comfort zone in Mexico and loathed the entire episode. Wasson later recalled that Moore had absolutely no empathy for what was going on. Whereas Wasson was sensitive to the customs of the native Mexican Indians and respectful of their cultural beliefs about the mushroom, Moore was there merely as a CIA pawn.

Once again, all those who were in Wasson's party took part in a mushroom ceremony hosted by the shaman Maria Sabina, though it was Moore alone who had a bad experience. Despite this, Moore was still able to bring back some of the fungi to the United States in the hope of isolating the active ingredient. Thankfully, however, he was beaten in his pharmaceutical pursuit by Roger Heim, an eminent French mycologist and coworker of Wasson, who managed to grow a supply of the mushroom from spore prints that he had taken in Mexico. Heim sent his newly cultivated samples to Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland, and it was Hofmann, a highly distinguished chemist who had originally synthesized LSD, who, in 1958, first isolated and then named the entheogenic alkaloid within the mushroom. Psilocybin was thus officially born, a name devoid of the weaponry connotations the CIA would invariably have conferred upon the substance had they successfully isolated it first."

The thing to bear in mind is that Wasson did not know that he was being duped by the CIA. It is also worth driving home the point that all these events took place during the paranoid anti-Communist McCarthyism Cold War era of the 1950s, when the CIA had an active interest in mind control drugs for use in espionage. However, things never worked out that well for the CIA, as psilocybin cannot be used as a mind control "truth drug." As users will know, psychedelic drugs are more like de-conditioning agents that can make one challenge orthodoxy and cultural control structures. Indeed, that is probably one principal reason why psilocybin has been demonized and illegalized by the authorities. If you wish to control someone and extract information, or get them to do your dirty espionage work or whatever, then the psilocybin mushroom is not a tool for your arsenal.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the mushroom in christian art

In The Mushroom in Christian Art, author John A. Rush uses an artistic motif to define the nature of Christian art, establish the identity of Jesus, and expose the motive for his murder. Covering Christian art from 200 CE (common era) to the present, the author reveals that Jesus, the Teacher of Righteousness mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, is a personification of the Holy Mushroom, Amanita muscaria. The mushroom, Rush argues, symbolizes numerous mind-altering substances—psychoactive mushrooms, cannabis, henbane, and mandrake—used by the early, more experimentally minded Christian sects.

Drawing on primary historical sources, Rush traces the history—and face—of Jesus as being constructed and codified only after 325 CE. The author relates Jesus’s life to a mushroom typology, discovering its presence, disguised, in early Christian art. In the process, he reveals the ritual nature of the original Christian cults, rites, and rituals, including mushroom use. The book authoritatively uncovers Jesus’s message of peace, love, and spiritual growth and proposes his murder as a conspiracy by powerful reactionary forces who would replace that message with the oppressive religious-political system that endures to this day. Rush’s use of the mushroom motif as a springboard for challenging mainstream views of Western religious history is both provocative and persuasive.

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.

Friday, August 03, 2012

spores...,

"I am old, older than thought in your species, which is itself fifty times older than your history. Though I have been on earth for ages I am from the stars. My home is no one planet, for many worlds scattered through the shining disc of the galaxy have conditions which allow my spores an opportunity for life. The mushroom which you see is the part of my body given to sex thrills and sun bathing, my true body is a fine network of fibers growing through the soil. These networks may cover acres and may have far more connections that the number in a human brain. My mycelial network is nearly immortal, only the sudden toxification of a planet or the explosion of its parent star can wipe me out. By means impossible to explain because of certain misconceptions in your model of reality all my mycelial networks in the galaxy are in hyperlight communication across space and time. The mycelial body is as fragile as a spider's web but the collective hypermind and memory is a vast historical archive of the career of evolving intelligence on many worlds in our spiral star swarm. Space, you see, is a vast ocean to those hardy life forms that have the ability to reproduce from spores, for spores are covered with the hardest organic substance known. Across the aeons of time and space drift many spore-forming life-forms in suspended animation for millions of years until contact is made with a suitable environment. Few such species are minded, only myself and my recently evolved near relatives have achieved the hyper-communication mode and memory capacity that makes us leading members in the community of galactic intelligence. How the hypercommunication mode operates is a secret which will not be lightly given to man. But the means should be obvious: it is the occurrence of psilocybin and psilocin in the biosynthetic pathways of my living body that opens for me and my symbiots the vision screens to many worlds. You as an individual and man as a species are on the brink of the formation of a symbiotic relationship with my genetic material that will eventually carry humanity and earth into the galactic mainstream of the higher civilizations.

Since it is not easy for you to recognize other varieties of intelligence around you, your most advanced theories of politics and society have advanced only as far as the notion of collectivism. But beyond the cohesion of the members of a species into a single social organism there lie richer and even more baroque evolutionary possibilities. Symbiosis is one of these. Symbiosis is a relation of mutual dependence and positive benefits for both of the species involved. Symbiotic relationships between myself and civilized forms of higher animals have been established many times and in many places throughout the long ages of my development. These relationships have been mutually useful; within my memory is the knowledge of hyperlight drive ships and how to build them. I will trade this knowledge for a free ticket to new worlds around suns younger and more stable than your own. To secure an eternal existence down the long river of cosmic time I again and again offer this agreement to higher beings and thereby have spread throughout the galaxy over the long millennia. A mycelial network has no organs to move the world, no hands; but higher animals with manipulative abilities can become partners with the star knowledge within me and if they act in good faith, return both themselves and their humble mushroom teacher to the million worlds all citizens of our starswarm are heir to." From Psilocybin - Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide

Monday, October 24, 2011

the hidden world



Video - excerpted interview with Prof. Carl Ruck.

Amazon | A thorough investigation of European fairy tales reveals a rich and enchanting psychedelic lore.

In this academic masterpiece, Professor Carl Ruck and his band of sleuthers (Prof. José Gonzalez, Dr. Blaise Staples and Mark Hoffman) uncover the facts regarding whether or not entheogenic drug use was prominent throughout European fairytales, legends and folklore, teasing out the intricate clues in their most thorough investigation on this topic to date.

By comparing these ancient stories and untangling the threads that seem unrelated in their weaves, we come to see that the mysteries of the entheogenic rites were not lost to the Europeans, and that European folklore is rich with evidence that should make anyone who cares to investigate the many thorough citations a believer without a doubt.

In 1968 Gordon Wasson published Soma in which he argued that the Hindu Soma of the Rig Vedas was the Amanita muscaria or fly-agaric mushroom. Wasson opted to argue in this and subsequent publications that he could find no evidence of mushroom use in European ancestry. As he states on page 176: "I shall begin by saying where in Europe's past I have not found the cult of the sacred mushroom." He then goes on to discuss witchcraft, the druids and berserkers.

But from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to the werewolves and the mysteries of lycanthropy, to vampires, to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, to the berserkers and many others, by following the threads of these stories Ruck and crew find shamanic stories embedded throughout European folklore stemming from Druidic, Mithraic, Manichaean and Catharic histories, right into modern-day Christianity.

This book is a linguistic, as much as historical and mythological investigation of religious and folkloric themes. It's a deep and powerful book. It's one of those books I would happily read several times over to discover what previous reads missed.

As someone who has read many, if not most, of their citations, I can attest to the thoroughness of their investigation. I am genuinely impressed by the quality of this presentation - the eloquence of which they lay on the late Dr. Staples. But it is clear that in this book they've all gone out of their way to present a thorough and well argued masterpiece.

Charting new territory

The Hidden World as a title does not refer to the theme of occult secret societies and mystery schools (like Eleusis) and the suppression of pagan rites in the Pharmacratic Inquisition, but to the hidden world of the fairies, the gnomes and dwarves - the hidden world that lies just beyond our normal senses. It is important that people understand this while reading this book. I should make clear that the book does discuss those themes. However, it is important to understand the proper context of the hidden world on which the authors are focused.

This book should be recognized as one of the best pieces on entheogenic scholarship to date. It is by far, in my opinion, the authors' best work. The writing pose, the depth of the study, the quality and originality of research all weigh heavily in my evaluation; and I'm not one who has shied away from being critical of these authors in the past.

Weaknesses in the book, two of which should have been properly addressed by the publisher but were not, include: A) lack of illustrations. It is grueling to have to look up the illustrations one by one (even if I already had many of them). This book was clearly written with the intention of illustrations being included, but for some reason, their publisher did not include them. For the price of the book, the publisher could have easily done so. Thankfully the included DVD contains wonderful illustrations for the section Heretical Visionary Sacraments (chapter 2). B) There is no standard bibliography, which I find a great hindrance to researching their citations. You have to go to the footnotes of each page to find the citation there, rather than a simple bibliography at the back of the book. C) Lastly, this book discusses at length the many stories of Amanita muscaria and the shamanic tradition of urine consumption. But it should be noted that other mushrooms (psilocybe), and other entheogens, can also be recycled. A more encompassing investigation with this inclusion might yield some fantastic information and is something that deserves focus.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

who was jesus?


Video - Jesus/Yehoshua/Joshua: "The Teacher of Righteousness" an Essene Healer crucified in 88 BCE

JohnAllegro.org | John Marco Allegro (born in London 17 February 1923, died 17 February 1988) was a freethinker who challenged orthodox views on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Bible and the history of religion.

After service in the Royal Navy during World War II, Allegro started to train for the Methodist ministry but transferred to a degree in Oriental Studies at the University of Manchester. In 1953 he was invited to become the first British representative on the international team working on the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls in Jordan. The following year he was appointed assistant lecturer in Comparative Semitic Philology at Manchester, and held a succession of lectureships there until he resigned in 1970 to become a full-time writer. In 1961 he was made Honorary Adviser on the Dead Sea scrolls to the Jordanian government.

Allegro’s thirteen books include The Dead Sea Scrolls (1956), The Treasure of the Copper Scroll (1960), The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (1970) and The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth (1979) as well as Discoveries in the Judaean Desert of Jordan vol. V (1968) and numerous articles in academic journals such as the Journal of Biblical Literature, Palestine Exploration Quarterly and Journal of Semitic Studies, and in the popular press.

Four main issues brought Allegro into contention with other scholars:

Access to the scrolls
The Copper Scroll
What the scrolls reveal about the origin of Christianity
Controversial ideas about language, religion and mythology.

ACCESS

John Allegro understood from the start that the job of the editing team was to make the Dead Sea scroll texts available to scholars everywhere, and he believed their message mattered to everyone.

The scrolls had been written around or shortly before the time of Jesus. They give insight into the religious life and thought of a Jewish sect based at Qumran by the Dead Sea and usually identified as Essenes. Allegro believed the scrolls could help us understand the common origin of three religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He hoped they might be able to bring together scholars of each tradition in studying their common heritage without the barriers of religious prejudice.

This would mean making the texts accessible to all. Allegro had published the sections of text allotted to him in academic journals as soon as he had prepared them, and his volume (number five) in the official series Discoveries in the Judaean Desert of Jordan was ready for the press by the early 1960s. He continually campaigned for the publication of all scroll texts. However, his colleagues took a different approach, and little else appeared until 1991.

Allegro saw himself as a publicist for the scrolls. His books, talks and broadcasts promoted public interest in the scrolls and their significance. At first, the rest of the team encouraged his efforts, which after all were intended to help fund their research. But they thought he went too far in raising questions about the parallels between Essenism and Christianity, and doing so in public. He was accused of stirring up controversy at the expense of scholarship.

THE COPPER SCROLL

The controversy over the Copper Scroll deepened the rift between Allegro and the team. At the request of the authorities, Allegro had arranged for the scroll to be cut open in Manchester over the winter of 1955/56. He supervised the opening and made a preliminary transcription and translation of the contents. He found it to be a list of Temple treasure hidden at various locations around Qumran and Jerusalem, most probably after the sack of Jerusalem in AD 70. Initial excitement turned to poison when the team falsely accused Allegro of leaking information to the Press and later of pre-empting the official translation by publishing his own version first. In fact the team had already issued a preliminary translation, and Allegro held his book back to let the official version take precedence. But he could not in honesty support the official interpretation of the Copper Scroll as a work of fiction, and later scholars have endorsed his view that the treasure was real.

CHRISTIAN ORIGINS

John Allegro believed that Essenism was the matrix of Christianity. There were so many correspondences between the scroll texts and the New Testament – words and phrases, beliefs and practices, Messianic leadership, a teacher who was persecuted and possibly crucified – that he thought the derivation obvious. This brought him into conflict with the Catholic priests on the editing team, and with most church spokesmen, who maintained the orthodox assumption that the arrival of Jesus was the unique, historical, god-given event described in the Gospels. Allegro suggested it might be less unique and miraculous than they said. He also started to look in more depth at the way the New Testament appeared to weave together a mix of folklore, myth, incantation and history, and to ask why.

LANGUAGE, MYTH AND RELIGION

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 our continent 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. The church found his theory so shocking that the book received instant condemnation instead of scholarly appraisal.

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

To sum up, John Allegro believed the Dead Sea Scrolls raised issues that concerned everyone. It wasn’t just a matter of dusty manuscripts and disputed translations – the story of the scrolls raised questions about freedom of access to evidence, freedom of speech, and freedom to challenge orthodox religious views. He 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 judgements.

[Sourced from: John Marco Allegro, the Maverick of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Judith Anne Brown; pb. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, 2005.]

Sunday, June 12, 2011

the oldest representations of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the world

artepreistorica | Even though the ‘neuropsychological model’ put forward by Lewis-Williams & Dawson is not sufficient on its own to interpret that complex phenomenon which is poleolithic art, this model at least paves the way to supposing that mind-altering factors may have contributed to a prehistoric will-to-art.
At this point, we should remember Kaplan´s (1975) theory that mushrooms are represented in the Swedish cave art of the long Scandinavian Bronze Age.
It should also be pointed out that the explicit representation of psychotropic vegetals, as sacred objects (and therefore subject to taboo), is rare and the few cases of explicit representation make up but a small part of prehistoric art, as sacred art, associated with the use of hallucinogens. We must consider that, generally speaking, sacred cult objects will not be represented and that it is more than likely that these will be hidden behind symbolic devices, also of a graphic nature, whose meaning is indeed beyond us.

Further evidence in support of the idea that the relationship between Man and hallucinogens – in this case mushrooms – is indeed an ancient one comes from the ancient populations of the Sahara desert who inhabited this vast area when it was still covered with an extensive layer of vegetation (fig. 1) (Samorini, 1989). The archeological findings consist in prehistorical paintings which the author personally had the opportunity to observe during two visits to Tassilli in Algeria. This could be the most ancient ethno-mycological finding up to the present day, which goes back to the so-called ‘Round Heads’ Period (i.e. 9,000 – 7,000 years ago). The centre of this style is Tassili, but examples are also to be found at Tadrart Acacus (Libya), Ennedi (Chad) and, to a lesser extent, at Jebel Uweinat (Egypt) (Muzzolini, 1986:173-175).

Central Saharian rock art, apart from extensive concentrations of incisions, near the sites of ancient rivers, and rockshelter paintings among the large promontories or high plateaux which reach an altitude of some 2,000 meters, cover a period of 12,000 years, generally divided in 5 periods: the ‘Bubalus antiquus’ Period, the works of which were produced by the Early Hunters at the end of the Pleistocene period (10,000 – 7,000 years B. C.) – characterized by representations of large wild animals (Mori, 1974); the ‘Round Heads’ Period, in turn divided into various phases and styles, associated with the epipaleolithic populations of the Early Gatherers (7,000 – 5,000 years B. C.), whose works of fantasy have quite rightly become world famous; the ‘Bovidian’ or ‘Pastoral’ Period (starting 5,000 years B. C.), a population of animal herders and breeders whose art is predominantly concentrated on these activities and, after these, the ‘Horse’ Period and, lastly, the ‘Camel’ Period, the art works of which are stereotyped and of a lower quality.

Some rock art experts have already produced evidence supporting the idea that the art of the Round Head Period could be influenced by ecstatic or hallucinogenic states. According to Anati (1989:187), this art is produced by the Early Gatherers during the end of Pleistocene and the beginning of Holecene periods. Analogous works dating back nearly to the some period are to be found in various sites around the world (Sahara Desert, Tanzania, Texas, Mexico etc.). These areas were later to become arid or semi-arid when the lakes and rivers dried up. From the many works of art these peoples have left us we learn what were gatherers of wild vegetal foods: ‘people who lived in a sort of garden of Eden and who used mind-altering substances’. Sansoni too (1980) is of the opinion that ‘it might be that (the works of art of the Round Heads Period) are the works of normal consciousness or the results of particular ecstatic states associated with dance or the use of hallucinogenic substances’. The context, or rather the ‘motivations’ behind Round Heads art, just as with all the other periods of Sahara rock art, are generally of a religious and, perhaps, initiatic nature. Fabrizio Mori, discussing Acacus, stressed ‘the close relationship which there must have been between the painter and that figure so typical in all prehistoric societies whose main role is that of mediator between earth and sky: the wizard-priest’ (Mori, 1975). According to Henri Lohte, the discoverer of the Tassili frescoes, ‘it seems evident that these painted cavities were secret sanctuaries’ (Lhote, 1968).

Images of enormous mythological beings of human or animal form, side by side with a host of small horned and feathered beings in dancing stance cover the rock shelters of which there are very many on the high plateaux of the Sahara which in some areas are so interconnected as to form true ‘citadels’ with streets, squares and terraces.
One at the most important scenes is to be found in the Tin-Tazarift rock art site, at Tassili, in which we find a series of masked figures in line and hieratically dressed or dressed as dancers surrounded by long and lively festoons of geometrical designs of different kinds (fig. 2). Each dancer holds a mushroom-like object in the right hand and, even more surprising, two parallel lines come out of this object to reach the central part of the head of the dancer, the area of the roots of the two horns. This double line could signify an indirect association or non-material fluid passing from the object held in the right hand and the mind. This interpretation would coincide with the mushroom interpretation if we bear in mind the universal mental value induced by hallucinogenic mushrooms and vegetals, which is often of a mystical and spiritual nature (Dobkin de Rios, 1984:194). It would seem that these lines – in themselves an ideogram which represents something non-material in ancient art – represent the effect that the mushroom has on the human mind.

The whole scene is steeped in deep symbolic meanings and is a representation of a cultural event which actually happened and which was periodically repeated. Perhaps we are witnessing one of the most important moments in the social, religious and emotional lives of these peoples. The constant nature of the physical nature of the dancers and their stances reveals a coordinated will towards scenic representation for collective contexts. The dance represented here has all the indications of a ritual dance and perhaps, at a certain stage, this rite became ecstatic.

In the various scenes presented, a series of figurative constants lead us to imagine an accompanying conceptual structure associated with the ethno-mycological cult described here.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Alien Intelligence: A Both/And Rather Than Either/Or Proposition


MyceliumRunning |  “I believe that mycelium is the neurological network of nature. Interlacing mosaics of mycelium infuse habitats with information-sharing membranes. These membranes are aware, react to change, and collectively have the long-term health of the host environment in mind.
 
The mycelium stays in constant molecular communication with its environment, devising diverse enzymatic and chemical responses to complex challenges.” 
 
The mycelium is the part of the mushroom you usually do not see.
 
Most of it is found distributed throughout the soil, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like structures (known as hyphae) which absorb nutrients and decompose organic materials.
 
The mycelium can be exceedingly small or may form a colony of massive proportions.
Is this the largest organism in the world? This 2,400-acre (9.7 km2) site in eastern Oregon had a contiguous growth of mycelium before logging roads cut through it.
 
Estimated at 1,665 football fields in size and 2,200 years old, this one fungus has killed the forest above it several times over, and in so doing has built deeper soil layers that allow the growth of ever-larger stands of trees.
 
Mushroom-forming forest fungi are unique in that their mycelial mats can achieve such massive proportions.
- Paul Stamets
Mycelium Running
The mycelium has extraordinary properties suitable for bioremediation.
 
It is capable of degrading pesticides and plastics, and has been shown to break down petroleum in a matter of weeks:

This, however, is only the physio-chemical dimension of the mycelium.
 
According to Paul Stamets, it also has information/consciousness associated properties:
“I see the mycelium as the Earth's natural Internet, a consciousness with which we might be able to communicate. Through cross-species interfacing, we may one day exchange information with these sentient cellular networks.
 
Because these externalized neurological nets sense any impression upon them, from footsteps to falling tree branches, they could relay enormous amounts of data regarding the movements of all organisms through the landscape.”
- Paul Stamets
Mycelium Running
The notion that fungi may participate in some form of planetary interspecies communication and/or consciousness through their mycelium may seam a bit 'far out,' but consider that mushrooms have been used to expand consciousness for countless millennia.
 
Even beyond the well-known psychedelic (literally "soul showing") properties of some species (particularly Lion's Mane) are their neuritogenic properties; that is, their ability to promote new neural cell growth and the enhancement of communication between them. The resemblance between the filamentous structures within the brain (axons; dendrites) and the fungi within the soil (mycelium) may therefore be more than accidental.

Our relationship to fungi is in fact closer than most think.
 
According to David McLaughlin, professor of plant biology at the University of Minnesota in the College of Biological Sciences, human cells are surprisingly similar to fungal cells.
 
In a 2006 Science Daily article the topic is explored further:
In 1998 scientists discovered that fungi split from animals about 1.538 billion years ago, whereas plants split from animals about 1.547 billion years ago.
 
This means fungi split from animals 9 million years after plants did, in which case fungi are actually more closely related to animals than to plants. The fact that fungi had motile cells propelled by flagella that are more like those in animals than those in plants, supports that.
Could this filial bond also be why many species of fungi have such profound medicinal properties in humans?
 

Friday, October 16, 2015

your species has begun its descent down the birth canal of transformation


deoxy |  History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom dotted plains of Africa where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are. And why does this matter? It matters because it shows that the way out is back and that the future is a forward escape into the past. This is what the psychedelic experience means. Its a doorway out of history and into the wiring under the board in eternity. And I tell you this because if the community understands what it is that holds it together the community will be better able to streamline itself for flight into hyperspace because what we need is a new myth, what we need is a new true story that tells us where we're going in the universe and that true story is that the ego is a product of pathology, and when psilocybin is regularly part of the human experience the ego is supressed and the supression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the materialists, the product peddlers. Psychedelics return us to the inner worth of the self, to the importance of the feeling of immediate experience - and nobody can sell that to you and nobody can buy it from you, so the dominator culture is not interested in the felt presence of immediate experience, but that's what holds the community together.

What WE represent is the nexus of concrescent novelty that has been moving itself together, complexifying itself, folding itself in upon itself for billions and billions of years. There is, so far as we know, nothing more advanced than what is sitting behind your eyes. The human neocortex is the most densely ramified complexified structure in the known universe. We are the cutting edge of organismic transformation of matter in this cosmos. And this has been going on for a while; since the discovery of fire, since the discovery of language. But now, and by now I mean in the last 10,000 years, we've been into something new. Not genetic information, not genetic mutation, not natural selection, but epigenetic activity: writing, theatre, poetry, dance, art, tattooing, body piercing and philisophy. And these things have accelerated the ingression into novelty so that we have become an idea excreting force in nature that builds temples, builds cities, builds machines, social engines, plans, and spreads over the Earth, into space, into the micro-physical domain, into the micro-physical domain. We, who five million years ago were animals, can kindle in our deserts and if necesary upon the cities of our enemies the very energy which lights the stars at night. Now, something peculiar is going on here. Something is calling us out of nature and sculpting us in it's own image. And the confrontation with this something is now not so far away. This is what the impending apparent end of everything actually means. It means that the de-no-ma(?) of human history is about to occur and is about to be revealed as a universal process of compressing and expressing novelty that is now going to become so intensified that it is going to flow over into another dimension.

You can feel it. You can feel it in your own dreams. You can feel it in your own trips. You can feel that we're approaching the cusp of a catastrophe, and that beyond that cusp we are unrecognizable to ourselves. The wave of novelty that has rolled unbroken since the birth of the universe has now focussed and coalesced itself in our species. And if it seems unlikely to you that the world is about to transform itself, then think of it this way: think of a pond, and think of how if the surface of the pond begins to boil - that's the signal that some enormous protean form is about to break the surface of the pond and reveal itself. Human history IS the boiling of the pond surface of ordinary biology. We are flesh which has been caught in the grip of some kind of an attractor that lies ahead of us in time, and that is sculpting us to its ends; speaking to us through psychedelics, through visions, through culture, and technology, consciousness. The language forming capacity in our species is propelling itself forward as though it were going to shed the monkey body and leap into some extra-surreal space that surrounds us, but that we can not currently see. Even the people who run the planet, the World Bank, the IMF, you name it, they know that history is ending. They know by the reports which cross their desks: the disappearance of the ozone hole [?], the toxification of the ocean, the clearing of the rain forests. What this means is that the womb of the planet has reached its finite limits, and that the human species has now, without choice, begun the decent down the birth canal of collective transformation toward something right around the corner and nearly completely unimaginable. And this is where the psychedelic shaman comes is because I believe that what we really contact through psychedelics is a kind of hyperspace. And from that hyperspace we look down on..., we look down on both the past and the future, and we anticipate the end. And a shaman is someone who has seen the end, and therefore is a trickster, because you don't worry if you've seen the end. If you know how it comes out you go back and you take your place in the play, and you let it all roll on without anxiety. This is what boundary dissolution means. It means nothing less than the anticipation of the end state of human history.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas!

PsychologyToday | In Holland, children are taught that Santa Claus-and his African slave-come from Madrid on a ship that docks in Rotterdam. In this respect (and perhaps only in this respect), I'm glad I wasn't raised in Holland. As a kid, I loved to lie awake the night before Christmas, imagining Santa and his reindeer flying to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania from the North Pole, with something special just for me. To imagine him coming up to Holland on a slow ship from Spain just doesn't have the same magical quality.

When I discovered that the whole Santa story was a hoax, I remember feeling proud that the adults had let me in on their conspiracy (which I now had to keep from my little sister), but disappointed as well. Years later, when I began to study the differences in the way people in different cultures construct and perceive what they consider to be reality, I was reminded of this embittered pride I'd felt as a child. The entire trajectory of emotional and intellectual growth in the Western mind seems to be a movement away from mystery, while indigenous people tend to see themselves moving ever closer to realms of mystery as they age.

A typical American Indian adolescent, for example, would be introduced to adulthood in a ceremony involving solitude, introspection, attention to dreams and visions, altered states of consciousness, and perhaps the use of sacred plants. We tend to educate our children in precisely the opposite direction, toward being "well-adjusted" and focused on the practical realities and responsibilities of adulthood. "Stop dreaming," we tell them, "Prepare to work." While our lives seem to be flowing ever further away from the magical realities that Santa Claus represents, our ancestors' lives likely flowed in the opposite direction. In indigenous societies, it is the old who have the most intimate knowledge of the mysteries of life, not the children. Since it is the old who most immediately face death, there must be a not-insignificant measure of comfort in having gained a sense of intimacy with other, soon to be occupied realms.

In any case, who is this Santa character, and where did he really come from? In most traditions, Santa has the following characteristics:
- He comes from the North Pole;
- He dresses in red and white;
- He has a long, white beard;
- He somehow knows if you've been good or bad;
- He enters the house through the chimney;
- He puts the gifts under the Christmas tree (a pine) and/or in stockings hung by the fireplace;
- And, perhaps most spectacularly, he rides a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.

This all seems rather innocent and arbitrary - unless you know something about people like the Sami, Koryak and other reindeer-herding people who live in the far north of Europe and Siberia. Clearly, the Christmas tradition has roots in many different places and times: Christianity, pagan winter solstice celebrations, old Germanic mythologies, etc. But these aspects of Santa mythology seem to come directly from these reindeer-based cultures.

The key to understanding Santa is Amanita muscaria - the well-known red and white mushroom with a long history of shamanic use from Western Europe to Siberia. I am convinced that Santa is essentially a shaman that has quietly yet forcefully entered into the consciousness of Western culture, like a mushroom nudging up through parking lot asphalt. Fist tap Dale.

Monday, October 24, 2011

the prophet (PBUH) ridin too?

Mohammed meets the prophets Ismail, Is-hak and Lot in paradise. From the Apocalypse of Muhammad, written in 1436 in Herat, Afghanistan (now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris).
Scribd | This paper will highlight some of primary evidence for entheogenic plant use in Islamic cults that partake of a vastly older legacy of ritual plant use. The accumulated research on entheogens and religions demands that certain traditions be reevaluated in light a continuing and coherent symbolism that enshrines holy plants as high mysteries in diverse faiths. Following thesoma/ haoma complex through Asia and Chinese Shamanism and into Persian and Islamic cults the use of entheogens meets with traditions in the ancient Middle East that shared doctrines of magic plants and cup rituals of visionary wine. The Greek, Semitic and Hermetic traditions merge with the shamanic techniques that persist in the esoteric symbolism of the Shia Muslims and Sufi as demonstrated in their holy books, art and poetry. The alchemical tradition thus emerges has having a definite entheogenic context that was cherished and protected by initiates from the profane. This speculative hypothesis rests on the collective evidence of religious traditions surrounding Islam that possessed similar rituals and reverence for plants that becomes a hidden aspect of mystical Islam.

Muhammad the Prophet Shaman
The prophet Muhammad spoke to the angelic messenger of God and underwent visionary initiatory voyages to the heavenly and infernal regions (1). He mounted the mysterious shamanic beast,al -buraaq, which means “lightning” in Arabic and which begins to draw associations with mushrooms, as they have ancient folklore links with lightning and thunder perhaps due to their sudden appearances after rains. Wasson notes thatBanat ’u’rrad , “Daughters of Thunder” are used as an expression for fungus, but an unnamed species, in the dictionary of classical Arabic in his discussion of “Lightingbolt and Mushrooms” (Wasson 1986). Though described in Islamic literature as being white and something like a donkey or a mule, the fabulous creature is curiously depicted in some examples of Islamic art as being red and white in a design consistent with Amanita muscaria mushroom, the entheogen suspected to be a major candidate for the soama/haoma and the symbolic colors of alchemy.

In the above images, Muhammad is seen riding the red and white creature, again the colors of the Amanita mushroom, in his shamanic night journeyisra' and ascension to heaven mi'raj reminiscent of the ascent of Arda Viraf who takes a narcotic and takes a visionary flight through heaven and hell (Seguy 1977). This representation of Buraq may indicate that regional cults viewed the Islamic revelation through their own shamanic traditions or that Islam retained the ritual heritages of the ancient world. These traditions would be enshrouded in the mysteries of Shia gnosis, alchemy and Sufism that spread into Europe. The other image depicts Imam Ali on a similar creature with the red and white colors and in a scene entitled “Gabriel Shows Ali’s Valor to the Prophet” from the 15th century Persian epic of Ali, the Khavaran Nameh, which shows his steed in these colors particularly in scenes of battle where it is grey in other scenes though more research is needed to fully develop these curious depictions of the changing mounts (Birjandi 2004). Another uncle of the Prophet Muhammad is Amir Hamza, whose folktales date back to the time of the Prophet and whose exploits unite Chinese, Indian Persian, Greek and Arabian cultures, also rides a similarly described winged-demon steed Ashqar Devzad (Lakhnavi and Bilgrami 2007). This series of tales involves treasures under trees and occult lore of the Prophet Khizir and Imam Ali (even before he was born) in aiding in battles and traveling to the land of thejinns for temporal and spiritual jihad for the True Faith anticipating the coming of the Prophet Muhammad.

mushrooms myth and mithras

Citylights | Anthropological evidence has long suggested that psychedelic plants have played important roles in indigenous communities for thousands of years, but most scholarship does not address their larger sphere of influence on western culture.

In their groundbreaking new book, Mushrooms, Myths & Mithras, classics scholar Carl Ruck and friends reveal compelling evidence suggesting that psychedelic mushroom use was equally influential in early Europe, where it was central to initiation ceremonies for the Roman elite.

Through art and archeology, we discover that Nero was the first Emperor to be initiated by secret "magical dinners," and that most of his successors embraced the ritual and its sacramental use of the psychedelic mushroom as a source of spiritual transcendence. The secret religion was officially banned after Roman Conversion, but aspects of its practices were assimilated or co-opted by Christianity, and have influenced many subsequent secret societies, including the Freemasons. Mushrooms, Myths & Mithras is a fascinating historical exploration of a powerful force kept hidden behind the scenes for thousands of years.

Praise for Mushrooms, Myths & Mithras:
"This is real renaissance scholarship. Mushrooms, Myths & Mithras is a brilliant and exciting synthesis of data gleaned from disciplines as diverse as anthropology, botany, linguistics, astronomy, archaeology, art history, pharmacology and classical literature. The history of recreational drug use it distills from the material and literary sources is both captivating and compelling. It effortlessly straddles the modern academic divide between the sciences and the arts. The authors' multidisciplinary approach sets a higher standard for research in the humanities." —D. C.A. Hillman, author of The Chemical Muse

Sunday, June 12, 2011

dr. barbara brown



Video - Final Minutes of One Step Beyond Episode The Sacred Mushroom

Wikipedia | Barbara B. Brown (1921-1999) was a research psychologist who popularized biofeedback and neurofeedback in the 1970s. "Brown was the biofeedback field's most prolific writer and most successful popularizer." [1]

Brown earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1950. She went from a technician at pharmaceutical company Merrill to heading their Department of Pharmacology. From there she went to Riker Laboratories and Psychopharmacology Research Laboratories. She became Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California Center for Health Sciences in Los Angeles and at the University of California, Irvine. She lectured at the Department of Psychiatry at University of California, Los Angeles.[2]

Dr. Brown created and popularized the word "biofeedback". She did her ground-breaking research when she was Chief of Experiential Physiology Research at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sepulveda, California.[3]

Brown was co-founder and first president (1969-1970) of the Biofeedback Research Society, which evolved into the Biofeedback Society of America and then into the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.

In later years she suffered a stroke and died in 1999 in Rancho Mirage.

Brown was featured in a 1960 episode of the television series One Step Beyond. The episode, titled "The Sacred Mushroom", was a rare documentary-style departure for the series and dealt with the search for psychedelic mushrooms in Mexico.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

earliest evidence for magic mushroom use in europe

NewScientist | EUROPEANS may have used magic mushrooms to liven up religious rituals 6000 years ago. So suggests a cave mural in Spain, which may depict fungi with hallucinogenic properties - the oldest evidence of their use in Europe.

The Selva Pascuala mural, in a cave near the town of Villar del Humo, is dominated by a bull. But it is a row of 13 small mushroom-like objects that interests Brian Akers at Pasco-Hernando Community College in New Port Richey, Florida, and Gaston Guzman at the Ecological Institute of Xalapa in Mexico. They believe that the objects are the fungi Psilocybe hispanica, a local species with hallucinogenic properties.

Like the objects depicted in the mural, P. hispanica has a bell-shaped cap topped with a dome, and lacks an annulus - a ring around the stalk. "Its stalks also vary from straight to sinuous, as they do in the mural," says Akers (Economic Botany, DOI: 10.1007/s12231-011-9152-5).

This isn't the oldest prehistoric painting thought to depict magic mushrooms, though. An Algerian mural that may show the species Psilocybe mairei is 7000 to 9000 years old.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Short Of Individual Autarky What Kind Of Waking-Up Can There Be?


caitlinjohnstone |  From 2021 until nuclear armageddon Biden will be sitting off to the side mumbling to himself as his brain turns to chowder while holdovers from the Obama administration orchestrate cold war escalations against China in retaliation for its 2020 “election meddling”.
~
You will never, ever hate China enough to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. Playing along with bullshit narrative spin hoping it will bring your jobs back will never work. You’re just helping opaque government agencies advance their new cold war.
~
The dumbest thing about believing foreign countries attacked American democracy is believing America has any democracy to attack.
~
Thought experiment: If you looked out the window right now and saw a mushroom cloud growing on the horizon, how would you feel about the way you’ve been spending your mental energy lately? Be honest with yourself.
~
If we win this thing it won’t be because conspiracy analysts showed everyone a bunch of complex financial connections or because Marxists put a bunch of theory in everyone’s heads, it will be because clear, simple pointing helped everyone notice the fact that they’ve been duped.

This fight isn’t a game of addition, it’s a game of subtraction. You’re not trying to get the mainstream rank-and-file public to understand a bunch of complicated new information, you’re trying to remove the blindfold so they can see something for themselves that they kind of already suspected was the case.

Cripple public trust in the establishment narrative control apparatus and you remove the only obstacle that’s been stopping the people from using the power of their numbers to force real change. They don’t need anything new, they need to exorcise the lies that have blinded them and stop trusting in the words of liars.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Han Elite's Rapidly Deployed "Hospital" Looks a Lot Like a Prison

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
taiwannews |  Video has surfaced allegedly shot from inside the instant "hospital" hastily constructed in Wuhan appearing much more like a prison than a center to care for sick patients.

On Monday (Feb. 3), Communist China claimed to have completed the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan to house 1,000 of the city's residents infected with the novel coronavirus (2019nCoV). The rapid construction of the hospital was widely trumpeted by Chinese state-run mouthpieces and parroted by Western media outlets as an example of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) superior ability to quickly respond to crises, while a de-emphasis was placed on the initial slow response that arguably allowed the virus to mushroom out of control.

However, the dissident organization Himalaya Global released a video on its Twitter page Monday which was apparently secretly filmed by a Chinese contractor inside the new facility. The video starts with the contractor introducing the Spartan interior of Ward 1.

The man starts out by ominously saying, "Once you are in, you can't get out." He then asserts that patients would be better off staying at home than checking into the new compound.

The camera then focuses on the tiny windows that he said would be used to serve food to patients. In the background, another man can be heard saying that "the dead will be removed from that door."

Monday, April 06, 2015

is there any basis for intelligent people to hope and be hopeful?


Quotes

14:49: Since the rise of western monotheism the human experience has been marginalized. We have been told that we were unimportant in the cosmic drama. But we now know from the feedback that we're getting from the impact of human culture on the earth that we are a major factor shaping the temperatures of the oceans, the composition of the atmosphere, the general speed and complexity of speciation on the planet... A single species, ourselves, has broken from the ordinary constants of animal nature and created a new world, an epigenetic world,...a world based on ideas...downloaded out of the human imagination and concretized in three dimensional space... 29:29: Consciousness is the generalized word that we use for this coordination of complex perception to create a world that draws from the past and builds a model of the future and then suspends the perceiving organism in this magical moment called the now where the past is coordinated for the purpose of navigating the future. McLuhan called it "driving with the rear-view mirror" and the only thing good about it is it's better than driving with no mirror at all. 36:10: Reality is accelerating towards an unimaginable Omega Point. We are the inheritors of immense momentum in our social systems, our philosophical and scientific and technological approaches to the world. Because we're driving the historical vehicle with a rear-view mirror it appears to us that we're headed straight into a brick wall at a thousand miles an hour. It appears that we are destroying the earth, polluting the atmosphere, wrecking the oceans, dehumanizing ourselves, robbing our children of a future, so forth and so on.

I believe what is in fact going on is that we are burning our bridges. One by one we're burning our bridges to the past. We cannot go back to the mushroom-dotted plains of Africa or the canopied rainforests of 5 million years ago. We can't even go back to the era of...200 years ago. We have burned our bridges. We are preparing for a kind of cultural forward escape. 39:35: Nobody's in charge. 41:16: We are central to the human drama and to the drama of nature and process on this planet. 41:34: Every model of the universe has a hard swallow...a place where the argument cannot hide the fact that there's something slightly fishy about it. The hard swallow built into science is this business about the big bang. Now let's give this a little attention here. This is the notion that the universe, for no reason, sprang from nothing in a single instant. Before we dissect this, notice that this is the limit test for credulity. Whether you believe this or not, notice that it is not possible to conceive of something more unlikely, or less likely to be believed. I defy anyone. It's just the limit case for unlikelihood: that the universe would spring from nothing in a single instant for no reason....It makes no sense. It is in fact no different than saying, "and then God said, 'Let there be light!'".

What the philosophers of science are saying is "give us one free miracle and we will roll from that point forward, from the birth of time to the crack of doom. Just one free miracle and then it will all unravel according to natural law and these bizarre equations which nobody can understand but which are so holy in this enterprise." Well I say then if science gets one free miracle then everybody gets one free miracle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

clown fest


theoildrum | We evolved to favor the ‘in group’ over the ‘out group’, for resource, defensive, and ultimately reproductive advantages. The internet has spawned millions of ‘in-groups’ – peak oilers, tea-party evangelizers, deflationistas, gold-bugs, Austrian economics followers, anti-abortion activists, and myriad less controversial groups such as ‘Claremount High School Boosters", "Kerr Jar Enthusiasts", “Earthworm Snack Creators” and the like. People gravitate towards groups they identify with. And they usually stay there. (After all, a room full of clowns feels a lot less clown-like).

Achieving status is a primary driver in the biological kingdom and remains a key driver in our human social groups. But today, for the first time in our species history, the same ‘feelings’ we get from moving up in a real life social hierarchy can be attained cheaply and easily online. Being the most vocal, most persuasive or most interesting in a small group of dedicated/interested followers engenders the same neural reward as being the head of a small business, or a Mayor, or a high school basketball star. Our brains don’t really know that being the head of the “Morel Foraging Society” or “Nudists for Nader 2012” with several hundred members online is different than being County Treasurer in real life – we receive respect, positive feedback, deference etc. from the people in our ‘in-group’ (the fact they might be just anonymous mushroom pickers or passionate nude people is not relevant to our brains).

Human ethologists liken this phenomenon to 'dispersal phenotype' prevalent in nature:
Dispersal is important in biology. Often a species will produce two forms:
1) a maintenance phenotype (the outcome of genes and the structures they produce interacting with a specific environment) that is adapted to the environment in which it is born, and (2) a dispersal phenotype that is programmed to move to a new area and that often has the capacity to adapt to a new environment.
According to the present theory, humans have developed two dispersal phenotypes in the forms of the prophet and the follower. The coordinated action of these two phenotypes would serve to disperse us over the available habitat. This dispersal must have been aided by the major climatic changes over the past few million years in which vast areas of potential human habitat have repeatedly become available because of melting of ice sheets.
The dispersal phenotypes might have evolved through selection at the individual level, since the reproductive advantage of colonizing a new habitat would have been enormous. They would also promote selection between groups. Factors that promote selection at the group level are rapid splitting of groups, small size of daughter groups, heterogeneity (differences) of culture between groups, and reduction in gene flow between groups. These factors are all promoted by the breaking away of prophet-led groups with new belief systems.
Cult followers have been studied and found to be high on schizotypal traits, such as abnormal experiences and beliefs. They have not yet been tested for the sort of selfish attitudes and behavior that characterize free-riders. If a large cohort of people were tested for some measure of selfishness, it is predicted that those who subsequently joined cults would be low on such a measure. Predictions could also be made about future cult leaders. They would be likely to be ambitious males who were not at the top of the social hierarchy of their original group. If part of why human groups split in general is to give more reproductive opportunities to males in the new group, it can also be predicted that leaders of new religious movements would be males of reproductive age. Female cult leaders are not likely to be more fertile as a result of having many sexual partners, but their sons might be in an advantageous position for increased reproduction.
From THE BIOLOGY OF RELIGIOUS BEHAVIOR, Edited by Jay R. Feierman (bold added my me)
[pp. 184-186] DISPERSAL
Most people are both reasonable, and passive. Some people are either unreasonable or assertive (or both). In a free form forum one unreasonable or assertive person will drown out 10 or more who are either reasonable or passive. Especially for those whose assertion or unreasonableness in real life leads to fewer social opportunities, the internet has been a godsend. Either anonymous or in their own name, they can easily accumulate a following by articulating what people already believe or like to hear. Given the self-selected audience, there doesn’t exist the normal social checks and balances. As such, due to the myriad different categories, those assertive and/or social acceptance seeking souls who find their niches online dig in hard and ‘feel’ as if they are true celebrities. Combine that with the iterations and scale that come from long time periods, little or no barriers to entry and an apathy/lack of interest from those not spending time on the internet and these folks have become ensconced at all sorts of cyber guideposts on topics that cover the map. Dispersal phenotypes.

Basically, since people believe in authority figures, and nominate their own authority figures based on their own belief systems, it is no wonder that time and numbers has by circa 2010 amassed an internet army of 'clowns'. We see increasingly hysterical caricatures emerge on the internet/media that undergo some perceived status/ego boost that they wouldn't/couldn't have gotten in normal situations. The feedback from the true believers (of whatever tribe they communicate to), then locks these personalities into an utterly confident belief in their own position as an expert, and their actions become considerably (and understandably) clownlike over time to people not in their sub-group, especially magnified in those cases of borderline mental illness (which I suspect are not few). I notice this dynamic in numerous areas of discourse but its particularly prevalent in the the peak oil, finance and climate change circles where I have spent alot of time.