Thursday, 6 March 2008

Moses on drugs

Moses was high on Mount Sinai when God spoke to him. Literally, according to a story in The Guardian.

An Israeli researcher claims the prophet may have been stoned when he set the Ten Commandments in stone.

Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says that psychedelic drugs formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times.

Concoctions based on the bark of the acacia tree, frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, contain the same molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca is prepared.

"The thunder, lightning and blaring of a trumpet which the Book of Exodus says emanated from Mount Sinai could just have been the imaginings of a people in an altered state of awareness," says Sharon.

He adds: "In advanced forms of ayahuasca inebriation, the seeing of light is accompanied by profound religious and spiritual feelings."

According to the researcher, references in the Bible where people see sounds, is another "classic phenomenon", similar to religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to see music.

And Sharon should know about this - he's tried it more than 150 times. "I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations," he said.

He also thinks Moses was high on mind-altering drugs when he saw the "burning bush".

No shit.

Here's my question. How many other great works of fiction are a result of the consumption of mind-altering substances?

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