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Brian_Muraresku431 karma

My psychedelic virginity remains intact.

Brian_Muraresku168 karma

Ha! Graham and Joe are great guys. We had fun in Austin. One of my favorite YouTube comments from the show (yes ... I read them!) was something like: "When Graham Hancock offers to take you down to the Amazon to do ayahuasca ... you GO!" Only time will tell.

Brian_Muraresku164 karma

Yes. A few months before publication, there was the Tel Arad analysis. From charred organic remains on a limestone altar at Tel Arad, Israel -- "a scaled down version of the Biblical description of King Solomon’s Temple" -- the very first archaeochemical data for the ritual use of psychoactive drugs in the Judahite tradition: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03344355.2020.1732046. In measured tones, the authors conclude: "It seems feasible to suggest that the use of cannabis on the Arad altar had a deliberate psychoactive role ... to stimulate ecstasy as part of cultic ceremonies."

And then, just last week, another fascinating discovery in the Holy Land. Where paganism and paleo-Christianity literally overlap in the centuries after Jesus: https://www.timesofisrael.com/rare-early-christian-church-built-atop-temple-to-pan-found-in-northern-israel/. The site is ripe for excavation and archaeochemical analysis of ancient containers that may surface.

Brian_Muraresku154 karma

As I write about in the Introduction, it was a chance read of an article entitled "The God Pill" in the Economist, way back in 2007. The article was published in 2006, but didn't hit my radar until 2007. It's right here, as a matter of fact: https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2006/07/13/the-god-pill. After reading that statistic about roughly 2/3 of the psilocybin volunteers describing their one and only dose as either the single most meaningful experience of their entire lives, or among the top five, I was hooked. I immediately started thinking about the once-in-a-lifetime event mysteriously recorded at Eleusis by the best and brightest of Athens and Rome. If the mystical experience was happening today, when not then?

Brian_Muraresku101 karma

The Ancient Greek world was full of secret rituals called Mysteries, where a sacrament of one kind or another was consumed. I question whether some version of the pagan beer sacrament at Eleusis (the spiritual capital of the Ancient Greek world) and/or the pagan wine sacrament of Dionysus (the Greek god of ecstasy and mystical rapture) was somehow passed along to the earliest, Greek-speaking Christians. I spent years and years looking through the archaeobotanical and archaeochemical journals trying to tease out the hard scientific evidence to support the proposition. And eventually found two key targets: ergotized beer in Iberia (2nd century BC) and 'psychedelic' wine outside Pompeii (1st century AD). The latter seemingly spiked with opium, cannabis, henbane and black nightshade.