Researchers have made a rather unconventional claim regarding Moses and the Israelites regarding their travels through the desert.
Benny Shanon, an Israeli professor of cognitive philosophy at Hebrew University has claimed that the detailed vision in which Moses received the ten commandments may have been while he was on drugs.
The theory also supports the “burning bush” and that the bible my not have literally meant that a bush was actually on fire, but more that a figurative fire was created.
Shannon further goes on to say that the drugs needed to make such a psychedelic brew must have been ayahuasca, native to the Sinai Peninsula, similarly in the Amazon, where the brew peaked in popularity.
“As far as Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don’t believe, or a legend, which I don’t believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effects of narcotics,” Shannon told Israel Radio
The encounter that Moses has with God is marked by thunder, lightning and blaring trumpets in the book of Exodus which is similar to visions commonly described by users of the drug. Shannon also claims that the burning bush could have been a literal hallucination.
“In advanced forms of ayahuasca inebriation. the seeing of light is accompanied by profound religious and spiritual feelings,” Shannon says.
Shannon claims to be speaking from experience, trying the drug in the early 90’s while travelling the Amazon.
“Encountering the divine is one of the most powerful experiences associated with high-level Ayahuasca inebriation,” Shannon told the Guardian.
Probably thought to be rather controversial to religious scholars, the use of psychedelics and spirituality have long been recorded to go hand in hand throughout cultures worldwide.
In fact, the taboo associated with the use of consciousness altering psychedelics is a rather new agenda. Ancestors often sought religious experiences through intoxication and saw this as just another part of their very lives.
The Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, has noted that “psychedelic mushrooms tend to make people more resistant to authority” and found that people who were induced by these mushrooms felt a more connected state with nature.
Receiving approval from The Food & Drug Administration has meant that the startup called Compass Pathways launched in 2016 can now develop treatments for depression and possibly even some pharmaceuticals all containing psilocybin, the active ingredient responsible for the magic mushroom.
The founder, Peter Thiel has received approval to now run trials in the US, where they have already been approved in Canada, the Netherlands and at the heart of their idea – the UK. The possibility that psychedelics being legalized in varying jurisdictions could be a possibility with the upcoming US elections.
Denver activists have duly proposed that a legal measure be imposed, doing away with possible felony charges gathered over the last year by people caught in the possession of the mushrooms. Signatures have been collected in their 1000’s, to reach the city’s election ballot.
Kevin Matthews, campaign director for Decriminalize Denver, believes that the tides of public opinion are turning against prohibition.
“I think it’s going to be pretty big. There are a lot of people throughout our country that want to see the drug policy laws change around psychedelics and psilocybin in particular,” Matthews said.