Monday, December 7, 2015

Hanukkah: Was Moses stoned when he saw God?

Benny Shanon (Guardian); Sheldon S., Dhr. Seven, CC Liu, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly
The eye (pineal gland) behind the eye is the real eye that sees (lilminx16/
Ark: Moses and Joshua [stoned again?] in the Tabernacle (James Jacques Joseph Tissot).
What is Hanukkah?
Can entheogens lead to insight?
Happy Hanukkah, one and all! The Jewish version of Diwali (the Festival of Lights) runs for eight days beginning at sundown last night. The annual celebration is one of the reasons we say "Happy Holidays" in the U.S. as winter begins. It's insulting to say "Merry Christmas" to everyone as if all anyone celebrated were the mandated Christian holy days of the dominant culture.
South Park's Kyle Schwartz
Winter is gloomy; celebrations are festive. Do the math. This is the time of year most peoples have traditionally had big post-harvest feasts to fatten up and, more importantly, to cheer up. Death is near with suicide, depression, loneliness, family fights, and the cold. 

Hanukkah or Chanukah (חֲנֻכָּה, khanukáחנוכה) is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of a Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It starts on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December on the popular Christian Gregorian calendar.
He's a white Christian. No, he's not. He's a black Jew.
How to celebrate? The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candle holder, the nine-branched menorah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night.

Instead of one big red-and-white mushroom like gift under a Scandinavian pine tree, reminiscent of the magic mushroom ceremonies at the root of the way we celebrate Xmas, Hanukkah in addition to getting made fun of at school (which is called bullying and is wrong) means getting eight gifts. Wiki it.

(inFooj) Adam Sandler's Fourth "Chanukah Song" (2015)
  • VIDEO: The Lesson of Chanukah for our Generation
  • Does it matter if MOSES was hallucinating?
  • Moses Mushrooms available for study! The promised land? Moses Mushrooms, a unique hybrid, were created for the study of the religious experience. Some scientists now say the "burning bush" could have actually been a mushroom or psychedelic plant combination [DMT derived from Syrian rue and acacia] that allowed Moses to "see God" and find his way. Best Spore combines some of their top tiered mushrooms used in religious ceremonies to create a desert spirit quest. Limited time availability.  These spores are for microscopy and research purposes only.
Was Moses stoned when he saw God?
Prof. Benny Shanon
Dude, is that bush burning? - He's at it again, guys.
The Guardian ran two articles on my [Professor of Psychology Benny Shanon, Hebrew University of Jerusalem] work concerning the putative use of psychoactive plants in ancient Israel (Moses saw God "because he was stoned -- again" on March 6 and Face to Faith on March 8).

This news report conveys a picture very different from the one I present in the scientific journal Time and Mind, which is devoted to the history of culture and consciousness. 

This report contains words and sentences I have neither written nor uttered, some introduced in quotation marks as if coming from me. Terms such as "drug," "trip," "high," and "stoned" are ones I have nothing to do with and which I do not condone.
Moreover, the first report suffers from some basic misunderstandings of my crucial arguments. For instance, the Amazonian brew ayahuasca is made out of two plants, each alone incapable of inducing any psychoactive effect.

The Antipodes of the Mind (
The remarkable finding is that in the Near East there grow two plants with the very same molecules contained by the two Amazonian plants. The report mentions only the tree (which is not a burning bush) Acacia, but it is crucial for this to be conjoined with the bush Peganum harmala [Syrian rue].
I must stress that the use of psychoactive plants I have encountered in the Amazon is always embedded in religious and/or medicinal rituals.
In traditional Amerindian societies the rituals were very strict and directed by a specialist (a shaman or healer), and demanded prior preparation.

Remarkably, a similar preparation is specified in the Book of Exodus in conjunction with the Mount Sinai theophany [manifestation of God]. The plants were universally regarded as sacred, even divine, and held to be the source of true knowledge and the very foundation of the cultures in question.

Their consumption is a lifelong engagement -- not, as [The Guardian states], mere "dabbling"). In fact, scholars nowadays call these plants and the preparations made out of them "entheogens" (that is, something capable of generating the Divine within).
Psychoactive agents are not good or bad in themselves; rather, their value depends on their usage. Note that, in both the Jewish kiddush and the Catholic mass, wine (not water or milk) serves as a sacrament.
[Wine is a cheap substitute for the original magic mushroom used for sacramental purposes, with which the early Jesus cult was wrapped according to Christian scholar John M. Allegro in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity Within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East.]

Would we associate these rituals with alcoholism? [Some would; see Christianity and Alcohol.]

I would like to assure [The Guardian] that I have the deepest respect for Moses (Moshe), the Jewish tradition, and religious faith in general.
RO icon of prophet Moses gesturing toward burning bush
As stated in my book The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience [see John Horgan's "Mapping Out the Ayahuasca Netherworld: A Review of Benny Shanon’s Antipodes of the Mind"], the most important effect the experiences with ayahuasca [which flood the brain's pineal gland with DMT] have had on me as a person was making me understand the dimension of the holy.
I agree with Rabbi Pete Tobias (Face to Faith) that the spiritual, cultural, and historical import of the biblical events, and of their associated texts and religious messages, is not diminished by their association with psychoactive plants.

I love you, gay buddy (AP).
The plants are just instruments which induce higher sensitivity, greater insight, spiritual sentiments, and creativity. However, what will be created depends on the person at hand.

The indigenous users of ayahuasca repeatedly stressed that what an individual will experience with the brew and what he or she will learn from it utterly depends on the intellectual and ethical standing of that individual. As I stated in the radio interview Tobias cites, it takes a Moses to bring the Torah. Source
To prove the U.S. backs Israeli war crimes, Pres. Obama, his lovely wife Michael, V.P. Biden, and his lovely wife Glenys, host a Hanukkah celebration at the White House with guests (AP).

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