One could wonder about the value of MAPS, with their insistence on playing the respectability game at the cost of abandoning all other modes of thinking. They seem concerned, above all, to be the anti-TRP. Not the most lovable organization. MAPS fills a role that would otherwise be unfilled due to lack of popularity among the conservatives, the general population, or the entheogen community. The MAPS strategy has not spoken to the hearts (and then wallets) of the entheogen movement. Just like you have to beware of funding pro-incarceration hemp reform organizations, so is it unclear whether to support extremist scientistic groups who insist on formal references for every thought in a posting. I continue to wonder if my reform dollar would be better spent at Alchemind than MAPS.
I wonder if it would be worthwhile to rewrite my posting in a style of "justify every point", to resubmit it. There is no way I am going to take the time to defend, in one posting, the Christ-myth theory *and* the "entheogenic origin of Christianity" theory. I have never been driven by substantiating every point. I always felt it was enough work to precisely formulate a theory, without also trying to support that the theory is justified. The scholars are idiots, have come up with nothing but confusion, after having rigidly substantiated each sentence as they utter it. If the choice, with limited time, is between arguing with evidence vs. vision-logic, I will be revolutionary in choosing vision-logic.
If people reject the product of vision-logic because of their own skepticism, too bad for them. Let them build the argumentation and evidence -- I haven't the time to waste. I am standing blocking the path ahead, that everyone is headed toward. Jesus Amanita is the future. I dare people to try and get far in entheogen research without running into the Christ myth and the problem of self-control. They are not ready for me, for Jesus Amanita, yet.
Meanwhile, a previous discussion on the controversial nature of Allegro's publication continues in the same forum. My poetry and mysticism was too devoid of argumentation and evidence to be worth publishing there, despite the personal reply on entheogens -- a crucial point -- by the author of what is arguably the most compelling Christ-myth book. If that posting is a poor fit for the MAPS listserv, this implies that the MAPS listserv is a poor fit for the most interesting aspects of entheogens.
There is nothing wrong with argumentation and evidence, but the rude dismissal of poetic and mystical assertions (expressions) is a grave mistake. MAPS is committing to play-acting modern scientism, including rejecting and disparaging vision-logic. They are committed to a 1-dimensional style and approach. This has always been the MAPs problem. And they are attempting the impossible: to do forbidden scientific research in today's climate of demonizing drugs -- is that helping Reform? Is MAPS at all in a position to make any real contribution to the state of affairs? Does their strategy make sense? Is their research of any real value, or is the whole thing (serious scientific research under the heel of total prohibition and propaganda) just a hopeless scientistic bullshitting game?
Wilber emphasizes that in late history, all strands of thought are again present, but this time, are differentiated and integrated. Thinking cannot be profound without contributions from poetry and mysticism, as well as from argumentation and evidence. The presence of the former does not mean the latter is absent. For the time being, at least, I will provide my argumentation and evidence, along with poetry and mysticism, at other discussion areas besides the too-rigid and stilted MAPS discussion area. The last thing I care to do is argue and persuade. I only care to clearly describe. Thus a mention of the Apples book and Mysteries book with a reply from the author are enough for those who would have cared enough to look into those leads.
I'm going to provide references in my work, but I am not going to hold the hand of every skeptic and attempt some sort of evidence, justification, proof, or argument for every statement and idea I express in every online forum. I'm just looking for some ideas that ring true, unlike the products of a dessicated, uninspired Academia and Science.
The bottom line is, I'm too far ahead of my time and I don't feel like it's the best use of my time to summarize the case for the Christ-myth theory or for the Allegro/Heinrich/Arthur theory of the entheogenic origin of Christianity. That can be done without difficulty; it's by now elementary. Better to express the goal realization that suddenly appears on the horizon when these two theories come together.
The Christ-myth theory (don't ask me to summarize it; read The Jesus Mysteries, The Jesus Puzzle, Deconstructing Jesus, The Gnostic Gospels, and The Christ Conspiracy yourself) says there was no historical Jesus in any important sense.
And the theory of the entheogenic origin of Christianity (don't ask me to summarize it; read those authors yourself) say that entheogens, represented by A.M., have been considered the flesh of Christ and can be considered the real origin of mystery religions including some original versions of Christianity.
The only point that is worthy of my stepping in to showcase, is that when you put these two "radical novel hypotheses" together, a simple dramatic replacement occurs: we discard the historical Jesus and replace him by the mushroom, with Jesus becoming the mythic personification of the mushroom. That latter thought is worth expressing. Justifying the two theories that lead to it is the job of the respective scholars who put forth those two theories. My only concern in the original post was why the authors of The Jesus Mysteries didn't follow through on the entheogen questions and bring in the theory of the entheogenic origin of Christianity.
I first heard the Christ-myth theory through Allegro, though he did not persuade me -- The Jesus Mysteries and other new Christ-myth books did. At first I thought it was philosophically impoverishing to dismiss the human Jesus -- I had just discovered the philosophically deep ramifications of the "swoon theory" and made the mistake of firmly connecting the swoon theory with a historical Jesus. But now I'm able to connect my theory of the entheogenic experience of uniting with Christ with the entire realm of the mystery religions, enabling my theory's relevance to at last step beyond the bounds of mere Christianity. And still I have the full range of philosophical ideas to play around with.
I can still have the full interesting story of Jesus' death on the cross being a ritual, a fake... even though no historical Jesus existed. Now I simply say "the gospel story can be read as a narrow escape from death, as was a pop fiction genre, and relates to ego death and the close-call of profound loss-of-control prior to prayer and recovery of stability." No historical Jesus is required, to still investigate the fascinating theological depths of the swoon story (as a story).
>To: mhoffman at egodeath.com
Subject: invitation to revise
>I'm sorry, but this is just a fanatical statement:
" the whole truth -- that the kind of
Christ that *did* set foot on the earth is Jesus Mushroom."
>Please focus on argumentation and evidence and not poetic, mystical assertions. Send revisions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
>MAPS discussion host
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2000 13:20:13 -0800 (PST)
From: owner-maps-forum at maps.org
To: maps-forum-approval at awaken.scarletfire.com
Subject: BOUNCE maps-forum at maps.org: Approval required:
>Someone submitted this URL:
>I went to the URL and found a rather interesting theory of the psychedelic origin of certain aspects of the Christmas holiday, by James Arthur. This is, at the very least, a very amusing rant. It's believable, but the only references provided are to the author's own publications.
>JON, maps-forum editor
James Arthur intends to show the connection between entheogens and the origins of Christianity. A forthcoming book from Heinrich, Ruck, and Staples covers that connection. James focuses on Christmas because it is an easily understood connection between entheogens and Christianity. I don't know if MAPS is interested in informing people about the long history of entheogen use and the Wasson theory of the entheogenic origin of religions. It could help the MAPS cause if more research on the connection of entheogens and the origins of Christianity in the mystery religions.
Forthcoming book: The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist. By Heinrich, Ruck, & Staples. 288 pages. Will be published Dec. 8, 2000.
There is a note, surely insincere, in the book The Jesus Mysteries about the Greeks being lightweights and having different genetic constitutions than people today because they were so sensitive to wine -- following a note, the only mention in the book, about the use of entheogens in other religions or cultures. A book making a strong case for no Jesus having existed has taken on enough of a challenge without uttering the whole truth -- that the kind of Christ that *did* set foot on the earth is Jesus Mushroom.
The section Bread and Wine starts on page 48. Page 49: "The holy communion of the Mysteries of Mithras was developed from older rites, which used consecrated bread and water mixed with the intoxicating juice of a psychedelic plant called Haoma. The Mysteries of Mithras replaced the Haoma, a plant unknown in the Occident, with the juice of the vine. Wine probably affected the ancients far more powerfully than it does us, however, for they seldom drank it unmixed with water. Plato enthuses about its revelationary power in the Mysteries of Dionysus, writing, "Rather the madness of the god than the sobriety of men."
In the endnote for Haoma, the authors cite Lindsay, J. 1970, page 89: the Persians identified the Haoma plant with the primordial man who was murdered by his enemis. The plan was identified with the Son of God waho was bruised and mangled in the mortar so that the life-giving fluid from his body might give new strength to his worshippers.
Do the authors, who know something about entheogens, seriously expect us to believe that the Christians had no entheogen available in that cosmopolitan age of magi, and that people back then had a different constitutional reaction to wine than we do?
Peter Gandy, one of the authors of The Jesus Mysteries, replied to my question. "I would not be at all surprised if the Eleusinian Mysteries, and others, used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve the altered state of consciousness that so many Greeks and Romans raved about. But what? About this we can only speculate. We have Graves' cover to his Greek Myths showing one Maenad holding up to another what appears to be a mushroom (Fly Agaric?), an opium pipe was found amongst the ruins at Eleusis (not surprisingly as the Minoan culture would appear to have grown more white poppies than any other crop and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was a lifelong opium addict, etc etc.) Hoffman and others have speculated about ergot in the barley-drink consumed during the Eleusinian rites. Then there's Allegro's (in)famous book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross I personally am open to any of these interpretations and keenly await some scholarly investigation into all of these issues."
>discussion forum: http://www.egroups.com/group/JesusMysteries
Text for some Amazon reviews and emails:
At my egodeath site I recommend the following to establish the mythic Jesus and Amanita use in Christianity.
Clark Heinrich: Strange Fruit. Dan Merkur: Mystery of Manna. James Arthur: Mushrooms and Mankind. Dan Russell: Shamanism and Drug Propaganda.
Freke and Gandy: The Jesus Mysteries. Earl Doherty: The Jesus Puzzle. Arthur Drews: The Christ Myth. Acharya S: The Christ Conspiracy. Robert Price: Deconstructing Jesus. The Jesus Myth: G.A. Wells. Elaine Pagels: The Gnostic Paul.