Moses was very probably high on psychedelic drugs, says Cognitive Psychologist
According to Hebrew University (Jerusalem) cognitive psychologist Benny Shanon, Moses was very probably under the influence of psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments and when he saw the burning bush. In a study published in the Time and Mind Journal of Philosophy, Shanon says that such mind-altering substances played an integral role in the religious rites of Israelites in Biblical times (1). Shanon points out that the acacia tree, mentioned frequently in the Bible, contains one of the most psychedelic substances known to man. Shanon developed this theory after experiencing firsthand the effects of a hallucinogen, ayahuasca, used in religious rituals in Brazil. The experiences of Moses include the hallmarks of a psychelic experience.
(Picture from: The Daily Mail)
Take the story of the burning bush in Exodus which was not consumed by the fire, which Moses attributed to God. Telltale signs of drug-induced visions include a loss of sense of time, seeing bright lights or fire, the blurring of senses, and profound religious and spiritual feelings. (Indeed, Shanon is not the first academic to speak of the spirituality that can be induced by psychedelics. In January I wrote a post on the scientific study of the spirituality often induced by psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms”, and implications of this finding for considerations of religious belief.). Shanon interprets the perception of a bush burning but not being consumed as follows:
“Moses’s sense of time changed and an actual moment in physical time was subjectively perceived as an eternity…enough time for the bush in front of him to be burnt and consumed.
“But in the external physical domain, only a fraction of a second had elapsed, hence no actual change in the bush was perceived.”
The Daily Mail writes:
According to the professor, Moses was not alone in dabbling with drugs, with the assembled Children of Israel likely to have been in “an altered state of awareness” when Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai.
Even a description of Moses with “shining skin” is seen as a reference to the euphoric, sweat-inducing effects associated with drug use.
He concludes: “Admittedly, the smoking gun is not available to us.
However, so many clues present themselves, which, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, seem to cohere into a intriguing, unified whole.”I leave it to the reader to pass his or her judgment.”
Hat Tip: Sexual Harrassment Panda (aka Tyler H)