Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Moses Was High?

Rome. Moses.
Originally uploaded by egold
Since I'm already going to hell for suggesting it's okay for the Pope to consecrate beer & pretzels for communion when he says mass at baseball stadiums in America, I might as well stamp my ticket.
The Associated Press is passing along an opinion that Moses was a dope fiend:

High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.
Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.
"As far 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 effect of narcotics," Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.
Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the "burning bush," suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.
"The Bible says people see sounds, and that is a clasic phenomenon," he said citing the example of religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to "see music."
He mentioned his own experience when he used ayahuasca, a powerful psychotropic plant, during a religious ceremony in Brazil's Amazon forest in 1991. "I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations," Shanon said.
He said the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca were comparable to those produced by concoctions based on bark of the acacia tree, that is frequently mentioned in the Bible.

Isn't this right up there with saying that Joseph was Jesus' biological father?
To be consistent here: I am all for the free exchange of ideas. I think we need to explore alternate schools of thought in order to strengthen our beliefs.
If Moses was high, then what was manna? And what really happened when Moses struck that stone with his staff? Water flowed freely.
The Old Testament is the Old Testament. I know, I know. Look, if I get struck by lightning or am eaten by locusts, please tell my wife I love her.

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Anonymous said...

So I supposed "parting the Red Sea" was just Moses walking through some sprinklers?

Hmmm, interesting theory...

Darrell said...

If you drop a white hat into the Red Sea, what does it become?


Unknown said...

And Jesus was just a guy who was crucified by humanity for having the good sense to say that we should all be nice to one another...

The funny thing about my faith is that it was reinforced by a scifi writer who was a professed atheist. "The Hicchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", a book by Douglas Adams, has a small part in the beginning where they talk about a singularly profound lifeform called a babelfish. This fish, when inserted into the aural canal (that is the ear hole for those who may have ideas to the contrary) would feed on the brain waves of the host. As a byproduct of this "feeding" the babelfish would excrete neural waves that actually translated any language that one would encounter, be it french, Martian, or what have you. In the book, the philosophers argued that God stated that "without faith I am nothing". Since the babelfish provides proof that there was a creator (God), and by God's own statement he exists based upon faith alone, God must not exist. Well, upon this philosopher's statement, God sort of goes "oops", and vanishes in a puff of smoke. And the book goes on...

When I read the book for the first time, I remember laughing and going on with my reading. However, whenever I have questions or issues with my faith I keep coming back to that statement. "Without faith I am nothing". It really says a lot without saying much at all. It keeps me grounded by reminding me that the Good Lord works in mysterious ways, and those ways are far from being known to us. I guess what I am trying to say is that, even if Moses was "stoned",(which I don't tend to believe) who created the drug?

One big thing about the bible is that you have to know when to paraphrase and when to take it at face value. The big question is when do you do which?