BACK COVER #Throughout medieval Christianity, religious works of art emerged to illustrate the teachings of the Bible for the largely illiterate population. What, then, is the significance of the psychoactive mushrooms hiding in plain sight in the artwork and icons of many European and Middle-Eastern churches? Does Christianity have a psychedelic history?
Providing stunning visual evidence from their anthropological journey throughout Europe and the Middle East, including visits to Roslyn Chapel and Chartres Cathedral, authors Julie and Jerry Brown document the role of visionary plants in Christianity. They retrace the pioneering research of R. Gordon Wasson, the famous "sacred mushroom seeker," on psychedelics in ancient Greece and India, and among the present-day reindeer herders of Siberia and the Mazatecs of Mexico. Challenging Wasson's legacy, the authors reveal his secret relationship with the Vatican that led to Wasson's refusal to pursue his hallucinogen theory into the hallowed halls of Christianity.
Examining the Bible and the Gnostic Gospels, the authors provide scriptural support to show that sacred mushrooms were the inspiration for Jesus' revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven and that he was initiated into these mystical practices in Egypt during the Missing Years. They contend that the Trees of Knowledge and of Immortality in Eden were sacred mushrooms.
Uncovering the role played by visionary plants in the origins of Judeo-Christianity, the authors invite us to rethink what we know about the life of Jesus and to consider a controversial theory that challenges us to explore these sacred pathways to the divine.
BLURBS #"A great read I recommend to anyone interested in the spiritual aspects of the psychedelic experience."
-- Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
"I found this book to be a compelling, entertaining account of one couple's quest for the hallucinogenic Holy Grail--a mind-altering travelogue across continents and conspiracy theories. It's The Da Vinci Code meets The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."
-- Don Lattin, bestselling author of The Harvard Psychedelic Club
"...possibly uncovers one of the most secret, historical findings of our times--the influence of psychedelics as an integral part of the early Christian experience. ...bold, courageous, and insightful. A must read!"
-- Gerald Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione-Jampolsky, coauthors of A Mini Course for Life