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OmegaNYC
March 4th, 2008, 06:01 PM
Was Moses high on Mount Sinai?

Study suggests Israelites may have eaten hallucinogenics, but scholars scoff

http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo_StoryLevel/080304/080304-science-moses-vlarge2-130p.widec.jpg F.W. McCleave
In this 1877 lithograph, Moses is shown receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.


MSNBC staff and news service reports
updated 27 minutes ago

JERUSALEM - When Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, he may have been high on a hallucinogenic plant, according to a new study by an Israeli psychology professor.
Writing in the British philosophy journal Time and Mind, Benny Shanon of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University said two plants in the Sinai desert contain the same psychoactive molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca is prepared.
The thunder, lightning and blaring of a trumpet which the Book of Exodus says emanated from Mount Sinai could just have been the imaginings of a people in an “altered state of awareness,” Shanon hypothesized.

“In advanced forms of ayahuasca inebriation, the seeing of light is accompanied by profound religious and spiritual feelings,” Shanon wrote.
“On such occasions, one often feels that in seeing the light, one is encountering the ground of all Being ... many identify this power as God.”
Shanon wrote that he was very familiar with the affects of the ayahuasca plant, having “partaken of the ... brew about 160 times in various locales and contexts.”

He said one of the psychoactive plants, harmal, found in the Sinai and elsewhere in the Middle East, has long been regarded by Jews in the region as having magical and curative powers.
Shanon acknowledged that he had "no direct proof of this interpretation" and said such proof cannot be expected.
Biblical scholars scoffed at Shanon's suggestion. Orthodox rabbi Yuval Sherlow told Israel Radio: “The Bible is trying to convey a very profound event. We have to fear not for the fate of the biblical Moses, but for the fate of science.”

This report includes information from Reuters and msnbc.com.

NoyokA
March 5th, 2008, 01:45 AM
I'm not defending religion here, but how do they explain the rest of the Old Testament? That must have been some party...

This reminds me of the NYTIMES article that stipulated Jesus walked on water because back then the middle east was colder and the lake was briefly frozen. I wonder how their explanation for all the other miracles?

Do these people have nothing better to do with their time?

Ninjahedge
March 11th, 2008, 12:00 PM
If you insist on the miracles being true, then you also have no problem with the world being 6000 plus years old and that we all came from two peopel that had an apple (or equivalent) fetish.


Miracles like the bread, fish and wine are not easily explained, but automatically assuming he just generated food out of thin air instead of convincing people to share the food they had all been hiding by example of his own generosity is unfair as well.

We all know how reliable "eye witness" accounts can be. And if you base you faith, and the following of a mans teachins solely based on reported miracles he performed, then you are really missing the point.

Unfortunately, most people do miss the point. They think that a man that can do magic is better to follow than one who simply makes sense. (Not saying Jesus did not do either, but he seemed more of a practical anti-establishment pacivist. I think many of the stories and miracles performed were more the generation of people around him who wanted to believe in more than just a man. In ultimate Dietal Irony, they wanted some sort of proof for their "faith".)


As for this halucinogenic tripster calling out the blue dots, whatever. Somehow him participating a mere 160 times does not lend any more creedance to his argument. I think that the exiles MAY have been tweaked up on this stuff, but it is in no way easily proven.


We have to fear not for the fate of the biblical Moses, but for the fate of science

For the church to be mocking science because of this one mans postulations is rather unfair.

MidtownGuy
March 11th, 2008, 06:13 PM
The bible...just a book of recycled archetypical imagery with some nice literary flourishes. Syncretism at its best. A glorified fable no more true or false than any other major religious document with Jesus just a long haired Horus or Apollo all over again.
Absurd but entertaining at times.

ZippyTheChimp
March 11th, 2008, 07:39 PM
Yo, Moses. Hook me up.

Optimus Prime
March 11th, 2008, 08:56 PM
Wait, Robert Moses? That explains things. No wonder he didn't drive.

NYatKNIGHT
March 13th, 2008, 09:54 AM
I can empathize with Moses when he claimed a burning bush spoke to him - I've had that happen as well.