What were the shamans (holy men) doing with cannabis all those many thousands of years ago when they were smoking and drinking it?
And what can we learn from what we’ve discovered about how they used cannabis as, how one author describes it: “a magically empowered religious sacrament”?
It was sooooo long ago – 5,000 to 10,000 years ago, depending on who you read. We’d be hard-pressed to know most of the broad stroke historical facts, let alone more precise details. But thanks to some really smart, inquisitive (mostly) men, we’ve got some very detailed investigative authorship around this.
For instance, Canadian Chris Bennett builds a case in his deeply referenced and detailed book “Cannabis and the Soma Solution” that “… Hemp [cannabis] was the most celebrated religious sacrament in the history of humanity.”
Just the history of humanity. That’s all?
Chris isn’t blowing smoke. Many ethnobotanists, anthropologists and other dedicated scholars have not only plumbed the depths of ancient texts but also visited, studied and lived with tribal and monastic cultures whose practices continue to embrace the ancient ritual use of cannabis.
So if we have that established, the next question is why? Why did they use it in a ritual manner?
In this video I give examples that have been drawn and translated from ancient texts.
Reasons for communing with cannabis include: Self-realization, spiritual enlightenment, attaining Divine Wisdom or to help bring on immortality.
I’ll have what he’s having please.
Hell, if cannabis is the secret handshake to rising above the sufferings of mere humanity, then why didn’t they teach this to us in, uh, like, kindergarten?
Author Joan Bello discusses this in her 2015 book, The Yoga of Marijuana. Drawing mainly from esoteric mystical literature, she builds a case that the ancient use of cannabis as a bridge to self-actualization was banished in the 14th century because it was a threat to Christianity’s framework that makes a male cleric the go-between for a wretched parishioner and God.
If you could “do it yourself” why would you need the church, eh? That’s bad for business.
At any rate, here in the twenty-first century, we’re at an intriguing intersection of mysticism and science when it comes to employing cannabis to awaken higher consciousness.
I invite you to subscribe here (and also on my Youtube channel: MJ Straight Talk) so that I can support you in embracing an experiential awakening journey supported by cannabis and guided by ageless text and cutting edge science.
Until then, Becca
The shaman and the medicine-man: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3992292 (accessed June 2, 2015)
Food of the Gods, T McKenna, 1992.
Terence McKenna’s Last Trip: http://www.wired.com/2000/05/mckenna/
Plants of the Gods, C Ratsch et al, 1998.
Marijuana in Magic & Religion, C Bennett et al, 1995.
The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological and Spiritual, J Bello, 2008.
Cannabinoids and traumatic stress modulation of contextual fear extinction and GR expression in the amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal circuit:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23433741 (accessed June 2, 2015)
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