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Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion Paperback – May 22, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: The Book Tree (May 22, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585091510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585091515
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The visionary James Arthur is the opposite of the careful and straightlaced Dan Merkur in the field of the entheogen theory of the origins of religion. This book is so wide-ranging, it's hard to form a clear mental picture of its scope. Arthur has innovative coverage speculating about entheogens in Egyptian and Asian as well as Christian religion.
This subject is just getting started so there are few books and what few there are are speculative. The entheogen theory of the origin of religions *makes sense*, particularly when focusing on the specifically religious aspect of religion rather than other aspects such as political, ethical, or sociological aspects.
Scholars, including esoteric and Literalist Christian scholars, agree that entheogenic plants are basically reliable triggers for religious experiencing. Historians of religion are trying to use "psychology", "anthropology", and "sociology" to explain the origin of religions. These explanatory threads point to entheogens at the fountainhead of religion, religious experiencing, and religious myth.
This book provides some evidence but most of all provides the all-important *perspective* from which we can see how well it makes good sense to look to entheogens for the origin of mystic experiencing at the root of religion. There's really no reasonable argument against the entheogen theory of the origin of religion -- it enables a full-spectrum, integral-theory explanation of religion to finally come together.
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By A Customer on December 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first heard of James Arthur while listening to Talk Radio in Salt Lake City (where I live). Through the interview I found out he had a website so I went to the University where I could peruse it with the computer. I felt as though I was treading on forbidden ground almost immediately. I found myself looking around to see who might be paying attention. Dealing with issues such as Drugs, Sex, Societal conditioning and Religious indoctrination can be very touchy in the repressed world I live in (one must tread lightly). Arthur certainly pulls no punches when it comes to standing on (perceived) holy ground. I have garnered bits and pieces over the years about mushrooms involvement in religion, mostly along the lines of 'Urban Legend'. Having been initially raised a Mormon, the status quo in S.L.C., I can relate to oppressive religious programming. I have since been through many stages of rebellion, religion and philosophical studies. I also have been fortunate in connecting with many very intelligent and well read individuals throughout my lifetime, my opinion is that Salt Lake is a hotbed for this type of intellectual pioneering. I am anxiously looking forward to the upcoming books he talked about in the radio show, the one about Joseph Smith and mushrooms and the one about DMT. The best thing is that Arthur does not claim to have all the answers and he doesn't have a 'follow me' attitude. The information in this book empowers the individual, something that is rare today.
The Chapter on Christmas is brilliant! The obvious mushroom/present connections should be plastered all over the front page of every newspaper. This is ground breaking research of the highest magnitude.
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By A Customer on February 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
I rate this book 5*s exclusively based upon the information contained therein. The formatting could use some polishing and it would be nice to have a hardcover available (color pictures etc.) I did manage to find Arthurs website which has many of the same images in color.
I have not seen as broad a look at the subject of Ethnomycology, as far as Amanita muscaria goes, either in contemporary writings or the classics, but I would like to see this author explore more information on Psilocybe sp. My only beef is; I would like more. I hope he has an aim to comment further in future works in regards to some of the subjects only briefly touched upon in this book. I also enjoyed the writing style and will comment that sometimes things just need to be said no matter who doesnt agree with it. Arthur says a lot, about a lot, in this book..
This is a welcomed addition to my library and I find myself commenting on the book and showing it to my friends quite often. The seemingly unrelated areas tend to grow on you and as an example understanding certain connections continues to dawn on me still. Also it is refreshing to see so many new ideas I have seen presented nowhere else. In a world becoming increasingly redundant and robotic I can see the unique combination of ideas and Philosophical viewpoints contained in this book to be revolutionary!
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Format: Paperback
There are enough ties among the various world traditions in this book to make a solid case that the mushrooms (Amanitas and Psilocybin) are foundational to religious origins. It makes a lot of sense that the plants (drugs) of the old world received a status of renoun around the world when you consider the trade value these plants have and still engender. I agree that the future of mankind does not embrace a continuing prohibition of these incredible plants but, rather, humanity will once again respect and use these plants as they were meant to be used, as tools for enlightenment.
Having been a Bible studier for most of my life I am gratified to report that understanding the Bible is greatly enhansed by reading Mushrooms and Mankind. The esoteric symbolism is unveiled and I now understand much that was previously a mystery to me. This is the greatest impact I could never have imagined coming from a book about Psychedelic mushrooms.
On another note, the reviewer Derick Pillion misrepresented what this book actually says I've read his review and whether it is a misunderstanding or an intentional fabrication, his review is not factual.
This book is packed with connections between mushrooms, myth and religion and I can now see even more of them that were not in the book. I found it to be a valuable stepping-stone in my own research and quest for understanding.
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