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


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Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion + The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross: A study of the nature and origins of Christianity within the fertility cults of the ancient Near East + Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution
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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: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #812,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

It's like forgetting how to breath until someone reminds you.
Gregory Gounah
Mr. Arthur's thesis is very convincing and it makes you wonder why his ideas are not more mainstream.
W. Drake Dorosh
This subject is just getting started so there are few books and what few there are are speculative.
Michael Hoffman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J Irvin on October 6, 2004
I've spent many years researching many of the ideas that James Arthur has laid out in this book. Arthur is probably the first to recognize the proper relationship between macro (Astrotheology) worship and micro (entheogen) worship.

To some who've not researched the ideas in this book, they may come across as "new agey". This could not be farther from the truth. A study of the "precession of the equinoxes" in the Oxford OED will alone tell volumes on the merit of Arthur's research.

Other recommended scholars for those skeptical:

Archarya S., G.A. Wells, Jordan Maxwell, Gordon Wasson, Clark Heinrich, Kersey Graves, Manly P. Hall, Terence McKenna, Ernest Brussenbark, Carl Ruck, Jonathan Ott, and Christian Ratsch. There is also a free video called the Pharmacratic Inquisition that may be found by doing a search online.

The bad: This book could definetly use a colour edition!

To set the record straight:

The Amanita does contain Ibotenic Acid and Muscimol. As the other reviewer mentioned, the Ibotenic Acid is decarboxylated (converted) into Muscimol when roasted or dried, and passed thru the body. Ibotenic acid is mildly toxic. There are reports of Muscarine (a poison) being found in European species at 0.0003% which is too small an amount to effect a toxic reaction. The amount of Muscarine in American species has not been studied, and could be higher.

These mushrooms should not be eaten raw. Many mycology books WRONGLY list Amanita muscaria and pantherina as poisonous.

Here are the facts from Pharmacotheon by Jon Ott:

"Deaths following the ingestion of Amanita muscaria have not been documented sufficiently to permit the conclusion that this is a lethal mushroom when ingested by healthy persons.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2002
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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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hoffman on August 4, 2002
Verified Purchase
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 2001
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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