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The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist Paperback – December 8, 2000
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Christianity evolved within the context of Judaic and Hellenistic healing cults, magic, shamanism, and Mystery initiations. All four of these inevitably imply a sacred ethnopharmacology, with traditions going back to earlier ages of the ancient world. When the apostle Paul proclaimed the new Christian Mystery to the factious congregation at Corinth, there was no one who would not understand that this Eucharist was meant to replace the pagan Mystery that had been celebrated for over a millennium just a short distance away up the shore at the sanctuary of Eleusis. These essays attempt to uncover the original food of the sacramental communion.
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Top Customer Reviews
Whoever approaches these pages must accept the challenge of drinking new wine from an old wineskin, and then he will not only discover a novel viewpoint on archaic themes, but also a whole new method of interpretation, fruitful in its essence and fruitful in its form. It may be that the reader will not be able to divest himself of the inevitable prejudices in which we have all been indoctrinated and will succumb to the temptation to reject the proposals and evidence presented here before even examining it, but this would be an inexcusable error: the authors have worked in accordance with the strictest standards of scholarship and offer in support of their re-examination of their subject an impressive array of data from every source available and innumerable textual citations from the primary material. This documentation, presented as footnotes on the page in conjunction with their case, allows the reader to refer to the original expression of particular points while simultaneously considering the new interpretations being given. Thus, the reader himself is given the capability of judging as he progresses through the argument the true meaning of the materia prima, according to his own particular world view.
The Apples of Apollo also confirms that the character of early Christianity as a mystery religion cannot be understood as being merely marginal to the other mystery religions of the ancient world. Without any question of a doubt, the most controversial chapter of The Apples of Apollo is Chapter Five, Jesus, the Drug Man, in essence the pivotal point of the entire work. In this chapter the reader will be confronted with a Christ linked to the use of entheogens, a Christ who is the dispenser of "enlightenment" through the mushroom; this may sound amazing, but the institution of the eucharist now consists literally in the ingestion of a substance that alters consciousness, albeit a weak one -- wine. But more disturbing than the inefficacy of the wine as a key to divine revelation, is that the Church finds the idea of eating God preferible to eating the plant of God, which is, by definition, also that very same God, like the bush which burned in the Sinai with an incombustible fire before Moses. The secret of those flames is but one of many revealed within these pages.
So let's escape from prejudice. Let's abandon the fear of reconsidering our dogmas from a new perspective. Let us feel once again the fascination of the unknown, recover the distinctly human aspiration for the quest, even at the risk of the pain it might cause us. Let us dare . . . Let's open the pages of The Apples of Apollo, journey through them, discover their proposals and who knows: it could be that, after all, the truth lies therein.
José Alfredo González Celdrán
On the matter of Alchemy, the authors make the statement that no one has ever made transmutation to gold. Perhaps they should review Jacques Sadoul's Alchemists and Gold for good references.
The reason they doubt this is because of their procrustean mindset, just as the Jungians insist on viewing all alchemical writings as being psychological only; these authors fall into the common mistake, imho, of seeing in alchemy a veil for initiatic cults. I have Clark Heinrich's good book, Stange Fruit, and it is very spotty on alchemy. The one excellent illustration he shows from Splendor Solis, of the rebis (hermaphrodite) holding what seems clearly to be Amanita, must be counterpoised against all the other illustrations in the same work, of such classical themes as the Peacock. All of these other pictures show stages of the alchemical process ina glass flask. It is amazing how little he has found considering the thousands of alchemical works,
Take a universally admired alchemical writer such as Eireneus Philalethes. His works have page after page of detailed instructions for a physical laboratory process, and virtually nothing that can be directly construed to relate to entheogens. It is so easy for the entheogen crowd to gloss over the vast majority of alchemical works, which don't support their position at all, unless they contort the books into obscure mystical wanderings. And it makes no sense for the alchemists to heap so much misleading dung on top of a grain of "secret teaching" about entheogens. Why would some authors write book after book, virtually untouching the subject of plant teachers? A mere sentence here or there does not reveal that alchemy is solely about an underground eucharistic stream carried forward.
What is generally missed is that an important shift took place 2500 years ago, with the precession of the Age; the rational mind of the race began to develop, with analytical mind suppressing the subconscious group mind that the race had lived in tribally before. This eventually led to the rise of technology. Prior to this we don't find any typical alchemical writings. The old shamans had no skills with distillation apparatus, since they didn't exist. Their herbal simples were decoctions, compounds, ointments.
The unique thing that happened is that individuals,who were still initiates into the Axis Mundi world view of Nature (whether thru natural talent,or through entheogens), were able to analyse what they saw in their visions, and now apply technology. They realized they were one with Nature, but they also saw its principles and how the essential radiance (polar opposites) could be separated out and developed, by pitting them against each other within the confines of a glass egg. Thus the Philosophers' Stone is the ultimate entheogen perhaps, for man is Nature knowing Itself, and the alchemical work is therefore Nature developing Itself thru Art into a higher manifestation. Only the vision was possible before in the archaic world.
The hidden truth of the Entheogen world among our Myths is revelated.
An Extraordinary complement of information for people who is searching the other Realm... far behyond our physical world.