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Mushrooms, Myth and Mithras: The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe Paperback – Illustrated, July 26, 2011
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "The Four Winds" by Kristin Hannah
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
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Praise for Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion by Carl Ruck et al. "[This book] is the pious meditation of an inspired devotee, a religious book in the deepest sense, the credo of a passionate initiate. A delightful book to read."—Wendy Doniger, Times Literary Supplement
"Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras is an extremely well-constructed academic argument proving that it is impossible to deny the connection between the use of entheogenic substances and religious practice for generations across countries and cultures. The evidence is extremely well documented in art, literature (myths and oral storytelling), and architecture. Over time, all these forms of evidence become blended into cross-cultural metaphors and ideas that show the same information coming from multiple cultures.'"—Ian Jones, Verbicide
"This book is all about the evolution of European culture, from ancient times right up through the advent and dominance of Christianity—and how it all started with and depended on shrooms. . . . I feel like I took a class on the subject."—Rio Connelly, Slug Magazine
About the Author
Carl Ruck is best known for his work in mythology and religion on the sacred role of entheogens as used in religious or shamanistic rituals. His focus has been on the use of entheogens in classical western culture, as well as their historical influence on modern western religions. He currently teaches at Boston University. Mark Alwin Hoffman, with degrees in Religious Studies and Philosophy from San Diego State University and based in Taos, New Mexico, is editor of Entheos: The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality. He has written on shamanism, ancient religions, early Christianity and the role of visionary sacraments in western mystery tradition. Jose Alfredo González Celdrán is a professor of ancient Greek based in Murcía, Spain, and is the author of Las Puertas de Moeris, an historical novel, and Homres, Dioses, y Hongos (Men, Gods, and Mushrooms) on the role of psychoactive mushrooms in myth and religion, as well as essays in collaboration with an archaeologist on entheogens.
- ASIN : 0872864707
- Publisher : City Lights Publishers; Illustrated edition (July 26, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 290 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780872864702
- ISBN-13 : 978-0872864702
- Item Weight : 11 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #523,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Mithraism was a reboot of an older religion we might call Zurvanism, which existed between 4000 BC and 2000 BC. After this, the religion was reborn under the guidance of a series of prophets called Zoroaster or Zarathustra. There was a reboot around 1400 BC, and at least two between 1000 and 0 BC, which brings us to the time of Jesus, who definitely utilized Mithraic ecclesiology if not dogma.
What the authors present is basically a two-fold religion: Mithraism is Christianity for the nobles and Christianity is Mithraism for the poor, which is to say, the guilds, because you can't have organized religion without money. A series of Magi visit Rome and initiate a series of Roman Caesars into Mithraism. One very interesting story was the initiation of Nero, during which the fire of Rome occurred and after which he blamed Christians, and crucified hundreds and perhaps thousands of them in his garden. We read about this story from Acts and various histories, but this book tells the real story: to become enlightened, Nero is convinced that he needs human sacrifice. This seems to have been a mis-interpretation of the ancient religion as passed down by the Magi themselves.
The original metaphor of sacrifice involved the ritualistic killing of the Amanita mushroom, which euphemistically was said to be the body of the god, of the priest and of the initiate. The Soma wine that was pressed from the Amanita and various other sundry drugs added to the mix was the "blood" of the god. Somehow, and we can imagine the madness of the Maenads and the berserking of the Berserkers here, the idea of actually killing people took root, and it seems that this occurred several times over the course of the history of Mithraic reboots.
The authors present many quotes of historians about medicinal herbs which Wasson, Allegro, Irvin, Ott, Hoffman (Albert), Rush, McKenna et alia have missed. I wish all of them could write a book together amalgamating their respective research. Let's remember that the overarching figure among these authors is Carl A. Ruck, who has become famous for his non-dramatic treatments of entheogenic pharmacology and what I call "Myco-Mythology".
Buy this book just because Ruck was one of the authors. You will never regret it.
This shows in my opninion the way in which this book works: to see ghosts behind every corner in places where there aren't neither ghosts nor corners.
Maybe it is rather an intellectual game than fact based scholarhip.
Top reviews from other countries
Unlike his equally important book on Eleusis, where I found his written style sometimes to be a real pain, here this is much less evident. I think his co-authors have exerted a good influence on him and the result is a much easier read!