Dr. Jerry Brown, Academic Rigor to Psychedelic Jesus Theory |351|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, May 30, 2017.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Dr. Jerry Brown, Academic Rigor to Psychedelic Jesus Theory |351|
    by Alex Tsakiris | May 30 | Spirituality

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    Dr. Jerry Brown believes he’s found new evidence of psychedelics in early Christian art.
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    photo by: Skeptiko
    On this episode of Skeptiko…

    Alex Tsakiris: Wait a minute, I’ve heard you say this before, do you think for a second that this idea of recasting Jesus from this born of a virgin, son of God, God on earth being, to someone who’s well-schooled in entheogens and healing… there is no way that’s going to fly with modern day Christianity.

    Jerry Brown: Whether you believe in all the other stories about The Bible, you can and it is not contradictory to a belief system that says that Jesus was the son of God, if that is your belief to contemplate that he could have realized his divinity through entheogens.

    Stay with us for Skeptiko…

    Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. Of course, have to have their critics in there. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris, and on this episode a really interesting topic that we’ve touched on only slightly here and there and I’m glad to bring it center stage. Dr. Jerry Brown, along with his wife Julie Brown, have written a book, The Psychedelic Gospels…

    So the issue here is something you’ve probably heard about, were psychedelics a part of early Christian history? Spoiler alert — yes they were. Here’s an anthropologist who has looked into it extensively. H e has all the artwork, all the analysis, all the stuff. But, of course, this is Skeptiko, we want to go much further, and the questions I wanted to explore were: What does this mean? Does it mean, like some atheists take it, that Christianity is just bonkers because “those dudes were just trip’n.” That seems to be the takeaway there from the atheist side.

    Now, there’s another side, there’s a super progressive Christian perspective, and please don’t ask me to point this person out because I don’t know who or where they are, but they would maintain the Christian narrative about Jesus, and son of God, and virgin birth, and all that stuff, plus they would add that he may have been introducing psychedelic mushrooms as well? And that has to be in play too here because, as you’ll hear, that’s kind of where Jerry is coming from.

    And then there’s this vast middle ground… so, who was this figure Jesus? What role have these psychedelics played in the development of religions, wisdom traditions, of people just experiencing these extended realms?

    So, a really interesting topic, a lot to pull apart there and we try and do it all in this interview with Dr. Jerry Brown.
     
  2. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    Is this guy Jewish?
     
  3. Alex

    Alex New

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    That did not come up during the interview, so I don't know. It's an interesting/non-interesting, very non-PC, question. I mean, I think it's ok to ask, as long as one understands the question is, at best, tangential to the psychedelic Jesus theory.
     
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  4. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    I think it's a fundamental question.

    Jews have a millennium-long history of attacking and subverting Christianity. Dr. Brown's attempt to characterize Christianity as just another drug cult would fall in line with that if he is Jewish.

    Since he promoted CIA agent Gordon Wasson as benevolent, I appreciated you asking him about the Deep State aspects of psychosis-inducing chemicals.

    He response was typical. "Oh but they gave us the wonderful 60's counter culture that stopped the Vietnam War".

    Bullshit. Leary, Wasson, et al. crippled the Anti-war movement and the War profits continued for years longer because of it. Wasson's weaponized anthropology program devastated America with a 40-year plauge of drug addiction, heroin overdoses, divorce, venereal disease, abused children, deficit spending, and other assorted cultural degeneracy.

    Good interview. Thank you Alex.
     
  5. Alex

    Alex New

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    No, I really don't think it is. If you think Jerry Brown that, then dig into his work and show us where/how. I just don't see any basis for what yr saying.

    Then again, yr point seems to strangely echo the discussion we went down here:
    http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/jan-irvin-of-gnostic-media-and-holocaust-denial.3639/

    The connection being that while Jan Irwin is heavy into the Holocaust doubter thing, his main claim to fame is his work on a similar psychedelic Jesus theory.

    But, I'd really like to steer clear of this because I just don't think it's relevant.

    Why not just focus on the merits of Jerry's work.

    This is an interesting and highly controversial area. Impossible to know what amount of premeditated culture shaping was going on with these Deep State shenanigans. No doubt they had their hands in the pie, but impossible to know how much was a master plan and how much was just covering bets for whatever eventuality played out (me thinks the later).

    Moreover, I asked Jerry about this and I thought his answer was very appropriate... i.e. (paraphrasing) "that stuff is real and needs to be considered, but was outside the scope of this book."
     
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  6. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's question at the end of the interview: what are we to make of the fact* that psychedelics were a part of early Christian history?

    *This fact may not have been a part of early Christian history, so much as introduced in art hundreds of thousands (sic) of years later.
     
  7. Judith

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    Enjoyed the interview. Fascinating topic. I knew someone who was given LSD by the military, unbeknownst to him. He was studying to be a psychiatrist (this was Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago in the 60's).
     
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  8. oleo

    oleo Member

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    One of the Christian rituals that I have always struggled with is communion. If on the other hand one sees it as a metaphor for partaking in entheogens. It becomes considerably more palatable. In my opinion.
     
  9. Alex

    Alex New

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  10. north

    north Member

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    Welcome back LoneShaman, all is forgiven :)

    In his posts on this board, he did make a case for mushrooms in some Christian art:
    http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/254-howard-storm-transformed-by-near-death-experience.1310/

    I also enjoyed his debates with Don DeGracia
    http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/psychedelics-and-mystical-experiences.1628/page-2

    I tend to side with Don:
    "My personal opinion is that psychedelics can show you the door and let you peer through it a little bit, but that is about it. If you want to be able to permanently go back and forth amongst the worlds (or planes) then you need a more stable foundation. For me, this has come from studying and practicing yoga. The psychedelics can show you that there is really something there, but to acquire this in a permanent manner, one must use other methods that do not depend on external agents."

    Some people have significant experiences with psychedelics, then make the false reasoning that all "profound" experiences are the result of psychedelics. I don't think this is malicious, just a lack of experience.
     
  11. oleo

    oleo Member

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    Many are the roads to Shangrila.
     
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  12. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    My personal experience is that Trippin Ballz never resulted in anything profound.

    The best way to test this is to video yourself getting high. Review the video after three days of sobriety.
     
  13. oleo

    oleo Member

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    Yes, the numinous appears to be quite difficult to record. As for three days of sobriety, I'll cheerfully take your word on that
     
  14. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    LOL Give it a try! :)

    I sometimes go as much as three entire months without indulging in mind-altering chemicals.

    I once stayed continuously high for five years. Coming off that was like walking into a different world.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Member

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    Are you an astronaut?
     
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  16. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    No. I work in I.T. now.
     
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  17. MarkT

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    I'll have to read his book for myself, but I'm still a bit skeptical. For example, he references the Gnostics a lot and how discovery of Gnostic writings shaped how we see Christianity. However, Gnosticism was written against in so many of the New Testament writings by different authors. Sort of like mushrooms in paintings, you won't know what you're reading unless you know what you're looking for. Separate out all the Gnostics, how much evidence is there for mushrooms being used in Christianity. I gotta disagree with one of your closing statements, Alex. The fact that mushrooms showed up in art a few hundred years after the alleged crucifixion would not be convincing evidence for Jesus using mushrooms. Hatred of the Jewish people (the "Christ Killers" as they were named) goes way back, but that certainly didn't come from the people who started the religion, because the fathers of the religion were almost all Jewish by birth. One controversy written about over and over in the New Testament is whether or not non-Jewish people should be allowed to be Christians. :O
    Again, I don't consider Gnostics to be part of main-stream Christianity, given that the Christian holy book writes so much against them. How much evidence is there? How do we know what paintings were composed by who? So many questions.
     
  18. oleo

    oleo Member

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    And interestingly enough, entheogens are in and of them selves, a treasure island of questions.
     
  19. Tarquin Rees

    Tarquin Rees Member

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    A question: if 'enlightenment' (for want of a better word) exists and figures like Jesus were teachers of the method to achieve it then how do people who have not achieved 'enlightenment' but who have taken entheogens know it is the same experience?

    What gives them the right to claim this is the same thing if they have only experienced one of the two?
     
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  20. oleo

    oleo Member

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    I struggle with the concept of anyone claiming enlightenment.
    The human condition seems to suggest otherwise.
     
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