High on Mount Sinai

19 03 2008

By Derek Beres

While the academic sometimes goes to great extremes to “prove” the obvious, there is something endearing about professors bucking trends and putting forth new ideas — even if many of us knew the reality of the situation. Such is the case of Hebrew University professor Benny Shanon, when he put forth the idea that Moses was tripping on some serious drink when he declared the Torah while standing high on Mount Sinai. All we can ask academia is: What took you so long to realize that?

While journalists label the theory “provocative” after its publication surfaced in the philosophy journal Time and Mind, the realization that the father of three major world religious traditions was under the influence while reciting what would become the most quoted passages in history is not groundbreaking to those of us who’ve tasted similar fruit. In fact, it was Shanon’s own experiences with ayahuasca and a drink made from the bark of the acacia tree — a hallucinogenic mixture based on a tree often mentioned in the Bible — that led him to his conclusions.

It remains to be seen how Shanon’s theories will be greeted. He is honest in saying that there is no direct proof of his interpretation, but given the evidence, is it that far a stretch? The reality is that no one has direct proof that Moses even existed, much less that he was completely sober or “God inspired” off plant mixtures during his thundering evenings.

Read the full article on Reality Sandwich




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