Sinai worship: “altered state of awareness”

Moses and Israelites high on Mount Sinai trip
Mount Sinai

[T]here were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled… The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly (Exodus 19:16-18).

According to Benny Shanon, a Jewish psychology professor, Moses and the Israelites were actually high on an “altered state of awareness” when they worshiped – and saw and heard these things – at Mount Sinai. He also theorizes that Moses was on a psychedelic trip when he saw the burning bush in Exodus 3:2. These mind-altering effects, Shanon concludes, were triggered by two plants in the Sinai desert – one of which is the acacia tree that was used in the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:10, 13) – which contain the same ingredients as those found in Amazonian plants used in the powerful hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca.

“In advanced forms of ayahuasca inebriation, the seeing of light is accompanied by profound religious and spiritual feelings.” says Shanon.

New agers, transcendentals, contemplatives, and other “Christian” mystics must be pleased.


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2 thoughts on “Sinai worship: “altered state of awareness””

  1. Back in the early 90s when we were raising our missionary support, we visited a mainline church in Washington state. We sat in the pastor’s Sunday school class, and lo and behold, he said he doesn’t believe in the virgin birth of our Lord. I wondered then, if the pastor himself doesn’t believe in the supernatural, how can the members of that church believe?
    In the early 1900s, during the time of Gresham Machen, the church was already sick. How much more is it now?

  2. Aneida Alexander

    Oh for goodness sake!! That sounds like the young woman in a Sunday School class I taught who said to me Jesus and the disciples smoked marijuana.
    “Huh?” I said. “How do you figure that?”
    “Jesus talks about herbs (slang term for marijuana) in the Bible!!”
    “Nonsense,” was all I could say – in public, that is, and out loud. In my head there was something about the south end of a north-bound donkey. Along with how much “seasoning” she rolled in papers, stuck in her mouth and lit. Sheesh!!

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