“The oldest known petroglyph depicting the use of psychoactive mushrooms comes from the rock shelters at Tassili n’Ajjer on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in Algeria dating back to the Neolithic period. It is postulated that the mushrooms depicted on the “mushroom shaman” are Psilocybe mushrooms.”
Fascinating to think about our Homo sapien ancestors, and possibly Homo erectus ones if you believe in the Stoned Ape theory (that mushrooms helped accelerate human evolution) as far back as 12,000 years ago were munching on these mind altering mushrooms. What must they have discovered then?
Looking at a timeline of human evolution, 12,000 years ago isn’t really that long ago, a lot of advances have been made in a relatively short span of time.
A topic which we skimmed over I’d like to learn more about was is the Eleusinian Mysteries. This was a secretive Greek spiritual ceremony in which the participants supposedly imbibed in mushrooms and other substances for a visionary quest.
“…the initiated were sworn to secrecy on pain of death as to the details of the ritual, we do not know what form these rituals took. We do know, though, that those who participated in the mysteries were forever changed for the better and that they no longer feared death.”
I heard a riveting conversation about the Eleusinian Mysteries a few months ago with scholar Brian C. Muraresku on the Joe Rogan podcast and was so hooked that I ended up on the couch listening to this full 2 hour interview.
The guy being interviewed wrote a book called The Immortality Key which “connects the lost, psychedelic sacrament of Greek religion to early Christianity—exposing the true origins of Western Civilization.” On my 'to read' list :)
“Part of what psychedelics do is they decondition you from cultural values. This is what makes it such a political hot potato. Since all culture is a kind of con-game, the most dangerous candy you can hand out is one which causes people to start questioning the rules of the game.”
A few weeks ago I signed up for a course at a local holistic medicine school to learn about medicinal, edible and entheogenic mushrooms. In the first class we covered a little bit about historical use of mushrooms by humans.