When Jesus Ate the Magic Mushrooms
Posted: 10/11/11 03:38 PM ET
People who had mystic experiences while taking the mushrooms were more likely to show increases in a personality trait dubbed "openness"... The change was still in place a year later, suggesting a long-term effect. -Bloomberg
Just look at us, would you? Are we not the most adorable creatures ever? The most perplexed and beautiful and lost?
Look at us, with our mountains and lifetimes of obvious empirical evidence proving this or that glorious fact of numinous human consciousness -- meditation! MDMA! Orgasm! Love! Dreams! -- and yet somehow it takes us 5,000 years and about five million dollars to get around to officially confirming that all that evidence and all those years might be onto something after all.
And I'm looking at you, Johns Hopkins University, for once again coming out with a timid little study reinforcing what everyone already knew and what you yourself already suggested about five years ago (I know because I wrote about it, mostly sober), which is the same as others discovered 20 years ago, and also 50, and 500, and throughout the entire continuum of lustful cosmic spacetime. Let us sigh.
Shall we recap? Once again, we find that magic mushrooms (AKA psilocybin), really are rather astonishing wonderfungi that, when used in moderation and with all due respect, can induce a potent, lasting sense of "openness," creativity and artistic curiosity in the otherwise stressed, compressed, far-too-depressed animal you see right there in the mirror. No! Really? Go figure.
Is it not a wonder? I personally love the muted tone of such findings, the staid language, the flatly studious textures. "Why yes," JHU seems to say, "many of the subjects did seem to rather enjoy themselves while warmly hallucinating on a couch while blindfolded listening to nice music for multiple uninterrupted hours.
"Our careful scientific measurements show that many appear to have, technically speaking, lightened the hell up, as their neural pathways were groped by God and licked by Mother Nature and gently whipped by the divine riding crop of their own deeper consciousness (see Fig. 3.7).
"Perhaps this is worth noting in our scientific journals. Perhaps even more studies are in order. Perhaps we should note that the effects were amplified tenfold when said subject was dancing uproariously next to a gaggle of dusty, semi naked females by a giant flame-throwing steampunk octopus deep in the Nevada desert. (see Fig. 3.8)"
Should we be celebrating? Should we be awaiting the next big announcement that psilocybin will soon be available to the masses in convenient pill form? After all, with such good news, it can't be long now until mainstream culture gets hold of such remarkable findings and American entrepreneurialism kicks in and you soon see premium 'shroom chocolates in the wine aisle at Whole Foods. Right?
As if. The CDC still ranks psilocybin a schedule I illegal, which means they believe it has no therapeutic value and has too much potential for abuse (unlike, say, alcohol or tobacco or the Tea Party or guns or television or hate or junk food or Rush Limbaugh or religion or oil or money or Facebook) which is just another way of reiterating the great American truism: Money trumps all.
It's true. If there's no serious corporate profit to be made from a given life enhancer (psilocybin, like pot or MDMA, can't exactly be trademarked) it therefore cannot be allowed to legally exist. It must be banned. Outlawed. After all, we can't have everyone running around feeling all "open" and fearless and defining god on their own delirious terms completely gratis, can we?
What a strange and wobbly time in which to live. We refuse to believe something until it's "proven" via scientific method, but once it's proven half the nation immediately discredits it because science is for elitist liberals and only creationist Jesus and a sad gang of very dead, enormously repressed Bible-writing priests from 1,500 years ago actually know anything about "truth."