We must not forget the reason theism keep reemerging and growing in to something new again and again even replacing one god for another is because we have a bigger fight then theism itself, we must expose and debunk superstitionism. Why this is so important is because superstitionism can live without theism but theism cannot live without superstitionism. Not saying all superstitionism beliefs are harmful but many harmful beliefs involve superstitionism. How can I talk about Religion and superstitionism without addressing the connection to drugs? In prehistory, there are numerous examples of “drug” use that suggests they may have played a role in some religions or sacred rituals thus involve superstitionism. The question is not whether drugs were used in prehistory, but rather to what extent and what for purposes. Prehistoric rock-art and shamanic imagery suggest that humans have been using mind-altering substances for thousands of years. There is evidence of some medicinal use and knowledge of plants by Neanderthals in northern Iraq around 58,000 to 48,000 years ago. Among other things, Neanderthals may have used the plant ephedra/woody horsetail as a stimulant. During 2.6 million years ago to the around 10,000 years ago, the evidence of drug use remains scant. There are signs that the first interest in active cultivation of plants or agriculture in Australia stemmed from a desire to grow psychoactive plants. Some have suggested that along with the earliest plants cultivated in the Near East were narcotics like belladonna, nightshade, henbane, and mandrake. Our early ancestors lived as hunter-gatherers and as shown by the culture of human groups who retained this lifestyle (Australian aborigines, Amazon Indians, or Kalahari Desert Bushmen) undoubtedly collected considerable information on pharmacological plants including many drugs, which then may have been added to rituals.

Otzi, the man whose frozen body was recovered in the Alps, lived about 3,300 years ago, carried in his pouch a travel pharmacy including a polypore fungus with antibacterial and hemostatic properties. Priests or shamans have ingested plants for millennia to induce states of dissociative trance and such substances are sometimes termed “entheogenic” (from the Greek roots “en” [inside], “theo” [god], and “gen” [create]). The mushroom amanita muscaria, commonly known as fly agaric, has been at the center of religious rituals in central Asia for at least 4,000 years. Children know this beautiful white-spotted red mushroom from the illustrations of fairy tales and christmas cards. In ancient India, amanita muscaria had a religious significance and travelers recorded its use as late as the 18th century in northeastern Siberia. It was an ingredient of soma, a sacred beverage in the Rigveda in ancient India, and of haoma, a sacred beverage mentioned in the avesta, the ancient scriptures of zoroastrianism. The following is a list of drugs used throughout history:

58,000 – 48,000 years ago – Ephedra was being used in Iraq

13,000 years ago – The betel nut was chewed in Southeast Asia island of Timor

12,000 years ago – Alcohol was being used in the Near East

10,700 years ago – The betel nut was chewed in Thailand

9,000 – 7000 years ago – Hallucinogenic mushroom was being used in Algeria

8,000 years ago – Coca was being used in South America

7,000 years ago – Opium was being used in Mesopotamia

6,000 years ago – Hallucinogenic mushroom was being used in Spain

5,500 years ago – Cannabis was being used in Eurasia

5,500 years ago – Coca was being used in Egypt

5,000 years ago – Coca was being used in Ecuador

5,000 years ago – Cannabis was being used in China

4,500 years ago – Poppy seeds was chewed in Switzerland

3,750 years ago – Peyote was being used in North America

2,450 years ago – Opium was being used in Greece

2,300 years ago – Hallucinogens were being used in Caribbean

2,000 years ago – Cannabis was being used in India

By Damien Marie AtHope


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