These prophets, of course, are the founders/ representatives/ Avatars of their respective religions. In chronological order, you have: Krishna and Hinduism (3,000 BCE), Abraham/ Moses and Judaism (2,000 BCE), Buddha and Buddhism (480 BCE), Jesus and Christianity (32 CE), Muhammad and Islam (570 CE). Check out the zoomed out ninety second depiction of the history of religion, above.
A Lysergic Inspiration
The initial inspiration behind the concept of this cartoon was during a lysergic trip I took last year. These little tabs zoomed me out high enough that I was truly able to see the larger picture of religion; the unified picture of religion; the fact that they’re all describing the same Thing.
I was alone that night in my basement, saucer-eyed (0_0), literally tripping over the same thought over andover and over again. I was repeatedly yelling at myself, “why can’t we all see This!? Why can’t we all see IT?! They’re all saying the SAME DAMN THING!!”
At the most essential level of each prophets’ message, you are able to truly realize that the deeper interpretations of these poetic teachings, preaches, metaphors and parables are all perfect attempts of describing the same Thing; the same Truth, the same Tao, the same OM, the same Message, the same Essence, the same Heaven, the same Nirvana, the same Transcendence, the same Abba, the same YHWA, the same Father, the same Allah, the same Jah, the same Love, the same Prana, the same IT, the same One, the same God.
Unfortunately, I feel that most people either limit themselves to think of only the superficial aspect of their respective religions, or close themselves off from religion completely. This is largely due to the fact that conventional religions of today seem to be polluted and rooted in their own imperialistic greed, inaccuracies and corruption. This trip, however, was able to lucidly reveal to me that we should learn to see through religious doctrine, nonsense, and politics in order to get a glimpse of what really matters: the Essence of every prophets’ message.
These prophets are among the most illuminated mystics in history, and we should feel obliged to take a minute and step back - to zoom out - and relish in each prophets’ transcendental message of essence.Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad were undoubtedly tuned in to a higher plane of reality than most of us will ever be able to conceive of. But how do you think they reached such zoomed out realizations? This brings me to the underlying purpose of this t-shirt—to amplify the psychedelic-nature and possible origin of religion.
So, let’s start by sharpening the facts of the oldest of the five major religions; Hinduism. Why do you think cows are considered to be so sacred to Hindus? Well, it is known that Krishna was a cowherd. I feel it would only be rational to assume then, since Krishna was around cows most of his life, that he knew an awful lot about cows, right? For example, I’m sure he was aware of the facts that cows are very peaceful, independent, self-sustainable creatures that provide a continuous supply of food with the milk and the list of dairy products they produce. Aside from this, I’m sure Krishna was also familiar with the fact that cow dung can be used as fertilizer and insulation. To cap it off, after a rainy day in the tropics, like certain places in India, umbrella-sized mushroom caps tend to sprout out of this incredibly useful cow dung. And not just any type of mushroom, but those little magical mushrooms that have the power to directly connect you with the divine.
So, would it be impossible to consider that Krishna, in order to innocently satiate his hunger one early dewy morning, decided to gather and eat a bundle of freshly sprouted mushrooms that he found laying all around him? Imagine eating these mushrooms with no notion of the powerful psycho-active effects that psilocybin mushrooms can have on your mind. I’m sure after his mind blast into the realm of the spiritual, Krishna quickly jumped to the realization: “Holy Cow! That is some Holy fucking Shit!”
Now, whether or not the text in the Bhagavad-Gita was mushroom-inspired is impossible to conclude. But it is rather curious, and almost difficult to deny the rationality behind this plausible hypothesis. After all, why do you think so many hippies in the sixties were reading the Bhagavad-Gita? It’s because any tripster that has read the Bhagavad-Gita can tell you that this book is overflowing with deeply spiritual, psychedelic-resonating truths. It’s truly amazing to me how a 5,000 year old book can contain such an indivisible level of eternal truth. I’m sure if more people were familiar with Krishna’s knowledge, the world would inevitably become a more conscious place.
Moses: schizophrenic or psychedelic?
How about when Moses talks to the burning bush in the Old Testament? Was Moses soberly hearing the voice of God, or was he some kind of gifted, God-seeking mystic? Is it possible that this story was merely a symbolic, fictional biblical event? Or is it rooted in literal, non-fictional truth? Maybe they’re all fragmented pieces of the truth. We just need to find the glue keeping the puzzle together.
Take for instance the frequent mention of the Acacia tree bark in the Bible. This may seem like an irrelevant biblical observation, except for the fact that certain species of the Acacia tree contain DMT. This observation becomes especially interesting when you consider the fact that Peganum harmala, a bush containing the MAO inhibitors harmine and harmoline (allows DMT to become orally active), also grows in the dry desert areas of the Sinai Peninsula and Southern regions of Israel.
Benny Shannon, a professor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, recently wrote a paper on the subject entitled, Biblical Entheogens: a Speculative Hypothesis. His hypothesis is that Judaism is associated with the use of psychedelics. More specifically, an Ayahuasca analogue made up of these two middle-eastern plants, the Acacia tree and the bush, Peganum harmala. (For those of you who don’t know, Ayahuasca is an Amazonian brew considered to be the most powerful psychedelic brew in the world.)
Professor Shannon states in his paper, “Jews from Iran and Morocco confirmed that harmal was associated with several magical and curative powers.” He also points out, “the Yemeni Jews use this plant to heighten one’s spirit. And in Egypt, it was known to have hallucinogenic properties.” In fact, the ancient Egyptians considered the Acacia tree to be sacred and regarded it as “the tree of life.” It is also believed that the ancient Egyptians discovered this hallucinogenic concoction over 5,000 years ago.
Taking that into consideration, let’s not forget it is believed that Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince. Is it possible, then, that he learned to prepare this alchemical psychedelic mixture directly from Egyptian royalty? Again, this can almost certainly rationally explain some of the phenomenological happenings in the life of Moses. But in reality, who knows? Although this hypothesis is convincing, it is only speculation. It’s just as likely Moses was a schizophrenic. Either way, the Old Testament is filled with a deep level of eternal truth. And if read through a kaleidoscopic lens, you’ll learn to consider the trippy little biblical glimmers that appear throughout the Old Testament. Trust me. *_0
The Buddha Experience
What about our buddy Buddha? Terence McKenna once gave DMT to a Tibetan Buddhist Monk. After the trip, the monk confirmed that DMT took him to a meditative dimension that the Tibetan Buddhist monks are familiar with. He also confirmed that DMT takes you as deep into the bardo as you can go and still return.
In his book DMT The Spirit Molecule, Rick Strassman comes to the belief that the pineal gland (the third eye, the sixth chakra, the “seat of the soul”) may be responsible for making DMT at mystical moments in our lives (e.g. near-death-experiences (NDE’s), religious experiences). If this is the case, then we should take a closer look at Buddha’s story of enlightenment.
The story goes that while sitting under a pipal tree in Bodh Gaya, India, Gautama (Buddha) promised not to get up from under the pipal tree until he found the Truth. After forty-nine days of unbridled truth-seeking, the thirty-five year old Gautama found the Truth and became known as the Buddha, meaning “the enlightened one” or “awakened one.”
On his trip to the Truth Buddha must have dipped in and out of death a number of times, familiarizing himself with the bardos and the development of dying in the process. I mean he sat under the tree for forty-nine days! That’s forty-nine days of tranced-out, unflinching meditation with very little food, water, sleep, and limited physical movement. How does a human-being endure a feat of such suicidal proportions without submerging themselves in death? If Dr. Strassman’s theory is accurate, Buddha’s body might have very well been flooded with DMT at some point during his 49-day trip to the Truth.
In The Spirit Molecule, Dr. Strassman also notes that the pineal gland develops in the embryo 49 days after conception. Because of this, he suspects that the spirit may literally enter the body on the day that DMT, the alleged molecule of your spirit, is detected in the emerging pineal gland This theory is aligned with the Buddhist cycle of reincarnation. Buddhists believe that it takes 49 days for the soul to reenter a body, or reincarnate, after leaving a body. Do you think there's something cosmic to the fact that Buddha attained enlightenment on the 49th day of his Truth Trip? Or is it just a coincidence that Gautama was reborn as the Buddha on the 49thth day? Who knows.
The Psychedelic Eucharist
After skipping over the majority of Jesus’s life (ages 12-30), the New Testament recommences with Jesus being baptized at the age of thirty. Shortly after that, guided by a spirit, he went to the desert to fast for forty days. During this time, Jesus began to have convincing hallucinations of the devil, (possibly due to a NDE). After he successfully rejected the temptations of the devil Matthew 4:11 says, “Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
What a trip! Jesus had an array of full-blown hallucinations; from a guiding spirit, to the devil, to angels. These hallucinatory experiences were undoubtedly a remarkable event in the life of Jesus because he began his preaching career shortly after these “encounters” (Matthew 4:17).
Once again, a psychedelic vision may have possibly been responsible for inspiring the largest religion in the history of the world. In addition, I’d like to point out that Jesus was the personification of the psychedelic experience. By interacting with lepers, prostitutes and tax collectors in that particular place and time, Jesusdissolved social boundaries. He was a complete radical for his time, preaching about eternity, transcendence, consciousness, spirituality, holism and love. Sounds like the epitome of a hippie to me. Below are some extremely zoomed out Jesus quotes:
Eternity: “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)
Consciousness: “While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” (John 12:36)
Spirituality: “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
Holism: “Whoever believes that the All is itself lacking in anything is himself lacking in everything.” (Thomas 152)
Transcendence: “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” (John 8:23)
Eternity: “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” (Revelation 1:8)
Holism: “When you make the two one, you will become the sons of men.” (Thomas 172)
Love: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
Spirituality: “The kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21)
Where IS Muhammad?
So where is Muhammad? Probably stuck in a trip in a cave near Mecca. In the PBS documentary Islam: Empire of Faith, the narrator makes mention of Muhammad’s life-changing revelation:
(Narrator voice) In a cave above Mecca, Muhammad had an experience that would be the defining moment of his life (psychedelic, out-of-tune, guitar twang). An angel was said to appear before him in the form of a man, instructing him to recite in the name of God, the Almighty. For Muhammad it was an encounter as profound, as it was deeply disturbing.
The clip in this documentary deeply resonated with me when I first watched it. I’m sure tripsters all over the world have had experiences that can be described using these same words: “an encounter as profound, as it was deeply disturbing.”
Here is another account of his historic encounter:
Suddenly Muhammad felt worried. He began to panic. Was the cave haunted? Was he ill? Trembling, he stood up, left the cave, and began to walk, shakily, down the mountain path. He was very confused. Then a voice, the same voice, called to him:
“Oh Muhammad! Truly you are the messenger of God.
And I am his angel, Gabriel.”
Muhammad looked up, and he saw the angel, like a human, but so enormous that his two feet straddled the horizon. For a moment, Muhammad was awe-struck. Then he tried to escape, but no matter which way he turned, the angel was there, filling the sky. Muhammad could go neither forwards nor back until Gabriel had disappeared from the sky as suddenly as he had appeared. Only then, slowly and just as dawn was breaking, did Muhammad make his way down the path, through the hills and back to his home in Mecca.
This reality-shaking experience was the inspiration behind the Qur'an and Islam, one of the fastest growing religions in the history of the world.
I’d also like to shine light on the fact that Islamic art is commonly associated with geometric patterns. This is because the Qur'an vigilantly avoids giving physical depictions of God. The fact that the Qur'an makes a specific effort to not reify God is especially significant.
Traditionally, this is why Muslims don’t worship sculptures or physical representations of God. Muhammad realized that God could not be expressed in such simplistic terms. Instead, symmetric geometry is used to represent the highly complex, chaotically-organized essence of God. If you’ve been to a Mosque, or have visited Muslim-centric countries you would see that this majestic geometry is absolutely everywhere! You’ll find these intricacies all over ceilings, walls, rugs, tiles, textiles and ceramics.
The reason I find this especially significant is because the apparent parallel between the perfect geometrical patterns prevalent in Islamic art, and the sacred, organized geometry that is universal in oncoming psychedelic hallucinations are intriguingly similar. It leads me to further suspect the common correlation between religious inspiration and psychedelic inspiration. Below are some examples of "sacred geometry" in Mosques.