November 27, 2021
[00:00:52] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:28] An excerpt from How the High Priests Got High by Danny Nemu
[00:10:56] Guest Introduction
[00:15:02] Danny's Interest in Entheogens
[00:21:04] Is Moses' experience at the burning bush an example of an entheogen?
[00:26:53] How the unique combinations of anointing oil described in the Bible would affect human physiology
[00:36:04] Podcast Sponsors
[00:38:12] Effects of fruits mentioned in the Bible on genes and enzymes in the body
[00:43:07] Precautions prescribed in the Bible for priests entering the Holy of Holies
[01:02:52] The interaction between cannabis and frankincense and its effect on the dopaminergic system
[01:08:10] Was the manna from heaven psychedelic?
[01:18:56] How stigma surrounding drugs in modern culture prevents Christians from having a full understanding of God's creation
[01:32:55] Closing the Podcast
[01:35:26] Legal Disclaimer
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.
Danny: A clear example of the oil immediately producing the entrance of the spirit of this character. And, it's being affected by two different chemicals or two different resins, which are burnt in what's called the Devir, which is related to the word “word.” And, the angels would speak to the high priest and he would speak through words.
There's no reason why you need to take drugs to get closer to God, but there is every reason why you should leave other people alone who want to do that.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
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My podcast guest today, Danny Nemu, interesting guy. We took a little while to get into the groove in terms of me kind of reeling him into some of the things I really wanted to touch on. And so, stick with this podcast, it gets super interesting as we go on and on. But dude, the guy can definitely talk. So, bear with him as we move along.
What got me interested in interviewing Danny in the first place was I was doing some research for some articles I was working on. And, I came across an article by him called “How the High Priest Got High,” cannabis and other drugs amongst the ancient Israelites. Well, I thought it was super interesting. And, just to give you a little bit of a flavor of what we're going to talk about. And, I think this will help you better understand, we're going to talk about is in that particular short article, and I'll link to that and everything that Danny and I talked about if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Nemu. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/N-E-M-U. That's Danny's last name. Danny had this to say, “Cannabis residues have been identified on the altar of a Judah High Shrine in Israel dating from the 8th century BC according to the Tel Aviv Institute of Archaeology. And then, Danny sites a relatively recent article, meaning several”–well, I guess, it was kind of mid-2020 that this article came out. And, he goes on to say, “This is not the first time that the cannabis has been found in the area. In 1993, archaeologists found cannabis out of burial tomb near Jerusalem suggesting medical application by both fumigation. Fumigation means breathing it in. And, oil massage into the skin.
Another dig in Egypt found cannabis pollen on the mummy of Ramses II, confirming the plant was used in the religious rights of the Egyptians, and also that cannabis has been transported along trade routes that pass-through Palestine for many millennia. We also know him from ancient papyri that cannabis oil was used in both the medicine and magic of Egypt. Though it is difficult to make positive identifications for many plants in the Bible, the evidence has convinced rabbis, ministers, linguists, archaeologists, anthropologists, botanists, and others that the resin, the Bible called “kaneh-bosem” is what we call cannabis. It appears to be the same as the cannabis that appears in account by Herodotus from the 6th century BC, burned by the Scythians after they sealed down the flaps of their tents. Herodotus says, “Immediately it smokes, it gives out such a vapor, is no Grecian vapor-bath can exceed. The Scys delighted shout for joy.
Well, despite a massive amount of literary evidence assembled by a guy named Chris Bennett and others, the idea that ancient Israelites used one of the most interesting and useful plants on the planet remains controversial. This is a testament to the conservatism, an entitlement of many of the people who claim to be interested in the Bible where it agrees with their politics at least but it need not concern us here. What is more surprising as the technology and deep understanding of pharmacology that the ancient apothecaries brought to their drug culture while modern pharmacology tends to extract active compounds from natural sources, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and various other ancient medical systems work differently, prescribing mixtures of compounds that work together in synergy. The Amazonian ayahuasca brew provides a good example of how this works using two ingredients that boost the effect that's much greater and much more trippy than the sum of its parts.
One ingredient is the Psychotria viridis leaf, which contains DMT, but the DMT is inactive when taken by mouth because your MAO enzymes break it down in the gut before it gets to your brain. When the leaf is boiled with the Banisteriopsis vine, the vine contributes chemicals called MAO inhibitors, which prevent your body's MAO enzymes from breaking DMT down. So, the DMT gets into the brain and does all kinds of fascinating things.
In the Bible, the ingredients, kaneh-bosem is consumed with suggests an impressive functional understanding of synergistic enzyme inhibition. Take thou also unto the principal spices of pure myrrh, 500 shekels, and have sweet cinnamon, half so much, 250 shekels, and of kaneh-bosem, 250 shekels, and of cassia, 500 shekels after the shekel of the sanctuary and of olive oil, 6 liters, and now shall make it an oil holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary. Cinnamomum verum and Cinnamomum cassia are both species of cinnamon. The former is used in ancient Persian medicine as a convoy medicine, co-administers with other medicines to make them more active. According to modern pharmacology, cinnamon works by inhibiting the enzymes of the human cytochrome system, which is responsible for breaking down many of the chemicals we encounter our food. By preventing those enzymes from functioning, it allows other drugs to remain in the system for long enough to travel through the blood to the organs where they're effective. This cytochrome system contains many enzymes, five of which are involved in breaking down approximately 99% of drugs. Cinnamomum verum inhibits four of them, but not the fifth. The fifth is inhibited by the other cinnamon species, cassia cinnamon. Together, these plants knock out the entire cytochrome system regarding 99% of drugs. That means the effects of cannabis are much increased and last longer, and also that the compounds that are usually inert become psychoactive.
The fourth ingredient in the recipe is myrrh, which contains at least three opioids which can cause euphoria. The other chemicals in myrrh and in cannabis are explored in more detail.” And then, he cites some articles and we also get into a little bit in our podcast today. And then, we go on. “The anointing oil in Hebrew is called ‘shemen ha-mishchah' where ‘shemen' means oil and ‘mishchah' is derived from the word ‘mashach,' meaning to rub or paint, suggesting it was massage into the skin. Indeed, ‘mashach' may be the root of our word ‘massage.' ‘Mashach' is also the root of the word ‘mashiach,' the anointed one which is Latinized as ‘messiah.' The anointing oil was supremely important in the rights of the Israelites and also in early Christianity when Christ instructs his followers to anoint the sick in Mark 6:13. This is the medical magical anointing oil he is recommending.
The anointing oil is of two psychoactive preparations found in Exodus 30 taken by all priests when they enter the tabernacle. The other is an incense of psychoactive compounds taken by the high priest alone after being anointed finely ground and burned in huge quantities inside a completely sealed chamber at the back of the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies. One of the ingredients of this mixture was frankincense, which has a range of psychoactive chemicals that work on your GABA and also the TRPV3 ion channel. Residues of this frankincense were also found along with cannabis by the team from the Tel Aviv Institute of Archaeology,” citing that recent finding that they had last year.
“There are several more preparations in the Bible and other ancient Jewish scriptures, including the Showbread that's so potent in doses, the size of a bean that the delicate priest refused to take it all together, but the voracious ones accepted and consumed. There's also mana, which is eaten before the only collective vision, and the only example of synesthesia in the Old Testament, when all the people are seeing the voices and the flames, and the sound of the trumpet. The evidence suggests this is LSA, a close cousin of LSD that is extracted from the ergo by the simple process described in Exodus.”
Danny goes on to cite a bunch of the references for this, but this article was so interesting to me as a guy who's in nootropics and who likes to study plant medicines and also as a Christian and a guy who likes to study theology. I just thought this was interesting enough to where I figured I'd get Danny on. We chat about all this. I know I have a lot of listeners to my own podcasts who are not only Christian but also interested in things like plant medicines, and psychedelics, and some of these ancient remedies. And so, an interesting episode. Strap yourself in. Here we go.
Well, folks, if you've been to my website of late, you may have noticed that I wrote a couple articles on entheogens, and how we come across these plant medicines and psychedelics, even within the Bible and even wrote an article about how my wife and I wound up finding the incenses and the oils that are talked about in Exodus in Chapter 30 from myrrh to frankincense, to bits of olive oil, and other spices I can barely even pronounce. And, we actually wound up burning these incenses and oils just to kind of see what it was like and it resulted in. Well, I wrote a whole article about it. But a crazy kind of combination of a psychedelic and spiritually enhancing experience that wound up leaving us both sitting in the sauna just basically wanting to sit there and talk to God. And, it was a very, very interesting experience.
One of my friends, Brian Muraresku whose last name I constantly mispronounced, he wrote a book called “The Immortality Key,” popular book of late in which he gets into the idea of the spiced wine in scripture and in everything from Jewish to Greek to Roman history being something that wasn't entheogenic substance designed to shift one into an altered or elevated state of consciousness. And, I just find all of this absolutely fascinating.
And so, as I'm kind of researching some of the stuff and going around looking at, I come across this book or not a book, a video, I believe it was called “drugs” in the Bible or something along those lines. And, it was this guy lecturing about all of these different oils, and incenses, and shortbreads, and resins described in the Bible. Even like the mana and the daily bread, and how there there's a big tie between many of these things and so-called entheogenic substances. His name is Danny Nemu.
And, Danny, he's an author. He's got an academic background in history of medicine about 20 years of experience actually also working with an Ayahuasca community and even has spent some time down in the Amazon. And, his fundamental interest is basically this whole concept of drugs in the Bible and Revelation, and the idea of linguistics and neurobiology and cognition, the connections between them. He has tons of really, really super interesting videos and lectures. And, he also has two books. One called “Science Revealed” and one called “Neuro-Apocalypse.”
And so, super interesting fella, and I'm honored to have been able to have connected with him and finagled him into sitting here and shooting a sheep with me for a little while about all these concepts because I think or at least I hope you find it as fascinating as I do so. So, Danny, welcome to the show, man.
Danny: Hi, Ben. Thanks very much. I'm on it as well. You just said you were talking to God just recently, and now you're talking to little old me. So, I hope I don't disappoint.
Ben: No, I guess you're in good company. By the way, speaking of talking to God, I noticed in a few of your bios that you say you're a reverend. Is this Elvis Presley married people in Vegas type of thing? Or, what's the deal with the reverend status?
Danny: Yeah. Well, I have married people. I have married anyone in Vegas. I used to marry people in Japan. I lived in Japan for six years.
Ben: No kidding?
Danny: Yeah. If you look like me, like a white guy. You can get away with all kinds of things in Japan, including marrying people. So, yeah, I got ordained on the Internet. It cost me $15 back in, gosh, going back quite a long time now, about 20 years ago. It might be a little bit more expensive now. But yes, I'm a fully ordained reverend.
Ben: So really, was it just to marry people or just shits and giggles?
Danny: Well, yeah. I had to go to marry people. But Prince Buster is a Prince, and Lady Gaga as a Lady, so why can't I be a reverend?
Ben: What's that feather in your cap? And, you're an author, too, you have these books, “Science Revealed” and “Neuro-Apocalypse,” and you're obviously pretty interested in this whole idea of entheogens. And, in particular, entheogens in the Bible. So, what kind of got you interested in all this in the first place? We got time. Fill me in on your back story and how you kind of delved into this particular film.
Danny: I guess my interest in entheogens and more broadly, psychedelics, and just things that make your brain do weird things, that's been for quite a long time recreational. And, I've always found a lot of insight in all kinds of extraordinary things that you find on this beautiful planet. The Bible came from a completely different perspective. Really, I was doing my dissertation at university. And, actually, I was sitting in my place, and I've been smoking all day. I was a little bit stoned. And, the Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on my door. And, I got talking to them and the chat was really fascinating, like a genuine apocalyptic cult rocking up at my door. And, I studied, and my degree is actually medicine, is also a history of science and history of medicine and the philosophy of medicine. And, I got fascinated by apocalyptic cults and their particular perspectives on health and medicine. We could talk about when there's a whole load of real characters. But Sydenham would be one, Thomas Sydenham, Paracelsus who's considered the father of a–
Ben: Yeah. I've actually gone to Paracelsus Medical Clinic over in the Swiss Alps. What an apocalyptic cult?
Danny: There's a few different types really, but generally they think that the end is nigh and not just nigh but very nigh, like just around the corner. So, Paracelsus, for example, his last book that he penned, I think, it's called “Prophecy For The Next 24 Years.” I think it was called something like that. And, it was about the seas rising and monsters coming out the sea and all that kind of stuff like proper old school apocalyptic visionary people in many ways have severed their ties with this world because they really went for the next world. And, part of that means that they said the times of medicine, so the job as a witness is a good example. They refused to have blood transfusions. That's their reading in the Bible and it's meant that medical practices had to develop because how do you treat someone who you would normally give a blood transfusion to if they're refusing a blood transfusion?
So, there's lots of ways in which apocalyptic ideas–and that's a minor example, but Sydenham was another example. He's the guy who considered the Father of Nosology, basically which is how diseases progress. And, he was the guy who introduced statistics into medicine, and he did that for a very specific reason is because he thought that the idea of making theories about God's work as it went on in the world as it performed mucus in children's lungs, and as it [00:17:36]_____ away and boils. He said that all these theories have as much to do with navigation. And, he said our job as human, as people, is not to make theories but to observe the work of God. And so, he started to take statistics on his patients and watching the progress of disease.
And so, this whole something very fundamental in modern medicine, which is statistical analysis of what's going on, that dates back to a guy who he was a screaming apocalyptic. He was a Puritan revolutionary in England. So, I got him interested in how what we think about influences the kind of medicine that we make and not just medicine science in various ways. And, they think some pretty interesting things.
So, I got interested in the Bible because I was interested in their reading, the Jehovah's Witness reading of certain bits. So, I started studying apocalyptic text, Daniel Matthew. And, I started noticing very, very early on that the translations are pretty suspect. So, for example, is it Matthew who talks about the end of the world and all these horrible things that happened? The goods will be saved and the evil should be cast into a furnace. But the word that we translate as well is not world in Greek, it's an eon. And, “eon” doesn't mean world, it means an epoch, or a period, or age, or something like that.
So, my interest in the Bible began with mistranslation actually of how people were using the Bible to press political ends because that particular translation, the King James translation was made with a very political ends in mind. It was made by, well, King James in time of King James, and he was dealing with all kinds of revolutionary behavior in England. The Puritans at that time, they really wanted the end of the eon, but no one wants the end of the world. The end of world is a horrible thing, but the end of the eon is really good especially if you're trying to introduce a parliamentary system and get rid of the monarchical.
Yeah. So, that's where I got into the Bible. And, the Bible is just a spectacular book. I think it's up there with the pyramids in terms of construction. And, I was interested in pharmacology, in psychopharmacology, and how drugs work, and not just from a kind of recreational or entheogenic perspective also just in medicine, I'm interested in herbal medicine and ancient medicine.
And so, I just started looking at the pharmacology of things like myrrh and frankincense. And then, I got really into the synergies and how they work together at the level of the synapse. And, you can just go deeper and deeper and deeper, but the upshot, I guess the take-home messages, these guys were doing stuff that we didn't discover until enzyme inhibition. For example, we didn't get that until the 20th century. It was the first time that western medics came up with an idea of enzyme inhibition. And, that was happening in the jungles of the Amazon.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. We hear about that with Ayahuasca or DMT, how you need to combine the vine with the–oh gosh, it's–
Danny: The psychonaut, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, with the psychonaut. And, that basically would cause the long-term release of DMT with the kind of the complexity of the enzymes in that particular mix. But I found it fascinating when I started to get into some of your writings, particularly your paper. You have a paper called “Getting High with the Most High,” and a video by the same name in which you get into entheogens in the Old Testament, and then how some of these enzymes would actually work together. So, before we dig into maybe some of the science behind how something like myrrh, and frankincense, and even the cinnamon, a common household spice could shift one into an altered state of consciousness. When it comes to the actual idea of these type of things potentially being something that we see, for example, in Scripture, would you say that it's Moses' interaction with the burning bush where you first see something like this pop-up? Or, where do we first see the idea arise of entheogens in the Old Testament?
Danny: That's an interesting question. Just pulling into different bits because you've asked me quite a bunch of different stuff there. So, for example, Moses and the burning bush. What do we got there? We've got the example of something which burns or something which burns with a fire that doesn't consume. And, there's two examples of that in the Bible actually. One is the burning bush and one is Mount Sinai. And, it's the only time we see that.
When you're looking at something on DMT or on acid and you get these interesting geometric patterns that are going wrong which are happening around it, how would you describe that in language if you didn't have the language that we have for drug experience and actually the language in the Bible? Hebrew doesn't have a whole lot of words. It uses a lot of words to say–it uses rather few words to say a lot of things. So, this idea of something burning, a flame which burns but doesn't consume seems to me very much a visionary experience, but that's not to say that the visionary experience was caused by pharmacology but caused by drug. So, I want to be really clear from the outset that visionary experiences, whether they're in the Bible or whether they happen to people through their prayers, or through their meditations, or the way they happen through epileptic fit or something like that. They're not always caused by drugs.
And, I think the prophets, the stories of the prophets, for example, I don't think there's any evidence there that they were caused by any kind of plants. The Bible is quite open about the fact that, for example, the anointing oil, it put upon–so, here's a line from the first book of Samuel. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren and the spirit of Yahweh came upon David from that day forward.” So, very clear example of the oil immediately producing some kind of the entrance of the spirit of this character. But you don't have that in the case of Moses, for example, you don't have that in the case of Daniel, you don't have that in case of any of the prophets, in fact. And, the technologies that we see, you mentioned it before Exodus 30, these are the technologies of the priests, not prophets.
Ben: So, when you say technologies, you're referring to like the oil and the incense that God literally gave very precise instructions for in terms of Exodus, I think it's for the oil. It's like liquid, myrrh, sweet-smelling cinnamon, cassia, calamus, something else that I think a lot of people hypothesize is cannabis, kaneh-bosem or something like that, and olive oil. And, they would mix all of these together. And, you have a paper that digs into how the science of that would actually work, but it seems to actually be triggering certain enzymes within the body. Yeah, so similar to that ayahuasca combination that we talked about.
Danny: Yeah, exactly that. So, the technology is part of those would be the technologies of combinations. And, that's a prime example there. But also, the physical technologies. For example, the tabernacle in the Holy of Holies. In the tabernacle, it's described over five chapters in the Bible and the Bible is pretty succinct generally, the story of Babel gets half a chapter, I believe. But you've got five chapters devoted to explaining how to construct this tent, how many pegs, and how many rings and how far apart the rings are, and how you make the frame and how many cloths. It's immaculate detail. Nothing like that is described in the Bible in such detail. And, what you end up with there is to put it simply, a whole box. It's four-and-a-half-meter cubed chamber.
Ben: That's like the inner sanctuary, the tabernacle. You're saying it was developed to be almost a hot box for all these fumigated materials to concentrate.
Danny: Exactly that. Yeah. And, this is something that you see. In the region, you see the Scythians, for example, this is how they–They didn't have pipes at that time. The pipe was introduced much later. And so, if you wanted to get smoke into your lungs, the way that it was done was with basically by hotboxing your tent. And, this is a technology you see in China. You see it all over the place.
The Oracle of Adelphi, for example, burning all kinds of different hubs there whilst in a cave. So, this idea of fumigating a very enclosed small chamber is quite common in the region. And, yeah, that's what's described in immaculate detail in the tabernacle. Not the whole tabernacle, the back of the tabernacle, which is the Holy of Holies.
Ben: Well, let's use the enzymes that we're talking about just to step back here for a second so people can wrap their heads around this. We have all these neurotransmitters like serotonin, and dopamine, noradrenaline. And, those are all classified as monoamines or Mas, and they're broken down by enzymes called monoamine oxidase enzymes. And, you can block those monoamine oxidase enzymes with certain inhibitors, and thus that would cause some pretty significant changes in the levels of serotonin, and dopamine, and noradrenaline, and all these things that tend to be kind of amped up when one might be using something like a plant medicine. In modern times, that's something someone might experience with psilocybin, or with LSD, or with ayahuasca, or something like that. But the unique combinations of each of these elements like myrrh, or cinnamon, or cassia, or olive oil. How do you pronounce the one that a lot of people think is cannabis, kaneh-bosem?
Ben: Yeah, kaneh-bosem. Basically, these will act on both opioid receptors and then on these neurotransmitter receptors to create almost this euphoric state. Yeah.
Danny: Okay. Yeah. So, let's go later with this because it's pretty complicated.
Ben: Okay, that's fine. We got time and we talk about science a lot on this show. So, go ahead.
Danny: Great. Okay. So, the mixture in the oil is got four ingredients, not five. It's got four. The one that you mentioned which is translated as calamus and it's been translated as that for a long time. It goes all the way back to the first Greek translation of the Bible. That is kaneh-bosem or kaneh-bosem. It's pronounced differently in different context.
And, yeah, I mean the evidence there for that being cannabis is overwhelming. You've got in that Talmud, you've got a description of kaneh-bos, which is the singular version of that. It's translated as hemp there. And, we know that it was the shirts, which corpses were buried in, were made out of this stuff. You can't calamus. Calamus is a reed and reeds decompose within days. You put on corps, it's not going to be there after a couple of days. But we have made textiles out of cannabis for thousands of years. It's probably the oldest textile that we have is cannabis, is where the word “canvas” comes from in fact.
The evidence for it being calamus is pretty slight, yellow evidence for it being cannabis is completely overwhelming. For example, I mentioned the Scythians earlier. We know that the Scythians use cannabis because Herodotus mentions it in about 500 BC. He goes and visits the Scythians. He says they throw cannabis. He says they fold down the flaps of the tent. They throw cannabis on the fire and then they jump up and down and they start singing. So, we know that it was used in the area. We know we have, in fact, archaeological evidence from Tel Arad. There's quite a recent finding. I think it was last year, maybe a year before they found frankincense and cannabis. But it's found in every single culture around there. So, the Greeks had their and the Egyptians, it's found on the mummy of, I think it was Ramses II, cannabis pollen. And, it's not native to Egypt. It had to be brought in and was brought in through the trade routes that went through the Holy Land.
There's a whole bunch of reasons. Chris Bennett is the guy to look at for the research on cannabis. And so, yeah, I mean, we all know that cannabis is already psychoactive. Myrrh is another one that's in that mix. So, myrrh, you mentioned the opioid system. Myrrh works among other places on the opioid system. It's got three different [00:29:39]_____ basically terpenoids, which work on the opioid system. And, of the three, one of them is described as having a tenth of the, well, in tests, in animal tests. It's described as having a tenth of the potency of morphine. So, we're not talking about a mild opioid here. There's other opioids. There's other things that work on the opioid system.
So, myrrh works in the opioid system among other systems. But here's what's really interesting. So, we're talking about cassia and cinnamon, which have both two different types of the cinnamon family, Cinnamomum verum, which is what we call cinnamon, and then Cinnamomum cassia. And, the stuff that's in your kitchen is probably Chinese cinnamon, is probably cassia.
Ben: I have both. I have the cassia, but then I had the Ceylon mostly because the Ceylon seems to be good for stabilizing blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. So, I use it a lot in my cooking, combining with carbohydrates, for example. It almost as like a blood glucose disposal agent, but I had no clue until I started to look into some of your work that it has some pretty interesting interactivity with some of these same receptors that would allow for better absorption of the oil or something like that.
Danny: Yeah. So, cinnamon does that. It does. I mean, if you put it on your skin, your skin will go red. And, if you make an oil out of it–and, in fact, if you do make this oil, which is by the way forbidden in the Bible, but if you do decide to make it and you rub it on yourself, you'll find that it's quite spicy.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And, by the way, I didn't make it but I bought it. There's a website I found that actually sells all these oils and incenses, all these mixes from the Bible. And, I forget what the website. I'll hunt it down and put it in the shownotes.
By the way, everybody listening in the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Nemu. It's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/N-E-M-U. But when my wife and I got this oil and incense, we didn't make it. It seemed pretty laborious to hunt everything down from the four corners of the plan. And, luckily enough, I found this website that mixed everything together except the cannabis component, which was pretty easy to add-in. But yeah, we didn't make it, we just like bought it online.
Danny: Yeah. So, the enzyme system that we're talking about is the cytochrome system. So, you've got the monoamine oxidases which, yeah, they break down. Ayahuasca, they're a little bit more important. But the cytochrome system is a little bit more complex and monoamine oxidase.
On the cytochrome system, it has, I believe, 51 or 52 different enzymes in it, five of them break down 99% of the drugs that you're going to encounter. So, an enzyme is a biological kind of catalyst. It's a protein basically, which makes one. Well, one of the things that they do is they make one chemical into another chemical. Yeah, so they break things down, they metabolize things. And so, these cytochrome enzymes are cool things like CYP.
Ben: The CYP enzymes. We've talked about those before on the show a couple of times.
Danny: Okay. So, four of them are inhibited by cinnamon. That means if you take cinnamon in significant quantities, out of the five enzymes which break down all the drugs, pretty much all the drugs you're about to encounter, four of them are broken down by cinnamon.
The other one, and that's cinnamaldehyde, which is one of the components of cinnamon. The other one is broken down by cassia. That's CYP2D6, which is also very interesting enzyme for another reason. So, the mixture of these two different cinnamons from the cinnamon family, together they break down, rather they inhibit, they stop from working all of the enzymes which act as your kind of let's say your drug defense or metabolism mechanisms. So, what happens is the myrrh and the cannabis, for one thing, they last a lot longer but also it will increase the intensity because those enzymes break down. The drugs in myrrh and they break down the drugs in cannabis as well and in some parts of their function. And, it gets rather complex there. Sometimes you'll have something, for example, [00:33:51]_____ or EstroGel or this kind of things. And, I'm sorry, I'm just jumping ahead there a little bit.
The anointing of the oil, which happened to priests was only the first stage of what happened inside the tabernacle. Because first, the high priest, well, the high priest and the other priest, they'd all be anointed with this oil. And then, they would go and they would consume other things as well on top of it with their enzymes inhibited. And, when we talk about anointing, people tend to think of it in terms of the right of the chrism, for example, where you have a little dribble of oil on your head. The word for this stuff is “shemen ha-mishchah” in Hebrew. Shemen ha-mishchah which means the oil of anointing. And, the word “mishchah” comes from the word “mashach,” and “mashach” means to wipe or to paint. It's where we get the word “massa.” It seems to be where we get the word “massage” from, “mashach.” Through the Arabic, through the French, and then into English.
Shemen ha-mishchah. “Mashach” in Hebrew means the anointed one, which is “messiah” in the world. We recognize as messiah. So, mashach back in the day in the kind of Jewish or Israelite perspective wasn't the character, it was an anointed, an anointed king basically was mashach. And then, there was all kinds of political and spiritual aspects that came into that and more that came into it later. So, this stuff was wiped on people or wiped on the priests when they went into the tabernacle as the first stage of their introduction into the space of God.
Ben: Do you know if it was over the head that the oil was anointed or if it was just wiped across the entire body or areas where there would be higher blood flow like the inside of the arms or the carotid artery or something like that?
Danny: No, we don't know. So, we've got no idea. We don't know what went in there. But the fact that it means “to wipe” and “to paint,” it suggest that it wasn't poured. There's no reason why it wouldn't be wiped off the body. If you're wiping something on someone's body in order to have an effect and its effect is stronger. If you wipe it all over the body, it seems a pretty much no-brainer that it would be wiped all over the body.
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So, we have basically all of these components working together. You've got the cinnamon, which is going to inhibit these CYP enzymes and thus allow for anything that is placed on the body topically or consumed along with the cinnamon to kind of stay in the bloodstream or have heightened activity for a longer period of time. And, I know that some of the cytochrome inhibitors in cinnamon–I think there's one called beta-caryophyllene that makes your cell receptors more sensitive to say like the THC in cannabis. You'll even find that in some like topical muscle creams and things like that is they'll put components in there that had that beta-caryophyllene in it for that reason. I think myrrh has some of that as well. And then, you've got, of course, the cinnamon is dilating the skin capillaries. And, I think it's also got some other things in that mix that would have some apparently LSD-like, psychedelic properties like the safrole, and the astragali, and the alamycin [phonetic] and things like that that you mentioned.
Danny: Yeah. So, the beta-caryophyllene, it works on the CB2 receptor. And, CB2 receptors are really complex because THC pushes it in one direction and CBD pushes it in the other direction.
Danny: So, it gets really, really complex there. But then, the CYP2D6, which is the enzyme, which is inhibited by cassia, that one is activated more by cannabis. So, this get really, really complicated. So, basically, it becomes more efficient under the influence of cannabis. And, something which I find absolutely fascinating in this is that when you look at–which one is it? It's the Song of Solomon. I'm just going to read it to you, actually. No sorry, yeah, it's proverbs. This is the line from proverbs. No, sorry, Song of Solomon. “Thy plants an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits.” And then, it gives a list of plants which are psychoactive; camphire with spikenard, spikenard, and saffron cane, which is cannabis, cinnamon with all trees of frankincense, myrrh, and agarwood with all the chief spices.
Now, everything I've just listed there with the exception of camphire, which we know is henna, has–you can go into journals of pharmacology, psychopharmacology, and you can find the effects that they have on the GABA system and the effects that they have on the opioid system, et cetera, et cetera. And then, you've got “Thy plants an orchard of pomegranates.” So, it brings in the pomegranates. So, literally the pomegranates as well. Pomegranates are fascinating. For one thing, they're superfood. But pomegranates also have effects on these enzymes. And, that one I just mentioned before, which was CYP2D6. The gene which produces that enzyme gets switched off if you eat enough pomegranates. So basically, if you eat enough pomegranates, you will have less of this CYP2D6 in your system, which means that if you take cannabis, it won't have so much CYP2D6 to increase the effectivity of. So, you have another level. I think this is just a hint of this because it doesn't say that they had a whole load of pomegranates, but it does say in this particularly fascinating orchard of plants there's an orchard of pomegranates, there's loads and loads pomegranates, and then there's all these other things.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, it's similar to grapefruit. Pomegranate is a cytochrome enzyme inhibitor. That's why you got to be careful with grapefruit consumption along with different pharmaceuticals or other compounds because it can markedly increase the absorption of that or kind of amp up the effect or it can cause it to be spiked in the bloodstream more quickly, or at least more bioavailable in greater amounts. And, I think pomegranate is very similar to grapefruit in that respect. There's a lot of modern-day supplement manufacturers and chemical at-home psychonaut tinkerers who will mix grapefruit in with different compounds for that amplifying effect that grapefruit has. And, pomegranate may possibly be doing something similar, right?
Danny: Well, yeah. And, there's a really interesting other line on pomegranate, which is in the myth of Persephone and Demeter, which is the myth of going into the underworld, the character who ends up getting taken into the underworld. She eats six pips of a pomegranate, and because of that, she has to stay in the underworld for six months of the year, which is why we have winter. That's the story of winter.
Danny: Which is super interesting because it doesn't say that the pomegranate took her into the underworld, but it does say that pomegranate kept her there longer, which is exactly what you'd expect from if we're talking about something which switches off the gene, which makes a cytochrome enzyme which increases the length that a psychoactive compound has an action.
Ben: Interesting. Okay. So, we've got all of this stuff being basically burnt in what would be the equivalent of a hot box as you alluded to, like the inner super-duper closed off almost the inside of the Holy of Holies was designed in this very, very precise manner that you described to basically keep all these chemicals kind of concentrated in a container for this incense. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the high priest who would enter into that chamber after being anointed and then begin to burn some of the compounds will talk about here in a second. Didn't they have a chain or something attached to their leg in case they passed out or something like that?
Danny: Well, yeah, exactly that. So, the oil which we just mentioned, again myrrh, cinnamon, cassia and kaneh-bosem. That's put upon them. So, those ones aren't burnt. The burning happens as you said in the inner chamber of the tabernacle. The high priest would fix the chain to himself. And, in the Talmud, it says so people outside would know if he stopped moving.
Ben: And, the Talmu, by the way, you brought that up a couple times. Just in case my listeners aren't familiar, that's the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law, right?
Danny: Yeah. And, not just law, so folklore as well. So, you have two Torahs, you have the Oral Torah and you have the Written Torah. Yeah. So, the Bible, the five books of Moses is the Written Torah. And then, you have the Oral Torah, which is all the stories that were told and all the commentaries upon. And, they weren't written down on until much later in history until kind of the Roman catastrophe, when the second temple was destroyed, and the Jews were exiled. You have two Talmuds, basically. But these were written down. So yeah, it's writing down the law, but it's also the folklore. And so, for example, the incenses which is basically the temple incense and the stuff that the high priest burnt on his own in the chamber. We have some ingredients of that from Exodus 30, but most of the ingredients for that we know from the Talmud, we don't know that from Exodus 30.
Yeah, so the chamber, as I described a little bit, I just want to kind of flesh out a little bit. It's four-and-a-half-meter cubed chamber and it has four skins over it. And, two of those skins are kind of pegged all the way down to the ground and then a further two of those skins or two of those materials rather are kind of going over it as a windbreak. And, one of those materials was also used to make shoes, and it's some kind of a leather, probably some kind of impermeable leather. And then, you've got the veil. And, there's two veils in the tabernacle. You've got the veil at the front of the tabernacle, which is just a normal veil. This one has a different word in Hebrew. I'm saying that the veil that seals the chamber, the Holy of Holies, which is called “Devir” in Hebrew, by the way. And, I'll come back Devir because it's a fascinating word.
So, the screen which seals it in the time of the temple was described in the Talmud. Again, as the thickness of a man's hand, and it took ten men to raise it in the time of the temple. So, we're not talking about a normal veil here, we're not talking about curtain, we're talking about a fixed screen which goes all the way to the ground. And, think about this, it's meant to be the dwelling place of the Israelite God. And, no screen is going to keep the Israelite God in if he's super powerful. And, you don't need a very thick screen to keep prying eyes out of what's going on. But for some reason, they have a very thick screen. And, that to me, it seems to be much more evidence that it's to keep the smoke in. And, the only objects in that room are the Ark of the Covenant. The Covenant, that's a whole interesting story as well, because that Covenant means a kind of an alliance. Yeah. And, if you look at shamanic tradition, the way that shamans progress is that they encounter spirits and they make alliances with them. And, they make alliances through special words and they call those words or special phrases, and they call those phrases [00:47:31]_____. And, [00:47:32]_____ is a word of power which is used to call the spirits.
And, we have 10 very special words in the Bible translated as the Ten Commandments. But actually, the word in Hebrew is “barim,” [phonetic] which actually mean commandment. If you look in the text in Exodus when the chapter that talks about the 10 words doesn't actually mention all these like, “Thou shalt not tell lies in court,” “Thou shall not commit adultery.” That's from an entirely different chapter. It's another trip up the mountain. We don't find out from the Bible what the 10 words are, but this is quite a complicated story and if you want to delve into that story, you should have a look at my second book, which is called “Neuro-Apocalypse.”
But anyway, so you have the Ark of the Covenant, and then you have the magic tablets, and you got the two angels sitting on top of it and maybe we'll come back to the two angels, we had two angels in there, especially on one of the 10 Commandment make graven images. And then, you've got some graven images sitting on top of it. That's an interesting story as well. But the only other thing you're allowed to take in there is a sensor. And, what the high priest does is he takes a sensor and full of hot coals, and he takes it into this four-and-a-half-meter cubed chamber. And then, he burns handfuls of finely ground incense. So, we're not talking about a little stick of incense here, we're talking about very large doses. I mean, imagine literally handfuls of finely ground incense.
So, what did these things contain? And, let's talk about it with the various different systems. If your listeners are interested in neurotransmitters, we can start with the opioid system, for example. And, there are three things in there which affect the opioid system. One of those is saffron. Saffron, it's known from food. It's kind of the yellow stuff that people put into food. This was in Islamic jurisprudence. This was described as one of the permissible drugs. It's one of the drugs that gives joy.
Danny: Smoking saffron.
Ben: Yeah, it's kind of like euphoric.
Danny: It's absolutely lovely. It's a wonderful thing to smoke. There's a reason that opioids are problematic because opioids they're rather pleasant. So saffron, no one's going to get. You're not going to end up in skid row. You're not going to end up down an alley from smoking too much saffron.
Ben: So, it's almost a little bit similar to a lot of people these days are using kratom as a pre-workout or as an alternative to opioid painkillers. And, saffron seems to act on some of those similar receptors to induce this euphoric painkilling type of effect.
Danny: Yeah, exactly that. So, it's the stigma, it's a part of the plant, it's the part of the sexual organs of the Crocus sativus. And, it contains safranal and it also contains crocin. Crocin is an interesting one because when crocin is given to rats, more erections than usual. And, it alters their mount behavior, which basically means it changes their sexual behavior. And, we know that the opioid system is related to euphoria and also it's an aphrodisiac as well. So, that's one of the plenty talks about saffron. He says it has a gentle effect on the head and it wets the sex drive. Then you've got–
Ben: Which is probably why it's also you mentioned that Song of Solomon, the great love poem in the Bible and the orchard of pomegranates, saffron is listed amongst the mixes that are used as an aphrodisiac in the Song of Solomon as well.
Danny: Exactly right, yeah. So, we've already mentioned myrrh as well. That's not in the smoke but it's in the oil. And then, you got stacte. This is one of the ones that's mentioned in the Bible. We're not entirely sure what stacte is, but the jury tends to rule that it's high-grade myrrh. And, the word in Hebrew is “nataf.” And, “nataf” means it's one of these fascinating Hebrew words, which means quite a lot of different things. One of which is to drop or to drip. One of which is to distill, and one of which is to prophecy. Now, they all seem quite distantly. They don't seem very much related, but actually if you think about the kind of drops of purity coming down from heaven in terms of prophecy, that's pretty interesting. And then, also myrrh drops and drips off the tree as well. So, that one seems to be high-grade myrrh.
And then, you've got galbanum, Ferula gummosa, which is another one that's in there, which works on the opioid system.
And then, if we jump across to the GABA system. Basically, you have GABA receptors on 40% of your neurons. And, it's the most widely distributed receptor in the brain, is in every system in the brain and pretty much every neuron is either directly affected by GABA or its next-door neuron is affected by GABA. So, frankincense which is in the incense is one of the ones which works on the GABA system. GABA system is inhibitory. So, that's to say that it calms down or it basically makes the synapse less likely to fire. And so, it kind of calms you down. But because the brain is very complex and you have inhibitory systems, you have excitatory neurons which sometimes you can inhibit an inhibitory neurons, so it can actually end up making certain neurons fire more than others. So, again it's very, very complex.
Frankincense and onycha which is the other one–I believe personally that onycha is labdanum. It's kind of complex as to why, but I will say that the translation that you'll be familiar with from the Bible, it can't be right basically. It's describes the mollusk in the Bible. And, when I say in the Bible, I'm talking about the King James here. And, mollusks are an abomination, mollusks aren't kosher. The idea that you would take a mollusk into the Holy of Holies and offer it as incense to the tribal God is you wouldn't have a ham sandwich in a synagogue and you wouldn't have a mollusk in the Holy of Holies. It just simply wouldn't happen. Again, it gets kind of complex, but it's described in the Talmud as, from the ground but not the tree. So, it looks like it comes from a bush. And, there's a 10th century rabbi who says it's labdanum, which is rockrose. Labdanum is the stuff that pharaoh use to put in his fake beard. And, yeah, I don't get too granular about. Again, it's in my book, “Neuro-Apocalypse.” You can see the reasoning as to why this is the most likely thing. But this, again, contains crocin and crocetin which works on the rats. Yeah, it contains safranal. And then, you got frankincense.
So, when you mentioned in the beginning, you had some time with frankincense, my own experience with frankincense is that the high, if you're looking to get absolutely mashed up, I think frankincense will do that. It may do in combination. But what it does do very reliably actually is it gives you a visual kind of imagery and inspiration. Let me just kind of step back a little bit. These things we used for a specific reason. The high priest had a job and it was the same job as a shaman has in any of the jungle tribes or anywhere you see shamanism. And, that's to look after his tribe. Yeah. And so, traditional shamanism, shamans, they go into their hut and they take their mushrooms, they take their [00:55:04]_____ they take. And then, they come back to the tribe with information. And, the information tends to fall into about three or four categories. One of those is, “Where can we find food?” Yeah, to go and find game. And, you find that in the Bible, you find that Moses goes off into the tabernacle. He does his thing and then he comes out and he says there's water. Let's go and find the water. And, he goes and taps a rock and he finds water, which we've had water divination for thousands of years. The whole idea that you would go and find a rock and then tap it seems to be a description of water divination.
Ben: Yeah, kind of similar to like well witching, which is what I had done in my property up here in Spokane. A guy walks around with the, what do you call it, the little dowel that allows you to determine where the different water sources are. And, it seems magic or witchcraft but a ton of people use these so-called well-witchers to actually successfully find water. They're surprisingly accurate.
Danny: Yeah, they use them to find water pipes. The Water Department got in trouble in England a few years ago because they were using water dividers to find out where the pipes were and [00:56:10]_____. What they're doing is crazy. It's crazy, crazy. So, that was one of the divinatory questions. “Where is the food?” The other one is, “How do we deal with this disease?” which again Moses does and he'll deal with plagues by going in to the tabernacle finding out why the tribal God is angry and alleviating the plague. Another one is, “When our enemy is going to attack?” Basically war divination. We tend to think of people in the ayahuasca world tend to think of ayahuasca is all love and light, but ayahuasca has traditionally been among other things, a weapon of war, and a means of knowing where your enemy is and knowing when they're going to attack and maybe ambushing them first or whatever it might be. And, you find that a lot in the Bible. Moses heads off into the tabernacle. [00:56:53]_____, time to attack, or it's time to move.
So, the reason I'm saying this is because they weren't going there to get mashed up, they were going in there to get information and then bringing that information back.
Ben: Right, to commune with the divine in this altered state of consciousness that these substances would induce.
Danny: Yeah. But not just that, it's not just to go and get high and enjoy yourself on your own, it's to bring information back which is useful for the tribe survival. Yeah, so against things like disease, against starvation, against enemy tribes, and also against internal strife. So, sometimes there'll be an argument and you might have to resolve it through working out what the beef is and working out how God wants it resolved.
So, on this matter of divination, a lot of the things here like we talked about THC, we talked about cannabis. Cannabis affects your short-term memory as anyone who's familiar with it will know. But you also have, for example, spikenard in the mix. Spikenard is kind of famous from the New Testament because the disciples spend a whole lot of money on it and Judas complaints. He said, “Why are we spending all this money on this expensive one when we could give to the sick?” And. there's that wonderful line where Christ goes, “You're always going to have the poor, but you're not always going to have me.”
So, spikenard is neuroprotective. And, it's called a nootropic. And, “ nootropic ” means it assists in the formation of memories, which is super interesting. And, it also, on a kind of synapse level, it seems to have this kind of effect where it reduces some certain aspects of the effects of cannabis as well. So basically, what I'm saying is that there are, and it's not just spikenard, there's other things that are in the mixture which stimulate the formation of memories, yeah, which is super useful because you imagine you go into this wiped with cannabis and other stuff and then you get surrounded in smoke which contains all kinds of things. And, you may you have your vision. And, that was the point. The high priest was meant to go in there. He was meant to talk to angels and he was meant to come out and give his pronouncements. And, interestingly enough, sometimes when the pronouncements are given, they're given in song which is the same situation in the shamanic world as well. Sometimes a shaman will come out and he'll kind of musically or poetically present what he was. Or the Oracle of Delphi, in fact, is another one. Her pronouncements came in the form of a verse. So, spikenard is a nootropic, which means that it helps in the formation of memories.
And then finally, and I can go on like this all day–
Ben: This is super-duper interesting because we've done a lot of podcasts on nootropics, on smart drugs, on psychedelics, on plant medicine, but I just don't think people are aware. And, this is why I wanted to really get into this because I find it fascinating for me as a Christian, as a Bible enthusiast, as a guy who loves to study theology but also loves to study some of these really, really unique molecules and how they interact with the human body. This is fascinating. So, you're talking about spikenard.
Danny: Yeah. So then, you got spikenard, yeah, it's been tested to improve learning and improve memory and recall stuff. This is a really interesting one. At low doses, it's sedative. And, at high doses, it's a stimulant and it also has antidepressant character as well. Well, actually something else to say about it is it boosts serotonin, and dopamine, and GABA. And, I do want to come back and talk about dopamine in a minute, but costus, Saussurea costus which is another one, that's what you find in [01:00:27]_____ used quite a lot in ayurvedic medicine. That one has effects on cognitive disorders. But again, this one's a neuroprotective and specifically, it protects cells, it protects neurons from dopamine-induced apoptosis. So, it protects cells from too much dopamine. Yeah, because dopamine can be toxic in high quantities. So, I guess one of the things that's fascinating about this is the level of understanding that these people had is just off. It's off the map compared to the kind of stuff that we do.
Ben: Right. Well, it's a level of complexity. That's just fascinating. And, I know that if you look at a shamanic medicine, and recently–I wish I could remember the name of the book, but it was a great book about the use of animal poisons, and venoms, and plants, and all these pharmaceuticals that are derived from the Amazon. If you ask me, these shamans, they'll tell you that the plants told us or the plants revealed this to us, which is super interesting because in the Bible there are specific verses that say, “God reveals himself to us through nature or through creation.” And, in the case of some of these mixes in Leviticus and Exodus, literally they're passed straight down from God to Moses. So, the plants are telling people as much as God himself is telling people these things.
Danny: Interesting, isn't it? I wonder if the book you were talking about was “The Cosmic Serpent” by Jeremy Narby?
Ben: No. But I'll find it. I recently ordered on Amazon. So, while we're talking, I'll pull up in my phone and find my Amazon orders and hunt it down, tell people what it is. But yeah, so go on.
Danny: Yeah. So then, you got agarwood as well, which is called oud. It's known to a lot of people as oud. This is a really, really complex stuff. It comes from the Aquilaria tree. And, if you infect Aquilaria with a fungus, then it produces a resin as a defense mechanism. And, this resin contains–I mean, we have already 300 compounds which have been isolated from it and it just does a load of stuff. It's aphrodisiac euphoric, describes hypnotic, meaning it helps you go to sleep, antidepressant. The systems it works in, it works on the serotonin system. Norepinephrine system inhibits the uptake, reuptake of dopamine, for example, through acetylcholine.
And, if I could, I wonder if it's a given moment, but if we talk about just the interaction between cannabis and frankincense, for example. And, the reason this is interesting is because this archaeological find at Tel Arad quite recently found those two. There's these two altars, and they're inside a chamber, Devir. Again, “Devir” meaning the Holy of Holies. So, they're inside a chamber. This is found at the southern tip of the Israelite Empire, and it was a garrison. So, this was state religion. I think it was 8th century. I think it was century BC. But yeah, they found a couple of stains on the altars there. Archaeological dig has been known about for quite a while, but they took the tools of modern analytical chemistry to analyze the stains, and they found that one of them is cannabis and one of them is frankincense. Everyone's gone, “Oh wow, there's a whole of cannabis here.” Normally people have talked about the frankincense.
So, frankincense and if we take just the dopamine system, it gets really complex because–I just got to find my notes here. Yeah, right. So, for example, THC, the influence of THC on the CB1 receptor, and this is a receptor which you find out before the synapse. Yeah, so the end of the neuron comes in and it's the presynaptic terminal. So, you got the presynaptic terminal, then you've got the synapse, then you've got the postsynaptic terminal and then you've got the next neuron. I hope that's clear for people.
Ben: Yup, yup.
Danny: So, THC, for example, working on the CB1 receptor increases dopamine. So, if it's a dopaminergic cell, if there's THC in the area, it basically makes more dopamine flow from the one neuron into the synaptic cleft into the synapse. And then, on the other side, you have frankincense. Frankincense can take one of the many things that frankincense contains is ethyl acetate. Ethyl acetate is an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, which is an enzyme which is on the postsynaptic terminal which is involved in the reuptake of dopamine.
So, what does this mean? It means that on one side of the synapse, you have cannabis or specifically THC, which is increasing the amount of dopamine which floods into the cleft. And then, on the other side of the synapse, you have a different chemical which is working on a different system which is making the reuptake of that dopamine happens slower. So, it's kind of a double whammy, yeah, which is different. If you have one joint and then you have another joint, and you have another joint, and you have another joint, you're not going to be four times more high than you were after your first joint because you've only got so many receptors to work on on the pre-synaptic cleft. But if you start messing with other systems and there's quite a lot of other ways to mess with. Well, there's also the ion channels as well and there's a whole lot of stuff you can do. But this is a way of increasing dopamine from both sides and dopamine, which is what I found absolutely fascinating, is connected to language production and it's connected through meaning production. So, anyone who listens to hip hop, they will be aware that a lot of rappers will smoke and then they'll rap. It's a trope that you see a lot.
Ben: Right, right.
Danny: This idea that–
Ben: Not only rapping, but it's just general creative output. It is associated quite a bit with cannabis' ability to be able to unlock a lot of creative portals when used particularly in moderation. And, that's the extent where you're stuck with couch lock and Cheetos.
Danny: Yeah, yeah, exactly that. And so, what is creative output? Creative output is taking ideas. You're taking bits of concepts and putting them in into a new formation, yeah, which is also what rapping is, which is also what poetry is. We're all familiar with words, but then when you find a new way to put them together, well, that's very interesting.
Now, the word for word in Hebrew is “dabar.” And, the word for the chamber is “Devir,” which is the word “dabar,” [01:07:02]_____ with an extra yod. Yeah. So, it's the same word with an extra letter. And, that word “yod,” which is the first letter of the word Yod, Heh, Waw, Heh, which is the holy name of the Israelite god is it's considered where God comes in–well, I'll put this exactly. But yeah, a lot of the god names begin with that, Yah, Yahweh, Yahweh Yireh, all these kinds of words. They contain this “yod.” And, you see it all over the place where it's talking about when God manifest or [01:07:36]_____. And then, you got kind of God unmanifest which is more in the realm of Elohim.
So, it's interesting. You got the dopamine system, which we know is involved in language production and it's being affected by two different chemicals or two different resins which are burnt in what's called the Devir, which is related to the word “word.” And, the angels, themselves, would speak to the prophet whoever–not the prophet, sorry that's the wrong term. The high priest, or Moses, or whoever happened to be in the box. And then, he would come out and he would speak through words.
Ben: Interesting. Okay. So, what I find fascinating is that when I was doing some research for this interview, I've found this whole concept of neurotheology, something that popped up over and over again. Meaning, there's a lot of modern research showing that people who take psychedelics for spiritual purposes score higher on what's called the mysticism scale. And, when I've talked with guys like Jamie Wheal before in my podcast, he talks about this idea of a group. He doesn't call it group bliss, but something very similar to a group bliss when people consume this type of substances together and then worship together. Their mystical experiences that people find highly formative to their religious experience as a whole. And then, there's this whole field of neurotheology which blends biology and neurology and psychology and theology. And, one basic premise of it is that these mystical or spiritual experiences can be triggered or enhanced by all these exogenous and endogenous chemicals that we're talking about, like dopamine, and serotonin, and GABA. And so, this idea of shifting one into a different state in order to have a more deep and meaningful spiritual experience is something that's just fascinating and is now being studied in some really interesting ways.
One thing that I came across as I was looking into this was even this idea of, I think, it's called henbane, which contains the hallucinogenic compound, a scopolamine, and grows in a bunch of different spots in Israel. Isn't that actually pictured as an actual flower on the Jewish high priest ceremonial hat?
Danny: Yeah. That's another one.
Ben: It's crazy.
Danny: That's super interesting. That comes from the Talmud as well. Yeah, there was a golden henbane flower on the high priest hat. Yeah. And, it's just Cephas who mentions this. Yeah. And, that's the only reference we have in the Scriptures that I'm aware of for henbane.
Ben: Yeah. And then, another thing that kept popping up. I mean, well, I mentioned Brian Muraresku earlier and he has this book called “The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name” where he describes how these visionary plants and herbs and fungi were passed from one generation to the next for eons of time, including in the spiritual old-world capital of Eleusis, where he proposes that this holy beverage unleashed heavenly visions for 2,000 years, that the original sacraments of the church were spiked with mind-altering drugs, and that it wasn't just wine or grapefruit, but a lot of other components similar to those that we've already described that might shift one into an altered state of consciousness when consuming the Eucharist or the communion.
But going even farther back than that, there's also the idea of the manna. We all hear in Sunday school about the manna that comes down from heaven that feeds the Israelites in the desert. But isn't there even the manna itself is associated with some of these same type of compounds?
Danny: Right. Okay, so this is the point at which I will have to just be really clear, I'm going to speculation here. Okay. So, what I've talked about before, this isn't any speculation at all, this is psychopharmacology you can look up in a journal and you can find the identities of the plants, at least some of those plants with some degree of confidence in the Bible. When we're talking about manna, yeah, we're into slightly different realm. So, manna, we talk about manna coming down from heaven and people have this idea that it's kind of food aid or something. Manna, it doesn't drop like that, it drops in a different way. “Manna” means secretion. And, in fact, there's something called “mann,” which is still eaten today by Bedouins, and it's a tamarisk plant basically. But the tamarisk plant drops this kind of pellets or it produces a kind of sticky viscous stuff. And, that's called “mann.” Yeah, the linguistics are fascinating because in Hebrew, “manhu” means, “What is this?” Or, it's actually “mahu.” But in the particular line where somebody says to Moses in the Bible, “What is this?” They say manhu. And, the rabbi, “manhu” means “What is this?” But it also means, “This is mann,” as in this is manna. And, the rabbis talk about this in the Talmud. They say, okay, “Why are they saying man and not mar?” Because in Hebrew, what is not man, it's mar. Yeah. And then, they say, “Oh, maybe it's an Egyptian word they picked up from Egypt.” It gets really complex, that kind of thing.
But kind of the simple bit of the manna story, manna is described in a couple of different ways. Just bear with me for one second [01:13:09]_____.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And, while you're looking that up, by the way, that book that I mentioned earlier I found is called “Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets.” It's written by Mark Plotkin. It actually has a pretty good podcast about the different medicines that we find from around the world both old and new. And, that'd be an interesting one for folks who are digging. This is called Medicine Quest. I'll link to that on the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Nemu, N-E-M-U.
Okay. So, the manna, go ahead.
Danny: Yeah. I mean, just props to Mark Plotkin as well. The guy knows what he's talking about.
Danny: It's described in two ways. This is from numbers. Manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. That's one way it's described in Exodus 16. It's white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. In another part of the Bible, it says it is like thin flakes like frost on the ground. So, we've got two descriptions. We've got description that's basically something round, small, white. And, when it says it has that eye in, it has the eye of resin. It looks like resin. I'm going to describe what I think it's ergot.
Ergot is a secretion that is found that grows on a various different cereals and it's found in the region. Is not only found in the region but it's found at the time of year when the Israelites are looking around. It comes out of its dormancy in early spring. And, the period in which it's found in the Bible is early spring. So, there's three wildernesses. The first wilderness, they don't find water and they don't find any manna. The second wilderness, they find water and they find manna, which is also interesting because manna has to grow on vegetation obviously because it's a parasite on plants. And, if you don't have any water, you don't have any vegetation. So, that's another reason why I think it's ergot.
So, as it secretes, it kind of flows out of the whatever it happens to infect, might be sorghum or something like that. And, it forms pellets. If it drives on the plant, it forms little pellets. They're about the size of a coriander seed, and they're white, and they have a kind of resinous nature to them. If it doesn't dry on the plant and it drops on the floor, it splashes and it makes a kind of thin frost. And, if you look at the talk that you mentioned at the beginning, entheogens in the Bible, getting high with the most high, you can see pictures of what ergot secretion looks like. It looks like thin flakes like frost on the ground. It's called “hoarfrost” in the King James Bible.
So, there are other secretions. Like I mentioned one before, mann, which comes from the tamarind, tamarisk actually. When that splashes onto the ground, when that hits the ground, it doesn't splash, it forms a kind of viscous mound because it's a viscous stuff. Also, manna or rather mann, Bedouin mann because there is a kind of line of reasoning that scholars will say. And, they say, “It's Bedouin mann because it's the same word.” But it doesn't really fit the description. And, Bedouin mann or the stuff that Bedouins pick up, the secretion, they keep it and they keep it for a long time. And, in the Bible, it says or Moses says, “Let no man leave of it 'til the morning,” but some of them left of it until the morning and it bred worms and it stank.
Ben: Interesting. So, kind of a fungus.
Danny: Yeah, exactly that. It does actually taste it's described in Exodus. It tastes like wafers made of honey. If you look at the naturalist — you look at the, sorry, people have actually eaten this stuff, the first stage of infection, it does actually taste sweet. And then, in the second stage infection, it rots very quickly and it starts getting disgusting. So, those are some of the reasons. Another thing is that it's not ready to eat. In the Bible, it has to be prepared, which is kind of curious. Why would Israelite God give me something which isn't prepared? Interesting one.
But anyway, it has to be ground in mills or beating a mortar. That's from numbers 11. So, we know it's ground, and we know it's baked, and we know it's boiled. The way that you can get ergot or rather you can get LSA which is a kind of cousin of LSD out of ergot. You got to be really careful with that because ergot can give you horrible poisoning and it can absolutely mess you up. But there's a toxic part of it and there's a nontoxic part of it. And, the way that you would separate the one from the other is by grinding it and then boiling it, basically. And, when you boil it, you separate the soluble fraction and the insoluble fraction. The insoluble fraction, you get rid of it, and the soluble fraction, the part which stays in the water, then you bake it and you get crystals, and you get crystals of super-powerful NSA. And, that will most certainly make you encounter God.
So, that's the form of it. Actually, I was being a bit flippant there. That won't most certainly make you encounter God. You need to be a little bit more than just snuffle drugs down–
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I in no way would be a guy who'd want to endorse on my show that you need drugs to connect to God. But what I am saying is that the deliberate initiation with the divine using altered or elevated states of consciousness from some of these compounds is something that, well, gosh, I think that in the highly rational scientific kind of logical, even disconnected from the sacred elements of nature, status of, for example, the modern church has dictated that I feel we've lost touch with a lot of these compounds or even painted them into the same category. And, I have a whole article about this on my website as being drunk, as violating the scriptural laws for sobriety or temperance, when in fact I think that in the proper set and setting, and especially when you look at a lot of the examples from Song of Solomon to Exodus, to Leviticus that we've been talking about, these things can be used to enhance meditation, prayer, scripture reading. We already know they're wonderful for things like personal and professional breakthroughs, and sexual intercourse, and things like that. But in terms of weaving these into burning this type of incense during a morning prayer session or sprinkle a little bit of frankincense on cannabis flower and smoking that before you go deep into prayer, I mean there's actually some very, very interesting use cases for this type of approach. It just seems not a lot of people are talking about it because in Christianity, you kind of get your hand slapped if you mention plant medicines AKA drugs and reefer madness and all that just because of the associations.
Danny: Yeah, that's an unfortunate path that I wouldn't say. Yeah, so fortunate parts that certain priests and certain people who are a little bit too comfortable with their power have taken because the Bible, it's very clear it says God made grass for the–
Ben: Well, God made all things for a purpose and made all things good.
Danny: Indeed. Yeah, exactly. And, the laws on kosher, there's no drug to all kinds of things are non-kosher, but none of the plant drugs are. The only drug that you might think of as unkosher is the toad because you're not going to lick toads. Toads are not kosher.
But there's this wonderful line, this is from Exodus as well, and this is from the scene where the Israelites are looking at Mount Sinai and Moses has gone up, and the rest of them are down there, and they have all eaten manna at this particular scene. And, this is the only time in the Bible where you see a collective vision. You often see visions, but don't happen to a lot of people at the same time. So, for example, Daniel sees the writing on the wall, not everybody else sees the writing on the wall. So, the argument there, I would say that the writing on the wall was what Daniel was saying.
And, you could say it was in his head, or you could say he was seeing some other level of reality or whatever you might want to say. But the point I'm making is that not everyone gets to see the writing on the wall. And, in some scenes, for example, you'll get someone who will see something and someone will hear something. But you never have a collective vision except in one point of the book, and that is the vision of Sinai, which is another one. And, this is the line, it says, “And all the people are seeing the voices, and the flames, and the sound of the trumpet.” Now, I've never seen a voice. I've never seen the sound of a trumpet because you don't see sounds unless–
Ben: Yeah. Unless you're kinesthetic or under the influence of something.
Danny: Yeah. So, synesthesia is where you mixed.
Ben: Yeah, synesthetic. Yeah, that's what I meant.
Danny: So, this is the only example of synesthesia in the Bible, and it's the only example of collective vision. And, it's the time when all the Israelites are eating mana. So, I think an interesting addition to the argument that manna is ergot.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And, by the way, when it comes to these altered states of consciousness, it's not as a plant medicines are the only route to achieve these states. I read a couple of books two months ago, one called “Meditation and the Bible,” another one called “Jewish Meditation” by this guy named Aryeh Kaplan, who's like a rabbi and an author. And, he has this whole series of different meditations that apparently were used by the prophets to attain altered states of consciousness. These meditative practices were widespread among the Jews throughout Jewish history and these ancient secret forms of attaining an altered state of consciousness, it's something that apparently has been lost, that particular vocabulary of meditation to a large degree during the last century. But these books reveal some really interesting meditative practices that can be combined with these medicines or even use it on their own to achieve an altered state of consciousness kind of one could, instead of using LSD, take Stanislav Grof‘s approach of using something like holotropic breathwork instead. So, it's not as though you have to have, again, a drug or medicine or something like that to achieve these states but combining some of these things with other elements such as meditation or breathwork or using them on their own, or not using them and using meditation, and breathwork and things like that are all things that, I think–I guess a lot of people. Especially, for example, the average Christian person might be listening in who just sits down with their Bible every morning to read the Bible and pray, absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I've found that at certain times of the year, certain times of the month, like taking a deeper dive and incorporating a lot of these strategies that God is literally revealed in Scripture. It's super interesting. But again, I get some backlash for being a hippie patchouli smell on Christian for doing some of this stuff.
Have you seen some backlash from the Christian community as far as some of the things that you've written or video recorded, like the people get upset about some of the stuff?
Danny: I remember once I was in a tour of Irish universities and these guys were giving out flyers, and there was a university professor, he wasn't even a theologist, he was a professor of something else and the talk was called “Drugs in the Bible.” And then, there is this literally professor of the university saying, “There's no drugs in the Bible.” And, yeah, I mean that kind of ignorance, I found it quite astonishing from someone who's teaching in university. But I haven't had a lot of backlash. No, I mean no one's come and hassled me about it. In particular, I think Christian, certainly English Christians tend to be–I don't generalize, but they tend to be quite quiet. The Anglican faith has quite a quiet vibe to it really. So, no, I haven't really dealt with such backlash.
I just want to add something to what you said there. Yeah, there's no reason why you need to take drugs to get closer to God, but there is every reason why you should leave other people alone who want to do that, because it's certainly not your place to go against what it says in the Bible if you're a Christian. And, in the Bible it says, “The plants are good.” And, that's really, really simple.
Ben: In terms of your books that you've written, and I've actually seen your videos and read some of your articles and papers, all of which I'll link to in the shownotes. But these books that you've written, “Neuro-Apocalypse” and “Science Revealed,” do both of those take deeper dives into this particular topic or those books have a different theme?
Danny: The one which looks at this closely is “Neuro-Apocalypse.” And, the drugs in the Bible is one chapter of it. The rest of it, part of it is about linguistics. I mean, the overall theme is, what can we do to our heads to give us access to revelation? And, when I'm talking about revelation, I'm not necessarily talking only in the spiritual sense of spiritual secrets. But for example, or there's a kind of famous old experiment with psilocybin where people are looking at parallel lines on a screen and parallel lines are slightly moving. And, the subjects in the experiment asked to say when they can see that the lines aren't parallel anymore. And, if he gets on psilocybin before they do that, lo and behold, they spot it quicker. And, I think the head researcher of that, his comment was that this compound undoes, what is it, the certainties or fix this. I forget the exact term phraseology uses.
But often, when we look at something, we decide it's like that and then we don't have to look at it anymore. And, psychedelics undermine that in quite an interesting way, which is to say that you can see something as it actually is rather than as you've already decided it is. And, you can take that into all kinds of different fields like, for example, into psychotherapy where you've got a very fixed idea of, I don't know, what your wife is like, for example, when you're angry with her. And then, if you can reframe that and you can see it from another angle, maybe it's not actually my wife, maybe it's the dynamic between me and my wife, because it gives you another angle. But yeah.
So, the book, in general, is about various different things which will affect how we perceive. So, if I start off looking at different languages, I'm looking at the Japanese language and English language, I spent six years in Japan, the way that the language is constructed and the way that the culture is constructed, I believe, influences the way that Japanese people see. An example of that is if you ask a Japanese and an American, and this has been done, to look at an animation of fish moving around inside fish tanks and then ask them to describe it, the first thing in American will say almost always is there was a big fish doing a certain thing. Whereas, the first thing a Japanese will say is it looks like a fish tank. And then, the Japanese will go on to describe things in the background and the relationships between the sizes of things and the relationships between different fish in the tank. Whereas, the American would generally say the big fish was trying to do this and try and do that. That's quite interesting.
But what's even more interesting is if you then five minutes later, you show pictures of the fish that were in the tank to Americans and Japanese but you put them on different backgrounds. So, if you show a picture of a fish to an American on different background and say, was this fish in the video? They won't have any trouble identifying whether it was or whether it wasn't. But if you show that to a Japanese, they take longer to answer the question and they get it wrong more often because for whatever reason, it seems that the individual and the context are coded together in the Japanese mind, which is fascinating. And then, if you look at their artworks, for example, those traditional long charcoal paintings, you will often have an individual figure in high definition, whereas all around it, you'll have kind of mountains and waterfalls in low definition.
So, that relationship between the individual and the context is all the way through Japanese society. You see it in, for example, salarymen, office workers who don't take the holidays. That's craziness, not taking holidays. But then I take the holidays. Why? Because the relationship between the individual and his context, which is his workplace, is a whole lot stronger than it is in Western cultures. And, I believe that is partly because of the way the language is constructed. And, it will take me too long to go into it here. But basically, the way that verbs and nouns work in Japanese and English are different. And, the result is that we see a world that's different and we code it differently, and we remember it's a bit different, and we behave differently as a result of that.
So, I'm looking at how linguistics influences the way that we see the world and how getting outside of linguistics can allow us to see other things. I'm looking at conditions like autism, for example, looking at how savantism works, people who can spot things that others can't, but one in 10 autists has some kind of heightened skill. That's this idea that you have these savants and then the rest of them not. But that's not actually the case. And, that's only in areas that we're actually looking for. But I mean, there's–I don't know if you ever seen this guy, Jay Mack, if you look up Jay Mack on YouTube, who is this guy who was really into basketball in kind of college basketball? And, this guy, he was so into basketball as autist would often get fascinated with subjects. And, he was the mascot of the team. He used to kind of get the water and stuff. And, on the last game of the season, this college basketball, they let him play for the last three minutes. And, he missed his first shot from miles, missed the second shot, and then he started sinking baskets from all over the place and turned out to be an absolute ninja at basketball. And, he describes the basket as huge. He says it's like a big old bucket that was huge. And, autist have very interesting visual cortexes. They've got highly branching visual cortexes. And, like you hear of these people who can count like in Rain Man, for example, the guy canceled the matches on the floor. Well, I'm looking to that. I won't go in too deeply because there's a whole lot neuroscience. So, it's about neuroscience, it's about linguistics.
Ben: Yeah, I'll link to the books in the shownotes for sure. And, I know we're kind of running up against time, I could talk about this stuff for hours with you, but the interesting thing I think I heard you say this in another interview or in a video somewhere, this idea that drugs are not the only route to God, and God isn't some type of hallucination produced by any of these substances. And, I think the example you gave was a short-sighted person who put on glasses and the glasses allow them to see objects. But that doesn't mean the objects that they see are the products of the glasses. The glasses are just allowing them to be able to see those objects that already existed just a little bit more clearly or interact with them in a little bit more clear way. And, I think that's a pretty good analogy for a lot of this stuff.
Danny: Yeah, yeah. And, I think another thing to be very aware of if people are getting–obviously I'm very keen on my psychedelics and I'm very keen on my theology. And, one of the places where Christians can get quite annoying actually is in their missionary zeal and evangelical zeal. So, let's be really careful that if you do get into your drugs and you see God with them and you do whatever you do, don't be running up to people and trying to get them to take drugs.
Danny: I would suggest that if you do learn anything from your experiences, that should come through in your behavior, it should come through in your morality, it should come through in your humor.
Ben: Yeah, your fruits. Your fruits will show themselves and people will know you by your fruits. And, that's, of course, straight out of the Bible. And, yeah, I agree some people are called, some are not. I think some people do well with this type of compounds and some people for both biochemical as well as life history reasons are not necessarily called to the use of these. But, I certainly think that at least considering them and checking out some of the resources that will put in the shownotes, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Nemu, not only will I link to a couple of articles that I've written about this topic, I'll link to Danny's videos, his book “Science Revealed” and “Neuro-Apocalypse,” some of Chris Bennett's writings on cannabis in the Bible, that book I mentioned, “Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets,” the incense blends and the oils that my wife and I experimented with based on some of this stuff. And, you guys can go knock yourself out if you want to take a deep dive. But, my main goal for getting Danny on was to really begin to educate people and start to make them aware that there's this whole world of ways that we can kind of tap into this new science of neurotheology that are just absolutely fascinating.
And, we may even have to do a round two at some point, Danny, because I feel we scratched the surface of some of this stuff.
Danny: Yeah, man, I could talk about this for days and days and days. I would be delighted to. So, both my books, I've got a code for you. If you want to get a 20% discount from psychedelicpress.co.uk, the code is NEMU, N-E-M-U101.
Danny: That would get you 20% off your books.
Ben: Okay, I'll toss that in the shownotes as well.
Well, Danny, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all this stuff with us. And, I think it's just absolutely fascinating. And, I'm glad I was able to connect with you, man.
Danny: My total pleasure, Ben. It's been a real pleasure. Well, I've just got the space I would just like to direct people in direction of some other work. When I'm not doing this kind of thing, I run a reforestation organization. We work in Brazil with indigenous groups, black women's groups in the slums. We work with planting 50,000 trees of the trees which are used to make violin bows in Brazil. That's called RAIN. So, if you look up rainumbrella.org, we're doing all kinds of things with reforestation. And, any support with that would be very, very well appreciated. And, yeah, that's the other little bit of work that I do.
Ben: Cool, cool. I'll link to that as well in the shownotes. It sounds like a cool project. So, anyways, that's all going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Nemu. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/N-E-M-U. And, until next time. I'm Ben Greenfield, along with Danny Nemu signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.
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You may have seen me first mention Danny Nemu in my article here on “sobriety,” including his writings on cannabis, drunkenness, and the use of entheogens and psychedelics found in the Bible. I even experimented recently with some of the incenses and oils Danny discusses in his lectures—potent blends also featured within the Bible and used by the Levite priests, and the results were relatively astounding.
Danny is the author of Neuro-Apocalypse, Science Revealed, and perhaps most notably, the paper “Getting high with the most high: Entheogens in the Old Testament” and a YouTube video by the same name. He is a fellow who has dug into this topic of entheogens in the Bible quite a bit, similar to Brian Muraresku in his recent book The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name and Michael Pollan in his new book This Is Your Mind On Plants.
Danny is a hypnotherapist, activist, and author with an academic background in the history of medicine and 20 years of experience with the Daime ayahuasca community including an 8-month cure in the Amazon battling a flesh-eating parasite.
His fundamental interest is how humans break free of their “mind-forged manacles,” and his research focuses on drugs in the Bible, Revelation, and realpolitik in science, and the connection between linguistics, neurobiology, and cognition. He writes for Psypress UK, the Journal of Psychedelic Studies, and Lucid News, has given talks at Breaking Convention on Biblical entheogens and neocolonialism in ayahuasca studies, and is a regular guest on podcasts including Rune Soup and Aeon Byte.
His books, Science Revealed and Neuro-Apocalypse, are out on Psypress UK, articles, talks, and podcasts are collected on his website, and his inconsistent opinions are to be taken with a pinch of salt on Twitter.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-An excerpt from How the High Priests Got High by Danny Nemu…03:30
-How Danny became interested in entheogens…15:05
- Science Revealed
- Neuro Apocalypse
- Became interested in “apocalyptic cults” while in university
- Thomas Sydenham introduced stats into medicine
- Prophecy for the Next 24 Years by Paracelsus
- A mistranslation of a portion of Matthew got Danny interested in psychedelics in the Bible
- Enzyme inhibition is a new concept in the West, but has been practiced for thousands of years elsewhere
-Is Moses' experience at the burning bush an example of an entheogen?…21:04
- “Burning with a fire that doesn't consume”
- Descriptive language of hallucinogenics in that era didn't exist
- Visionary experiences aren't necessarily caused by drugs
- Anointing oil from 1 Samuel produced a hallucinogenic effect
- Tabernacle construction and design is described over 5 chapters in Exodus
- Holy of Holies was perhaps designed as a “hot box” for all the materials prescribed in Exodus to concentrate together
- Kaneh-bosem with overwhelming evidence this is what we know as cannabis
- Herodotus mentions cannabis in his writings
- Chris Bennett's research on cannabis
- Myrrh works on the opioid system
- Cinnamon works on better absorption of oils
- Enzymes make one chemical into another chemical (metabolize)
- Our word “massage” is loosely derived from the Hebrew shemen ha-mishchah which is the word for the oil
- Mashach is Hebrew for Messiah or “Anointed One”
-Effects of fruits mentioned in the Bible on genes and enzymes in the body…38:15
- Song of Solomon “pleasant fruits” i.e. psychoactive
- Pomegranates have effects on enzymes and genes
- Grapefruit amplifies effects
-Precautions prescribed in the Bible for priests entering the Holy of Holies…43:30
- High priest would put a chain about the neck so people can hear if he stops moving
- Talmud is the “Oral Torah” vs. the written which is the 5 books of Moses
- Temple incense ingredients in Exodus 30 – most of them are in the Talmud
- Chamber is 4 meters cubed
- Materials around the chamber are used to make shoes; plus the veil
- Meant to be the dwelling place of God
- Ark of the covenant in the chamber
- Tablets containing the Ten Words
- Burn very large doses of finely ground incense
- Ingredients that affect the opioid system:
- Ingredients that affect the GABA system:
- Frankincense (visual imagery)
- Onycha (mollusk, which are not kosher)
- Priests had the same basic job as a shaman
- Where to find food and water (well witching)
- How to deal with disease and plagues
- War divination
- Resolve conflict within the tribe
- Spikenard assists in the formation of memories
- Costus is neuroprotective – protects from too much dopamine
- Medicine Quest by Mark Plotkin
-The interaction between cannabis and frankincense and its effect on the dopaminergic system…1:02:50
- THC on CB1 receptor increases dopamine from neurons into the synaptic cleft
- Frankincense contains ether acetate, an inhibitor of astocholine
- The two counteract the effects on the body and mind of the other
- Dopamine is connected to language, creativity
- The Hebrew name for God is tied to the two words for “word” and “chamber” i.e. holy of holies
-Was the manna from heaven psychedelic?…1:08:15
- Podcast with Jamie Wheal
- Henbane pictured as a flower on the Jewish high priest's ceremonial hat, as mentioned in the Talmud
- The Immortality Key by Brian Muraresku
- Manna literally means “secretion”
- Medicine Quest by Mark Plotkin
- Manna was described as like coriander seed, looked like resin (Numbers)
- In Exodus, it is described as white, tastes like honey; like thin flakes, frost on the ground
- Ergot is a secretion found in the Israel region, the time of the year when Israelites are looking for food
- Manna was found in the “second wilderness”
- Forms pellets when it falls on plants
- Forms a thin frost when it falls on the ground
- “Let no man leave 'til the morning,” kind of like a fungus
- Needs to be prepared after falling from heaven (Numbers 11)
- Give us this day our daily dose: Ergot, LSD and the Israelites
-How stigma surrounding drugs in modern culture prevents Christians from having a full understanding of God's creation…1:19:15
- No plants we consider psychedelic are un-kosher
- In Exodus, with Moses at Mt. Sinai, people experience a collective vision (synesthesia)
- People have eaten manna at this time
- Meditation and the Bible by Aryeh Kaplan
- Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan
- Neuro Apocalypse by Danny Nemu
- Science Revealed by Danny Nemu
- The language of a culture affects how we perceive the world around us
- Jay Mack on YouTube
- The analogy of glasses magnifying what is there, not creating things out of nothing
- Curb your enthusiasm when it comes to evangelizing the merits of drugs with others
-And much more!
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar
Resources from this episode:
– Danny Nemu:
- The Reverend Danny Nemu
- Science Revealed
- Getting High With The Most High: Entheogens In The Old Testament
- Getting High With the Most High: Drugs In The Bible
- Danny On Aeon Byte Podcast
- Talking Psychedelics In Culture on Rune Soup
- Talking Plant Spirits, Scientism And Colonialism On Rune Soup
- Danny Nemu And The Neuro-Apocalypse
– Podcasts And Articles:
- Recapture the Rapture: Alchemist-Like Cookbooks, Carbon Dioxide & Nitric Oxide Inhalation, Sexuality, Music, Mind-Enhancing Substances & More With Jamie Wheal.
- Sabbath Ramblings: Sober
- Sabbath Ramblings: Incense & Oil.
- The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name by Brian Muraresku
- This Is Your Mind On Plants by Michael Pollan
- The Prophecies of Paracelsus
- Medicine Quest by Mark Plotkin
- Meditation and the Bible by Aryeh Kaplan
- Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan
- Botanical Ecstasies: Psychoactive Plant Formulas in India and Beyond by Matthew Clark
– Other Resources:
- Thomas Sydenham
- Prophecy For The Next 24 Years by Paracelsus
- Psypress UK
- Journal of Psychedelic Studies
- Lucid News
- Breaking Convention
- Rune Soup
- Aeon Byte
- During Jewish temple worship, and after being anointed with the oil, a High Priest would then proceed to the Holy of Holies, which was the inner sanctuary of the temple Tabernacle, and commune with God while burning the spices listed above in large doses. Leviticus 16:12-13 says, “…then he must take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense, and take them inside the veil. He is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord, and the cloud of incense will cover the mercy seat above the Testimony…”. All ingredients for this incense blend can be purchased on websites such as this, which also sell the anointing oil.
- Chris Bennet’s Writings On Cannabis In The Bible
- Prejudice and Neo-colonialism in the Academic study of Ayahuasca
- Psychedelic Christianity
- Drugs In The Bible And The Shamanic Origins of Christianity
- Savantism And Hotboxing the Tabernacle
- We Three Kings Of The Orient Are… Drug Runners. And not Kings
- Give Us This Day Our Daily Dose: Ergot, LSD And The Israelites
- How the High Priests Got High
- Psychedelic Synergies in the Bible: How Ancient Shamans and Priests Combined Plants to Get High
- Jay Mack on YouTube
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