Religious myths are descriptions of visionary plants and the experiences they produce.
Visionary plants are incomparably more efficacious and ergonomic than meditation; they are historically the source and model for meditation, and meditation was developed as an activity to do in the midst of an entheogen-induced mystic cognitive state.
Aldous Huxley enthused about mescaline in 1954, in The Doors of Perception. In the midst of this tension in the late 1960s, Wasson published Soma, which mostly covered other religion, but has a few pages that proposed that the trees of knowledge and life in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden meant Amanita host trees and that the fruit of these trees meant Amanita, to the author or redactor of Genesis at the very beginning of the Jewish religion.
Wasson also asserted that the tree in the Plaincourault fresco, which looks like Amanita muscaria mushrooms, wasnt intended to represent or allude to mushrooms in any way, but was intended as a stylized Italian pine tree (Umbrella Pine, Stone Pine, Pinus pinea).
In 1970, Allegros book asserted that Jesus was none other than the anthropomorphization of the Amanita mushroom, and that the Plaincourault fresco intended to depict Amanita.
Allegro is often mentioned by scholars of Christianity to this day, to bring up and then brush aside the entheogen theory of Christian origins or the ahistoricity of Jesus.
Recognition of these argumentation patterns is useful in other potential disputes as well, including the historicity of Jesus and the authenticity of all the Pauline epistles.
Wassons positions are clarified on the emphatically distinct topics of whether there are psychoactive mushrooms in the Bible; whether the authors of the Genesis story of Eden meant the two trees as Amanita mushrooms and their host trees; whether the Christian artists who painted mushroom trees meant them as mushrooms; and whether the painter of the tree in the Plaincourault fresco in particular meant it as Amanita mushrooms and their host tree.
The issue becomes intriguing upon sustaining a consistently detailed and critical reading, refraining from falling into the usual entrenched assumptions and misreadings that have obscured the dispute.
Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion, 2003.) Visionary plants are found at the heart of all Hellenistic-era religions, including Jewish and Christian, as well as in all mixed wine, and are phenomenologically described in the Bible and related writings and art; the Jesus figure was formed from many sources, including visionary plants and Roman imperial ruler cult., Astrotheology and Shamanism: Unveiling the Law of Duality in Christianity and Other Religions, 2006.) There are numerous other books, chapters, and articles about entheogens and religion, including forthcoming works, supporting these works and elaborating on the general entheogen theory of religion; follow the Bibliography entries.
An online gallery of artwork and matching photographs is available at Egodeath.com/christianmushroomtrees.htm, showing the Plaincourault fresco, the Montecassino illustration, other Christian mushroom trees, and photographs of mushrooms matching the art.
The recent books that cover entheogens in Christianity and the Bible often mention Allegro, but usually in a contorted way in a footnote or aside, misrepresenting his view or vaguely disparaging Allegros theory.
The entire situation has become farcical; this awkward situation needs to be properly resolved instead of treating all aspects of his theory as taboo and off-limits.