The Entheogen Theory of Religion
The main origin and ongoing wellspring of religion is the use of visionary plants. These plants include Psilocybe mushrooms, Henbane, Cannabis, Opium, Peyote, Salvia divinorum, and Amanita mushrooms.
Visionary plants have been commonly used around the world throughout the history of religion and culture (Hofmann, Schultes, & Ratsch 1992), including in the various forms of Western Esotericism (Heinrich 1994). Greek and Christian mythic-religious systems often refer to visionary plants (Ruck, Staples, & Heinrich 2001). Leading mystics throughout the history of various religions have used visionary-plant sessions on-demand, with mystic-state experiencing that was largely rationality-oriented (Merkur 2001).
Meditation, shamanic drumming, and liturgical ritual were developed as activities to do in the plant-induced dissociative state, not as methods of inducing the dissociative state in the first place.
The Origins of Christianity in Entheogenic Initiation
The extent of entheogen use throughout Christian history has barely been considered yet (Hoffman 2007). Early Christianity involved mystical, religious, visionary experiencing, including the experience of the transformative, transcendent power of the Holy Spirit at Eucharistic agape meals (Johnson 1998). Early Christian writings show familiarity with ecstatic mania, inspiration, elevated sobriety, and ‘drunkenness’ induced by ‘mixed wine’ (Nasrallah 2003).
The Jesus figure is portrayed in the New Testament as a spirit-possessed altered-state shamanistic healer (Davies 1995). The figure of Paul the Apostle is portrayed as a shamanistic mystic (Ashton 2000), and the apostles are portrayed as adepts in altered-state mystic experiencing (Pilch 2004).
Solving the riddle of the original mystic-metaphorical meaning of Christianity requires also understanding the surrounding metaphorical altered-state initiation systems throughout Christian history. These altered-state initiation systems that were related to Christianity, include Roman religion, Neoplatonism, Western Esotericism, and astral ascent mysticism.