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A groundbreaking, controversial dive into the role psychedelics have played in the human experience of the Divine throughout Western history, and the answer to a 2,000 year old mystery that could shake the Church to its foundations. The Immortality Key connects the lost, psychedelic sacrament of Greek religion to early Christianity—exposing the true origins of Western Civil A groundbreaking, controversial dive into the role psychedelics have played in the human experience of the Divine throughout Western history, and the answer to a 2,000 year old mystery that could shake the Church to its foundations. The Immortality Key connects the lost, psychedelic sacrament of Greek religion to early Christianity—exposing the true origins of Western Civilization. In the tradition of unsolved historical mysteries like David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon and Douglas Preston's The Lost City of the Monkey God, Brian Muraresku’s 10-year investigation takes the reader through Greece, Germany, Spain, France and Italy, offering unprecedented access to the hidden archives of the Louvre and the Vatican along the way. In The Immortality Key, Muraresku explores a little-known connection between the best-kept secret in Ancient Greece and Christianity. This is the real story of the most famous human being who ever lived (Jesus) and the biggest religion the world has ever known. Today, 2.4 billion people are Christian. That's one third of the planet. But do any of them really know how it all started? Before Jerusalem, before Rome, before Mecca—there was Eleusis: the spiritual capital of the ancient world. It promised immortality to Plato and the rest of Athens's greatest minds with a very simple formula: drink this potion, see God. Shrouded in secrecy for millennia, the Ancient Greek sacrament was buried when the newly Christianized Roman Empire obliterated Eleusis in the fourth century AD. Renegade scholars in the 1970s claimed the Greek potion was psychedelic, just like the original Christian Eucharist that replaced it. In recent years, vindication for the disgraced theory has been quietly mounting in the laboratory. The rapidly growing field of archaeological chemistry has proven the ancient use of visionary drugs. And with a single dose of psilocybin, the psycho-pharmacologists at Johns Hopkins and NYU are now turning self-proclaimed atheists into instant believers. No one has ever found hard, scientific evidence of drugs connected to Eleusis, let alone early Christianity. Until now. Armed with key documents never before translated into English, convincing analysis, and a captivating spirit of quest, Muraresku mines science, classical literature, biblical scholarship and art to deliver the hidden key to eternal life, bringing us to what clinical psychologist William Richards calls "the edge of an awesomely vast frontier." Featuring a Foreword by Graham Hancock, the New York Times bestselling author of America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization.


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A groundbreaking, controversial dive into the role psychedelics have played in the human experience of the Divine throughout Western history, and the answer to a 2,000 year old mystery that could shake the Church to its foundations. The Immortality Key connects the lost, psychedelic sacrament of Greek religion to early Christianity—exposing the true origins of Western Civil A groundbreaking, controversial dive into the role psychedelics have played in the human experience of the Divine throughout Western history, and the answer to a 2,000 year old mystery that could shake the Church to its foundations. The Immortality Key connects the lost, psychedelic sacrament of Greek religion to early Christianity—exposing the true origins of Western Civilization. In the tradition of unsolved historical mysteries like David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon and Douglas Preston's The Lost City of the Monkey God, Brian Muraresku’s 10-year investigation takes the reader through Greece, Germany, Spain, France and Italy, offering unprecedented access to the hidden archives of the Louvre and the Vatican along the way. In The Immortality Key, Muraresku explores a little-known connection between the best-kept secret in Ancient Greece and Christianity. This is the real story of the most famous human being who ever lived (Jesus) and the biggest religion the world has ever known. Today, 2.4 billion people are Christian. That's one third of the planet. But do any of them really know how it all started? Before Jerusalem, before Rome, before Mecca—there was Eleusis: the spiritual capital of the ancient world. It promised immortality to Plato and the rest of Athens's greatest minds with a very simple formula: drink this potion, see God. Shrouded in secrecy for millennia, the Ancient Greek sacrament was buried when the newly Christianized Roman Empire obliterated Eleusis in the fourth century AD. Renegade scholars in the 1970s claimed the Greek potion was psychedelic, just like the original Christian Eucharist that replaced it. In recent years, vindication for the disgraced theory has been quietly mounting in the laboratory. The rapidly growing field of archaeological chemistry has proven the ancient use of visionary drugs. And with a single dose of psilocybin, the psycho-pharmacologists at Johns Hopkins and NYU are now turning self-proclaimed atheists into instant believers. No one has ever found hard, scientific evidence of drugs connected to Eleusis, let alone early Christianity. Until now. Armed with key documents never before translated into English, convincing analysis, and a captivating spirit of quest, Muraresku mines science, classical literature, biblical scholarship and art to deliver the hidden key to eternal life, bringing us to what clinical psychologist William Richards calls "the edge of an awesomely vast frontier." Featuring a Foreword by Graham Hancock, the New York Times bestselling author of America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization.

30 review for The Immortality Key: Uncovering the Secret History of the Religion with No Name

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Lønn Hammer

    That just about settles the debate, religious history is soaked in mind expanding drugs, namely, psychedelics. Many of us have had this suspicion, and the mystics have been telling us for millenia, that all of religion is ultimately phenomenologically derived - that is to say, you experience the divine first, and then you may talk about it. You cannot talk your way to God, the map is not the terrain. I think this is the book that finally tipped the scales for me, I believe various dogmas and bur That just about settles the debate, religious history is soaked in mind expanding drugs, namely, psychedelics. Many of us have had this suspicion, and the mystics have been telling us for millenia, that all of religion is ultimately phenomenologically derived - that is to say, you experience the divine first, and then you may talk about it. You cannot talk your way to God, the map is not the terrain. I think this is the book that finally tipped the scales for me, I believe various dogmas and bureaucrats have kept us in the shadows for too long, and that the war on drugs now necessarily must come to an end. Endless suffering and misunderstandings, due to the games of power hungry leaders, hunting witches and mystics alike, and preventing humanity from achieving the spiritual growth along the path that our ancestors put us on. Women and psychedelic drugs, the two things the church have been discriminatnig against the most, turns out to be the key to the deepest secrets of our past. Muraresku has done a phenomenal job, incredibly well researched over 12 years, and not from the comfort of his own arm chair, he put his boots on the ground. He even got access to the closed off libraries of the Vatican, in which his hypothesis finally came together. Not once, during those 12 years, did he try psychedelics himself, just to keep his integrity intact. I sure hope he gets to have that wonderful experience any time soon. "War on drugs = war on spiritual growth, on the one thing that actually worked. The only way to experience God, is to die before you die, and the most reliable way of having that experience, is psychedelics." Brilliant!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael O'Loughlin

    Imagine a non-fiction Dan Brown book where the author actually goes to the places and does actual research. Highly reccommend the audiobook as Brian's pronunciation of the greek/latin and other languages adds so much depth to the book. Imagine a non-fiction Dan Brown book where the author actually goes to the places and does actual research. Highly reccommend the audiobook as Brian's pronunciation of the greek/latin and other languages adds so much depth to the book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Arley Matheson

    I want to like this book more, but Muraresku's myopic fixation on legitimizing early Christianity as some successor to ancient wisdom is too much of a stretch. While praising the "rebel" nature of the Dionysian cult and equating it with early, feminist christian cult, that he never sees the possibility of these connections being artificial- not made up, but manufactured. The research here is on point, and the valid, in depth look into psychedelics in ancient religions is long overdue, but i just I want to like this book more, but Muraresku's myopic fixation on legitimizing early Christianity as some successor to ancient wisdom is too much of a stretch. While praising the "rebel" nature of the Dionysian cult and equating it with early, feminist christian cult, that he never sees the possibility of these connections being artificial- not made up, but manufactured. The research here is on point, and the valid, in depth look into psychedelics in ancient religions is long overdue, but i just don't buy the authors conclusions on some hidden spiritual truths saved from the tyranny of Rome by Christianity.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I detect a degree of confirmation bias.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anthony M Skelly

    This book reads as though the author started with a conclusion - that the prophets and world religions were heavily influenced by hallucinogenic compounds - and then desperately reverse engineered his conclusion by making the historical pieces fit to his satisfaction. I’m not saying he’s wrong, and I’m not saying I didn’t learn a lot from this book, but if you give this book a shot I encourage you to really listen to and scrutinize some of the jumps he takes to make his narrative make sense. Som This book reads as though the author started with a conclusion - that the prophets and world religions were heavily influenced by hallucinogenic compounds - and then desperately reverse engineered his conclusion by making the historical pieces fit to his satisfaction. I’m not saying he’s wrong, and I’m not saying I didn’t learn a lot from this book, but if you give this book a shot I encourage you to really listen to and scrutinize some of the jumps he takes to make his narrative make sense. Some of them are particularly far fetched. I understand the obsession with making sense of religious historical accounts, especially in modern times when such accounts read as ridiculous fairy tales. Hallucinogenic compounds like the ergotamine derivatives the author proposes make perfect sense as being gateways to spiritual enlightenment for the prophets. I’m also a firm believer that many of the periods of seemingly unprecedented industrial or agricultural growth may have been precipitated by people who were under the influence of these drugs, gaining insight and information from mysterious parallel entities that would otherwise be beyond the capacity of human intellect. Such compounds consistently make believers out of even the most secular-minded individuals, and the scientific community is finally awakening to at least exploring them from a therapeutic perspective. Nevertheless, it’s reckless to say that because something makes sense to us in modern times, it is necessarily true of our predecessors. Good book nonetheless.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eric Trotman

    First, the notion that the author “has confirmation bias” towards his claim is nonsense because that is literally what the book is about and what it claims, so that’s an absurd criticism. An extraordinary read, this. First, the author’s narration is great; his voice is pleasant which makes for easy listening. Anywho, the premise of the book is crazy fascinating and juggles the imagination. The idea that the origins of the Christian Eucharist was a psychedelic cocktail isn’t far fetched, but the ne First, the notion that the author “has confirmation bias” towards his claim is nonsense because that is literally what the book is about and what it claims, so that’s an absurd criticism. An extraordinary read, this. First, the author’s narration is great; his voice is pleasant which makes for easy listening. Anywho, the premise of the book is crazy fascinating and juggles the imagination. The idea that the origins of the Christian Eucharist was a psychedelic cocktail isn’t far fetched, but the new evidence to this is pretty groundbreaking and the inference is incredible. It’s meticulously researched, almost reads like a non-fiction Dan Brown novel (without the murder n shit) and oh, the author‘s pronunciations of Italian and Greek is fucking SPOT on. I was bummed when I finished it as the subject matter is just so intriguing. With the increasing interest and acceptance of psychedelic substances, I hope there will be continued research to flesh this story out even more and maybe we can get a confirmation that the premise is true. Moral: “If you die before you die, you won’t die when you die.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chad Axe

    Excellent read...I have the Audible edition and it is read by the author...very entertaining and enlightening. It really comes down to who was getting stoned at Church and who wasn't. Gnosis comes from the Plants! Excellent read...I have the Audible edition and it is read by the author...very entertaining and enlightening. It really comes down to who was getting stoned at Church and who wasn't. Gnosis comes from the Plants!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sgazr60

    This book in part left me feeling somewhat concerned and disappointed, while other parts were enlightening. First, I noticed the forward to the book was by Mr. Hancock, who has seemed to me before to lean into the realm of pseudoscience. Nonetheless, I read his entry remarks with an open mind. Then I came to a reference to a work by David Lewis-Williams, “The Mind in the Cave”. Briefly, this reference notes that Mr. Lewis-Williams’ studies show that stone age shamans entered altered states of co This book in part left me feeling somewhat concerned and disappointed, while other parts were enlightening. First, I noticed the forward to the book was by Mr. Hancock, who has seemed to me before to lean into the realm of pseudoscience. Nonetheless, I read his entry remarks with an open mind. Then I came to a reference to a work by David Lewis-Williams, “The Mind in the Cave”. Briefly, this reference notes that Mr. Lewis-Williams’ studies show that stone age shamans entered altered states of consciousness by various means, “notably psychedelic plants and fungi”, and then record their visions on the walls of caves. This is a gross over-simplification of Mr. Lewis-Williams’ work, which has a very sparing mention of hallucinogenic substances. This sort of cherry-picking smacks of pseudoscience. It gave me a sense of foreboding as I continued. Continuing on to the main author of the work, it was the foundations of the book that mostly gave me heartburn. Compared to other recent books I have read on the human use of psychedelics and their re-introduction, this part of the book seemed unbalanced and skewed. Psychedelics were presented as a panacea, which is needed to sweep away the stale spirituality in Western society. Persons who had shown skepticism were also caricaturized and seemed cartoonish; and skepticism itself was presented almost like a crackpot conspiracy theory. The tone of this part of the author’s presentation seemed fairly immature and reckless, despite its partial truth. Michael Pollan (“How to Change your Mind”) worried about sloppy research causing problems with regards to bringing wise psychedelic use into our society, and that worry is what I felt when I read this portion of the book. Psychedelics might need to be shown both for what they can and can’t do. Plenty of LSD really contributed to the nice vibe at the original Woodstock; but those vibes did not inspire the participants to clean up their trash when they left. Continuing on, much of the subsequent material was interesting, fun, and engaging. Good food for thought. For me it was already a no-brainer that psychedelics had been used for millennia and contributed to our spirituality, so I had not expected any big revelations there. I can remember when I was a little kid in Catholic school getting the Eucharist….going back to my pew and thinking like I should be “coming on” to it somehow, wondering when it would take effect, and the author’s exposition threw profound light onto that for me. There were a lot of “could it be….?” questions that at times made things sound like an episode of “In Search Of…”, and the closing of the book had a large amount of words like “could…?” “will….?” to the point the book didn’t feel finished to a point. This book does flesh out, or begin to flesh out, a piece of the puzzle in an engaging way, and as such the contribution is respectable and important. I hope that as far as the subject of bringing psychedelics more prominently back into our culture goes, the author in future works will strike more of a balanced and enlightened tone.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nikita N

    One of the or the most influential book of the 21st century. Could we be blinded all this centuries? Intentionally blinded by the institutions that were supposedly set up to preserve our moral values and connect us with the divine? Brian Muraresku takes you on a fascinating journey to discover how a religion with no name has influenced the cultural development of humankind since the last ice age til the dawn of christianity. The religion that was based on the concept of practicing to die before y One of the or the most influential book of the 21st century. Could we be blinded all this centuries? Intentionally blinded by the institutions that were supposedly set up to preserve our moral values and connect us with the divine? Brian Muraresku takes you on a fascinating journey to discover how a religion with no name has influenced the cultural development of humankind since the last ice age til the dawn of christianity. The religion that was based on the concept of practicing to die before you die - by means of ingesting psychedelic substances and connecting with the divine - and praised by the likes of Socrates and Pythagoras. The religion that was intentionally silenced by the bureaucracy of the most influential institution of western civilization - Roman Catholic church. And not only silenced, but also vilified and erased from our collective psyche. The author makes a compelling case for the war of Catholic church on heresy and witchcraft to be the roots of the war on drugs, which was later continued by US bureaucrats - all in a bloody quest against the development of endogenous spirituality without the consent of church fathers or, later, the government. This book will open your eyes to the true history of religion. And make you reflect on the true meaning of the global psychedelic renaissance that is currently underway. All in the best tradition of a proper scientific research - strictly no woo woo. As a bonus, the book is very well narrated by the author. Frankly, it's the first audiobook I listen to where jokes sound like actual jokes as the the author gives them just the right flavor.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Not too bad. I was initially worried; the foreword and opening chapter led me to think the book would contain only a swath of new age spiritualism, which does not interest me. However, that was not the case. The book, instead, focused more on ancient to medieval history and anthropology around the Mediterranean. The information ranged from interesting Trivial Pursuit factoids, to legitimately fascinating dives into ancient cultural rituals. The main things that took me out of the book were the aut Not too bad. I was initially worried; the foreword and opening chapter led me to think the book would contain only a swath of new age spiritualism, which does not interest me. However, that was not the case. The book, instead, focused more on ancient to medieval history and anthropology around the Mediterranean. The information ranged from interesting Trivial Pursuit factoids, to legitimately fascinating dives into ancient cultural rituals. The main things that took me out of the book were the author's frequent digressions to describe his personal "quest" to uncover the content. To me, these passages were dull and felt like unnecessary padding. By the end, I was not quite convinced by his psychedelic Eucharist theories, but the book certainly presents several "well, maybe?" ideas.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ivan T

    Outstanding! My favourite book of 2020. The author Brian takes you along on his 12 year journey to discover the mysteries of the religion with no name, and its one hell of a journey. Cannot recommended this book enough and to Brian thank you for this gem and your hard work and dedication.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Lamas

    “If you die before you die, you won’t die when you die.” “People of reason may have to concede that modern science has its limits. Not everything of value can be weighted and measured. People of faith may have to admit that we can no longer afford legend over history, or obedience over curiosity. In a rapidly accelerating world, ‘big religion’ has failed to keep up with a younger generation that prefers fact over fiction. But ‘big science’ and ‘big technology’ may be going too fast, distracting u “If you die before you die, you won’t die when you die.” “People of reason may have to concede that modern science has its limits. Not everything of value can be weighted and measured. People of faith may have to admit that we can no longer afford legend over history, or obedience over curiosity. In a rapidly accelerating world, ‘big religion’ has failed to keep up with a younger generation that prefers fact over fiction. But ‘big science’ and ‘big technology’ may be going too fast, distracting us from the ancient search for meaning that defined the original religion of western civilization.”

  13. 5 out of 5

    William Slachta

    Very good read,another angle of how it could of all started.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Rymer

    I give Brian Muraresku an "A" for enthusiasm, but I gave his book 2 stars. I was fascinated by Muraresku's discussion of the links between re-historic spiritual rituals, the Greek cult Eleusis, the Greco-Roman cult of Dionysus, and the new proto-religion now known as Christianity. The pagan continuity hypothesis at the heart of this book made sense to me. I'd never thought before about how Christianity developed as an organized religion in the centuries after Jesus' murder. I was satisfied with I give Brian Muraresku an "A" for enthusiasm, but I gave his book 2 stars. I was fascinated by Muraresku's discussion of the links between re-historic spiritual rituals, the Greek cult Eleusis, the Greco-Roman cult of Dionysus, and the new proto-religion now known as Christianity. The pagan continuity hypothesis at the heart of this book made sense to me. I'd never thought before about how Christianity developed as an organized religion in the centuries after Jesus' murder. I was satisfied with the evidence Muraresku presented about how it likely played out. Muraresku's writing is sometimes very good. He can turn a phrase and turns in insightful zingers every now and again. - "Every religion has its mystical core." - "Once you become a mystic, there's no unseeing God." - "... not all prehistoric drinking was a recreational event." - "The world's first temple may have also been the world's first bar." Other than those pleasures, this book is a mess and far too long. One question I always ask about a book: What is it about? In one sentence or phrase. I could not meet that challenge with this book much as I tried. Ask my wife. The best I can do is describe the book's 3 themes: 1. How Christianity emerged with rituals (the Eucharist, the Catholic mass) and traits (male-only priesthood). As discontinuous innovation or continuations from Greek and Roman rituals and traits? Noting all apparent similarities. 2. The role of hallucinogenic drugs in Greek, Roman, and Christian religious traditions. And on spirituality in general. More on this later . 3. The Roman Catholic Church's  inhumane and brutal campaigns to develop and enforce its orthodoxy during its first 1,500 years. Suppression of the Gnostics and their gospels, with a special hell reserved for women. The role of drugs in the discussion threw me off. Muraresku begins by leaping from how hallucinogenic drugs help terminal cancer patients to a prediction that these drugs will spur a new reformation. Why? Tripping puts the individual in touch with the divine. No intermediaries or rituals like holy communion required. I don't buy it and I'd never read an entire book on that thesis. The role that hallucinogenic drugs played in Greek, Roman, and proto-Christian religions warranted a footnote -- or perhaps a chapter about  about mystics, offshoot sects, and heretics. Muraresku constantly brings the topic front and center. The book was too long. Muraresku uses his years-long journey of discovery to tie together his three themes. His fellow travelers, sources, and guides were all interesting. But the journey structure forced Muraresku to write frequent reminders about earlier conclusions and evidence. These added text when all I wanted was for the book to end. A too-long afterward recounting everything I'd read was the last thing I wanted to see at the end of this tome!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Victor Smith

    Re Christian Origins, this book will blow your mind if it is open enough Given my Catholic upbringing and a subsequent avoidance of mind-altering drugs, I am amazed that even all considered a book that posed questions like these found in The Immortality Key's description on Amazon: "Did the Ancient Greeks use drugs to find God? And did the earliest Christians inherit the same, secret tradition?" That it came with a Foreword by Graham Hancock and was endorsed by Huston Smith, two authors whose work Re Christian Origins, this book will blow your mind if it is open enough Given my Catholic upbringing and a subsequent avoidance of mind-altering drugs, I am amazed that even all considered a book that posed questions like these found in The Immortality Key's description on Amazon: "Did the Ancient Greeks use drugs to find God? And did the earliest Christians inherit the same, secret tradition?" That it came with a Foreword by Graham Hancock and was endorsed by Huston Smith, two authors whose works I appreciate, made me curious. That there were several available YouTube interviews with the author as well as numerous reviews and ratings had me wondering what the fuss was about. That l, like the author Brian Murarasku, had received and appreciated a classical education, including years of study of Latin and Greek, hooked me further. That there were several available YouTube interviews with the author as well as numerous reviews and ratings had me wondering why the fuss. The clincher was that, as an author myself, I am writing a novel about the earlier origins of Christianity; and if Muraresku's recent research was even partially relevant, I better know about it. So I got the book, read it, enjoyed it, but am still pondering its impact. There are many detailed reviews of this work on this site already; I don't need to repeat. The thesis, if proven as fact, will undoubtedly turn the accepted description of the foundations of Christian dogma on its head. Thus, it has to be read with a healthy degree of skepticism and a strong sense of history and a willingness to look things up. So far, and I have spent years researching some of these areas, I have found Muraresku's background research faultless and so I'll hold his original observations and conclusions credible.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nilesh

    The Immortality Key is a well-researched book with bold conclusions. The issue is its tone. Religions, like almost all human constructs, evolve. Any religion's any manifestation at any time and place is likely to be far different from another version at a different place or time. Nobody is shocked or tried to claim otherwise that Christianity of the earliest believers is utterly different from the one practiced by all protestant churches. Similarly, it should not be a surprise if it is entirely d The Immortality Key is a well-researched book with bold conclusions. The issue is its tone. Religions, like almost all human constructs, evolve. Any religion's any manifestation at any time and place is likely to be far different from another version at a different place or time. Nobody is shocked or tried to claim otherwise that Christianity of the earliest believers is utterly different from the one practiced by all protestant churches. Similarly, it should not be a surprise if it is entirely different from the current beliefs of the Catholics, the Orthodox, or any other segments. The author does well in trying to unearth the form of religion before the arrival of Catholicism. The author's claims around the role played by hallucinogens are over-hyped. The author is right that what we call wine today was not the wine in Christianity's early days. He is likely equally right that various cults that shaped Christian beliefs used many stimulants to experience out of body feelings. Many Christ-followers must have used the same during the pre-Roman days. While it is important to know this conclusively, if possible, from archeological analysis, it has little bearing on how drugs should or should not be viewed by political or ecclesiastical authorities of our time. Even if some Churches of the first millennium actively suppressed what came before, it is neither good nor bad necessarily; it is a flow of history. To a degree, one can make the same argument about the claims on roles played by women. Yet, it is more useful to learn that females were not consigned to the lesser roles in religions from day one. Most importantly, what might have existed pre-Catholicism was not one religion with no name but numerous different local rites and rituals over a vast stretch of land. Many of them must have had a varying influence on several types of practices that emerged with the earliest Christians before large authorities emerged to define the best practices rigidly. Once again, the author makes some bold claims. His portrayal of history is vivid and exciting. Whether his research is valid or too biased is for other researchers to judge in coming decades. The book should be read for the claims made and the research behind them, but not necessarily for the discussed implications.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    Superb book. Well written and well researched. Is there a "smoking gun" like a mural that said "we are all tripping ballz", No, probably won't happen but we can see with the evidence Muraresku lays out how history is about culture's mixing and building on each other over time. That combined with all the things we know about the power-consolidating injustices of the Christian church make for a compelling story as to why this information was buried for so long. Some of you haven't done psychedelic Superb book. Well written and well researched. Is there a "smoking gun" like a mural that said "we are all tripping ballz", No, probably won't happen but we can see with the evidence Muraresku lays out how history is about culture's mixing and building on each other over time. That combined with all the things we know about the power-consolidating injustices of the Christian church make for a compelling story as to why this information was buried for so long. Some of you haven't done psychedelics and it shows! Listen to Alan Watts or Bill Hicks talk about what they learned from plant medicine and from everything described in the book it's clear to see that the psychedelic experience is a near universal. The evidence provided here is a shot across the bow of Christianity and if the religion was worth it's salt it would be open to settling the issue. This is a must read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mercer Smith

    Excellent, informative, but perhaps a bit too long. This may have been because I listened to the audiobook version rather than reading it, but it did feel like this slammed on the same point somewhat repetitively, occasionally. That said, I really liked the lines drawn between Dionysus, Jesus and the multiple historical religions.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Isaiah

    Great book and very formal. I love the fact that someone is taking the leap and actually doing this research that many people don’t want to be known for or don’t want to leave themselves vulnerable to being wrong. I’m excited to see what happens after this book and how many seeds it will plant for other people to pick up on the research in this field of history.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Rice

    This book does a great job introducing a new concept (to me) through detailed research and explanations. I thought the general theme was fascinating and shows that history is not always what we have been taught in school. Warning that it does dig deep and go down a number a few rabbit holes that were difficult to follow.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Harrison King

    Absolutely fantastic. A landmark book for a modern understanding of the Greek Mysteries, the first Christians, and the important spiritual role drugs have played throughout all human history. Can’t recommend enough.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Josef Cyril Chlachula

    A fantastic book. I was quite skeptical going into it and had many objections to the argument. But the further I read, the more of my objections were answered, until in the end nearly all, if not all, were. The Afterword is very clarifying. The author's measured honesty and skepticism shines through, admitting where conclusive proof is lacking, but nevertheless demonstrating the preeminent plausibility, and even probability, of the thesis. The amount of synthesized research is staggering. This bo A fantastic book. I was quite skeptical going into it and had many objections to the argument. But the further I read, the more of my objections were answered, until in the end nearly all, if not all, were. The Afterword is very clarifying. The author's measured honesty and skepticism shines through, admitting where conclusive proof is lacking, but nevertheless demonstrating the preeminent plausibility, and even probability, of the thesis. The amount of synthesized research is staggering. This book is a window into a multitude of fields of study that one might not necessarily think of being connected, but most certainly are, or at least ought to be. Truly a masterpiece and a labor of love.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sara Lynn

    Mind thoroughly blown. Will read again and maybe even a 3rd time. I recommend reading Graham Hancock's Supernatural first. This master work picks up the research torch from Hancock, who had carried it after Ruck and Allegro and others were denounced for their ideas. Mind thoroughly blown. Will read again and maybe even a 3rd time. I recommend reading Graham Hancock's Supernatural first. This master work picks up the research torch from Hancock, who had carried it after Ruck and Allegro and others were denounced for their ideas.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Giorgio

    Interesting and well researched book. The theme is very complex but the author does a great job explain it. Despite this, the book has a problem, the same problem of almost every kind of book dealing with a "fringe" theory: a hypothesis from chapter 1 turns into a sure thing in chapter 2 (it is an example). This kind of argumentation is like a house of cards, one thing not working at the beggining turns the core-argument just trash. Personally, I don´t think there is a line between Eleusis (or any Interesting and well researched book. The theme is very complex but the author does a great job explain it. Despite this, the book has a problem, the same problem of almost every kind of book dealing with a "fringe" theory: a hypothesis from chapter 1 turns into a sure thing in chapter 2 (it is an example). This kind of argumentation is like a house of cards, one thing not working at the beggining turns the core-argument just trash. Personally, I don´t think there is a line between Eleusis (or any other pagan cult using ´drugs´) and christianism... but the parallels between dyonisius and jesus are very interesting. I know, the argument is: the initial christians used psychotropics, like Eleusis-like cults...not all christians... even so, I think a little bit far-fetched. Drug-cults always existed, as a "bio" tech, indeed... but its role in christianism, I think, it´s little or even nothing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    viran

    Before I've found the psychedelic hypothosis of the origins of the mysteries to be probable, now, only 20 % into the e-book, I'm completely convinced. It's the only theory that makes sense and can answer for the transforming experience that the prominent pagan figures were reporting on. Before I've found the psychedelic hypothosis of the origins of the mysteries to be probable, now, only 20 % into the e-book, I'm completely convinced. It's the only theory that makes sense and can answer for the transforming experience that the prominent pagan figures were reporting on.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ricky Marshall

    Very interesting book. After listening to his podcast with Joe Rogan I knew I had to read this. Having always been very interested in psychedelics, I figured this book would be right up my alley. However once I started it I could never really get too into it. Maybe it was because I heard all I needed to on the podcast, or maybe I found a lot of it too long winded for me. Regardless though, I did finish it, and do side with Brian that there seems to be a strong link between the Greek mysteries an Very interesting book. After listening to his podcast with Joe Rogan I knew I had to read this. Having always been very interested in psychedelics, I figured this book would be right up my alley. However once I started it I could never really get too into it. Maybe it was because I heard all I needed to on the podcast, or maybe I found a lot of it too long winded for me. Regardless though, I did finish it, and do side with Brian that there seems to be a strong link between the Greek mysteries and the early Christian Eucharist.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Doty

    A fascinating look into the history and role of psychedelics in the formation of religion. The author is incredibly knowledgeable on the minutae, but doesn't dwell too long on anything, and as a result the book reads like a globetrotting adventure to uncover a mystery, rather than a dry diatribe on dead languages, lost art and dusty religion. I got out of this book exactly what I expected/wanted to get, and if the topic interests you, you will too. A fascinating look into the history and role of psychedelics in the formation of religion. The author is incredibly knowledgeable on the minutae, but doesn't dwell too long on anything, and as a result the book reads like a globetrotting adventure to uncover a mystery, rather than a dry diatribe on dead languages, lost art and dusty religion. I got out of this book exactly what I expected/wanted to get, and if the topic interests you, you will too.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vinny

    First saw Brian on Rogan a few weeks ago and was intrigued with his story. I decided to pick up this book and I'm glad I did. The most respectable part of Brian to me is that he is completely unbias as far as drug use is concerned. On his own account he has never used psychedelics. He's not a progressive pusher of legalization, or some hippy telling you that he's seen god. He's a scholar, a scholar I found myself compelled to hear out. If history can teach us anything it's how history isn't what w First saw Brian on Rogan a few weeks ago and was intrigued with his story. I decided to pick up this book and I'm glad I did. The most respectable part of Brian to me is that he is completely unbias as far as drug use is concerned. On his own account he has never used psychedelics. He's not a progressive pusher of legalization, or some hippy telling you that he's seen god. He's a scholar, a scholar I found myself compelled to hear out. If history can teach us anything it's how history isn't what we know it to be. People shape it to their liking to "protect" the ideas or people that they are passionate about. Thanks to investigations like Brian's we now know we're all descendants of a much more magical, a much more interesting time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dima Manuel

    I feel that there is a very specific kind of audience for this type of book. People who love to obsess over every single piece of evidence available. This is exactly what this book does. In his book Brian C. Muraresku presents us with any and all scattered evidence for the use of psychedelics in the forming of the early Christian religion and it's roots in paganism in a organized and structured essay. I skipped several chapters because I just couldn't keep up with all of the references and connec I feel that there is a very specific kind of audience for this type of book. People who love to obsess over every single piece of evidence available. This is exactly what this book does. In his book Brian C. Muraresku presents us with any and all scattered evidence for the use of psychedelics in the forming of the early Christian religion and it's roots in paganism in a organized and structured essay. I skipped several chapters because I just couldn't keep up with all of the references and connections put forth by the author. This is not to say that I don't have great respect for his potential conclusion. This book was a project 10 years in the making and it's findings once studied and confirmed have the capacity to overturn our ideas on the origins of Christianity forever! Thank you!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Miller

    It's an interesting idea but Muraresku is making some enormous leaps that defy all logic. At one point he tries to suggest a link between a skull cult at Gobekli Tepe and a jawbone found at Pontos--two sites which are separated by about 9,000 years. It's insane. There is no link. Many of his other leaps are actually plausible, but the evidence is just not there. It's annoying how he tortures the English language at every turn to make it sound like he has a strong case, when he has practically not It's an interesting idea but Muraresku is making some enormous leaps that defy all logic. At one point he tries to suggest a link between a skull cult at Gobekli Tepe and a jawbone found at Pontos--two sites which are separated by about 9,000 years. It's insane. There is no link. Many of his other leaps are actually plausible, but the evidence is just not there. It's annoying how he tortures the English language at every turn to make it sound like he has a strong case, when he has practically nothing. He also has not managed to disguise a hostility to Christianity, which crops up through the whole book and is offputting. I would say half the book is filler. An essay could have done the trick and would have been fun to read. The whole book really is a lot of wild speculation. The author's big prize, the "hard evidence" he touts, is chemical traces of ergot found on teeth dating to 200 BC found in Spain, in a ritual setting. From here he (somehow) gets to: Christianity was founded on psychadelics. I enjoyed his insider description of visiting the secret Vatican archives which I never knew existed. But overall the book was just disappointing.

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