From Stoned Ape, to Stoned Jew to Start-up Nation

Last week I received new support for my theory that the ingestion of external opiates was a prime factor in the accelerated pace of human evolution between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago. Another participant in the Pioneer Tournament (a contest for creative people with new projects) informed me that someone else had previously developed a theory linking the consumption of drugs to human evolution, only with mushrooms.

Food of the Gods

In his book Food of the Gods, Terence McKenna postulated that our ancestors’ evolution from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens was caused by the addition of psilocybin (Psilocybe cubensis) to the human diet. He believed the consumption of magic mushrooms gave man an evolutionary advantage.

The theory has not received attention from the scientific community. Not surprising since research into illegal drugs is taboo due to a war on drugs which has no basis in logic or science.

Havdalah and the blessing for drugs

In the Jewish religion a blessing is said while inhaling comforting spices during the Saturday evening Havdalah service at the end of Shabbat. According to the Zohar this is to give comfort for the departure of the “extra soul” that the soul received during Shabbat. It is noteworthy that stimulating substances are used to connect humans with intangible things such as feelings and the soul. The external drugs connect us with our innermost feelings.

Influence of external opiates on the human endogenous system

I believe that the introduction of poppies in the Middle East some three to four thousand years ago and the sudden appearance of the written word as well as other advances are closely intertwined.

Humankind’s interest in philosophy and debate, sublime expressions of art and music along with intense expressions of joy and sorrow, love and hatred — not to mention an extremely rapid pace of scientific and technological development — are of recent date.

These rapid changes are probably related to physical alterations in the human endogenous system caused by a massive ingestion of (external) opium alkaloids. The absorption of these alkaloids through the ingestion of poppy seeds and the consumption of opiates eventually led to a drastic increase in the amount of endorphins transmitted by opioid neuropeptides within the bodies of humans in particular.

Endorphins were first discovered in 1974. They play a significant role in our feelings of pain and relief, despair and joy, hatred and love as well as our ability to think and feel at more sublime and intense levels.

Internal opiates link man to the soul

Heroin and other opiates are considered dangerous because they are extremely addictive. But what the scientific community overlooks is that they are addictive because they are so important: internal opiates are the link between humans and their feelings, or lack thereof. They have the ability to connect as well as to disrupt the perception of the soul.

Israeli drug policy is unfortunately dominated by the US war on drugs, which is backward and unscientific. More research is called for into why we are supposed to inhale calming spices during Havdalah.

About the Author
Asaf Shimoni is an author, journalist and translator who returned to Israel on October 1, 2023 after spending more rhan 40 years abroad, most of them in the Netherlands. He is currently milking cows on a kibbutz after living for five months in Haifa. He grew up near Boston, made aliyah while living on a kibbutz (from 1973 to 1976), and graduated from Syracuse University in 1978. He also lived some 5 years in Sicily. He believes that the media should be as critical and truthful as possible.
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