The article Matt Weintrub Sits Down with Microdose to Discuss the Psychedelic Origin of Religion was originally published on Microdose.
We welcome Matthew Weintrub, author of the newly released book, ‘The Psychedelic Origin of Religion‘, for a Q&A session hosted by Microdose Psychedelics Insights. In his book, Weintrub presents a compelling case for the role of psychedelics in shaping the evolution of religious and spiritual beliefs throughout human history. With a focus on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, this discussion will delve into the intersection of religion, spirituality, and psychedelic medicine.
What inspired you to write “The Psychedelic Origin of Religion”?
At 19 years old, I faced up to 10 years in prison for healing myself with psychedelic medication. Fortunately, I was sentenced to 5 years of probation. I did my best to conform to society and by 28 I had a wildly successful tech career at a high-flying tech startup but my personal life was a complete mess. At the peak of my career, I was looking out the window of my penthouse in San Francisco and I broke down crying. I knew something had to change. My pivotal moment happened when I went on an Ayahuasca retreat where I had the vision to write a book about psychedelics and religion.
Can you explain the central argument of your book?
The main point of my book is that in order to heal, truly heal our society, our world and our relationships with our friends, family, and nature means that we have to go back to the spiritual practices of our ancestors.
Those practices involve sitting around a sacred fire, sharing sacred prayers, and experiencing communion with sacred psychedelic sacraments.
We have to accept the mountain of archaeological evidence that shows every major religion began with shamanistic practices and the medical science buoys the use of psychedelics AND that science from esteemed US institutions which proves the efficacy of psychedelics to heal us both mentally from mental health disorders and spiritually by helping us experience God.
How do psychedelics fit into the evolution of religion?
Psychedelics inspire mystical experiences which we know is true because Johns Hopkins University published research on it and psychedelics have been used by ancient cultures throughout history as a means of inducing spiritual or mystical experiences.
For example, the use of psychoactive substances such as Ayahuasca and Peyote has been central to the rituals of indigenous peoples in the Americas for thousands of years. The substances are used to facilitate communication with the spirit world. The beliefs of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are directly influenced by their communion with these sacred sacraments.
You could say that the origins of religion begin with the basic mystical experience – a holy communion with God. The inspiration from these experiences has inspired countless historical figures such as Zoroaster, founder of Zoroastrianism, who established the first monotheistic religion. Early Christians were inspired to follow Yeshua the Christ in holy communion with psychedelic wines which were commonly consumed by Jewish, Greek, and Egyptian cultures.
What is the power of psychedelics and their healing potential?
I’m at the point where I’m curious what can’t psychedelics do? It’s a challenge to put a limit on the healing potential of psychedelic medicine.
Psychedelics alter our perception. Perception of what? Perception of ourselves, perception of our relationship with God, with nature, and with our human family.
Medical research continues to demonstrate that psychedelics are effective for all types of healing. I don’t know if there is a limit and I don’t want to try and put one on it because I call psychedelics God’s medicine and I know from prayer that God can do anything.
How did you research and gather information for your book?
My research process was unique because I got the inspiration for this book from a vision. I started by asking myself when I began my research does proof exist for every religion that it goes back to psychedelics? I ended up buying every book on Amazon that covered psychedelics and religion. There is a ton of amazing source material.
The biggest challenge I faced was finding evidence of psychedelics in Judaism. I was about a year into my first draft when one summer day I had a call with an individual about a business opportunity. Toward the end of the call, we both discovered that we were Jewish and passionate about Torah.
I told him a little bit about the book I was writing.
He said: Well, it’s so interesting. What have you found about Judaism?
I said: I don’t have jack shit.
He said: Well, funny enough one of my good friends is Rabbi Harry and he’s the expert on psychedelics in the Torah.
Boom, I found what I was seeking. I feel like the whole process was divinely inspired and orchestrated.
What was your most surprising discovery during your research for this book?
I was shocked to learn that there is documentation in Ladahk, India about the missing years of Christ. These documents live at the Hemis Monastery and they refer to Christ as Isha Putra (which translates to son of God) who came from Nazareth and studied with the greatest living masters from the age of 13-30 upon which he departed to go back to Nazareth. Furthermore, there is a tomb in Kashmir – north India – that is most likely the tomb of Christ.
What do you hope readers take away from reading “The Psychedelic Origin of Religion”?
I hope readers take away that what’s important is also natural. It’s natural to be loving. It’s natural. To be kind. It’s natural to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats. It’s natural to use medicine that grows from the ground
I hope readers take away that a relationship with God requires practice. Like any relationship, you have to work at it. For thousands of years, we the people have been lied to, and we have been manipulated by the powers that be. If we want to co-create a better world for our children and our children’s children then we have to become conscious. We have to become aware, we have to embrace spiritual fitness and we have to work together so that we can end the suicide epidemic, and the mental health crisis and build better bonds and relations amongst ourselves.
I hope readers walk away inspired by the good news about God’s medicine. And I hope they feel inspired to spread the gospel of psychedelic medicine.