An article on Yahoo! indicates that Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has declared that Moses was under the influence of narcotics when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments. This is too funny not to write about.
The article states that Shanon has come to this conclusion deductively, basing his assertion on the fact that he cannot believe it to be “a supernatural cosmic event” or “a legend.” So, based on his world view that, (1) There are not supernatural cosmic events and (2) It can’t be merely legend, he’s made up (3) A third theory: Moses was high. And Shanon doesn’t just believe it happened on Sinai. Moses was also stoned when he received his call at the burning bush.
Now while some may object to this post’s title, “Benny Shanon Is High,” I think it’s just fine. Benny admits he has dabbled with mind-altering drugs in pagan religious ceremonies. So who knows what he’s smokin’ now?
As a Christian who believes in the supernatural, I don’t doubt that psychotropic drug use can indeed be a means of opening oneself up to the supernatural. But I do doubt that God uses this avenue to communicate his truth, grace, mercy, justice and love. On the other hand, I feel confident that the enemy would take advantage of the cognitive passivity these drugs induce. Placing one’s mind in a passive state drastically decreases the ability to “struggle… against spiritual forces of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” (Ephesians 6). While I believe that when you engage in activities such as those indicated by Shanon you hear may real voices, there is no evidence that Moses was doing so.Â The account instead teaches that Moses was listening to God, both at the bush and on Sinai.
What I find interesting is that while I’ve heard dozens of cross-cultural experts talk about the darkness such drug-induced experiences bring, I’ve never heard one speak of such an experience bringing things like, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Instead, they inevitably hold the subject (and often his/her people) in bondage to chaos, sin, and darkness.
I wonder…. Could engaging in this drug-induced spiritism cause a person to believe that one of the most inspired persons in human history was high at the most significant times of his life? There was a time when making the very suggestion could get you “stoned.” 🙂