[INDOLOGY] Soma and Amanita muscaria

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Wed Oct 10 11:48:19 EDT 2018


Dear Walter,

     This sounds exciting.  The png file you attached is not opening for
some reason.  Could you please send it again in a readable format.  Thanks.

Madhav

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus
Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan
[Residence: Campbell, California]


On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 7:33 AM Walter Slaje via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

>
> An approximately 4000+ years old wall painting recently retrieved from a
> western Himalayan cave will solve the disputed matter unless and until the
> ephedra party succeeds in producing comparably firm counterevidence:
>
>
> [image: grafik.png]
>
>
>
>
> The Soma vendors left a caption below the painting:
>
> “*Aṃśu* of only the finest quality being carried down the slopes by a
> satisfied Āryan customer with his personal cart. Please note his thrill of
> anticipation and replenish your stocks at your trusted dealers from Mount
> Mūjavant !”
>
>
> pīyatām, svastaye!
>
> WS
>
>
> Am Mi., 10. Okt. 2018 um 11:44 Uhr schrieb rainer stuhrmann via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info>:
>
>> Dear all,
>>
>> To answer to Prof. Houben long statement, skipping future experiments
>>
>> that can prove everything and nothing:
>>
>> Main problem with Ephedra is: it does not fit at all
>>
>> 1. the Rigvedic ritual, for a detailed discussion of that see my
>> article, p.22ff, p.31 (btw. nothing is said in the RV
>>
>> about “sprinkling” the Soma),
>>
>> 2. Somas colours which refer to the pressed juice, see p. 31-38
>>
>> 3.  the effects described by the poets, see p.44-71
>>
>> whereas Amanita muscaria does in all respects.
>>
>> To
>>
>> “The main error in the argument ... by Dr. Stuhrmann and others
>>
>> would seem to be that *all* poetic-hallucinogenic descriptions of the
>> Soma plant are taken as resulting *directly and exclusively* from the
>> use of a drug or psychoactive substance, whereas (1) the ritual in which
>> the Soma-beverage is produced contains other, significant
>>   "transformative-hallucinogenic" practices that appear as crucial
>> already in the pre-Srauta, Rgvedic ritual; (2) from Saint Franciscus and
>> Teresia of Avila to William Wordsworth and Apollinaire, poets write
>> "psychedelic" or "visionary" poetry without being known to have used
>> strong psychotropic substances.“
>>
>> the answer is:
>>
>> (1) has not be demonstrated for the RV
>>
>> (2) is not disputed at all (see my article p.20), but the occurence of
>> which elsewehere is of course no proof for the RV.
>>
>> But if Houben argues:
>>
>> “ In addition, a lack of nutritients through fasting and thirsting may
>> induce hallucinations as well. The same applies to the deprivation
>> sleep. Most importantly, whether a substance or the absence of
>> substances does indeed produce a hallucination will usually depend to a
>> large
>> extent on the physiological and psychological condition of the subject,
>> whereas the nature of the hallucination or vision will depend on his
>> psychology and cultural background.“(Houben, 2003: 3,1)
>>
>> the problem here is:
>>
>> the Rigveda does not tell us about “fasting and thirsting, deprivation
>> of sleep” (Houben) etc, but the poets say very often loud and clear: “We
>> have just drunk Soma” (see discussion of this, p. 19ff).
>>
>> And that is a dried plant arriving on the ritual place, soaked in water,
>> swelled by that process(as e.g. mushrooms do), pressed out (not beaten),
>> giving a red to yellowish juice (as e.g. the fly-agaric does),
>> mixed with milk and drunken for /máda/ “inebriation”, the described
>> effects of which fit the optical illusionsproduced by hallicunogenic
>> drugs (as e.g. the fly agaric and btw. also his dreaded side-effects,
>> see pp. 49-52). For a detailed discussion of this, including
>> counterarguments by Brough, Houben, Falk and others etc see my article
>> 2006, pp 10-21 and pp 44-70 .
>>
>> Best regards
>>
>> Rainer Stuhrmann
>>
>>
>>
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