[INDOLOGY] Soma and Amanita muscaria

rainer stuhrmann r.stuhrmann at t-online.de
Wed Oct 10 09:44:00 UTC 2018

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.


“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 
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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