Every now and then, Coast to Coast AM has a guest whose ideas just ring true and make sense. Last night I listened to podcasts of the December 28, 2011 episode, in which Rob Simone interviewed Jan Irvin about the origins of Christianity. Irvin maintains that various religions, not just Christianity, have their roots in the experiences gained from eating psychedelic mushrooms or plants. He believes the story of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that Adam and Eve ate of in the Garden of Eden is an echo of this, reflecting the mind-blowing experience of people who ate psychedelic mushrooms. I believe this is the best explanation for this story that I have ever heard. Also, if mushrooms can account for the origins of Judaism or its predecessors in Egypt, that may also account for the practice of male circumcision, which makes the penis look like a mushroom.
Here’s another afterthought. Some mushrooms are poisonous. So, instead of, or in addition to, gaining psychedelic experiences, some people have died from eating mushrooms. This ties in with God’s warning that Adam and Eve would die if they ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Although mushrooms are not the actual fruit of a tree, they can grow on trees. So maybe the story of the Fall has its roots in an actual circumstance in which people ate mushrooms growing on a tree, had psychedelic experiences, and died from the poison in the mushrooms.
Or maybe someone with experience of poisonous mushrooms once said, "Don’t eat those mushrooms. You’ll die if you eat them." And some people ate them anyway, and the mushrooms they ate were psychedelic mushrooms instead of poisonous mushrooms. That fits the story very well.