Still, it truly is a fun subject, as its foundation depends almost completely on the supernatural. Nearly every religious construct emerges from an individual experience of the otherworldly — an epiphany, if you will. I’ve had at least one. . . and, although it may have been influenced by Sativa the Wise, it was of profound import for me.
Let’s begin with Christianity. Surprisingly, that bestial behemoth was not the product of Jesus the Christ, but rather Paul the Turk. Happily persecuting the followers of an inchoate Jesus-cult, Saul (as he was then known) radically changed his behavior after a radiant vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul never knew Jesus in real life, but in his vision, the Son of Man commanded him to spread the Good Word throughout the world so the messiah could one day return, bringing the Kingdom of God with him. Now, Jesus was originally supposed to return during Paul’s lifetime, but once it became clear to Paul this was not likely, his big comeback was rescheduled for the day when everyone on Earth had been converted to the True Faith. Convenient.
Paul was nevertheless quite influential, but keep in mind that he owed his sense of purpose to an altered state. [ED: just ask a musician who has been on the road for months — the shit fucks you up.]
Another persuasive figure who helped shape Christianity as we know it was Augustine the Algerian. This Church Father was a practicing Manicheaen until one day, while strolling through a garden in Milan, he heard the voice of a child singing. The disembodied kidsong bade him to read the Bible and take it to heart. From this
hallucination experience, one more sculptor of the Church was chiseled.
Muhammad had Gabriel in the cave, Joseph Smith talked to Jesus and Daddy, Swedenborg shared his table with the Lord; there are countless more examples. Imagine for a moment that these visions were real — only instead of beneficent gods, the revenants were actually demons bent on duping their recipients for the sake of doing massive harm. [ED: stop giving away my secrets!]
Augustine himself was well versed with the ideas of the Neoplatonists. In his influential City of God, he certifies that the Daimons of the Greeks (who could be either good or evil) were simply Demons, with the sole intent to harm mankind.
Zoroaster pulled this trick many years beforehand, in his polemics against early Hinduism. By strategically claiming that the Hindu Devas (deities for the Hindus) were Devs (devils for the Zoroastrians), he presented the rival Hindus as false worshipers.
If Satan is indeed the Great Deceiver, what better way to trick mankind than through revelation? If you look at the results, I’d say, that, through the guise of angelic entities, Satan succeeded. . . of course, this is merely speculation, nothing more. Oh yeah, there was another little bastard who had a vision of Jesus while lying in his hospital bed after being temporarily blinded by mustard gas. Jesus told him to personally avenge the death of the Savior. A mustache-trim later, and the worst kind of history was made.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that these visions were genuine — who knows? But if I were the Great Deceiver, it would make sense to present myself as some influential angel and get a mortal to carry out my intentions with "supernatural" zeal.
Last night, I myself was visited by the angel Gabriel. He told me to write a screenplay about John Waters. Then he said that I must cast Steve Buscemi for the lead.
Sorry, Gabe. Not going to happen.