214: Brian Muraresku – Uncovering Ancient Psychedelic Mysteries
“Are psychedelics the Google Maps to the kingdom of heaven?”
– Brian Muraresku
Hello and welcome to another episode of ONKEN RADIO (previously NION Radio), the podcast where we explore the body, mind, and soul of the creative entrepreneur. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey because it’s my goal to help you take your creativity, business, and life to the next level.
Today, my special guest is a good friend of mine, Brian Muraresku. He is the author of the book The Immortality Key. — This is a topic that I’ve been quite fascinated with recently because I grew up in a very conservative Christian home, but over the last few years, I’ve been diving down the rabbit hole of plant medicines, and this book unveils a phenomenal storyline. Brian went to the Vatican and spent some time there with the elders in the library, and he shared in this book his discoveries about how ancient people were tapping into the divine and discovering transcendent portals into the universe.
In this episode, Brian and I discuss what was in ancient wine, what they drank at the last supper, and when Christianity became mainstream. He also shares some of the research he came across while writing his book that points to early psychedelic use within the communities that gave rise to Christianity. While looking into the historical records of mysticism and the birth of religion as we know it, Brian found examples of people seeking out the meaning of life by bringing about experiences of “mini deaths” and coming out on the other side understanding their true identities.
Who Is Brian Muraresku?
Brian Muraresku is a lawyer who has been practicing globally for more than fifteen years. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. He is also a member of the New York Bar and an alumnus of Georgetown Law. In 2016, Brian Muraresku became the founding executive director of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, and their works were featured on ESPN and CNN as well as in the San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.
His debut book is The Immortality Key, which aims to uncover the ancient wine, what they drank during the last supper and the connection of wine to the birth of Christianity.
The Ancient Wine and the Role of Women
It’s no secret that wine is a big part of many cultures around the world. In fact, wine has been around for centuries and played a major role in ancient civilizations. Wine continues to be an important part of contemporary culture, and it’s fascinating to explore its history, how it has evolved over time, and the role of women in the preparation of wine for religious rituals.
“There were many women mentioned in Paul’s letters … consecrating wine. So whether that was a proper Eucharist or a hybrid of something pagan, Christian women were typically in charge of mixing these potions, both in early Christianity and all those ancient Greek cults that I was mentioning and probably deep into prehistory. Now, women are gathering the herbs. Women are mixing these potions, and these are the same women like Circe in Homer’s literature who become our witches much later on. It’s always women who possess this really deep, drug expertise.”
– Brian Muraresku
Ancient wine is believed to be significantly far off from the wine we know today. Tracing back to the time of Homer and the Roman Empire, wine was considered like a psychedelic spiked with toxins, herbs, plants, and potentially lethal substances that produce hallucinogenic and intoxicating effects. Also, ancient wine has been at the core of many rituals, including Christianity.
Wine and the Beginning of Christianity
Christianity’s communion wine has been at the core of worship since the Last Supper. Today, it remains a focal point of the Christian liturgy where Christians are called to take a sip of wine and invite the presence of Jesus. In Christian belief, the wine becomes the blood of Christ literally or metaphorically, depending on the sect, during the Eucharist.
“It begins with the bread and wine that became the Christian communion or the Eucharist, which in Greek means like a thanksgiving meal, and to be honest, we don’t know what that was. … And so in my book, I asked … like what kind of wine was in that chalice? … And so I went to all these places trying to figure out what ancient wine really was and trying to find the organic data to test it.” – Brian Muraresku
Since ancient wine is believed to have spiked with plants, toxins, and herbs that create hallucinogenic effects, could the last supper wine also have the same properties?
“We have this idea of DaVinci’s last supper, and we just assume that it’s normal wine. But as you begin to look into it, the wine of the time, the wine of antiquity, was very complex. It was very sophisticated, and it was not uncommon at all to mix wine with plants and herbs, maybe even fungi — some of them lethal, some of them toxic, some of them visionary, [and] some of them healing. Wine is this really versatile vehicle.”
– Brian Muraresku
Apparently, the vast majority of Christians would object to the idea of the communion wine having hallucinogenic effects. However, as many researchers, including our guest, Brian Muraresku, continue to dig up some remnants of the boozy ancient wine, the Church may well be in for a big surprise. This is one of the main highlights of The Immortality Key.
Brian’s Near-Death Experience and Finding his True Identity
What would you do if you were moments away from death? How would you react? Some people have had near-death experiences, and they’ve seen the other side, experienced things they never thought possible, and often came back with a new perspective on life.
“The Immortality Key is not necessarily [about] psychedelics. It’s [about] that near-death experience and this concept of dying before dying. … [It] talks about ego dissolution and self-annihilation. You can find this concept of … nothingness in the … [Jewish] concept of divine nothingness and self-annihilation in order to find oneself. If you could get rid of yourself for an instant, the secret of secrets would open to you — … it comes from deep prehistory and traditional societies where all these archaic techniques of ecstasy were engaged to produce something a near-death experience.”
– Brian Muraresku
We all search for something. It could be a tangible item, an intangible feeling, or simply an answer to a question. But what if the answer is nothing? What if the ultimate goal is to find oneself by annihilating everything that once made up who we were?
In order to find yourself, it is necessary to let go of everything. This might sound like a difficult task, but it can be done by understanding and accepting the concept of divine nothingness. By embracing the emptiness, we can then release our grip on the illusion of self and finally understand the true nature of reality. As we let go of our false sense of identity, we come to realize that we are not separate from the universe or from each other. In this state of realization, there is no need for self-annihilation or self-sacrifice. Instead, we find ourselves in a state of blissful union with all that exists.
The Formula for Creative Alchemy
Brian has such wonderful wisdom to share, and I think that he’s given us a perfect formula for Creative Alchemy.
Alchemy is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained.
With that being said, I define Identity Alchemy as the process of deconstructing who you don’t want to be in order to realize who you want to become.
Through it, you’ll be able to identify the things you don’t want to be true about you or your shadows and shed them slowly. I truly believe that the deconstruction process of life and your inner world is such a big piece of understanding who you are so that you can curate who you want to become. Generally, I noticed for myself that the more inner work that I do — the deeper shadow work that I do to understand myself — the better life becomes toward the path of wholeness. But in order to get to the path of wholeness, we must first embrace the concept of nothingness, which involves self-annihilation in order to find oneself.
Guys, thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please take a screenshot of it and post it to Instagram and tag Brian, @brian_muraresku, and me, @nickonken. Also, if you’ve got time, leave me a review on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. I’d love to hear your feedback.
And by the way, don’t forget to check out my website too. If you’ve got three spare minutes, you can take a quick ten-question quiz to help you figure out your creative identity. We’ll also send you a free custom guide with a book, including podcast recommendations, mantras, and more to help you along in your creative journey.
I’ll catch you guys next time. Now, do you know what time it is? It’s time to go out there and create your life by creating every small moment.
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“Eventually the bureaucracy is going to pump up against the mystics.”
– Brian Muraresku
Some things we learn in this podcast:
- What is the eucharist [6:10]
- What did they drink at the last supper [7:00]
- What was ancient wine [8:00]
- Where did Christianity begin [10:00]
- When did Christianity become mainstream [11:00]
- What is noetic science [23:50]
- Who was Jesus [30:00]
- What is the purpose of creating religion [37:00]
- What does kykeon mean in Ancient Greek [50:00]
- How to prepare your body for psychedelics [1:01:25]
- Get your copy of The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name by Brian C. Muraresku
- Get your copy of How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan