Hipster atheists love to use words like spirituality and blessing and ritual, just so long as they’re not referring to any sort of Western Judeo-Christian tradition or ceremony. Yoga studios are temples where you cleanse yourself and strengthen your mind. Giant rock formations are called cathedrals. Sacraments are fine as long as they’re rooted in black magic or in some sort of tribal card game. But it’s not even enough to depart from tradition and to embrace bongo drum pagan chants and Indian rain dances—suffering physical pain, discomfort, and malnutrition adds further style points to these new age enlightenment fads.
This New Yorker article perfectly illustrates this phenomenon. It’s about one woman’s quest to get high on the supposedly hallucinogenic jungle juice, ayahuasca. It’s apparently been used by tribal folks for generations to “receive messages from ancestors and gods.”
This vile concoction of tree sludge which immediately induces vomiting is generally administered via Dixie cup by a real or imitation Amazonian rainforest priest who lead group trips as “a kind of congregational service.”
The author touts ayahuasca’s healing properties by comparing it to kale, which is also “no joy ride,” but is nonetheless stomached by Pilates patients, sweat lodgers, cutters, and other misguided seekers of silver bullet health and harmony.
Pharmaceutical companies are obviously evil, but the manufacturing of this drug is “beyond artisanal: it is nearly Druidical.” She then describes the process of picking leaves and boiling shit in different pots while singing songs, barefoot, in the forest. These hippies are like Walter White in real life.
I think a better comparison than kale would be kombucha, which is stinky fermented fungal bacteria water that you can make at home simply by leaving a bowl of shit out for a few weeks. Similarly, many spiritual and physical health benefits are touted, yet there is zero scientific evidence to back up such claims.
The thing with all this plant worship is that it’s fundamentally grounded in naively opposing the killing of cute, furry animals. Many will say that they are vegetarians simply because they’ve always been “grossed out” by the idea of eating meat, and that they don’t like the idea of hurting Bambi. But Mother Nature gave us an immune system, which helps us navigate the world of disease and infection by causing us to be “grossed out” by things that could potentially do us harm. We crave meat because it is nutritious and essential to our survival. We are repulsed by slimy, festering, stagnant poison liquids because they tend to not be good for us—no matter what you tell yourself, you know this shit is not appetizing. If you find yourself being repulsed by steaks and craving rancid fish-tank water, then your immune system is malfunctioning and you should seek medical attention.
In true journalist form, the writer needs to experiment this drug firsthand. So she finds a pretend shaman with a background in acupuncture named Little Owl, and partakes in the cult ceremony for a few gulps of Kool-Aid. Anyone familiar with such scenarios would rightfully have some safety concerns—and someone asks if there are doctors on hand, or if there’s some sort of pharmacological antidote incase something goes wrong.
“There was a tense silence, and then Little Owl replied, “We are healing on a vibrational level.””
I’m sure this was very reassuring. She proceeds to drink the poison in the woman-only ceremony, which took place in a yoga studio next door to a booming dance club.
“Little Owl had set up a perch for herself at the back wall, surrounded by bird feathers, crystals, flutes, drums, and wooden rattles, bottles of potions, and a pack of baby wipes. She explained that her helper, a young Asian-American woman she referred to as “our helper angel,” would collect our cell phones and distribute buckets for the purge: smiling orange plastic jack-o’-lanterns, like the ones that kids use for trick-or-treating.”
Imagine such non-critical, objective commentary on a real religious ceremony like a baptism or a first communion.
Of course the author does not hallucinate from this non-GMO, gluten-free blood of Christ, but she pukes plenty and has to babysit her fellow victims who are not quite as tolerant of the poison as she is.
“I sat there in Molly’s upchuck, listening to Little Owl’s singing, punctuated by the occasional shriek of “No more animals!” And I felt content and vaguely delighted and temporarily free.”
How eye-opening. There’s already a place where you listen to music and chant and burn incense and drink from a communal chalice that contains an actual drug—it’s called fucking church! You don’t get to call it stupid and then go do a shitty version of the same thing and call it liberating.
So remember, boys and girls, be very skeptical of religion, which is for dumb people. But if you want to find spiritual salvation by drinking a paper cup of mysterious putrid slop venom as part of a not-at-all religious ceremony led by an old hippie chick, have at it. It’s just plants, which come from the earth. It’s nothing like those stupid snake handling Christians—they’re the real dummies.