Archbishop Cranmer never Tried Magic Mushrooms

Thomas Cranmer by Gerlach Flicke

That Archbishop Thomas Cranmer had never lucked out on magic mushrooms becomes very evident when you read the Second Collect for Peace: how wrong he was.

EVENING PRAYER.

A Collect for Peace.

    O GOD, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace, which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer is so breathtakingly beautiful it can of itself  bestow a period of deep content.

But to the point…..the world can give peace and it is to be found by eating magic mushrooms.

My friend Alfred is of the view that he should spread a different Gospel.  That his “good news” requires no faith.

Having spent so much of his life in a dark night of the soul, Alfred now rejects  purgations as a stage on the mystical journey.  He was never very keen on suffering anyway.  St John of the Cross, writing in 16th Century Spain, may have thought misery to be a fair cop but Alfred has always had a sneaky suspicion that poor old John and his ilk were bi-polar nutters.

Alfred reports that yesterday was a day of profound peace.

He had taken 0.30 grams of dried psilocybin mushrooms which kicked in over the course of a few hours since, contrary to recommendation, he had taken the dose with food.

There is no intoxication with such a dose, no vulgar lack of control.  No physical effect unless it could be said that the mind, being in such a state of sanctity, bestows its peace on the rest of the physical body. Yes, Alfred thinks that is probably an accurate statement.

Once the state of deep ease took hold it lasted all day and well into the night.  Even the next morning the usual twinge of ennui and accidie was muted.

Alfred traveled by train and bus and taxi, for a few days in the country.  Usually a chore, the experience was one of quiet contemplation and pleasure.  Even the woman gabbling ghastly bizniss-speak into her mobile failed to irritate my friend.

Evengelistas are bores. Born again cranks.  Alfred has no intention of turning into one.  What he would like to do is to point out to anyone who cares to listen that there may just be a way out of purgatory.

No long term testing has been carried out into the effects of psilocybin on the human body but please don’t ever forget that the scientists brought us Thalidomide.

The metal anguish of some is such that they are unlikely to care if they meet an untimely end anyway – it would be worth it for a few years of genuine happiness.

Let’s face it – shamans and witch doctors around the world have been using such substances in their healing since the every origins of our species. To no apparent ill effect.

The anecdotal evidence in favour of micro-dosing is encouraging to say the least. There are no reports of harm out there (or none that Alfred has seen).  The worst case seems to be indifference – a few find disappointment and no apparent effect.  The vast majority seem to find benefit of one kind or another.

What a tragedy that Timothy Leary and his bunch of irresponsible fools stole psychedelics from an entire generation.  But what a mercy that some of the world’s most prestigious medical foundations are now engaged in serious research into the effects of these mysterious substances on human consciousness.

Amen.

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