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This is another Dana Horton guest post: huge thanks to him for providing these.

Moses’ Burning Bush

(4 minute read)

Let’s look at the Old Testament story about Moses and the burning bush. One of the most confusing parts of that story comes when God speaks directly to Moses and identifies himself as “I AM THAT I AM.” Typically we look at this statement in two ways.

  • The fundamental view is that God actually communicated to Moses by speaking from the bush. The confusing “I AM” statement is just one of those Biblical things we are not supposed to understand.
  • The existential view is that this experience means that God is everywhere, and that each of us is an individual aspect of that omnipresent God. It’s kind of like a holon, where every piece is like the whole. And to make this work, we have to give up the view that God is an old man in the sky.

Even if we accept the existential view that we are part of a super holodeck (reference Star Trek), we still have our own personalities and our own degree of awareness. And somehow we are still all connected. Somehow. Moses was his own person, with his own shortcomings. But he became super-aware of where he fit in with the Universe when God “spoke” to him from the burning bush.

Let’s go down the spiritual path just a little. The more open we are to communing with the Universal Spirit (sometimes confusingly called the “I AM”) the more we expand our own awareness. We’re not exactly sure how we would define “communing”, but that’s the symbolic purpose of the burning bush story in the Bible: It helps us get our mind around an intangible concept. It’s…a…story.

Or maybe the burning bush really was a burning bush.

In an article posted on the UK Express website, Professor Benny Shanon of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, argues that Moses’ experience might have been due to inhaling fumes from the hallucinogenic Acacia tree. This tree grows throughout the Middle East and is mentioned several times in the Old Testament and in Egyptian mythology. Here is a link to the article:

Separately, Brian Muraresku, in his new book The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, argues that hallucinogens were a key part of several Greek and other ancient spiritual rites. … including early Christianity. Yep.

We’re pretty sure a discussion of hallucinogens was not part of the Lutheran Sunday School curriculum this year. But we’re never going to be able to hear another story about Moses without wondering what was really burning when he had his enlightening experience.

Dana Horton is from Ohio, United States and is currently (though not for much longer) working full time as Director of Energy Markets a large utility company.  In August 2019, he earned his ministerial license through an organization called Centers for Spiritual Living based in Denver, Colorado. This is a New Thought organization following the principles of Ernest Holmes. He acted as interim minister at the Columbus Center for Spiritual Living and, after eight months, he decided to leave and has no interest in returning to a formal religious organization. But he enjoys investigating spiritual principles, how they originated, and how they might be applicable to everyday living. I also enjoy discovering the history of both the Old and New Testaments, and how it differs (greatly) from the traditional Christian interpretations.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...