Here's something mildly interesting I found on the internet regarding whats found in the bible and drug use. It is a concept that seems to make good sense. It;s something I might be interested in researching if I get the time. I think to get a more balanced answer you'd have to research their involvement in spiritism, how this was practiced [probably through drug use amoungst other things]. because it was a big part of their lives I think. I mean was there good spiritism and bad spiritism. We hear of the 'bad', being called spiritism and the 'good', God and religion but I reckon there's much more to it than that.
Strange Fruit: Alchemy, Religion and Magical Foods, A Speculative History.
Heinrich, Clark. (1995).
Description: First edition, hardcover, xii + 212 pages.
Contents: A Brief Explanation of an Unusual Book, 14 chapters, last word, Appendix: The Legend of Miskwedo, notes, illustrations, index.
Excerpt(s): I have discovered a definite pattern of related symbols in story after story, even stories from different traditions and different parts of the world. As disparate as these stories are they all have in common distinct correspondences to one and the same thing: the beautiful and intoxicating Amanita muscaria mushroom, commonly known in English as the fly agaric. ...
The correspondences contained in the succeeding chapters are too numerous to assign to mere chance or an overactive imagination, although some will do just that. If it is simply a matter of imagination I invite anyone to take any other single plant (real, not imaginary), or anything else for that matter, and make it fit these stories and works of art as easily as the fly agaric does. The futility of the exercise should become apparent very quickly (page x).
After all, even if Jews and Christians had engaged in the use of sacred drugs it wouldn't necessarily have been incorporated into the state religion as it had been with the Vedic Aryans. The Jewish priests and prophets wielded extraordinary power on the basis of their 'special' relationship with Yahweh. If they had used drugs to gain and keep that relationship, as the Vedic priests did, quite likely they kept it a secret among themselves.
As I thought about this I realized that in both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles there are a number of significant episodes involving eating and drinking which led to, or at least preceded, a dramatic change in the consciousness of the person or persons involved (pages 6-7).
What, for instance, was the all-important fruit eaten by Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden? It gave them knowledge yet it didn't kill them as God had told them it would. What was the mysterious flame-coloured god-plant encountered by Moses on the Mountain of God which gave him amazing power and courage and tricks enough to defeat Pharaoh's magicians? What was the 'cake' that an angel gave to Elijah when he too was on his way to the Mountain of God and which gave him the endurance to walk, on the strength of that food alone, for forty days? What was the curious 'scroll' that an angel gave Ezekiel to eat that lifted him up to heaven? Or the similar scroll eaten by John on Patmos so that he could prophesy? Or the sacred meals of the Essenes and the Gnostics, what were these and why were they a secret? And what about Jesus, himself the bread of life and the human dispenser of living waters, whose very flesh and blood were eaten in a ceremony of ritual cannibalism? A can of worms indeed, and they were crawling all over the Bible (page 7).