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The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name

I'm so torn by this book. For one, it's such an enjoyable journey—pun intended. Vastly oversimplifying, it lays a theory that early Christianity retrofitted psychedelic ritual from a cult of Dionysus, which explains its rapid early expansion. There's a lot to unpack here—there was a psychedelic ritual related to Dionysus?—and the book reads as a well-researched exploration journal.

Conflictingly, I feel I have no way of evaluating its claims. They're interesting, but the author is clearly telling a specific story. He even addresses this, talking about how modern Classics scholars have an idealized version of Greek culture which is incompatible with this theory. This I can believe (historians are blinded by their culture as anyone is), but this doesn't necessarily mean his underlying theory is true. However, it's a quite enjoyable read.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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