Richard Dawkins Has Godlike Experience, Puts It Down To Mushrooms

Clare Wieck
3 min readOct 1, 2020

(Unwind yourselves, gentlepeople, it’s parody.)

Mushrooms — continuing to make life confusing for us all. Photo: Andrew Ridley.

World-renowned atheist and author Richard Dawkins revealed that he has had what many would describe as a profoundly spiritual experience, only he claims it was the result of eating fungi.

The event occurred while Dawkins was at his London home finishing off his new book, If You Believe in God, You’re a Stupid Baby (working title).

“It was indeed fascinating,” he said, “But of course it was phony; it’s easily explained by the neurons in my brain firing differently — as a result of my dinner that night — to hallucinate a powerful yet entirely bogus spiritual experience.”

Dawkins went on to describe what happened: “As I looked up from my paper — I like to write pen-to-paper — I saw a luminous white light. A column of pure white light in the center of the room. The message I received from it, or rather the message my brain fabricated to make sense of it, was that it was the essence of god. Not a she or him or they or even really an it. It was everything and nothing at once. I stared as the universe appeared to me as a kind of mystical equation where everything that exists, has ever existed and will ever exist, added together to produce a perfect zero… Silly really, haha!” he exclaimed, with more than a hint of unease. “As my momentarily impaired brain wrestled with what was happening, I noticed the light was emitting — words fail me here — what I can only describe as… pure love. A love far, far stronger even than what I feel for biology and deep space combined.”

When asked how he was so confident that it was “phony”, Dawkins smiled broadly, before explaining, “I admit I was unnerved right after the fact, then I recalled I had cooked some button mushrooms for dinner that evening — the fifth component of a deliciously sensible dish from Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients, which, by the way, I thoroughly recommend. The book, I mean. Not the mushrooms.”

“Certain mushrooms,” he continued, “are known for having psychedelic effects, eliciting what the uninformed would call spiritual or religious experiences. A mushroom of the psychedelic variety must have slipped into my paper bag whilst I was in the vegetable section at the supermarket,” he said, his hands shaking ever so slightly as he raised his half-empty wine glass up to the light, appearing to inspect its qualities.

When challenged regarding the likelihood of psychedelic mushrooms making their way into supermarket produce, Dawkins fell silent.

After some moments of plucking lint from the sleeve of his blazer, he perked up, affirming, “Yes… the whole incident was bunk” before throwing back the remainder of his pinot noir and requesting that the interview be wrapped up, as he had some important business to attend to.

If You Believe in God, You’re a Stupid Baby is due to be released this winter.

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