Food of the Gods: The Search For The Original Tree Of Knowledge A Radical History Of Plants, Drugs…

by Terence Mckenna

Random House Publishing Group | January 1, 1993 | Trade Paperback

Food of the Gods: The Search For The Original Tree Of Knowledge A Radical History Of Plants, Drugs, And Human Evoluti is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.
The ethnobotanist co-author of Psilocybin: The Magic Mushroom Grower''s Guide (not reviewed) puts forth the theory that magic mushrooms are the original ``tree of knowledge'''' and that the general lack of psychedelic exploration is leading Western society toward eventual collapse or destruction--controversial statements, to say the least, though the argument''s details often prove fascinating. In the beginning, McKenna tells us, there were protohumans with small brains and plenty of genetic competition, and what eventually separated the men from the apes was an enthusiasm for the hallucinogenic mushrooms that grew on the feces of local cattle. Claiming that psilocybin in the hominid diet would have enhanced eyesight, sexual enjoyment, and language ability and would have thereby placed the mushroom-eaters in the front lines of genetic evolution--eventually leading to hallucinogen-ingesting shamanistic societies, the ancient Minoan culture, and some Amazonian tribes today--McKenna also asserts that the same drugs are now outlawed in the US because of their corrosive effect on our male-dominated, antispiritual society. Unconsciously craving the vehicles by which our ancestors expanded their imaginations and found meaning in their lives, he says, we feast on feeble substitutes: coffee, sugar, and chocolate, which reinforce competition and aggressiveness; tobacco, which destroys our bodies; alcohol, whose abuse leads to male violence and female degradation; TV, which deadens our senses; and the synthetics--heroin, cocaine and their variations--which leave us victimized by our own addiction. On the other hand, argues McKenna, magic mushrooms, used in a spiritually enlightened, ritual manner, can open the door to greater consciousness and further the course of human evolution- -legalization of all drugs therefore is, he says, an urgent necessity. Provocative words--often captivating, but not often convincing.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.07 × 6.01 × 0.86 in

Published: January 1, 1993

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553371304

ISBN - 13: 9780553371307

Found in: Food Writing

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Interesting "Food Of The God" puts forth the idea that certain psychedelic plants have caused a shift in human evolution by enabling a transcending perspective concerning our state in the Universe. There was a time of the goddess, of partnership societies which had their roots of thinking tied into the symbiotic relationship with plants. Shamanism was the education system so to say, by taking on the viewpoint that the Universe unfolds itself according to shifting perspectives of reality, an idea in complete opposition to the current standard of scientific thinking which advocates that our current perspective is the greatest measure of our mind and is the medium for exploration of the physical world . In other terms, science believes that the objective world has a definite reality, and that by taking psychedelics this reality is all messed up. Shamanism claims that reality is not one fundamental 'thing', but rather that as the mind perceives it to be different, it also objectively IS different. The book goes on to explain that not all sectors of humans were exposed to the radical revision of consciousness expanding drugs for extended periods of time, and that the more we have become distant from our past symbiotic relationship to nature, the more it has become estranged and looked at as something outside of human development. Terence believes that Patriarchy eventually replaced matriarchy by switching monistic theism the male ego propelled version of monotheism. He believes that as we stopped our consumption of magic mushrooms, we began to experiment with other intoxicants. Since Mushrooms were often left to be preserved in honey to improve their psychedelic magnitude, and fermented honey on its own has an effect similar to that of alcohol, that once mushrooms became scarce humans began a direct substitution. Now that honey was consumed, the transcending perspective and partnership values of the goddess were loosing its influence due to the alcoholic effects in place of a unitary view stimulated by the mushrooms. Since alcohol in small doses is proved to offer greater social awareness it seems odd that it could be the blame for such a radical shift. However, in large doses it inhibits language and causes a loss of fertility which results in loss of confidence. A state of detachment from other humans is to be experienced by the insecurity. Psychedelic mushrooms on the other hand have been found to produce aphrodisiac like stimulation, as well as improve cognitive reflexes in small doses. In Greek history alcohol has a very prominent role and also walks hand in hand with a shifted view regarding women. Women were not allowed to consume alcohol, and were beaten and even killed in some instances if they exposed themselves to its intoxication. He does claim that in Greek mythology there are several references to psychedelic plant use, and that a shift in social roles of female and male gods is observable and becomes more extreme as alcohol becomes the standard drug of that particular society. Basically, Terence claims that every society has adopted certain drugs as favourable and dismissed others as dangerous. The drugs a society allows is said to be an outline for social behavioural patterns. Alcohol is said to be associated with that of the male ego perspective of the world since it has a convincing history of violence wherever it was used traditionally. Terence Mckenna urges us to transcend the ego view by consuming psychedelics and coming into contact once again with the matriarchal goddess who symbolists care taking instead of a testosterone dominated culture that is symbolic of strength and warrior like attributes. All in all I really enjoyed this book and will be experimenting with some psychedelics to get a better understanding of what he means. I have only minor issues concerning the idea that psychedelic plants was the catalyst in defining egalitarian human functioning. Terence Mckenna mentions that psychedelics were used in certain rituals where a boy, to be become a man, must hunt a an animal and successfully kill it. To me this in a very minor way contradictions his assumptions that psychedelic plants are searching for a constant diplomacy with the animals ingesting them. I hope this helped.
Date published: 2008-09-11

– More About This Product –

Food of the Gods: The Search For The Original Tree Of Knowledge A Radical History Of Plants, Drugs…

by Terence Mckenna

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.07 × 6.01 × 0.86 in

Published: January 1, 1993

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553371304

ISBN - 13: 9780553371307

From the Publisher

The ethnobotanist co-author of Psilocybin: The Magic Mushroom Grower''s Guide (not reviewed) puts forth the theory that magic mushrooms are the original ``tree of knowledge'''' and that the general lack of psychedelic exploration is leading Western society toward eventual collapse or destruction--controversial statements, to say the least, though the argument''s details often prove fascinating. In the beginning, McKenna tells us, there were protohumans with small brains and plenty of genetic competition, and what eventually separated the men from the apes was an enthusiasm for the hallucinogenic mushrooms that grew on the feces of local cattle. Claiming that psilocybin in the hominid diet would have enhanced eyesight, sexual enjoyment, and language ability and would have thereby placed the mushroom-eaters in the front lines of genetic evolution--eventually leading to hallucinogen-ingesting shamanistic societies, the ancient Minoan culture, and some Amazonian tribes today--McKenna also asserts that the same drugs are now outlawed in the US because of their corrosive effect on our male-dominated, antispiritual society. Unconsciously craving the vehicles by which our ancestors expanded their imaginations and found meaning in their lives, he says, we feast on feeble substitutes: coffee, sugar, and chocolate, which reinforce competition and aggressiveness; tobacco, which destroys our bodies; alcohol, whose abuse leads to male violence and female degradation; TV, which deadens our senses; and the synthetics--heroin, cocaine and their variations--which leave us victimized by our own addiction. On the other hand, argues McKenna, magic mushrooms, used in a spiritually enlightened, ritual manner, can open the door to greater consciousness and further the course of human evolution- -legalization of all drugs therefore is, he says, an urgent necessity. Provocative words--often captivating, but not often convincing.

From Our Editors

For the first time in trade paperback, the critically acclaimed counterculture manifesto by the wildly popular McKenna. "Deserves to be a modern classic on mind-altering drugs and hallucinogens".--The Washington Post. Photos and illustrations
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