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Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge a Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolutionby Terence Mckenna
McKenna starts his radical revision of human evolution by positing the theory that we evolved from apes to humans because of brain changes brought about by ingesting psilocybin-containing mushrooms. This was, in his opinion, the birth of religion, and was retained in some form or another through the Greeks and the Mysteries at Eleusis and the Soma of early Hindu culture. He continues by looking at the role drugs of all kinds have played in the course of human history. Surely tobacco and opium play a role, and who can ignore alcohol; but other substances that contemporary society forgets to classify as "drugs" make his study, such as sugar, chocolate, coffee, and tea. There is even a section on the modern electronic drugs, for how else would you describe the effects of several hours of television viewing flattening out of alpha brain waves, decrease in heart rate, eyes glaze over effects comparable to many other narcotics.
Synopses & Reviews
Why, as a species, are humans so fascinated by altered states of consciousness? Can altered states reveal something to us about our orgins and our place in nature? In Food of the Gods, ethnobotanist Terence McKenna's research on man's ancient relationship with chemicals opens a doorway to the divine, and perhaps a solution for saving our troubled world. McKenna provides a revisionist look at the historical role of drugs in the East and West, from the ancient spice, sugar, and rum trades to marijuana, cocaine, synthetics, and even television — illustrating the human desire for the "food of the gods" and the powerful potential to replace abuse of illegal drugs with a shamanic understanding, insistence on community, reverence fior nature, and increased self-awareness.
"Terence McKenna is the most important — and most entertaining — visionary scholar in America." Tom Robbins
"The culture's foremost spokesperson for the psychedelic experience....Those who know and enjoy Joseph Campbell's work will almost certainly appreciate McKenna." L.A. Weekly
"An eloquent proposal for decovering something vital — a sense of the sacred, the transcendent, the Absolute — before it's too late." Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Meaning & Medicine, Recovering the Soul, and Space, Time & Medicine
"Deserves to be the modern classic on mind-altering drugs and hallucinogens." The Washington Post
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.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 293-299) and index.
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