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Food of the Gods

The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution
Paperback Book
January, 1993
In stock now: 
$26.00 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

A now classic work from “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

The loss of shamanic gnosis about 10,000 years ago, says McKenna, led inexorably to the development of highly addictive compounds like distilled alcohol and white sugar—and then on to the first of the “hard drugs,” morphine and heroin. Terence provides a revisioning of the historical role of drugs in the East and West, from the ancient spice trade, rum and slavery, to marijuana, cocaine and other super-refined modern substances that feed the human “Algebra of Need.” The virus of total want includes the ultimate placater, the electronic plug-in drug, television:

Television induces a trance state in the viewer that is the necessary precondition for drug in history has so completely succeeded in remaking in its own image the values of the culture that it has infected....The illusion of knowing and of control that heroin engenders is analogous to the unconscious assumption of the television consumer that what is seen is “real” somewhere in the world.

Why are coffee, tobacco, and alcohol legal and acceptable when they are known to be more damaging than many illegal drugs? McKenna’s discoveries are shocking and, in some cases, so obvious they are bound to create resentment.

The only religions that are anything more than the traditionally sanctioned moral codes are religions of trance, dance ecstasy, and intoxication by hallucinogens. The living fact of the mystery of being is there, and it is an inalienable religious right to be able to approach it on one’s own terms. A civilized society would enshrine that principle in law....

We can begin this restructuring of thought by declaring legitimate what we have denied for so long. Let us declare Nature to be legitimate. The notion of illegal plants is obnoxious and ridiculous in the first place.

The anima mundi, the soul of the world, of Hermetic thought is another image of the Goddess of the World. Ultimately, all of these female images are reducible to the archetype of the original vegetable mind. Immersion in the psychedelic experience provided the ritual context in which human consciousness emerged into the light of self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-articulation — into the light of Gaia, the Earth herself.

This outstanding book, which can be read as a truly fascinating take on human, plant and planet history, ends with a pragmatic master plan for any society that is serious about coming to terms with its drug problems.

Publisher’s Description: 

Take an ethnobotanist’s tour of the foods and plants that turn us on - literally. McKenna maintains that magic mushrooms were the original tree of knowledge and the lack of psychedelic foods in the Western diet is the reason we’re heading for decline and destruction. So, feed your head with Food of the Gods.

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