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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 – Illustrated, January 1, 1993
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“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 recovering 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 & Machine
About the Author
- Publisher : Bantam; Illustrated edition (January 1, 1993)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 311 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0553371304
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553371307
- Item Weight : 12.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.02 x 0.87 x 8.96 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I was familiar with ethnobotanist and revered psychonaut, Terence McKenna, through his lectures, though this is my first time actually reading any of his work. Food of the Gods was a great place to start. Within, McKenna guides the reader through a history of psychedelic plants (and other indole hallucinogens) and how they affected the cultures that interacted with them. He touches on his 'stoned ape' theory, which I've always found intriguing (now more than ever), and which (if proven) would certainly indicate that the effect these ancient plants had on humankind was immense. McKenna goes on to describe the crumbling relationship humans have had with these plants and substances across thousands of years; the shift we have enacted from 'partnership societies' to the 'dominator society' in which we currently find ourselves. Thus, the book can be seen as a sort of call to action; to return once more to the realm of empathy, partnership, and freedom of consciousness which once went hand in hand with the consumption of ancient, shamanic plant substances and other consciousness-expanding drugs.
McKenna is extremely verbose, and very intelligent, to the point that some sections of the book were relatively hard to understand for me, requiring a second read. Regardless, I found his arguments strong, and his research thorough and enticing. Terence and his brother Dennis are both individuals that I have looked into before as free thinkers and advocates of personal freedoms currently denied to all of us. He brings to light many things in this book that are more and more obviously astounding. Our love affair with alcohol for example, while cannabis (a proven medicinal plant) remains illegal and ostracized. He would be happy to see the progress made in that area (way to go, Canada) but nevertheless there is much work to be done; and on more than just cannabis. How can we as human beings ever claim true sovereignty over ourselves if our freedoms do not include the freedom of our own consciousness?
I am reminded here at the close of Graham Hancock's TED Talk. I think that he and McKenna see eye to eye on a number of issues. I'd like to provide a link to the video here, but Amazon will not allow external URLs in reviews. I urge you to look it up yourself. This talk was actually banned by TED after its release, and removed from their content offering. Shocking, for a forum that promotes itself as forward thinking and open-minded. But more evidence that there is work to be done. A paradigm shift must occur.
I look forward to reading more of McKenna's work.
*Update 6/3/16* Finished the book and I'd say that was an excellent read. Now I want to pick up Mckenna's other works
Mckenna seems to focus on the core experience of connecting with the "transcendent other" such connection though not vital to experience for oneself to appreciate this work, will deeply enhance your understanding of Mckenna's core message.
Many of Mckenna's claims today have sound scientific evidence to support them. This is a must-read and will certainly expand you views on important social issues.
Top reviews from other countries
So much they have hidden from us and lied to us about.
Tier 3 and proud!
No house arrest, no theft of DNA, no vaccination, no chip - ever.
I bought the kindle edition, so cannot comment on presentation or packaging.
The quality of paper and print is appalling. My book arrived today with pages falling out and was obviously a very cheaply printed version for amazon. Also a different cover than the one shown.
This can be said of almost all the books I have bought from amazon recently.
I would rather pay more for a better quality version.