In this book, Terence McKenna 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. 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. 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.
Book: 1 Jan 1992
Food of the Gods
The search for the original tree of knowledge
For the first time in trade paperback, the critically acclaimed counterculture manifesto by the wildly popular McKenna. This book tells you about the history of drugs in the East and West; from the ancient spice trade to marijuana, cocaine and other refined modern substances.