Saturday, November 14, 2009

Food of the Gods: the Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge a Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

Author: Terence McKenna

First line: A specter is haunting planetary culture--the specter of drugs.

Why you should read this book: Provocative, controversial, and iconoclast, this book makes a compelling argument, based on detailed historic, anthropological, and archeological evidence, that ritual, ecstatic, and communal use of psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, was the primary catalyst in the transformation of human beings from mere animals to creatures capable of higher thought and complex art, culture, language, religion, and civilization. This proto-civilization edenic past for which we still yearn, a matri-focused partnership society with a direct and respectful relationship to the vegetable world, was destroyed as alcohol and other intoxicants further removed and refined from the source enabled dominator societies to quash shamanic systems and place control of the world into the hands of a small, male ruling class. The progression of human society is presented as a progression of consciousness-altering substances, each one taking us further from paradise, and the book concludes with a plea to a return to ecstatic shamanic tradition, beginning with deregulation of all plant-based substances.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're a stodgy old fundamentalist who fears that a global embrace of consciousness-expanding will wrench from you your death grip on the world's power and resources.

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