Food of the Gods (Library Edition): The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge : A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

Food of the Gods (Library Edition): The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge : A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

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By (author) Terence McKenna, Narrator Jeffrey Kafer

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  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc
  • Format: CD-Audio
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 173mm x 25mm | 136g
  • Publication date: 8 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Old Saybrook, CT
  • ISBN 10: 1452640033
  • ISBN 13: 9781452640037
  • Edition: Unabridged
  • Edition statement: Library ed

Product description

Terence McKenna hypothesizes that as the North African jungles receded, giving way to savannas and grasslands near the end of the most recent ice age, a branch of our arboreal primate ancestors left the forest canopy and began living in the open areas beyond. There they experimented with new varieties of foods as they adapted, physically and mentally, to the environment. Among the new foods found in this environment were psilocybin-containing mushrooms growing near dung of ungulate herds occupying the savannas and grasslands. Referencing the research of Roland L. Fisher, McKenna claims the enhancement of visual acuity was an effect of psilocybin at low doses and suggests this would confer adaptive advantage. He argues that the effects of slightly larger doses, including sexual arousal, and in larger doses, ecstatic hallucinations & glossolalia--gave selective evolutionary advantages to members of those tribes who partook of it. There were many changes caused by the introduction of this psychoactive to primate diets. He hypothesizes, for instance, that synesthesia (the blurring of sensory boundaries) caused by psilocybin led to the development of spoken language: the ability to form pictures in another person's mind through the use of vocal sounds. About 12,000 years ago, further climate changes removed psilocybin-containing mushrooms from human diets. He argues that this event resulted in a new set of profound changes in our species as we reverted to the previous brutal primate social structures that had been modified and/or repressed by frequent consumption of psilocybin.

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Author information

Terence McKenna (1946-2000), a philosopher, psychonaut, researcher, teacher, and lecturer, authored or coauthored several books, including "The Invisible Landscape," "The Archaic Revival," "True Hallucinations," and "Sacred Mushroom Seeker." Ever since his first play at thirteen (his mother still has the bellhop costume), Jeffrey Kafer has been an avid performer on the stage and in voice-overs. He has narrated over one hundred books spanning all genres and won the 2008 Voicey Award for Best New Voice.

Review quote

"Deserves to be a modern classic on mind-altering drugs and hallucinogens." ---The Washington Post