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

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


By (author) Terence McKenna

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  • Publisher: Rider & Co
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 230mm x 28mm | 422g
  • Publication date: 2 July 1992
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0712654453
  • ISBN 13: 9780712654456
  • Illustrations note: 32 b&w line drawings
  • Sales rank: 1,677,860

Product description

Drawing on the experiences of shamanic culture drawn from living with African tribes, American Indians and the peoples of South America, the author of this book provides a study of humanity's use of mind-altering drugs. He presents a convincing thesis that the synergism between early man and the various plants with which they interacted and co-evolved was a decisive causative factor in the development of language, superior intelligence and spirituality. He argues that man has an intrinsic need for spirituality, and that the loss of this shamanistic experience, about 10,000 years ago, has led to the development of the highly addictive drugs of modern day society (alcohol, white sugar, morphine, heroin and television) and to a patriarchal dominator culture and environmental toxification. As an alternative to this situation, the author advocates the religious use of organic psychoactive drugs as a way to recover our relationship with nature, expand our spiritual understanding and provide a humane and open-ended future for the planet.

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Editorial reviews

McKenna, an explorer who has travelled the world to live and work with shamans from many cultures, has many radical views on the relationship between humanity and psychoactive substances. If, he argues, we accept that drugs will be an increasing part of global culture, we need to reappraise the patterns of drug-related experience throughout the centuries in order to understand what is happening to our society. Drawing on years of research, McKenna argues for a possible revival of what he calls the archaic attitude towards community, recovering a former relationship with nature in order to promote a more humane future. His views are controversial but his arguments are fascinating, ranging far and wide through humankind's cultural history to demonstrate what we have lost and what we might hope to gain. (Kirkus UK)