Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Food of the Gods: The Search for the…

Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical… (original 1992; edition 1993)

by Terence McKenna (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
911716,152 (3.94)4
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.… (more)
Title:Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution
Authors:Terence McKenna (Author)
Info:Bantam (1993), Edition: Reprint, 311 pages
Collections:Spring 2019

Work details

Food of the gods : the search for the original tree of knowledge : a radical history of plants, drugs, and human evolution by Terence McKenna (1992)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
An interesting look at the relationship between plants and human evolution, both past and future. I especially enjoyed the idea that as wild plants became less important parts of our lives, the more patriarchal, and controlling, human cultures became. There is a relationship between the foods cultures consume and the amount of equality between the sexes.

It is past time for us to work to create healthy human cultures, and perhaps the foods we consume is a more important part of that work than I thought. ( )
  SonoranDreamer | Dec 16, 2019 |
Though the main subject of this book is the psychedelic mushroom, he elaborates extensively on modern culture and its "Dominator" mindset. He mentions the book "The Chalice and the Blade" by Riane Eisler, which describes how there was a culture that existed around the area of Greece that was a Matriarchal society. This society lived without war or poverty for around a thousand years. McKenna uses this culture as an example of how humans can and did live in perpetual peace, while at the same time not having a hierarchical system like our culture has now, which is of course Patriarchal.

The mushroom, he explains, helps humans really "see" reality for what it is, and in that state is able to both communicate with the environment and with our fellow humans, in harmony. He also puts forth a theory that psychedelic mushrooms contributed directly to human cognitive evolution, that they changed our brains to what they are now. The mushroom gave us an edge in our survival hundreds of thousands of years ago by being able to, like I said before, "see" the real world better, and therefore giving us an advantage in survival and changing our brain structure in the process.

All this leads to the idea of how the "Tree of Knowledge" was actually the mushroom. Since the downfall of the Matriarchal mindset, or true harmony, we have become the violent, Patriarchal, God-fearing, we-are-above-nature-so-therefore-it's-ours, system. Mentioning, of course, how the mushroom and all the other mind-altering compounds like LSD, DMT, and the like, are extremely illegal in our society. How these ideas of harmony, the sacred feminine aspects, have been and still are being suppressed, and that a return to these more ideal ideas will save us from future violence and destruction. ( )
  Kronomlo | Jun 29, 2017 |
Neste interessante livro, o autor passa a história da relação do homem com as plantas de poder (medicinais e xamânicas) e suas transformações na busca do conhecimento e a própria consciência. ( )
  chuvanafloresta | Feb 26, 2013 |
McKenna was crazy at times, but always crazy awesome. This was the birth of the modern entheogen movement.
  johnemersonsfoot | Jun 23, 2007 |
An eye-popping history of mind-altering plants.
McKenna eloquently advocates a new type of relationship with psychedelics: one of wonder, mystery and discovery. I was profoundly inspired and changed by this book. ( )
  meridius | Feb 26, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Legacy Library: Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Terence McKenna's legacy profile.

See Terence McKenna's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.94)
1 3
1.5 2
2 3
2.5 4
3 21
3.5 5
4 52
4.5 6
5 38

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 147,600,899 books! | Top bar: Always visible