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Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge [Hardcover]

Terence McKenna
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mar 1992

A journey to some of the Earth's most endangered people in the remote Upper Amazon. . . . a look at the rituals of the Bwiti cults of Gabon and Zaire. . . . . a field watch on the eating habits of 'stoned' apes and chimpanzees - these adventures are all a part of ethnobotanist Terence McKenna's extraordinary quest to discover the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. He wonders why, as a species, we are so fascinated by altered states of consciousness. Can they reveal something about our origins as human beings and our place in nature?

As an odyssey of mind, body and spirit, Food of the Gods is one of the most fascinating and surprising histories of consciousness ever written. And as a daring work of scholarship and exploration, it offers an inspiring vision for individual fulfilment and a humane basis for our interaction which each other and with the natural world.

'Brilliant, provocative, opinionated, poetic and inspiring. . . . . Essential reading for anyone who ever wondered why people take drugs.' Rupert Sheldrake

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Bantam Dell Pub Group (Trd) (Mar 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553078682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553078688
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,237,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A classic of drugs literature that asks what altered states of consciousness can tell us about human origins and our place in nature. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how to see from being high 15 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some people can see further. If you fly over your home-town, on Google Earth, you notice the higher vantage point straight away. You would never have guessed that there where so many trees surrounding your home-town if you stayed on Earth. Zoom out a little and the view becomes higher. Now you see mountains and seas. You apprehend more because you are high. When you come back down, try explaining what you have seen to your friends. Chances are, if your friends have never risen to those heights themselves, they won't believe you. You will then get thrown into the cooking pot!

You flew too high and they dragged you back down. You looked down into the DMT flash, you witnessed grandeurs beyond grandeurs, chasms over chasms, deeps beyond deeps. Just like in mathematics where there are infinitudes of higher orders infinitely transcending lower infinities, so the phenomenon of consciousness can no longer be seen at sparks firing from living meat. Rather, your consciousness is a revelation of infinities overlapping your normal, hum-drum, pay that mortgage, monkey mind.

Read it and go very high!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book takes the reader from the first faltering footsteps of humanity to the advanced states of consciousness involved with the ingestion of entheogenic plants and fungi in a clear and eloquent fashion. McKenna argues Wasson's theory on Soma in a believable and educated way. Easy to read and a great workout for the mind. Should be in every school, library and bookcase.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have been listening to Terrance Mckenna's podcasts and talks for the past four months or so but hadn't got round to reading his books thus I decided to pick Food of the Gods, his most prominent work some would say next to the Mushroom Growers' Guide. Although an extremely eloquent and astoundingly knowledgeable man, I had been dubious of his stoned ape theory. According to his hypothesis, the early dawning of human consciousness and evolution was the outcome of the taking of psychedelic mushrooms since the consumption of such strange, alien looking fungi seem to promote self-introspection, heightened creativity, collective values and the facilitating of higher functioning forms of language. To me this seemed like a far-fetched theory, one that didn't seem to have any basis in reality, however having read the book, which is written with such clarity and lucidity but also an observable passion for the subject, one really starts to believe that this may have been the case. He begins describing early and so called 'primitive' cultures such as Tassili n'Ajjer, showing us how these African cultures dating back thousand of years ago show cave paintings of strange bee-headed creatures with handfuls of odd-looking phallic shaped mushrooms pouring from thier hands. He also takes the reader into the world of Catal Huyuk, an early yet surprisingly advanced civilization with a complex artistic culture way ahead of its time and its emphasis on religion and ceremony, which focused, as we know from the findings of temples there, on the worship of bull and cattle(which are clearly related to mushrooms as any consumer of this holy fungi will know). This went hand in hand with the worship of the female and the matriarchy. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A third eye opener 29 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From opium wars to drug laws, outlandish theories with a great deal to back them up Food Of The Gods takes you on a journey through time and sometimes inner head space to bring you a real interesting and enlightening read. From organics to synthetics Terrence leaves no stone unturned to push across his very persuasive argument.A must for all students of anthropology,botany and history. an organic psychonauts bible.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling stuff 8 Oct 2002
Format:Paperback
Terence McKenna .. now sadly dead... was an engaging but oddball apologist for the use of psychotropic drugs, and this book sets out in detail his basic theories.
It is written in breathless style, peppered with fascinating titbits of information about society and its attitudes to drug use. Even sugar comes under the microscope.
As an anarchic but well intentioned intellect, McKenna has few equals. If there is a tragedy about his life, it is that with all his awesome powers of deduction, he failed to gain much of a wider perspective, just about ascribing everything that's human down to the beneficent influence of magic mushrooms.It's a theory. But, as they said of King James 1, this is the work of one of the wisest fools in Christendom.
And, of course, a must-read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly thought provoking and exciting!!! 2 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Currently, ive been listening to Terence McKenna's spoken words, and lectures a lot on Youtube and 'The Psychedelic Salon' Podcast. And Ive been wanting to read his work for a long time.

This book was my choice and it seems to be the best choice for a beginner of Terence McKenna, as the book 'Food Of The Gods' explains a lot of Terence's theories and ideas. Terrence expresses his ideas in detail: 'Stoned Ape Theory' e.c.t, and always in his linguistic, thought provoking way that he explains them through spoken word. 'Food Of The Gods' is so exciting that I could barely put the book down and ended up reading the whole thing in 3 days (which is rare for me).

No matter what subject your into, this book should be mandatory reading for anybody on this planet to become a better, stronger human.

'Food Of The Gods' breaks boundaries of thinking, and as the legendary comedian Bill Hicks would say ''squeegee you're third eye''.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
:-)
Published 1 month ago by W. D. Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely astonishing book written by the greatest of men
An absolutely astonishing book written by the greatest of men, terrence mckenna. A brilliant read that anyone be they psycho naughts, historians or a normal being.... Read more
Published 2 months ago by connor kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-changing, paradigm-shifting
This book is an enchanting journey through the history of mankind through plant hallucinogenic. A wonderful, enlightening account if the transcendental vistas wrought open by... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cneil
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
nice book by terence mc kenna, the guy know what he's writing about
book for everyone who wants to know more about psychedelics
Published 3 months ago by A.D.S.
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up
I brought this as a gift and he said it was the best birthday present he got!!! So I've not read the entire book but the bits I did read were educated and resonated with the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Hayley
5.0 out of 5 stars Belter!
Frum a yurkshurmuns punta view, t'book wa greet. Language ha neyer bin used before in mi presence t' describe psychedelics. Absolut bangin book it wa. 5 star.
Published 4 months ago by Penno
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Very good condition.
Perfect reading. Incredible author.

A radical history to be read and taught by and to adolescents and adults, students and non students, but... Read more
Published 5 months ago by André Catalão
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Book - A Must Read!!
Now this is a good book, all books that was published by Terance McKenna I've found to always be very interesting, informative and packed with a punch. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Robert Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring and eye opening!
Terence McKenna simply elates the reader intellectually by criticising and building on the way modern society has forgotten its archaic roots and has shifted into a male-dominant... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ali Mikail Gencalioglu
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it..
. A once cherished book that grew legs and walked... Reading words of wisdom once again. A priceless gem. Recently read Thom Hartmann 'the last days of ancient sunlight'... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Harry
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