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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2013
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. He then goes onto a variety of other drugs, showing how sugar, an extremely modern drug had an intrinsic link with the slave trade and was a narcotic that had an inevitable relationship with slavery and human oppression. Coffee may also be linked to slavery but also a drug that supports the current ideologue and is a drug well-suited to the capitalistic ideologue in which the worker needs a legal stimulant to keep him energetic enough to keep the machinery of business going in a very literal sense. Anyway, I enjoyed the book alot. Although, I wouldn't say he has been proven to be correct perhaps we may find out that he was in the near future. Regardless of the scientific validity of such a theory though, its important to take on-board the philosophical implications of such a theory and how our lives are dictated by the narcotic mediums of television, coffee, sugar and fast food, drugs that keep us sedate, unquestioning, competetive and stuck within the capitalistic patriarchal mode of thing. Perhaps as he says we need not a regression back to a primitive world but a progression towards a society that embraces technology and transhumanism but also observes the importance of patriarchy, free-expression, relaxation, compassion and more importantly, the freedom for the individual to play with his or her consciousness as they see fit.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2013
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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 1999
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
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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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2002
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2014
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....it covers all topics of interest. The drug wars and the lies deceived to mankind behind the magic. The error of mans ways towards these sacred molecules and plants and the illusion that our common legal alternatives are worse than you can imagine.

All in all the greatest book i have read, a worth while investment to get your mind blown! Check out the chapter on DMT and become enlightened :) bless x
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on 29 August 2012
To those that may be put off by the fact they might not necessarily agree with all of McKenna's theories.. don't be! Taking us on a journey through humankind's conscious and cultural evolution from pre-history to present day issues and finishing with a look to the future there is something here for anyone with intellect and imagination. In all honesty some chapters held more of my attention then others but I believe that's the pleasure of reading this intellectual eccentric's thoughts and theories, and I found myself dipping back into parts while next to my computer to do some further research. Although I personally don't believe McKenna provides all the right answers he does get us asking the right questions.

To those who find themselves asking lifes more philosophical questions, think for themselves, have an interest within psychoactive substances, wonder where we come from and challenge the norm then this is a book for you.
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on 5 July 2015
Terence McKenna's You Tube videos and talks are absolutely amazing, however this book is not nearly as good, unfortunately. The arguments don't seem to be very convincing to my layman understanding of the topics. He tries to establish a link between ancient cultures and mushroom use. The intriguing idea in this book is the suggestion that humans used very specific natural psychedelics in a way that enabled peaceful societies and nature-oriented lifestyles. Some interesting ideas but quite a boring read in general. I would recommend his You Tube videos instead as an introduction to Terence McKenna's ideas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2012
Food for the Gods" is a book that is educational, edifying,and a real eye opener. The Western world would be better off if the facts imparted in this book were common knowledge.
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