Food Of The Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Psychedelics and Human Evolution
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McKenna traces the evolution of humanity's relationship with drugs, according to his own historical understanding, from our early 'archaic' roots, where he posits a polyamorous, tribal, cattle-rearing psychedelic culture, which was supplanted by a more patriarchal, horse-riding, dominator society. Some of Terrence’s ideas are very interesting like I could see how human kind developed creativity to use tools and developed a language or form of communication through hallucinogenic experiences. How do natural substances and all those new food chemicals react with each other, let´s say a dietary mix of natural food with many ingredients, pure industry food with many additives and chemicals and some psychoactive substances out of both categories? The question of how quickly we develop into a mature community able to address these issues lies entirely with us. In my country, psychedelics are illegal, but there’s a clear sort of agreement between government and narcos that benefits them both, meanwhile the people suffer.
First how the whole human and before primate evolution, biochemistry, neurological functions, brain development, etc.This divide, which McKenna also represents as being entirely black and white, is yet more baseless idealism, and a clear example of the "noble savage" trope.
An eloquent proposal for recovering something vital-a sense of the sacred, the transcendent, the Absolute-before it's too late. McKenna's claims that low dosages of psychedelics enhance visual acuity and therefore confer reproductive advantage to those populations utilizing them has some credibility as such seems to be the case. There is very little substantive basis for determining which specific drugs are dangerous and should be outlawed, and which are harmless or even beneficial in certain conditions. He gets some things hilariously wrong, with regards to the development of language he says that women developed language more than men because men don't need much language to hunt whereas women needed lots of language to describe edible plants (as if men didn't go on days long hunts and didn't also forage for food).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. We are clearly moving into a more visual culture, a shift which has its roots in the development of photography and then film and TV, which has happened, as far as I know, independently of, or at least in parallel to, psychedelic use. At the metaphorical level, they had attained consciousness of themselves as individuals and of each other as “Other.
Unfortunately, that theory, and likely many of the others McKenna presents, is nothing more than speculation unsupported by any real scientific evidence. It flits back and forth between western society and shamanism, and their differences in the way of drug use. Food Of The Gods' breaks boundaries of thinking, and as the legendary comedian Bill Hicks would say ''squeegee you're third eye''. The name evolution might sound like it implies a kind of biological progress, but that's not what it is. I later read 'The Invisible Landscape' on a Buddhist retreat (inventing my own programme which supplemented meditation with copious amounts of time spent reading other people's books in the dormitory).This is fine if you’re just looking for an interesting read with lots of anecdotal evidence, but it’s definitely not what you should pick up if you want more academic/scientific knowledge on the topics. He was noted for his knowledge of the use of psychedelic, plant-based entheogens, and subjects ranging from shamanism, the theoretical origins of human consciousness, and his concept of novelty theory. What could genetic engineering make possible, like combining the positive or mind-altering aspects in one single plant? Anyone who claims he is an eloquent speaker, or that the audio book is better, has been tricked by Terence's ability to ramble for hours, and isn't aware they aren't learning anything and that he has no coherent ideas.
What we see, how we interpret what we see, and then how we present what we see, are three different things (and tricky, if not impossible, to tease apart the three). Plus whites have much more powerful imaginations and the ability to create both in and out of their heads. I'm also not into how McKenna for a guy that thinks outside the box still blindly accepts the out of Africa theory for the origins of humanity. It may be true, as he asserts, that in small doses they help with visual acuity, while in large doses they help dissolve one’s ego and foster a sense of community.He mostly just alternates between talking about how great drugs are, giving an overview of historic cultures and people who thought drugs were great, and developing an ideology around how great drugs are.