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Food Of The Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge
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Food Of The Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge [Format Kindle]

Terence McKenna
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

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

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1781 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 336 pages
  • Editeur : Ebury Digital; Édition : New Ed (23 février 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0033Y94FW
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Food for thought 23 février 2014
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The book plays on the boundary of science, pseudo-science and mysticism. A non-naive reader will find an inspiring theory of evolution without giving too much scientific credit. But the aim of McKenna goes beyond, or stay below, science, so one shouldn't care too much about truth when reading it.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 parfait 16 décembre 2010
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Livre rare et original, en tous points conforme à mes attentes.Dommage qu'aucune traduction française ne soit plus disponible ! A recommander
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Critics miss the point 3 décembre 2002
Par Jeffrey Evans - Publié sur
Food of the Gods explores mankind's connection with the Earth as an organism. The author's speculations on our long lost mutualist relationship with plants has deep implications in science and offers sound insight into modern conditions of human iniquity.

To give you an idea, McKenna postulates that:
- The loss of the feminine in today's 'dominator' cultures
has been further catalyzed by our abuse of plants, drugs,
and nature as a whole
- The psychedelic experience, with its ego dissolving effects
represents an important component of the symbiosis of man
on Earth
- The striking similarities in the chemical structures of
neurotransmitters in the brain and indole compounds in
hallucinogenic plants are no coincidence
Despite the exhaustively researched and largely scholarly presentation of this work, unfounded criticism ensues when the subject matter stands as evidence in the indictment of many commonly held belief systems. However, most often the tone of McKenna's opponents caries the confident smirk of one safely distanced from his fierce intelligence, by their lack of experience with psychedelics.
Terrence McKenna didn't write for the amusement of those unfamiliar with the psychedelic experience. It was well within his mental capacity and scholarly abilities to legitimize his work for an audience of intellectual indifference. I wont say it's easier, but it certainly displays less integrity and truth of cause for one to cater to the lowest common denominator when attempting to relate ideas of this scope, even if they are only speculative.
Neither was it that the uninitiated were intentionally ignored and his priceless intellectual contribution was meant to be out of reach from common people, in an extension of Huxley's philosophy which he is often mistaken for representing.
Rather, his weakness seems to be his naivety in assuming that people inexperienced with psychedelics would approach his work with the unbiased mindfulness due of a reader of any great work of cultural and spiritual diagnosis.
The fact is that any intelligent, honest approach to this work will inevitably lead one to an intersection with a reality that cannot be negated.
Those who are experienced with psychedelics are likely to find in this book truths which they will integrate without hesitance - truths with implications profound enough to dissolve many of the illusions that largely pass as fact.
This book is a powerful catalyst of intellectual growth for anyone engaged in the pursuit to understand this world.
168 internautes sur 184 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating, Whether It's True or Not 23 septembre 1997
Par J. Brad Hicks ( - Publié sur
Terence McKenna (Food of the Gods), Julian Jaynes (Evolution of Consciousness ...), Camille Paglia (Sexual Personae), and Ruth Eisner (Chalice & the Blade) all look at the same evidence, and come to radically different, but equally radical, conclusions about the origins of what we call civilization (while trying to keep a straight face). Reading all three is an interesting, fun, and maybe useful exercise in juggling different world views. Ask yourself: why did each of them see the same evidence differently?

Or, perhaps, it's just a matter of trying to make too much soup from too little stock. The reason we CALL prehistory "pre-history" is that there's so little history to work from, so each brilliant (or not) author gets to project their own interpretation of what they'd LIKE the evidence to mean.

In McKenna's case, by the end of the book, it is obvious what he wants the evidence to mean. Terry McKenna wants us all to get off of what the Church of the SubGenius calls "Conspiracy Drugs," the ones that America got rich off of, like tobacco, caffeine, white sugar, distilled alcohol, and television. If we need to get high or drunk or trashed or whatever, he says that we need to go back to the drugs that first made human beings strong, fast, smart, sexy, and spiritual: organic psychedelics.

Of COURSE this is a weird and controversial view point. That's half the fun of this book. You know that only the trippers and the stoners are going to come out of the back end of this book fully convinced. But even if you're not one, you just mind find yourself a teensy bit convinced, and that, my friend, is a strange sensation.

Besides, it's a rollicking fun read.
34 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A valuble conribution to the field of anthropology 2 juin 2003
Par Ross James Browne - Publié sur
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_Food of the Gods_ by Terence Mckenna is an excellent addition to anyone's "alternative anthropology" library. New ideas regarding the origins of intellegent life are always very interesting. Mckenna also has some valuble sociological insights regarding the history of drug abuse, and reminds us that sugar, coffee, and chocolate are potent psychoactive substances that are just as addictive and just as unhealthful as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or psilocybin. It is refreshing to see someone try to level the playing field with regards to drug use, and finally admit that almost every adult in the entire western world is highly dependent on a variety of different drugs. It seems that Mckenna is taking a step in the right direction from a civil rights standpoint by lessening the taboos associated with certain drugs that are associated with the counter-culture, while reminding us of the caffeine and sugar addiction epedemic that is going on right under our noses. This book made me realize that drugs which are widely accepted and advocated by civilized society are not that much different from those which are outlawed. Overall, this is a fascinating anthropological and counter-cultural manifesto. Highly recommended.
20 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Breaks it all down 1 décembre 2004
Par Alistair Nexus - Publié sur
Before reading Food of the Gods, I thought that I was paranoid concerning western civilization. After I finished it, I became aware of all these little and big things which McKenna ties to the ego-dominator complex. McKenna has a way of putting things which describes human civilization as no one else I have read has. He does not write about the psylocybin experience, its effects on the human mind, but the impact of its effects on our civilization, across millions of years. I expected this to be a book of his theories about the Stropharia cubensis species being part of the cosmic gateway of data and consciousness transference, but this is about us, humanity, and what we have done with our minds, our bodies and our planet. This book kind of brings it all back home. I enjoyed it immensely. Get it :)
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Why You Should Take This Seriously: A Message To All The Haters 29 octobre 2010
Par Valus - Publié sur
The following review has special application to those who would seek to dismiss this book out-of-hand once they get an inkling of the controversial positions it describes. My questions and comments to these people are as follows:

Have you read it? Have you read Eisler's "The Chalice And The Blade", the anthropological text upon which McKenna bases much of his argument? Lastly, and most importantly, have you experienced psilocybin (the 5 dried gram dosage recommended by the author)? Have you ever tried to induce a mystical experience with the use of this sacred medicine? If not, then what makes you think you have a leg to stand on? Apparently, this is an experience which you won't even allow to be included in your model of the world. And, yet, did you happen to notice the cultural revolution in civil rights and anti-war sentiment which occurred during America's brief exposure to psychedelics?

Are you at all familiar with shamanism, the oldest form of spiritual practice on the planet? Have you researched the various indigenous societies around the world which have been safely utilizing plant allies for centuries, if not millenia? Are you familiar with their peaceful way of life? They work an average of sixteen hours a day -- they aren't slaves to a fanatical work ethic. They don't promote a way of life which entails the massive waste of human and environmental resources, and the accumulation of untold tons of junk. They never posed a threat to the survival of all animal life on this planet, as we're doing now. They don't live superficial, unreflective, spiritually-bankrupt lives, as the vast majority of Americans do. They wouldn't know the meaning of a "post-modern existential crisis". These people never fell from grace. They're dancing in the Garden of Eden as we speak. That doesn't interest you??

Psychedelics may seem to be a fringe issue, existing in the margins of human experience, but in many cultures, and for thousands of years, they are or have been recognized as a central part of how we establish harmonious conditions within ourselves, between each other, and in the natural world. "It is no measure of health, to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society." (~ Jiddu Krishnamurti)

McKenna traces the history of man from a unique perspective, drawing attention to a previously neglected, yet formidable, dimension of human experience; namely, our relation to the plant kingdom. He illustrates, with the exactness and discipline of a true scholar, how we have co-evolved with certain plant species, and how human consciousness has (and, consequently, how human events have) shifted in relation to the chemicals we have sanctioned. The abiding interest of mankind in experiencing novel tastes and states of consciousness is, for McKenna, something we need to acknowledge and come to terms with, if we are to reach the next stage of evolution. Just as sexuality was demonized and repressed during Victorian times, our culture is demonizing and repressing the natural human urge to experiment with, and to expand, uncommon states of consciousness through the ingesting of psychedelic compounds.

As philosopher Alan Watts wrote in his book "The Joyous Cosmology; Adventures in The Chemistry of Consciousness": "There is no difference in principle between sharpening perception with an external instrument, such as a microscope, and sharpening it with an internal instrument such as one of these... If they are an affront to the dignity of the mind, the microscope is an affront to the dignity of the eye and the telephone to the dignity of the ear."

I suggest you look into the recent study conducted by John's Hopkins University, in which psilocybin was administered to subjects who subsequently rated it among the five most significant and transformative experiences of their lives. Rigorous scientific evidence now exists to support the claim that states of awareness induced by psilocybin are indistinguishable from those experienced by the great saints and mystics of all time. I submit to you that there is nothing more humble than a mushroom, and that nothing is more humbling than finding God in a mushroom. "The fool laughs when he hears the way. If the fool did not laugh, it wouldn't be the way." (~ Lao Tzu) In short, your dismissive scoffing is grossly insufficient to dispute the solid evidence in support of these claims.

McKenna has given us a work, the true importance of which can hardly be overestimated. Like many great visionaries, he did not receive the credit due to him while he was alive. We can only hope that, for the sake of life on this planet, his work will eventually receive the recognition owed to it. Karmically speaking. ;)
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