From the Back Cover
Why, as a species, are humans so fascinated by altered states of consciousness? Can altered states reveal something to us about our origins and our place in nature? In Food of the Gods, ethnobotanist Terrence Mckenna’s research on man’s ancient relationship with chemicals opens a doorway to the devine, and perhaps a solution for saving our troubled world. McKenna provides a revisionist look at the historical role of drugs in the East and West, from the ancient spice, sugar, and rum trades to marijuana, cocaine, synthetics, and even television – illustrating the human desire for “food of the gods” and the powerful potential to replace abuse of illegal drugs with a shamanic understanding, insistence on community, reverence for nature, and increased self-awareness.
There are some sections of this book that occasionally verge on fantasy, particularly accounts of an endemic ancient mushroom cult which as yet has little supporting evidence. Also the assumption that by giving the world powerful hallucinogens, dominator values will somehow cease, seems a little naïve to me. Even so, I will still recommend reading this book. In parts, it is a very gripping read. McKenna’s insights into the drug/cultural problems we face, and his portrayal of historic and ancient drug use, is very compelling. This book is claimed as a modern classic, although for the most part, I feel it does not deserve this praise.