Food of the gods summary
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge by Terence McKennaThis book is trash.
I picked up this book because of an interest in drug culture and history. The premise sounds interesting enough: we stopped doing shrooms and got worse as a society.
Ill summarize the book in case the premise sounds interesting to you, so you can get the gist without reading it:
- Some ancient cultures used mushrooms.
- Lots of cultures MAY have used mushrooms but well never know
- Mushrooms may have helped the human brain evolve and help us evolve language
- Ancient orgies on mushrooms are good for society because they dissolve social boundaries
- He goes into a history of sugar and says its just as addictive as heroin.
- He goes into a history of lsd, cocaine, dmt, heroin, tea.
- He suggests we have become male dominated, loss of feminine societies because we removed drugs from everyday society
The wikipedia article on shrooms is far more interesting than this book, and better written. Thats right, a wikipedia article is more coherent than this book. That should send you running.
Terence will present a pseudo idea, and then ramble off into barely related topics until you want to die. It is a chore to read. Instead of any kind of solid research, he glues together tangents into a a rickety web of boredom.
Lets look at an example gem from Terences writing:
The drive for unitary wholeness within the psyche, which is to a degree instinctual, can nevertheless become pathological if pursued in a context in which dissolution of boundaries and rediscovery of the ground of being has been made impossible.
Did you zone out while reading that sentence? Imagine 300 pages of that. He has a remarkable way of presenting ideas in a fog of poor writing. Its the same style of writing as a highschooler with a thin grasp of an essay topic and too much access to a thesaurus. Its as if Terence knows his ideas dont hold much water, so he throws in as many slightly related things as possible to make it look like he has a solid theory. The worst is when he gets into his own head without relying on any external sources. When that happens, expect to be liberally skipping paragraphs.
This book suffers terribly from not having an editor. Easily 90% could be cut out and not lose any substance. And once you realize that Terence cant even provide interesting accounts of drug trips, you start to think very hard about your life and why youre 200 pages deep in hell.
Some of his theories, like mushrooms helping our brains evolve language, are completely unfounded, and he has no research to back it up. This would be fine if he didnt devote dozens of rambling pages to them.
You should also probably know that Terence McKenna stopped doing mushrooms in 1998 after a bad trip.
To get a full understand of how poor of a communicator Terence is, listen to him speak. Some of his lectures are online. If you can suffer through it, I dare you to try to come up with one thing you learned from hearing him speak. Anyone who claims he is an eloquent speaker, or that the audio book is better, has been tricked by Terences ability to ramble for hours, and isnt aware they arent learning anything and that he has no coherent ideas.
I dont think ideas about mushrooms and societal integration are bad. I started reading to become more familiar with drug culture and history and potential good uses of psychedelics. But 10 pages in I regretted it. If you think you enjoyed the book then you havent read any good nonfiction. Compared to persuasive, organized, well researched, non fiction books, Food of the Gods is a pile of trash.
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge
Wells Booklist H. Wells Message Board. Wells' lesser-known works, The Food of the Gods has been retold in many forms in Science Fiction novels and films for the past century. It is the cautionary tale of scientists tampering with nature with the disastrous result of giant animals at large. Bensington and Mr.