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Download Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution, by Terence McKenna, Jeffrey Kafer Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00046189376443 out of 54.00046189376443 out of 54.00046189376443 out of 54.00046189376443 out of 54.00046189376443 out of 5 4.00 (2,165 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Terence McKenna, Jeffrey Kafer Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Terence McKenna hypothesizes that as the North African jungles receded, giving way to savannas and grasslands near the end of the most recent ice age, a branch of our arboreal primate ancestors left the forest canopy and began living in the open areas beyond. There they experimented with new varieties of foods as they adapted, physically and mentally, to the environment. Among the new foods found in this environment were psilocybin-containing mushrooms growing near dung of ungulate herds occupying the savannas and grasslands. 

Referencing the research of Roland L. Fisher, McKenna claims the enhancement of visual acuity was an effect of psilocybin at low doses and suggests this would confer adaptive advantage. He argues that the effects of slightly larger doses, including sexual arousal, and in larger doses, ecstatic hallucinations and glossolalia—gave selective evolutionary advantages to members of those tribes who partook of it. There were many changes caused by the introduction of this psychoactive to primate diets. He hypothesizes, for instance, that synesthesia (the blurring of sensory boundaries) caused by psilocybin led to the development of spoken language: the ability to form pictures in another person’s mind through the use of vocal sounds. About 12,000 years ago, further climate changes removed psilocybin-containing mushrooms from human diets. He argues that this event resulted in a new set of profound changes in our species as we reverted to the previous brutal primate social structures that had been modified and/or repressed by frequent consumption of psilocybin.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Deserves to be a modern classic on mind-altering drugs and hallucinogens.”

    Washington Post

  • “Kafer’s matter-of-fact voice nudges listeners to consider the possibilities that McKenna is offering. Kafer keeps to a consistent narrative rhythm and does well with emphasis, tone, and pace.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 4.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 5 by Davo | 10/5/2016

    " Most definitely the best audiobook ive consumed. Terence McKenna brilliantly drops knowledge nuggets all the way through. Only grip is the narrator's robotic style. Loved it anyways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Josh | 2/11/2014

    " Fascinating. Mushrooms and the lack of boundary breaker in our "diet" is hole to be filled by the addictions and vices of our day... perhaps a missing link in our evolution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ulrik | 2/7/2014

    " I'm not a good book reviewer, this is my first one. But I can tell you that when I read it, this book taught me that stimulants can be found in more than just beer and cigarettes like chocolade, sugar and caffeine. It also started me thinking how television is a stimulant in itself. Whether this book is well written I can't say since my mothertongue is not english yet I mostly read english writings. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kelsey Weinhold | 1/27/2014

    " Hard to read, hard to stay motivated. Some interesting facts. "

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