Terence McKenna is kind of a personal hero of mine. I first read about him in Wired a long time ago, in which he was described as the sort of intellectual heir of Timothy Leary and also as a “Guy in a shiny purple suit.” Since then I’ve listened to his many lectures on the nature of the universe and creativity, the internet, history, aliens, conspiracy theories and of course psychedelic mushrooms.
These mushrooms are the titular Food of the Gods in this book, which is McKenna’s thesis that it was psylocybin containing mushrooms that gave early human ancestors the creative and cognitive edge they needed to develop language and tool use and ultimately evolve into modern Homo sapiens. Far-fetched maybe, but very interesting. He also discusses the history of human addiction to certain substances refined into white powders like cocaine and sugar.
As weird as this book is, it’s a good introduction to some of the less far-fetched ideas that have come from the brain of Terence McKenna.