Top positive review
14 of 14 people found this helpful
A good read, not to be taken fanatically
on December 19, 2002
If anything, McKenna denies such a concept as intangible as enlightment-that was Leary's ego-trip. He's drawing attention to the fact that we are an evolving species that has, up till now at least, made some very selfish and destructive decisions. He claims that psilocybin is a mutagen proven to be capable of aiding in our collective evolution toward balance with each other and with nature. Anyone who claims that psilocybin is not a mutagen that puts man in contact with the vegetable-mind-the "mama matrix most mysterious" -and catalyses the realization that we are a part of magnificant nature, not something seperate from or stuggling against it, is to put it nicely, completely misinformed. As is anyone who claims that abuse of sugar, coffee, tobacco, chocalate, automobiles & television are not addictions that push us further from nature & away from balance, understanding and integration. People who view their "sober," selfish, game-playing, costume-wearing, coffee-drinking existences as productive and meaningful have a little waking up to do.
McKenna is far from braindead. Read the book and you may be impressed, as I was, with his daring conjecture, botanical, historical & anthropological knowledge, prose and literary savoir-faire in discussing a topic which society has branded evil, immoral, degenerative or, at the very least, highly controversial. Remember when you claim that his radical viewpoint lacks scientific credulity that our lawmakers are responsible for fanatically denying all access to the subject-matter by legitimate researchers, forcing the study and the knowledge underground.
People acting from a basis of profound paranoia are not helpful guides and their insights should be taken with a grain of salt. Unfortunatly, to watch the news or to listen to our politicians speak, this paranoia about things mysterious, supressed or unexplored seems to be omnipresent in our society, which is thoroughly based upon male-ego/dominator values-talk about building your house on the sand!
This world is incredibly screwed up. To dream of progress and productivity in a time when we can see that all that these false idols have led us to is disorder and eminent doom is a dangerous delusion. The goal is to keep this planet intact for ourselves, for each other, for our children and for our children's children. Following Christ or whichever pathological egotist claims to be His representative has not been enough, so far, to awaken people to the fact that we are riding a runaway train in which the conductor has hidden from himself the emergency brake. We are living in a time when corporate bigshots and good-ole-boy politicians are seen as the good guys, while spiritual explorers, environmentalists and even Nature herself are perceived by docile masses of egotists, each living in the darkest of personal ignorance, to be pawns of the Devil.
We must search for a viable catalyst of selfless thought. To my mind, religion seems only to reinforce selfishness and inequality. Mushrooms, while less than a panacea, are definately a transcendental doorway beyond the restrictions that one's ego asserts over one's consciousness. About this subject, McKenna was far more qualified to speak than am I. If his claim was that mushrooms equal instant enlightenment, then I would be the first to attack his premise. Read the book and take from it what you like & try not to get hysterical or defensive. Paranoia, automatic nay-say and denial will get us no-place. This is just a theory, a stimulating one at that, and it is not inteded to be viewed as dogma or doctrine.