“The mushroom states its own position very clearly. It says, 'I require the nervous system of a mammal. Do you have one handy?'”—The Archaic Revival.
Railing as he does against what he terms the “dominator” religion, McKenna might be amused to discover that he has much in common with Augustine of Hippo, especially in regard to the latter's Enchidirion. Both believe that your average Joe, working either in the fields or in the office, have neither the time nor the inclination to seek out those mystical experiences that transforms one's self. The answer for Augustine is the Catholic Church, which imparts a highly regulated organized religion to give benefit to even the most ill-equipped of mystics. For McKenna the answer is his “archaic revival” of shamanic methods using an equally regulated and organized method of ingesting psychedelic drugs. Of course, the application of drugs will no more lead to a person becoming a mystic than the application of a clarinet will lead to a nascent musician playing Carnegie Hall. This McKenna obviously realizes and therefore advocates the use of these drugs only in certain situations. He certainly frowns upon using his sacrament in any way that would be deemed “recreational” or even “fun.” Dosages recommended are so high, such as five dried grams of psilocybin mushrooms, that McKenna describes them as “ego flattening”—this is the only result worth pursuing in the application of these elicit hallucinogenic plants and chemicals. The most interesting part of the book is his first-hand research on the use of certain drugs employed in the Amazon basin.
Publisher: Harper San Francisco
Paperback: 267 pages