May 262014

Oyanoconic in nanacaoctli, ya noyol in choca
I have drunk the liquor of mushrooms and my hear weeps.
- Poesia Nahuatl


In this age of constant interconnection we are seldom OFF.  We are seldom not-doing.  We are constantly catching up.
There is new information every time we scroll down.  It is either something happening in the world, a new coup, a new discovery, a new bomb, a new intriguing popstar relationship, or it is something new in a friend’s life (even if it is a friend whom we haven’t spoken to in many years, it is there and we must read it).
My connection to books dwindled with the coming of the internet to the point where I’d look at my many bookshelves and wonder “why exactly do I have these books that I love but don’t read”, something was off.

And so I have committed to a simple challenge/project (I like to call my challenges PROJECTS).  A book a week for a year.

A book a week for a year.

Yesterday I finished my third week and my third book: THE WONDROUS MUSHROOM – Mycolatry in Mesoamerica, by R. Gordon Wasson.
wondrous_mushroom2What an amazing book.  Powerfully written (full of conviction), clear, concise, focused and with profound effects.  Simply put Wasson’s work strongly invites you to see the recently lost great civilizations of the Nahua, the Greeks, the Aryans in a completely different light, one strongly, deeply influenced by entheogens (“plant substances that, when ingested, give one a divine experience”).  This book encourages the reader to attempt to see the world through the eyes of a simple people who place at the core of their culture, of their cosmology, of their living the world shown to them by the mushrooms.  Nowadays we call those substances psychadelics or hallucinogenics with the limited understanding that they influence our brains; our scientific endeavours shaping our perception; our yearning for a logical framework limiting the depth of experience.  For those people the mushrooms were, possibly, a door, a passageway, an entrance… not a “figment of our imagination” (or sad excuse for an imagination).