Zap Oracle Card # - © Jonathan Zap
text and photo © Jonathan Zap
Throughout human history, patriarchal forces have forbidden certain types of knowledge and awareness. Censorship was ubiquitous, and many books and other cultural artifacts were taboo. In the present era, unless you live in a truly totalitarian country like North Korea or China, fruit that was once forbidden is widely available. The internet is the greatest forbidden fruit delivery system ever created. Even so, we have prisons full of people who were arrested for possessing forbidden fruit in the form of mind-altering substances, many of them gifts from the plant kingdom. Terence McKenna describes the Garden of Eden story as “history’s first drug bust.” He believed the forbidden fruit to be a metaphorical reference to psilocybin mushrooms that often grew under trees. Although many people may make foolish use of such forbidden fruit, it may be worse than foolish to allow the government to forbid access to mind-altering medicines. On the other hand, many people use mind-altering substances, legal and illegal, as blue pills, as ways to keep eating the imaginary steak of the Babylon Matrix and remaining blind and ignorant.
Receiving this card calls your attention to the issue of forbidden fruit. Often it is we ourselves who block our access to the forbidden fruit, especially the full knowledge of who we are and the light and dark forces that dwell within us. Consider this a propitious time to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
“In Food of the Gods: The search for the original tree of knowledge, McKenna points out that in indigenous and aboriginal societies, it’s not the ‘average person’ who takes strong psychedelic plants to tear open what Aldous Huxley referred to as the ‘doors of perception’ and lead us into other worlds. Instead, it’s the shamans. It’s not the ill person who takes the drug — it’s the healer. And using that substance, the shaman steps into the more-real-than-real world that parallels this like Plato’s cave-images, to manipulate the fundamental stuff of reality or entreat the spirits who reside there to help and heal.
“In fact, McKenna warns us away from some drugs, like the sip of coffee I just took. The ‘accepted’ drugs of our culture, he points out, are the ones that enhance brain and personality function appropriate to hierarchical, male-dominated cultures. The ‘unacceptable’ drugs — from pot to mushrooms to peyote — all are interwoven in egalitarian cultures.
“Perhaps the most intriguing assertion McKenna makes is that human consciousness came about in its present form as the direct result of the interaction of higher primates with psychoactive plants (primarily mushrooms, in his opinion), which amped up and increased the complexity of our brains, giving these newer primates (us) an evolutionary advantage.”
Google Terence Mckenna for much more forbidden fruit and read his best book: The Archaic Revival