Why mycophobes called mushrooms ‘toad’s bread’ or ‘toadstools’ can readily be explained. When the toad is attacked or scared the warts on its back exude bufonenin, the poison secreted in the white hallucinogenic warts of the amanita muscaria. In ancient Greece the toad was the emblem of Argos, the leading state of the Peloponnese, the emblems of the two other states being also connected with the mushroom: namely fox and serpent. This division into states had been made by a legendary king named Phoroneus, which seems a form of Phryneus, meaning ‘Toad-man’. The capital city was Mycenae (‘Mushroom City’) said to have been built by Phoroneus’s successor Perseus (‘the destroyer’) who, according to Pausanicus, had found a mushroom growing on the site beside a spring of water. The toad was also the emblem of Tlalóc, the Mexican God of Inspiration, and appears surrounded by mushrooms in an Aztec mural painting of Tlalócan, his Paradise.
—Robert Graves, Difficult Questions, Easy Answers (1972)
Wonder if they found any fungi glyphs along the glorious NILE river civilizations.
I am imbued with some special spirit. It’s not a religious feeling at all. It is a shocking eruption of great electrical energy: I feel vivid and flashing as if suddenly I had been plugged into some great cosmic electromagnetic field. I feel connected to all living things, to flowers, birds, to all the animals of the world and even to some great unseen living force, what I think the Hindus call prana. It is not a breakdown. I have never felt so orderly in my life! It is a shattering and beautiful sensation! It is the exalted flow of the space-time continuum, save that it is spaceless and timeless and of such loveliness! I feel on the verge of some great ultimate truth.
—Paddy Chayefsky, Network (1976)
Solutions for ennui