Years ago an art teacher introduced him to me as the first/foremost 2012 doomsday guy and then what little I read of him came across too batshit for me to consider. The other day I waded through a lot of youtube videos of him and he comes across pretty well-read and articulate, even if his theories are silly.
The big problem with going through his lectures on youtube is 80% of them are obscured with cheesy stoner psychedelic screen saver fractals and bad techno music. He seems a huge hit among the college-age "WOO! DRUGS!!" demographic and that makes it difficult to take him seriously.
I don't buy the idea that religious systems are dead-ends and psychedelics are the only way to true spirituality but I like his enthusiasm either way. I also like his anarchist/anti-materialism bent, and some of his theories are pretty interesting - like the idea that magic mushrooms helped man evolve from tree-dweller to forest forager.
That bit I've posted above "We are lead by the least noble, the least capable, the least visionary" etc. is why I'm voting classic.
― Adam Bruneau, Monday, 15 February 2010 16:14 (3 years ago) Permalink
sounds a bit too much like a leary wannabe
― bracken free ditch (Ste), Monday, 15 February 2010 17:18 (3 years ago) Permalink
Pseudoscientist hyped by the likes of Boing-Boing and other low-cred sources
― Now, Monday, 15 February 2010 19:05 (3 years ago) Permalink
Classic profile of McKenna by Mark Jacobson in Esquire (reprinted in Teenage Hipster in the Modern World)
― Mordy, Monday, 15 February 2010 19:23 (3 years ago) Permalink
This guy is...something:
Since mushroom spores could chemically survive space travel, he concluded, the mushrooms may in fact be aliens. Later, he would back down a bit from this claim, but never quite completely. He could never make up his mind whether (a) the mushrooms actually are aliens, or (b) their tryptamine nectar somehow allows our brains to puncture space-time and attain access into a cosmic channel of communication that is always both present and and open to every other place in the universe.
― ryan, Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
stoned ape / magic mushroom theory is totally classic stuff. i never heard the alien spin before from mckenna but i guess it's the missing link between mushrooms evolved the human species and aliens evolved the human species.
― Mordy, Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
pretty out there but Classic. the evolution-via-psychedelics stuff is probably his most cogently argued point.
― Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
im reading about him in a book about Esalen, but I think im gonna pick up some of his own stuff!
― ryan, Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
get Food of the Gods
― Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
that's the one i was planning on.
also this amazing bit:
History is the "shock wave of eschatalogy." Something at the end of time is acting as an attractor, drawing us all toward its final galactic wisdom and our "ingestion of the novel into the plenum of being."
goes on from there to talk about his claim that the end of time will be 2012.
― ryan, Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah he was the first place to latch onto the 2012 Mayan calendar thing. which was essentially based on a lol typo.
― Roger Barfing (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
This book is quite generous to him:
Few other modern mystical texts are as provocative, funny, and intellectually stimulating as the books of Terence McKenna. But I would not quite end there. After all, Terence's texts (themselves a kind of literal plant product) force on us a potential encounter, if not with literal aliens, then at least with a kind of alien eloquence, translinguistic gnosis, or metaphysical trauma speaking through McKenna's words. We would do well, I think, not to reduce or metaphorize away his claims too quickly.
― ryan, Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:52 (1 year ago) Permalink
You must read about Jacobson's encounter with him. He does mushrooms with McKenna and it's really wild.
― Mordy, Friday, 18 May 2012 00:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
I think that quote is right-on btw and speaks to what is really compelling in his work. he kinda places us as alien figures against this prehistoric human ancestor pre hallucination. and he really pivots the creation of civilization on the imaginative hallucinatory earthy plant experience. in the Jacobson profile he eats mushrooms and finds himself in a forest digging his feet into the earth. when he gets home his wife IIRC tells him that the kids were asking if daddy was in a forest. kinda this chilling unknown realm of potential human space that is really evocative and maybe even utopian (tho i think he was too into the weirdness of it to suggest that it was some kind of actual utopian space).
― Mordy, Friday, 18 May 2012 00:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
Love that he invented the phrase "machine elves."I quoted him once or twice in different college lit papers. Always expected to get called on using a dubious source but never did.
― Word of Wisdom Robots (Abbbottt), Friday, 18 May 2012 01:38 (1 year ago) Permalink