Terrence Mckenna

From: Ben Goertzel (ben@goertzel.org)
Date: Sun Jan 19 2003 - 15:01:03 MST

> Anand AI wrote:
> > The 12/21/12 date has to do with Terrence McKenna's Timewave Zero
> > hypothesis, which I haven't looked into much and don't have an
> opinion of,
> > though others may (speak up, speak up).
> Er... having not investigated in detail, I'll offer the snap opinion that
> this is sheer idiocy.
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Idiocy? Sorta ;-)

I'd call it the heavily-drug-induced hallucinations/speculations of a
brilliant, visionary freak, who rejected the scientific and empirical view
of reality and created a fascinating poetic truth that he sometimes
expressed in the language of science...

I have read nearly all of Terence McKenna's published works.

His book "The Food of the Gods" is an excellent history of the role of
psychoactive substances in the history of mankind. In addition to a lot of
interesting historical facts, it contains the speculation that consciousness
developed in humans due to prehistoric interactions with psychedelic

"True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author's Extraordinary
Adventures in the Devil's Paradise" gives an account of his Amazonian
experiences with the hallucinogen ayahuasca, which led him to the 2012
prediction. The date 2012 corresponds with the end of the Mayan calendar,

One of his other books --

The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching

contains some really interesting accounts of his conversations with
"machine-elves from other dimensions", mediated via his daily experiences
with DMT (dimethyltryptamine), a substance that supposedly gives you an
LSD-like trip that comes and goes over a fifteen minute period. (Very handy
for lunch hour, or even the morning coffee break !!)

I never read

"Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date"

but I gues it contains more on the silly 2012 prediction.

For the last couple decades of his life he tended a large mushroom farm in

To me, McKenna's thinking and writing is great science fiction -- he's a
dashing protagonist as well as an excellent storyteller. Given his views
about the non-reality/surreality of our so-called "reality", I don't think
he would have really minded having his work labeled this way....

A lot of weird Terence McKenna ish stuff is at


-- Ben Goertzel

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