Posted by: Johan Normark | June 16, 2009

2012: Prophet of nonsense #8: Terence McKenna– Novelty theory and timewave zero

Why is it so difficult for the prophets of nonsense to even get some basic facts correct? As shown in my post on Calleman, his cycles do not fit world history. Here is yet another example of pseudo-scientists. Terrence McKenna was an ethnobotanist who loved numerology and as we have seen before, numerology is one these prophets main tools. They constantly claim that they have come up with an exact formula of cyclic repetition and the like, but as any person with basic knowledge of world history can see, these cycles never fit the data.

What was McKenna’s “great” idea then? According to McKenna’s novelty theory (apparently inspired by the important philosopher Alfred Norton Whitehead which definitely should not be associated with this New Age mumbo jumbo). Like Whitehead, McKenna argues that the world is constantly changing, creating novelty. I have no problem with that idea so far, but then McKenna goes astray and his association to spiritualism, shamanism, and pseudoscience is revealed. When “novelty” is graphed over time, a fractal waveform known as timewave zero emerges. The graph shows at what times novelty is supposedly increasing or decreasing.

The timewave itself is a mathematical formula created from McKenna’s interpretation and analysis of numerical patterns in the I Ching, an oracular tool based on Chinese philosophy and associated with magic. McKenna used I Ching to show that the events of any given time are recursively related to the events of other times Things change at an increasing speed and reach a point where change is all that exist and when will this occur? What do you think? Of course, on the 21st of December 2012. However, apparently McKenna’s followers claim that since he and his brother came up with the 2012 date from another source than the Maya calendar this supposedly support the idea that the world ends or is transformed on this date, since having proof from more than one source is better.

I-Ching is composed of 64 hexagrams, which are six-line figures. Here we run into numbers, numbers and more numbers, just to confuse or amaze the reader. If you multiply 6 and 64 you get 384 which is very close (but not exact…) to 13 lunar months (383.8978 days). Well, if you multiply 64 with 384 (not 383.8978) you get 67 years, 104.25 days which supposedly is the length of 6 minor sunspot cycles (11.2 years each). But, for what reason are 13 lunar months associated with sunspot cycles? They are clearly different astronomical phenomena. Of course, multiply the last period by 64 and you get roughly 4306 years (2 Zodiac ages). This must then be multiplied by 6 (not 64) to reach the time period of 25836 years which is the precession of the equinoxes (which is popular among other 2012 prophets).

McKenna choose the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as the starting point for his last 67.29 year cycle (as you know, all prophets believe they live in the final era, so it is and has always been). At the end of this final cycle the novelty should reach a singular point beyond which we do not know what will happen. This should happen in mid November 2012. But since this was close enough to the end of Baktun 12 in the Long Count calendar (December 21, 2012) he decided to adjust the end date so that it fit this calendar! This means than that the last of these 67.29 years periods did not begin with a major event like the atomic bomb, but with a more general idea, such as the end of WWII…

McKenna used the fractal pattern on the rest of the world history as well. By subtracting fractals of 67.29 years from 2012 he claimed to reveal the important phases of world history. As mentioned 2012-67 is 1945 (the end of WW II). OK, so far it roughly fits, but that is about it. The next period must be 64 times longer: 2012-4,306 (67×64) is 2294 BC, when historical time is assumed to have begun. Not really, historical figures and dates are known several centuries earlier in Sumer and Egypt. The next date is 2012-(4,306×64) and here we reach the date of 273,572 BC, supposedly when Homo sapiens emerged. Current estimates place the emergence of Homo sapiens to around 200,000 BC. McKenna’s estimate is over 70,000 years wrong. The next phase is 64 times longer and here we end up at roughly 17,6 million years ago, which he claims is the height of the age of mammals. But, why is such a “height” of relevance? How do you measure this height? The age of mammals is for sure a mammalcentric perspective. There are and were far more species of birds, fish, not to mention insects than there were mammals 17,6 million years ago. Would not the extinction of dinosaurs 64 million years ago be a more relevant “date” since it has number 64 in it? Anyway, the next fractal began 1,128 billion years ago and this he claims is when life began on Earth. This is not even near…

Why do these prophets of nonsense not fit the actual major “events” in the universe or on Earth into their numbers? Why is not the Big Bang included, the formation of the Earth, the Cambrian explosion of life forms, the first terrestrial tetrapods, the first mammals, the extinction of dinosaurs, early hominids, emergence of Paleolithic art,  agriculture, urbanization, industrialization, etc.? Some prophets may include one of these “events” but will exclude others since they may not fit their formula.  

One could of course argue that at the time when McKenna wrote this nonsense, some of the dates mentioned above were accepted knowledge by science (which they were not, but let us just believe so for a moment). But since he based his fractal timewave on ancient wisdom, he should have gotten it right from the start, and not adjust it. The ancients are always right, remember that…

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  1. one could also assume that McKenna was high as a kite when he wrote his nonsense.

  2. I believe this is true for plenty of other 2012ers a well. Those who come up with these nonsensical ideas while using drugs can at least be excused for having their minds distorted. Those 2012ers who do not consume drugs, and still come up with similar ideas, these people are the ones we should look out for.

  3. Mike, I suspect you are right. After all, McKenna did proclaim the benefits of psychedelic mushrooms, for preparing us for the singularity.

    Then there’s his belief in machine elves, some sort of beings that are visible after you do Ayahuasca, and other trippy psychedelic drugs.

  4. If all that is in your mind is the value of telling another human being that he is wrong….. I think I would rather side with the one who is TRYING to change the world for the better. Just sayin.

  5. That kind of reasoning is usually how these prophets of nonsense get their followers. I am just a bad person who tells these guys they have no contact with reality and hence the other poor guy must be right. So when Dawkins and Myers show the nonsense of creationists you would rather believe the creationists then I assume? Interesting logic!

    Maybe you should check out my current research and you will see that I am also trying to change the world for the better. I’ll do this by showing problems inherent in studies how anicent climate affected ancient socieities. I try to show that we have little to learn from such studies in trying to mend our own problems with sustainability today (which some archaeologists believe). That is a far more concrete attempt to make the world a better place than McKenna’s psychedelic trips…

    • It is a lot easier to go behind someone and point out mistakes. Why don’t you go ahead of people and show what will work? Or what will happen. Terrance never said what is going to happen at the date his software ends. I know we won’t keep doing what we are doing!

  6. Maybe.

  7. Maybe the author of this article is unfamiliar with the fact that Terence McKenna encouraged skepticism, even towards his own ideas. At times he may have seemed to believe them for a while, but he always left room for questioning. He was mostly a storyteller, a speculator – definitely not a hard scientist.

    There’s also evidence suggesting that McKenna created the whole Timewave theory as a parody of a scientific theory. He didn’t consider himself a scientist, more of an explorer.

    He was indeed a crackpot, but one that acknowledged that and made fun of it.

    The most important part of McKenna’s novelty theory, to me, doesn’t seem to be the part based on I Ching, but the part about accelerating change – which many authors have been talking about. Of course it was not McKenna’s own idea, but then what?

    He had great talent for inspiring imaginative thinking, and that’s where his legacy is probably going to be most visible in the times to come. He encouraged us to explore new ideas without prejudice, to be open to all kinds of theories, even if they conflicted with pre-existing assumptions. He did not advocate blind belief, no matter how tempting an idea might have been. He didn’t look for absolute truth. He wanted to find out what works, and then seek some more.

    • Scepticism is always healthy. I applaude those that go against the norms but only to the extent that their ideas are in tune with what the actual evidence says. I am a neo-realist and hence disagree with the idea that all knowledge is relativistic. All our knowledge is based in a prediscursive world.

      The idea that time is accelarating is not foreign to me as I see everything as consisting of speeds and degrees of intensity. There are indeed periods when events occur at an increasing speed and some periods where events slowly fold.

    • Thank you for writing that comment, Kasvio. It amazes me that anybody could garner as much information about the specifics of the Timewave model and yet remain so oblivious to the general themes of Terence’s larger message. To label Terence McKenna as “New Age” requires complete ignorance of the history of what has come to be called the New Age movement, ignorance of Terence’s motivations and intentions, or a willingness to sweep nuance and inconvenient data under the rug. This last describes so many self-styled “skeptics” that Robert Anton Wilson coined a new term, zeteticism, to describe actual skepticism and differentiate it from the irrational rationalism that has camped under the banner of skepticism.

      • It always amazes me that people believe this man (and others) when it is so easy to check out how far off from recorded history he is. This always come from people knowing nothing about the Maya. If he had to adjust his whole timewave in order to fit the supposed end of the Long Count that in its turn is based on a problematic correlation with the Julian (not Gregorian) calendar then he should have no credibility. The GMT correlation is not proven beyond doubt to be the true one…

    • Listen to you talking about how Terence encouraged people to explore new ideas without prejudice and then calling him a “crackpot” when you clearly have no experience or knowledge on psychedelics. A “crackpot”, really? People who say things like this are the people that need to try them the most.

      • Ryan – how about listening to yourself?

        To advocate for reform of drug law and policy is one thing. There’s arguably a valid issue for responsible consideration there. Free adults might decide for themselves whether they want try a psychedelic or not, by right – as a matter of religious freedom, and personal choice. Its no different than, should we be able to worship Jesus if we want?

        (Or do you figure society at large, whatever its beef, should be in charge of that, able to restrict or permit our individual autonomy, freedom of belief? Like somebody else has a compelling interest in dictating our options, make our choice for us?)

        Psychedelic mystical experience and its profound personal impact (~1/3 psilocybin subjects in controlled study) is clearly a type of religious experience, as defined by psychological criteria (Wm James, 1902).

        That needs to be understood. The modern world was not only startled, but skeptically flabbergasted by the very notion of a spiritual ‘tripiphany’ (other than as something delusional-hallucinatory, i.e. pathological) in 1954, when Huxley first breathed word of it. Even though it might not have been. The ethnographic record had already shown: in hallucinogen-based traditions (e.g. peyotism, nanacatism etc.) the context of use is almost invariably ritual-religious (espec. shamanistic).

        Either way, Huxley’s observation stands pretty well validated now. His was a reasonably accurate representation of one face (among others – including psychotomimetic) of psychedelic effects. He wasn’t imagining things or exaggerating.

        The problem with McKennism, the ‘brave new psychedelia’ that’s spawned now under his inspirational tent show baton – is ideological extremism tainted with authoritarianism. It wants to claim right not just over its own mind – its got business with anybody and everybody else too. Monkey business.

        Policy reform toward rights of free adults to “Internal Freedom” (as Leary called it) isn’t enough for neopsychedelia. The brave new tripper message expresses a distinctly power-seeking, acquisitive focus, on other people – not just friends and familiy mind you, but strangers one doesn’t even know. If they’re not tripping, that’s problematic to the TM concern.

        TMism’s hard line doesn’t stand on religious freedom; its more like an Inquisition into other’s most personal doings and being. Its aggression expresses a nosy interest, like Bible-toting strangers coming to our door unsolicited, eager to involve themselves with friendly interrogation into whether we’re churched, and what religion. And whether we approve or not of their solicitous interest in our private concerns – which are none of their business. They’re not content with their own freedom; like Uncle Sam: “We Want You.”

        Who can blame them (right?)? So what if they’re forgiven, saved from damnation for all time. The eternal reward of heaven, in the company of the angels and never to be parted from God– I mean, how could they ever be content with such a paltry reward? It just seems so empty, rings kind of hollow, doesn’t it?

        As long as there are others – people they don’t know from Adam, whoever, doesn’t matter — who don’t take communion, don’t join in bowing down at that altar – situation demands redress. Onward Christian soldiers. Its not enough to be saved, loved by Jesus, destined for eternity in heaven. Their battle is the cosmic one between God (their rep) and Satan with his minions.

        So it is with TM operations, the war on ‘not your friend’ culture – its pervasive, all-encompassing – totalizing in its ambitions like fascism. Its not content with possibility of establishing its right to take a psychedelic if it wants. There’s a much larger, more serious problem from TM’s coke bottle lens – through a glass darkly. Its alarmed because, with the Eschaton approaching and stakes rising – not enough folks are tripping. Something needs to be done about that – on urgent priority, cosmic.

        And even people taking psychedelics, as Terence kindly notified us – are not taking high enough doses as he explicitly prescribed. TM Rx: 5 g – whole crude material, btw, highly variable potency (not even a valid mg dose measure).

        Read ARCHAIC REVIVAL (p. 15): Too many people are ‘diddling the dose’ (and that’s “one thing that I’m definitely opposed to” – TM rebuking trippers). Non-’heroic’ cowards, they will never get the merit badge – as Teafaerie called it in a recent essay: The Terence McKenna Thing (google it).

        So the Touched By Terence mission looks around, with disapproval, not just about policy. It realizes a grim determination, just at the sound of people saying things that — to the TM Authority (wth merit badges, and citation power) — only go to prove, those people need to take psychedelics. Whether they realize it or not.

        The Mission of TMism is like the ‘world conquest’ of the Mad Scientist in old horror movies. IIf others are not making the right decision — to trip, get psychedelic — it needs to be made for them. The ignorant infidels have to be dealt with. And it needs to be the right (over-) dosage, taken enough to meet the demands of the TM Inquisition – which only escalate (they’re never satisfied).

        TMism power grab compulsion is authority over others – a serious matter, an issue of problematic concern.

        The less power-hungry question of policy, whether grown ups should perhaps be able to make their own decisions, is just an iceberg’s tip, of the newer Orwellian psychedelia (“its not enough to obey, Winston Smith, you must love Big Brother”).

        The bad people in this world, ignorant non-trippers, haven’t gotten their minds right (a memorable phrase from COOL HAND LUKE) – infidels, unbelievers, haters. The TM fane zeroes in one others, its own freedom over its own mind and body can hardly be enough. It expresses the same power-seeking compulsion over other people’s minds, their ‘beyond within’ not just its own — as reflect in the present prohibition policies they vociferously object to. TMism is like the Who’s New Boss (“meet” him – “same as the old Boss”).

        Ryan, free people are sovereign beings. I think each of us can decide for ourselves (thank you) whether we might like to try psychedelics, or not. Regardless what the Terence McKenna Authority approves, or doesn’t. Your line faithfully echoes its attitude: “people who say things like this are the people that need to try them the most” – and its ethically bankrupt, incompetent by sane moral reasoning. Dark side of the Force, rapping itself in white robes – and smelling bad.

        If me, you, or a dog name Blue prefer to take psychedelics, or not – it doesn’t mean there is something wrong, needing fixed. Those who prefer to appease or placate the Teachings of Terence, huddle at the hem of his robes can do that. Those who decline, thank you – are standing on their ground, and don’t need permission from the TM protocult to do that.

        TMism aggressively sacrifices the genuine issue of religious self-determination and rights, on the altar of its sacred cow. Like the very law it protests and resents – it doesn’t know a compelling interest from ideological aggression. In reverse fashion, the Terence protocult’s voice is that of a different Big Brother. Concerned not just about itself and its rights – in its benevolence, our welfare and doings become its business.

        In turning counter-ethical concern outward toward all and sundry – whether you or I are living up to its precepts and practices – it reflects a profound lack of ethical sanity, a vacuum of principle – a will to power and control. In the process it casts its validity of purpose to the wind with gleeful abandon, with endless rationalization and self-excusal. The ends justify the means, and the world needs to get with the TM program, according to its preaching and sermons.

        TMism appears past a Point of No Return. It holds itself above reproach, knows better, wiser – and its just getting worse by various signs and indications, as a spawning ground for subversive fanaticism – wth all the potential for violence and devolution of the human condition that portends. Good old inner ‘evil genie’ out of its bottle, having a great time.

        NEWSFLASH: 2012ism’s first confirmed kill! Dominican Republic, last October (three others injured). Not much of a body count so far. But, a start?

        Another reflection of our debt to TM and songs in his praise, without whom the world would never have been blessed with the 2012 preoccupation – among Faberge eggs laid for a miscreant world, his ‘contributions’ (deferring to TMist script and idiom).

      • Take these discussions elsewhere.

      • Nonresponsive. What’s your point?

      • My point is not exactly rocket science. It is exactly what it says…

      • I see. That’s about what I thought. And – agreed. Your ‘point’ is not ‘rocket’ science … nor any other type. More like liturgy, Rites of Excommunication – in some neoreality maybe (?).

        Your use of wordpress blog seems interesting, considering the very concept: “weblogs are about communication” ( I personally don’t share your exclusionary interest in restricting or curtailing discussion – mine, or anybody’s. Obviously we’ve some differences – irreconcilable, on impression.

        It seems to me if you need to exclude any post, with or without reasonable purpose – surely you have that power as admin. Am I not correct? In that case I suggest it’d be up to you to suppress or disallow whatever word or post displeases you – on whatever whim of intolerance, or pretension pricked. Is your game, you play it. Do your own censoring. I’m no servant to such ‘interest.’ On principle in fact, I question what that’s about – albeit confident no explanation will be forthcoming (without power of subpoena).

        It strikes me a bit irrational for you, as admin, to approve my post for display (as you have), only to turn around in rude disapproval — by lip service; whining. Contradiction between your walk and talk aside, we have a saying where I come from: “Put up or shut up” (exact wording).

        If you have something to say substantive or responsive – that’s one thing. Ill-tempered antagonism is another. That’s what I feel you’re doing, and have been from the start, as record reflects. Seems like only yesterday you first piped up, addressing me as “Brian of Nazareth.” Besides smart aleck, that was downright unintelligent, remarkably unperceptive. The poster (mycodomo) I was addressing – disagreeing with BTW – was coherent and civil. Unlike you he understood my post, and appreciated its ‘quite humourous’ aspect (as he called it). But I find neither civility, nor intelligence, wit or wisdom in anything you’ve had to tell me. That’s fine, you’ve been giving me unwanted attention not vice-versa. But enough of your dramatization is enough, don’t you think?

        Deliberation phase is over. You’ve put me in reply position by mouthing off. Ruling: I find you are neither ready, willing, nor capable – and apparently have no interest or intention – to engage in reasonable discourse, with semblance of self-respect. Considering your history and pattern – I’m no more interested in your word to me, than you are in mine. Whatever bee in your bonnet, you don’t have to like what I say. Doesn’t matter.

        Kindly don’t prevail upon me to connive with your opposition to discussion. Your urge to repress it is yours, and I find it ethically questionable, and unprincipled. All that aside you’re the admin, and any censorship duty you consider, falls on you. Its your dirty work, you do it – if that’s what your ‘interest’ dictates (a word I use advisedly).

        Glad we had this little talk, seems it was time. I’ve seen things come and go, but you beat everything Johan.

      • What part of “take this discussion elsewhere” don’t you understand?

        I usually do not censor people until they get nasty. I requested you to take this discussion elsewhere and you interpret that as being rude. You are the one attacking me in person here (I never called you Brian of Nazareth, you better check up the content of that comment again)… Your first comment (among the recent ones) was in reply to someone else and therefore I let it through. However, you continue to talk about things that have very little to do with this post. I have told you and other people commenting on this post that I have only an interest in McKenna’s distortions of the Maya calendar. I lack interest in his other stuff that you propagate. Take that discussion elsewhere. I do discuss with people (over 3000 comments on this blog can testify to that) but I choose my own topics to debate, not you.

        Goodbye. I will not let your comments through next time. That will be the third person I have to block in this post-2012 era. Looks like these people are getting desperate…

  8. Thanks Johan for this informative post. How I am beginning to hate ‘ideas’ that originate in the brain instead of through verifiable investigation of the external world (including human behaviour)

    Time may go as fast as the clock ticks, depending on its acceleration through space, but for us we can only know that it goes faster and faster as we get older!!

    Thanks for the add.

  9. Human thoughts are trifling….

  10. i really liked this blog post. i am a big terence fan and i have listened to hours and hours of his lectures and i never really hear him thumping on the timewave zero drum for too long. i think in a lot of ways that humans have this habit of procrastinating when it comes to getting anything done and a lot of times we need deadlines to meet to get our asses in gear. if anything, i like to think of the timewave zero/ 2012 notion as an archetype of the unconscious need for some kind of hope in this shitty global unsustainable consumerist culture we have created in the last few hundred years.
    Terence McKenna by any measure is a genius. in his own way, whether he was right or not, the timewave theory has some serious fucking teeth in it and has made me and many others look at Time in an entirely new way. yes there is the space-time continuum and time is the 4rth dimension and all of that but the way time is measured on this scale is really something new and fresh and profound.

  11. check out Robert Anton Wilson’s “Jumping Jesus Phenomenon”

  12. “Terence McKenna by any measure is a genius.”

    Not by scientific measures.

    • gotta disagree as ethno-botany IS a science …

      • As your post reflects, claims Tmack was an ethnobotanist are part of the Tmack ideology. Along a whole bunch of other self inflated claims — like, genius. The term “nonsense” (in the thread title) might “resonate” in this light. Ethnobotany IS scientific, but in this context, that’s a deceptive, diversionary point. If your concept of ethnobotany is Tmackism, you might like Intelligent Design or Scientific Creationism too.

        Ethnobotany isn’t a false claim to authority, based on having taken drugs. Then rambling a bunch of supposedly profound or “inspiring” bs. It isn’t a party, or propagandizing. To try and subvert a “paradigm of Western Civilization” and bring about an Archaic Revival — while spinning a bunch of flimflam — is not what any branch of science consists of.

        Ethnobotany is about competent research. It uses actual methods. Listening to a voice in your head while tripping out (telling you this mushroom came from outer space) and calling it the Logos, ain’t it.

        Ethnobotany isn’t about idiotic speculations, ingressions of novelty, and eschatons and entities and time waves zilch. In other words, it isn’t a big bunch of empty crap pretending to be brilliant or entertaining or “inspiring” or … whatever.

        In ethnobotany (the real thing, not an “incredible” simulation — or crass fake), findings and studies are reported on at scientific meetings, and/or presented for review and critique to scientific audience. Its no function of what some Terence McKenna fans think or claim, no matter how emphatically. There are journals, like ECONOMIC BOTANY, with anonymous peer review, standards of critical acceptance.

        Tmack certainly wrote his books, and yammered his jabberwocky endlessly. That is not science, nor remotely scientific. He has no scientific publications, never conducted any research, never tried to, never wanted to (although he romped around getting stoned, having a great old time). In fact he was always ragging on science (it has “led us to the brink of an ecological catastrophe!” — typical Tmack line).

        Tmack brand “ethnobotany” is like Von Daniken brand archeology. Its phoney, exploitive sensationalism. The claim he was an ethnobotanist is merely a doctrine of his following. The fact so many of his fans are so committed to creating this deceptive, false profile of him — testifies eloquently about the true nature of Tmackism. Its pure propaganda, much like scientific creationism (which also insists on its scientific basis … yeah, right).

        Von Daniken’s “AAT” (Ancient Astronaut Theory) — good example of Von Daniken’s contributions to archeology. A nice Tmack equivalent, for his phoney baloney ethnobotany: “APT” (Ancient Psychonaut Theory). His celebrated Stoned Apes
        “Theory” of … whatever its supposed to be.

      • I did not criticise ethnobotany but McKenna. Yes, ethnobotany is a science.

  13. Johan,

    Thank you for your reflections on the “Timewave Zero” phenomenon.

    ‘“Terence McKenna by any measure is a genius.”

    Not by scientific measures.’

    As a scientist you know that there is no way to analyse a system from within. Actually, I see your text criticising Terence’s interpretations of the phenomenom he discovered and labeled as “timewave zero”.

    Take for example this passage of your discussion: “The next date is 2012-(4,306×64) and here we reach the date of 273,572 BC, supposedly when Homo sapiens emerged. Current estimates place the emergence of Homo sapiens to around 200,000 BC.”

    Terence’s interpretation of the date 273,572 BC is the emergence of Homo Sapiens. What happened back then we don’t know. That doesn’t make the date a lesser integral component of the “timewave zero”. You, however, put down his interpretation due to “current estimates”. What about the estimates in 5 or 10 years time from now. Do you know that they will not change? Why and how do you know? How come your interpretation on the 273,572 BC date is more correct than Terrence’s attempt? I don’t find an answer to that in your writing.

    To me, the “Timewave Zero” thought is attractive as a way to open new thought forms on how time/events can relate to each other.

    I do agree that Terence made himself no friends with the objective community by shifting his wave end date to a popular date, such as the one from the Mayam calendar. There are at least two possible interpretations for this. One, you named in your text, attempting to increase credibility. The other being, since his Timewave ends some weeks before the date and considering that it covers billions of years, he might have assumed the date within a fault tolerance.

    Overall, I cannot judge his decisions on interpretations, but trying to rip apart his theory by the “fault level” of the intepretations he deduced from it on wordly/time events, does not aid understanding what the “Timewave Zero” logic really tries to model.

    What if there is a fault tolerance variety yet unknown to the “Timewave Zero” and why is it there? What purpose would it serve? Novelty would not be novelty if it is predictable. Instead it has the element of surprise when manifested. Maybe there is a hidden logic that the element “surprise” overarches the need for “novelty”? Yet, these are questions impossible to analyse from within the 3D frequency band, but that shouldn’t stop us from paying attention to what cannot be known.

  14. As mentioned in my recent post on Bast’s interpretation of “Woman X”, the whole idea of defining a species, such as Homo sapiens, relies on essentialism. We will never be able to say that Homo sapiens emerged at a particular date since a new species does not emerge from one generation to the next. Only by cutting out a slice of the temporal continuum can you classify things as static (a problem that creationists does not grasp). In a temporal continuum everything meshes and there is no strict boundaries. Basically, a hominin that lived 190,000 BC would have much more in common genetically with a hominin that lived 210,000 BC than it would have with us. The date of 200,000 BC is only valid from our current speciation. So if a scientist in the future claims that Homo sapiens emerged around 273,000 BC I would not believe him or her. McKenna’s timewave does appear to have some essentialism in it and that makes me question his connection to Whitehead.

  15. This has been quite the entertaining read. I really do hope the end of the world is not coming, but I guess we’ll ultimately find out when we arrive :)


  16. The Earth and its inhabitants will be around for quite some time.

  17. the end of the world will be on the 14th August 2352. Everybody knows that

    • According to what calendar?

  18. It’s interesting that you all use massive vocabulary when you have no conceivable understanding of any of the concepts you discuss. Whether or not terrence mckenna used what you perceive to be “scientifically acceptable” methods, you must admit that what are viewed as “scientific” beliefs, in every century that has passed, have been proven to be extremely inaccurate, when examined 200 years later. Perhaps the fact that you have never taken an hallucinogenic drug has caused your mind to close to the point of ignorance, but if you can’t accept the fact that your beliefs are as flawed as Mckenna’s, then evidently, you are simply not worthy to attempt to question his message. If his message was truly as ridiculous as you portray it to be, you would quite obviously not have bothered to refute it. That would be comparable to writing a 3000 word novel on the topic of the cow jumping over the moon…. You’re FUCKED!

    • Yet another “Outsidethinker” who clearly cannot use “massive vocabulary” but fall back on obscene comments. Well, you are absolutely right that one should not have bothered to refute it because it is ridiculous (that is what most of my colleagues do). However, there are plenty of people who believes McKenna has any credentials and will use him to fool others (I guess you are one of them). My main goal is to expose these prophets of nonsense so that others can see the ridiculous logic these people follow. As for the accuracy of earlier scientists, these earlier scientists followed the scientific knowledge at that time, which is the inverse of McKenna. Once again the 2012ers show their flawed logic.

  19. Oh Johan Normark and almost everyone that posted here…how ignorant every single one of you are… Just because you do not understand a theory does not mean it is incorrect…And Terence never said the world was going to end on 2012, he said the world as we know it was going to end in 2012. In other words, he believed a big change will come at the end of the year 2012, not the end.
    Pseudo-science, no. Highly generalized prophecy to help him not look like a fraud, not even close.
    The sad truth is the Terence McKenna, like Nikola Tesla, is a forgotten genius who is rudely misunderstood by many people (most of them being of inferior intellect). Everyone thought Galileo was a nut job when he said the world was round…low and behold he was right. Very few people can understand Tesla;s and McKenna;s because they were geniuses. So do not feel bad and write an entire nonsensical essay about how impossible it is for you to understand simple scientific theories that came from forgotten geniuses.
    Johan you just made a prophecy by assuming that the inhabitants of Earth will be around for a long time to come, that is extremely psuedo-scientific. Where is your proof that the sun will not decide to randomly go super-nova, which is a possibility mind you. You have no proof Johan Normak, so stop spreading your non-sense.

    • Since you apparently understand McKenna’s great theory you must be of superior intellect (where do all these people come from?). You apparantly have not read the blog post correctly. Where do I state that McKenna said the world will end in 2012? In any case, you are wrong that no one believed Galilei, the Church did not believe him but many scientists believed him and hence they continued his work. Two mistakes in your comment and you still think that people who criticize McKenna for not even getting the basic facts correct are ignorant? How ignorant…

      Wiser continues… where in this blog post do I prophecize that people will be around for a long time to come? Making correct statements are not the strongest capabilities among the 2012ers…

      • “The Earth and its inhabitants will be around for quite some time.”

        Although not in the blog post, I believe this is the statement that Wiser was referencing. I’m not saying I disagree with your blog post, but both sides of this issue are engaging in some serious fallacies of logic.

        “Oh Johan Normark and almost everyone that posted here…how ignorant every single one of you are…”
        “Making correct statements are not the strongest capabilities among the 2012ers…”
        Can’t both sides try to argue the facts (or not-facts) without attacking the individual/group that is professing these views? Argue the idea, not who is the bigger twat.

        I know, I know. Never going to happen.

      • You are correct.

    • @WISER i couldnt agree more

    • ps TESLA is the man, def most underrated

  20. This is absolute rubbish.

    It totally violates the principle of the Yin-Yang philosophy. Yang represents positivity. Yin represents Negativity. It seems Mr McKenna forgot to ask what the line truly meant in terms of the resultant forces.

    If he bothered to read the I-Ching in its original form, there is a chapter saying about Renewal of Life. Renewal might mean moving on, but does not necessary putting an end to an era.

    To put things in context, the I-Ching DOES NOT imply the world will end in 2012. Rather, we are moving on to a greater new era after a short period of unrest. Better things will come in 2012 and onwards.

    Seriously, give me names of scientists who embraced this nonsensical report.
    1. He moved the end of the graph to match 21/12/2012?
    2. He is selecting major historical events to match his theory. Something good happened in 9/11 as well!
    3. I-Ching is about balance and restoring status quo. It is reflected in the graph but Mr McKenna is crapping too much!

    I could come up with a crap-ass theory, move it to any date and make some sense with a simple back-up on history as well.

    For my parting shot, the I-Ching complement Holy Books such as the Quran. And both points out very clearly we are facing a tensed and unstable period in the 21th century but the best times of Modern History is yet to come. If the world were to end in 2012, then we are truly short-changed.

    • I agree that the best times of modern history is yet to come. 2012ers are too negative.

  21. This article seems to have been written by someone who has been exposed to hardly no Terence Mckenna. If you have not listened to mckennas talk “In the Valley Of Novelty”, you are missing a major part of his picture and philosophies.

  22. My main focus is how he attempts to fit a completely irrelevant date into his theory and you do not need much exposure of his ideas to see this. I am sure McKenna also had some interesting ideas as well but his portrayal of world history is slightly biased.

  23. Ignorance serves ignorance. Intelligence is primary nature of existence and existing. What people often fail (deliberate) to grasp is rationality is open to any possibility or hypothesis until and unless it contradicts its very own basis and what is resolved. Yes, science is open to one’s hypothesis that human have two apparent and two hidden legs. Being intelligent, being natural, one can’t just stop there and enjoy the fruits of very engaging, lucrative imagination. One has to account for things. INTELLIGENTLY!!!

    Here is text by Spinoza:

    If a stone has fallen from a room onto someone’s head and killed him, they will show, in the following way, that the stone fell in order to kill the man. For if it did not fall to that end, God willing it, how could so many circumstances have concurred by chance (for often many circumstances do concur at once)? Perhaps you will answer that it happened because the wind was blowing hard and the man was walking that way. But they will persist: why was the wind blowing hard at that time? why was the man walking that way at that time? If you answer again that the wind arose then because on the preceding day, while the weather was still calm, the sea began to toss, and that the man had been invited by a friend, they will press on—for there is no end to the questions which can be asked: but why was the sea tossing? why was the man invited at just that time? And so they will not stop asking for the causes of causes until you take refuge in the will of God, i.e., the sanctuary of ignorance.

    John, the decency you put in argument is very appreciable. Hope it inspires everyone :-)

  24. I like Spinoza (he was one of Deleuze’s major influences). I must take the time to read him more thoroughly. “Spinozism” is the only “religion” I could settle for.

  25. Could Be Fate!”The Hardest Concepts To Understand Are The Ones We Think We Already Know.”

  26. Maybe

  27. i’ve had some significant life changing experiences thanks to psychedelics, and later meditation, so I have to concur here; McKenna is a prophet of nonsense. I gave him a chance, because I was curious what others were attracted to, but the more I listened, the more convinced I was that this was an individual who, convinced of his own profundity, spouted baseless speculative nonsense about life, the universe, and everything, in the belief that he was in possession of some universal truth. Anyone who has experience of psychedelics knows how easy it is to lapse into a sate of messianic self-belief, genuine equilibrium gets lost along the way, and my sense it that McKenna and other so called psychedelic prophets (profits) are deeply misguided, but people need answers, and they also need positive role models, particularly when mainstream society is incapable of providing them, so perhaps people like McKenna are useful, as long as they are not idolised by those who are too lazy to work towards their own personal insights.

  28. Can’t agree more Randomania. I put myself to test couple of times too. First was a moderate dose. Woha! I thought I time traveled :-D, years and civilizations passed before me… and streaks of colors I couldn’t call names. Second was a bit of overdose with vivid sounds and visuals, outlandish I was struggling my level best not to die of overdose and to know what the hell was going on. All right! It is actually information and memory with very dramatic sense of time on a joyride. The mishmash of all that brain stored, a brilliant and exotic mix of all the sensible, not beyond understanding or understandable. It offers escape into alternative (Eh…) reality. What use, leaving one incapable of handling anything in a society?

    • well, I think the answer below to Johan sums up how I feel about this, but in summary I think cautious, purposeful use, by individuals who already have a good understanding of their own mind, their weaknesses, intellectual predilections, fears and insecurities, can give beneficial results. I’ll quote Rick Strassman, the guy who did the clinical studies with DMT during the 90s:

      “there’s a lot to be learned from small doses of psychedelics.These ‘little trips’ receive scant attention, but they can have highly desirable effects.”

      He also used the term “psychedelic machismo” in reference to the attitude of one of his subjects. I think we know exactly what he means here, there is a certain kudos associated with taking large doses of things within the drug taking community, it’s like some kind of heroic gesture, but in reality, it’s no more “heroic” than some guy going out and bragging about drinking 15 pints of beer, it’s the same mentality. In actuality, some people get remarkable results using very small doses, certain individuals, who have, for whatever reason, not been desensitized by contemporary urban lifestyles that force many to adopt an emotionally numb outlook on world affairs.

  29. I have no experience in psychedelics and I’ll never will. But it does not come as a surprise that it distorts the mind.

    • Johan, don’t rule it out, I think everyone should have at least one experience, if used wisely, and with a clear sense of purpose, psychedelics can have a profoundly positive effect on human perception, and there are many many examples of individuals who have used such substances beneficially, in all walks of life. The discussion here relates to one individual, who used chemicals excessively, maybe even greedily, to the point of loosing sight of things. Mc Kenna, had the gift of the gab, he was able to talk incessantly, he was a tale spinner, and he seduced his listeners; most of whom were thrill seekers who believed there was some divine “truth” offered by the perception bending joyride McKenna was advertising. That approach to psychedelics is really just a game of sensations, it’s the absolute antithesis of genuine truth seeking.
      There’s an article over on Reality Sandwich – the author, admittedly, appears to be as far up his own arse as McKenna – that explores one interpretation of McKenna’s mythos:

      “Terence’s experiences do not present us with an intrepid explorer discovering new realms. Rather, we are presented with a clear picture of an individual who is unable to recognize himself in the mirror of tryptamine consciousness. In short, Terence’s experiences boil down to one fundamental truth: They are the experiences of someone who is consuming very powerful entheogens, yet is failing to recognize the projections and creations of his own ego while in that state. From the perspective of unitary consciousness, Terence appears to have never managed to transcend his ego and therefore appears to have failed to realize the genuinely true potential of the entheogenic medicines he ingested.”

      This point regarding projections is a valid one, it can be difficult to know how much of what is experienced results from subconscious projections into the conscious realm, this can make it difficult to gauge the extent to which our experiences are tainted by personal wants, desires, fears, intellectual biases etc. It’s a potential minefield, that’s why cautious and reasoned use it advisable.

    • Here is some inspiration for reconsideration you might give weight to:

  30. Just cause you see or perceive something while under the effects of drugs, even hallucinogenics, does not mean they are automatically false. For instance Francis Crick’s understanding of the structure of the DNA helix came to him while he was taking LSD. And Kary Mullis was using LSD when he developed the polymerase chain reaction. Both men recieved Nobel Prizes for their accomplishments.

    Drugs arent bad m’kay.

  31. I rather stay away from them. Just in case.

    • Just in case what?

      I could think of a few quotes right now. . .

      Terence Mckenna: Prophet of nonsense, . . maybe so.


      Johan Normark: Proponent of assumption, . . . (conformity?)

      This arrogant/haughty attitude is a dime a dozen amongst many supposedly open-minded yet skeptical scientists. What can one discover if the mind is already made up.

      Maybe a more interesting, less exploitative review of some of his other (aligned) idea’s would be a worthwhile effort?

  32. Whose mind is made up? Me who think that the world will continue to differentiate in 2013 or someone who changed his time wave idea in order to fit the December 21, 2012 date?

    • You never answered the question!

      I’m sure the world will continue to differentiate beyond 2012.

      • The just in case question, the conformity question or the final question?

  33. Hey Johan, good critique of a hypothesis. I think you should summarize facts (and everyone who cares) and close the thread as there are no new facts or constructive arguments being put forward and what is going on could go on forever. It hardly looks like about 2012 anymore.

    • Good idea but I think I will keep all threads on 2012 open until 2013. I just want to see what people have to say after the supposed “end of time”.

  34. The “Just in case” question.

    I apologize for perhaps being too confrontational.
    I appreciate your blog and your opinion, and I think
    that perhaps my problem is more to do with group-thought in
    scientific materialism(ist’s), not with you, so. . .

    Also. Deciding to allow the comments to remain open is good.
    As that fella was being ironic? (to my earlier assessment)

  35. Just in case drugs are bad for the mind.

    I have dropped the materialist part in favour of realism.

  36. There will always be people (actually the major part of humanity) who will talk about drugs instead of ‘food of the gods’.
    Whatever … the problem of this race is being narrow minded so let the narrowminds live their small lives …
    I love McKenna!

  37. Yes, the majority of humankind live in oblivion but some have found the truth and are better than others. Yikes.

  38. Wow, a significant, apparently enduring discussion (of a “prophet of nonsense”).

    I’m sure you know of McK’s “time wave” (a faux, or purported, theory) link to 2012ism. And its dissection by mathematician Watkins (if not, see:

    In case of possible interest, may I alert you to a more recent, related article at Reality Sandwich: CONCERNING TERENCE MCKENNA’S STONED APES. If you don’t know of it you might enjoy.

  39. It was fascinating for me to read this discussion because I am a great McKenna fan despite my conviction that 2012 prophecies (as well as other McKenna ideas such as stoned ape hypothesis, mushrooms being aliens, songs of shamans on ayuhaska vibrating DNA etc..) are pure nonsense. I can therefore identify with both sides of the argument. This post is my humble attempt to establish middle ground.

    There are few maxims summing up his philosophy.

    Maxim 1: Culture is your operating system and it is not your friend.
    This is elementary experience of everyone who has done enough psychedelics. Whenever one is high enough there comes a moment of crystal clear realization that: religions are full of shit, government is full of shit, schools are full of shit, boss at work is full of shit, parents are full of shit, TV is full of shit, american dream is full of shit and activist groups saying that it all can be fixed if we just … are full of shit. We are all to some degree hypnotized into not-thinking by ordinary unquestioned cultural assumptions and prejudices. Out of laziness and conformity we outsource our consciousness to society which does not manage it to our interests but to the interests of whoever has money to pay for commercial time. McKenna was not a conspiracy theorist. He did not believe that this is the result of deliberate attempt to dumb us down by some malevolent force. He simply articulated realization that our believes, institutions and habits of behavior are not divinely revealed or carefully thought out by enlighten sages but the result of impersonal forces of memetical evolution shaped by political propaganda, product marketing and old religions. The task is to liberate oneself from this matrix into full human consciousness.

    Epistemology corresponding to this view is the idea that the data stream of culture is poisoned, so one should distrust what one is told and rely on immediate individual experience.

    The problem with this is that it is not easy to even discover all of ones unspoken assumptions and it is much harder to openly critically evaluate them. Our ego and the narratives which we use to rationalize our failings and justify our actions rely on them. If fundamental assumptions of our life are being questioned we feel as if our whole life is being questioned. We hysterically and violently cling to our myths. This is where the second maxim comes useful.

    Maxim 2: Unless you are afraid you did to much, you didn’t do enough.
    Psychedelics bring about radical questioning of every assumption you hold dear. The elaborate structures of rationalizations melt away. Your religion, politics, and bullshit you convinced yourself about other people dissolve. Your ego dissolves. You are exposed to yourself for who you are. You do not see your-self as Mr. John Smith PhD. employee of the year 2006, citizen number 780323/3287. You see yourself as consciousness incarnate in an ape body. You feel the experience of the present moment and rejoice or despair depending on what you see.

    The obvious problem is that psychedelic experience does not only dissolve bad habits but the good ones as well. It cripples discipline, determination, focus and that sort of things. When you question fundamental assumptions, you expose yourself to the danger of being tricked into believing things you would normally never fall for. Psychedelics may liberate you from Christianity but they may also “liberate” you from critical reason which protects you from getting caught into Hare Krishna.

    Psychedelics are artificially induced madness that recedes after few hours. The idea of usefulness of madness is similar to the notion of creative destruction in economics, or to the notion of annealing in metallurgy. You introduce temporary chaos into the system to shake it out off lethargy in local optimum.

    McKenna used to illustrate this process by parable about a fisherman. Fisherman leaves his island (ordinary culture) and goes to the ocean (madness/psychedelic trip) to catch fish (innovative ideas). He should not bother catching small fish (“did you notice that your little finger fits exactly your nose hole”) nor should he try to catch some behemoth that would tear his nets and wreck his boat (“I am the messiah that has come to save the humanity”) but he should aim for the mid-sized fish, bring them home to his island and prepare the fish diner for his village.

    According to McKenna this is precisely the artistic process. True art always contains element of insanity. The artist visits in his inspiration mystical worlds where he communicates with his muses and then he organizes the mater of the real world to create aesthetic extravaganza. What ties this back to the beginning is the third maxim.

    Maxim 3: The world is made of language.
    The fabric out of which the web of cultural assumptions is made is the same fabric out of which the artist makes his work. Language is the magical capacity which makes humans unique among other animals. It is our contact with transcendence. Language creates artificial realities (fictional worlds that exist only as narratives). Artist is a writer of artificial realities. Ordinary person caught in the culture is a character in artificial reality of someone else. This is the difference between a chess figure and a chess master, between a brick and an architect. The point of McKennas philosophy is not to get caught in the walls you build and when you do to break free with the hammer of psilocybin.

    The problem I see with him is that he falsely conceived of science as one of those oppressive forces of society out of which it is desirable to liberate oneself rather then seeing it as an instrument of liberation. Therefore he did not feel to be tied by the canon of science and freely speculated ignoring it whenever it suited him. This accounts for the rotten fish he brought on our island. He believed in astrology, alchemy, aliens and that the world will end in 2012. Serious flaw one might say but I find even the instances of when he was wrong useful as metaphors. The world will not end in 2012 but the growth of novelty to the point of singularity can be understood as a metaphor for technological singularity. Human species did not originate by consumption of psilocybin literally but it originated by apes developing ability to contact the worlds of imagination which can be taken as consumption of psilocybin metaphorically. Mushrooms are not from other planet but they expose one to the out-of-this-world experiences. He did not speak with the mushroom when he ate it but why not personify the hallucinated voice as that of the mushroom speaking to him.

    He provided insightful social commentary of the sort you will not find on TV or in newspapers. He was a useful source of solid practical advice on how to take psychedelics properly. He had incredible gift to use precisely appropriate word to make deep point. He indeed was a genius.

    Let us celebrate 21.12.2012 in remembrance of him by heroic dose of psilocybin mushrooms.

  40. I’m Farfrumshrommin But Maybe A Flashback!

  41. Ehhh never really was interested in the whole 2012 end of the world scenarios. Mckenna was better known for his speeches about higher value systems, culture, etc….in my opinion at least. His timewave zero might be loony but its hard to deny that he was a very interesting thinker and great story teller!

  42. Great post Triwx. . .

    “The problem I see with him is that he falsely conceived of science as one of those oppressive forces of society out of which it is desirable to liberate oneself rather then seeing it as an instrument of liberation.Therefore he did not feel to be tied by the canon of science and freely speculated ignoring it whenever it suited him”

    All great scientific progress is generally made by those who are able to think outside of the prevalent or static ideas and/or beliefs that hold us back and prevent progress. Science just like any other system becomes bound in/by time and human nature/ego. It was liberated from ignorance many times before, and revolution will come again to scientific thinking and hence ‘progress’. Scientists’ that use their training and learning as a basis rather than a form of dogma.

  43. Hi Johan, I appreciate your article for the debate that it has encouraged. I’m not so fond of the tone in your writing but I would rather focus on another aspect of the discussion that has subsequently emerged in the comments.

    I don’t wish to cause any offence to you or anyone else involved in the conversation, and I hope you can appreciate these comments for what they are without feeling affronted by them.

    I have always found it very arrogant when people who have never had an experience with psychedelics and have actively avoided it because they are, on some level, afraid of what the potential consequences may be, feel they can know with any degree of certainty that they have any idea what they are talking about when it comes to psychedelics or individuals such as McKenna who talk about their direct experiences with psychedelics.

    I just don’t understand how anyone who attempts to employ rational thinking can outright dismiss the validity of someone else’s immediate experience of reality. Some things just have to be experienced directly before the properties of that event can be validated or dismissed by the individual experiencing it. Surely without having had such experiences with psychedelics to reflect upon, a less arrogant stance for anyone in this position would be to maintain an attitude of ‘inquisitive Maybe’ towards notions, such as those expressed by McKenna? as in ‘Maybe this is all just bullshit and delusion or Maybe there could be something in this person’s words and ideas that I’m not sufficiently informed to pass judgement on’.

    As the examples provided by Grey_Gonzales of Crick and Mullis’ use of LSD highlights, these substances have the potential to aid valid scientific enquiry. Would any scientists who have had experience with psychedelics be willing to contribute to this discussion? Particularly with reference to how they felt their attitudes differed prior to and then subsequent to their own encounters with psychedelics?

    Thank you Johan for keeping the discussion open.

    • I disagree of course and I have made my points above. No need to repeat them.

      • Hi Johan, thanks for your reply. Can I ask you to clarify what you (of course) disagree with? I’ve made more than one point, are you disagreeing with everything I have said, and if so on what grounds? I have re-read all of your comments but don’t see how you have already responded to my previous questions.

        By their nature, psychedelic experiences are internal events. It is extremely difficult to describe qualities of such events in a direct way as there is still a poverty of language in our culture surrounding such events, and it is therefore also extremely difficult for anyone to make assumptions about the benefits (or lack of them) of these experiences based on second hand information. Of course because of the subjective, internalised nature of such experiences there is no way of measuring aspects of these events with current scientific apparatus or modes of enquiry, but my own opinion is that this is the exact reason why the psychedelics taboo within the scientific community and western culture at large should be courageously dismissed by those with the intellectual capacities to explore these experiences in order to generate greater scientific understanding as a result.

        You must surely be able to acknowledge that your ‘Just in case drugs are bad for the mind’ arguement suggests that you have closed yourself off from the possibility of permitting yourself an experience which might instigate a shift in your perspective and attitude towards something you currently cannot claim to know anything about because you have never had the immediate experience of it.

        Just a question, have you ever chewed gum or drank a diet fizzy drink? Or drank alcohol in any measure? As I hope you’ll be aware, the synthetic sweetener Aspartame, present in chewing gum, diet fizzy drinks and many other food substances is a neuro-toxin. I imagine you’ll also be aware that there is significant evidence of neurological damage being caused by alcohol consumption. These examples were arbitrary selections and there are of course many other examples I could have picked from to make a point about the potential risks of introducing any substance to your physiology. My question is, how do you personally differentiate between the risks involved in say chewing a piece of gum containing a synthetic sweetener, and ingesting a psychedelic compound?

        I would appreciate a fuller reply to my previous and current questions. I hope you appreciate that I’m not trying to be dismissive of your perspective, I’d just like to understand more fully what your views are. And again, I’d be very happy to know how those with a scientific background who have had direct encounters with psychedelics think and feel about these matters.

      • Can anyone provide lit reference or research citation to the “psychedelics taboo within the scientific community” – ? (of which modomo speaks?)

        I need to know, because — looks like its being widely violated, and something needs to be done, enforcement-wise (?).

        I’ve dodged a bullet myself, maybe, as a phd biologist, specializing in fungi – who should have known better. Last year, colleagues and I presented archeological evidence from eastern Spain, of Psilocybe ritualism there in prehistory. Archeo findings were backed up by mycofloristics of the region.

        It was submitted to a scientific journal, ECONOMIC BOTANY. Who must face punishment, the submitters, or editors? And what about reviewers, or the entire audience of specialists, the reading community?

        As with science journals in general, EB editors solicit critical reviews for anything submitted for consideration. They give all reviewers confidentiality, to encourage and promote open, free reign to criticize as rigorously as indicated — without concern about incurring collegial disgruntlement, or making ‘enemies.’

        Evidence and analysis dovetailed in this case: Psilocybe ritualism in that part of world prehistory — likeliest explanation for all data.

        If there’s some ‘psychedelics taboo’ in the scientific community, how would this have been presented to a scientific journal? How would that reflect some ‘taboo’?

        And how on earth would the research have passed through that ring of fire, to be published? How would that reflect on the story of this ‘taboo’? It was not only accepted for publication — it was heralded, featured as cover story of that volume it was published in.

        Nor was that an exception. There’s been decades of research. And I’m seeing a lot of other competent studies with psychedelics, using methods from brain scan to phenomenological investigations of mystical experience facilitated by psilocybin. It was in all the papers, surely we all know?

        That some prohibition or taboo against psychedelics prevails in science is a Shall we call ‘scientific creationism’ “Taboo” in evolutionary biology? Or, should we just recognize rhetorical ‘cleverness’ when we see it?

        If there were some taboo against psychedelics in science, we wouldn’t know anything about them. Because whether its the chemistry of their organic structures and formula, their botany or mycology, neuropharmacology etc — everything we know systematically about them has come from decades of scientific study.

        Taboo is enforced by tribal sanction, throwing stones, malediction, etc. Whenever religious fanaticism is crossed, this is what we can witness. And its what McKenna loyalists have, mostly, for any look at his ‘theories’ or ‘idea’s.

        Since “2012″ is the sole focus of our host’s interest — here’s a reflection, one of a gaziliion:

        2012 and the “Watkins Objection” to Terence McKenna’s “Timewave Theory” (

        If nobody can provide a lit reference to substantiate or demonstrate the ‘taboo’ among scientists, against psychedelics — no big deal. Ain’t no hill to die on …

      • As I have said to Brian Akers: My only interest in McKenna is his attempt to align his timewave with the Maya Long Count. I certainly have no interest in discussing psychedelics.

      • Brian your research sounds very interesting.

        Have you ever personally had any experience with psychedelics? If so have you ever had a large dose of psychedelics? I’d like to hear an honest and direct reply.

        As I hope you can appreciate, my reference to taboo within the scientific community related not to the study of psychedelics, but to the dismissive attitude towards them as a personal tool for inquiry that I have frequently encountered by those who utilise the established tools of science to interpret and understand the world.

        To come back to my original point, do you not think it is arrogant to dismiss someone elses ideas when you yourself are not willing to engage with the direct inspiration for them in order to understand for yourself the experiences of which someone speaks before passing authoritative judgement?

        I don’t understand why you would attempt to classify psychedelic research as anything close to scientific creationism. Scientific creationism has a clear, corrupting agenda.

        Also in the sense that psychedelics are classified as illicit, and there have been numerous laws passed which have effectively prevented the legitimate study of psychedelics across the globe, yes, I personally would also consider this to be a form of taboo that has held back an area of scientific research.

      • Mycd – Mcd – a kind suggestion per my research, thanks. I doubt its all that, just a few little discoveries, findings. Not to scruple but – any interest you perceive likely lies in the subject itself, with all that ties in to; the human condition itself, ultimately the world around us, and within.

        Notes of genuine interest on your part, apparently, earn regard. But it seems to me they would deserve adequate treatment.

        Per more personal questions, about which you seem desirously curious, well and good, some common and solid ground would have to be established underfoot. That’s heavy stuff and ice thick enough to hold its weight vital to take them up further (assuming better understanding is purpose we share).

        Two factors I’d call crucial for any personal points are Need to Know; and Nonrepudiation. Perhaps those can be established. If so, well and good. Pending, I’d conscientiously refrain, resolutely, from any personal testimonializing along lines you ask about. Prevailing upon your forbearance, and not to frustrate question, indeed in some contexts (not debate-like or contentious ‘theorizing’) – I’ve discussed such. For example, in case it addresses your curiosity, maybe this interview snippet can give you a sense (no issue in sharing it for your possible interest):

        Please consider, if you would, the relational layout here. I’m a known party, named, being asked to disclose information of personal nature, potentially sensitive – by an unknown entity (my humble narrator, yourself). Thus far I hold my counsel with good reason:

        Individual private experiences, especially of spiritual or transcendent nature (all the more with psychedelic stimuli) — embody inherently personal aspects not necessarily for display, nor accessible to certain types of inquiry. Stories can be told, claims made, but like the Ark, that which is recognized as sacred isn’t necessarily displayed as a sideshow exhibit for gawking. Can one tell the whole world about whatever private biz? Of course, one can proselytize, try to inspire, seek attention and offer same to others. Indeed, all that is typical. Its part of a problematic pattern I observe, wearing all of that out on one’s sleeve like a badge of authority or claim to special knowledge. Its indeed the very fashion of psychedelia. I’d prefer not to reinforce or lend myself to that chorus, already deafening volume. We have more than enough of the uncritical approach, trying to compete with, and displacing, unbiased interests in exploring the unknown using sound methods, and thus discovering what we can, on reasonable Need To Know.

        All that, on one hand.

        On the other, journeys to the center of the mind, whatever dose etc, are critically distinct from any kind of evidence I can direct others to, so they can check out with their own eyes, if they wish. And that is the forward path, the critical approach that can get results. The path less traveled, indeed the parade is demanding we follow it down the other fork, to the dead end we already know awaits there. We’ve been through it. The 1960’s, LSD, have we forgotten? One camp ragging at the other “You don’t know what you’re talking about with your science and research, you’ve not even taken LSD, or DMT, or 5 grams like Terence told us to, etc (fuss points have intensified). The other answering “No, YOU don’t know because you HAVE taken LSD and lost your objectivity, gotten swept away, going the Timothy Leary route …” And it goes back and forth, round and round like a dog chasing its tail. Until dizzy and exhausted, it fell down.

        Can we say the same for stories calculated to blow minds, make us go wow (not intelligently though). Anecdotes of psychonautic ‘exploration’ – dosage talk, epiphanies and inspirations etc. – unless subject to independent tire-kicking tests of accuracy and validity, or even truthful honesty – all they can do for us is hover above a blue horizon. Along with fisherman’s stories. How big was the dose, how big was the fish?

        That stuff is the pattern, but — its not data, needs to be distinguished for what it is, not categorically confused with data. Some things “I saw Bigfoot once” don’t make the cut, can’t qualify as evidence (no matter how bad they want to, and they do). Competent methodical research, and – stories of tripping out, regaling whoever wants to hear about it – aren’t same thing, nor even comparable as such.

        There is a tremendous amount in what you ask, I wonder what your sense of how vast and extensive? I hail your interest, and appreciate learning about your perspective as you present it. I wish I could address it to your satisfaction better. There is indeed a precious baby in an ocean of dirty bathwater, I find.

        Thank you for waiting patiently on my reply. I’ve had to think how to address your last post, which points in some directions I consider crucial (hoping what I’ve just said above provides something about that). But those trails turn most potentially interested parties away — they’re rocky and steep, or too scary in terms of what we might find at the trail’s end.

        And the question one would have to ask, to get answers — aren’t about entities or elves, or ‘ingressions of novelty.’ They’re ‘boring’ DRAGNET type — where was Carlos Castaneda on the night of June 16th, when his book says he said he was hiking the desert with Don Juan?

        Or: What does it actually say in those research articles by Fischer and his associates — the ones to which Terence McKenna cited claims of scientific findings that psilocybin ‘enhances visual acuity’ in ‘small doses’ — never mg specified; am I the only one who’s noticed? Doesn’t matter, I know.

    • I can really understand, what this poster says, I’ve heard something much the same from quite a few Christians.

      Those saved by the blood of the lamb, as they tell, wish no offence. with stories like Genesis etc. Yet so many not saved – act as if affronted. Why? Most scientists have never had a personal experience of Christ, just as those who’ve never taken LSD, psilocybin and/or etc have had no psychedelic experience. Per mycdocom’s perspective.

      What are scientists thinking? How can they know what McKenna was talking about, like it could be put under their microscope? They must think his brilliance is subject to independent corroboration, critical tests.

      Some things just have to be experienced, especially if they’re personally transformative, revelations; like when Jesus comes into your heart. Why couldn’t this same principle also include McKenna’s psychedelic epiphanies? I think it can and does.

      I don’t believe most of the scientists talking about evolution have had the direct experience of Jesus either, or they wouldn’t be talking as they do. I don’t know if they’ve taken LSD either. I bet most haven’t, can you prove they have?

      Although from what Mcdomo says I guess some have, all the way back to the 1950’s if Crick used it as this poster asserts.

      (Although, checking the Crick/LSD story, goes down a rabbit hole. Seems its actually a rumor-like story told, not by Crick or even during his life time, but posthumously by somebody. If that’s wrong, could anyone here kindly direct us to any reference with/to Crick himself saying he took LSD?).

      I just wanted to echo the poster’s very thoughtful and substantive point. Scientists need to open their minds. Otherwise they should stop being so dismissive of revelations and mind-blowing inspirations, like McKenna’s (or the New Testament etc). Its not their tone (although I don’t like that either) its the fact that they don’t speak from speculation or faith. No, they’re always referring to what’s known, what’s been confirmed so far. Standing on factual info, building understanding on that, and advancing – what are they trying to prove. They ought to be speculating not investigating, because after all – who’s to say?

      Only those who’ve had Direct Experience and seen the light (of Jesus, or psychedelics depending who you ask … whatever brand of inspirational clue-in) can speak of it. “Seen the light” is important because so many have tried psychedelics, and not heard the voice in Terence McKenna’s head, the Logos as he called it (which he reported as a characteristic effect, which we can verify from our own experience by following his directions for tripping).

      With felicities, and pleasing tone to all.

      • Your dismissive tone regarding “Science” suggests to me that you have had very little direct experience of science yourself. This is a straw man version of “Science” popular among religious people and pseudoscientists. Apart from that Jesus guy, have you yourself been “touched by the light” of Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, McKenna, Calleman, Brian of Nazareth, or any other enlightened being?

      • Hi John,

        OK I’ll bite! Either my stand-up impression of doctrinaire dogmatism fooled you. Or, your reply has fooled me ! One of us has not seen through the other’s words — which one though? I hate to think I’ve laid on the irony so think it concealed my point TOO well.

        (I might ask, this context — if you’re conversant with “Poe’s Law”?)

        Not to be presumptuous, although I’d be a tuppence you’ve perhaps not read a certain piece on McKenna’s stoned apes. You might not want to but — on whatever chance, crossing fingers — I ‘highly’ doubt it’d put you out of humor:

        (I just hate to think any signal in what I say evades your detection — as may be the case from your reply, on impression — or do you think I’m wrong???)

      • My interest in McKenna only relates to his indirect use of the 2012 date. That is all I care for. It has now gone almost three years since I wrote this post and I have not yet been convinced that I should spend more time on McKenna.

      • That’s fine. May I please, with all due respect, suggest you may not quite have understood my post, judging by your reply. I don’t mind being called Brian of Nazareth, but I’m not a Jesus promoter or believer.

        My Poe’s law question wasn’t rhetorical. But, you’re not on trial or under subpoena. I’d still be interested to know if you’re conversant, but if you rather not say – ok. Nobody on trial here, no power of subpoena in force.

      • I repeat, I have no interest in McKenna apart from his attempt to line up his timewave with the Maya Long Count.

      • Regarding the claim that Francis Crick’s understanding of the structure of the DNA helix came to him while he was under the influence of LSD, Brian Akers said: “Seems its actually a rumor-like story told, not by Crick or even during his life time, but posthumously by somebody.”

        A principal source seems to be an article article in the English newspaper the Mail on Sunday, August 8, 2004, as reproduced at

        “Crick … told a fellow scientist that he often used small doses of LSD … to boost his powers of thought. He said it was LSD … that helped him to unravel the structure of DNA, the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize.”

        Garrod Harker, close friend of LSD chemist Richard Kemp, is quoted as saying that “Crick told him [Kemp] he had perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD.”

      • Eric – well done. I saw no ‘reply’ function in your message, alas. Displays of replies seem separated, I apologise and hope this reaches you. And to your post — YES! As the account you properly cite (thank you) clarifies:

        After Crick died, this journalist (he writes) was told by another person (this Kemp), that someone else “a close friend” (a Harker fellow) told him (Kemp, not the journalist) that Crick told him (Harker, not Kemp) …

        Party A reports that Party B told him that Party C told Party B that Party D told Party C … I’d be curious to know if I’m the only one who recognizes such a narrative structure as ‘rumor-like’? Would anything in this tangled story enable us to determine the fact behind it? If I may be so bold as to ask.

        What about it evidential value? Would it be admissible in court? What about scientific standards of evidence, traceability to source, testing for accuracy and reliability, etc?

        Certainly there are people who knew Crick better. I don’t know of a single account from any friends or family, or closer associates, saying ‘yeah, its true what Kemp said Harker told him Crick said… (or “No, its bull” – the other possibility).

        Am I the only one who’d not only notice, but even remark – this exemplifies the scope and scale of popular, uncritical discussion interest in psychedelia. It illustrates — another exhibit — how stories and rumors are so often postured next to verifiable accounts (like Mullis who tells his story in his own words) — still just personal anecdotes not evidence by scientific standards. But, at least Mullis’ isn’t hearsay or gossip that a court would disallow. As the newspaper citation to our Crick story reveals it to be – to my eye, glaringly.

        With thanks to Eric

      • Brian Aker’s reply shows to what extent he will bend over backwards to try to discredit psychedelics, their use and anyone who supports their use. Everything he writes (here, on the Reality Sandwich website and elsewhere) is written with this aim in mind. This should be remembered when reading anything by him.

      • Eric, thank you again. I didn’t realize you thought that newspaper article somehow showed that Cricks really did say that; when (as I guess you must realize, admit it or not) it actually demonstrates its layers removed from competent sourcing, based in ‘someone says someone else told them that yet another person said — my mistake? I guess it was beyond my comprehension that anyone, yourself for example, would have thought it somehow proved otherwise. When it fact it couldn’t even be entered into any record as evidence, no more than could a trip to the moon on gossamer wings (or, gassamer?).

        Has it occurred to you — evolutionary scientists, left and right, show the extent to which they will bend over backwards to try and discredit Creation, and Genesis? You and others might — no, make that should — ‘remember’ that, when reading anything by them. (And ‘remember’ their Real Agenda is not science, but — to attack Jesus, try to discredit him. They pretend to be interested in fossils and DNA, and fool a lot of people. But all of that is just a ruse, they’re out to promote atheism, turn us all away from God. So don’t be fooled. Mkay?)

        A little satire, just ironic humor, I hope you don’t mind. I’m told my wit has a slightly wicked streak. But it just seems to fit an occasion. Another correspondent has asked me, apparently on authentic interest and with due self-respect, how on earth I could compare neopsychedelia (especially McKenna® brand inspirational-promotional proselytizing) with Sci Crea / ID — i.e., their ideological conflicts and quibbles, and also their disingenuous, manipulative tactics (as exposed and proven in court). I kind of feel like maybe you’ve presented a fresh, live case-in-point exhibit in evidence. Maybe definitely, I’d even say.

        I believe the record of my studies reflects something a little different from what you suggest (kind of unfair of you, but not to complain, nor take anything personal, not like you’re nailing my hands to some cross or anything).

        But I will freely avow, my research doesn’t favor your bias or anyone else’s and, not everybody seems able to appreciate that. But they don’t have to, methods of research work no matter, don’t require such approval. And I’m a truth-seeker who won’t slant it one way or the other, sorry. What I discover, I “tell it like it is” impartially, for better and for worse — at least, to the best of my ability, that’s the objective.

        Its just a matter of wanting to know something, whether its this or that, true or not. Is that so hard to understand? I wonder about things sometimes, don’t you? Don’t you ever find yourself wanting to know about something, to simply find out? Sure it can be scary, if possible answers might gore the ox of some cherished opinion or foregone conclusion you’re drawn prematurely. But, what’s a stake?

        Human curiosity embodies practical concern and passionate intellectual engagement – its both Want, and Need to Know. Today in many quarters we can see a lack of curiosity and interest in the unknown. Its as if human intelligence is being displaced by a shut-down of inquiry, akin to mind control. First thing done in any/every propagandistic dictatorship (historically) is to restrict free speech and free thought, to tamp down reason, intelligent interest and freedom with which we explore the world around us. Disapproval, inflammatory ad hominem attacks on anyone “not with the program” are simply Customary and Usual means, justified by ends.

        Its ok, I’m not criticizing you or complaining. True, I do feel you’re most likely venting displeasure, and going for a little ‘pay back’ against your perceived antagonist (moi) — trying to provoke or incite. It wasn’t clear in your first post — and I realize only now — I’ve apparently made you unhappy, disclosing info that doesn’t substantiate “McKenna-inspired” perspectives (?).

        Either way, of course, the record of my publications and studies, I believe, will reflect a ‘no horientation. I’m not beholden to any drug warriors, on either side of any battle lines drawn, pro con or other.

        And you seem to reflect some prior notice — that I’ve commented repeatedly about ‘cult-like’ aspects of this particular name brand of ‘inspiration.’ Indeed, another correspondent here has inquired just this week — how could I compare it to Sci Crea / ID, on what resemblances.

        In that light, I wonder if you know how the pseudoscientific right routinely castigates bioscience, in ad hominem terms (resembling some of yours, to my eye, directed my way) on grounds of scientific findings, that apparently don’t please the choir? In their rehearsals and performances, we can see tantrums and all sorts of acting out, drama and theater.

        The main obstacle I recognize, not just for research progress but even intelligent discussion or popular interest — is propagandizing and manipulation. This is what I notice abundantly, almost exclusively — on one side a ‘pharmacratic inquisition’ and across from it, equally negative in its contributions as I find — an ‘entheogenic reformation’ or ‘archaic revival.’

        My goal is to find out what I can — against ideological riptides all around that forcibly oppose any info or discussion that doesn’t follow their program — about an important subject of interest. Its far more compelling that proclamations about some bearded ‘free thinker’ being a great genius, and how dare any ‘doubters’ or infidels (this is how impartially critically, skeptically reserved balance is represented, in that circle) — question it from their ‘close-minded’ hate. Its self-righteousness and indignation, calculated to turn whatever question about a belief system around — onto the questioner.

        I’m not about ad hominem stuff, people can think or say or believe what they do or will. My studies proceed, and to my fascination I discover not only answers to questions I’m exploring — but also, entirely new questions. More of the latter than the former I dare say. Our knowledge and understanding would be unable to grow continuously, And that’s the normal course of science in general. If we didn’t realize new questions from latest findings and discoveries, we wouldn’t be able to continually grow, to reach new knowledge, new understandings.

        I’d soundly suggest: your supposition about me and my work is actually pretty inaccurate to the record. Of course I can testify to what I know of my own interest. But I guess someone else can say “oh, its all lies, he’s just a liar.” That’s how the ‘discourse’ of ideological power struggle goes. Should I ‘theorize’ (i.e., suppose) all about your purpose in such ad hominem silliness — or simply ask if you’d care to explain, cordially invite you to speak for your intention or objective yourself, in your own words?

        My methods are those of inquiry. Nobody has to answer, but I do ask questions, and sometimes stony silence or whatever attempts to deflect, can be revealing. The truth will out, I don’t know what’s so hard for some to comprehend in that, apparently. Thank you again, and please, no bad wishes, mkay?

      • It is clear from his comments here and on the Reality Sandwich website that in, addition to his anti-psychedelics agenda, Brian Akers suffers from a severe case of logorrhea (pathologically excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness that is characteristic especially of the manic phase of bipolar disorder).

      • Omg Eric, thank you for a note of inspiration:

        ‘Logos’-rhea ! Get it? ;-) You know, the ‘Logos’? The voice in Terence McKenna’s head, like “Look in the I Ching, Terence” and “I am old, older than thought in your species …” etc?

        He said, anyway …

        Again, beg pardon I didn’t realize that you were, as now apparent — trying to disprove or contradict what I said about the “Cricks figured out DNA from LSD tripping” story being a — a story.

        (I’m still not clear how you thought you were showing something different, when the story you cited actually substantiated my comment so clearly. No big deal though you don’t need to explain. It ain’t no hill to die on …)

      • Why don’t you two continue this discussion elsewhere. I am tired of it anyway.

      • Johan, must be some kind of computer glitch, sorry. Looks like you posted some words, but my screen displays only garbled incoherence in your message. Can you enhance, boost signal or clarify? thanks

  44. Hi Brian Akers, thank you for your humourous and what I felt was a quite transparent effort to undermine my comments. I was in the middle of writing a reply to Johan’s prior reply when you posted so I hope I will be permitted the opportunity to reply to you also in this subsequent comment. I will concede that you may be correct in regards to your comments surrounding Crick’s use of LSD, can anyone provide confirmation of this? I cannot claim to recall where I first heard mention of this and there is the real possibility that it may only be a widely propegated rumour, perhaps much like a similar rumour that floated about long before the days of the internet about a something or other which we commonly refer to as god.

    Brian, I hope I am correct in saying that the crux of your arguement is that on some levels, a belief or perhaps even just an interest in the ‘sayings of guru McKenna’ (as I expect you might dismiss him), is equivalent to religious belief, and is therefore equally eligible of derision. The issue I find with this is that there is no straightforward way of substantiating proclamations about the nature or existance of an individuals particular concept of god. If someone was to say to you ‘try god’, how do you do this? It’s a very abstract notion. Do you go to church and spend your time thinking about god and attempting to talk to god etc (if you choose to embrace the possibility of a Christian notion of god)? I personally don’t know if there is a particular transcribed ‘methodology’ for how to accomplish this.

    However if someone was to say to you, ‘try psychedelics’, the process isn’t so abstract. Psychedelics are tangible, qualities of their existance are understood and unquestionably accepted, not least by the scientific community. It is open to anyone who is willing to put aside their fears and assumptions and just try them.

    I sincerely look forward to your replies.

    • Thank you for acknowledging the problem of citation with this Crick story, all about him taking LSD, and how it helped him figure out the organic structure of DNA.

      I’m not saying its true, or not true. I don’t know, it might be or not. But that’s beside the point, which is about citation, and spreading unverifiable stories as if they are factual. That account is ‘after the fact,’ and to my knowledge not substantiated. Yet so often I see, as your post reflects, its widely touted, spread in the manner of gossip or rumor. That’s why I pointed out, its a ‘told story’ based in ‘somebody says’ …

      And its consistent, as I find. The ‘McKenna-inspired’ interest expresses a chronic multitude of inconsistencies, contradictions, empty assertions, overtly false misleading claims in many cases — promulgated with theatrical earnest “no, really” faith. Whatever one might tell a Scientific Creationist all committed to his pov, would make a good guide for how one might answer McKenna sermonizers.

      • I wont argue in regards to the story of Crick, I can’t recall whether the source was reputable. It’s a valid point you make.

        Unlike god inspired mythology, and the exploitational horrors that can be attributed to the middle-men who claim to offer the word of god as the absolute unquestionable truth, you can go direct to the source with Terence McKenna to find out his own thoughts and feelings about his subjective experience and speculations resulting from these personal encounters. I can’t ever recall an instance of McKenna making claims that any of his experiences are unquestionable truths, in fact he does quite the opposite by frequently encouraging people to think for themselves. In my own case, his words and ideas have acted as an invitation to ask questions of my own. Does anyone feel he is unreasonable in this stance? And to clarify I’m not asking rhetorical questions.

        His words and ideas have on the most part inspired in me a far greater level of curiosity towards the information offered up by mainstream science, although I don’t mean to imply that this is a positive benifit directly attributable to his words! You might even consider it slightly amusing that I was just about to watch The Hunt for Higgs Horizon Special before I found this article and decided to comment. I have a healthy level of skepticism about everything he says, as I do about some of the more outlandish claims in contemporary science. To the best of my knowledge he has never made any attacks on the pursuits or methods of science. I’d like to know more about the correlates between the ideas he has expressed and the goals of the sci crea/ ID factions. What are they?

        Theatrical is an apt description, but not insincere, and I don’t personally object to someone saying ‘no really, this was what I was experiencing in my own head’ as long as they aren’t making the assertion that this therefore must be everyone else’s absolute truth.

      • Mcdocomo – (“I’d like to know more about the correlates between the ideas he has expressed and the goals of the sci crea/ ID factions. What are they?”)

        Context of your question (I suggest) lies in the sci crea / ID power struggle with biology, post-Darwin. A huge and topical subject !! I’d be pleased to discuss, altho it I knew more about your individual background knowledge and understanding about it (its so huge …) — golly it would be helpful.

        Suppose I suggested (would you disagree?) — the most common sentiment in the public is pro-science, when it comes to that stuff. Not pro bible.

        And yet, that public supportive faction … would flunk a BIO 101 exam, on basics of natural selection and evolution. I mostly encounter people who subscribe to it, credit the science — but have significantly erroneous, persistently Lamarckian-like ideas about evolution. Cannot accurately give a thumbnail sketch of natural selection, what it is, how it operates, etc.

        If I were the only one who found this strange irony, I could write it off to spots before my eyes. Alas … Thank you for your good humor, if I apprehend correctly. Especially insofar as my perspective on Mckenna theorizing — which has become emblematic of psychedelic neo-populist pattern — is no tribute in praise, or penny in its collection plate. No present under its tree for little ones’ wide eyed yuletide. Wish I could be Santa Claus, and not all psychedelic news is bad. Indeed, scientists to my knowledge, myself included can mostly affirm a tremendous potential in psychedelics, and thus far we’re not even scratching the surface.

        A fascinating (to me) parallel is evident, recent decades, culture history — between what’s gone on with psychedelics, and – saucers! No professional specialist would touch it, under ‘hot potato’ circumstances that emerged from unfolding events running catty whompus (regrettably?).

        A vacuum gathered around a subject, with no Sagans or Hawkings claiming it — no authoritatively informed spokesman. Nature abhors and vacuum, and countercultural impressarios saw gold in them hills, rushing in to stake claim and posture as experts — based on they’ve taken more acid than you or me, or higher doses, or … etc.

        And thus a bodyguard of dense nonsense comes to surround a subject that might raise some really interesting questions — scuttling possibilities they could perhaps be investigated more objectively, not trying to prove something for a constituency. Alas (and thank you for humoring my pov) – no bad wishes to you or any.

      • Update on the “Cricks owes LSD, for his discovery of DNA’s structure” — courtesy of an amazon-dot-com reviewer. Lets straighten out the record, shall we?

        Turns out its a bunch of bs, after all. OMG, who knew? Who could have even guessed, or imagined??


        “I am frequently asked for my opinion on the speculation that Francis Crick was on LSD when he discovered the double helix; or that he was involved with a man named Dick Kemp in the manufacture of LSD. These assertions were reported second hand in an article in the Mail on Sunday by Alun Rees following Crick’s death and they have since gained a certain amount of traction on the internet. Both stories are wrong.
        The true story, which I was told directly by Crick’s widow and by the man who (as his widow confirms) first supplied the Cricks with LSD, is much less sensational. Crick was given (not sold) LSD on several occasions from 1967 onwards by Henry Todd, who met the Cricks through his girlfriend. Todd did know Kemp, with whom he was eventually prosecuted, but the Cricks did not. As for the implausible idea that the then impoverished and conventional Crick would have had access to LSD when it was newly invented in the early 1950s, there is simply no evidence for it at all.
        Those who wish to argue that LSD helped Crick make discoveries should note that all his major breakthroughs in molecular biology were made before 1967.”

        Thanks to Tojagi for sourcing …

  45. Let us bring in a fundamentalist Christian, who can speak from that BS (Belief System) in reply to your question — “If someone was to say to you ‘try god’, how do you do this?”

    If you’re serious about that … otherwise its a rhetorical question. But I’d like to see it answered by someone who can offer a testimonial.

    I prefer to direct question meaningfully, to whoever’d be competent for reply. I think (to your credit) you do at least comprehend the comparison between ‘try Jesus’ and McKennism-style “try psychedelics” promotional message.

    The correspondence between neo-ideo and Old Time anti-science anxiety gets pretty close for comfort in point-by-point specifics. We have the eschatology of 2012, and Book of Revelation. We have attempts from both bible interests and McKenna enthusiasts upon evolutionary theory. They may come from opposite peanut galleries, but both disclose abundant dishonesty. They’re not broadly respectable, and unable to command respect resort to demanding attention.

    With sci crea / ID — to prove the subterfure took a court hearing in Dover PA, legal process. It was necessitated by the aggression of ideologues (their attempts on local public school science curriculum). We can see something like that in McKennism, trying to get ‘insert’ itself into educated discussions as if it were, or could be, part of them. Many lit sources, abundantly reflect. I hope my reply has gratified the express sincerity of your anticipation.

  46. I haven’t been asked yet what my own feelings on McKenna are. I have always described McKenna as the perfect blend of genius and codswallop. McKenna’s ideas are there for your ponderance, appreciation or dismissal. What harm are they doing? I’m not aware of any push to have his notions inserted into high school curriculum, or lives being lost in ideological wars resulting from his thoughts. They are the product of a mind speaking in a manner he feels is intuitive to his subjective experience, much of which is quite fantastical and surely enjoyable regardless of how high your bullshit detection levels are set. There’s nothing wrong with this, by it’s nature it’s obviously not scientific and I hope it is clear that I am not trying to argue this in any way. I certainly wouldn’t categorise him as a cult leader either. I find McKenna’s speculations about the nature of reality interesting and somewhat worthy of consideration because I am also willing to accept that there are instances in mainstream science where well reasoned speculation and extrapolated estimation stands in for substantiated scientific evidence. I’m not a religious fanatic, or a psychedelic fanatic, but I’m also not dogmatic in my beliefs when it comes to science. Is that not the point of science, to question everything including your own beliefs and accept the possibility that you may not have an accurate or absolute understanding of the nature of many things relevant to the current limits of your understanding, rather than dismiss ideas outright based on your particular form of prejudice?

    • Out of all the comments here, yours are the most balanced, unbiased, and insightful. Thank you, mycdocomo, for sharing your perspective! And I too would like to hear a scientist’s informed perspective on the psychedelic experience.

      And just to get this off my chest, I’ve developed a kind of disdain for Akers’ posts. Most of them are overly verbose with no meaningful content and you can skip over them and still understand the flow of conversation. Bad Brian!

      And Johan, congratulations on having an awesome blog. I’ll be reading more of your content. I admire your patience with people that started talking about what you feel is irrelevant to your post. And because you’re so understanding, let me add one more irrelevant opinion. I feel strongly that anyone as intellectually capable as you should experience a moderate dose of a psychedelic, at least once in their lives. It’s one of the most important experiences one can have.

      • I think wine is as far as I go.

  47. Trying Psychedelics Could Be Usefull In A Hospice Setting.Using Psycotropics In A Transitional Modality,Either By The Guide (shaman) Or The Patient Would Facilate The Death Rites Alowing The Dying To Enter The Void Consciously And Hopefully Illuminated.The Scientists Had Their Go With Lsd With Leary,Ram Das,Et All.Not Amounting To Much Besides Awe And Jiberish.And Perhaps The Loss Of A Generation,With The “Turn On,Tune In, Drop Out” Mantra.

  48. I don’t have or hold any ‘particular form of prejudice.’ I do value solid info, that actually holds up under cross-examination, proves sound and reliable. And I affirm human curiosity, interests in finding out by discovery, unbiased — and whether it proves what we thought or not. That’s the opposite of the ‘what me worry’ (I already know, better than you) — gonna show you, or prove something etc, ideological drum-beat.

    If you don’t distinguish prejudice from unbiased aims of science and other forms of research in other fields — then congratulation. You join the ranks of many who likewise call science ‘prejudicial.’ Check out the Sci Creas and IDs. You may find birds of a feather, good fellowship. They also resent science, unable to command or manipulate it. Its no different than the fox’s resentment of the grapes he wanted so badly, and tried to get — but couldn’t.

    Grapes of wrath of my good man. This is 21st century. We’ve come a ways, learned some things, and improved our methods for furthering discovery to an amazing extent. Science commands credibility, I think we all know. Its predictions about ‘what will happen if …’ — the tests to which it puts its propositions, to find out if they’re right or not — makes it quite a source of discursive authenticity and command.

    That makes science a target of envy to those who covet its broad credibility — key feature of which being, it doesn’t depend on whether you’re a ‘believer’ or an infidel. Its methods work, and get results that hold up under hard test, repeated, it doesn’t matter by who. Its not about ‘flesh and blood’ or ad hominems.

    In diagnosing ‘prejudice’ I think you’re practicing without a license (unless, witch doctor?). But I don’t want to uncharitably foreclose question. After all, maybe I misunderstand. Let’s give you benefit of doubt, poster. Perhaps you can explain, in your own words what your purpose or objective in casting aspersion on scientific interests? Realizing full well they’re not partial to Jesus, or Terence — or whoever’s visionary brilliant inspirations, gussied as ‘theories’ or ‘ideas,’ are held above question by the inspired?

    Observers see this exact “relational” routine, in the ploys and tactics of the ID / Sci Crea theater. There’s a documentary movie about it, called FLOCK OF DODOS, pretty good flick I find. The biologists know what they’re talking about, but they don’t focus and concentrate on relational and PR tactics as do the ID / Sci Crea campers. With no substance in their ‘theories’ it all comes down to their ‘tone’ … the whole world smiles with you when you’re smiling, and when the moment’s right that is how they work.

  49. I might just add if I may, mycodomo (per your “Is that not the point of science, to question everything including your own beliefs and accept the possibility that you may not have an accurate or absolute understanding of the nature of many things relevant to the current limits of your understanding, rather than dismiss ideas outright based on your particular form of prejudice?”).

    Science is a word used differently, depending on context. On campus in USA, it refers to chemistry, physics and biology (and their subsidiary fields and disciplinary specializations). Science studies natural phenomena and processes.

    Psychedelics have been compared, as instruments for study of the deep unconscious, the mind etc — to ‘the telescope for astronomy, and the microscope for medicine’ (S. Grof, Masters & Houston, etc.). In many respects, an appropriate analogy I suggest.

    But with one major qualification, seldom remarked upon (alas): the world we see around us, tangible and physically detectable by instrumented readings, is one we all share. Whether we’re looking at the up-close and very small (with microscope), or the big and way far away (with telescope) — we’re scanning the outer reality, not the inner.

    When we turn LSDscope on its realm, the deep mind — we’re not looking at outer reality we all have in common. I can’t take psychedelics and get into your mind, your psyche — only my own.

    And I suggest that, my friend, poses a major ‘apples and oranges’ problem categorically, this context. Its a point at the dark heart of a high energy denial in McKenna’s observations — elves and eschatons, etc. If he’d been upfront with himself about it, he might have dealt with it on that level.

    I think that would have been a lot more respectable. McKenna was an articulate and intelligent man, altho perhaps not as much as he and his following seem to consider (“an unsung Newton” indeed). Instead his name and claim and fame have become tokens of doctrine and indoctrination. Seems a shame in some ways, but c’est la vie, as the old folks say. Just goes to show, you never can tell.

    No bad wishes (please).

  50. I know this shit is old, but I wish Mckenna was here to defend himself. I have listened to his speeches for a while and I recall in one of them he said to Bruce Damer that he hopes people do not take his novelty theory of the END OF TIME literally.

  51. mycdocomo I have to agree with you you. Terence was just speaking his mind. He was not trying to lead a revolution or enforce his thoughts. It is the listeners (whether for or against him that have carried his name and ideas) I stand guilty, but how could I not when his ideas are life changing. Maybe we will get more info when Dennis publishes his book.

  52. This, and the Anton Wilson video, remind me of why I don’t use any drugs.
    They make your ideas SEEM more profound. From what I’ve read Terence McKenna was a pseudoscientist. I was watching him give some lecture on how human evolution was initiated by psilocybin mushrooms. But it was just complete speculation; or more accurately pure fiction.

    And I don’t think cultures that use mind altering drugs more tend to have more discoveries. Psychodelic users have made contributions to the new age section of a book store. The rest of the literature, science, classics, and art don’t have anything to do with it.

    • In a facebook discussion regarding McKenna, John Hoopes mentioned that McKenna had studied a lot from his early childhood. That was the source of his knowledge, not the psychedelics…

  53. you can nitpick certain theories of his all you want but in my eyes, the revival of mckenna and the subsequent new wave of psychonauts is a good thing for society. if you listen to a lot of his “ramblings”, you’ll see that he is actually quite intelligent, uplifting and inspiring. the main thing i took from mckenna was to keep an open mind. i never viewed him as a scientist. more of a philosopher.

  54. also, you can’t deny the fact that the world would be a very different place if not for psychedelic drugs.

  55. we all know how terence felt about scientists, no hehehe? something along the lines of reputation seeking back stabbers. terence said it enough himself, there will be no physics, science, etc that can deal appropriately with the realms of the psychedelics. And athough I admit I try to be as skeptical and concrete as possible, thus far from my trivial experience on this planet, there has been nothing like the experience of the dimensions of the psychedelics (yes, machine elves are something you just dont get unless you experience). So Ill acknowledge, that this sort of material is most definitely ‘out there’, but the open mind that terence advocated is exactly whats required when looking into his work. NOT just the timewave zero. Because once you realize that its all sort of messed up in its own beautiful way, the radical, ludicrous, absurd become possibilities.

    and we shouldnt forget that terence was only a single man among many explorers. we’re not alone, we’re not crazy, we’re not irrational. i suppose you could say some prefer experience over experiments. ‘the man who comes back through the door in the wall” yadda yadda, you’ve heard it before…

    as far as timewave zero…i dunno. from what ive read, mckenna never advocated necessarily an event in popular human society. Yes it did happen to be aligned with historical eras, but i think if anything the fractal wave was simply allowing us to see the pattern of human thought, and ultimately the accumulation and ever increasing complexity of our behaviors and societies. This doesnt have to come in a ‘doomsday’ prophecy, and id certainly agree that there are plenty of ridiculous stuff out there with the whole 2012, nonsense. I dont think terence was thinking asteroids, and earthquakes as much as he was some transformational though of humanity. There are plenty of holes to poke in the theory, plenty of reasons myself where i have to sort of frown reading it. ultimately, ill take terence’s take on life vs the last 300 years of bullshit shoveled to the masses. and im outta coffee (save me terence).

  56. if you havent already ^

  57. consciousness is nature of reality, physical and non physical, it computes the information. the only difference between entities/reality sets/forms of being in alternate reality frames/dimensions is that of perspective,perspective according to its subjective constraints. from the perspective of a physical entity in a physical reality, the physical matter reality is real, non physical entities and reality is not real – virtual

  58. if you are primarily interested in ascertaining validity in a ((“prediction” of “the” “end” of “the” world)) then there was never any hope for you in the first place… – the end of an age approaches in a person’s mind whenever they jump onto the consciousness half-life wagon of a few hours spent renting temporary schizophrenia… the wave describes not temporal points for predictions but the swaying of your own appetites between things you already know and things you have not yet perceived. TMcK’s lectures were always allegorical: his deconstruction of finnegan’s wake is less of study note on the book than it is a demonstration of how even something as usually linear as literature can be made to incorporate fractal dimensions through partial thematic repetition and variation, multiple entendres and recurring pseudo-characters… if there are not really aliens encoding empathy for each other and will for self-improvement into chemical codes in mushrooms then it certainly doesn’t hurt (however much we may change the theory in future) to have at least some model for exploration that does not make us assume dreadful things.

  59. [...] book about outer space connections which are ideas prevalent in the 2012 mythology. I have covered Terence McKenna’s ideas on the Timewave before and I will not repeat them here. That blog post is also one of the most [...]

  60. [...] of creation. Novelty can never be true novelty if it can be explained by what preceded it. Hence, McKenna’s Timewave is not true novelty since it is believed to be [...]

  61. seems like the world has changed at the end of 2012, no? the internet singularity is up and running, imho. not that i’m really interested in defending anyone; I came across this page while looking for a youtube vid. Are you for real in believing that reality is not constructed by people? i’m an educational psychologist and my whole persepctive is built on the fact that it is. is it possible that the two (constructivism & neorealism) can simultaneously coexist on different “levels”? cheers!

    • Yes I am. Correlationism is a dead end. People construct sensual profiles of the real but so do chimps, dogs, fish, etc.

      • so it seems to me that you are not interested in human consciousness but rather the true nature of things?

      • No, I am interested in both but I do not believe human consciousness is so unique that it needs to be treated as different in kind to everything else in this universe (which is the case of the subject-object correlate). The true nature of things can never be known, only the sensual qualities we make of them. The real is always withdrawn (as in Heidegger’s tool-analysis).

      • thanks so much for your replies. still seems to me that people construct their own meanings of sensory input even if this perspective is a dead end to some greater level of understanding. all the best!

      • If you by “greater level” mean greater transcendent level you will seek in vain.We have just visited a huge mega-fail (“December 21, 2012″) that have sought to find out that greater level. People have done so for millennia and continues to fail. There is your dead end.

      • I don’t doubt the truth in your statements but in my head i make it to a greater transcendent level nearly every day. i dont know about you but i never gave a second of attention to that huge mega fail or whatever people choose to call it. are you disregarding all things cultural because of some zany cultural ideas? apologies if i’m off base…

      • No, I am not at all disregarding all things cultural because of the 2012-phenomenon. My “crusade” against anthropocentrism in archaeology began in 2002/2003, long before I began to take an interest in the 2012-phenomenon. Neither do I object against humans or consciousness. I simply want to take a anthropodecentralized perspective when I treat artifacts. I cannot reach the minds before what I call the archaeological event horizon:

    • My dissertation thesis, now six years old, outlines the problems with temporality in archaeology:

  62. Re: The mega-fail

    • One good thing to come out of this “end date” is that the galactic alignment theory will loose many of its New Age followers. I hope, or perhaps they can connect it to another part of the Milky Way at another time of the year and make up a new correlation constant that sets the 13 baktun X number of days into the future so that it falls on that desired date?

      • As stated elsewhere, the original galactic alignment dates were Sept 1998 thru Sept 2001, midway between Harmonic Convergence and 2012. Obviously no shift in consciousness here.

      • What is obvous to me is that most 2012ers are pseudo-astrologers; Jose’, Terence, Carl, JMJ, ad nauseum. Waters publishes a horoscope with Coe’s wrong date? Think about that for a while. None of them understand Maya astrology, the source of the prophecy. Veils have not yet been lifted. Maybe Coe was right with JANUARY ELEVEN TWENTY THIRTEEN! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

      • Astrologer or pseudo-astrologer, who cares? I don’t.

      • I don’t believe that you don’t care. If you really didn’t care, you would not write this blog. Try to “know theyself” a little better. 2012 is an astrology forecast mishandled by those who know not the nature of the beast … and this includes you. The so-called “long-count” is an astrological tool. It is a specialized field with its own technical language. Isn’t that the message of Hamlet’s Mill? Hoopes understands 2012 is based in astrology. The fact that FORSTEMANN first used the expression “end of the world” in relationship to the Maya is something I showed him. Try to catch up. Or maybe it is your fear that drives you?

      • This blog is about the Maya and archaeological theory. My treatment of the 2012-circus files under both categories. I have no interest in what you are doing. As I said, I will happily ignore your work.

      • Okay. Can you explain why you focus so much on the misinformation and ignore what the “Maya” actually wrote about our time in the Dresden codex and their intended use of the numbers Mayanists call the long-count? You are doing pseudoscience as much as all the people you misinterpret and insult. I trust you lack the objectivity to recognize this. I started out suggesting you were “ignorant” about the galactic alignment, etc. Thanks for proving my point. Keep up the ignoring …

      • You are so funny.

      • November 13, 2012 was the date of a total solar eclipse forecast in the Dresden codex accurate to the day (gmt 285). Terence would have been better off using that date than December 21. You know the end date was actually December 23. Our January 1, New Year is based in astrology also. So are the days of the week. Let’s ignore all that … shall we?

  63. Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends. Love your patience Johan…and everyone’s enthusiasm. Well… let’s have good lives and happy new year!

    • Happy New Year to you as well.

  64. Enter 2013!
    I’m the Producer/Director of The Terence Mckenna OmniBus 2012, a 12 part series on TMack, as you call him. I’ve also made Cognition Factor, which featured Terence, amongst 25 others. I’ve read through the dialogue above, and urge you all to see the series, which will hopefully illuminate some of the misconceptions, while confirming several others.
    You can get the full series with comments and extras here;
    But here’s ‘TMack’ being ‘serious’..

  65. except for the prior comment by “Schwann on February 14, 2013 ” who urges people to actually educated themselves rather than listening to this crappy propaganda, I have to admit, I have NEVER seen so much self-asserting ignorance in one place on the internet and that is saying something. anyone who is trying to discredit Mckennas genius because of his field of studies, is a bigoted fool and will simply miss out on one of the most brilliant minds that ever lived. look into the stoned ape theory and LEARN about how the substances he studied most likely account for the jump in brain mass, otherwise unexplained until this day. these substances have neurgenesis properties, meaning they stimulate brain cell growth ! get it ? maybe the author of this poor piece should try it and grow a brain ;)

    Im just gonna come out and call it what this is: this article seriously borders on defamation of character and the author should be ashamed of his/herself. very sad there is people like this who fear the truth so much they lie to themselves to avoid it, it’s called ignorance, plain and simple.
    Timewave zero, the Novelty Theory is NOT debunked; just the same fools that thought the mayans predicted the apocalypse also didn’t understand the timewave zero theory. Dec 21 2012 is a reference point, not an event ! apparently that is really hard to for ppl to wrap their brain around. it marks the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one, a new ERA.

    • I love comments like this. First, the person has not understood the context of my comment despite the fact that I have repeated it in several responses to people in this thread (it is only about the 2012-phenomenon, I do not care about McKenna’s stoned apes). Second, the person criticizes me for defamation of character but he/she does the same thing with me. Third, anyone who idolizes McKenna (calling him a genius) has probably not understood what it takes to be a genius. He will never rank among Einstein, Newton, Darwin, da Vinci, etc.

      As for #1, why is so hard for McKenna’s followers to see that I am only interested in his distortion of the Maya calendar? It must mean that they are stoned themselves. I suspect that Abraxas has grown a brain himself/herself. If the comment above is the result after growing one’s brain, I have no hope for humanity.

      • and Im glad to make you happy, you seem very bitter and desperate to save your reality…Its going to be a real challenge for you to see any such “distortions”, even if there was any, considering you cannot see past your own distorted state of mind.

        Your trying so hard to discredit McKenna starting with the title, calling him a prophet who talked about machine elves, yet nothing you state here has any substance, you want to ignore the fact that he was and still is one of the most respected philosophical minds in history. If you want to discredit him you may wanna try the same with Nikola Tesla, Einstein, Carl Jung, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Rupert Sheldrake … and so on. All of which understood mind expanding substances and consciousness, which btw are endogenous in the human brain. You experience a DMT trip every night when you dream and when you will when you die. So stop please do yourself a favor and stop being such an ignorant hypocrite propagandist, know what I mean ;)

        Every reader here should check out Terence McKennas lectures on youtube. Let the man speak for himself. I recommend “Language of the Unspeakable” in which he clears up all the false claims the author makes. After all most people can tell your are not interested I learning, you are condescending and closed minded. maybe you should try and write a book and prove McKenna wrong, if that’s what your after. Id love to see you debunk his philosophy, especially not understanding the science of consciousness nor quantum mechanics, which btw have now been adopted by mainstream science i.e CERN.

        Before you go on rationalizing your reality based on your extremely limited understanding of matter itself, you may want to re-educated yourself … just a tiny bit ?

        Here is a hint on what’s getting in your way of thinking: “Compartmentalization is an unconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person’s having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.”

        All you do here is reiterate you ignorance and “not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge”. A N Whitehead. …so go ahead, knock yourself out ;)

        Ignorance is the ego’s resistance and/or dismissal of ideas that don’t fit our preferred paradigm it’s nothing but an illusive mental phenomenon, and if I may say so, your ego-inflation is approaching critical mass my friend.

        Last but not least, although you are entitled to your own opinion, you are NOT entitled to your own facts.

        Peace out.

        Please inform yourselves, you can start here: Great minds think alike, there is no “ McKenna followers”, only an individual critical thinkers. he was NOT a guru, McKenna is a word wizard and he is brilliant, his knowledge needs to be shared not suppressed or disrespected.

        PS.: well at least you don’t censor challenging comments ;)

      • I am bitter? Lol. I am not the one writing long hostile comments on other people’s blog to defend my pet genius. The only one who defends a “reality” here is you. I have no idea what reality is. But you apparently do, good for you.

        One of the most respected minds in philosophy? You have not read much philosophy then… Sure you are not confusing him with Whitehead?

        Propagandist? What propaganda would that be? Closed minded? Since you have not read anything more than this post and made up your mind about what I know I do see who is closed minded. For example, here are some blog posts that make use or mention Whitehead:

        I do not know if I will censor challenging comments since I have not had one yet. Since you cannot see the trees for the forest, I repeat, I have no interest in McKenna’s philosophy. But since you are so fantastic, you must have published something and contributed to science and/or philosophy. Where I can I find that? I am so eager to know more about what you have to say. Or are you just one of those people who are too brilliant to publish anything in peer-review? Are you trapped in the box of believing you think outside the box (i.e. ignorant of your own ignorance)? I’ll bet you are a dogmatic non-dogmatic thinker (your mention of Sheldrake is not surprising).

      • In response to your statement:
        “Since you cannot see the trees for the forest,”

        that’s beautiful…how does that foot taste ? lol.
        indeed, you ARE correct this time. Im not distracted by all the trees, I see the forest, the big picture as well. Problem here is, You can’t see it, “you cannot see the forest from the trees”, which is the actual saying and it means: you are stuck in the box, got the blinders on, are lost in the forest ;)

        take it easy, you’ll come around someday. There is no escape from the truth…we can run but we can’t run forever and we certainly cannot hide from it. fearing it is to misunderstand life itself. all of us will meet the TRUTH it in the end.

        Life is an opportunity and you are missing out on it…just saying.

        Bye now.

      • Thank you for showing once again the problem with people who believe they think outside the “box”. You did not even realize I actually meant what I said when I reversed the order between trees and forest. That is because you are trapped inside your own narcisstic box (or whatever makes you think you are special). You believe there is a forest, a picture greater than the trees that you have a firm grasp of. I recognize that the trees are more than the forest, there are trees in parks, in streets, in fossil record, etc. Trees are in this case rhizomatic and not arborescent. I see the trees from different perspectives, but you take the holistic one-dimensional perspective. There is not a big picture, no single truth, there are only bigger pictures and different truths. Cantor’s paradox…

        Indeed, life is an opportunity and I am not gonna waste more time on you. Bye now and bye forever. Next comment from you will be classified as spam (exception can be made if you provide links to your own contrubutions to science and/or philosophy).

  66. I always found Timewave Zero the easiest to criticize, never been fan of it. By no mean McKenna said he wanted it to be challenged.
    His TW theory has many holes, but only a fool would then discredit McKenna’s general The ideas behind his view and Novelty theory are still pretty valid and much more difficult to challenge.
    I’ve skimmed through the comments and I find people’s attack on MK’s work done the wrong way, at the wrong angle, with the wrong tools, the wrong approach, and you end up with a result that doesn’t mean anything. Your analysis is tainted by your ego and preconceptions, your conclusions about McKenna are utterly ridiculed by the strength, the value and the intelligence of his work. You don’t even seem aware of what he was about and what was the messages and ideas he was putting forward.
    Also, at the center of it all you do find the psychedelic experiences he mentions, and that anyone can have. And the thing is that most critics here probably haven’t had some themselves. In that respect, your opinion has very little weight and not much value in an intellectual debate and critic of McKenna’s work, no matter how debatable it is.

    And for crying out loud he wasn’t a “Prophet” to put in with all those “Doomsday” weasels and other UFO freaks.

    Also, you’re completely missing the entire point.

  67. I am sure looking forward to the summer solstice which is the time I have decided to block the comment section on old 2012-related posts (half a year after that unimportant event).

    Sanji above has skimmed through the comment section and apparently missed my point entirely (that happens when you skim with a prejudged mind). Yes, I have no doubt that the timewave is the easiest to criticize and that is the only thing my post was about. You just repeat what other 2012-followers have done here before (come up with another angle please…).

    So, what exactly is wrong with my conclusions in relation to the empirical data that I provide? Do not just say that my “conclusions about McKenna are utterly ridiculed by the strength, the value and the intelligence of his work”. Explain, all by yourself, why his timewave misses important novelties that we know have occurred. Let’s see if you actually can specify that or if you are just one of those people who blindly follows him and bash non-believers with ad hominem remarks (as C Hitchens said: it’s a sign of victory when they move on to the ad hominem). Do that soon (i.e. do not re-read your McKenna, do it from what you now know, the level of knowledge you had when you wrote that comment). It is always easy to write something on internet but can you back it up? If you cannot do that skip comments about other people’s egos in the future. The only hurt ego here is yours and those of other McKenna followers. Give some substance to your insubstantial critique.

    No, McKenna was not a prophet and many of the other people that I have covered on this blog are not prophets in the literal sense. Ever heard about sarcasm? Your reaction is, however, typical among people whose “intellectual leader” is criticized (and from very basic empirical data).I was not calling him a doomsday prophet, simply a prophet of nonsense and that nonsense was the timewave in this particular post. Whether or not his psychedelic research is nonsense or not is not the issue of this post and I do not care about that part of his work.

  68. I seldom comment, however I browsed through some comments on 2012: Prophet of nonsense #8: Terence McKenna– Novelty theory and timewave zero | Archaeological Haecceities.
    I do have a couple of questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be just me or do a few of the comments appear as if they are coming from brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at other places, I’d like
    to follow you. Would you list of every one of
    all your social networking pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  69. The problem with your page is not really that TWZ doesn’t quite work, that’s no news and many like myself weren’t convinced.
    It’s just a weak critic of it and an awful critic of McKenna. I’ve read all comments now, most people have just no clue what they’re talking about. Green’s Law of Debate right there, and that pretty much includes you too. The first comment is priceless.

    So now it’s my understanding that you don’t know much (or want to know more) about McKenna. So in that respect your position is understandable and not really wrong about TWZ as a software, but your whole view is quite narrowed, and it only focuses on the “graph” part of it. I find that you article is based around ignorance and misconception of the author, who is also reduced to nothing else but the creation of a “prophetic” software, when actually it’s such a little thing compared to the rest of what he did and said.

    You ignore and don’t mention the context in which it was presented; that is, within an intellectual study of Time and Reality that has a lot more brilliance and value to it than TWZ itself. It will take a lot more than a few paragraphs about how the software doesn’t work perfectly on every date and how you disagree with the choice of Novelty points to challenge that.
    This isn’t just a software with dates and number presented as a “prophecy”, seems like you missed the point of it all, have you ever heard McKenna presenting it?
    You don’t mention much of Novelty Theory either, that’s a miss too.
    So I see data on this page, but nothing “empirical” about it. However debatable the graph of TimeWaveZero is, I don’t see how that makes McKenna and Novelty Theory “nonsense”.
    You’re calling him a prophet of nonsense, that’s quite a claim, and you state without arguments that it’s “New Age mambo jumbo” to associate Novelty Theory with Shamanism and Spirituality (two disciplines, at least Shamanism, that I think you don’t know much about). That’s not a wise position. It’s rather you who should provide extensive substance to back that up, I’m just here to remind you what you’re dealing with, and that’s certainly not a prophecy from a 2012 weasel as you present it, this error needs to be pointed at.
    I’m sure you wouldn’t find the critic well done if you did some work a little sloppy and someone attacked it the way you do here, especially if the rest is awesome.

    I never paid much attention to this 2012 business, I found most of what I read about it just awful. It seems you’ve been looking around to pick on claims related to 2012, and you ended up on McKenna because he did something that was related to it. Now you’re associating him with people he has nothing to do with, he was quite the opposite of the loonies you can find on the “Truth” marketplace.
    To understand that, you only need to listen to a few of his lectures and see for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

    You’re wrong about psychedelics and Shamanism too, but that’s just because you’re misinformed. They’re quite amazing topics to research about, and you can even have firsthand experience with it if you want to. It has fundamental ties with so many other important subjects seemingly unrelated, that’s really an essential card to know about.

  70. You can continue to defend McKenna from whatever angle you want, I am sure I am wrong about several aspects of his work but so are you with me. I have written over 750 posts on this blog and you focus on one,. You have no idea of my research and what I know.

    You are aware of the origins of shamanism? As a concept, deeply affected by the armchair research made by Eliade who intertwined it with fascist ideology, etc? Yes, I know quite a bit about “shamanism”. That is another highly problematic term that I never use for several reasons. You can always check this on my blog or in my published articles.



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