I was reading some more this past week about the 2012 theories and came back to some writings by Terence McKenna.

mckenna_terenceTerence McKenna has a kind of spaced-out hippie reputation, but he was a very interesting thinker.  This writer, public speaker, philosopher, psychonaut and ethnobotanist was known for ability to entertain and to articulate his knowledge to non-academics.

Some of that is colored in the mainstream press by his use of psychedelics, and his interest in topics like metaphysics, plant-based entheogens, shamanism and the theoretical origins of human consciousness.

What I was rereading was mostly about his concept of novelty theory.

Some background:  In 1971, Terence, his brother Dennis, and three friends traveled to the Colombian Amazon in search of oo-koo-hé, a plant preparation containing DMT. They didn’t find it, but they did find forms of ayahuasca and psilocybe cubensis.

During some psychedelic experiments, Terence said that he was in contact with Logos, a divine voice he believed was universal to visionary religious experience. Some revelations from Logos led him to explore further using an early form of the I Ching. From those experiences, he came to his “Novelty Theory.”

(Many of these ideas are in a 1975 book by Terence and Dennis in their 1975 book The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching)

He was a very prolific speaker and writer throughout the 1980s. His book, The Archaic Revival, has pieces about  psychedelic mushrooms, the Amazon, virtual reality, UFOs, evolution, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History.

In the early 1990s, he was connected to the psychedelic rave/dance scene and his speeches are sampled by many bands and freely available online. (The Psychedelic Salon is a good starting place.)

McKenna says:

“Science fiction is the gateway drug.”

“I’m not interested in cataloging the varieties of the doorways to the secret. I’m interested in finding one doorway that works.”

Despite all the hallucinogenics and messianic talk, McKenna was actually not a supporter of many “New Age” and pop psychology movements that you would “expect” he would embrace.

Talking about alien abductions, he said:

“Pro bono proctologists from other star systems are not making unannounced, free house calls in our homes. This could almost be a litmus test for sanity.”

What I was re-searching in his books was an interesting connection he made to 2012. In Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date by John Major Jenkins (with Terence McKenna) they explore the alternative world view offered by Maya culture.

Cosmogenesis is the origin and development of the cosmos. The term “Cosmogenesis” was used by Helena P. Blavatsky to describe the content of Volume I of her two-volume The Secret Doctrine, published in 1888. Cosmogenesis was also the term used by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to describe the cosmological process of the creation of the Universe. (It’s also addressed in the Tao Te Ching [Daode Jing] as well.)

Jenkins explains how the Maya revered the end-time as a zero point. He interprets the point not as the end of the world but as an energy field-effect reversal and rebirth into a new World Age.

The Long Count calendar end-date, scheduled to occur on December 21, 2012, corresponds with a rare alignment of our solar system. Jenkins contends that the Maya were aware of this celestial event and believed that it portended a dramatic rebirth for humanity. The Galactic center at the central bulge of the Milky Way was seen as the pregnant point in the heavens that gave birth to the world.

That point is seen by scientists to be a black hole and an  alignment of the sun at that very point, in the Mayan calculations, culminates at the winter solstice, December 21, 2012.

Now, these seasonal alignments occur once every 6,450 years, but the December 2012 solstice occurs once every 25,800 years.

Lots of coincidences – if that’s what they are…

“Magic, which we haven’t heard much about seriously, since the sixteenth century, magic is the idea that the world is made of language, and that you can control the world through language, through spells, through the power of letters, so forth and so on. Computer code is magical language. It’s language which when executed causes something to actually happen.”

Terence had a highly aggressive form of brain cancer and underwent various treatments, including experimental gamma knife radiation treatment. He died on April 3, 2000, at the age of 53.

A McKenna podcast from NPR 1999

McKenna’s books

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