In 2012: The Return of QuetzalcoatlDaniel Pinchbeck (who is described by Publishers Weekly as a “journalist and author of the drug-riddled psychonaut investigation Breaking Open the Head“) creates an Einstein thought-experiment based on the Mayan prophecy that 2012 will bring about the end of the world as we know it.

Not the “end of the world” as in poof, it’s gone, but perhaps the end of the world as we know it (as in the R.E.M. song). That is, “the conclusion of a vast evolutionary cycle, and the potential gateway to a higher level of manifestation.” Pinchbeck see us in the final stages of a global shift. From materiality to spirituality. (Further Reading? see Stonehenge, the Burning Man festival, crop circles, hallucinogens, Quetzalcoatl…)

Daniel Pinchbeck writes about the hallucinogenic drug dripropyltryptamine (DPT)  “For several weeks after taking DPT, I picked up flickering hypnagogic imagery when I closed my eyes at night … In one scene, I entered a column of fire rising from the center of Stonehenge again and again, feeling myself pleasantly annihilated by the flames each time.”

After Pinchbeck published his first book, Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, he was considered the most significant writer on psychedelic experimentation since Terence McKenna.

The Mayan calendar’s “end date” of 2012 might be seen as having parallels to our present age. One interpretation is the end of one way of existence and not a new age, but the return of another time. That other time was one in which the serpent god Quetzalcoatl reigned, and in this interpretation of the Mayan calendar, it is an age anew. It heralds an ancient but new-to -us way of living.

And on a reading shelf nearby are books like DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences by Rick Strassman.