The Transcendental Object At The End Of Time -Terence McKenna Movie

Terence Kemp McKenna was an author, lecturer, philosopher and shamanic explorer of the realm of psychedelic states. He spoke and wrote about a variety of subjects, including metaphysics, alchemy, language, culture, technology, and the theoretical origins of human consciousness. He has been described by some as being “so far out, nobody knows what he’s talking about”, and by others as “the most innovative thinker of our times”.

To shake us out of our perceptual torpor, McKenna played the holy fool, the crazy wisdom sage. He pushed our faces in the most exotic, lurid inventions of modern science and technology. What elevated him above most other prophets was that he delivered his prophesies with a wink, an implicit acknowledgement that ultimately reality is stranger than we CAN suppose.
McKenna’s métier was the spoken word — stand-up philosophy that meme-splices Alfred North Whitehead, Marshall McLuhan, James Joyce, William Blake and many others, delivered in a reedy, insinuating voice. Available throughout the Internet with titles like “Having Archaic and Eating it Too” and “Shedding the Monkey,” his lectures are tours de force of verbal virtuosity and pack-rat polymathy, leaping trippingly (in both senses of the word) from quantum mechanics to medieval alchemy, from the chaos theory of Ilya Prigogine to the neo-Platonism of Philo Judaeus.

This movie was created to present and collect (some of) his most profound thoughts, and to possibly show glimpses of the alchemical angel that Terence pursued throughout his life. It does not serve as a biography, (at least) three very important themes were left out for the simple reason that they take hours to unfold themselves: the experiment at La Chorrera, the relationship between the McKenna brothers, and the Trialogues with Rupert Sheldrake and Ralph Abraham. And so, three books are essential to anyone who’d like to dive deeper into the life and mind of Terence McKenna:
True Hallucinations by Terence McKenna
The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss by Dennis McKenna
Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness by Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna, and Ralph Abraham

Created by Peter Bergmann, this is a movie/documentary/project/amalgamation made from everything Terence McKenna left us with, mixed with the music of We Plants Are Happy Plants.

Rare and Unseen Color Photographs of America’s Hippie Communes from the 1970s – The Vintage News

Their hair and dress, their pioneer spirit, even their Indian teepees evoke the nation’s frontier beginnings. These young people are members of a commune, which they have created for themselves as a new and radical way of living. Scores of these communes are springing up all across the U.S. In the wilderness areas of the West, Southwest, and New England, the new settlers build their own homes–adobe huts, log cabins, geodesic domes–share their money and labor and legislate their own laws and taboos.

The youthful pioneers, unlike the earlier Americans who went into the wilderness to seek their fortunes, are refugees from affluence. Though there have been previous such experiments in the U.S., the new communes represent an evolution of the philosophy and life-style of the hippie movement. Most members have fled the big cities—New York’s East Village, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury—where they were beset by crime, police harassment, squalor, and disillusionment. They seek in the land, and in one another, meaningful work, mutual love and spiritual rebirth. Their religion is rooted in many faiths—among them Christianity, Hinduism, and Zen Buddhism. Some communes permit LSD and marijuana, but many now discourage their use or even ban them. Some take a broad view of sexual morality, but in many communes couples practice traditional American monogamy, and sexual behavior is often surprisingly pristine. Young children, however, are raised by all the adults and by the older children of the commune, which itself is often referred to as “the Family.”

Read the rest via Rare and Unseen Color Photographs of America’s Hippie Communes from the 1970s – The Vintage News.

Reality and the Psychedelic Experience – Diana Slattery

The following is excerpted from Xenolinguistics: Psychedelics, Language, and the Evolution of Consciousness, published by North Atlantic Books/Evolver Editions. 

“In both art and science now, the matter of consciousness is high on the agenda. Science is trying hard to explain consciousness, with distinctly limited success. It seems to pose the most intractable of problems. For the artist, consciousness is more to be explored than to be explained, more to be transformed than understood, more to be reframed than reported.” —Roy Ascott , 2003

English: Neural Correlates Of Consciousness

Psychonauts, at some point, due to the nature of their experiences, become philosophers by default. I came out of my second DMT adventure spluttering, “what-the-fuck.” Over and over. Every thought that arose in response to the experience was immediately translated into a resounding “what-the fuck.”

Finally the sentence became “It’s the what-the-fuck drug.” I was expressing the inexpressible content of a head-on collision with the Unspeakable in the only words I could find in the proper emotional register: befuddlement, bewilderment, and the powerful sense that the whole thing was so improbable that to “tell it like it is” would be to sound absurd. Really absurd. This was accompanied by a lot of helpless laughter and head-shaking, as I was dumped out of darshan with the Unspeakable in its most alien manifestation ever. As words returned, the problem deepened. How could I say that an experience I just had was both patently absurd and more real than real, at the same time? How could this be so real, and at the same time have its reality so in question, so laughable, when it so departs from the consensus of what is real and what is not back at baseline?

The experience threw a sparklyspanner in the cognitive machinery, forcing me to go back to basic assumptions in my thought processes. Philosophy begins with these basic questions of knowing and being. In classical Western philosophy, epistemology is the study of knowing, and ontology is the study of being. How could I say that an experience I just had was both patently absurd, and more real than real, at the same time?

Read the rest via Reality and the Psychedelic Experience – Reality Sandwich.

The Trip Treatment – Michael Pollan

On an April Monday in 2010, Patrick Mettes, a fifty-four-year-old television news director being treated for a cancer of the bile ducts, read an article on the front page of the Times that would change his death. His diagnosis had come three years earlier, shortly after his wife, Lisa, noticed that the whites of his eyes had turned yellow. By 2010, the cancer had spread to Patrick’s lungs and he was buckling under the weight of a debilitating chemotherapy regimen and the growing fear that he might not survive. The article, headlined “Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning in Again,” mentioned clinical trials at several universities, including N.Y.U., in which psilocybin—the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms—was being administered to cancer patients in an effort to relieve their anxiety and “existential distress.” One of the researchers was quoted as saying that, under the influence of the hallucinogen, “individuals transcend their primary identification with their bodies and experience ego-free states . . . and return with a new perspective and profound acceptance.” Patrick had never taken a psychedelic drug, but he immediately wanted to volunteer. Lisa was against the idea. “I didn’t want there to be an easy way out,” she recently told me. “I wanted him to fight.”

Patrick made the call anyway and, after filling out some forms and answering a long list of questions, was accepted into the trial. Since hallucinogens can sometimes bring to the surface latent psychological problems, researchers try to weed out volunteers at high risk by asking questions about drug use and whether there is a family history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. After the screening, Mettes was assigned to a therapist named Anthony Bossis, a bearded, bearish psychologist in his mid-fifties, with a specialty in palliative care. Bossis is a co-principal investigator for the N.Y.U. trial.

After four meetings with Bossis, Mettes was scheduled for two dosings—one of them an “active” placebo (in this case, a high dose of niacin, which can produce a tingling sensation), and the other a pill containing the psilocybin. Both sessions, Mettes was told, would take place in a room decorated to look more like a living room than like a medical office, with a comfortable couch, landscape paintings on the wall, and, on the shelves, books of art and mythology, along with various aboriginal and spiritual tchotchkes, including a Buddha and a glazed ceramic mushroom. During each session, which would last the better part of a day, Mettes would lie on the couch wearing an eye mask and listening through headphones to a carefully curated playlist—Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Pat Metheny, Ravi Shankar. Bossis and a second therapist would be there throughout, saying little but being available to help should he run into any trouble.

Read the rest via The Trip Treatment – The New Yorker.

Psychedelics: More Real than Real – Dimka Drewczynski

This article was written by Dimka Drewczynski and originally appeared in the PsypressUK 2013 Anthology of Drug Writing.

“There is no way you can use the word “reality” without quotation marks around it.”Joseph Campbell

Appreciating how the world exists depends on how well you can see and interpret it. Life is basically just trying to understand the state of how things actually are and attempting to respond in the best way suited. This requires recognizing various environmental stimuli, analyzing them, and initiating some response sequence. There are countless factors involved in making any decision, in humans the most variable is how each individual thinks they should respond. But we take for granted the basic, and seemingly autonomous, nature of our sensory system, and leave it to do its own thing. For the most part, people have the appropriate amount of eyes and comparable amounts of rods and cones within them. But what if you could see more, or hear more?

PSYCHEDELIC DAY

Traditionally, people that claim to hear or see more are classified as deluded or schizophrenic, but it may be possible to increase your input bandwidth to provide you with a more representative worldview. Psychedelics show us our world in a different light, but are they showing us something that we are missing, something that is real?

The sensory system and the brain have evolved into a fine-tuned machine. This machine is unlike any other machine in that it changes, bends and skews all the data that comes in based on previous experience, biases, attention, current state of sobriety, mood, etc. and imbues it with all the rich textures that create our reality. However, in terms of objective bookkeeping, the brain is the most unreliable machine that could have ever evolved. Our perception of the world around us is merely an abstraction, far from the objective replication we consider it to be. Our world has been filtered through a system with some bits truncated, others stretched and some excised completely. The agents of this prejudice are the memories created by our experience and the subsequent tailoring of our sensory systems to optimize behavioural output. Learning is a dynamic process that relies on memory to encode, store and retrieve previous experiences in order to optimize this output. And, focused attention pushes irrelevant stimuli to the margins further still. You don’t need an update of the osmolarity of your lymphatic fluids when reading a novel, nor would you want to know how many leaves are on a tree while hunted by some godless killing machine. Yet although, at some level, your brain is privy to this information, evolution has deemed your consciousness too easily distracted to deal with it.

Although we are not aware of it, the pruned information looms in our subconscious (or unconscious). It can seemingly rise from the dead in the form of dreams when we lie down to sleep at night. Many studies show that our brain is more aware of this unconscious information than we think, and altered states allow slivers of this otherwise inaccessible information to shine through.

via Psychedelics: More Real than Real | Psychedelic Press UK.

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