“History is ending. I mean, we are to be the generation that witnesses the revelation of the purpose of the cosmos. History is the shock wave of the Eschaton. History is the shock wave of eschatology, and what this means for those of us who will live through this transition into hyperspace, is that we will be privileged to see the greatest release of compressed change probably since the birth of the universe. The twentieth century is the shudder that announces the approaching cataracts of time over which our species and the destiny of this planet is about to be swept.”
Tip of the hat to nomadic rave-scholar Graham St. John. We’ve crossed paths a couple times & traded notes over the years. MIT Press is publishing his biography of McKenna, Terence McKenna: The Strange Attractor. Graham also publishes the journal DanceCult.
We don’t have too many personal anecdotes to add. Other than that we induced Terence to wear our original classic Tribal Donut slogan t-shirt, “NO EPISTEMOLOGY WITHOUT PHARMACOLOGY” at a Bioneers Conference, once pon a time. He also donated one of his shipping boxes labelled “FOOD OF THE GODS.” But we lost it 🙁
So what if Terence called it wrong with his Dec 21, 2012 dating – doesn’t necessarily invalidate the broader vision.
That the future – and perhaps God – casts a shadow over the present is endemic to McKenna’s thinking. Integral to the inverted telos in his cosmogony and central to the teachings he received in tryptamine consciousness, history is not that which blunders along blindly. It is being pulled by a strange attractor lying in the future which “throws off reflections of itself,” which ricochet into the past, illuminating mystics, saints and visionaries. Moreover, with fragmentary glimpses of eternity we can build a “map of the future.” At times, the strange attractor was imagined to be like a spinning mirror-ball that sends out scintillations of light that sparkles throughout the cosmic disco. “All around this transcendental object, and at greater and lesser distances, are all the people who have ever lived.” And if you are a Buddha, a Christ, a Mohammed, or a guru you are just “dumb lucky” to be struck by a divine reflection from the transcendental mirror-ball at the end of time, its thousands of twinkling, refractive surfaces representing “religions, scientific theories, gurus, works of art, poetry, great orgasms, great soufflés, great paintings, etc.” Given his own awareness of the great attractor, McKenna may have himself caught a refracted scintilla.“ Something is calling us out of nature and sculpting us in it’s own image,” he breaths on “Timewave Zero,” the release produced from a live performance at San Francisco’s Transmission Theatre on February 26-27, 1993. Presaging Morpheus from The Matrix, he continues: “You can feel it. You can feel it in your own dreams. You can feel it in your own trips. You can feel that we’re approaching the cusp of a catastrophe, and that beyond that cusp we are unrecognizable to ourselves. The wave of novelty that has rolled unbroken since the birth of the universe has now focused and coalesced itself in our species.” The statement iterates an animate mythology which, in conversation with acid-house artists The Shamen, was earlier transmitted on their single “Re: Evolution,” likely the single most popular promotion of McKenna’s apocalyptica.