The Future of NASA
Michael Griffin is gearin...
More Features
Looking to apply for a Discover Credit Card? Members/Subscribers Log In      
Farewell
My Problem with Big Pharma
Has Newsweek Sold Out to Big Pharma?
Dark Side of Green, Continued
The Dark Side of Green
The Green Bandwagon
Green Book Award: Nominations Wanted
Wilson Wins “Green Book Award”
The End of Total War?
Does the Desire for Peace Cause War?
[ Full Blog Archives ]
[ Who is John Horgan? ]
[ What is Horganism? ]
Mind & Brain
Medicine
Space
Technology
Ancient Life
Environment
All Newsletters
   
Discover Magazine  Blog  Archives
Horganism

« My Christian Savior | Main | Does the Desire for Peace Cause War? »



Psychedelic American and Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna would have loved it. Scientific American, my former employer, has just published “How Hallucinogens Play Their Mind-bending Games.” Illustrated with a trippy Lucy-in-the-Sky photo, the piece reports on investigations into how exactly LSD affects the brain, providing yet another example of what I have called The Psychedelic Revival.

Researching Rational Mysticism in 1999, I interviewed McKenna, the crazy-like-a-fox psychedelic riffer-provocateur-performance-artist, just before he was diagnosed with the brain tumor that killed him less than a year later. We met in New York City in the Millennium Hotel, right next to the World Trade Center, which was still standing. At one point I warned McKenna that I had worked for 10 years at Scientific American, and it had left me with a rather conservative, skeptical outlook.

Scientific American, McKenna assured me, is one of his favorite magazines. It is “incredibly psychedelic,” and a major source of his inspiration. He had just read an article in Scientific American about a hypothetical cosmic force with “surreal,” “woo-woo” implications. “Essentially what it says is that Newtonian spacetime is in the act of boiling away, and what will be left in only a couple or three billion years--if you calculate these processes fully--is a universe entirely defined by nonlocal quantum activity.”

Anyone who reads Scientific American, McKenna continued, can see that science is in the throes of “an enormous crisis, or maybe not crisis but turmoil, based on the breakdown of paradigms.” Just look at superstrings, parallel universes, hyperdimensions, time travel, and other bizarre notions emerging from physics. Then there are technological advances such as artificial intelligence, which is on the verge of creating machines with superhuman intelligence. “Nobody knows what mind is,” McKenna said, “operating at multigigahertz speeds in virtual realities unconstrained by gravity and economy of any sort.”

Maybe in the future Scientific American can explore McKenna’s time-wave theory, which tracks the ebbs and flows of “novelty” in terrestrial history and predicts that humanity is hurtling toward an “enormously-reality rearranging” event that will take place on December 22, 2012.

Comments

Tom F

Heavens. What was the article/theory that had excited McKenna in 99? Has it proved robust? Has it turned to dust? It sounds intriguing.

As does he.

The comments to this entry are closed.



   
Wishful Seeing
Shiny Happy People
20 Things You Didn't Know About... Sleep
Can New Neurons Teach an Old Mouse?
The Woman Who Never Forgets
Why We Get Diseases Other Primates Don't
Vital Signs: Trouble in the Nursery
Natural Selections: The Potential Pandemic You've Never Heard Of
20 Things You Didn't Know About... Death
Natural Selections: The Potential Pandemic You've Never Heard Of
Recently Covered in Discover: The Man Who Finds Planets
Sky Lights: The Dark Side of the Universe
20 Things You Didn't Know About... Meteors
Sky Lights: The Dark Side of the Universe
Islam Hits International Space Station
Neighborhood Watch Goes High Tech
Going Atomic... Again
Jaron's World: The Murder of Mystery
How to Make Anything Look Like a Toy, Round II
Raw Data: The Rigorous Study of the Ancient Mariners
Will We Ever Clone a Caveman?
This Month's Ask Discover
How Life Got a Leg Up
Mammals Stake Their Place in Jurassic Park
You Say "Ook Ook," I Say "Aak Aak"
Guilt-Free Gossip for Greens
A Greener Faith
Whatever Happened To... the Exxon Valdez?
Life After Oil
The Next Katrina
  Full access to all site content requires registration as a magazine subscriber.
© 2005 Discover Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights | Terms and Conditions | Educator's Guide | Subscribe Online Today | Online Media Kit
Customer Care | Contact Us