Terence McKenna

maxresdefault

Terence Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000) was an American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants. He spoke and wrote about a variety of subjects, including psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, philosophy, culture, technology, environmentalism, and the theoretical origins of human consciousness. He was called the “Timothy Leary of the ’90s”, “one of the leading authorities on the ontological foundations of shamanism”, and the “intellectual voice of rave culture“.

McKenna formulated a concept about the nature of time based on fractal patterns he claimed to have discovered in the I Ching, which he called novelty theory, proposing this predicted the end of time in the year 2012. His promotion of novelty theory and its connection to the Maya calendar is credited as one of the factors leading to the widespread beliefs about 2012 eschatology. Novelty theory is considered pseudoscience.”  — Wikipedia

“The truth can take care of itself. You don’t have to approach the truth with eyes lowered and gaze averted on bended knees. That’s how you approach bullshit. But the truth is so powerful that you can kick the tyres, turn over the engine, check the odometer and nobody is offended. Truth is real. It can stand the test. And that’s why I went all over the world looking at various spiritual traditions. I don’t feel it’s putting them down to say that they were ineffective, because they were all great aspirations but the only real open doorway that I ever found were the plants. This works. You know in other spiritual disciplines everyone wants to go faster. They want the roshi to give them further empowerments. They want further information, postures, secret teachings, so forth and so on. Once you reach the psychedelic experience the accellerator is far less interesting than the location of the brakes. That’s what we’re looking for. We all know how to push this so fast we can’t stand it. We need a feeling of unity. Feeling is primary. So it doesn’t come out of intellectual exhortation. It comes out of a personal act of courage made by the individual. It comes out of surrender of the individual. Surrender is the opposite side of the coin of the ego ”

Erik Davis

“Erik Davis (born June 12, 1967) is an American writer, scholar, journalist and public speaker whose writings have run the gamut from rock criticism to cultural analysis to creative explorations of esoteric mysticism. He is perhaps best known for his book Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information, as well as his work on California counterculture, including Burning Man, the human potential movement, and the writings of Philip K. Dick.

Born in Redwood City, California in 1967, Davis grew up in Del Mar before attending Yale University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English. He wrote a senior thesis on science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, and has since written a number of articles in the popular press about Dick and his unusual religious experiences. Davis would go on to co-edit The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, which was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011.

While at Yale, Davis began writing for Nadine, an on-campus magazine that turned out a number of rock critics and pop culture writers in the 1980s and 1990s. Soon after graduation in 1988, Davis pitched his first story to the Village Voice, a review of the Swiss heavy metal band Celtic Frost.

Writing for the Village Voice throughout the early 1990s, Davis also contributed to Spin, Details, Rolling Stone, and Wired magazines, writing about music, art, film, pop culture and technology.

In July 1995, Davis published a piece in Wired magazine called “Technopagans”, which was one of the precursors for Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information, a dense cultural history of the mystical, magical, and apocalyptic dreams and fantasies that haunt modern technoculture. Published by Harmony Books, the book is a cult classic of media studies and was eventually translated into five languages. It was re-released in paperback by Serpent’s Tail in 2004 with a new afterword.

Throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, Davis continued to write for both popular magazines and scholarly publications, and also expanded his speaking career, where his eclectic interests in subject ranging from music, art, popular culture and esoterica led to speaking engagements at such diverse venues as Stanford University, the British Museum, Burning Man, the Boom Festival, the Houston Jung Center, the Ojai Foundation, and Esalen.

In 2000, Davis won a Maggie Award for his profile of UFO contactee and Silicon Valley mogul Joe Firmage.

In 2005, he released his second book, Led Zeppelin IV, a monograph on the signature album from one of rock’s most celebrated bands, published by 33⅓. In 2006, Blender magazine included it in their list of the 40 Greatest Rock ‘N Roll Books.

In 2006, Davis cemented his reputation as a seminal writer of California counter-culture when he released The Visionary State: A Journey Through California’s Spiritual Landscape, a coffee table book of pictures and rich essays about California’s alternative spiritual movements and architecture. With photographs by Michael Rauner, the book was published by Chronicle Books. A prolific blogger for his site Techgnosis.com, Davis also released a fourth book in 2010, a collection of essays and journalism entitled Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica, published by Yeti Publishing.

In early 2006, Davis started working with composer Mark Nichols on the libretto for a rock opera inspired by Burning Man. The resulting production debuted in October of 2009 and was entitled How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera, in which Davis also performed as the bunny-suited, bullhorn-wielding narrator. Davis also wrote extensively about West Coast festival culture in photographer Kyer Wiltshire’s 2009 book Tribal Revival.

In 2010, Davis began pursuing a PhD in Religious Studies at Rice University in their Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism program. He has taught courses at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Rice University, Pacifica, and CIIS.[citation needed]

Davis has appeared in a number of documentaries about technology and countercultural topics, including DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Electronic Awakening, and The Source Family. Along with Maja D’Aoust, he hosts a weekly podcast devoted to the “cultures of consciousness” called Expanding Mind, which is part of the Progressive Radio Network.” (Wikipedia)

Richard Tarnas

“Tarnas was born on February 21, 1950 in Geneva, Switzerland, of American parents. His father, also named Richard Tarnas, worked as a government contract attorney, former president of the Michigan Federal Bar Association, and professor of law. His mother, Mary Louise, was a teacher and homemaker. The eldest of eight children, he grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where he studied Greek, Latin, and the Classics at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy.

In 1968 Tarnas entered Harvard, graduating with an A.B. cum laude in 1972. He received his Ph.D. from Saybrook Institute in 1976 with a thesis on psychedelic therapy.[1][2] In 1974 Tarnas went to Esalen in California to study psychotherapy with Stanislav Grof.[3] From 1974 to 1984 he lived and worked at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, teaching and studying with Grof, Joseph Campbell, Gregory Bateson, Huston Smith, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, and James Hillman. He also served as Esalen’s director of programs and education.[4] Jeffrey Kripal characterizes Tarnas as both the literal and figurative gate-keeper of Esalen.[5]

From 1980 to 1990, Tarnas wrote The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View, a narrative history of Western thought which became a bestseller and remained in use in universities as of 2000.[6][7] Passion was highly acclaimed by Joseph Campbell, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, John E. Mack, Stanley Krippner, Georg Feuerstein, David Steindl-Rast, John Sculley, Robert A. McDermott, Jeffrey Hart, Gary Lachman, and others.

Tarnas is the founding director of the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), where he remains a core faculty member as of 2014.[8]

Tarnas’ second book, Prometheus the Awakener, published in 1995, focuses on the astrological properties of the planet Uranus, describing “the uncanny way astrological patterns appear to coincide with events or destiny patterns in the lives of both individuals and societies”.[9] Tarnas suggests that the characteristics associated with the mythological figure Uranus do not match the astrological properties of the planet Uranus, and that a more appropriate identification would involve the mythological figure Prometheus.

In 2006, Tarnas published his third book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View. It claims that the major events of Western cultural history correlate consistently and meaningfully with the observed angular positions of the planets.[10] The book received favorable reviews in Tikkun magazine,[11] in an anthroposophical journal,[12] and in the web magazine Reality Sandwich,[13] but was panned in the Wall Street Journal.[14]

Tarnas featured in the 2006 film Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within, a documentary about rediscovering an enchanted cosmos in the modern world.[15]

In 2007 a group of fifty scholars and researchers in the San Francisco Bay Area formed the Archetypal Research Collective for pursuing research in archetypal cosmology. An online journal, Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, edited by Keiron LeGrice and Rod O’Neal, began a year later, based on the research orientation and methodology established in Cosmos and Psyche.[16] Advisory-board members include Christopher Bache, Jorge Ferrer, Stanislav Grof, Robert A. McDermott, Ralph Metzner, and Brian Swimme. Contributors have included Keiron Le Grice, Richard Tarnas, Stanislav Grof, and Rod O’Neal.

In 2008 Tarnas was invited to address members of the Dutch Parliament about creating a sustainable society.[17]

In 2007 John Cleese and Tarnas gave some public lectures together at Esalen and in Santa Barbara. The lectures discussed regaining a connection to the sacred in the modern world.[18] Cleese and Tarnas then taught a seminar at CIIS called “The Comic Genius: A Multidisciplinary Approach”” (Wikipedia)

Daniel Pinchbeck

“Pinchbeck was a founder of the 1990s literary magazine Open City with fellow writers Thomas Beller and Robert Bingham. He has written for many publications, including Esquire, The New York Times Magazine,[3] The Village Voice,[4] and Rolling Stone. In 1994 he was chosen by The New York Times Magazine as one of “Thirty Under Thirty” destined to change our culture through his work with Open City.[5] He has been a regular columnist for a number of magazines, including Dazed & Confused.

In Breaking Open the Head, Pinchbeck explored shamanism via ceremonies with tribal groups such as the Bwiti of Gabon, who eat iboga, and the Secoya people in the Ecuadorean Amazon, who take the psychedelic tryptamine brew ayahuasca in their ceremonies.[6] He also attended the Burning Man festival in Nevada,[7] and looked at use of psychedelic substances in a de-sacralized modern context. Philosophically influenced by the work of anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner,[8][9] through his direct experience and research Pinchbeck developed the hypothesis that shamanic and mystical views of reality have validity, and that the modern world had forfeited an understanding of intuitive aspects of being in its pursuit of rational materialism.

Drawing heavily, and somewhat controversially, from material shared on the Breaking Open the Head forums, Pinchbeck’s second volume, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, chronicles Mayan and Hopi prophecies,[10] and follows Pinchbeck’s travels and travails as he responds to leads, both physical and intellectual, he receives via this forum. Examining the nature of prophecy, Pinchbeck investigates the New Age hypothesis of Terence McKenna that humanity is experiencing an accelerated process of global consciousness transformation, leading to a new understanding of time and space during this period. The book details the psi or extra-sensory perception research of Dean Radin, the theories of Terence McKenna, the phenomena of crop circles, and a visit to calendar reform advocate José Argüelles. Pinchbeck concludes with an account of receiving a transmission of prophetic material by the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl,.[10] This claim was enough to get the book dropped by its planned publisher, delaying its release for the greater part of a year. While acknowledging the validity of such an experience is unknown, Pinchbeck describes how a voice identifying itself as Quetzalcoatl began speaking to him during a 2004 trip to the Amazon in Brazil. At the time, he was in the Amazon, participating in ceremonies of the Santo Daime, a Brazilian religion that uses ayahuasca as its sacrament. Through its references to 2012 and the Maya calendar in the context of New Age beliefs, Pinchbeck’s book has contributed to Mayanism.

In May 2007, Pinchbeck launched Reality Sandwich. He is the executive producer of Postmodern Times, a series of web videos presented on the iClips Network, and co-founder of Evolver.net, an online social network.[11][12] His life and work are featured in the documentary 2012: Time for Change, featuring interviews with Sting, David Lynch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and others.

In August 2013, Pinchbeck became the host of Mind Shift, a new talk show, filmed in New York City, produced by Gaiam TV.

In February 2017, Watkins Press will publish his new book, How Soon Is Now? [1] in the US and UK. The book’s thesis is that the ecological crisis is a rite of passage or initiation for humanity collectively, forcing us to reach the next level of our consciousness as a species. The book outlines the changes to our technical infrastructure – agriculture, energy, industry – and our social, political, and economic system that Pinchbeck deems necessary to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, species extinction, and so on.” (Wikipedia)

David Icke

“David Vaughan Icke (/aɪk/; born 29 April 1952) is an English writer and public speaker.

A former footballer[1] and sports broadcaster, Icke has made his name since the 1990s as a professional conspiracy theorist,[2] calling himself a “full time investigator into who and what is really controlling the world.”[3] He is the author of over 20 books and numerous DVDs, and has lectured in over 25 countries, speaking for up to 10 hours to audiences that cut across the political spectrum.[4][5]

Icke was a BBC television sports presenter and spokesman for the Green Party, when a psychic told him, in 1990, that he had been placed on Earth for a purpose and would begin to receive messages from the spirit world.[6] The following year he announced that he was a “Son of the Godhead”[1], and that the world would soon be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes, a prediction he repeated on the BBC’s primetime show Wogan.[7][8] The show changed his life, turning him from a respected household name into someone who was laughed at whenever he appeared in public.[9]

Over the next seven years—in The Robots’ Rebellion (1994), And the Truth Shall Set You Free (1995), The Biggest Secret (1999), and Children of the Matrix (2001)—he developed his worldview of New Age conspiracism.[10] His endorsement of the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in The Robots’ Rebellion, combined with Holocaust denial in And the Truth Shall Set You Free, led his publisher to refuse to publish his books, which were self-published thereafter.[11] At the heart of his theories lies the idea that many prominent figures belong to the Babylonian Brotherhood, a group of shapeshifting reptilian humanoids who are propelling humanity toward a global fascist state, or New World Order.[6][12] The reptilians use the rings of Saturn and the Moon, all reptilian constructs, to broadcast our “five-sense prison”: an “artificial sense of self and the world” that humans perceive as reality.[13][14]

Michael Barkun has described Icke’s position as New Age conspiracism, writing that Icke is the most fluent of the genre.[15] Richard Kahn and Tyson Lewis argue that Icke’s reptilian hypothesis may be Swiftian satire, offering a narrative with which ordinary people can question what they see around them.[16] Icke has been described as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist”;[17] according to Political Research Associates, his politics are “a mishmash of most of the dominant themes of contemporary neofascism, mixed in with a smattering of topics culled from the U.S. militia movement.”” (Wikipedia)