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2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl [Paperback]

Daniel Pinchbeck
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Sep 2007
2012: The Year of the Mayan Prophecy is a literary and metaphysical epic that binds together the cosmological phenomena of our time, ranging from crop circles to quantum theory to the worldwide resurgence of shamanism, supporting the Mayan prophecy that the year 2012 will bring an unprecedented global shift. In tracing the meaning of the prophetic Mayan 'end date' of 2012 to our present society, Daniel Pinchbeck draws together alien abductions, psychedelic visions, the current ecological crisis and other peculiar aspects of 21st century life into a new vision for our time. 2012 heralds the end of one way of existence and the return of another, in which the Mesoamerican God Quetzalcoatl returns, bringing with him an ancient - yet to us, wholly new - way of living. There are many hints, both in quantum theory and elsewhere, that humanity is precariously balanced between greater self-potential and environmental disaster. Pinchbeck's journey, which takes us from the endangered rainforests of the Amazon to Stonehenge in England, tells the story of a man in whose trials we recognise our own hopes and anxieties about modern life.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 411 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; Reprint edition (6 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585425923
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585425921
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 15 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,106,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An intriguing and deeply personal odyssey of transformation... robust, original and thankfully optimistic. (Sting)

A daring and intriguing, very well- reseached and extremely readable book... Pinchbeck takes us on a mind-bending, paradigm-rattling ride. (Graham Hancock) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Daniel Pinchbeck is one of the founders of Open City, an art and literary journal. He was a 1999-2000 Fellow of the National Arts Journalism Programme at Columbia University and has written for many leading magazines including The New York Times Magazine and Harper's Bazaar. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Our civilization is on a path of ever-increasing acceleration, but what are we rushing toward? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DiaGnosis: Insufficiently relevant 19 Feb 2007
Daniel Pinchbeck's book 2012: the Return of

Quetzalcoatl, (UK softback edition is called: 2012: The Year of the Mayan Prophecy), while being well-written, entertaining, etc. has very

little to say about 2012. Yes, if you do an Amazon "search inside" for

the subject of 2012, you get alot of pages, but that is because the

title appears at the top of every other page...in fact, there are only

about 10 mentions of 2012 in the whole 400-page book (including front

and back flaps)...that's about once every 40 pages.

Extracts from the diagnosis2012 (dotcodotuk) review (find it with the site search engine):

Pinchbeck, a New York intellectual, describes himself as "a clearly deficient, half-dissolute figure, a `freelance journalist' of dubious repute" (p.20), and his 400-page (hardcover edition) book, 2012 - The Return of Quetzalcoatl, is an autobiographical essay that starts with his childhood experiences growing up in New York City. The book is split into six named parts but none of the chapters are named. There is no list of contents, nor are there any pictures or diagrams, nor any notes and references. However, there is an index and a bibliography. The book is well-written, but is not very gripping reading, and when finished, left me wondering if the author could have got his point over with just a short article. So what point is Pinchbeck actually making in this book?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2012 3 Sep 2008
By MarkusG
I found this book very interesting and very well written. The interesting with Pinchbeck is his backgrund in the intellectual art milieu of New York combined with a later interest in the occult, new spirituality and mysticism. 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl is sort of a spiritual and intellectual biography. We follow Daniel on his travels and thoughts, to Stonhenge to look for crop circles, to the amazonas to try hallucinogenic mushroooms and so on. Driven by a frustration over the shallowness and crudeness of "western" "materialism" he seeks new and/or alternative world views.
What I like is Pinchbecks openness towards "the other side". He actually tries it all: drugs, crop circles, meditation, 2012 "prophesies", mayan calendar stuff and so on, with an open but inteligent mind. Often his reasoning is interesting to follow, sometimes it gets a bit too longwinded. I also like that he does not give the reader a new philosophy or ontology or religion or system of beliefs. Rather, as I read him, it is an attempt to shake a little the ingrained view of reality we usually take for granted. Is the established conception of reality so obvious? Or is there something fundamental that we can't see? And if so, can alternative world views give us a hint? 2012 opens up windows to alternative and fascinating ideas, described by someone with a foot in mainstream acedemic discourse as well. Which I think is unusual.
New age-fans or seekers of a belief system will probably find 2012 too ambiguous. Rather I think this book is intended for sceptical readers with an open mind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great content - terrible end... 6 Oct 2010
By Pricey
First of all, I must just say that this book is worth every penny. It's a fantastic read - well written, well researched, entertainingly balanced and very relevant to anyone interested in the whole '2012' thing.

Fantastic as a source of referenced materials from visionary geniuses such as Amit Goswarmi, etc. And for the first 300 pages or so Pinchbeck does a convincing job of staying impartial enough to weave the strands of theories together into a convincingly lucid ontology.

However... (please don't read on if you don't want to get a taste of the latter part of the book)... it really starts to fall apart at the end. Throughout there seems to be a willingness to quote ill-calculated geometric theorems / calendar arrangements, which points to Pinchbeck's yearning to actually carve a meaningful ontology from the various theories out there (ranging from credible and well researched, to the down-right crackpot and contradictory). The first real taste of it spiralling out of control is Pinchbeck's acid-fuelled bender in the desert which seems to tip him into a world of lustful delusion. From there on in it all starts to lose cohesion - peaking with borderline schizophrenic illusions of god-like grandeur.

If only he'd had the sense to take a leaf out of McKenna's book (quite literally) and keep it all in perspective. Instead it gets all preachy/god-fearing/schizoid towards the end and rather undermines his earlier solid research and conjecture. It feels a little like watching a brilliant musician/artist thrive under the influence of psychedelics, then spiral out of control into drug-addled obscurity.

Still, it's an incredible read for the first 300'ish pages. I hope he has a good spell in rehab and gets back on track soon. But then maybe it'll all be too late...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Prophecy
a soul searching book, very deep; will take time to explore. But it is definitely one to spend time study
Published 8 months ago by Fay Thompson
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
I am very disappointed with this book. I wanted to learn about the Mayan prophecy, well I have learned nothing. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2012 by Mrs. Sylvie C. S. Lenoir
1.0 out of 5 stars What a load of....
This to me seems like one man's quest to justify his own substance misuse behaviours and to glorify such experiences with little relevance to the subject matter at... Read more
Published on 24 April 2011 by Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
I really enjoyed this book, the subject matter was interesting and it is beautifully written. Any flaws (as mentioned in other reviews) are easily forgiven when compared to the... Read more
Published on 30 May 2010 by Red girl
4.0 out of 5 stars Agreed with every review of this book.
I am 3/4 of the way through this book and am really enjoying it hence my review. It is not an easy read (I'm finding it very hard as I have difficulty reading anyway) but well... Read more
Published on 10 May 2010 by Sem
5.0 out of 5 stars Aimed at a specific audience
This book is aimed at those with personal knowledge of plant entheogens and similar; without that perspective a great deal of Daniel Pinchbecks' philosophy may appear inaccessible. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2010 by C. E. B. Portman
3.0 out of 5 stars Plus and Minus
I am very interested in the subject of 2012 but the author goes on a rambling journey through the subject injecting his support of chemical 'trips' throughout. Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2007 by Chiang Mai
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and thought-provoking
2012 is a very interesting book. Daniel Pinchbeck writes like a dream about his journey towards the boundaries of consciousness. Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2007 by Charles Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars better than BOTH
Into Gebser, Nietzche,Benjamin, Steiner you will dig this big time. Also check out his great website [...]. But Daniel needs to break open his heart as well! Read more
Published on 13 Dec 2006 by W. Kingston
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