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The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, Ufos, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess Paperback – 24 Mar 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bravo Ltd (24 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062506137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062506139
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Terrence McKenna has spent twenty-five years exploring "the ethnopharmacology of spiritual transformation" and is a specialist in the ethnomedicine of the Amazon basin. He is coauthor, with his brother Dennis, of The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching, and the author of Food of the Gods.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on 11 April 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent read. Mckenna has a beautiful command of the english language, perhaps as a result of his extensive use of entheogenic fungi. It is an entertaining and thought provoking book. I believe Mckenna strides on the edge of psuedo-science by offering a heavy dose of speculation, but since Western science turns its back on the entheogenic experience we have to start somewhere.
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The above one-star review proves why it is necessary to read this book. Dismissing ideas because we may be ridiculed for taking them seriously is what landed us in this undeniable global mess. Whether or not shrooms are ETs or artifacts of ETs is not the issue. A quote of Terence's: "I like to show people how things can be seen differently, and if things can be seen THAT differently, in what other ways can they be seen differently", because staying the course is not working. Open-mindedness is Terence's message, and his convincing proof of the viability of his "crazy" ideas will go a long way toward opening you up to new ideas. Another quote: "It doesn't do you any good to know that in some computer somewhere there are equations that perfectly model or perfectly don't model something else. The only understanding of the universe that will do you any good is your own understanding, because it's you you have to live with, and it's you you have to die with.... the last dance you dance, you dance alone"
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This isn't a book, but transcripts of Terence Terence's very early talks, way back in the 1980's. Today you can download his audio lectures from the late 80's and beyond, however, the talks in this book are some of the earliest talks and they were not recorded for posterity. Most fanatics, me being one of them, know that Terence got bored in the 1990's and he didn't want to do it anymore towards the end. Dennis McKenna joked that Terence would rave and contradict himself many times in his talks, but he was a dynamic orator, with such a poet's grasp of the English language, that he somehow got away with this. So if you read a transcript of one of the McKenna talks; it does seem a splodge of ideas pasted together. But there you go, an oration is an art in itself! The value of this book then is the quote potential because, to my mind anyway, McKenna was just as sharp and as mad Friedrich Nietzsche and so if you are a fan of weighty aphorisms, or original moans, and you don't want to read a dead German genius, then you might as well read Terence McKenna, or you can just plagiarize McKenna's words if you want to, no one will notice.

In LSD - My Problem Child, Albert Hoffman wrote that retarded people would often be taken aback and somewhat surprised as to how boring and completely ordinary a figure he cut; he being the inventor of LSD and all. Neil Armstrong was also an intensely private and very boring character; this is why NASA picked him, and not the charismatic Buzz Aldrin to be the first man on the moon; the fame wouldn't go to his head, you see. So there really is something to be said for boring people, isn't there? It's as if the boringness of a person is in adverse proportion to their honesty; or something like that.
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One of the most important psychedelic thinkers to ever live on this earth, more important than Tim Leary. This book is a collection of interviews and articles that appeared during the 80s and 90s on various magazines, picked by McKenna himself. The material over here, as well as the material you can find in other McKenna's books is mind-blowing, and as usual everything is written very well.
Super recommended.
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One revewer quoted 'I think McKenna may have taken a few too many 'shrooms himself. He postulates that mushroom spores are intergallactic travellers, whose form protects them from all elements. Once they arrive on Earth or other suitable hospitable planet, they grow into mushrooms and plant their idea(s) in the minds of users'.Question is how do you KNOW thats not the case 'the only thing a wise man knows is that he knows nothing'.
I rest my case !
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"The Archaic Revival" is the quicksilver poet-philosopher Terence McKenna presenting his ideas for a range of different audiences. He's the clearest he's ever been, making the book ideal for newcomers. The well chosen essays, conversations and interviews (with both sceptics and admirers) brilliantly showcase him and his ideas. Some chapters are endlessly fascinating, and you'll want to read them again and again. Renowned for his ability to make complex ideas easier to understand, once again daunting subjects - such as "the biological evolution of consciousness" or "the primacy of human felt experience" become instead, with Terence, thrilling!

You'll never know what's round the corner in this book. Take the "Critique" magazine interview for example. You'll love it when Terence hilariously spoofs interviewer Michael Toms after he hints at ridicule for Terence and questions his legitimacy!Terence was a cultural hero in the 80's and 90's, and a spokesman for the West Coast psychedelic community and a "clearing house" for it's ideas. The novelist Tom Robbins described him as "the most important, most entertaining, visionary scholar in America". Naturally sceptical, Terence was his own best critic. But whilst his occasional self ridicule is endearing and at times amusing, his ideas, which at first may have seemed ridiculous, are by the end of the book, coherent and revelatory. Follow Terence and his clarity of thought on the "The Golden Path" where he is able to conclude his own general theory of systems. You will find it disturbingly compelling...

CONTENTS
Foreword (by Tom Robbins)
Acknowledgements
Introduction: The Archaic Revival (By Terence McKenna)

1. In Praise Of Psychedelics . . . (Interview with Jay Levin for the L.A. Weekly)
2.
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