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The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching (1975)

af Terence McKenna, Dennis J. McKenna

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420458,927 (3.85)3
A thoroughly revised edition of the much-sought-after early work by Terence and Dennis McKenna that looks at shamanism, altered states of consciousness, and the organic unity of the King Wen sequence of the I Ching.
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The Invisible landscape: Mind hallucinogens and the I Ching. My review.

The Invisible landscape by Terence and Dennis McKenna is a very original and unusual book. From a daring shamanistic experiment with hallucinogenic compounds they arrived at insights about a holographic temporal wave (called "time wave zero") based on a fractal of cycles which they could derive from the I Ching.

The first part of the book is about the experiment the brothers McKenna undertook in La Chorrera in the Amazon in which they took a mixture of Ayahuasca and hallucinogenic mushrooms. This led to an enhanced perception of the so-called audible effect during such experiences. Interestingly the book attacks the induction based method of science to replace it with a holographic theory of mind and existence. This is a necessary step to come to their speculative theories about how the audible effect could have been generated by intercalation of neurotransmitter-like hallucinogenic tryptamine compounds in DNA or RNA in conjunction with ESR signals thereby generated, which might have been the cause of the sounds.

The second part of the book is about the insights gathered during this experiment in relation to how the I Ching pattern is related to a nested fractal of time waves.

Although the present day understanding how neurotransmitters and their hallucinogenic mimics has shown that these interactions occur via protein based receptors in the synaptic membrane, effects of intercalation in nucleic acids are not to be excluded. Unfortunately as of yet nobody has tested whether the proposed ESR effect does occur in vivo.

The idea of recurrent waves of novelty in a kind of nested time fractal is plausibly explained and demonstrated on the basis of key events in evolution and history. The calibration point of 21-12-2012 as end point of time wave zero apparently seems to have been too much of a wishful thinking association, as our current state of affairs shows that novelty waves are continuing as usual and have not yet culminated in a singularity.

Interestingly, the book shows how hallucinogenic compounds from plants and mushrooms can reveal archetypical information which relays the collective unconscious via the neurological level to the genetic level and vice versa. This strongly reminds me of Leary's "neurogenetic circuit" and the more modern insights disclosed in Tsang's "Fractal Brain Theory".

Finally, not the least important, this book not only speaks about the Eschaton as a universal and fractal morphogenetic field, which unfolds the predispositions of space and time, but also as the Eschatological scheme in which the advent of a final time, a time of concrescence of the density of novelty ingression results in the culmination of the human process resulting in the completion of the perfect artifact in which spirit and matter achieve a perfect union whereby the Transcendent object at the end of time stands revealed as the transcendent subject, which is also the Eschaton, thus implicitly arriving at the union of knower, knowing and known (in my interpretation). A challenging denial of simple materialistic reductionism, in which matter is merely a standing wave form of all-encompassing light of spirit, leading to a visionary apotheosis where matter and spirit/mind are no longer mutually exclusive grounds of existence but different sides of the same coin.

A fascinating journey through the realms of shamanism, showing that the insights of the shaman are not schizophrenic or psychotic rantings but a true mastery, a supra normal level of ability where the adept has conquered the demons of the multiplicity of forms and emerges as a messenger between the realms of spirit and matter.

Insights, which will make you travel through biology, chemistry, physics, general systems theory, psychology, evolution, history, semiotics and semantics.

From insectoid cybernetics to hypercomplex technology showing us a foretaste of the inner divinity we may one day reveal in ourselves.

A book I will not easily forget. Into the concrescence towards the perfect artifact. ( )
  Antonin_Tuynman | Oct 13, 2017 |
This comes awfully close to what Hunter Thompson once called 'bad craziness.' One probably shouldn't use the I Ching to predict the end of the world. (One probably shouldn't predict the end unless one sees a way of possibly avoiding it). Did you ever notice how prophecy (any prophecy) has a disturbing tendency to be self-fulfilling? Nevertheless: ( )
  Farree | Apr 23, 2014 |
This is a recent edition of the original published in 1974 by Terence McKenna (deceased) who among other things was a proponant of the re-discovery of an ecology of the mind that he termed the Archaic Revival. The brilliant Mr. McKenna, who could puncuate conversation with detailed references to any subject imaginable has written what has been deemed the most provocative and mind bending book ever written. It could be either one of the most important book ever written about the nature of human conscousness or the delusions of a very bright young scientist. It's written in the dry, objective style of scientific journals that Terence has admitted he used as a Trojan horse for his unorthadox ideas. What he claims to have done during experiments in the Amazon is to have inculcated his neural DNA with tryptamines in order to bring DNA encoded information into counscious awareness. The idea that manipulation of one's own neurotrasmitters could be the key to bridging the somatic and the semantic is a highly intriguing one that deserves further investigation even though to do so is considered so dangerous that this type of research has been almost completly prohibited for over thirty years, consequently these ideas have never been properly tested. Some of Terence's insights into the I Ching he supported by mathmatical explanations that he backed away from after they were challenged, fascinating nonetheless. (Link to mathmatical critique.) http://www.fourmilab.ch/rpkp/autopsy.html ( )
  latefordinner | Mar 13, 2007 |
Totally incomprehensible, but maybe there is genius contained within. You'd prolly have to do a lot more drugs than I have to know for sure. ( )
  amydross | Jul 10, 2006 |
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A thoroughly revised edition of the much-sought-after early work by Terence and Dennis McKenna that looks at shamanism, altered states of consciousness, and the organic unity of the King Wen sequence of the I Ching.

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