Crowdfund Acquisitions #2 – Illustrator Matteo Guarnaccia Brings Italian Translation of ‘True Hallucinations’ to Life

Another item that has been added to The Terence McKenna Archives as a result of our ongoing crowdfund campaign is Vere Allucinazioni (1995), an Italian translation of Terence’s “talking book” (1984) and eventually paper book (1993), True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise.

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What makes this volume particularly valuable and noteworthy, aside from the significance of the affordance for Italian speakers to be able to read Terence’s work, are the copious and excellent illustrations (dozens scattered throughout the text) by Matteo Guarnaccia.

Dozens of Guarnaccia’s drawings litter the pages and often mesh unbelievably well with the contents of the book — I’m only showing a fraction of them here. This is an edition of Terence’s work that is worth having, even if you can’t speak Italian, for the incredibly competent and compelling psychedelic art alone.

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The Terence McKenna Archives – Random Item #40 – The Flight Into Egypt by Timothy C. Ely (Foreword by Terence McKenna)

Today’s item randomly selected from the collection is the book The Flight Into Egypt by Timothy C. Ely, which includes a Foreword by Terence McKenna. The two had met in New York and quickly came to collaborate on a rare and unique hand-made art book called Synesthesia [our upcoming crowdfund will be, in part, an effort to be able acquire one of these from a private owner who has accepted an reasonable offer so long as I can get the funds by mid-March–keep your eyes peeled in the next week or so for the crowdfund launch]. In the process of their interactions,

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Timothy C. Ely & Terence McKenna

Terence had a chance to see the original, unique, one-off The Flight Into Egypt book. Ely is an artist and bookmaker and has a history of making unique books…and by that I don’t mean books that standout as different as a result of their own distinctive style (although this is also true of his work), but rather that he only makes one of each…unique…they are not commercial items. The Flight Into Egypt was one such book, perhaps the only such book to eventually make it out in a commercial version–a sometimes bittersweet process that makes an artist’s work available in a way that it wouldn’t otherwise have been while simultaneously reducing a unique object of depth & texture and flattening it to a smooth, 2D rendering that can be endlessly reproduced as exact copies of each other. Yet, for those of us who might have never had the opportunity to see the original face-to-face, it is still an opportunity for us to enter into a visionary mind that we might not have otherwise had access to. For comparison, here are photos of both the original and the commercial reproduction:

Nonetheless, even given that the commercial reproduction can never match the embodied experience of the original, it is still more than a delight to interact with, and Terence’s 3-page Foreword is wonderfully imaginative and playful! It’s been a great pleasure of mine to get to know Tim by email correspondence over the last couple of years. He’s a very thoughtful individual, and I hope to share more of his story and thoughts with you over time.

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There will be several used copies of The Flight Into Egypt available in the imminently forthcoming Terence McKenna Archives crowdfund campaign (along with some other relevant material that I think you’ll enjoy). Here’s some of what Terence had to say about it:

It was with great pleasure and anticipation that I accepted [the] invitation to provide an introduction to this, the first printed edition of Timothy Ely’s masterpiece The Flight Into Egypt: Binding the Book. I was familiar with Tim’s bookmaking accomplishments, had even published in collaboration with him, but in spite of our association I had never experienced the actual presence of the original Flight Into Egypt until that moment, when alone, in good light and suitably activated by the lighter esters of delta six tetra-hydrocannabinol, I removed the brass screws from a heavily insured wooden packing crate, lifted away the top, and gazed upon the work. Reality outran apprehension at last, and the thing lay before me…

In the act of opening the book, my anticipation of otherness bordered on the Borgesian.

And then there it was, the open tome–part book, part journey, part secret doctrine, part jewel. The heavy pages must be turned carefully; the aura of magical craft is inescapable… There is text, but little is recognizable. Most is cryptoglossia, the rare written equivalent of spoken glossolalia… Automatic writing, cryptoglossia especially, carries us into the realm of intent toward signification without any culturally contrived meaning, toward the radiance of the Neoplatonic idea of the One…

…one cannot help but be immediately struck by the insectile glyphs so scrupulously and cryptically written everywhere. They are tracings made with a conscious alien intent… What is beheld, what is intended, literally cannot be spoken of. To understand it is to enter into a confraternity of silence, along with bookmakers, mystics, mathematicians, musicians, and assemblers of mosaics.

To gaze upon these images is to be swept on a pilgrim’s journey into a phantasmagoria of hashish and occult dreaming…

And what is it that is being charted, measured, graphed, and mathematically expressed as we make our way deeper into the analogical engine of the work? I believe it is the magma of posthistorical time, which moves beneath the carefully charted landforms of Ely’s mental Egypt. The rupture of planes is sure to occur when the transubstantiated object raises its protean form from beneath the desert sands, where it has been sleeping for uncounted aeons…

In Tim Ely’s world, we meet the book as artifact, as concrescence of cognitive process… The Flight Into Egypt…is intensely aware of itself as both object and enterprise…

Words, signs, maps, and the presence of hidden energies all combine into a course of visual epistemology. This is a grimoire for our times, a book of angelic conjuration… The Flight Into Egypt is ultimately accessional and alchemical. To experience it leads to a rarefaction and an internal integration that is the essence of art and life.

–Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna Archives – Random Item #28 – Hallucinations on the Archaic Revival

Today’s random item from the Terence McKenna archives appeared in a magazine called Psychedelic Illuminations (which later became TRP: The Resonance Project, which later became Trip Magazine, which later became Tripzine.com). Our item of interest appeared in Psychedelic Illuminations #8 (Winter 1995/1996). It is, in fact, a rather curious item that is, in many ways, a very odd thing to publish, and, in other ways, is an exercise that perhaps many of us can sympathize with. Barry Klein, writing under the pseudonym Runyan Wilde, has created a sort of reverse pseudo-interview with Terence McKenna using TM’s written and spoken words from other interviews to provide a basis for Wilde’s further commentary, sometimes at odds with McKenna and sometimes in qualified agreement. In other words, Klein (as Wilde) essentially presents his own commentary on a range of Terence’s thoughts as expressed to earlier interviewers.

Here are some excerpts from Runyan Wilde’s ‘Hallucinations on the Archaic Revival’–you can download a PDF of the entire “interview” here:

[P.S. – This is another publication that the archives does not possess a physical copy of, which also includes an essay by Terence–below are photos I took of someone else’s copy. I have found a copy available that will cost the archives $18.99 to acquire. If you would like to help fund the acquisition of this item, please donate directly at the Transcription Project website or make an order from our crowdfund shop. Thanks for your help!]

I intend my comments, taken from my own favorite paradigms, to arouse thought and discussion, not as statements of some real “Truth” in contention with Terence’s ideas…

I think mysticism is not something that happens to you, I define it as a precisely  ordered set of disciplines from within, within the outlines of a specific set of paradigms. This should distinguish our version from the jumbles of neo-occultism and empty ritualism. I believe that what Terence is referring to as mysticism must be more the experiential sense of wonderment and transcendence enjoyed in the rich psychedelic journey.

98% of the experiences people have with psychedelic substances [are not mystical], because they are mostly devoid of purpose and context.

Much of our scriptures and mystical literature are attempts to describe what was seen and experienced in altered states of consciousness.

Terence has fallen back into psycho-political-social philosophy, which is not of the same order as psychedelic consciousness.

This phenomenon–the voice in the head–can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s true, the information is outside of ordinary personality, but that in itself does not make the source reliable, nor prove that there are extraterrestrials or transdimensional elves, whom I rather distrust anyway… What is necesary is self-reliance without self-importance, because then we can compare what we are seeing and hearing to our larger experience without getting hooked by the amazing seductions these dimensionalities can come up with.

There have been some good bridges built by the New Age, but now it has fallen derelict, with shoddy mediums channeling while they drink beer, disciples of hidden (non-existent) masters peddling their techniques for a thousand dollars, and earnest devotees spending years of their lives building replicas of spacecraft whose description was channeled to them.

The reason shamanic traditions personify Death (capitalized here for that reason) is that, in order to be able to navigate on the other side, the shaman must form a personal relationship with his own impending Death.

Diddling with entheogens is an insult to oneself as well as to the Spirit…however, I have seen enough wasted, and toxic, “heroic doses” to realize that merely taking a high dose of something does not guarantee any breakthroughs, visions, or realizations, and I have seen (and experienced) penetrating results from ridiculously low doses, including none at all…

Nature by itself cannot be the guide, since its purposes might be best served by no one’s awakening or breaking free of the ordinary mold, but everything we’ve talked about points to the notion that the only thing that we have to rely on is our individual relationship with Consciousness itself, not any external substance, nor its dosage, nor its history, nor “reasonable social values.” Many of the shamanic cultures have some despicable social values like mutilation, torture, human sacrifice, eating the brains of the dead, circumcision of young girls and endless tribal warfare–not so very reasonable, I’d say.

Why would you wish to integrate human and machine intelligence? There is no machine intelligence other than what some particular human intelligences put into it in the first place. Terence is still laboring under the notion that it will be mechanistic science that leads us, the human race, into that amazing hyperworld of the future, while elsewhere he acknowledges that science fails miserably with the ineffable. Terence, are you planning on selling us a computer program that will give use the measliest cullings of that which is our birthright as humans with consciousness? Why would I buy a program when I can see for myself directly for the price of a couple of mushrooms or a few tokes of DMT, and ultimately with just proper training?… The very shamanic cultures that Terence is supposed to have studied do plenty of transmogrifying without defining themselves as bits and bytes. I thought we were looking for a more wholistic paradigm.

Runyan Wilde, who has been studying the mysteries all his life, is the author of psychedelic poetry, social commentary. Under another name, he has made some fifty radio broadcasts and given numerous on personal transformation and mysticism. He is not what you’d think, and yet he is.