Today, I received a copy of the June 1998 issue of Magical Blend magazine. I was hoping that it would contain a review of John Major Jenkins’ book, Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date (Bear & Company, 1998).
Terence McKenna wrote the Foreword to Jenkins’ book, and, from what Jenkins has said elsewhere, the reviewer for Magical Blend also discusses Terence’s contribution and ideas. All I know, however, from Jenkins, is that he and Terence wrote written responses to the review that appeared in an issue in “Fall 1998.” Since the magazine was published monthly, it’s unclear exactly which month in “Fall” he was referring to. So, when I saw an inexpensive copy of the June issue show up on eBay, I thought it might be a good candidate for the issue that contained the initial review that prompted their “Fall” rejoinders.
Alas, the June 1998 issue did not contain what I was looking for….however, it did contain a fair bit more Terence McKenna than I had expected, in the form of a range of advertisements for events & products.
I’m not actually sure yet which of these Whole Life Expos Terence spoke at in 1998.
The book ‘A Magical Universe’ features an essay by Terence McKenna (there are a few copies left available through our crowdfund).
Terence McKenna in Hawaii @ The New Millennium Institute, May 24-30, 1998
Terence was popular enough in the pages of Magical Blend that they created a special Terence McKenna issues specialty set that readers could purchase.
(Bottom Right) – The Psychedelic Sourcebook: “The most complete, focused and subversive psychedelic resource list in print.” -Terence McKenna – A psychonaut must!
(Bottom left) – Better decisions, better relationships. Visit the authentic Oracle of Changes online. Absolutely FREE. “Cool, very cool.” -Terence McKenna – http://www.ICHING.com
Terence McKenna in Hawaii @ New Millennium Institute, May 24-30, 1998
As I listened through the interview that I conducted with John Major Jenkins at his home in April 2016, I realized that there are a lot of very specific references layered into the interview, each of which would make a good post on its own. So, what I’ll do is go through the JMJ interview and create a series of annotations as individual blog posts, creating a link for each at the bottom of the original interview page, so that there is one page with the interview and links to each of the annotations.
The first reference, only 35 seconds into the interview is perhaps the most salient for people who know the connection between John Major Jenkins and Terence McKenna, namely that Terence wrote the Foreword to JMJ’s book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: the True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date (1998). Jenkins tells the story of how this came to be elsewhere in the interview. The short version is that the two had been corresponding since the early ’90s about material related to the Mayan calendar, as well as the I Ching (both had been members of an I Ching mailing list). Terence was giving a talk in Colorado in 1996, and JMJ went to the venue and ran into Terence who gave him a pass to the talk and the two ended up at lunch where JMJ asked about publishers for his book, and Bear & Company came up (with some reservations) as they had published the Trialogues at the Edge of the West book that contained transcripts of some of Terence’s conversations with Rupert Sheldrake and Ralph Abraham at the Esalen Institute. As JMJ entered negotiations with Bear & Company, he suggested the possibility of having Terence write a Foreword, and the idea was met with enthusiasm. Although Terence and JMJ both wrote about 2012 and mutually influenced each other, there ideas were fairly different (particularly in that Terence placed the fulfillment of the eschaton in a single dramatic moment at the end of the Timewave, where Jenkins offered a 36-year window, “Era-2012,” that would be a slow passage and an cosmic opportunity for transformation and renewal). Nonetheless, because of Terence’s contribution to JMJ’s book, their views have often been conflated, to the point that Terence had to publish a written response distinguishing their views. Nonetheless, it was, in part, Terence and Dennis’ suggestions in The Invisible Landscape that led to Jenkins’ interests and it was also, in part, Jenkins’ research in the mid-to-late ’90s that strengthened Terence’s convictions that he was onto something significant. So, despite the differences in idea, they were important collaborators and co-contributors to the spread of the idea that there was something significant about the year 2012 that was somehow built into the clockwork of the cosmos.
Here’s Terence’s Foreword to John Major Jenkins’ Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, written in January 1998 (screenshots from Google Books):
I found out yesterday that John Major Jenkins, an important figure in the development of the 2012 phenomenon and a friend and collaborator of Terence McKenna’s, died of cancer on July 2, two days ago relative to this post. For me, it was rather unexpected, and the first thing I did was to relisten to the interview that I recorded with JMJ at his home in Windsor, Colorado in April of last year while on a roadtrip through Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado (during which I also visited Terence’s & Dennis’ hometown of Paonia). While I wasn’t planning on publishing the interview anytime soon, since I expected to have plenty of other opportunities to follow up with John and am also gathering quite a few interview with people about Terence, and since I plan to do something with them collectively. However, in light of his sudden passing, I thought it appropriate to share that conversation with you all.
The interview covers a range of historical information about JMJ, his awareness of Terence and his ideas, his interactions with Terence over the years, a variety of personal synchronicities between the two, and a final reflection on Terence’s legacy and significance (as well as absence) in the present world.
My primary recording device was dead at the time, and I had to record on my phone. So, I apologize in advance for any moments where either of us lean away from the table where the phone was sitting and the volume goes down.
John and I have a had a complex relationship over the years, often going back and forth between cordial sharers of information of mutual interest to antagonistic intellectual opponents. In the end, I’m incredibly glad that we met (for the second time) at his house last year, where he was a very kind host and offered me a place to stay for the night on my road trip. I certainly didn’t know it would be the last meeting would we have. As I’ve done for Terence (and for Jose Arguelles), I’m hopeful that I can be among those who help ensure that JMJ’s significant historical documentation (you’ll notice his very specific recollections, references, and references to documents he owns in the interview) can be preserved for future researchers. What John really wanted in life was for people to take his ideas seriously.
And, without further ado, here’s my interview with John Major Jenkins, about Terence McKenna, from April 11, 2016:
Here’s my library of John’s work (I do keep archives of more than just Terence). I’ve got a lot more than this, but can’t find some of it just now and have a lot stored digitally:
Annotations to the John Major Jenkins Interview:
(0:08) JMJ originally states the date as “August 11th” and then corrects himself to “April 11th.” This may seem innocuous but shows how much time he spent with his head in the Maya Long Count calendar. August 11th is (one of the candidates for) the base-date of the Long Count calendar, August 11, 3114 BC.
(6:11) After mentioning that he cites The Invisible Landscape in his 1989 book Jouryney to the Mayan Underworld (“for the shamanism”), he mentions that it was through seeing an article by (or interview with) Terence in Magical Blend magazine that he realized that this “put him on the map as some kind of cultural icon or something, a real guy that was out there, because of course, [in] the late ’80s, you couldn’t just go on Google and look people up; where are these people? I don’t know, they don’t have a Facebook.” This realization led to their eventual contact through an I Ching mailing network that they were both members of.