Another mellow week at the Terence McKenna Archives. Here’s what we took in this time around:
I received the other three issues of Psychedelic Monographs & Essays–I received and mentioned the first ordered issue last week only to note that there was not much to be found in its pages related to TM. Well, the same is largely true of the remaining volumes of PM&E, although there are a few mentions that I will note. In #2, there’s nothing. In #3, there is a citation for both The Invisible Landscape and the original audiobook of True Hallucinations (before a published book ever existed) as part of an article on Rupert Sheldrake and his ‘Hypothesis of Formative Causation’. The McKenna’s are cited among a group of observers who have noted “past life remembrance” with psychedelics. In #4 there are a few more citations: in an article on ‘Meditation and Resonance Effects’ by Philo Stone, the ‘Organismic Thought’ chapter of The Invisible Landscape is cited and in an article on ‘The Mushroom Entheogen’ Terence and Dennis are cited under their Oeric & Oss pseudonyms for their book, Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide. Terence also shows up in an advertisement for an event in honor of Albert Hofmann at which he would be a featured presenter to take place on October 2, 1988 at the Scottish Rite Temple in Los Angeles and is listed on the subsequent page as among the board members for the Albert Hofmann Foundation. Finally, there is an advertisement for Terence’s talks, via Kat Harrison’s Lux Natura catalog, which appears near the end of the volume located next to an advertisement for Botanical Dimensions.
2. Exposure magazine from October 1990 included a dual-article with pieces written by both Timothy Leary and Terence McKenna. This is a fairly rare and little-known (and quite large) item. I am only aware of one other copy currently available online going for about $60.
3. I received a hard copy of an issue of SPIN magazine from April 1991 that I featured a couple weeks back in the weekly haul as a set of digital images. One thing that I failed to mention last time that I will highlight now is a curious mention of a government document that is supposed to reference Terence as a way of pointing to the potential dangers of virtual reality. I would be GREATLY obliged to anyone who might be able to help me track down that document…
At the end of McKenna’s talk, Debbie Harlow rose with a concrete warning: she and Jaron [Lanier] had recently received a newsletter put out by the criminal justice department of the state of Hawaii that quoted McKenna and Mondo 2000 on virtual reality and alerted judges to the possible dangers of this new “drug.”
4. The April 1995 issue of Yoga Journal featured an interview with Ralph Abraham, which mentioned Terence in passing as a collaborator.
I also spent a few hours in the Image Resource Center on campus scanning photos from Chip Simons’ early 1990s shoot at the house in Occidental. I will be able to offer these very high-quality photos as part of the forthcoming crowdfunding campaign and am excited to eventually show them.
And, finally, once again, I will also include a final section with books that came in this week that don’t mention Terence (or weren’t represented in his library) but that nonetheless might be of interest:
Today’s item comes along with something of an apparent synchronicity that seems, intuitively, to be statistically unlikely: the item that was selected by the random number generator was an item that I had only just pulled out of the mailbox not fifteen minutes previously. [If you’re interested in a reflection on why this apparent synchronicity is, perhaps, less unlikely than it at first seems, I’ll say a bit more about that at the end of the post]
The item in question today is the first edition (1998) of The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable by Trialogue Press, a book made up of a selection of transcripts from the series of ‘trialogue’ workshops at the Esalen Institute, which featured more-or-less freeform discussions among the triad of Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, and Rupert Sheldrake. You can get access to all of the recordings through Rupert’s website (and the Evolutionary Mind recordings are on Ralph’s website, too, just so as not to appear to be lopsided in my hyperlinking). However, I figured, rather than posting Terence’s books, one at a time, as they come up in the random number generator, it would be better to just post a photo of all of the books for which Terence is either an author or a co-author that are currently held in the TM Archives. I’ll follow that with a written list of those books as well as a list of those (editions of) Terence’s books that are not yet represented in the archive. Here’s what is in the archive at present:
The following are the books shown in the photo above (those that exist in the archive):
(1975) – The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching (Seabury Press) (1st edition, hardcover)
(1991) – The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, The Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, The Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History (HarperSanFrancisco) (1st edition, paperback)
(1992) – Trialogues at the Edge of the West: Chaos, Creativity, and the Resacralization of the World (Bear & Company) (1st edition, paperback)
(1992) – Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Bantam Books) (1st edition, paperback)
(1993) – True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise (HarperSanFrancisco) (1st edition, hardcover)
(1993) – The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching (HarperSanFrancisco) (2nd edition, paperback)
(1998) – The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable (Trialogue Press) (1st edition, paperback)
(1999) – Illuminatus (Art by Robert Venosa, Text by Terence McKenna) (Craftsman House) (1st edition, hardcover)
(2001) – Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness (Park Street Press) (Revised edition of Trialogues at the Edge of the West, paperback)
The following are other editions of Terence’s books that the TM Archives does not currently own hard copies of…if you would like to donate to help the acquisition process, you can use the “Donate” button at the top of the Terence McKenna Transcription Project website, or if you would like to send a copy of any the following books (or any foreign language translations of TM’s books) for us to add to the archive’s holdings, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1992) – Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Bantam) (1st edition, hardcover)
(1993) – Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Random Century–British edition) (paperback)
(1994) – True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise (HarperOne) (1st edition, paperback)
(1994) – True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise (Rider–British edition) (hardcover)
(1997) – The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable (Dakota Books)
(1998) – The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable (Aerial Press, Inc.)
(1999) – Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Rider–British edition)
(2005) – The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination, and Spirit (Monkfish Book Publishing) (Revised edition of The Evolutionary Mind, paperback)
If there is anything that you think I’m missing on either list, let me know.
[And, here’s that final note on apparent statistical unlikelihood, for those who were waiting in eager anticipation for me to finally stop talking about Terence McKenna and get on to a cognitive readings of our (typical) intuitive statistical naivete–Why does it seem so uncanny that I opened a package containing a book, added the book to the archive’s catalog, and immediately derived a number from a random number generator which corresponded to that very book which I had just received? There’s no doubt that, in gambling terms, it’s a somewhat unlikely happening. The odds of any single item being selected by the random number generator are (to use a round number) 1 in 600. Those odds, of course, don’t change just because the item is new to the archive. The new item has a 1 in 600 chance, just like every other item in the archive. In fact, narrowing it down by date makes it potentially even more likely that a particular item will be called. In other words, I actually received three items for the archive in the mail that day–that means that the odds that one of the items that I had received in the mail that day would be selected by the random number generator was actual 3 in 600 (or 1 in 200). So, the odds suggest that it was actually much more likely that one of the items I received in the mail that day would be selected as compared with the odds for any other single item in the archive being selected. Don’t get me wrong — hitting a 1 in 200 chance is nothing to scoff at, and, perhaps more importantly, the psychological effect is certainly still potent. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to consider that the potency of the psychological effect doesn’t necessarily always match the statistical significance of the event itself–or, at least, that’s one way to tell the story.]