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‘And End History. And Go To The Stars’: Terence Mckenna And 2012

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Chapter Summary

Terence McKenna was a central figure in the underground New Age culture mostly referred to as 'psychedelic shamanism'. In a book published together with his brother Dennis he developed a grand macrohistorical theory called the 'Eschaton Timewave', which turns out to be at the very origin of the widespread contemporary movement of New Age millenarianism according to which the eschaton will arrive on December 21 2012. This chapter analyzes the story of how Terence and Dennis McKenna developed their theory in an effort to make sense of a religious 'revelation' that happened to them during a psychedelic experiment in the Colombian Amazon in 1971; furthermore the chapter analyzes the theory itself, and the chain of reasoning by means of which it seeks to prove that a series of historical 'cycles' will all terminate in 2012.

Keywords: 2012 millenarianism; eschaton timewave; psychedelic shamanism; Terence Mckenna



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