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The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History Paperback – May 8, 1992


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The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History + Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution + The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell (Thinking Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (May 8, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062506137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062506139
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McKenna's ( Invisible Landscape ) wild theories about how hallucinogenic experiences are the last best hope of a world gone mad are at the center of these essays and interviews, most previously published. McKenna interprets three decades of flying through the deepest and highest levels of consciousness, encountering extraterrestrials, unknown languages and "the Other," the self seeking new levels of interior human existence. Much of his experience comes from trips--physical and drug-induced--to and with Amazonian Indian shamans. McKenna is best when he describes the multicolored landscapes and backgrounds of his visions and their settings. Such description, though, is rare; the author serves mostly as millenarian missionary, predicting an apocalypse for the year 2012. He gives short shrift to the demonstrable healing properties of the Amazon drugs, neglecting the most persuasive data as to why natural hallucinogens ought to be taken more seriously. He opts instead to promote hallucination as a messianic panacea for the individual psyche, not unlike the New Agers and pop psychologists against whom he rails incessantly.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

McKenna has been exploring the "Wholly Other" for 25 years. In this spiritual journey, he ponders shamanism, buddhism, and enthnopharmacology. By the phrase "archaic revival," McKenna refers to a return to shamanism, which he believes can be enhanced by current scientific practices. The next level of spiritual transformation, he explains, is achieved by the intelligent use of psychedelics and should be performed only by thoughtful explorers rather than experimenters, scientific or otherwise. The ideas presented in this collection of interviews, speeches, and articles are radical even now, and will challenge the reader. There are many insights on current spiritual movements such as goddess worship, deep ecology, space beings, and virtual reality. Recommended.
- Gail Wood, Montgomery Coll. Lib., Germantown, Md.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Will open your mind.
Melanie King
Which is good considering the opinions that he holds and most definitely has to defend are of the most outlandish nature.
Ants. Really Big Ants
Strassman's books, and documentary, will reignite the spark that faded when McKenna past on.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
The above one-star review proves why it is necessary to read this book. Dismissing ideas because we may be ridiculed for taking them seriously is what landed us in this undeniable global mess. Whether or not shrooms are ETs or artifacts of ETs is not the issue. A quote of Terence's: "I like to show people how things can be seen differently, and if things can be seen THAT differently, in what other ways can they be seen differently", because staying the course is not working. Open-mindedness is Terence's message, and his convincing proof of the viability of his "crazy" ideas will go a long way toward opening you up to new ideas. Another quote: "It doesn't do you any good to know that in some computer somewhere there are equations that perfectly model or perfectly don't model something else. The only understanding of the universe that will do you any good is your own understanding, because it's you you have to live with, and it's you you have to die with.... the last dance you dance, you dance alone"
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great book to read if you feel the least bit innundated by the whole UFO, alien, and/or E.T. hype. McKenna's view of UFO sightings and other related phenomena as an affect of a "Jungian" archetype of the collective unconscious derived from our modern feeling of oppression by science and objectivity is definitely a breath of fresh air in the midst of all these guys who claimed to have been abducted or have proof of alien existence.
Also interesting in this book is McKenna's view of human evolution as being facilitated by the discovery and use of psychedelic mushrooms. The only part about McKenna's views expressed in this book that I had a little bit of trouble with is his reluctance to validate mystical traditions of the world that don't or never have used psychedelic drugs as a part of their tradition. Terrance is definitely coming from a subjective realm in his description of his psychedelic experience (even though the experience can be confirmed to some degree by others who trip). Therefore, I believe that he should not discount non-psychedelic mystical traditions without having experienced the level of subjectivity that he obviously has with psychedelic drugs. Great book!!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By jeremy.jae@cell.matrix.cn on September 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
first I would like to quote Tim Leary from his skymaster speech "Terence Mckenna means a great deal to me, he's deffinently one of the 5, 6 most impotant people on the planet......I can't even think of any others....lol....(short term memory loss)...by the way the role Terence is playing right now takes not only vision but it also takes f***ing courage!"
Terence Mckenna is not just a scientist, philosopher, theorist, new age thinker, and shamman, he is someone who took it upon himself, at the cost of his own life, to teach humankind the truth, or something that came closer to truth than any other intellectual or prophet in human history. No one else of the 60's generation will likely go down in history as infamously as Terence will in the changing times we live in and will continue to change. Through the use of psychedelics, Mckenna has delved into the deepest levels of human consciousness and with the rigour and skepticism of a scientist. Deffinently a chalenge to those who think mind altering drugs dullen or stupify the intellect. Terence Mckennas intellect and thought processing speed capacity appear to have been accelerated by his use of DMT and psylocybin if you listen to him on interviews. Here is a person came into the world, underwhent formal schooling and academic training and managed to decondition himself evolving into genuine spiritual domains; surpassing the academic minds and spiritual models of his time and culture. Time-Wave Zero was his project, Novelty Theory his lifes work. Archaic Revival touches upon the ideas of novelty theory in relation to shammanism and extratterestrials, psychedelics and human cultural evolution into the surreal dimensions of hyperspace-spirituality. This is our future, our destiny as a species of absolute evolving consciousness.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Alex H. Miller on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just recently finished this book, and i can say it has been one of the most profound pieces of literature i've ever had the pleasure of reading. The topics explored in the book (which are, i might add, VERY extensively explored) ask the reader to look outside of the narrow field of spiritual and philosophical vision that constitutes our cultural typic, and question things one might not have ever thought of questioning. McKenna seems very frank and straightforward through the whole book, not dancing around subjects or refraining from certain phrases that some would be self-concious to use (ie. get loaded).

Instead of seeming to be written exclusively for futuristic scientists with an affinity for psychedelic drugs, the book seems to be aimed at the much wider crowd of anyone with an open mind and a vocabulary. The ideas described vary in topic from UFO abductions to a 15th century manuscript, and everything in between. most of the chapters have some common thread connecting them, the only exception being "The Voynich Manuscript." im not really sure where he was going with this chapter in relation to the rest of the book, but its interesting nonetheless. anyway, the book is nothing but a collection of speeches, essays, interviews, etc conducted by him over the years, and is really meant to be an introduction to his philosophy. His other books: The I Ching, and Food of the Gods, though i havent' read them, have been reviewed to be much more technically worded, hard to read, and aimed at students of mathematics and anthropology/ethnobotany. The Archaic Revival is more or less easy to comprehend, but he does use some terms over and over again that the average person wouldn't know (ie.
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