Cult figure on a psychedelic mission to unlock the mysteries of 2012

By Phungushead · Nov 30, 2009 · ·
  1. Phungushead
    Cult figure on a psychedelic mission to unlock the mysteries of 2012

    View attachment 11831 JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming – Psychedelic drug booster Daniel Pinchbeck doesn't know if Dec. 21, 2012, will spell out Doomsday for the planet.

    But that doesn't mean he doesn't fear cataclysmic disaster the likes of which the world has never seen. And he does think the Maya people were onto something in making their current calendar end on that date. He also hopes that the real significance of 2012 ultimately will depend on how civilization responds to it – on whether or not it will continue provoking nature's wrath.

    "My feeling of 2012 is that we don't know what it's going to be. So rather than looking at it as Doomsday, we can see it as an opportunity to evolve and become more creative and more intelligent as a species on the planet and use the skills and technical capacities we have to engage in a very deep work transformation."

    And, he adds, let's not ignore crop circles and UFOs.

    Shaggy-haired, bearded and intense, this is clearly a man on a mission. But some film critics have unkindly suggested that Pinchbeck – a cult figure, author, shaman and 2012 scholar who is both revered and reviled within the culture which worries about such things – is the model for Woody Harrelson's off-the-wall performance as an ecological paranoiac in the new disaster film, 2012. Pinchbeck isn't commenting on that but neither is he prepared to dismiss the movie out of hand.

    He does feel the world is heading for disaster and that primitive cultures are capable of possessing mystical portents of the future – themes which he explored in his controversial book, 2012: The Return Of Quetzalcoatl, now available from Penguin in a new, best-selling paperback edition. So, if nothing else he sees the movie as a warning call – and maybe something more, given what he knows about Mayan culture and prophecy.

    "Personally, I think the film is part of the prophecy in a sense, because it's bringing this idea (of disaster) to a global level. I'm glad it's coming out in 2009 rather than 2011 because our collective consciousness has been trained to react to fear and hug spectacles of destruction, so that's kind of where the collective consciousness needs to experience it. Maybe after that, we can recognize that – yes, this is a collective window of transformation for our species and that we could collectively move global civilization in a very different direction – and actually, we're going to have to, if we want to have a thriving future for our descendants."

    So Pinchbeck doesn't think it's just Hollywood fear-mongering to release a movie in which the planet is ravaged by earthquakes, volcanoes, mass flooding, dust storms, tsunamis and other displays of nature's wrath. He believes the world has much to fear and needs a wake-up call.

    He also think the Maya culture has always been plugged in to what is happening, and what will happen, because drugs provide a conduit into a different dimension. That's why, in Pinchbeck's view that the psychedelic element can't be ignored: "that's how indigenous cultures like the Maya access other levels of information – visionary information, prophetic information."

    Psychedelic substances and shamanism dispatched Pinchbeck on his own "transformative journey" which he described in an earlier book, Breaking Open The Head. "So for me, part of what I did almost by accident was to recapture some of those other levels of awareness that cultures like the Maya were based on."

    Pinchbeck's studies of indigenous cultures and experimentations with their psychedelic substances helped resolve his own "existential crisis." More than that, they ended up making him think hard about 2012.

    "It opened me to the idea that maybe we needed to take more seriously what tribal people and indigenous cultures and tribal cultures know. At the same time, I began to understand this time prophetically as a time of intense transformation. So that kind of led me to 2012."

    But he admits you don't need ancient calendars and prophecies to know that the planet is endangered.

    "When you just step back from what they (the Maya) knew or didn't know and how they knew it, it's very clear that we're in a period of extremely critical transformation and that we actually need a rapid evolution of consciousness as a species or we're simply not going to survive on this planet.

    "If you look at the statistics that scientists are putting out there, 25 per cent of all mammalian species, perhaps all the species in general, will go extinct in the next 30 years if we continue at the concurrent rates of deforestation, industrialization and so on. The oceans are currently fished out of large fish. Whole chains of aquatic life are disappearing . . . . Acceleration of climate change is producing all sorts of effects, reducing the amount of arable land on the planet, which could ultimately lead to a food crisis. We have depletion of major resources – oil, water. We just had a major financial crisis in the U.S."

    He also accepts other, more controversial, symbols of change.

    "I've also studied crop circles in depth . . . . From my research, they're probably not being done by people, considering the level of precision. There are changes in the planets that have been documented, and we're seeing a worldwide increase in UFO phenomena. It's getting pretty wacky."

    For Pinchbeck, all this might lead to a cleansing – "a sort of biospheric transformation." This in turn might lead to the development of new sustainable technologies free of ecological consequences.

    "There's also a change that's happening in the nature of human consciousness itself," Pinchbeck argues. He says even the ancient Greeks knew that higher levels of consciousness are possible. So, today, do indigenous peoples.

    "It's always been there but we're unconscious of it," he asserts. And, he suggests, it could be crucial to the transformation the world needs and this is where psychedelics can play a role.

    "I look at them as teaching plants, the ones used sacramentally by tribal people. And they seem to be plants that have a symbiotic relationship to human consciousness. They give us messages. They decondition us from our extensive certainty about how society has to be. And they give us visions of what transformations are possible.

    "I don't think everybody needs psychedelics, but for some people they're a path. I think it's unfortunate they're illegal."

    25 November 2009

    Canwest News Service

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  1. brokenangel
    Great article.

    It is totally aliens coming! :laugh:

    No, but I am serious.... heh. Well, slightly. You should do me a favor and entertain the idea of posting your thoughts on this thread... :D

    Once again sorry for pulling threads out of the grave, but lots of interesting reads you have!
  2. rawbeer
    I think calling Pinchbeck a shaman is offensive to actual shamans. This guy is a huxter. I can't think of a single worthwhile contribution he has made to the field of psychedelic studies. I can think of a lot of detrimental bullshit he's smeared all over the field. He's riding on McKenna's most wild speculation (which McKenna at least acknowledged to be speculation) and saying things about a variety of topics he clearly hasn't done any serious research into.

    If you don't actually know jack shit about an ancient and/ or foreign culture than keep your fucking mouth shut about it. I don't think a single scholar of the Maya takes the 2012 thing in the least bit seriously. Anyone who examines crop circles and doesn't conclude that humans are responsible needs to examine them more, while on fewer drugs. Anyone who likes this asshole's work needs to read some real psychedelic research and see whose ideas this guy is stealing, eating, and shitting out onto paper that would better be used to wipe the asses of catatonic mental patients.

    Promoting awareness of psychedelics is not necessarily a good thing. Promoting awareness of "indigenous" or "ancient" wisdom is not necessarily a good thing, particularly when you don't understand that wisdom. Pushing a New Age hoax down people's throats is never a good thing, especially when you're just doing it because you're an unoriginal cretin trying to get famous by riding the wave of bullshit a bunch of stoned pseudoscientists unleashed before you.

    This guy's closest allegiance really lies with Graham Hancock. Hancock made a bunch of goofy uninformed claims about ancient Egypt and cultures he clearly hadn't bothered to do even the most basic actual research on back in the 1970's when such nonsense was the High Fashion of Bullshit Artists. Now he has tried to revive his career by jumping on the psychedelic bandwagon and riding along on other people's ideas. I'm sure both of these wake-riders prefer to think that they're continuing on in Terrence McKenna's footsteps. McKenna himself is probably second only to Tim Leary in the amount of bullshit he attached to psychedelics but at least he had some original and worthwhile things to say.

    Don't worry, I'm sure Pinchbeck will start selling Quetzcoatl oil in the coming months, which will save us all from whatever nondescript events will not actually happen in December.
  3. brokenangel
    With all due respect, rawbeer - I do believe "to each his own" is in accordance here.

    This is simply an article, about a man. I do not view anything being "pushed down anyone's throat" here. (?)

    I am positive Pinchbeck, himself - probably feels that he may know a thing or two about the subject at hand. I am also pretty sure, some people may possibly even agree with that. Maybe they should, maybe they shouldn't.

    Most everything I have ever read about 2012, states that 2012 would have been a HUGE "deal" to the Mayan people. I am not proclaiming that I believe 2012 to be some cataclysmic/apacolyptic event - but a HUGE deal? Absolutely. There isn't a scholar alive (or dead) that would dispute this.

    I am not attempting to bring about an argument here. I am expressing that you appeared a bit aggressive in stating your own, personal opinion. Passion is a wonderful thing, as long as it is executed in a respectful manner. Did I find this an interesting read, yes. Did I research anything about Daniel Pinchbeck ? No, I did not. Might I now? Yes, I might.

    That is the wonderful thing about respecting/listening/viewing other's opinions, whilst holding true to your own. You never know when you may just learn something new, or view things from a new found perspective .........

    (This is all IMHO, and please don't think I am saying you shouldn't state your opinion).

    Take Care.
  4. rawbeer
    I know I was being harsh, maybe more than would be warranted if I was aiming for objectivity, and I am in no way criticizing this article, its placement here at DF, that's all fine. I just really don't like Pinchbeck. I honestly do think he's just done some basic research, taken some drugs, and latched onto the most far out, sensationalist and questionable ideas attached to the psychedelic community and tried to profit from them.

    I see him in the same light as people who predicted all the Y2K stuff, trying to capitalize off of mass uncertainty. And I'm dead serious when I say he's contributed nothing, but rather has highlighted a lot of other people's ideas which should probably be forgotten.

    His trumpeting of indigenous knowledge irritates me - this guy isn't Wade Davis. He's another drug tourist who wants to see shamanism in the light that best suits his own personal philosophy which has more to do with Terrence McKenna than actual shamanism.

    I respect your opinion totally, and looking back I was very harsh, but hey, I really think Pinchbeck is a bullshitter. I stand by my scatalogical hyperbole. Please do some reading and come to your own conclusion. I can say that unless some serious shit happens in December he won't be getting as much attention in the future.
  5. brokenangel
    Okay, *shakes hand*. I agree that the Y2K stuff was a "tad" ridiculous. I was young at the time, yet even then - still thought "Come the hell on". The media (and well, everyone) definitely "sensationalized" and over-hyped. But then again, there has always been, and will always be those insane doomsday soliticers. It's an age old tale. Let's just hope none of them are ever right, cause I sure as shit don't ever want to experience any of that nonsense! ;)

    To be completely honest this particular event does make me uncertain. Not because of any media hype - which, I really thought would be way worse than it actually is. As I stated, it is not because of any catyclismic shift of the poles or anything. The Mayan's were insanely "gifted" (to put it lightly) for their time. Maybe it is just the mystery behind their people, that gets me going. Then again, I just love conspiracy theory. I can go on and on fictionally in my mind and run with jibberish ideas, just for the hell of it. I find it to be fun. Aliens visiting our ancient Mayan pals, is one of those previously entertained ideas.

    Take care....... and try not to mentally punch Pinchbeck in the face next time you see him on your computer screen!

  6. rawbeer
    I was really into the whole alien/ pyramid thing when I was younger and one day my dad told me it was racist. I didn't get it. But really, has anyone ever suggested that any monument built by a white civilization (and I'm even stretching by calling the Greeks "white" because they look more like Egyptians than Northern Europeans) was alien inspired? If they have I haven't heard about it. But when a brown person moves some big rocks...aliens! It's a great story. But it isn't true.

    Anyone who cares to actaully study anthropology will see that pyramids and cyclopean architecture aren't nearly as mysterious as Graham Hancock and Co. make them out. The fact that human beings made these things with simple perspicacity and wherewithal makes them more impressive to me, not less.

    But I really do understand the atraction to conspiracy theories, it's one I share with you to this day (here I return that e-handshake).

    I do urge anyone who takes Pinchbeck seriously to do more research. His first book, Breaking Open The Head, was just a surface-scratching review of the real innovators of psychedelic research. It was journalism aimed at entertaining through drug tales, and I don't have a particular problem with that. 2012 is garbage. The drugs have taken their toll on this man's critical thinking.

    Benny Shanon is this guy's shadow opposite - a brilliant scholar who spent years studying with real shamans and slowly building his knowledge of spiritual pursuit through ayahuasca. His book The Antipodes of the Mind is one of the finest things ever written on psychedelics, period. It is the antithesis of 2012 in every way. If you want fascinating drug stories tied together with genius scholarship, careful yet insightful speculation and a deeply nuanced understanding of psychedelia, entheogenesis, shamanism and indigenous wisdom it is worth the hefty price (last I checked). Shanon's book is pricier, just as organic, grass fed, dry aged beef is more expensive than that nasty hamburger that comes in the big tubes they sell at Aldi's and loses 70% of its weight when you expose it to any real heat.

    edit: Okay someone just pointed out to me in a message that Stonehenge was built by white people (presumably) and has been atrributed to aliens. And of course I was aware of this all along, so my above statement is incorrect. However I still think there is an element of racism in so-called "pyramidiocy". Early Europeans explorers made it clear they didn't believe Indians were capable of impressive architecture. They suggested travellign Romans...
  7. Potter
    I swear to Satan I'll slap this bitch if I ever see him.
  8. Routemaster Flash
    Yeah, fuck this guy and his stupid hippy hairdo.

    I think a whole lot of idiots will be receiving condescending smirks from their parents and siblings when Christmas Day comes round and NOTHING TERRIBLE HAS HAPPENED AT ALL (unless you're one of those people who counts Christmas as a terrible thing, I know some people do but then it happens every year, doesn't it). Maybe some will even get Carl Sagan books as gifts.
  9. brokenangel
    He told you it was racist? That is definitely an "original" take on the matter!?! Made me smile, as I can picture that conversation going down....

    Thanks for accepting the e-handshake. Take Care .... :thumbsup:
  10. JackARoe
    Hey thanks for the recommendation rawbeer. I appreciate that, hadn't heard of Benny Shannon before. I'll check into it. :thumbsup:

    I picked up a Pinchbeck book, Breaking Open The Head, and put it down in about 2 minutes kind of bored at the rehashing of ideas that came before him. And I was/am a fan of T.McKenna and T.Leary. I grew up in that age and love LARGE ideas. And yes T. McKenna had a sense of humor and admitted to throwing out ideas as speculation and entertainment. In fact I can see the breakdown of time and space where all points connect. Put it this way, it use to take weeks for a letter to travel across the US. Now we can instantly talk to someone on the other end of the Earth. Through technology time and space has broken down and it is quantifiable to where the points connect. La da da da...... But ideas of a doomsday by Pinchbeck seems weak and shallow and a pitch to sell some books in a pinch (no pun intented) just before the date. No where near as interesting as T. McKenna's speculations. I look at some of the speculation as a musical piece that can draw you in. But it was left at that, just speculation as well as just entertainment.

    And Leary, I have a soft spot. A Hardvard professor promoting using the mind in a world that was absolutely crazy at the time. And one of the best things Leary did was die with style, took a lot of fear out of it in a pouty dark world. But I can for sure see where ego comes in too, but then again he was human. Looking at Leary's face when someone brings up Ram Dass is hysterical. And I am big Ram Dass fan. Tripping and reading Be Here Now in 1979 was a turning point for me. But I like the fact they can all jive each other and poke fun.

    But as far as this article, I think it seals the deal that I really don't need a Pinchbeck book in my collection. I am already steaming mad that Hollywood "made up" a doomsday about 2012. I can deal with the consciousness change and technology change, but anything doomsday I shut my ears. The Earth will go on and humans will move forward. The Earth is changing right now, and right now, and right now, and although it may be faster, I see no doomsday in that. I do see an inward space reflecting the outward space.

    BTW I am a developer that worked on code back in 1999 for different software. I never saw where the doomsday idea was coming from. Was suppose to be a problem with the 2 digit dates shutting the world down. Weak, but people ran with it without many facts.

    Thanks for posting the article. And as Routemaster Flash, giving out Carl Sagan books is a much better deal. In fact I just rewatched the entire Cosmos series recently. I loved that when it came out. It would have been nice to see Carl Sagan try a psychedelic. Wow would that be interesting. I think he stopped at cannabis though. Good enough.
  11. Routemaster Flash
    This just goes to show how thoroughly this particular meme has infected our culture. On the contrary, serious scholars of Mayan civilizations (many alive, probably some dead too) have said that the rolling over of a new b'ak'tun would have been considered a time of celebration and ritual - much like all the partying that went on over NYE 2000 - but there is no evidence to suggest they thought it heralded any kind of cataclysmic or otherwise world-changing event. The whole thing is a completely modern fabrication.

    It would be retarded enough to expect some great cosmic event to happen just because it had been predicted in the calendar of an undeniably sophisticated but also mind-bogglingly superstitious ancient civilization - I mean, people have been predicting the end of the world since almost the beginning of the world, and so far not a single one of those thousands of prophets has been proven right, obviously. But surely it's doubly retarded to seriously expect that some great epochal happening will occur based on a misunderstanding of an ancient culture's calendar, when they in fact anticipated no such thing?
  12. brokenangel
    How does my quote show that anything has infected anything? In your last post, you basically held the exact same points as I have pointed out - more or less, in other words.

    I have also held strong to the fact that I do not believe 12.21.12 is going to be an "apocolyptic event" in this thread AND others I have posted on, that you have also posted on. So.... why you are bringing this up again, is beyond me. The great thing about "idea's" is that we can differ. I do not have to succumb to your's, nor you mine. I have not belittled or been condescending toward your idea's on the matter, and would appreciate the same respect.

    Below are quotes from the thread entitled "The Mayan Calandar":

    2012 to the Mayans would have been an unparalleled event. More so than Y2K, by a longshot. It is not a celebration of a mere millenium, it is a celebration of a period of about 5 Millenia. You have read other threads that I have posted on stating that current day Mayan people find the idea that we believe 12/21/12 to be a disatrous event as jibberish.

    I am completely open minded enough to listen to you, and even attempt to learn something about your idea's on the matter. Condescending my views, is not going to get us anywhere. So please, leave out the word "retarded" especially when you are insinuating that I have stated something I clearly did not, in both this thread and the Mayan calandar thread from a few short days ago.

    I am not here to push my idea's on anyone. Are you? I believe in hearing people out, if rationably and reasonably discussed with respect. Please do not reference me as an example for ignorance.
  13. talltom
    We actually do have a potential disaster pending in December. It's a fiscal one, but one that could lead to worse events than the recession we've been through since 2008. Don't know if this is one Pinchbeck or the Mayans predicted, but who knows! It could be as bad as these.

    CNBC and others have reported that the U.S. is heading towards fiscal disaster in December and no one in Washington is doing anything about it, the authors of the Simpson-Bowles reform plan and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein told CNBC Thursday. "People are never going to understand how critical this particular time in history is," said Erskine Bowles, the North Carolina businessman and co-chairman of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. "We have $7.7 trillion worth of economic events that are going to hit America in the gut in December, and in Washington they're doing nothing about it."

    Bowles' co-chair on the commission was former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, who said political culture in Washington is preventing any action to address what is known as the "fiscal cliff."
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