Actually, at first, I was kind of impressed with Daniel Pinkchbeck. He knows a lot of big words, for one tYeah, I know, but I had to. So. Much. Crack.
Actually, at first, I was kind of impressed with Daniel Pinkchbeck. He knows a lot of big words, for one thing. And how to sling them around. Son of an NYC artist and a NYC writer... he was bound to wind up a little pretentious around the edges. But he makes up for it by doubting himself at every turn. Because he's also neurotic. Just the right kind of person to injest copious amounts of hallucinogens. Oh, and then combine extensive reading in the subject of shamanism, the use of hallucinogens, mystic visionary writings, etc. Throw in a giant cauldron. Set the cauldron down in the middle of the Burning Man Festival. Set it on fire. Run far far away.
Pinchbeck manages to draw together threads from every New Age, LSD inspired, culturally appropriated, loonie hippie pipe dream he stumbles across. Crop circles (check). Meso-American Mythology (check), Rudolph Steiner (check), Carlos Castaneda (check), Aleister Crowley (check), African iboga boogie men (check), Free Love (check), the "noosphere" (THE WHAT? IS THAT A COW RELIGION???) check check checkity check check.
Dudes, seriously, this guy is a few screws loose of having a running tractor.
I mean, he does try and make up for it by adding in disclaimers that he may be entirely wrong about every single theory he entertains. But he does entertain them. He sits all these wacked out theories down around a tiny, painted table and serves them tea and crumpets. Then he pushes everything off the table and dances naked in his underwear.
It's not a pretty sight, I promise you.
But what the hell. The portions of the book that I managed to plow through without having to set it down and laugh until my abdomen hurt were pretty entertaining. I think some of his research has validity... in that I do believe in shamanism, and the energies that it works with. But the edge he, and others like him, take it to are of the ridiculous IMHO.
So... Joe Bob sez check it out if you are looking for some crack. Or to know what it's like to drop so much acid that your brain turns to gluons without actually damaging your cerebral cortex....more