Jan 17, 11
Read in January, 2011
I bought this book at Shaman Drum on State in Ann Arbor during a period of my being on the outs with phonetic language. (RIP Shaman Drum, we miss you). The clerk knew of McKenna's terminal medical condition. (RIP McKenna, though I feel I've gotten to know him better as the internet has gained fidelity). In 1999, I got about 40 pages into the book and could get no further. I shelved the book for 11 years and now I've returned to pick through the dense language for some clue as to what it all means. My intuition is that the brothers were onto something, which was their feeling as well, and all we can say about a talking fungus that told them the I Ching contained a map of time. According to this map, practically the last moment of time sends us spiraling into the concrescence, so time will tell, and we have little way of knowing whether this is true until those last moments. Until then we only have intuitions. The authors are just so sure of themselves. Madness or genius, or a bit of both?
I wish their editor would have cleaned up the dense language. Part of the reason this book is so difficult is the way they phrase things. Part of it is just that they didn't even try to explain some of their scientific models, but expected the reader to do lots of background reading. This is a pretty amazing book, given that the brothers McKenna were just in their mid 20s when they wrote it.
For a much more entertaining and easy-to-grasp account of the events and experiment at La Chorrera that led to this book, check out True Hallucinations, preferably the original audio book version.