National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day April 3 – Terrence McKenna

0 Comments 03 April 2012


A special day for the NOR staff here. Most pre production meetings consist of a festive debate on who should get the honor of DPD (of course there are multiple lunch meat platters shared). However there are a handful of days where the DPD is a foregone conclusion. Today is one of those days.

Terrence McKenna. Scientist, thought leader, righteous dude and – finally – shaman.

Although many say McKenna was spawned from the psychedelic soup Tim Leary created in the late 1950s McKenna had this to say about his earnest beginnings down the path of light:

“I think my first encounter with psychedelics was looking at Colorado and trying to understand that it was once the shores of an ocean with hundred-foot-long sauropods tromping through the mangrove swamps,”

If you want some heavy reading pick up “Food of the Gods”. That book will take your head and flip it inside out, stuff it with silly putty and jell-o then flip it back to normal and give you a candy bar for your troubles. In it he posits that language as we know it can be directly attributed to monkeys leaving their natural tree dwellings, roaming the earth’s floor, and ingesting psilocybin mushrooms. He claims the experienced brought monkeys to a higher spiritual state and in an attempt to connect on that level modern language was born. Obviously I’m over simplifying the entire thought process but – again- I strongly suggest you pick up the book if you don’t want to be a turd biscuit.

Now to be fair not everyone held McKenna in such high regard. Judy Corman, vice president of Phoenix House of New York, a drug treatment center, said in a letter to The New York Times in 1993:

“Surely the fact that Terence McKenna says that the psilocybin mushroom ‘is the megaphone used by an alien, intergalactic Other to communicate with mankind’ is enough for us to wonder if taking LSD has done something to his mental faculties,”

I don’t know about you but Judy sounds like a bit of a stick in the mud.

Cheers to you Mr. McKenna for pushing the boundaries of educational pursuit and daring to be a free thinker….a true libertine.

Obits on a Monday!

Terence McKenna, 53, Dies; Patron of Psychedelics

By Douglas Martin 
Source: New York Times

Terence McKenna, who so playfully and persistently pressed his message that psychedelic drugs are mankind’s salvation that Timothy Leary himself christened him “the Timothy Leary of the 90’s,” died on Monday at a friend’s home in San Rafael, Calif. He was 53 and lived on the South Kona Coast of Hawaii.

The cause of death was brain cancer, said a publicist for his books.

“If psychedelics don’t ready you for the great beyond, then I don’t know what really does,” Mr. McKenna said in December in one of his last public speeches, at the Esalen Institute. Death, he said then, felt close.

Mr. McKenna combined a leprechaun’s wit with a poet’s sensibility to brew a New Age stew with ingredients including flying saucers, elves and the I Ching. The essential seasoning was the psychedelic mushrooms that transformed his life and that he recommended — in “heroic doses” — for virtually everyone. Continue

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