Publishers Weekly’s review:
In 1971 ethnobotanist McKenna (The Archaic Revival), his brother Dennis and three friends boated to a town in Amazonian Colombia, seeking a hallucinogenic plant that enables the Witoto tribe to talk to elf-like “little men.” In psychedelicized ravings interspersed with diary excerpts, McKenna records their experiences after ingesting mind-altering mushrooms and other psychoactive plants.
A flying saucer slowly flew over McKenna’s head; he calls it a “holographic mirage” of a future technology. Dennis had a revelation about a “psychofluid” that pervades the universe. McKenna flashes forward to Hawaii in 1975 where mantis-like creatures from hyperspace attack his lover, and flashes back to his tantric lovemaking in Tibet and to Indonesia where unrepentant Nazi scientists tried to recruit him in 1970. He posits the existence of a particle of time, the chronon, which conditions matter. A bizarre book.
– Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc
Chapters 20 and 21 from the talking book True Hallucinations by Terence McKenna.
Chapter 20: The Oversoul as Saucer
There is building in global society an increasingly intense expectation of the intervention into human history by UFOs. It is very similar in tone to the buildup of messianic expectation in the Hellenistic world in the several centuries preceding the birth of Christ. The leaders of Roman society may have been caught off guard by the appearance of Christ, but they had no one to blame but themselves since milllions of people in the ancient world were expectantly awaiting some kind of messiah. So today, science and govenment koo-koo the idea of world contact with the UFOs, while the contact cults grow ever larger and more insistent that contact is about to occur.
Imagine, therefore, what you may never have seriously imagined before. Imagine what would happen if the UFOs were to appear. Imagine a spaceship of the close encounters of the third kind variety suddenly appearing in orbit around the Earth. Television and mass media would carry its image to every man, woman and child on the planet. Governments would be paralyzed. Science would be helpless to explain where it came from or how it got here. Millenarian hysteria would break out everywhere. The UFO would be hailed as savior and denounced as antichrist. The end of the world would appear imminent, and all this would occur before the contact was more than a visual image. Then the UFO would begin its revelation. Vast displays of beneficent power can be expected. Perhaps it would mysteriously neutralize all weapons of mass destruction, or it might use some sort of ray to cure all terrestrial cancer. Whatever it does one may be sure that its actions will be impressive. Its actions will convert millions to the UFO religion in a space of hours. Indeed, its actions will be specifically designed to overwhelm us with the reality of its power and presence. That will close the first stage of the revelation.
The second stage will be the teachings. Telepathically imparted, the specifics of the teachings cannot be anticipated, but they will urge love, voluntary simplicity, concern for one another, renunciation of war, perhaps renunciation of the destructive application of science. Whatever the teachings, the UFO will promise immense reward to those who follow them and dire consequences for those who do not. And the teachings will be delivered in so poetically perfect a way, so rich in understanding and appealing nuances that no one will doubt their origin in a being wise and good and immensely superior to ourselves. The delivery of the teachings will set the stage for the third and last and most shocking phase of the revelation: the departure.
The saucer, promising vaguely to return, will simply disappear. The entire process could take less than a month. If this seems a short time recall that the entire public career of Christ lasted only three years. Christ’s career occured in a world where information could move no faster than a horse’s gallup. Yet three years in one small part of the world was all that was necessary to launch a world religion that was vital for 1500 years. In a world of electronic communication the impact of the saucer’s arrival, miracles, teaching and departure would be incalculable – even if it all occured within a month. The saucer would leave in its wake a science utterly unable to provide any answers to the important questions concerning what had gone on. The vast majority of people would be fanatical converts to the teachings of the saucer, and any institution in opposition to those teachings could expect to be swept away almost overnight. The departure of the UFO would create a sense of abandonment, the agony of which could be expected to echo in the human psyche for centuries. The only panacea would be the religion of the saucer, the religion left behind. Science would be discredited and soon abandoned in favor of a thousand or more years of exegesis of the saucerian message. Is it not a familiar pattern in the light of our discussion of Christ and Rome?
What will never be said in the wake of such an event and so must be said now while there is still time for all of the above to occur and yet still be deception. A benign deception designed to save us from our advanced science and infantile ethics, but a deception nevertheless. The saucer, no matter how alien it appears, no matter how advanced its demonstrations of power, is NOT a vehicle from some other star system, it is the oversoul of humanity up to its oldest trick. If one knows this one can live through the revelation and the destruction of our scientific world and yet evade the immense power of this most powerful of all transference phenomenon and thereby maintain the integrity of one’s own soul and spirit. Remember, I am not a debunker of flying saucers or a defender of science, I am a contactee, and this book is the painstakingly told story of my own involvement with the UFOs. I am one of those Vallee has pinpointed as being a carrier of ideas that pave the way for the scenario I have just described. Yet from it all I have learned that there is no religious revelation more satisfying than the hard won fruits of simple understanding. And there is no liberation to compare with freeing oneself from the illusions and delusions of the age in which one lives.
I reach these conclusions through my use and familiarity with psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs. They immerse their user in the world of the oversoul and make one privileged to at least a part of its mechanics of operation. They allow a private dialogue with the oversoul that is outside the context of the struggle between science and revelation that leaves no choice between the alienation of the rationalist and the tired formulas of the fanatic believer. Psychedelic drugs hold out the possibility of healing the breach between science and morality at the level of the individual, thus freeing one to evolve independent of the chaos and transformation the UFOs may soon bring to humanity.
Vallee’s recent book ‘Messengers of Deception’ vibrates with fear of the unconscious and alienation from the matrix of the larger psyche out of which rational thought has emerged. He fears the destruction of rationalism and scientific thought, yet never once does he mention the potential world wrecking crisis that the undirected development of science and technology has brought into being. He paints himself as an open-minded investigator of UFOs, yet never questions the motives of the retired and unnamed intelligence officers in which he places so much faith. It is impossible that the CIA is unaware of the social impact belief in UFOs is having? If they were unaware of it before then surely the recent writings of Vallee himself must have alerted them to the potential challenge UFO beliefs pose to orthodox institutions. Based on Vallee’s own ideas of an informational struggle between rational and irrational elements, how was he able to ignore the possibility that the mutilations which he is so eager to connect with UFOs are nothing more that a govenment agency’s clumsy attempt to discredit the genuine UFO phenomenon? It is a typical method of the intelligence community to discredit human groups it opposes by faking atrocities in such a way that they appear to have been committed by the group whose discrediting is sought. Vallee gives examples of this but never suspects that some government agency might be using this technique to impede the transfer of loyalties from political institutions to the UFOs. He mentions the proximity of animal mutilations to high-security government installations but never suggests this might be because such installations are the source of these mutilations. Few UFO sightings involve confusion among witnesses over whether or not what they saw was a UFO or a helicopter. Yet in the animal mutilation cases many witnesses insist a helicopter was involved. Vallee is at pains to say no physical evidence of a UFO has ever been collected. Yet later he passes over the fact that a quite ordinary surgical scalpel was found at one cattle mutilation site. It seems possible to me that some people in government have read Vallee and are familiar with his theories regarding UFOs as a factor introducing shifts in belief systems and institutional loyalties on a global scale. Without knowing what UFOs really are these persons and agencies have launched smokescreen operations designed to cast doubt on the motives and harmlessness of UFOs and so to retard or halt the shift of loyalties and beliefs now reaching epidemic proportions. I suspect that Vallee’s book may be the opening shot in a media war whose purpose will be to connect the occult, right-wing fanatacism, and animal mutilations to the UFO, all in an effort to cast doubt on the vast power and benign intent of the saucer phenomenon. Vallee’s title ‘Messengers of Deception’ bears a curious resemblance to J. Edgar Hoover’s ‘Masters of Deceit’. There the boogey man was communism. In Vallee’s book we are told the new boogey man is UFO phenomenon. Who chose the title for Vallee’s book? Was it Vallee or the mysterious major who was so helpful in guiding Vallee down these new avenues of speculation? I believe that Vallee whether wittingly or unwittingly is himself a messenger of deception and has become the spearhead of a conscious effort to sow even deeper confusion in society regarding UFOs.
We might say it is an effort foredoomed to failure. The collective overmind of our species is the source of the UFO and its designs cannot be deflected or turned aside. Its viewpoint is one of thousands of years and its means visionary and charismatic belief systems which act to restore the balance between understanding of and reverence for the universe is a message more powerful than any offered by the profane materialist societies that have grown so foolish as to imagine themselves the stewards of human destiny. Humanity alone and each of us individualy is the steward of human destiny. This is the real meaning of the UFOs and the experiment at La Chorrera.
Chapter 21: Open Ending
My own ideas concerning the mechanics by which the oversoul creates the UFO encounters might take the following form. Dimethyltriptamine when smoked, snuffed, or injected induces a brief and extremely intense psychedelic experience whose overwhelming sense of contact with the Other is unparalleled. For the last decade or so this extraordinary property of DMT has made it seem to many who sought a chemical basis for schizophrenia as the long sought schizotoxin. Studies have proved inconclusive however. DMT concentration has not been proven to differ significantly in schizophrenic and normal controls. Studies have established the presence of DMT in the human body, however the origin and significance of the DMT is unknown. Although it may reflect endogenous synthesis, it could also result from diet, bacterial byproducts, human laboratory error, or other sources. Bearing in mind the bizarre power of the DMT experience, its presence and unknown role in human metabolism, add one more fact: the strange aura of suggestibility that can precede the onset of the intense hallucination phase of the DMT experience. This period of suggestibility may last 15 seconds to a minute, and is a time during which the assumptions which the experient projects concerning the unusual shift of sensory input acquires enormous power. A few moments later the power of the now numinous assumption overwhelmes the consciousness of the observer with a scenario while totally bizarre and outrageous nevertheless is somehow a complete psychological fulfillment of the expectations formed in the few minutes of transition that preceded the visionary engulfment.
What I am proposing is that something like this happens during a UFO close encounter and the cause may very well be something which must be partially sought in the human organism. Imagine a person wandering alone in unfamiliar country: suddenly there’s a hackle-raising sense of weirdness, then a feeling of numbness in the limbs, followed by a clearing of vision and a loud crackling sound. At this point the sense of strangeness within and without the body would trigger a fear reaction in most people. The fear reaction causes a rapid and automatic search for a culturally-validated explaination of what is going on, and an explaination will always be found. It may range from, ‘I am being bewitched by a demon,’ to ‘Surely it is a visitation of the Holy Mother,’ to ‘My God! It must be a UFO!’ In each case the abandonment of the ego to a culturally prescribed explaination of the experience of the Other causes the experience to exfoliate, exploit and elaborate all the themes that the culture’s current myth of the Other entails. It is known that DMT binds preferentially to certain tissue when introduced into the human body. Is it not possible that we human beings are occasionally susceptible to a kind of visionary seizure? When for reasons of stress or diet these factors combine with psychodynamic factors to initiate a sudden dumping of accumulated DMT? Pheremones may play a part in this experience and isolation may be its trigger. Whatever its cause, our conditioning as individuals causes the experience to plunge us into a numinous scenario that reflects the deepest concerns and yearnings of the current culture toward the Other. In our own time this has given rise to the hope of friendly visiting extraterrestrials. As late as 1917 the miracle at Fatima was interpreted worldwide as a manifestation of the Virgin Mary. Today it would surely be hailed as an extraterrestrial contact. If my suggestion regarding DMT were found to be correct, it would provide insight into the way in which the cultural feedback thermostat explaination of UFOs put forth by Vallee and others actually works. Those people who experience the DMT seizure and are plunged into the current myth of the Other actually return as apostles of that myth, able to clarify and refine it, and by those means to exert the tuning and control of historical development that may be the purpose of the agency behind the UFOs.
Stress, generalized as an impending sense of historical crisis, may be the factor that induces the UFO/close-contact experience. As the historical crisis deepens the number of contacts will increase until the atemporal portion of the mass psyche has effected enough individuals that there is actually a turning away from the stress-causing course of action. How well is the Superego able to play the role of God? Can it come in saucerian splendor to save the world from the flames at the end of time? Or can it only beckon and warn with visions and dire prophesy? These are questions that we might answer if we diligently explore the states of mind that DMT and psilocybin make available. Perhaps the UFO encounters involve nothing more than an autonomous and negative psychic complex able to emerge during the situation of unusual energy dynamics induced in the psyche by psilocybin. However, a different explainatory approach merges psyche and world by involving a continuum whose modalities bisect each other with equal ease. This is the approach which grants the phenomenological existence of the constructs seen in the Stropharia trance and in UFO encounters. Indeed, the vast and dreamy world that we call imagination, or the unconscious, may merge imperceptibly into autonomously existing worlds we would call ‘hyperdimensional’, indicating the paradox of their simultaneous invisibility and their here-and-nowness in the psilocybin trance with a presence which belies the term hallucination.
Ahead of us lies the future, where we can expect the ingression of the alternative dimension to intensify. It is therefore important for us to have a sense of the powers in that Other world and their shifting agencies. In a traditional society, our exploration of these matters would be firmly imbedded in the extant shamanic mythos concerning these forces. Techniques tried and true would be available to fortify our psychic constitution. Since we are members of a profane society whose relation to the unconscious is one of estrangement, we have no such consolation. No dispelling ritual or words of proven self-empowerment. By reason and intuition we must attempt to conquer the fears that attend journeys into the unknown. But reason and intuition need data with which to construct maps of reality. If we outdistance the inflow of fact we move beyond the safety zone of the conjuring rod of intuition and reason. For these reasons we move slowly and steadily. We are human factors in a multi-variable equation where the shift of unseen parameters can trigger large perturbations and resonances of unexpected types. Knowing this, and knowing how little we do know, we should be excused for this defense of caution when taking to ourselves the visions which the Stropharia brings.
Carl Jung’s ‘Mysterium Coniunctionis’ reminds us of the reality of the situation that insues once the psyche is hooked into making the transference to the alchemical or saucerian goal. Jung, citing Gerhart Dorn, stresses that the materialization of the stone is only a prologue to the experience of the perfected self in a state of illumination. Jung wrote, ‘Though we know from experience that psychic processes are related to material ones, we are not in a position to say in what this relationship consists, or how it is possible at all. Precisely because the psyche and the physical are mutually dependent it has often been conjectured that they may be identical somewhere beyond our present experience.’ Of what does this relationship consist? My own hunch, and it is only a hunch, is that an explicitly spatial dimension – of a co-dimension inclusive of our continuum – allows a hologram of other realized forms of organization, far distant, to become visible at certain levels of quantum resonance in the synaptic field. These levels have been damped by selection in favor of more directly relevant lines of information relating to animal survival. Evolution does not reinforce selectively the ability of an organism to perceive at a distance since such an ability has no selective advantage, unless the information it conveys falls upon the receptors of an organism already sophisicated enough in its use of symbols to abstract concepts for later application in different contexts.
Thus, these quantum resonances carrying intimations of events at a distance only begin to acquire genetic reinforcement once a species has already achieved sufficient sophistication to be called conscious and mind-possessing. The use of hallucinogens can be seen as an attempt at medical engineering which amplifies, for inspection by consciousness, the quantum resonance of the other parts of the spatial continuum holographically at hand. This experience is the vision which the UFOs and psilocybin impart: visions of strange planets, life forms, perspectives and societies, machines, ruins, landscapes. The hierophanies all unfold in a ‘nunc-stans’ that has all space—standing in it—like a frozen hologram. Thus, experimentation with hallucinogens by human beings and the rise in endogenously produced hallucinogens as one advances through the primate phylogeny could both be due to a slow focusing on the phenomenon of imagination. Imagination being the deepening involvement of the species with things beheld but not actually existing in the present at hand.
The conclusion such an idea makes necessary is that it is upon the ideological content of specific visions that empirical attention should center. What are the working details of the worlds whose presence impinges on ours so strongly? What of the beings sometimes confronted often furtively sensed, who seem to have some existence in a world of their own revealed by the psilocybin and in UFO contact? There may exist a vast communication network in the topological nature of things. A network that becomes a fact only for those species or individuals who will but have the intelligence enough to seek this vision. It will by them be found to be persistent in the nature of things. Alchemy thrives in a climate of such ideas. To validate the idea of the worth of the visions of worlds at a distance one must emerge with some idea spawned by the visionary Other but with a utility in the here and now. The wave quantification of the I Ching is the only idea of this sort that I personally have glimpsed in completeness. It took years to elaborate and its relation to the here and now is still elusive. Fragmentary themes abound: symbiosis, saucer-lens vehicles whose possessors navigate the higher topological oceans in our heads. All this could be transference and fantasy. In the classical sense of the word the experimenter with hallucinogens pursues gnosis: privileged knowledge concerning nature and vouchsafed by her in ecstacy.
The history of consciousness is the halting exploration of the once irrational images and processes met in dreams and trance. Such images become concepts and discoveries as information flows through the multiple-continuum of being seeking equilibrium, yet paradoxically carrying everywhere images of ways the flow towards entropy was locally reversed by this being or that society or phenomenon. We are immersed in a holographic ocean of places and ideas. We can understand this to whatever depth we are able. The ocean of images and the intricacy of their connections is infinite. It is perhaps why great genius preceeds by apparent leaps. Because the revolutionary idea which inspires the genius comes upon one complete, entire by itself, from the ocean of mind. History is the story of the search for the intuitive leap that will reveal the very mechanism of that other dimension. The need for such a leap by humanity will grow as we exhaust complexity in all realms save the microphysical and the psychological. My own method has been immersion in the images and self- examination of the phenomenon of tryptamine hallucinogenesis. This means taking the Stropharia psilocybe and pondering just what this all may mean. With confidence that as more people come to share this experience time will deepen our understanding, if not answer all questions. For psilocybin argues that hallucinogens are windows into higher dimensions. That even as a cone can yield circle, ellipse or parabola to an act of two-dimensional sectioning and yet remain intrinsically a cone, so reality is something that changes according to the angle of regarding. It argues that human beings are many forms over vast scales of time, that all life is unified at some level, and all intelligence in the universe are but facets of the mystery called humanness. In probing the Other we shall always come back with images of ourselves. In probing ourselves we shall return with images of the Other. In the phenomenon of being itself no less than in the phenomenon of the UFO encounters we are merely privileged observers of a relationship between what is naively called the world and the transpersonal portion of the human psyche. How this relationship came to be, and what its limitations are, we cannot know until we gain access to the transpersonal and atemporal part of the psyche. Of what this consists we do not know and no hypothesis can be ruled out. My hunch is that if we could really comprehend death then we could understand the UFO. But that neither can be understood unless they are looked at in light of the question, what is humanness? I believe that the transpersonal component of the human psyche is not distinct from matter and that therefore it can literally do anything. It is not subject to the will of any individual. It has a will and an understanding that is orders of magnitude more sophisticated than any one of the individuals who compose it as cells compose a body. It has a plan, glimpsed by individuals only as vision or religious hierophany. Nevertheless, the plan is unfolding. There will be many more UFO sightings, many more close contacts. Our belief systems are undergoing accelerated evolution via increased input from the other. Somewhere ahead of us there is a critical barrier where we will at last have enough data to obtain an integrating insight into the riddle of humanity’s relation to the UFO. I believe that as this happens the childhood of our species will pass away and when this is done we will be free to use the staggering understanding that humankind and the UFO are one.
See also: Files on Terence McKenna