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True Hallucinations

True Hallucinations

by Terrance K. McKenna

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. (May)
Library Journal
Unlike McKenna's last book, the preposterous Food of the Gods ( LJ 2/15/92), this work is more an adventure story than an anthropological treatise. It is the chronicle of the author's 1971 trip to the Amazon jungle in search of secret tribal hallucinogens. While his band of hippie adventurers never do find the fabled hallucinogen ``oo-koo-he,'' they do manage to ingest an incredible amount of native psilocybin mushrooms, which trigger mystical and psychic experiences. It is hard to accept McKenna's conclusion that something unexplainable really did happen in the Amazon. Instead, his book reads like an account of an especially chaotic drug experience. Pseudoscientific ramblings concerning the nature of time serve only to move this book farther out toward the fringes. McKenna's story will be of interest to certain subcultures, but the appeal will not extend to most general readers. An optional purchase for public libraries.-- Eric Hinsdale, Trinity Univ. Lib., San Antonio
Donna Seaman
McKenna, the guru of psilocybin and author of "Food of the Gods" , may be quite mad, or quite brilliant, or an alluring mix of the two, but he is definitely a spellbinding storyteller. His newest book is a perplexing and extraordinary account of his first experiences with magic mushrooms, in a tiny mission settlement in the Amazonian jungle in 1971. McKenna, his brother, and several hippie friends were seeking more exotic drugs, but the humble little mushroom more than satisfied their quest for illumination. What transpired was either a profoundly psychotic episode or a galvanizing glimpse into the true nature of time and mind. As McKenna attempts to articulate the eerie revelations, visions, and telepathy he shared with his raving brother, and the radical theory of time he has since developed, he draws upon the metaphoric languages of alchemy, metaphysics, quantum mechanics, and fractals. His wild and disarming ontological narrative manages to embrace UFO sightings, the "I Ching", odd facts about insects, and the works of James Joyce as well as inexplicable yet compelling anecdotes about related adventures in Nepal, Indonesia, and Hawaii. In short, it's a trip.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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1st ed

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