TOWARDS 2012

A recently unearthed calendar produced in Britain just prior to 1947 shows that the benighted folk of the post-War era believed our world would end on December 31st of that year; similarly, the calendar of the ancient Mayans – ah the ancient Mayans! whose beliefs and inventions underpin so much of modern Western society – proves conclusively that the world will actually end on December 21, 2012. Most people have heard this by now, certainly more than have heard the name of Terence McKenna (1946-2000), one of the leading promulgators of the 2012 myth. One fact about Mr. McKenna that never receives nearly as much attention as it deserves is that next year wasn’t his first choice for Armageddon: in an afterword to “In Pursuit Of Valis: Selections From The Exegesis” (ed. Lawrence Sutin), McKenna recounts how, on his 25th birthday, November 16, 1971, he found himself alone in the Amazon jungle full of wild ideas: “I knew with perfect clarity that the world of time, the illusion of history was ending.” Dig it! He was earnestly and without a flicker of doubt awaiting “the implosion… of the entire multidimensional continuum of space and time.” Hot shit! But how did he *know* the world was ending, how did he *KNOW*? “The Logos assured me.” The Logos assured him!

The day came and went, and so should have McKenna’s capacity for self-deluding nonsense. But no, he did what they all do, he knocked the date forwards a few decades – Did I say 1971? Oh silly me, I *meant* 2012 – and indulged in some barefaced fiddlefucking: “There was only one small incident that might subsequently be construed… to support my position.” Yeah? An incident to support the position that the world was going to end on November 16 1971? Go on Tel, what was it? “Unknown to me, a struggling, overweight SF writer, an idol of mine since my teens [=Philip K Dick], discovered the next day that his house had been broken into.” Give up the day-job, McKenna. You really should have done.

See, when it’s some Christian nutter scheduling the Apocalypse, I don’t mind – let him make himself look stupid, go for it bozo. But the anti-psychedelic position holds that these drugs rot the brain, and here’s some big-time brain-rot from a big-time fan of DMT and psilocybin, here are sacraments being abused for the sake of some poisonous deluded anti-life cultism. Not, for sure, that McKenna ever presented himself thus: apart from an occasional slip in which he would lament our “awful physics” his books are mostly filled with exquisitely written gibberish about Love and hyperdimensional objects and the most glorious states of transcendence. But the fact is, this was a man who looked deep into the world… and wanted very much for it to be over.