2012/1/23 – Terence McKenna’s 2012 End of History

Terence McKenna: Tripping the Timewave Fantastic

The late Terence McKenna, was a  DMT enthusiast. drug smuggler, philosopher, occultist, lecturer, writer  and “pro-mind-altering psychonaut,” who in the 1990’s, claimed that through divination of the I Ching, the Mayan Calendar, computer models and copious ingestion of psychedelic drugs, predicted that on December 22, 2012 at precisely 11:10 pm, the world as we know it will end. This prediction was the culmination of a 1971 psychedelic experience McKenna had in jungles of the Amazon, where he claimed an alien intelligence imparted to him the  mathematical key that led to McKenna’s theory of time he termed, “Timewave,”  conceived as a historical dialectic of “novelty” and “habit” which would end in a “singularity” in November 2012. When McKenna caught wind that others had selected December 2012 as the endpoint of history, McKenna adjusted (err… “corrected” – or more to the point, moved the date of) his calculations to the winter solstice December 2012.

It was McKenna’s theory that the Mayans somehow were able to predict the end of their civilization, which more or less did occur with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. Contrary to popular “Mayanist” belief, (“Mayanist” being the sect of the New Age that believes the Mayans were timekeepers without peer – although the Babylonians, Celts and Chinese were just as meticulous) the Mayans never “predicted” anything like an “apocalypse” or an “end times” scenario. Yes, they were able to follow and predict certain astrological movements, but nothing as ascribed to them by the 2012 “end-of-the-world” New Age cottage industry. McKenna created his “Timezone” prophecy without any factual data at all. Instead McKenna relied on his own “intuition,” drug use and the I-Ching to create one of the biggest pseudo scientific farces of the 21st century. And the most amazing thing is that there are people will want to make this illusion true for themselves. McKenna was a believer of fulfilled prophecy and that psychedelic drug use was essential to getting behind the framework of our consensus reality, so he backwards-engineered a perspective that took both views into account and made them real for himself (and others). It was h opinion that the apes who first tripped on mushrooms became the “first shamen” and helped take the species to an evolutionary step forward in the eventual design of Homo sapiens. [2]  But none of this stoner scientific speculation  is real. It couldn’t be, because what we have here is a case of projection and opinion made true by the force of belief through a cult of personality. And as we tick closer to December 21 (or 22 or 23), we come closer to the welcomed death of these fantastic fairy tales. Now, that’s an eschatology I could get behind.


[1] http://www.ralph-abraham.org/talks/transcripts/hyperspace.html

[2] McKenna, Terence, “Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution”(1992)


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