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Author Topic: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
iamrcr
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Post Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: June 29, 2011, 22:32
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Leonard Shlain probably knew about Stoned Ape theory but never mentioned it; I saw an Alex Gray painting in one of his lectures on Google Videos so you may guess what that means. His theories on the origins of language ( see here ) read alongside McKenna's give us a pretty picture of what might have happened:

Human bipedalism, triggered by a need for less energy waste in the new savanna environment of the Pliocene, required controlled pregnancies to avoid birth deaths that would endanger the survival of the species. Psilocybin avoided our extintion by stimulating orgiastic lunar rituals ( at middle doses ) and favoring the survival of populations that had a clear distinction between the hemispheres, and therefore the potential to produce language ( at low doses. visual acuity is a very lateralized, left brain function ).

Hakim Bey ( now writing as Peter Lamborn Wilson ) knew about McKenna but did not seem to have read Shlain. I came to know him only very recently, but in the midst of his Luddite rant that may annoy some of the technophiles gathered around here I found very valuable insights on Göbekli Tepe and early states of human civilization; you may wish to watch them here.

Jonesy
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: August 8, 2011, 10:22
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Iamrcr, thanks for the post and the links. I am definitely going to check out Hakim Bey as I am unfamiliar.
Terence's Stoned Ape theory has been blogged about quite a bit recently. (Also have you seen that Stoned Ape animation video I posted in my blog - pretty sweet) For whatever reason, I always found it one of the less interesting parts of a Terence lecture (that and Timewave Zero). It's a nice argument for the promotion of taking mushrooms of course, hahaha. There was a forgotten episode in human history, yes, probably many. I don't have much faith that we'll be able to fill in the blanks - the remnants lie under the oceans. Meantime I think what's important is how we move forward. So... how DO we???

MRockatans-
ky
Elf
Posts: 13
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: May 6, 2012, 09:38
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"It's a nice argument for the promotion of taking mushrooms of course, hahaha." You touch a solid point j-sy, perhaps gingerly. Close look at stoned apes 'theory' shows: theory schmeory. In sharp focus, good lighting -- it proves to be a sermon in disguise.

And as such, a religious message: "Be grateful, give thanks for psilocybin. We owe our evolutionary origins, and thus our very humanity -- to the mushrooms. It wasn't a monolith (like in 2001) that catalyzed our evolution, nor some Divinity (who, "In the Beginning" etc ...)."

And with the inspirational blessing comes, a conversionary mission to go forth and spread - a call to action: "Our planet is now in peril (sky falling down type) - we face a crisis of overwhelming urgency. And there's only one hope: we need to get people tripping, so they'll wake up and smart up (like us)..."

Seems we are witnessing, for better or worse -- a sort of proto-cult emerging, based on veneration of the icon, and complete with preferred communion-like sacrament (but you don't have to trip, as long as you 'get it' and affirm, join the chorus). As in church services, the meat and potatoes are choir practices, repetitive reiteration of particular teachings or tenets. As with the 'message of Christ' (as its called) -- insistent affirming and re-affirmation. Not of salvation, but of the brilliance and genius, and how inspiring and amazing and .. etc.

Likewise - parallel flipside of the coin: an intensifying hostility in McKenna-veneration is increasingly evident. It resembles, unpleasantly, the fanaticism typical of fundies and cultists toward 'outsiders' -- infidels, 'haters and doubters' i.e., the unimpressed, the critically-informed. Aggression has really become front and center, sometimes overtly expressed out-front, otherwise back-behind 'trickster' ploys -- subversion, subterfuge, duplicity etc -- pattern visibly verifiable, all around. Doesn't take much to see it, you don't have to go far.

Being emphatic is big part of the style - "Obviously" and "most certainly" and "undoubtedly" and etc. No doubts, and no doubting. Between the lines, clear message audible in a whisper, approximately thus: T. McKenna's 'genius' (or whatever) is undeniably self-evident, and thus - its not up for debate. Its not like a matter of some question - its established fact ("the fact is" - often used phrase). Its beyond 'reasonable doubt.' Jury has spoken, the verdict is in. We're passed deliberation, conclusion is final, we've gotten a ruling. Case closed.

A 'subliminal teaching' or 'suggestion' (to borrow from hypno-speak) of this strange rhetoric is: permission denied. Questioning is bad manners, nothing to accept or tolerate. And to do so can only express bad intent, ill purpose. Questioning is disallowed by social control measures of reward and punishment, taboo and sanction -- that's how questioning is effectively excluded; except on, theatrical purposes (permitted), to quickly dismiss the very idea of any question. Among a thousand ironies, the mantra repeated monotonously: "Terence told us to question everything."

What meets the eye resembles Jesus services, in most ways. Since 1970's, we've had them exploiting (or "borrowing") from science selectively, too, like stoned apes etc -- the general idea of evolution and whatever concepts, vocab. They've done same and did it first - crafted their own patented pretend evolutionary 'theory' (ID, Sci Crea etc) too. And theory schmeory, its promotional hype to fool and beguile -- in order to spread the message. Grabbing after 'science-like' authority, to elicit gasps of awe from the gullible 'wows' and credulous interest that its "possible" ... (you don't have to believe it, only "consider it" as a "serious possibility" etc).

Religious rites aren't about questioning or 'considering' or theorizing. They're about conviction, being blessed and inspired, swept away by it all. Whether "Lord" or "genius;" "Jesus" or "Terence" - the cultish or fanatic-like aspects of TMism appear to be deepening, hardening and narrowing, taking shape more and more. It harbors an anti-social hostility that only gets worse over years, more people remarking on it (I notice).

Nice 'raw data' display case: http://www.realitysandwich.com/terence_mckennas_stoned_apes -- this article tests McKennism's waters, by putting no penny in the collection plate, while methodically dissecting stoned apes. To comment on McKenna's writings ('ideas') without a single word of tribute or praise -- is the ultimate sacrilege. And sure enough, it triggers rage, furious 'counter-attack' ---instructive, and darkly revealing. Gale-force ad hominem rage rushes in to try and provoke, troll, instigate flame war -- tryin to crash and burn such discussion, incinerate it (in vain). Drag it down to petty personals.

Raises another criminal question -- how 'inspiring'? And, what kind of inspiration exactly (if it must be called such)? But such observations, and questions they raise -- is verboten. Its not a discussion that can be held or joined. Its excluded, preemptively disqualified.

The purpose of church services is not specifically to doubt or critically question its teachings. Its not to doubt whether Jesus is Lord - but to say I believe, I believe. And give testimonials. Of course there are places one can question Jesus veneration - religious studies in college, or neighborhood pub (it could be done here, its permitted). But not in the blessed circle though - and may the circle be unbroken (i.e., better 'respect' it or else ...).

The hardening and narrowing of the TM following is visible, not only in ever-angrier Jeering 'doubters' (clique's preferred term for 'critical inquirers'). Cheers and testimonials increasingly sound identical to televangelist 'moment of broken-ness, followed by seeing the light ... (and coming to Jesus).' To a ridiculous extent. Reading chronologically the 'about Terence' discussions -- reviews of his books for example (amazon) -- hard not to notice. FOOD OF THE GODS, most recent at amazon ("LIfe Changing" - title) recapitulates the exact line, almost verbatim, that we've heard over and over -- on 700 CLUB. The testimonials are sounding more and more identical, to a remarkable extent they didn't use to:

"Before I found out about Terence Mckenna I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life... I was very very anti-drug. A complete rationalist who disregarded anything that couldn't be proven ... Enter my first Psilocybin experience and Terence Mckenna. This was the first book of his I read and it completely changed my life..." (April 14, 2012).

Reviewer was Lost, but now he's Found. Was Blind, but now can See ... hallelujah?

John-
Deapth
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Posts: 23
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: May 6, 2012, 11:28
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You make some good points there. I've thought about this too. In a sense: Am I a TM fanboy? The guy has passed away afterall and times have changed greatly. And what he said is what people liked and still like to hear. For example something like: Lets all get high man and have orgies basically! Haha!

I liked the way you put it.

"Our planet is now in peril (sky falling down type) - we face a crisis of overwhelming urgency. And there's only one hope: we need to get people tripping, so they'll wake up and smart up (like us)..."

That is what people might have gathered from his talks. Yea. But I'm not sure that it was his intention to communicate exactly that. Who knows? He said a lot of things. It provided him some income for a while as I've read.

A TM Cult is the last thing I would like to see, and I dont like fanboyism wherever it may appear.I'm here for conversation and somehow people who know TM and his work are great to talk to!

MRockatans-
ky
Elf
Posts: 13
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: May 6, 2012, 12:54
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I admire your reply JD, an intelligent one I think. And moreover, not without conscience and awareness. Thank you for your perspective, I believe our world could use more like that. You may have a lot to offer the TM circles, if you can bring that kind of light to bear. Its needed, I believe, and in short supply. Nor is it encouraged. No matter how its phrased, I find, its not always appreciated -- incites flap and flutter, uneasy clucking, at very least, in the coop.

Its not that I agree or disagree with particular points you make per se. The core is, I appreciate the integrity of clarity, and your candor. Applause and bravo.

BTW (in case of interest): quote you excerpted, complimented (thanks again), is my paraphrase of various passages and quotations from TM -- boiling down the essential message. Best single ref for it, where he makes it clearest, might be the end of TRUE HALLUCINATIONS. He lays out his fear ... that if his theory's wrong, then "our world is destined for a very final and ordinary death ...." Yikes, he better be right, or our goose is cooked? He counters that with his hope ... that we may live to see .. etc. The hope/fear equation retreads the fate of the immortal soul, damnation against salvation. We can be inspired by fear of hell, or by hopes of heaven, which lights fire under us.

There are so many remarkable features in the TM ouvre. For example (end of TRUE H again): 'we have loosed demons, and reason has grown too feeble to save us!' -- directing us away from reason or rationality as our "better angels" -- toward carrot and stick. Soliciting personal investment in hope and fear, holding reason up to suspicion, almost recrimination. This poses an interesting inversion of scifi's core "Message of ET to People of Earth" (first heard it from Michael Rennie, 1951):

"You must overcome fear and anger, learn to act wisely and intelligently, follow reason not react. As long as your aggression has been limited to your planet, it's posed no issue to us. But now you have rocket ships and atomic weapons, power to destroy whole planets. If you bring your violence into outer space, you will encounter us and have to be destroyed. Your species stands at a fateful threshold. You now face a cosmic test of your intelligence and worth. You must evolve, overcome your animal past and achieve wisdom you need if you're to survive. Otherwise, you must be destroyed - perhaps by your own hand. You have thinking to do, a decision to make. Go to your homes, I leave you now, in peace and anticipation. We await to see what your answer will be."

Question you note of what TM intended is, as I find (I wonder if you'd think so?) -- perhaps best illuminated by 'the human condition' (as they all it in college). Individually and collectively, us two-leggeds are always conflicted, not just by each other in trying to relate, but from within. We're somehow essentially self-opposed to some degree. Whatever we consciously think, we may harbor unconscious impulses, opposed. And sometimes - - oh the humanity? -- we can be almost evenly split. Do we mean X or Y? Are we serious, or joking? Maybe part of us does/is, and another part doesn't/isn't.

Our human imperfection is well known. Yet, seems to remain eternally unrealized, as to full extent at least. It seems there's a dark side, inherently ours as much as the light - and so hard to face or own. We mostly want to be Obiwan Kenobi, good - and in large part we are. But there's a touch of Darth Vader in all of us (allegorized in Luke's plight). To the extent we understand the challenge we face, well and good. It comes from not only others around us, easy to see -- but from within, our own inner evil genie (sometimes hiding from us). Always wanting out of his bottle, use us for his bidding - and we've nobody but ourselves to wrestle him into his bottle, if we can.

I believe there is a huge amount of unexplored discussion territory. Much as with history of religion. But, not the subject matter of religious services, its a different kind of interest, critically observant and questioning. I welcome your input and discussion, with good regards and hailing frequencies.

Jonesy
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: May 6, 2012, 13:55
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Are you saying that TM advocated - EVERYBODY taking shrooms? and that if we do the world will be saved? Because that just isn't true. That is a serious over simplification and misunderstanding, and something I hear from fundamentalist Christians(and pretty much any ideology that thinks drugs are "evil") - they say things like that - without diving into to the TM lectures and hearing the raw data first hand.

I'm not going to defend the Stoned Ape theory. Because it's just a theory and I look at it that way. I find it amusing as a possibility among many others. I don't think we'll ever know what the catalyst to higher brain power was. I also don't buy into the Timewave - as I've made clear in this forum in the past - but I don't think we need to blast TM for these ideas. (are you blasting him? I can't tell but it seems like it.) I think these ideas should be appreciated as possible POV's and fodder for long discussiosn into the night over Turkish Coffee and cherry-flavored Hookah.

Lastly, I just want to make it clear that TM did not advocate that EVERYONE take these substances. He stated over and over again in his lectures that - he disagreed with Leary on that point - he felt that NOT EVERYBODY should take these - that a select few serious explorers only should take this plunge (as in Shamanism) - and do so to retrieve information/ideas that our culture may find helpful for our cause. (a la the "parenting one child" idea that TM claimed to get from the mushroom). OK? So then one could say because of that - in the pantheon of psychedelic drug pushers TM was actually on the conservative side. (do these things ALONE - do them INFREQUENTLY but in high doses - they're NOT for everyone. etc.) Can we cut him a little slack here on this issue?

foxfire
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: May 7, 2012, 06:22
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It's fairly clear from the length and style of MRockatansky's posts that he is a sockpuppet of Brian Akers. Akers' article on this subject at Reality Sandwich now has five pages of comments, and about half of the text consists of Aker's anti-McKenna tirades (which he often attempts to defend by appeal to "freedom of speech"). Here's a brief extract from his 2nd comment on page 1 of the comments:

To me, angry comments illustrate the impact and nature of TM celebration (as cult of personality, basically). Fanaticism is a concern no matter what its occasion, with good reason I suggest.

For some reason known best to his therapist (if he has one, and if not, then he should) Brian Akers greatly dislikes Terence McKenna. One of his tricks is to portray Terence as a "cult leader" and then to criticize him at great length for this (it seems that when Akers starts writing he finds it difficult to stop).

Given half a chance, Brian Akers will repeat on this forum everything he has said on Reality Sandwich. Anyone who looks through his comments there will find that they soon become tiresome (not just for their length but also for their style and content), though psychiatrists might find them of some interest.

John-
Deapth
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: May 7, 2012, 07:28
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One of his tricks is to portray Terence as a "cult leader" and then to criticize him at great length for this

I wonder whats in it for people to do that? Cant figure it out.

foxfire
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: May 7, 2012, 07:49
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Actually the word I was looking for to describe Brian Akers' style (and which I could not quite find) is "sickening". He writes in a pseudo-genteel manner which disguises his malicious intent, and is always careful to compliment his critics, as in

I admire your reply JD, an intelligent one I think.

And when he criticizes Terence's fans for what he claims is

an intensifying hostility ... [which] resembles, unpleasantly, the fanaticism typical of fundies and cultists toward 'outsiders'

he is clearly projecting his own fanatic hostility onto them. As he says,

Doesn't take much to see it, you don't have to go far.

No, just read his comments above or those at Reality Sandwich.

MRockatans-
ky
Elf
Posts: 13
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Post Re: Stoned Ape Theory : McKenna + Shlain + Hakim Bey
on: May 7, 2012, 09:46
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Am I the only one familiar, from critical study -- not practice and performance -- with standard methods of disinfo and propaganda? There are so many good reading sources, highly relevant and interesting in this context. For ex, UFO investigator, J. Carrion's blog "followthemagicthread" ...

The essentially anti-social nature of TM "inspiration" is clearly in evidence, surfacing here again. All it takes is to check it out. Its easy to independently verify by simple inquiry, application of key questions -- the kind obvious to the critically-informed, as biologists routinely address to Sci Creas. Boy do their "blessings" go kablooey too. There's nothing remotely unique in the TM inspiration. Its total re-tread of same old same old, tired stuff.

The "content" of its "theories" (its preachings or teachings) prove to be mere relational-tactical manipulation, convert, "make friends and influence people." And if that fails, attack. Despite Party Line and story of "ideas" its easy to discover the dismal truth, from what meets the eye. The first layer to peel back is the beatific mask of hyper-cordial affectation of "nice." When successful, the "friendly act" achieves subliminal dissuasion, works as an 'inhibitor' of any questioning it wants to avoid (Flight reaction). After all, questioner's purpose is to find out, not cast a blue note or make someone unhappy.

But a sharper and more determined inquirer won't be put off trail so easy. So, the "nice" act doesn't always work.
And when it fails, critical questioning isn't deflected. Only in what happens then do we see what's under the mask. Tactic shifts abruptly, staged "reversal" -- rather a spectacle. But, don't take my word for it. No need. Look for yourself - if you dare. Its all easily observed and confirmed (using "look" method).

TMism harbors a familiar Modus Operandi, of "relational scramble" -- "Tactical Surprise" ploy is a central feature in common among ideo-aggressions. The "friendly" diversion expresses covert Clear Intent to "turn question around onto questioner" i.e., to deflect "inconvenient" question. The "scramble" ploy tries to induce confusion, dismay, in the clutch -- provoke, get a reaction, change the subject etc. But it only works on those not wise to it. And for some reason I don't feel confused or dismayed, this case (need I say?).

The Achilles heel of these mind-mess operations, is their total unreadiness to face questions not in their script. They've no capability, once tactics fail. They're so unprepared, unable, and unwilling to even tolerate, much less engage with, critical discussion. They may "theorize" a good game, but the only capabilities they have, when their manipulations fail -- is Fight or Flight.

The evidence's in plain view, and unpleasantly consistent (thanks to those helping illustrate, whether intended as such or not). That a "theory" is a crock, jive turkey -- no big concern. Interest and concern lie in how that crock works, what its effects are, as directly observable. These "propaganda generators" instill and foster animosity, manipulative impulses etc -(such as foxfire's - awesome example), inability to relate eroded. So, the core of this unfortunate operation proves to be deepening alienation, that seeks to "introduce others" (I borrow that phrase from another thread here, whose title reflects the conversionary, missionary-like focus of TMist aggression).

Again, same as it ever was. As I've long since found ...

Whether its Sci Crea promo, forms of cultism (including ET-contactee type), fanaticism of the hard right etc -- we can see the same 'ad hominem' attack styles used to personalize the context of critical questioning, in an anti-social way. I've mentioned the deepening/hardening hostility of the TM preoccupation. And as if to provide illustrations here, in rush my loyal attackers.

Free speech proves to be quite a problem for any mind-control agenda. Every power-seeking fascist regime in history, step one, is to take over and control the newspapers and radio broadcasters. Whether we call it though programming, brain-washing, whatever -- stopping any who would question, silencing inquiry, is a prerequisite. So, any dissemination of 'inconvenient info" has to be stopped, pronto. If possible. Cults and fundamentalism, ET contact etc ... these are fertile feeding grounds of authoritarianism, fascism. Trying to stop a discussion from which others, listening, might hear "the wrong thing" and start thinking -- spell broken. People saying "what beautiful robes"? etc

The cultish or fanatic-like hostility of TM enthusiasts (as I cited in my above post) appears to be well exemplified now by volunteers who've weighed in -- right on cue. There are any number of psychopaths I've found revelling and basking in TM-preoccupation, as facilitated by a lack of conscience and values it expresses - no ethos, anti-human. So far, indicators are that TMism mainly boils down to a pathological sociocultural pattern, deepening and worsening, actively preached and promoted.

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