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Erik Davis - High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

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By Erik Davis
Narrated by Erik Davis
Published by Tantor Media in 2019 (9781907222870)
English, 20 hours 51 minutes, Unabridged

An exploration of the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson.

A study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson, High Weirdness charts the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality that arose from the American counterculture of the 1970s. These three authors changed the way millions of readers thought, dreamed, and experienced reality—but how did their writings reflect, as well as shape, the seismic cultural shifts taking place in America?

In High Weirdness, Erik Davis—America's leading scholar of high strangeness—examines the published and unpublished writings of these vital, iconoclastic thinkers, as well as their own life-changing mystical experiences. Davis explores the complex lattice of the strange that flowed through America's West Coast at a time of radical technological, political, and social upheaval to present a new theory of the weird as a viable mode for a renewed engagement with reality.


does it mention the CIA role in the LSD scene?
edit to add
just ordered some of this
for me and a couple of friends for after the lockdown.
I do like to squeegee the old third eye now and then.
very cathartic. just as long as you don't do it too much and get carried away with yourself.
Having a wee group that you can trust always makes it a better journey

I just got this one recently. Erik Davis mentioned it on a webinar held in tribute to the 20th anniversary of Terence McKenna's passing. I think it focuses mostly on Terence McKenna, Philip Dick and Robert Anton Wilson.

But certainly CIA was involved in those early days. Some people, like Jan Irvin, even think that McKenna himself was involved with the CIA, but I am not sure that has been proven.

That was an interesting read.
You know Ken Kesey and his acid fueled trips were really the result of his interactions with MKUltra, right? Which is ironic because they paid him to take acid but in the end he turned out to be a real wild card for the establishment. I often wondered if McKenna fell into that, too. (By the way, the Unabomber also had the same experience as Kesey -- and look how that one turned out!)

I actually agree at the end that it was the mushrooms who recruited hiim -- I can say that because they've recruited me, too! And likely the bunch of us here.

onwards, mates!

gonna start going through his stuff again. fascinating man but never watched/listened to much of his stuff, especially recently, it's been a long time so i reckon I'll catch up with that too.. always liked Philip K Dick and Robert Anton Wilson's gentle nature, humour and knowledge are things i have always liked.

I'm curious what was everybody's first introduction to McKenna -- mine was a random download sometime around 2000 where he performs Timewave Zero with Alien dreamtime (seems to have been first released in 1993 and he died in 2000 so it is possible I got a seed from someone celebrating his life). I read Erik Davis before that so it is possible I heard of him but this was my first experience of him. It was pretty weird but, oddly, is fairly consistent with my interest in shamanism through to today -- it is the poetic, eye-opening side of him that was so enriching. The second thing that really made me appreciate him was his lecture on alchemy. He made it far more accessible than Jung ever did.

Thanks to TheCorsair for this upload.

I stumbled across a widely-circulated batch of Terence McKenna mp3s on a file-sharing program called Soulseek (which I still use all the time for music downloads). I probably heard his interviews with Art Bell on Coast to Coast AM first, but started to listen to all of his lectures as well. Many became my favorites, like "Eros and the Eschaton" which is a full lecture about his novelty theory and TimeWave Zero. I also really enjoyed his "Stoned Ape Theory", which has more recently been promoted by renowned and reputable mycologist Paul Stamets. I collected most of McKenna's physical books as well but have given many away as gifts in the meantime.

He's another one who has had a huge influence on so many of us. Have you read up on occasionalism by Whitehead? McKenna turned me on to it and I agree with him: it is the "bee's knees" (as he says). It is an important component of my overall philosophy now. There is actually a similar rabbithole one can get lost in back in medieval times through the Persian philosopher Al-Ghazali. Bit different because it is in an Islamic context but it also leads to an occasionalist experience.

Started listening to Erik Davis last night. Nice to hear him speak. Still not as good as techgnosis, in my humble opinion (and still way too pro-california) but a good informative listen, nevertheless. Thanks again for sharing such good quality

Process philosophy is not easy to catch at first, at least for me, until I came to realize that Whitehead was talking about a philosophy of organisms -- which are not logical or mathematical. Organic lifeforms adhere to an unfolding of processes. His conception of science is a century ahead of other physics. Except I think David Bohm got it.

McKenna took a form of that philosophy and emphasized novelty. This makes sense from the stoned point of view but I actually find more truth in Whitehead. It's good stuff.

Refreshing my memory I see that the same ideas also lead back to Leibniz and the great monad. Love that.

For me it was AlienDreamTime as well.

can't remember what it was to be honest.
but just downloaded his audio and video collections
Being prone to psychadelics i find other people experiences very interesting, and he's quite an interesting guy.
about twice or maybe three times a year me and a very close group get together and have a groovy experience adn we allk have our trip,, some parts shared, some parts just to ourselves but it's an incredibly close experience. intimate in it's way.
listening to articulate people's recollections and impressions of their journeys are always interesting and the also what they take from it.
not that i agree or disagree.. it's not that kinda thing. it's just very interesting to hear people that can.
I find that really when i try to explain it i can't really unless it was one of the four of us that trip together.
I always find myself calmer and more grounded afterwards

You wrote: "I always find myself calmer and more grounded afterwards"
That is so true!
If you like Philip K Dick I recommend McKenna's afterword which appeared in the book "In Pursuit of Valis: Selections from the Exegesis [of Philip K Dick]"

i think i pretty much have the works of Dick of audiobook so i'll check there.