Tag Archives: Graham Hancock

Ex TEDx West Hollywood


And watch the 4-minute sizzle reel we produced from what became a cheekier affair after the cancellation:



Daniel Pinchbeck: From Psychedelics to Consciousness to Saving the World

Daniel Pinchbeck is a quintessential bridge figure — between the shamanic opening to a larger reality (his first book was Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism), the crop circles as another opening to what’s beyond our Earth-bound awareness (his second book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, is a metaphysical epic that binds together not only crop circles, but quantum theory, psychedelic drugs, and the contention that 2012 portends a global shift in consciousness), and solutions to our global challenges (his movie, 2012: Time for Change, and his newest book, Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age, deal with the sustainable future we must achieve if humanity is to thrive).

These lines got dropped from the masthead in a conversion of this blog to a new platform. They describe my intention with all that I do, for which this post is an emblematic example:

“Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts . . . they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric.”
-Edna St. Vincent Millay

To take the looming here one step further, here’s Daniel in an exchange with Graham Hancock, another superstar whom you find me speaking about these days (do a search to find posts about him):

“Retelling the Past, Reimagining the Future: A 2012 Dialogue with Daniel Pinchbeck & Graham Hancock” brings together two leading counterculture thinkers, Daniel Pinchbeck author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age, and Breaking Open the Head, and Graham Hancock author of Fingerprints of the Gods, Supernatural, and most recently the fantasy adventure novel, Entangled.

Pinchbeck and Hancock discuss the implications of the Mayan Calendar “end-times” date 2012 which Hancock first drew to the attention of his readers in Fingerprints of the Gods published in 1995. Hancock’s evidence for a great lost civilisation wiped out in a global cataclysm 12,500 years ago is explored in depth together with his suggestion that the survivors of that civilisation may have sought to pass down a message to the future and indeed specifically to us in the twenty-first century — a warning that the next great lost civilisation may be our own.

From the geology of the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Egypt to the mysteries of the Ark of the Covenant, from ancient maps showing the world as it looked during the last Ice Age to out-of-place artifacts indicative of high technology in ancient times, the discussion ranges widely across some of the most intriguing evidence for an immense forgotten episode in human history, and moves on to consider the spiritual crisis of the modern age. Could a new paradigm emerge from our present state of chaos? Hancock and Pinchbeck see hope in efforts by people all around the planet to reclaim sovereignty over their own consciousness, and identify a powerful role for shamanistic visionary plants such as Ayahuasca and Psilocybin in ushering in a gentler, less toxic, more nurturing state of mind. “It does seem like when you ingest them,” says Pinchbeck, “you get a lot of messages about how to reintegrate into the larger community of life.”

Says Daniel about Breaking Open the Head:

While psychedelics are demonized and repressed in the US today, the visionary compounds found in plants are the spiritual sacraments of tribal cultures around the world. From the Bwiti in Gabon to the Secoya in Ecuador, the psychedelic plants are sacred because they awaken the mind to other levels of awareness. They are gateways to a spiritual – or multi-dimensional, or holographic – vision of the universe.

Breaking Open the Head is a passionate inquiry into this deep division. The book follows two tracks. On the one hand, I tell the story of the encounters between the modern consciousness of the West and these visionary sacraments – by thinkers and self-proclaimed avatars such as Antonin Artaud, Walter Benjamin, Allen Ginsberg, and Terence McKenna. This culminates in an analysis of the psychedelic chaos of the 1960s, which I describe as a failed mass-cultural voyage of shamanic initiation. But interest in psychedelics did not vanish with the 1960s. Outside of the mainstream, the psychedelic gnosis has been pursued into the present by brilliant botanists, chemists, psychonauts, and philosophers.

The second track of my book is a scrupulous recording of my own investigations into these outlaw compounds. For the book, I went through a tribal initiation with the Bwiti, a tribal group in the small West African country of Gabon. The initiation involved eating iboga, a psychedelic which lasts for thirty hours. I visited the master shamans of the Secoya Indians in the Ecuadorean Amazon, who sing to the spirits throughout all-night ayahuasca ceremonies. I found a psychedelic utopia in the barren Black Rock desert of Nevada, where the Burning Man festival draws 25,000 people each year for a shamanic revival crossing the Ancient Mysteries with Pop Art spectacle. I visited a Mazatec shaman in Oaxaca, Mexico, and tried the super-potent hallucinogen DMT at a conference in Palenque. In the process, I had experiences that convinced me, beyond any doubt, of the limitations of the current paradigm of “rational” materialism.

Thus, Breaking Open the Head charts my personal transformation from jaded Manhattan journalist to grateful citizen of a multi-dimensional cosmos. Today, I strongly suspect that mysticism – the archaic “spiritual technologies” lost to the West – will be the applied science of the New Aeon.

One of the most amazing interviews Whitley Strieber ever has done

You people who didn’t have the treat of listening to Graham Hancock in L.A. last week, as I did at one of his talks, you are in luck. He’s just done a radio show with Whitley Strieber, and you can listen to it here. No excuses. It’s an order. There are few people who are saying things that are as interesting or as important. That he is a doll of a person is icing on the cake — you will hear it. He’s in my handful who I’d like to get into my hot tub for a serious contemplation of who we are and what we’re doing here.

Whitley already came to dinner, albeit at a table, after what he said about my movie.
“Suzanne Taylor has created one of the most magnificent, startlingly brilliant DVDs on the phenomenon ever produced. BUY THE DVD: Brilliant, groundbreaking crop formation documentary. Incredibly beautiful and powerful.”
You have to be a Whitley subscriber to get his radio show that I did some months ago (and that’s a very good idea!), when he put that blurb on his website, but for two weeks you can listen to Graham free. LISTEN UP!
After I wrote what’s above, I got on Whitley’s site to see how to listen. I had just trusted it would be good, seeing as it was Graham and Whitley. And look what Whitley has put up:
In this stunner for Unknowncountry.com subscribers, Graham Hancock talks about the lost human world of the deep past, that was destroyed 12,000 years ago in a tremendous cataclysm. He describes the over 200 dives he has made off the coast of Japan at Yonaguni, exploring the sunken ruins there, where he has found a gigantic sculptured human face, carved canals, and all manner of evidence that this immense structure is actually of human construction.

This is one of the most amazing interviews we have ever done for Unknowncountry, and is not to be missed. Graham says that we are at the edge of a time of incredible change, possibly involving another crustal shift, but that we can affect what happens in some very profound and surprising ways.

If you listen to nothing else on Unknowncountry.com, listen to this.

Not a subscriber? Get started today. [Click here].

Graham’s new book, that he talks about, is “Entangled,” and you can get it here.