[Ibogaine] Daniel Pinchbeck's new book in NY Times

Krista Vaughan krista.vaughan at gmail.com
Mon Jun 19 13:43:41 EDT 2006

The NY Times is whatever, I liked the snide reviewer, he was funny. It
is kind of a shame that the counter culture ends up with the punches
meant for Daniel, but I think that's the whole point of Daniel, being
an obnoxious ass is his schtick and how he gets attention and sells
products. I read or tried to read Breaking Open the Head, what he says
is more or less a rehash of Terrence Mckenna with all humor and self
awareness surgically removed.

IMHO Daniel isn't a bad writer, he just doesn't seem to write about
anything he knows, for someone who keeps writing about love,
togetherness and higher states, he sure doesn't look like he even
tries to live his words. His writing on psychedelics does make me want
to go in the opposite direction, whatever direction that happens to
be, so I don't think he's doing anyone much of a service by picking
that subject matter.

OTOH he is getting reviewed in the NY Times and I have to guess many
people will hate the Jarhead author reviewer, which is probably
exactly the reason they had him review Daniel's book. When all's said
and done, everybody got some extra attention ;-)


On 6/19/06, Mark Corcoran <mcorcoran27 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> he still sucks.
>  ________________________________
>  From: HSLotsof at aol.com
> Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2006 22:48:40 -0400
> To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
> Subject: Re: [Ibogaine] Daniel Pinchbeck's new book in NY Times
> Good or bad, when you get that much play in the NY Times it has to be worth
> a fortune.
> Howard
> In a message dated 6/18/06 9:55:30 PM, vector620022002 at yahoo.com writes:
> Here, this is for all the people who seem to have been under whelmed by
> Daniel's behavior at the last ibogaine conf. The NY Times panned his
> book, taking special note to trash how poorly he conveyed his ibo
> experiences.
> On the other hand, they did take the time to trash him and he did get
> into the NY Times.
> Review summed up: shut up, you suck.
> Longer version follows.
> .:vector:.
> http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/18/books/review/18swofford.html
> June 18, 2006
> '2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl,' by Daniel Pinchbeck
> The End Is High
> DANIEL PINCHBECK has done a lot of psychedelics, and he's here again to
> tell us about those trips and the resulting dreams, daemons and
> synchronicities, as well as the forthcoming "global decimation" that
> might be avoided if people begin "confronting their habitual mechanisms
> of avoidance and denial, overcoming their fear and conditioned
> cynicism."
> In his previous book, "Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey
> Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism," Pinchbeck mined much of the
> same material and substances. "2012" pushes the baggie a little further
> and "advances a radical theory: that human consciousness is rapidly
> transitioning to a new state . . . a transformed realization, of time
> and space and self." He adds: "The transition is already under way . .
> . and will become increasingly evident as we approach the year 2012."
> That's the year the Mayan "Great Cycle" ends.
> In 2012, urban liberals and fundamentalist Christians alike lose their
> heads to the Pinchbeckian guillotine, a machine made not of wood and
> steel but the after-effects of DMT ("a seven-minute rocket-shot into an
> overwhelming other dimension"), ayahuasca, magic mushrooms, LSD and
> iboga ("a psychedelic root bark that is the center of the Bwiti cult").
> Of the multiple difficulties encountered by the writer of
> drug-induced-mind-expansion narratives, none is more important to
> overcome than that of transferring the effect of the drug to his prose,
> a near impossibility attained by only a few — William S. Burroughs
> comes to mind, as well as Thomas De Quincey.
> Not so Pinchbeck. His descriptions of his trips are New Age
> narcissistic and fortune-cookie cute. Apparently, when you are
> mindblown on iboga, the root teacher speaks in CAPS. Among the messages
> Pinchbeck receives: "PRIMORDIAL WISDOM TEACHER OF HUMANITY." While on a
> "fungal sacrament," Pinchbeck describes the Nevada morning desert at
> Burning Man as "a Narnia sunrise of golden cloud fingers and taffeta
> swirls feather-spinning across the horizon." No thanks, dude, I'll pass
> on the fungal.
> If you ingest psychedelics and write about their galactic psychic
> healing properties and tell your readers you offer them your book "as a
> gift handed backward through space-time, from beyond the barrier of a
> new realm," you need at least an ounce of humor and warmth to go along
> with it all. It's hard to swallow the counterculture self-help pill —
> or leaf or drink or droplet — offered by a self-proclaimed "somewhat
> bohemian and alienated intellectual," especially a bohemian
> intellectual who writes plodding sentences that utterly fail to render
> his ascent into other, better worlds of consciousness and sensation.
> Pinchbeck insists the crisis he's trying to help us solve is global,
> but throughout "2012" there is ample evidence that the crisis is
> Pinchbeck's own: there's his recently dead father; the birth of his
> daughter; the wealthy and beautiful partner who is unable to match his
> same high enthusiasm for psychedelics and an open relationship; the
> witnessing of the 9/11 attacks from his partner's Soho loft; the
> inability to score, while high, in an Amazonian jungle with a woman who
> calls herself a priestess; and ultimately being forced to live in an
> underheated South Williamsburg share apartment. The high seas of the
> global psychic crisis are rough.
> Pinchbeck's thinking suffers from the deep navel-gazing that comes so
> naturally to this son of urban humanist materialist liberals, the very
> class he disparages for their atheism, passivity and greed. Not that he
> is off the mark. Most of the people who once sang Beatles anthems and
> marched for civil rights are now more concerned with the stock market
> and real estate — not to mention the quality of the new sod job at the
> golf course — than with world peace or the welfare of indigenous
> peoples. But haven't we known this for at least two decades? And will
> doing psychedelics really help usher in a new era of living and being?
> Pinchbeck's censure of corporate globalization and hegemonic thought is
> well meant. Petro-domination and the desecration of the biosphere are
> real dangers that require immediate attention. But Pinchbeck's
> reasoning moves quickly from practical, thoughtful criticisms to the
> conclusion that near the end of 2012 the world as we know it will end.
> It's akin to stating that because a 10-year-old shoplifted a pack of
> gum, next Wednesday her entire family will turn blue.
> "2012" occasionally engages the reader solely because of the cast of
> characters Pinchbeck befriends and cites — crop circle hoaxsters and
> devotees, believers in extraterrestrials, physicists and poets, time
> concept revisionists and their acolytes.
> Pinchbeck's most lucid writing surrounds the two periods of his life
> that receive the least attention in this book: his youth in Manhattan,
> in the atmosphere of truly avant-garde writers, personalities and
> artists (his parents among them), and a visit to Hopiland, at the end
> of the book. His rage at what he sees as the thieving and wasting of
> the Hopiland aquifer by a coal mining company, as assisted by Enron, is
> the kind of writing you want from a muckraker and subversive. Rage at
> social injustice is infinitely preferable to claims of drug-induced
> prescience and visionary flights, but Pinchbeck's romantic subservience
> to psychedelics and their doubtful global psychic breakthroughs (he
> liberally uses the words "might," "could" and "perhaps") soften the
> anti-establishment punches he occasionally throws.
> Since when can a guy on mushrooms land a punch? And no one likes a
> global morality bully who's tripping. Whatever happened to just taking
> drugs? Visionary flights sound like such a downer. But if things change
> in 2012, please paint me blue.
> ________________________________
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