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The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Dennis McKenna

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Présentation de l'éditeur

From the Foreword of The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss:

When Dennis asked me to write a foreword for this book, I was surprised and delighted. It had never occurred to me that such a book would require any foreword at all. Dennis is a well-respected researcher and thinker, and many of us have read his scientific papers or listened with pleasure to his interdisciplinary lectures, which combine ethnobotany, psychopharmacology, history, and philosophical reflections. But this is not an academic book. It is the long-awaited account of his lifelong relationship with his older brother Terence, the great raconteur of wide-reaching philosophical and eschatological ideas. In other words, what we have here is the privilege of going behind the curtains and peering into the private lives of these two extraordinary brothers, the poet and the scientist, the public figure and the more retiring originator of ideas, one who haunts us from the invisible yet pervasive World Wide Web (his words still fresh and even more relevant twelve years after his death), the other still with us, wise, and with an acute sense of humor. Like his brother, Dennis is a teacher from whom we still have much to learn.

Luis Eduardo Luna
Florianópolis, Brazil
August 3, 2012

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2790 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 508 pages
  • Editeur : Polaris Publications, an imprint of North Star Press (10 novembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°160.874 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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120 internautes sur 124 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Earthbound Elves 23 novembre 2012
Par Erik Davis - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Dennis McKenna raised a decent chunk of change on Kickstarter for this account of his life with Terence McKenna, his older, more famous, more unconventional, but no more psychedelically transformed brother. Contributors rest easy: it was worth every penny. This is a clear-eyed account of bleary-eyed times, solidly and sometimes poetically told. From Dennis' perspective, Terence was both "mentor and tormentor," and this combination of rivalry and loving admiration adds a novelistic complexity to the tale. We get a sympathetic but deeply grounded perspective on Terence's life and famous "raving"--whose poesis Dennis appreciates but whose excesses he frankly criticizes as only a younger brother can. For fans (students?) of Terence, Dennis provides illuminating intellectual and biographical contexts for all that evocative talk about aliens, mushroom lords, magic, and the curious notion of the Timewave. The passages in which Dennis wrestles with his own memories and interpretation of the famous "experiment at La Chorrera" are particularly informative, as he attempts to square significant weirdness with a more skeptical perspective grounded in science and a philosophical temperament far more straight-shooting and earthbound than Terence's. At the same time, Dennis does not repress his own ongoing psychedelic and cosmic Romanticism.

In the end you realize that Dennis--who has had a solid if peripatetic career in ethnopharmacology, and played an instrumental role in the spread of ayahuasca culture--is offering readers a lifestory that in many ways is just as interesting and important to current psychedelic culture as Terence's. After all, we already have tons of accounts of wild and crazy psychedelic fabulists. It's refreshing and helpful to instead read an account of a psychonaut who does not try to make his living off the underground while at the same time trying to remain true to his transformative inspirations. As a "60s story," _The Brotherhood_ presents a wonderful blend of romance and realism, hard truths and sympathy, mystery and the mundane. My only beef is that some important episodes in Terence's life received short shrift -- I suspect because of Dennis's concerns for the living. But no matter: this is a countercultural classic, gritty balast for the UFO at the end of history. I not only feel I know Terence (and Dennis) better for having read it--I also have a richer if less fantastic sense of how powerful psychedelic experience can enchant, wound, and heal our all-too ordinary lives.
76 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Compelling and honest 28 novembre 2012
Par Graham Hancock - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Terence McKenna was one of a kind. For all of us who never knew him personally but have heard his unique and mesmerizing voice, been touched by his eloquence, and persuaded by the power of his insights and the courage of his imagination, "The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss" is the fireside chat with the man himself we always wished we'd had. Dennis McKenna has done something very special here. Not only has he written a compelling, highly readable and honest account of the life and death of his remarkable and amazing brother, but also he seasons his narrative with an acute social history of our times and offers us penetrating insights into the mysteries of consciousness and the magic of reality. Review by Graham Hancock, author of "Fingerprints of the Gods" and "Supernatural".
48 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The electric elves are laughing 21 novembre 2012
Par W. Paul Blakey - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Released on Terrance's 66th birthday, this book by his brother Dennis is a remarkable thing.

The story is about two young men, thankfully too foolish to know better, who transcended consciousness, and returned to tell the tale. Terrance the poet and Dennis the scientist.

Told with honesty and love.

Now if only we could learn how to create a society that honours such explorers. Just as we all sat slack-jawed when Armstrong set foot on the moon, we should ticker-tape the bravery of those who step to the edge of awareness. We need to find ways to debrief the ones who manage to make it back from the abyss, and to teach ourselves how to make the journey.

It must have caused Dennis a tremendous amount of pain to write the story, but on the other side I can hear Terry laughing.

Tormentor forever. With love.
75 internautes sur 92 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Not Actually About Terence McKenna 6 décembre 2012
Par Summer Love - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
This is an auto-biography. It's not really about Terence McKenna. It's about Dennis McKenna, which would be fine, if this book hadn't been funded in the most part by people who wanted to know more about Terence - and bought by the same sorts of people.

Most of the controversial (read: interesting) elements of Terence's life are almost entirely glossed over. The fact that he apparently stopped using psychedelics after a particularly dark trip, for instance, is not addressed - although it was bought to light prior to the book's publication, it must have been edited out. This is extremely disappointing. I'm not kidding when I say that the biggest questions associated with Terence are dismissed in one or two throwaway lines, whilst pages are devoted to minor romantic relationships in Dennis' life, including high school crushes, etc.

What becomes apparent during a reading of this book is that Terence and Dennis McKenna don't appear to have been all that close. Aside from the events that Terence himself wrote about in True Hallucinations, Dennis is pretty up front about not having had a lot to do with Terence. This means that large tracts of this book are dedicated to fairly mundane details about Dennis' career and love life.

I think I could have stood the lack of detail re: Terence's personal life, had there not been quite so very much (entirely unnecessary) detail about Dennis' in here.

The book feels somewhat like a bait and switch. I very much doubt that the Kickstarter would have been funded if people had known that it would be so timid to directly address the questions we really had about Terence McKenna - what was he like as a person? Dennis says that he was very loquacious and charming, but we knew that already. There was nothing beyond the exceptionally obvious revealed.

This book is not entirely without value, some of the tales about the early years are quite charming and here and there a few snippets of real insight break through amidst the minutinae but sadly Dennis appears to have only truly connected with his brother in early childhood and early adulthood - the rest of this book is, as I mentioned earlier, a very detailed history of Dennis' ethnobotanical career and romantic entanglements.

As a side note, I find it odd how many of the positive reviews on this book seem to be from people who rated and reviewed before they actually read the book - or who don't appear to have read the book at all. It doesn't say much for the McKenna legacy that people aren't even taking the time to read the book before raving about it. I'm a big fan of Terence McKenna, and Dennis McKenna is clearly an excellent scholar - but this book isn't what it was declared to be on the label.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Depth and Balance 25 novembre 2012
Par Jason Bunting - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I'm fairly familiar with Terence's work and his excess when it comes to spinning tall tales (and I love it!). That said, this alternate view of things, and the background provided about family life, adds a much-needed dimension to the relationship between 'Terry' and Dennis, as well as to their individual personalities.

Although only 50% of the way through reading the book, I wanted to post a positive review now to help persuade anyone sitting on the fence to go ahead and buy it now; I can't imagine its quality changing significantly after this point, it has been consistently great so far. Regardless, I'll update my review once I'm completely done.

UPDATE (29 NOV 12):
So, I'm now 75% of the way through the book, and it's continued to be an excellent ride. What I've really enjoyed is the much-needed and long-overdue reality check which the cult of personality that is "Terence McKenna" receives at the hands of his little brother. Yet, it's not a harsh reality check that destroy's any love towards Terence; in fact, it simply makes him more lovable, because you see that he's just as flawed, in his own unique way, as the rest of us. I've gained far more genuine respect for both members of the brotherhood by reading and pondering the stories told in this book than by watching any number of videos about and by them.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is as follows:

"The problem with DMT, and part of its challenge, is that the experience is inherently ineffable; it cannot be described in ordinary language, it is translinguistic. You come down, slam back into your body, out of breath, suffused with ecstasy, babbling, sobbing. And yet we are linguistic creatures, and there is a nearly irresistible impulse to try to describe it. This begins almost immediately following the trip, as if verbalization were a protective reflex. DMT is more than the mind can handle; it's overwhelming in its raw nakedness; we feel compelled to try to stuff it back into some kind of linguistic box, and yet to do so is to diminish it. All of the descriptions, even Terence's, as elegant as they are, fall short of the actual experience. This is part of the mystery of DMT. It is a phenomenon that can be repeatedly experienced, and yet it is as astonishing the hundredth time as it was the first, and something that strange is worthy of our attention."

This quote really stood out to me, because in trying to describe just how impossible it is to describe DMT, he nearly describes it.

I'll update again once I finish.
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