TERENCE MCKENNA describes Novelty Theory to director John Hazard, with an elaboration of its core principles involving hyper-complexification and the compression of Time. He holds forth on the correspondences between the structure of the DNA molecule and the Chinese I-Ching, then shows how his notion of an Archaic Revival leads from the theories of mind and the art movements of the early 20th century to the Shaman as the quintessential figure of the 21st century, with psychedelic substances being the bridge between these worldviews.
The interview was recorded in 1998 at McKenna’s home on the island of Hawaii.
“It’s just going get weirder and weirder and weirder, and finally it’s going to
get so weird that people are going to have to talk about how weird it is…”
—Terence McKenna, on the run-up to 2012
By way of explaining why he’s finally released this footage, Director John Hazard says:
“On meeting Terence: I had just finished shooting a film which profiled George Wallace for American Experience, and I was looking for a subject for a film that I might make that would engage me in a compelling way. I stumbled upon Terence and Novelty Theory, and I liked the correspondences between his work and the Mayan calendar.
“Terence agreed to work with me, and I went to his home on the Big Island of Hawaii to conduct what I assumed would be the first of several interviews. We were just beginning to work together when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“I’ve always believed that my interview with Terence worked especially well as a long form conversation, because of his gifted way with language. When Jeremy Narby began his ‘Awakening the Cosmic Serpent’ Evolver Intensives sessions, I was struck by how engaging his long form interviews were, and I noticed how week after week his guests would tell a story about Terence. I’m inspired to release this interview on Reality Sandwich within the context of Jeremy’s Evolver Intensives.
“With the psychedelic movement undergoing a renaissance, many in the new generation, the core participants who are finding their way to the Evolver/RS nexus, were children when Terence conducted his interview with me. I think this audience may consider his remarks to be prescient.”
“History is ending… we are to be the generation that witnesses the revelation of the purpose of the cosmos. History is the shock wave of the eschaton. History is the shock wave of eschatology, and what this means for those of us who will live through this transition into hyperspace, is that we will be privileged to see the greatest release of compressed change probably since the birth of the universe. The twentieth century is the shudder that announces the approaching cataracts of time over which our species and the destiny of this planet are about to be swept. ”—Terence McKenna