NewsFlash: June 21st 2009 - It's really back to the future as the Terence Mckenna movie, 'Cognition Factor', is released. Some of the footage is from this 1996 trip, below! Buy here: http://cognitionfactor.net/purchase.aspx
Firstly, welcome to Webtrance. This page hadn't been modified since '98, but since I'm now getting decent stats which tell me that lots of you are interested in Terence's South African 'caper' I'm going to make it worth your while - :> The articles posted below faithfully represent T.'s visit to Rustlers Valley in South Africa back in '96, but in addition to the text below, I've recently (January 2001) encoded some original footage which I've made available here. Scroll down the Usenet page (link), there are many files, including a massive (86MB), but excellent quality, video of Terence's closing statement @ Rustlers from '96. Also lots of other original footage from my own camera of various scenarios featuring Terence. Snoop around, but if you want to view any video please d/l the file onto your hard drive before attempting to view it because this server is still in Africa. Terence was one of the most interesting people I've had the pleasure of meeting. Our relationship began on the net back in '94, continued in South Africa in '96, and we hugged goodbye in September '99 at the AllChemicals Conference in Hawaii, with T. giving me the customary; "See you downstream" on the veranda of his 'rebel headquarters' on Kona - Hawaii. It was the last time I saw him, but like the man said; "I'm behind your eyelids". Yes, Terence Mckenna was a gentleman and scholar to the end. If you want to read about my last encounter with Terence @ the AllChemicals Conference on Kona, Hawaii in September '99, go here. But I suggest you read on into 1996 (below) with the spirit of 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", then come back to the more recent stuff when you've finished. If you want to listen to my voice before reading my text, go ahead, download my voice, it'll make what you're about to experience more surreal, but it's all real. OK, let the story begin.
On the 13 July 1996 I wrote thusly on usenet;
So this is the page y'all and I've just posted the article below to: alt.cyberpunk,alt.consciousness,alt.society.neutopia, alt.culture.internet,alt.cyberspace,alt.paranormal, alt.religion.shamanism,alt.wired,soc.culture.south-africa, za.events,alt.alien.visitors,alt.culture.www,alt.cyberspace, alt.thinking.hurts,alt.future.millennium,alt.journalism, alt.journalism.gonzo,alt.psychoactives,alt.infinity, alt.internet.pop.culture,alt.religion.goddess,alt.society.revolution, alt.cyberpunk.rebels,alt.celebrities,alt.culture.hawaii,alt.hypnosis, alt.immortal,alt.irc
But you're not too late to miss the fun. It's only just started because today is already Sunday 13th of October and I've titled the article: Terence Mckenna at Rustlers in South Africa
Schwann proceeds: I'm about to travel into mountain wilderness of the Malutis in search of Terence Mckenna, my friend in e-mail correspondence. It's a long story, but Terence is in it. We're all just ordinary people. However, some people are less ordinary than others. Terence is obviously one of these. The last few weeks have been a blur of editing and writing various articles on 'time' for Intelligence Magazine and I guess I must have misplaced some because it's nearly time to pack my bags.
I am on the brink of beginning my journey. I will leave the laptop at home, hence this may be the last time that we communicate until I am in South Africa. I hope that someone is meeting me when I climb down off the plane. If not I shall be neatly confused. I am abandoning myself to this Africa thing and have no expectations. Just Pay Attention, my inner voice says, and everything will be all right.
Schwann proceeds: A good attitude. But let me tell you about the conference in the mountains. It's at place called Rustlers Valley, 6000 ft. into the Maluti mountains. I guess I'll be writing more on them as the trip progresses. Terence will be arriving in South Africa on Monday and will be giving a series of lectures at Rustlers on the week of the 15 - 21 Oct. There will be one hour long lecture a day, with an hour before and after for discussion. Although each lecture will be self contained they will also run as a consecutive series. I'm told that Course Fees are R150 per lecture, or R600 for the entire course. For more info. Contact Joel or Frik at Rustlers Valley. 'email@example.com'. Their phone number is South Africa - 051/923939 Rustlers is also situated at http://www.rustlers.co.za/. I'm hoping we will open an IRC #channel to the Global Consciousness sometime during Terence's visit. Thus channel will be called #Terence@Rustlers. It is envisaged that Terence will return with me to Cape Town and make a guest appearance on videoconferencing software called CUSEEME from my studio on or around the 20.00 hours GMT on the night of Thursday the 24 th of October. This will depend on Terence, but those who wish to join in will find the reflector address posted to the CUSEEME List at Cornell or on the same LISTS and newsgroups you view this message on. I will be posting from Rustlers (firstname.lastname@example.org) if I cannot get a shell connection. I guess that about kicks it off.
Ps:For those of you that don't know, according to Stafford, Peter, Psychedelics Encyclopaedia, 1992, pp III-36; "Terence has recently authored two major books, a collection of talks, interviews and essays titled The Archaic Revival, and Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge, a landmark examination of the role of plants in human history. His classic theoretical exploration The Invisible Landscape, written in collaboration with psychopharmacologist-turned-ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna, PhD, is soon to be returned to print [now in print]. Recent years have seen the growth of Botanical Dimension, an organisation devoted to the preservation and propagation of endangered plant species of ethnobotanical interest, of which McKenna and his wife Katherine are founding members." unquote.
Check out the Terence Mckenna Land site: http://deoxy.org/mckenna.htm
Ok, so far so good, but what Usenet doesn't know is that Mike Scott, my intrepid navigator and friend is accompanying me on this journey. Mike is a professional horticulturist and botanist in his own right. What Usenet also doesn't know is that I am driving up my old '67 Pontiac GTO this 1250 klicks, and according to plan, Terence is to drive back to Cape Town with me in it. However this part of the plan will have to be confirmed at Rustlers. The car is really impressive. It is painted midnite blue and has a 400 cu. in. engine. Thats 6.5 Liters for any continentals who are passing through. Obvious comparisons with 'Fear and Loathing' spring to mind. I am going to add to this page from Rustlers if I get the chance. Also I will post up some really nice pix of Terence when I get back.
Schwann Proceeds: 1.15 AM Tuesday 23rd October 1996: So it's logged. I'm back and don't really know how to tie this all together, so I'll start by putting up the two small articles I wrote from Rustlers. Read on below:
3.29 PM 10/17/96: Greetings from Rustler's Valley, This is symbolic e-mail. Looking out over the valley before me I can see what my ancestors 100,000's or 100 of million years ago saw. Pristine mountain awareness. Awesome rock formations loom over our stone abodes. Lower down on the mountainside there are tepees with braziers to keep you warm at night. The atmosphere itself, however is enough to do that. This mountain hideaway is owned and run by Frik who maintains optimum cool. A good witness to this is Terence Mckenna who seems very relaxed and at home in these surroundings.
We arrived yesterday after a trip fraught with comedy and danger. We had a high speed blowout and used a generator and a couple more tyres but eventually arrived at Rustlers to be met by Frik and immediately presented to Terence, After two days in the car surrounded by moving scenery this was an occasion that left nothing wanting. We found Terence in his room sitting x-legged on his bed looking casual and relaxed. The psychedelic shaman at ease.
The intrepid Mike my navigator and copilot in this mission immediately began discussing the various ethnobotanical factors surrounding the hallucinogenic experience and beyond, while I managed to get Terences take on subjects like the Illuminati and Global Conspiracy theories. Terence is really nice and has a way of speaking which immediately endears you to him. His sense of humour is outstanding and after a while you become aware that's you are way over your smile quota. Terence's view on Global Conspiracy is that it is a Global Comedy. After years of reading alt.conspiracy I'm almost inclined to agree with him. Much information changes brains and an hour and a half later we are still chatting away in a room that has gone dark. We escort Terence to the bar, which is about 100 yards away and after some amiable happy-hour Frik escorts us to our room which is two doors from Terence.
Last night was majic. We sat around a full bar, drank small amounts of alcohol and swapped easy banter. So did Terence. Some time later we found ourselves in one of the tepees passing around a talking stick. It was at that point that I realised that I had to tell those present that many electronic eyes were watching us as we talked of Gaian ideals and the worlds we still have to experience. But the brazier was beginning to smoke so we ducked out into the cold fresh mountain air and stumbled our way back to the den, where Terence's movie 'Alien Dreamtime was being screened. Then it was suddenly 2.00AM and we were again stumbling around in the dark looking for our room. Sleep would not come immediately as the data from the day seeked to envelope our senses but we eventually managed.
Waking up to pristine silence and obvious serenity was a pleasure I could not ignore and we were up and out at a ridiculously early hour. Maybe this was also because Terence was holding court in the den from 10.30 to Lunch time. But more on that later because this is an experience and I don't wanna miss it.
Subject: Terence Mckenna at Rustlers: Day 3 - Silence on The Rock.
From: email@example.com (Rustlers Valley) Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 18:58:52 GMT
Guess what, it's nearly midnight and I've just dragged myself away from the party to write these paltry words (bandwidth) before rushing back. But let me tell you about the two days that've just elapsed. Yesterday was mellow-out day with people still arriving. Terence gave a 4 hour rap on a variety of subjects including a take on the topography of Rustlers which he said reminded him of where he was born and a Earth dragon. I should tell you all that he is a marvelous speaker and very humurous in his delivery. This made for a happy crowd. But today was (so far) the cherry. After his morning workshop Terence took a short lunch break, then led by Frik we all piled into various transport and proceeded down a very shaky road to the unknown destination of an afternoon hike with Terence. This was a trip. About 30 people walking in bizarreness along a narrow path and every now and then we would stop and examine the local flora or geology and it seemed that everyone was enjoying themselves to the max. We arrived at a place that was a rock. Across the valley from us was a weird blackened rockface and suddenly silence descended on the group. It must have been a full three minutes that no one said a word. There was a moment of timelessness about the whole thing that was somehow quite real. There were camera men trying to climb rock faces for better angles and others who descended to the river bed below from sheer exhuberance. The day was capped as we sat on a raft in the middle of a giant pond surrounded by willow trees and felt Africa embrace us. We also saw a red UFO which disappeared as we watched. But more on that later because this is just to let you know that we are still here.
22nd October 1996: Back Home: OK, were back in the present and it's Tuesday again. I think I'm back in Cape Town, but Rustlers is still in my minds eye and the keyboard feels different. My mind is concerned with things like remembering all the stuff that's happened while I was gone. I guess some of you will know what I mean. Leaving Rustler's in the Eastern Orange Free State at lunchtime we decided to drive through the Karoo at night. This gave me lots of time to figure things out because it's like a 1300 klick drive in the old Pontiac GTO. Optimism prevailed and we hurtled at high speed like a meteor cruising sublight through midnight desert and moonlit sky. It was cold and my window had jammed half open. Mike, my intrepid navigator-co-pilot wrapped himself in a blanket and became a monk. At one stage outside a place called 'Three Sisters' we drove through a desert rainstorm. This is rare. I'll be writing a story for one of the big mags on the 'meeting in the mountains' but meantime this one's for especially for the Internet and all the people I know and also for those I've yet to meet. As I type I'm listening to Terence talking on my tape deck and he's talking about cyberspace, so let's cut to the chase. The week with Terence went by as we knew it would - quickly. "See you downstream", were his last words to me. He was wearing his favourite "Hawaiian Nation" T. Shirt and headed towards lunch at the bar, doubtlessly to be buttonholed by some intrigued person. A conversation with Terence is like a walk in a garden. A walk in a garden with Terence is like the unveiling of previously unglimpsed dimensions of 'history' from many different viewpoints simultaneously. Terence said; "we are a mystery veiled in an enigma locked inside a riddle". He has an insatiable appetite for examining his environment and constantly notes that if we; "pay attention" we will 'see' how things work. He is also a charmingly erudite and educated man of superior intelligence and wit. 'Lectures' were conducted in a room with a live rock garden visible behind a glass wall and draped velvet hanging from the ceiling. The acolytes lounged on cushions or propped themselves up wherever they could. Terence sat x-legged on a raised dais in a corner surrounded by lit candelabra. For South Africa this was a revolutionary presence. The group comprised of Doctors Lawyers Scientists Shamen Sangomas ordinary people and assorted TV Crews but there was a feeling of unity between us. Terence advocates the use of psychedelic plants because our ancestors used them and because they 'work'. He feels that that mankind represent some kind of bizarre nexus of energy, chemistry, spirit and time that is unique in eternity. This, he feels, represents opportunity and the unfolding of the dimension of hope and what human existence is meant to be. His immediate answer to modern life is for us to continue linking ourselves together at higher and higher bandwidth. I figure he'll continue to be popular in cyberspace. I'm including a pic but there'll be more at http://www.webtrance.co.za/webter.html
Download Closing Statement - 86 MB
Download Video 1 of the 'walk' - 60 MB
Download Video 2 of the 'walk' - 22 MB
NOTE: Please download then view the files off your hard drive. This server is in South Africa:)
ps. Terence was interviewed on 702 and on TV. If anyone has recorded these events I would appreciate a copy.
© 22/10/96 SCHWANN ALL MEDIA: Enquiries for rates on articles for hardcopy to my email below.