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Full Submission: Alien Dreamtime
Posted by Brian Z. on February 16, 1998 at 14:51:43:

TITLE: Alien Dreamtime

DEFINITION: Multimedia Experience (also, audio and video recordings, text transcriptions)

CREATOR: Terrence McKenna/Spacetime Continuum/Stephen Kent/Rose X Media House


SECONDARY CATEGORIES: Language, Art, Ritual, Magic, and Tribe


Are some of the most ancient ideas of all (the interconnection of all life, the existence of an alien intelligence, the importance of psychedelics and shamanism, etc.) becoming trendier then ever before? Does this mean we are about to evolve into something beyond the animal body? Will the more immediate future take on the appearance of prehistory?


All quotes Terrence McKenna from Alien Dreamtime.

"Every time a culture gets into trouble, it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment WE ever knew was on the plains of Africa, 15,000 years ago.... before history. Before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism. Before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us."

"The secret faith of the 20th century is not modernism. The secret faith of the 20th century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the Paleolithic. And that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock and roll, and Catastrophe Theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom-dotted plains of Africa."


On February 27th 1993, Terrence McKenna delivered spoken words, including the above quotes, as part of a multimedia event called Alien Dreamtime. He was accompanied with ambient electronic music by Spacetime Continuum, the ancient drone of the didgeridoo played by Stephen Kent, and psychedelic computer graphics by Rose X Media House.


Terrence McKenna, author of "Food of The Gods", "True Hallucinations", and "The Archaic Revival", has developed and popularized visionary theories about psychedelics and the patterns of history, in the tradition of Timothy Leary. He has worked on several projects with electronic musicians and computer artists, developing a reputation as a sort of techno-shaman. Alien Dreamtime is a mind-blowing example of this work.
He believes that at one time, a regular ritual of eating mind-expanding, boundary dissolving mushrooms is what held early societies together and allowed us to evolve beyond other primates. As technologies like the wheel and metallurgy were discovered, we moved into what he calls the dominator culture. The mushroom, open sexuality, femininity and many other aspects of the archaic human paradise began to be suppressed more and more. This suppression has brought us all the problems we have now. He refers to some alien intelligence which has pulled evolution from the Big Bang into the animal body and eventually the human mind, making nature a "novelty conserving engine", which will bring us to even more complexity and transcend the dead end of the dominator culture. This "new myth", drawing ancient beliefs and modern science together, is what Terrence McKenna explains in Alien Dreamtime. He also deals with his experiences with DMT (an extremely powerful hallucinogen), which he claims puts humans in contact with "self-transforming machine elves" which help coordinate "an ecology of souls." He suggests that DMT can be a powerful tool for us to evolve beyond our physical dimension. It is one of many ways that we can move our way of life to be more prehistoric, closer to the wisdom of nature or "Gaian mind". As the high-tech nature of Alien Dreamtime might suggest, he sees technology as an important part of this return to Paleolithic culture, not something to be dropped off.
When listening to this recording, I cannot help but draw a parallel to the prehistoric times McKenna refers to. I imagine a tribe of naked people dancing around the glow of a fire. They have all eaten psilocybin mushrooms that they have gathered themselves, and they listen while the shaman speaks in the earliest of language, accompanied by primitive instruments, about the same issues that McKenna deals with. Ravers like those at Alien Dreamtime are basically involved in the same sort of activity. The technology may have changed, and some of the ideas involved may have become more complex, but the basic spirit is as old as humankind is. This spirit, the most ancient of ideas has been forgotten, leading to all the most fundamental human and planetary problems, and we must return to them to continue our evolution as a species.

DEEPER: My words cannot convey nearly as much as hearing/seeing a recording of the event. You'll get much more insight if you check it out yourself. A transcript of Alien Dreamtime, and a lot of other stuff by Terrence McKenna, can be found at . There is a sound clip from Alien Dreamtime at .

ACCESS AND DISTRIBUTION: The video of Alien Dreamtime is produced by Rose X Media House and is available through:

City of Tribes Records
63 Fountain Street
SF, CA 94114

The audio recording is put out by Astralwerks (catalog # ASW6107), distributed by Caroline Records.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: If anyone out there was present at Alien Dreamtime, or if anyone has the video and can capture still frames from it, input would be greatly appreciated.

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