The Mandala Forest
 
I took the mandala art posters  from this site and combined them into a music video, featuring a track by Stars of the Lid called "The Evil that Never Arrived." I hope you enjoy this five minute meditation.
 
 
Just seconds before the clock struck midnight and 2011 officially began, Terence McKenna's voice came through my computer and spoke the following lines from his speech on psychedelic society.

"In the moment of being human we have the unique opportunity to figure things out. And I have the faith that it is possible to, some time somewhere, to have a conversation, perhaps no progress would be made until the ninth hour, but to have a conversation in which reality could be literally pulled to pieces beyond the point of reconstructing."

Just as McKenna finished this sentence, the loud crack of fireworks erupted outside, punctuating his words through the disintigrations of pyrotechnic light and mandalic sound.

What did McKenna mean by pulling apart reality beyond the point of reconstructing?  The notion sounds a bit frightening, in its apparent call for a process of fundamental destruction.  As a self proclaimed anarchist, one would have to wonder what sort of world he is envisioning as he describes the necessary process of ideological breakdown, which he compares to a friend's fourteen hour LSD  induced annihilation of a brick using nothing more than a toothpick and his fingernails. 

In another speech, which he entitles Nature is the Center of the Mandala, McKenna puts forth the following image. 

"What we’re looking toward is a moment when the artificial language structures which bind us  within the notion of ourselves are dissolved in the presence of the realization that we are a part of nature, and when that happens the childhood of our species will pass away, and we will stand tremulously on the brink of really the first moments of coherent human civilization."

In 1992, at his Camden Center talk, McKenna said

"What we have to do is swallow hard, in a similar way that the Russians had to swallow hard, and admit we did it wrong, and now the only way out is back, we must return to the archaic world of shamanism, mutual respect among men and women, a sense of seamless cohesion with the living world. If this is not done, then the experiment fails."

In his speeches, Terence McKenna said both that nature is the center of the mandala, and we as individuals are the center of the mandala.  While it might seem somewhat contradictory to interchange impersonal natural systems with particular human consciousness as the central element of reality,  McKenna was suggesting the deep reconnection between man and nature.  This state of reintegration into the the natural world was part of what McKenna saw as the eschaton, or "the last thing," a time beyond history.  He believed that we have entered a sort of cosmic bottle neck, that time and the rate of complexification are speeding up, and that massive transformation is immanent.