Terence McKenna became an important teacher for me and opened up a new world of thought. When I heard that his younger brother Dennis McKenna had written a book about their life together I had to get my hands on it as soon as possible. I’m about to finish it right now and I enjoyed reading a lot.
Dennis McKenna shared a life’s devotion to psychedelics with his better known brother. While Terence made his way into the spotlight, Dennis pursued more of a scientific career, only known among experts. But believe me, these two brothers are very much alike when it comes to their driven quest for higher knowledge. This is what I find so striking – their determination in a very young age. Their pivotal adventures took place in their early twenties. What they did back then was most certainly not science but it was ambitious, brave and yes, on the edge of madness. But in the end, I choose megalomaniac craziness over following the rules anytime.
I recommend this book to everyone who wants to make sense of the mystery of existence and considers psychedelics an appropriate tool on this endeavor.
What began as a search for exotic hallucinogens in the jungles of the Amazon in 1971 rapidly turned into a curiosity-driven quest for the ultimate truths of time and life and mind. We didn’t know what we would find when we set out for La Chorrera in the dawning months of 1971; only that it was a great mystery, a Secret, that would change us, and everything, forever. We were right on both counts, though not in the ways we had anticipated. This is my story of the quest that I shared with Terence and a small band of fellow seekers; tongue in cheek, we called ourselves The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss. Terence has told the tale and told it well in True Hallucinations. But until the publication of my recent book, few had heard the story from my perspective. That story is now told in Chapter 31 of the book, entitled The Experiment of La Chorrera. It is excerpted here for the first time.
Dennis McKenna — Florianopolis, Brazil — January 2013