The Experiment At La Chorrera ~ Pt. 3/4
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Excerpt from the audio book True Hallucinations -Featuring Terence McKenna and Dennis McKenna
The McKenna brothers had come looking for yage (ayahuasca) and the obscure hallucinogenic admixture okojee, but upon arrival at La Chorrera, the focus rapidly shifted. A pasture near the village was full of psilocybe mushrooms, and a steady intake of these powerful agents had a profound effect on the small party of Americans. Dennis McKenna, who is in many ways the main character of True Hallucinations, was particularly affected. After several days with mushrooms and increasingly odd behavior, he had developed a theory on how the psilocybin, combined with the harmaline in an ayahuasca brew provided by friendly tribesmen, could effect a permanently altered state of consciousness, which would allow for direct readouts from DNA, and change the course of human history. This theory, which also informs the aforementioned The Invisble Landscape, is described in great technical detail on the audio tapes and makes for a somewhat awkward clash with the poetic rainforest descriptions that surrounds it.
As tensions within the expedition mount, "the experiment at La Chorrera" is performed, and an increasingly dissociated Dennis McKenna proclaims it a success. Brother Terence is unsure of what exactly has passed, but the following two weeks finds Dennis in a schizophrenia-like state of withdrawal and delphic utterances, while a bewildered but somehow euphoric Terence discovers that he no longer needs any sleep, and spends his days and nights listening to his brother, and thinking. The I-Ching reinterpretation described above emanates during this strange period, as do a lot of other novel ideas that McKenna later would propagate. As the days pass, Dennis McKenna slowly returns to a more conventional frame of mind, and not long after, the group leaves La Chorrera to return to civilisation.