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Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna

By Dennis McKenna, Ph.D.

Foreword by Bruce Damer

Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna, is an autobiographical account of renowned ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna’s childhood, his relationship with his brother, and the author’s experiences with and reflections on psychedelics, philosophy, and scientific innovation.

Chronicling the McKenna brothers’ childhood in western Colorado during the 1950s and 1960s, Dennis writes of his adolescent adventures including his first encounters with alcohol and drugs (many of which were facilitated by Terence), and the people and ideas that shaped them both. Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss weaves personal narrative through philosophical ideas and tales of psychedelic experimentation.

 

Available for Pre-Order! Available to ship the week of January 16th, 2023.

Dennis McKenna, Ph.D.

Author

Dennis McKenna is an American ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author. Dennis McKenna’s professional and personal interests are focused on the interdisciplinary study of ethnopharmacology and natural hallucinogens. He received his doctorate in 1984 from the University of British Columbia, where his research focused on ethnopharmacological investigations of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two indigenous Amazonian psychedelic medicines. He completed post-doctoral studies at the Helicon Foundation in San Diego (1984-86), the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology at NIMH (1986-88) and the Department of Neurology at Stanford University (1988-1990). He worked at Shaman Pharmaceuticals as Director of Ethnopharmacology from 1990-93, and relocated to Minnesota in 1993 to join the Aveda Corporation as Senior Research Pharmacognosist.

Dr. McKenna taught courses in Ethnopharmacology, Botanical Medicines and Plants in Human Affairs in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota from 2001 to 2017. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute and serves on the advisory board of non-profit organizations in the fields of ethnobotany and botanical medicines. He was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, an international biomedical study of ayahuasca used as a sacrament by the UDV, a syncretic religious group in Brazil. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna. From 2004 to 2008, he was the Principal Investigator on a project funded by the Stanley Medical Research Institute to investigate Amazonian ethnomedicines for the treatment of schizophrenia and cognitive deficits.

In 2017, with the collaboration of many colleagues, he organized and presented a landmark symposium, the Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs: 50 years of Research. The conference commemorated the 50th anniversary of the original conference held in San Francisco in 1967. Synergetic Press published a limited edition of the Proceedings of both the 1967 and 2017 symposia as a double volume set in 2018.

In the spring of 2019, in collaboration with colleagues in Canada and the U.S., he incorporated a new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy – A 21st Century Mystery School, www.mckenna.academy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his wife Sheila, and now resides in Abbotsford, B.C.

Related: Dennis McKenna on ‘Metamorphosis, Symbiosis, and How Ayahuasca Acts as a Natural Antidepressant’ a podcast with The Psychedelic Leadership Podcast™

 

Description

Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna, is an autobiographical account of renowned ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna’s childhood, his relationship with his brother, and the author’s experiences with and reflections on psychedelics, philosophy, and scientific innovation.

Chronicling the McKenna brothers’ childhood in western Colorado during the 1950s and 1960s, Dennis writes of his adolescent adventures including his first encounters with alcohol and drugs (many of which were facilitated by Terence), and the people and ideas that shaped them both. Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss weaves personal narrative through philosophical ideas and tales of psychedelic experimentation.

In this book, Dennis describes these inquiries with the wisdom of perspective. In his account of what has become known as “The Experiment at La Chorrera”— which Terence documented in his own 1989 book, True Hallucinations — Dennis describes how he had visions of merging mushroom and human DNA,  the brothers’ predictions for the future, and their evolving ideas about society and consciousness. He also offers an intellectual understanding of the hallucinogenic effects of high-dose psychedelic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances.

Dennis, now world-renowned for this ethnobotanical work, describes in Brotherhood his early interests in cosmology and astrology, his sometimes rocky relationship with his older brother and how their paths diverged later in their lives. Dennis describes his academic career in between touching accounts of both his mother’s and Terence’s battles with cancer. In the

10th Anniversary edition of Brotherhood, Dennis reflects on scientific revelations, climate change, and the social and political crises of our time. The new edition also features both the original foreword by Luis Eduardo Luna and a new foreword by Dr. Bruce Damer.

Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss is a story about brotherhood, psychedelic experimentation, and the intertwining nature of science and myth.

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in
Format

Paperback, eBook

Pages 536

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