2012: The Return of
by Daniel Pinchbeck
Cross James Merrill, H. P. Lovecraft, and Carlos Castaneda -each imbued with a twenty-first-century aptitude for quantum theory and existential psychology-and you get the voice of Daniel Pinchbeck. And yet, nothing quite prepares us for the lucidity, rationale, and informed audacity of this seeker, skeptic, and cartographer of hidden realms.
Throughout the 1990s, Pinchbeck had been a member of New York's literary select. He wrote for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harper's Bazaar. His first book, Breaking Open the Head, was heralded as the most significant on psychedelic experimentation since the work of Terence McKenna.
But slowly something happened: Rather than writing from a journalistic remove, Pinchbeck-his literary powers at their peak-began to participate in the shamanic and metaphysical belief systems he was encountering. As his psyche and body opened to new experience, disparate threads and occurrences made sense like never before: Humanity, every sign pointed, is precariously balanced between greater self-potential and environmental disaster. The Mayan calendar's "end date" of 2012 seems to define our present age: It heralds the end of one way of existence and the return of another, in which the serpent god Quetzalcoatl reigns anew, bringing with him an unimaginably ancient-yet, to us, wholly new-way of living.
A result not just of study but also of participation, 2012 tells the tale of a single man in whose trials we ultimately recognize our own hopes and anxieties about modern life.
From the Back Cover
"Daniel Pinchbeck's 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl is a
dazzling kaleidoscopic journey through the quixotic hinterlands
of consciousness, crop circles, and ancient prophecy, as well as
an intriguing and deeply personal odyssey of transformation.
2012 presents a compelling and complex teleological argument,
weaving together the twilit realms of the human imagination and
the harsh realities of accelerated global catastrophe. Its
conclusions are surprisingly robust, original, and thankfully
"A daring and intriguing, sometimes deeply disturbing, very well researched and extremely readable book that puts an entirely new slant on 2012. From quantum physics to aliens, from crop circles to reincarnation, from shamanic hallucinogens to Rudolf Steiner, from the Amazon jungle to Stonehenge, from fragments of jaundiced autobiography to the ending of worlds, Pinchbeck takes us on a mind-bending, paradigm-rattling ride."
- Graham Hancock
"Few things are more difficult to convey in writing than the epiphanic drug experience or the mystical vision, and it is to Pinchbeck's credit as a writer that he is able to articulate these visions so clearly and memorably."
_ Geoff Dyer, Los Angeles Times
"Pinchbeck's reporting is fascinating and entertaining." - Brian Doherty, Washington Post Book World (front page)
"The author is not some hippy-dippy hedonist staggering down the road of excess but rather a skeptical philosopher of consciousness seeking the enlightened path." - Troy Patterson, Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
Daniel Pinchbeck is one of the founders of Open City, an art and literary journal. He was a 1999-2000 Fellow of the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University and has written for many leading magazines.