Released as the most unlikely single
from the album Boss Drum
in 1993, Re:Evolution was The Shamen
's collaboration with their biggest influence, Terence McKenna
. The spoken word
in the track was born from a meeting
between Colin Angus
and Terence McKenna, Colin asking various questions about the principle techniques of Shamanism
and recording his responses before being edited and set to an ambient
Surprisingly, given it's length (eight and a half minutes) and the lack of radio edited versions, the single reached number 19 in the UK charts and Terence McKenna joined The Shamen on stage in The Warfield, San Francisco for the only true live performance of the song, with subtle differences to the original recording.
The CD release also came with a poster containing the full lyrics which, as far as I remember, adorned many a student's walls, often alongside the alien 'Take me to your dealer' poster and the one of Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out.
"If the truth can be told so as to be understood it will be believed"
Human history represents such a radical break
with the natural systems of biological
organisation that preceded it that it must be
the response to a kind of attractor or dwell
point that lies ahead in the temporal dimension.
Persistently Western religions have
integrated into their theologies the notion of
a kind of end of the world. And I think that a
lot of psychedelic experimentation sort
of confirms this intuition. I mean it isn't
going to happen according to any of the scenarios
of orthodox religion, but the basic intuition
that the universe seeks closure in a kind of Omega
point of transcendence is confirmed. It's almost
as though this object in hyperspace, glittering
in hyperspace, throws off reflections of itself,
which actually ricochet into the past, illuminating
this mystic, inspiring that saint or visionary,
and that out of these fragmentary glimpses of
eternity we can build a kind of a map of not only
the past universe and the evolutionary ingression
into novelty, but a kind of map of the future.
This is what Shamanism has always been about.
A Shaman is someone who has been to the
end. It is someone who knows how the world really
works, and knowing how the world really works,
means to have risen outside, above, beyond the
dimensions of ordinary space-time and cozooistry
and actually seen the wiring under the board;
stepped outside the confines of learned culture
and learned and embedded language into the
domain of what Wittgenstein called the unspeakable,
the Transcendental presence of the Other, which
can be sectioned in various ways to yield systems
of knowledge which can be brought back into
ordinary social space for the good of the
community. So in the context of ninety percent of human
culture, the Shaman has been the Agent of
Evolution, because the Shaman learns techniques
to go between ordinary reality and the domain of
the ideas: this higher dimensional continuum that
is somehow parallel to us, available to us and yet
ordinarily occluded to us by cultural convention
out of the fear of the Mystery, I believe, and what
the Shamans are, are people who have been able to
de-condition themselves from the community's
instinctual distrust of the Mystery, and go into
this bewildering Higher Dimension, and gain
Knowledge, recover the jewel lost at the Beginning
of Time, save souls, cure, commune with the
Ancestors and so forth and so on.
Shamanism is not a religion - it's a set of
techniques, and the Principle Technique is the
use of psychedelic plants. What psychedelics do is
they dissolve boundaries; and in the presence
of dissolved boundaries One cannot continue to
close One's eyes to the ruination of the Earth,
the poisoning of the seas and the
consequences of two thousand years of
unchallenged, dominator culture,
based on Monotheism, hatred of Nature,
suppression of the female and so forth and so on.
So, what Shamans have to do is act as exemplars
by making this cosmic journey to the domain of
the Gaian ideas, and then bringing them back in
the form of art, to the struggle to save the world.
The planet has a kind of intelligence, that
it can actually open a channel of communication
with an individual human being. The message that
Nature sends is transform your language through a
synergy between Electronic culture and the
Psychedelic Imagination; a synergy between
dance and idea; a synergy between understanding
and intuition, and dissolve the boundaries
which your culture has sanctioned between you.
Become part of this Gaian Supermind.
I mean I think it's fairly
profound, it's fairly Apocalyptic. History is
ending, I mean we are to be the generation that
witnesses the Revelation of the purpose of the
Cosmos. History is the shockwave of the Eschaton.
History is the shockwave of Eschatology. And
what this means for those of us who will live
through this transition into Hyperspace is that
we will be privileged to see the greatest release
of compressed change probably since the birth of
the Universe. The twentieth Century is the shudder
that announces the approaching Cataracts
of Time over which our Species and the destiny
of this planet is about to be swept.
"If the truth can be told so as to be understood it will be believed".
The emphasis in house music and rave culture
on physiologically compatible rhythms, and
this sort of thing, is really the
re-discovery of the art of Natural Magic with
sound. That sound, properly understood,
especially percussive sound, can actually change
neurological states, and large groups of people
getting together in the presence of this kind of
music are creating a telepathic community, a bonding,
that hopefully will be strong enough to carry the
vision out into the mainstream of society. I
think the youth culture that is emerging in the
nineties is an End of the Millennium culture that
is actually summing up Western Civilisation, and
pointing us in an entirely different direction; that
we are going to arrive in the Third Millennium in
the middle of an Archaic revival which will mean
a revival of these physiologically empowering rhythm
signatures, a new art, a new social vision, a
new relationship to nature, to feminism, to ego -
all of these things are taking hold...
And not a moment too soon.