|Born||15 June 1966|
|Subject||Entheogens, Mayanism, New-age philosophy, ecology, technology|
|Notable works||Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism
2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl
|Relatives||Joyce Johnson (mother)
Peter Pinchbeck (father)
Daniel Pinchbeck (born 15 June 1966) is an American author living in New York's East Village. He is the author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway Books, 2002), 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006), and Notes from the Edge Times (Tarcher/Penguin, 2010). He is a co-founder of the web magazine, Reality Sandwich, and Evolver.net, and edited the publishing imprint, Evolver Editions, with North Atlantic Books. He was featured in the 2010 documentary, 2012: Time for Change, directed by Joao Amorim and produced by Mangusta Films. He is the founder of the think tank, Center for Planetary Culture, which produced the Regenerative Society Wiki. His new book How Soon Is Now? will be published in February 2017 by Watkins Press.
Family and background
Pinchbeck has deep personal roots in the New York counterculture of the 1950s and 1960s. His father, Peter Pinchbeck, was an abstract painter, and his mother, the writer Joyce Johnson, was a member of the Beat Generation and dated Jack Kerouac as On the Road hit the bestseller lists in 1957 (chronicled in Johnson's bestselling book, Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir). His family history is traced back to Christopher Pinchbeck, a London clockmaker who invented the family's eponymous alloy, a cheap substitute for gold.
Works and activities
Pinchbeck was a founder of the 1990s literary magazine Open City with fellow writers Thomas Beller and Robert Bingham. He has written for many publications, including Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. In 1994 he was chosen by The New York Times Magazine as one of "Thirty Under Thirty" destined to change our culture through his work with Open City. He has been a regular columnist for a number of magazines, including Dazed & Confused.
In Breaking Open the Head, Pinchbeck explored shamanism via ceremonies with tribal groups such as the Bwiti of Gabon, who eat iboga, and the Secoya people in the Ecuadorean Amazon, who take the psychedelic tryptamine brew ayahuasca in their ceremonies. He also attended the Burning Man festival in Nevada, and looked at use of psychedelic substances in a de-sacralized modern context. Philosophically influenced by the work of anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner, through his direct experience and research Pinchbeck developed the hypothesis that shamanic and mystical views of reality have validity, and that the modern world had forfeited an understanding of intuitive aspects of being in its pursuit of rational materialism.
Drawing heavily, and somewhat controversially, from material shared on the Breaking Open the Head forums, Pinchbeck's second volume, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, chronicles Mayan and Hopi prophecies, and follows Pinchbeck's travels and travails as he responds to leads, both physical and intellectual, he receives via this forum. Examining the nature of prophecy, Pinchbeck investigates the New Age hypothesis of Terence McKenna that humanity is experiencing an accelerated process of global consciousness transformation, leading to a new understanding of time and space during this period. The book details the psi or extra-sensory perception research of Dean Radin, the theories of Terence McKenna, the phenomena of crop circles, and a visit to calendar reform advocate José Argüelles. Pinchbeck concludes with an account of receiving a transmission of prophetic material by the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl,. This claim was enough to get the book dropped by its planned publisher, delaying its release for the greater part of a year. While acknowledging the validity of such an experience is unknown, Pinchbeck describes how a voice identifying itself as Quetzalcoatl began speaking to him during a 2004 trip to the Amazon in Brazil. At the time, he was in the Amazon, participating in ceremonies of the Santo Daime, a Brazilian religion that uses ayahuasca as its sacrament. Through its references to 2012 and the Maya calendar in the context of New Age beliefs, Pinchbeck's book has contributed to Mayanism.
In May 2007, Pinchbeck launched Reality Sandwich. He is the executive producer of Postmodern Times, a series of web videos presented on the iClips Network, and co-founder of Evolver.net, an online social network. His life and work are featured in the documentary 2012: Time for Change, featuring interviews with Sting, David Lynch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and others.
In February 2017, Watkins Press will publish his new book, How Soon Is Now?  in the US and UK. The book's thesis is that the ecological crisis is a rite of passage or initiation for humanity collectively, forcing us to reach the next level of our consciousness as a species. The book outlines the changes to our technical infrastructure - agriculture, energy, industry - and our social, political, and economic system that Pinchbeck deems necessary to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, species extinction, and so on.
Appearances and interviews
Pinchbeck was also featured in the 2008 video 2012: Science or Superstition, a documentary describing how much of what we are hearing is science and how much is superstition.
He interviewed Alejandro Jodorowsky for the German/French art television network Arte in a very personal discussion, spending a night together in France, continuing the interview in different locations like in a park and in a hotel.
Pinchbeck appears in the documentary film 2012: Time for Change, directed by João G. Amorim, which was released in October 2010. He also appeared in the documentary film Electronic Awakening, directed by AC Johner, released in 2011.
Books and publications
- Pinchbeck, Daniel (2002). Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (1st ed.). New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 978-0-767-90742-2.
- —— (2002). Jeff Koons Andy Warhol: Flowers. Essay by Daniel Pinchbeck. New York: Gagosian Gallery. ISBN 978-1-880-15485-4.
- —— (2006). 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. ISBN 978-1-585-42592-1.
- Pinchbeck, Daniel; Jordan, Ken, eds. (2009). Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. ISBN 978-1-585-42700-0.
- —— (2010). Notes from the Edge Times. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. ISBN 978-1-585-42837-3.
- "How Soon is Now by Daniel Pinchbeck". 2016-06-08. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
- Pinchbeck, Daniel (8 June 2000). "My mother and Jack Kerouac". Salon. Salon Media Group. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Pinchbeck, Daniel (10 November 2002). "'Breaking Open the Head'". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Pinchbeck, Daniel (5 January 1999). "Breath Trip". The Village Voice. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Pinchbeck, Daniel (22 February 1998). "Cast Your Magazine Upon the Waters". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Kamiya, Gary (10 November 2002). "Far Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "2009 Theme Camps & Villages". burningman.com. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Taylor, Suzanne. "Conversation With Wheat Graffiti Writer, Daniel Pinchbeck". Los Angeles: Mighty Companions. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Pinchbeck, Daniel (August 2002). "Wheat Graffiti: A roundup of the top of the crops". Wired. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Mathis-Lilley, Ben (1 May 2006). "Lit Scenester Predicts Apocalypse". New York. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Sterling, Bruce (4 June 2009). "It's been a good day for weird, unsolicited email: part one". Wired. Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Pinchbeck, Daniel (19 March 2010). "Launching The Evolver Social Movement". Reality Sandwich. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- "Daniel Pinchbeck - The Colbert Report". The Colbert Report. New York. 14 December 2006. Comedy Central. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- Mann, Rod (Director) (2006). Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within (DVD video). Critical Mass Productions. OCLC 181630835. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Erez, Nimrod (Director) (2008). 2012: Science or Superstition (DVD video). New York: Disinformation Company. ISBN 978-1-934-70817-0. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Jodorowsky, Alejandro (25 November 2009). "Durch die Nacht mit... Alejandro Jodorowsky & Daniel Pinchbeck". Arte (Interview). Interview with Daniel Pinchbeck. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "2012: Time for Change". imdb.com. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "Electronic Awakening". imdb.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Rogan, Joe (8 September 2011). "Podcast #136". The Joe Rogan Experience (Podcast). Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012.