The Download @ La Chorrera

Mystical Heart Diagram 1, Paul Kyam.

Four years later, in the Amazonian jungle in Columbia, at the mission settlement of La Chorrera, Terence and his younger brother Dennis, along with three friends, had a weeks-long cascade of psychedelic experience that has been called since, by the brothers, “the Experiment at La Chorrera” (the E@LC). I am not highlighting issues of authorship, but the states of mind, or Mind-at-Large that occurred during the download period from March 4th to March 15th, 1971 at La Chorrera. The Other, as Logos, provides structure, acting as a transducer of energy, bringing the high speed, high intensity informational flood to a manageable level. What makes a download a download is the intensity of the experience, the extreme compaction of densely interconnected knowledge, and the sense of potential access to any knowledge one can summon the wit to inquire about under such extreme epistemological conditions.
“While what Dennis did in the Amazon may not have caused the ideas that I developed, I have the strong intuition that it did. In the wake of the experiment, my ordinary private concerns were replaced with such utterly strange musings that I could not recognize them as products of my own personality. He performed his experiment and it seemed as though I got a kind of informational feedback off my DNA, or some other molecular storage site of information. This happened precisely because the psychedelic molecules bound themselves to the DNA and then behaved in the way that we had expected; they did broadcast a totality symbol whose deep structure reflects the organizational principles of the molecules of life itself. This totality entered linear time disguised, in the presence of ordinary consciousness, as a dialogue with the Logos. The Logos provided a narrative framework able to frame and give coherency to the flood of new insights that otherwise would have overwhelmed me.” –Terence McKenna1

The Mystical Heart Diagram 5, Paul Kaym.

Regarding intensity: the fact that Dennis remained in an altered state of consciousness for the duration of at least 23 days is an almost unthinkable supermarathon of psychedelic travel. During this time Terence minded him, not sleeping for several nights, one foot in the practical world in which concern was escalating over Dennis’ mental health and the other foot in the uninhibited, luminous, absurdist, messianic certainty and ontological confusion of the world Dennis appeared to live in, day after day, sharing the reality, “illuminated and maddened and lifted up by something great beyond all telling.” –Terence McKenna2


Go to next McKenna page: Concresence.


  1. McKenna, T. K. (1993b). True hallucinations : being an account of the author’s extraordinary adventures in the devil’s paradise. San Francisco, HarperSanFrancisco. []
  2. Sutin, L. (1991). In Pursuit of Valis: Selections from the Exegesis–Philip K. Dick. Novato, Underwood-Miller. []

One Response to “The Download @ La Chorrera”

  1. Do you have any video of that? I’d like to find out more details.


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