Podcast 028 – “In the Valley of Novelty” (Part 2)


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


(Minutes : Seconds into program)

1:50 “Whether meditation and psychedelics are the same thing I think depends on your meditation and your psychedelics. Different meditations strive for different things. Much meditation is about emptying the mind of phenomena. This would certainly not be a description of the psychedelic state.”

4:14 “Ultimately, the meditation path and the psychedelic path must somehow lead to the same kinds of data if the claims of both are to be respected, which is that they give deeper knowledge about reality.”

6:03 “The chemistry of DMT suggests that, in deep REM sleep, it’s possible every single night you have a DMT flash, but it does not transcript into short term memory.”

6:20 “…or imagine a drug that allowed you to enhance long-term memory, so that you could slip into reveries of a summer day 30 years ago, and play it back, moment by moment by moment. Again, this is not shooting for the moon, pharmacologically…”

6:58 “It’s a false dichotomy, the idea that somehow you should be able to achieve these things ‘on the natch’, and they’re not authentic if you achieve them through psychedelics. This is just a con…”

7:55 Terrence tells the story of how his ‘gringa’ friend telepathically knocked a Peruvian shaman’s nephew off of his feet.

10:30 “Where the problem area lies–people think it lies in taking too much– [but] it lies in taking too little, because if you take too little, you can resist it, you can struggle with it…”

12:17 Terrence describes how he takes mushrooms.

14:00 “The most mind-boggling parts of it are just not possible to bring out of it, because language fails, because English–there are no words…”

14:30 Terrence talks about fear during a psychedelic experience, and how to deal with it.

15:39 “The thing to do is to sit up, and to sing.”

18:53 “…the ego feels threatened by the boundary-dissolution… and it can actually say to you, ‘You are dying, and here’s the evidence.’ And you have to say: ‘No, it’s unlikely,’ and sing your way through it.”

22:24 Terrence speculates that some psychedelic-seeming aspects of Tibetan/Mahayana Buddhism may have actually resulted from ancient experiences with psychedelics and/or cannabis.

26:39 “What always fascinated me was hallucination, because it was, to me, the proof that I was dealing with something outside myself. …a single image would have taken me hours to draw and figure out…”

28:49 “The impression you have when you smoke DMT is: This isn’t a drug… this is something else… this is a doorway into another modality that exists all the time, independent of my thoughts or feelings about it… It certainly doesn’t seem to be a place designed to fit human expectations.”

32:18 Terrence speculates about the future of the ‘free individual’ in the electronic/information age: “…[whether] each of us will become a kind of god… [or will we become] …a socialist gas… a hive-mind…”

36:28 “Part of the thing I found with hanging with shamans… is that, once you get past the language barrier… shamans… are simply curious people–intellectuals of a certain type.”

37:05 “…the shamans, who are the keepers of the cultural values, are also… keepers of the secrets of the theatrics of the cultural values, and so they live their lives in the light of the knowledge that it all rests on showbiz.”

37:41 Refering to Shamanism: The Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy and History, The Eternal Return, two books by Mircea Eliade: “…the shaman is socially marginal… and is feared by the people… [but] then the shaman comes forward in this critical role as… mediator between the cultural mind and the real world.”

40:17 “…the logos–the alien A.I., the higher and hidden god that is trying to reach down to you and deliver the message–is a collagist. It can’t really compose the message except out of bits and pieces of what you already posses.”

44:20 Terrence tells his story about the “good shit” miracle.


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These program notes were compiled by Bill, who joins us in the Psychedelic Salon from his home in Japan.

Posted in Ayahuasca, DMT, Language, Medicine, Psilocybin, Psychedelics, Science & Technology, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3), Valley of Novelty and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Terence said:

    “How we could get the universe back into the primal dot in 12 years I don’t know, but there are some schemes to do that…”

    Are we any closer to this “primal dot”, now in 2012…?

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