Podcast 119 – “A Crisis of Consciousness”


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[Note: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“These are the two things we don’t have: As a society we cannot seem to make peace with nature. As human beings, as individuals, it’s very hard for us to be at peace with ourselves.”

Art by Higinio Gonzalez“We have not, in this culture, awakened to the depths of the crisis that surrounds us.”

“Our culture is in trouble. Not trouble! We are at a terminal crisis, a bifurcation that can only go one of two ways, horror beyond your wildest imagination, or breakthrough to dignity, decency, community, and caring beyond your wildest imagination.”

“The only thing I can preach is the felt presence of immediate experience, which for me came through the psychedelics, which are not drugs but plants. It’s a perversion of language to try and derail this thing into talk of drugs. There are spirits in the natural world that come to us in this way.”

“When you talk about Gaia, it’s only an abstraction unless you talk about plants. The division between the masculine and the feminine is only trivially a difference between men and women. It is fundamentally a division between plants and animals.”

“We have descended into a dominator pattern that is basically based on clutching, on fear. And I’m sure most of you have heard me argue that this is the consequence of ceasing, basically, to do enough hallucinogens in the diet.”

“It is a crisis in consciousness which confronts us globally. Consciousness is the commodity that if we do not have enough of it, do not produce it fast enough, then the momentum of the processes we set in motion in our ignorance is going to sterilize the planet and do us all in.”

“Ego is a structure that is erected by a neurotic individual who is a member of a neurotic culture against the facts of the matter. And culture, which we put on like an overcoat, culture is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behavior are acceptable.”

“There are not rosy futures of suburban housing and ratatouille to be extended endlessly into the future. We are approaching a bifurcation where it is either going to become heaven or hell. One of the other.”

“What we deny, as a culture, as a culture of materialist positivist reductionists, it the presence of spirit in the world, in ourselves, or in nature.”

“I don’t think we want to set ourselves up as the crusaders for permanence. But that means softening to the fact of the flow and of the impermanence.”


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Posted in Consciousness, Culture, Terence McKenna (mp3) and tagged , , .


  1. Comments from original blog page: http://www.matrixmasters.net/blogs/?p=242

    Who is this Machelle that Terrence mentioned?

    1-27-08 we just watched “supersize me” this weekend from netflix (or library; i forget which). we cancelled cable tv 3-4 yrs ago so only get npr or online news and this contributes to a growing freedom from cultural propaganda

    anyway, i found that for me the most profound part of the program, and that which made the most lasting impression on me – was an interview in the bonus section of the author of “fast food nation”.

    in the interview he commented that one [1] mcdonald’s hamburger was made up of meat from over 1000 cows! and this was verified by the CDC.

    – ooh! icky, ptooey! then the cows and their poor suffering in close and feces-laden quarters, and worse for pigs… and i am just nauseated beyond expression.

    my husband quit eating chicken 9 yrs ago when we moved from ny to wa – and we had a stretch on a narrow road behind a chicken truck. i’ve not been so mature. but today when i stir-fried up my ground turkey, i kept the “jenny=o” packaging and wrote to the company’s web addy, asking: how many turkeys made up that pound of ground? were they “humanely” er, well treated? were they fed a vegetarian diet? [remember mad cow came from feeding animal parts to cows!]

    i am already a convert to free-range eggs from vegetarian chickens, and so i hope there are some steps i can take to at least be sure the birds i eat [no red meat for me] are treated humanely.

    of course, even eating fish is toxic lately. one can’t have tuna more than 1-2x a month, and never be albacore due to all the mercury! tuna is so bad there should be signs in the grocery as it shouldn’t be eaten by pregnant women or children under 12, and older should minimize!

    farmed fish are unsafe- penned in feces-laden water, and my fave shrimp may also be unsafe,

    and the cause of turtle deaths, and turtles are my totem animal. go lower on the food chain and

    back to sardines and herring for safety …

    sorry for the rant here… but Lorenzo, i’d been wondering how to share this epiphany – if a gross-out can be an epiphany- and then at the end of the podcast you mention the simple-but significant- change we could make jsut by giving up red meat.

    … anyway. i’d already gone “no” to lamb, “no” to veal, and now all red meat is on the “no thanks” menu.

    blessings, :L, laura


    [NOTE: The following comment was posted to my personal blog with a request to move it here.]

    Hi lorenzo

    first thank you for your work or better to say passion of podcasting this relates to your podcast 119 terence is mentioning that at 2:55min he said:” as nicole pointed out …”

    so just to stay in tune when he did said what . he did a talk only once recorded

    as far as i know with a nicole and that was nicole maxwell she wrote : a witch doctors apprentice about her travells in the amazone so he may did gave that talk

    just after their both talkings or in between here is what i ment


    mckenna nicole amazonian shamanism a photosynthesis to find so that the talk must be from incredible 1989


    a friend )) europe

    the woodman
    i believe we are having a crisis of truth going on as well. i go online and i get all this conspiracy this and conspiracy that , and deny this and deny that, to be honest my head feels like its going to explode and i dont know what or who to believe, im reading lots of historical facts and finding out how evil and conspiratorial the leaders of our countries have been in the past, and i look at today and i see it all around me happening over and over again, war, recession, depression. etc so where is the truth, is humanity inherently evil? Are we?

    The rich are getting richer and more protective of their wealth, the poor are getting angrier and more resentfull about how they are treated. and the origianl blogger is quite right, there are two options facing humanity, destruction or Peace.

    We live in a world where different people in different countries are develolping mentally and socially at different rates, then put in an admix of differing religions greed, corruption nepetism paranoia & mistrust and give it a good shake and youve just mixed your self Catasrophe cocktail. my heart is heavy for the future. maybe the only thing which will break down the barriers which we humans build between ourselves would be an outside threat from another world be it alien, or asteroid, anything that makes us realise we are all on the same boat, and we all have something to lose, but if thats true what a sad reflection on human intellect that is. Humanity is now in possition where ,like terrence mackenna said we are led by the least of us, the least intelligent and the least compassionate.

    In most circumstances you will find the best of humanity at the bottom of the pack, decent and good people find it difficult to rise up against the monsters at the top because they are inherently good and it goes against their values, because these people are honest they give others who are not, the benefit of the doubt (i.e. lying politicians etc) i dont know how this problem is ever going to be addressed. “may Mother Earth help us all”

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