Podcast 126 – “Psychedelics and the Computer Revolution”


Guest speakers: Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, and Rupert Sheldrake


[NOTE: The following quotes are from a conversation held in September 1991.]

Terence McKenna: “But in fact it seems that the ouroboros has taken its tail in its mouth and these two concerns psychedelics and computers] are seen to be simply different approaches to the completion of the same program of knowledge.”

Terence McKenna: “The citizen is an interchangeable part in the body politic.”

Terence McKenna: “Yes, I mean television certainly has an influence on the mass mind, but on the creative, cutting-edge of the civilization it’s psychedelics. Television influences culture, but if you watch television it’s psychedelics that shape the agenda of television.”

Terence McKenna: “As a global society, possessing DNA sequencers and thermonuclear delivery systems and so forth and so on, we cannot have the luxury of an unconscious mind. That’s something that may or may not have some appropriateness if you’re hunting wooly mastedons and that sort of thing, but an integrated global culture cannot have the luxury of a large portion of its mind inaccessible to itself and somehow occluded.”

Terence McKenna: “Technology, the evolution of languages and so forth have taken a turn toward ‘outing’ the unconscious. And computers are a wonderful tool for this, as are psychedelic drugs.”

Terence McKenna: “High definition TV may give a surprising shot in the arm to the, at this point on-the-ropes linear uniform unitarians, because it’s going to be much more like cinema and photography. And it’s not going to have to be deciphered. It can be looked at, and this will have unexpected consequences on the sense ratios and assumptions operating within society.”

Ralph Abraham (in 1991): “Video is doomed not because of a resolution limitation but because it’s not interactive. Interactive computer graphic games where you can watch the soap opera but also play with it to change the script, and so on, is bound to be much more interesting just because of interaction than video or cinema.”

Terence McKenna: “So the conclusion is that civilization which welcomes psychedelics is the civilization that will lead and rule the planet.”


PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option

Posted in Psychedelics, Ralph Abraham, Rupert Sheldrake, Science & Technology, Terence McKenna (mp3), Trialogues and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Does anyone know where I could find the study that they quote in this podcast, about the San Francisco newspaper that interviewed 118 computer graphics programmers at a Nevada conference, and ALL of them had used psychedelics? I haven’t been able to come across it searching with those keyterms, so any leads would be very helpful. Thanks!
    Much Love <3

  2. Comments from original blog page: http://www.matrixmasters.net/blogs/?p=256

    Hi Lorenzo

    First of all, thanks for this great podcast. Again the trialogue trio prove their timelessness and I hope that one day Ralph and Rupert can record a dialogue in comemoration of Terrence in which they discuss his ideas and his influence on their own thinking.

    I just wanted to comment on our mutual intrigue with high definition television. Now, I’m in no way an avid watcher of TV and my only real exposure to film occurs when I go to the movies. But quite recently I witnessed the pinnacle of high definition viewing during an undesirable expedition to an out-of-town shopping mall. I was looking to kill time while my girlfriend wandered the clothing aisles when I came upon an electronics shop in which they had a cutting edge high definition 40″ TV on a video loop.

    Instantly I was entranced. While the video showed off typical scenes of wonder to bring out the best of high-def TV, ironically as you mentioned, it also featured clips from a golf tournament. Now I’m no fan of the sport, but watching it on the screen was like an exercise in psychic transportation. Every detail was captured, from the tweed of the golfers questionable shorts to the freckles on the face of a girl in the crowd. I felt as if I was not simply witnessing, but INVOLVING the scene three-dimensionally, and instantly I was reminded of those moments during a psychedelic experience when all distortions and hallucinations have ceased and the observer is left with a piercing visual clarity that defies description.

    The whole experience has reinvigorated my interest in such states and I plan to do some research on the subject, but I really think you are on to something when you equate hi-def with the visual penetration that often comes with psychedelic use.

    Hopefully I’ll have time to post more on the subject, but for now please accept my belated paypal donation for releasing my mental cogs from their stupor.

    All best wishes



Comments are closed.