Podcast 132 – McKenna: “Shamanism”


Guest speakers: Terence McKenna and Matt Pallamary

NEW! … Two of Matt Pallamary’s books are now available on Kindle:
Spirit Matters … Kindle Edition
Land Without EvilKindle Edition


[NOTE: The following quotes are by Terence McKenna.]

“Shamanism is not some obscure concern of cultural anthropologists. Shamanism is how religion was practiced for its first million years. Up until about 12,000 years ago there was no other form of religion on this planet. That was how people attained some kind of access to the sacred.”

Land Without Evil by Matt Pallamary“The sine qua non for obtaining a psychedelic experience is humbling yourself to the point where you admit that you must submit to the experience of the plant or the drug. This act of surrender is the major technical function you will be called upon to perform during the psychedelic trip.”

“Cultural conditioning is like bad software. Over and over it’s diddled with and re-written so that it can just run on the next attempt. But there is cultural hardware, and it’s that cultural hardware, otherwise known as authentic being, that we are propelled toward by the example of the shaman and the techniques of the shaman. … Shamanism therefore is a call to authenticity.”

“The same organizational principles which called us forth into self-reflection have called forth self-reflection out of the planet itself. And the problem then is for us to suspect this, act on our suspicion, and be good detectives, and track down the spirit in its lair. And this is what shamans are doing. They are hunters of spirit.”

“I don’t believe that shamanism without hallucinogens is authentic shamanism or comfortable shamanism.”

“Don’t diddle the dose. Once you have done your homework, go for it.”

[NOTE: The following quotes are by Matt Pallamary.]

Spirit Matters by Matt Pallamary“I’ve gone through some really dark places, and I’ve done that so other people don’t have to do that.”

“One of the underlying themes about ‘Spirit Matters’ is that it’s a map, and it’s a guide, and I’m way out on point.”

“Altered states of consciousness are fascinating, and they are a part of life and part of experience, and they’re here for a reason.”


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MATT PALLAMARY: Author, Writing Teacher, Shamanic Explorer


Posted in Ayahuasca, Books, Culture, Matt Pallamary, Psychedelics, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3) and tagged , , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Comments from original blog page: http://www.matrixmasters.net/blogs/?p=267




    Wow! I just watched this video and was blown away. Although I’ve never had a stroke, I have definitely experienced something very close to the right brain bliss that this brain researcher describes. I think there is a lot of interesting research that could be done around this issue. … Thanks for finding that llama2.

    There is so much that we as a group are getting to know about, the subltle and not-so-subtle realms that can be entered with the sacred medicines. I can imagine that groups such as some Tibetan lineages and some Amazon shamans actually know vast amounts about the energy planes and vibrational fields of knowledge that we are just getting our feet wet in. That this information has been held in plain sight and coded rituals is such hermetic alchemical wonder to me. There really is an the elixor that turns the lead (the non-energized reality) into the gold (the shinning visible wave energy that we get to play in and be taught by). And then to imagine that these sacred medicines could hold the secret to the transformation of the species from asleep mankind to awake mankind, well as has been said before, “it’s all too much for me to bear, this love that’s all around me”. And that these knowledge-lineages don’t get lost-

    There are actually lots of different ways of categorizing ayahuasca vine types in the Upper Amazon. Mestzio shamans, for example, will distinguish not only red ayahuasca, white ayahuasca, yellow ayahuasca, and black ayahuasca, but also cielo ayahuasca, sky ayahuasca, lucero ayahuasca, bright star ayahuasca, trueno ayahuasca, thunder ayahuasca, and ayahuasca cascabel, rattle ayahuasca, which is supposed to be the best ayahuasca of all.

    These distinctions are often based on the types of visions produced, rather than on the morphology of the plant. Sometimes attempts are made to coordinate these various classifications: yellow ayahuasca is said to be the same as sky ayahuasca, black ayahuasca the same as thunder ayahuasca.

    Similarly, the Ingano Indians recognize seven kinds of ayahuasca, the Siona recognize eighteen, and the Harakmbet famously recognize twenty-two, distinguished on the basis of the strength and color of the visions, the trading history of the plant, and the authority and lineage of the shaman who owns the plant. All of these variations are a single botanical species, yet shamans can distinguish these varieties on sight, and shamans from different tribes identify these same varieties with remarkable consistency. Indigenous ayahuasqueros look at the shape of the vine, the color and texture of the bark, the shape and softness of the leaves, and the overall nature of the cylindrical shape of the vine, not to mention its smell and taste.

    In Brazil, members of the União de Vegetal church distinguish two varieties of Banisteriopsis caapi, which they call tucanaca and caupurí. The tucanaca variety is a smooth vine which grows in the cooler climate of southern Brazil and is known to have a mild purgative effect; the caupurí variety is a knobby-looking vine with large internodes, which grows in the hotter jungles of northern Brazil and is known as a powerful purgative. The table below compares the mean beta-carboline content of these two varieties of ayahuasca vine, expressed as mg/g of dried bark:

    Mean Banisteripsois caapi beta-carboline content (mg/g):*




    These results indicate, once again, both significant differences in chemical composition among ayahuasca vines and indigenous ability to recognize variants of the same species and correlate these differences with differing physiological effects.

    *Callaway, J. C. (1999). Phytochemistry and neuropharmacology of ayahuasca. In R. Metzner (Ed.). Ayahuasca: Hallucinogens, consciousness, and the spirits of nature (pp. 250-275). New York, NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press.

    Thanks for posting some of these little known, and often overlooked aspects of what is generally referred to as “ayahuasca”. As I have been trying to point out in some of my podcasts, you just can’t purchase a dose of ayahuasca on the street and expect it to be authentic. It takes many years of dedication and training before a person knows how to select the proper ages and varieties of these plants and prepare the brew.

    Both the link and the ayahuasca information is great, llama2, thanks!

    Lorenzo, I was wondering about Grob’s study – is there anyway we could just start a fund and have you donate it all at once? I guess it wouldn’t be fair to have you get such a tax write-off, but I know I wouldn’t mind parting with 5 dollars, receipt or not (of course I couldn’t do much more than that…). Anyway, maybe I’m being naive and not quite understanding the situation.

    It was an interesting format for this podcast too, with that little bit of Terence at the beginning. I do not agree with him, but I still find it amusing when he so bluntly dismisses yoga.

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