Podcast 181 – “What Science Forgot” Q&A Session


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


This is the Question and Answer session following the talk heard in the previous podcast. In it, Terence answers questions from the audience, such as, “Can you talk about the relationship of advanced mathematics to modeling of consciousness in layman’s terms?”

[NOTE: All quotations below are by Terence McKenna.]

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the birth and death of your hope, or the rise and fall of the Assyrian Empire, or the evolution of the Pacific Ocean, processes always occur in the same way. And this is why there is congruence between the mental world of human beings and the world of abstract mathematics and the world of nature. These things are as it were simply different levels of condensation of the same universal stuff.”

“Thinking means something. It’s not just something we do. It means something. It means something because there is sufficient freedom within the human system to be both right or wrong.”

QUESTION: What is the nature of magic, or what is magic or the wonder it invokes?

“Magic is not a trivial issue at all.”

“If you live long enough, I think you discover what we imagine and what actually is are very close to the same thing.”

“The mind is somehow a co-creator in the process of reality, through acts of language. And language is very, very mysterious. I mean, it is true magic.”

“All so-called primitive people know that the world is made up of language. That you sing it into existence. That what you say it is is what it is. That is it maintained in existence by an act of rational apprehension.”

“Mind is necessary for the world to undergo the formality of existing. This is what quantum physics teaches.”

“Modern biology is still afflicted with physics envy. Meanwhile, physics has gone on to a realm of such exotic and surreal uncertainty that it’s, at this point, to the left of psychology in the precision of its metaphors.”

QUESTION: Why don’t some people get high when they take psychedelics?

“The way to do psychedelics is, I believe, at higher doses than most people are comfortable with and rarely, and with great attention to set and setting.”

“But these boundary-dissolving hallucinogens that give you a sense of unity with your fellow man and nature are somehow forbidden. This is an outrage. It’s a sign of cultural immaturity, and the fact that we tolerate it is a sign that we are living in a society as oppressed as any society in the past.”

“We are caged by our cultural programing, and this is the most powerful imprisoning factor in our lives.”

“If we could train ourselves to simply remember our dreams, psychedelics would become obsolete.”

“Culture is a mass hallucination, and when you step outside the mass hallucination you see it for what it is worth.”

“Language is partially the key here. We cannot move into a reality we cannot describe. If we can’t describe a world, we can’t be there.”

“As long as we let the establishment set the language agenda we will be imprisoned in the tiny, rather pedestrian, world of consumerism and schloko values that the establishment has prepared for us.”

“The way I think of these psychedelics are a different way, is that they are catalysts for the imagination.”


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

Posted in Cannabis, Consciousness, Culture, Imagination, Language, LSD, Psychedelics, Schizophrenia, Science & Technology, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3), Timewave, Timothy Leary, War on Drugs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had
    a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear
    your thoughts prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.

    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or tips? Kudos!

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: The best way for me is to begin the day editing what I had written the day before. That gets me the momentum to keep the story going. But getting started is the problem.]

  2. Terence said it a few times in other podcasts, and it’s always fascinating to hear again:

    “Culture is a mass-hallucination!”

    Aloha from Switzerland!

  3. Comments from original blog page: http://www.matrixmasters.net/blogs/?p=1183

    Producerism « Slow Coast
    […] Everything was a lie, everything stank, everything stank of lies, everything feigned meaning and happiness and beauty, and yet everything was decaying while nobody acknowledged the fact. (Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha) … what is real is you and your friends, your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, and your fears. And we are told no. We’re unimportant, we’re peripheral, get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that, and then you’re a player. You don’t even want to play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world. Where is that at? (Terrence McKenna, Q&A session of “What Science Forgot”) […]
    “What Science Forgot” Q&A Session « Beyond the Dial
    […] “What Science Forgot” Q&A Session Terence McKenna » Podcast 181 – “What Science Forgot” Q&A Session – Notes from the Psychedelic Salon […]
    » Podcast 181 – “What Science Forgot” Q&A Session – Notes from the Psychedelic Salon…
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    Lorenzo played a portion of this audio in episode 120, and it inspired a remix I published on my site, oh, a year and a half ago. Wish to heck I had this copy, it’s a much better recording. Anyway, it’s refreshing to listen to the whole thing in it’s original context, and not chopped up in little digitally-fooled-around-with snippets on my desktop.

    Lorenzo then went and played my remix on a later show, so it’s not really news, but if you’d like to listen, go to http://www.braindouche.net/?p=40 . and if you don’t, that’s ok, too.

    Listening to McLuhan …
    ok, after hearing Terence mention McLuhan often enough, it finally sunk it that maybe i wanted to actually learn about/hear discover for myself Marshall McLuhan. [LOL, no thanks to finnegan’s wake … yet]

    at DisInfo i found a dvd entitled “Marshall McLuhan: McLuhan’s Wake”, and bought it

    and am listening now.

    blessings, :L

    McLuhan – after listening/watching/hearing once, I see why Terence recommends him – i can see why he became an icon, and i can see how/why the Paranoid “THEY” got rid of him.
    he says odd -seemingly opinionated and unrelated – things like “NASA is a dinosaur”, but then moves on and doesn’t explicate.

    he was so far ahead in showing how the mass media was ‘trying’ to indoctrinate and turn us into “consumer robots” that he was dangerous,

    of course, there’s also what Nietzche said “mediocrity loves to destroy genius”.
    poor man lived his last few years unable to talk or read but mentally still alive [after stroke] and it painfully reminded me of how Stephen Hawking is down to a few muscles only for his ability to communicate.

    McLuhan scared THEM as much as Leary did … and by embracing him and watering him down or saying he was incomprehensible, they diluted him into nothing…

    i’d say this video (which includes several audio talks too) is well worth the few pence spent… thanks again Terence!

    i have also used a segment of this podcast in an ambient track i made. it’s available for free as a 100mb wav file here:


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