Podcast 211 – “Empowering Hope in Dark Times”


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


Introduction of Terence McKenna by Timothy Leary, followed by Terence’s talk.

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

“What’s the hang-up here? What is the problem? Why is perfection so distant?”

Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World by Paul Stamets“Alchemy, as I’m sure many of you know, is really the secret tradition of the redemption of spirit from matter. … The central conception of alchemy is the conception of the philosopher’s stone. What is it? It’s the universal panacea at the end of time. It’s the chocolate cake that your mother made once a week when you were a child. … It’s all things to all men and all women. … It is not a myth or a fairy tale. It is the burning, primary reality, that lies behind the dross of appearances.”

“We have no idea what it would mean in our own lives if we could throw off the notion of ourselves as fallen beings. We are not fallen beings”

“[We] often feel like hapless atoms, running endlessly according to the blueprints and programs of unseen masters, whether it’s the banking industry, Madison Avenue, whoever. We tend to disempower ourselves. We tend to believe that we don’t matter. And in the act of taking that idea to ourselves we give everything away to somebody else, to something else.”

“There is no inevitability in our lives unless we submit to the idea of inevitability and then give ourselves over to it.”

“Every society, in the moment of its existence, has lived as a resonance, a completion, and a distillation (good alchemical word), a distillation of what has preceded before.”

“Dark as the hour may appear, in reality we exist in a dimension of greater opportunity, greater freedom, greater possibility than has ever been. The challenge then is to not drop the ball.”

“What psychedelic means is getting your mind out in front of you, by whatever means necessary, so that you can relate to it as a thing in the world and then work upon it.”

“The mushroom said to me once, ‘Nature loves courage. Nature loves courage,’ and I said, ‘What’s the payoff on that?’ And it said, ‘It shows you it loves courage because it removes obstacles.’ You make a commitment, and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream, and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up.”

“It is never one or the other. It does a tremendous injustice to being to ignore the union of opposites.”

“It’s absolutely irrational to not be filled with the fire of consuming hope. You just have to overcome the leveling that we inherit from these empty, existential, scientific ideas.”

“We are the last people. Beyond us lies the mystery if we have but the courage to move forward into that abyss, to believe that nature will reward the dreamer. Then we can complete that wonderful Irish toast that says, ‘May ye be alive at the end of the world.’ “


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

Leo Plaw at the Temple of Visions Gallery (Los Angeles)

Fantastic Visions Exhbition Berlin

the sun blindness

Posted in Culture, Future, Psilocybin, Psychedelics, Terence McKenna (mp3) and tagged , , , , .


  1. Incredible short-term memory loss. Picking up a smart-phone. Thinking about today. “Jesus Crimony.” T.McKenna
    I just want to (mis)guide you to the Podcast named Posthumous glory
    And very politely ask someone to pass those recordings! If I was what I wanted to be I’d make a song about the thoughts that we change 1 at a time.

  2. Comments from original blog page: http://www.matrixmasters.net/blogs/?p=1489

    I like this one a lot, especially the references to fate-defying microcosmic Renaissance magic devised by the likes of Marsilio Ficino. Blessings upon the woman who asked the question that prompted that response from Terence. The story about the dream angel that inspired Descartes to found scientific rationalism is a real gem. It pokes a nice big hole in the historical mythology of logical positivist reductionism.

    idiot savant
    Ah well thanks, more from the greatest mind of all times, TMK.

    I will savor this one like all others, and much thanks to Lorenzo and the people with dem tapes. Keep it up until there is not one left except the one on the answering machine.

    For your information, a real pro wrote up a brief description of the Timewave, and you will find it most thrilling, and in a real nutshell. Fits right into your walnut.

    Sorry Lorenzo, but I declare hereby that you will be eventually plonked with/by/through the reality of T’s discovery. This, in my book, makes him the culmination of the human endeavour to figure out stuff for real, not so-so. With reason. Which is all there is between the genuine article and hyperventilating shience. Shience as defined in that the shientists shine their asses, polish their shit (see Climategate and so much more). No good for nothings.

    Also, check out the other superior mind, Nassim Haramein, who has figured out the rest, which T had not time to get around to. Also based on 64.

    Now if THAT does not raise en eyebrow, nothing will. Check it out here:


    Most forceful best wishes to all,

    idiot savant

    one might also check out tielhard de chardin and his Omega Point material:

    And for more on Teilhard, also see my book “The Spirit of the Internet”, Chapter 2 “The Internet and the Noosphere”.


    I think the Omega Point and the noosphere ideas are gaining ground these days, especially with the web and everything. I think it is an interesting way to look at a certain phenomena (the increasing sharing of memes as we come more constantly in contact with other people’s thoughts, and become exposed to the same things en masse while becoming more and more part of a networked world), but I think it can be dangerous if taken on in a fundamentalist-type way.

    Really: Is it a beautiful place, the Omega Point, if it really means we’d just become more and more part of some vast singular entity that values our compliance and ready-compatibility over our creativity and uniqueness? I know it’s possible to say that we’d still be unique parts of the noosphere, but I think there would be extreme pressure to align oneself with a certain mindset. And I think that, if there are any surprises at all in the noosphere, they would be, more and more, the result of our submission to the “zeitgeist-thingy” rather than to our own effort and creative vision.

    The Omega point looks a lot like hive-mind coordination, rather than the creative and surprising mix of individual inspiration and unique vantages that make life interesting and varied and beautiful (and messy). The hive will want efficiency and compatibility. The hive will make the individual less and less important according to his/her uniqueness, and his/her difference–all of this in opposition to the course of human history, and the liberation of the individual, and our increasing respect for human rights.

    Not to say that community and coordination, and increased capacities for communication don’t have their place. But let’s step back, and acknowledge that there is more to life than this submission to efficiency and “trendy” or “hip” systemic imperatives.

    I’m not sure I followed all of that, but it seems that you may be confusing the concept of the noosphere with his idea of an Omega point. At least as I understand it, the noosphere is like our collective unconscious, if you subscribe to that concept. As for the Omega point, I’ve never bought into that idea either.

    Jeez, yeah, I tossed Omega Point around a little too much and incorrectly. I was referring to the noosphere (as well as I can pin down what it might be). Removing the Omega Point from a conception of the noosphere is an interesting idea.

    Looking over the latest Wikipedia page for Teilhard, I noticed a suggestion that Teilhard felt that unity of consciousness in the noosphere would be voluntary. I had never actually heard mention of that before (I have only been exposed to Teilhard indirectly), and I wonder how it would be possible in the context of an unconscious entity (unconscious to us, at least, like the collective unconscious). Perhaps there’s some subtlety going on, or it’s just a sentiment taken on faith?

    One thing I’ve noticed in web-communities interested in psychedelics is that Teilhard’s ideas have become pretty popular. I think the nature of the setting (people interested in consciousness and doing networking) has led to a bias towards this sort of vision maybe, and I often read comments in forums that almost sound as if they were written by the same person, often with no pointing back to Teilhard, Lorenzo, or McKenna, etc. as inspiration. I’m not sure if this might be a case of self-fulfilling prophecy or an example of the microcosm in the macrocosm, or what. Or maybe it’s just regular old meme propagation.

    One thing that troubles me, however, is that I’ve seen in online forums/comments, and heard on a podcast or two (not a salon podcast, but a different psychedelic site interested in McKenna, shamanism, etc.), urges to “surrender” and make a leap of faith, and lectures that we are all tools, and that we are not the source of our creativity. If what we are doing is simply spreading memes, then I think these are not great ones to rally around, or let pass without objection or alternatives being offered. If there is no Omega Point, and we–as individuals–really are contributing to our future (noosphere or otherwise), then I think it might be worth considering perspectives in which the collective unconscious (whether it undergoes some change, or remains the same as it always has been, for shamans and common dreamers alike) is a resource that we might be more or less aware of, and not a dominant force shunting aside our reason, creativity, and will.

    I think that there definitely IS something like a collective unconscious, but I wonder if Teilhard’s vision might be doing something akin to perhaps countless past calls for submission or service to a hidden or incomprehensible higher power. The results haven’t always gone badly, but they haven’t always been great, either. And, fortunately, some individuals have always been able to resist, and be guided by reason. Let me parrot Terence and his “shit from shinola” here 🙂

    Let me say I am honored to be in a little back and forth with Lorenzo here, despite my embarrassingly mistaken usage of “Omega Point” earlier, and any stupidity that might have transpired in this particular comment. I’ve been bumping against this stuff in my head for quite a while now, but let me also mention that I’ve been energized by Jaron Lanier’s new book, and I’ve undoubtedly done some parroting (to some degree or another) from that direction.

    We are both on the same page now, Bill … and I like your analysis … gives me some new things to think about. … And I think your observation about Teilhard (who I greatly admire … yet…). While he was so on point for the most part, he never was able to shed his Catholic world view, IMO. And I think that kept him from the breakthrough in thinking personally that his work does for us freethinkers who can view his work from a different perspective.

    phew! And thanks for the kind response, Lorenzo.

    I think it would be interesting if you could somehow swing an interview with Lanier, btw. I don’t know if he really fits the salon, or if the salon really fits what he’s into, but maybe something along the lines of VR worlds and the imagination, I don’t know… I think he’s recognized something that a lot of people have had trouble articulating. Perhaps (?) an antidote or medicine to counter or control what Terence was referring to in that quote at the end of podcast 29, “It transforms us, even as we overrun it.”

    Yes, I’m a big fan of Jaron’s work. In fact, I have a recording of a talk that he gave at Mind States one year. I’ll have to listen to it again to see if it would work here. But as I recall, he was using a lot of musical instruments that required a visual component to make sense of the audio. … but I’ll check it out again.

    Cool, that sounds tough for a podcast, but I appreciate you looking into it. I hadn’t heard of that, so I’ll try to track it down. There’s some good stuff on youtube, too. (This is long and five years old: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8FYj1wKyaY
    but worth a listen, time permitting).

    His music stuff is more interesting than I had initially expected, and in a whole different way. Thanks again for the heads up!

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