Podcast 225 – McKenna: “Hermeticism and Alchemy” Part 3


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“I’ve never met anyone with a deeper devotion to cannabis than myself.”

“So what you have to do is just like every other thing, everything you’ve been told is wrong, and you have to take life by the handlebars and figure out what’s really going on, which doesn’t mean that you’re reckless.”

“We’ve been polluted by Disney.”

“We are living inside a 90% Nineteenth Century world view. And a culture cannot evolve any faster than its language evolves, because what cannot be said cannot be done. What cannot be said cannot be put in place.”

“So in a way, one way of thinking about psychedelics is that they empower language. It’s a way to force the evolution of language. The way you stretch the envelope of culture is by creating language.”

“It was very important, I think, to the Establishment to suppress that [hip phrases from the Hippie culture], because new words are the beginnings of new realities.”

“What holds us together is what holds all sub-cultures together, which is an experience. In this case, the experience of being loaded, and, you know, it’s a very powerful and immediate kind of experience.”

“It’s amazing that the world has evolved as far and as fast as it has, the human world, glued together by nothing more than small mouth noises.”

“The whole history of the evolution of the Western mind is in a sense the birth of the Logos. The Logos is making its way towards self-expression, and it’s doing this by claiming dimension, after dimension of manifestation.”

“The mind is not a form of intelligence. The mind is the theater in which intelligence is manifested. You don’t want to confuse the garage with the car. … Everything goes on within the confines of mind. It’s like the light that you switch on when you walk into a darkened room, and then everything else is the furniture within the room. Mind is simply the light which is shed over the landscape of appearances. … Mind is the inclusive category, I think.”

“It’s very important to try and make some accommodation to the local language, because in a way, only the local language is appropriate to the place. … Somehow the local language is a part of the local reality.”

“The one thing you learn taking psychedelics is that nothing is straightforward.”

“Anybody who starts talking to you about the grandeur that was Rome, should be reminded: The grandeur of Rome was it was a bargain-basement on three floors masquerading as a military brothel. It was not a great civilization.”

“I’m completely convinced that no one is in control, and that this is very good news.”

“In a sense, the flying saucer is nothing more than a modern rebirth of the philosopher’s stone. The flying saucer is the universal panacea at the end of time. It’s the thing which cannot exist, but which does exist, and which if we could obtain it everything would be different.”


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

Posted in Alchemy, Cannabis, Culture, Evolution, Extraterrestial, Hermeticism, Language, Psychedelics, Terence McKenna (mp3) and tagged , , , , , , , , .


  1. I love this talk. It’s probably my favorite of all the TM recordings.

    However, he occasionally gets his history wrong.

    Augustine ~wrote~ about one of the first individuals to read silently, which would be St. Ambrose. There is evidence that others going back to ancient times read silently, as well.

    St. Patrick’s Purgatory was a place. A cave and ancient pilgrimage site on Station Island in Ireland. The concept of Purgatory was embraced by Judaism long before Christ and was written about in the New Testament. In the Church history of Purgatory, Patrick is not even mentioned.

    There are a few other minor ones, and others in other talks, but I won’t belabor the point.

    Also, as per the track listing, I think Terence’s neologism is actually “Fardow”.

    Keep on, Lorenzo. Thanks for making these talks available. I sleep every night to the voice of TM.

  2. i’m surprised that terence said the mind is prior to consciousness. that’s not my experience, nor the experience of most esoteric spiritual traditions. i would have assumed that he had experienced that structure of the human…but perhaps not. (which may be why he added, “i think.”)

  3. Link number: 1
    Link: http://www.matrixmasters.net/salon/?p=267
    Name: Podcast 225-McKenna: “Hermeticism and Alchemy” Part 3 ( Notes from the Psychedelic Salon )

    1. mckenna(4:14)
    2. The Fairy-Faith … – W Evans Wentz
    3. purgatory (4:35)
    4. race (5:38)
    5. irish (6:35)
    6. shulgin (7:30)
    7. race (9:00)
    8. pothead stereotype (10:00)
    10. santa claus (12:15)
    11. tinker bell phenomenon (12:44)
    12. Fairy Books – Andrew Lang (12:44)
    13. edges weird (15:00)
    14. reality language (15:45)
    15. computer LSD (17:30)
    16. watergate scandal (18:29)
    17. bad vibes (19:00)
    18. gay black (19:39)
    19. psychedelic society (20:57)
    20. DMT elves visual language (23:00)
    21. evolution language (25:00)
    22. perspective (25:50)
    23. Saint Augustine silent reading (26:25)
    24. Vladimir Nabokov (27:30)
    25. The Difference Engine – William Gibson oral sex Victorian england (28:00)
    26. tykes poetic language ursprache (29:00)
    27. telepathy (30:29)
    28. talking (31:00)
    29. octupus no sanctioned dictionary (34:00)
    30. virtual reality Revelation Logos (39:40)
    31. mind soul intelligence consciousness Neoplatonism (42:30) (50:00)
    32. mirror expectations suggestibility cognitive dissonance (45:00)
    33. UFO piezoelectricity earthquakes Space-Time Transients and Unusual Events – Michael A. Persinger (47:00)
    34. Peruvian Amazon morphogenetic field shaman icaros song paranormal (50:38)
    35. Lou Reed and Old Man River (52:00)
    36. asshole (54:00)
    37. new word : fardaung (54:00)
    38. paranormal wife (55:00)
    39. wilderness jungle florest (56:30)
    40. local language prison botanics (58:00)
    41. straightforward (59:00)
    42. transcendental object evolution (1:00:00)
    43. cockroaches New York city (1:02:00)
    44. rivers sandbars (1:03:00)
    45. weedy lot wasteland (1:04:00)
    46. Jacques Fabrice Vallée Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults panfleting (1:05:00)
    47. science (1:07:00)
    48. Late Roman Empire ethics slavery (1:07:40)
    49. modernity democratean atomism epicurianism stoicism skepticism (10:08:00)
    50. Jesus religion Christianity (1:10:00)
    51. collective unconscious (1:11:40)
    52. Flying Saucer superstition (1:12:00)
    53. cosmic giggle sixties 60s (1:13:00)
    54. fascism control (1:13:30)
    55. archaic revival (1:15:00)
    56. CEO General Motors (1:15:00)
    57. Parallel dimension World War II future estabilishment eschaton (1:16:00)
    58. industrial materialism (1:17:00)
    59. Alaric the visigoth Peloponnese barbarians christians invasion military (1:18:30)
    60. Hermetic tradition hermeticism UFO alchemy philosopher’s stone (1:21:00)
    61. Flying Saucers : A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies – Carl Gustav Jung (1:22:00)
    62. modern science alchemy (1:22:00)
    63. Panacea (1:25:00)
    64. imagination computer (1:25:00)
    65. culture (1:28:00)

  4. Replying to your question:

    McKenna meant “pun” in the sense you find it in Marshall McLuhan and Finnegans Wake.
    You can find this word used again in the same sense, but with more emphasis, in a youtube video named “The Language of Psilocybin”.

    A material thing can be handled by one single expression. I see a chair, I see a computer screen, I see a blog post.

    A visual pun, like a machine elf and the philosopher’s stone, cannot be described with a single expression, because it looks like two or more things *at once*. In our culturally convenctioned reality, this is impossible, because we’ve all agreed that a human being is only capable of seeing only one thing at a time, and capable of being only at one place at a time.

    However, as I’m talking to you now and I speak from a radically different reality and location than yours, we can conclude that the Internet is eroding the linear values and spatial restrictions in such a way that sane discussion about the future of humanity and psychedelics is finally becoming possible. Your blog is part of this change, sure, and I want to thank you for putting this stuff online.

    the inexousthausthible wassailhorn tot of iskybaush,
    904 days from the eschaton

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