Podcast 242 – “Philosophical Gadfly” Part 3


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

Terence MeKenna's home by Dean ChamberlinPROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“McLuhan should be looked at more carefully. I think McLuhan was never correctly centered visa vie the psychedelic phenomena the way he should have been. People thought he was talking about the impact of television and print and this sort of thing. What he was really talking about is how cultural inputs to sensory modalities change self-definition, and the drugs have done that to a great extent.”

“The notion of certainty is a culturally naive and unexamined notion.”

“The fact that we rely on an intellectual method [science] two thousand years old almost precludes our understanding of anything interesting.”

“The present is the interference pattern caused by the forward and backward flowing causitries inherent in time. Where they meet they form an interference pattern, a standing wave if you will, which is what a hologram is. And it’s that which is experienced as the now, and it is half of the past and half of the future.”

“And this is why the drugs are so controversial, because they free you from the myth of the tribe.”

“It’s trying to make sense of our intuitions in the light of the enormous pressure to accept prepackaged ideologies that makes neurotics of us all.”

“And it isn’t necessary for everybody to go out and get loaded. It’s more about participating in a new language of self-reflection. This is what we need to do. Some of us should take drugs. It’s a professional kind of obligation. That’s what a shaman is. He’s a guy whose professional obligation is to take drugs, but we all have an obligation to create a language that values us and the people around us.”

“We cannot afford the unconscious anymore. This is a concept that has to take its place with the high-button shoe. We must be entirely conscious because we have the power to shatter the Earth like a rotten apple with a stick of dynamite inside of it.”


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Posted in Consciousness, Creativity, Culture, Future, Myth, Psychedelics, Science & Technology, Terence McKenna (mp3) and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Hey Lorenzo and “the others” coincidentally I am traveling and teaching in Southern California (www.returntonature.us) I teach ethnobotany, foraging, herbalism, and the history of entheogenic plants. The last class I did was a plant walk down the street in Venice. Of course ending with front yard San Pedro identification.

    Amazingly to the coincidence (“a coincidence is what you have left over when you have a bad theory”) Lorenzo put out this siren call right as I felt his presence close. I have wished for a way to connect and speak with Lorenzo regarding mxkennas philosophy, biography, and also community building, sharing talks/podcasts, and collaborations on workshops. I feel it’s time to take things to the next level. And as I drove through the greater Los Angeles area listening to the next podcast on the list it was this, and Lorenzo putting out the same call that I am. I have modified McKenna or learys quote “find the others” to “find the others, become the we” and I truly feel it is time to become the we, that we are connected and clear now.

    And a great quote , “locals always survive empires” resonates so deeply with the mission I bring.

    Well, bee in touch all.


    Lorenzo if you are out there, please do be in touch. I use gmail 🙁 and would love to meet and speak with you.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Dan, since I try to avoid gmail, I sent you a private message on the forums.]

  2. Hello.

    I just wanted to point out a typographical error in the transcription. “visa vie” has no meaning; it should be spelled “vis-à-vis”.

  3. I’m heavily waiting for the digitized tapes that you hinted that Ralph Abraham has given you. Like the first comment, I too cannot get enough of McKenna. With every talk I discover i hear a deeper level of explanation, given humbly, with the preeminent intent to elucidate the greater masses on subjects not otherwise considered.

    Please deliver the Mckenna talks, I’ll stay loyal I promise.

  4. Hi Lorenzo .A quick thank you for the hours of inspiration you have provided & Cosmos ,i live in Bristol!

  5. Howard, I’m in the same boat as you–literally. I’m also a psychedelic hermit, I also live in Chicago, and I also wish there was some outlet for creative conversation. Let’s talk. Email me at doorinthewall@gmail.com .

  6. ummmm just finished the podcast, no matter how many times it happens to me i am still in awe when thought manifest its self into the physical world, its truly amazing

  7. already posted on the Facebook page, but over the past 3 weeks i have been frustrated trying to find a tribe of people around the Berkeley area, i just moved here, but if anyone could point me around or help me out it would be greatly appreciated

  8. I have to invoke Terence on this topic, who once said in response to a comment from a particiant in one of his workshops, who had remarked that some friends of his had decided not to come along for fear of government surveillance:

    ‘Wow (….) if you do the man’s work for the man, that makes you – THE MAN!!’

    In a talk called ‘Evolving Times’, he remarked of the same sort of behavior;

    ‘This is no way to behave in the wake of an ideological revolution.’

    Of course, anxiety is a reasonable response to this version of ‘default society’ (thank you for that wonderfull phrase, Lorenzo), but this same sense of anxiety can be tansmuted into an impetus for building ideas, models, and plans with one another. The starting point being, of course, Experience!

    On that note, is anybody in Bristol reading this??

  9. The big problem with meet-ups is that one never knows exactly who’s all attending. Remember: A one-sided war has been declared. Activity monitoring is one such means to winning this war: find out who the “enemy” is and then watch until you can find “probable cause”, and then finish him off! Poweee!!

    Because of this war, publicly announced meet-ups simply aren’t possible, IMO, even if they’re “hidden” by some innocuous name. People attending such gatherings MUST trust one another literally with their lives. How many people do YOU know that you have that level of trust (going both ways, of course)? Even gatherings organized by word of mouth requires a huge level of trust (how sure can you be that someone that you already trust will invite someone you can trust?). Will a trusted friend rat you out under sufficient pressure?

    It’s indeed a sad, sad, sad thing that there are so few “safe” (I hate that term — it implies that the authorities still have control over people’s activities: THIS place is safe, meaning “we won’t hassle you”, and THAT place is not) places for people of like mind to get together and share their exploration stories.

    That isn’t to say that meetings shouldn’t be tried and that they’re already not taking place.

    I guess in the end it comes down to using one’s best judgement by following your heart and not your head. If gatherings can be done, they most definitely SHOULD be done. The sharing and mixing of experiences of this kind increase their value by orders of magnitude.

    Thanks, Lorenzo, for all you have done. Keep up the most excellent work.

  10. Lorenzo, Long time listener and I really resonated with your commnets about possible meet-ups. Being basically heremetic as well, I can really appreciate the desire to keep with one’s nature yet really wanting to reach out and connect with like minds. Being here in Chicago, I would be fascinated to know how many tribe members are out here. Anyway, PS is one of my favorite podcasts and I for one would be willing to have a 24 hr. Terence McKenna channel-I can’t get enough of the old sod! Again, Thanks. Peace&Love, Howard

  11. Lorenzo, fist of all thank you so much for the psychedelic salon. I’ve been listening for about 1 year and gobbling up the goodies voraciously. What you do is extremely important in my opinion, not just for all of us listening now but for those in the future to have access to all the great info here. I just wanted to encourage your thoughts on any way of meeting the others using meetup or whatever. I have recently moved to Somoma county and am hoping to get connected with the tribe, who I expect are flourishing in this area. I know that you’re extremely busy, but I would very much appreciate any info about events or ways of connecting with the others. Thank you again, be well my brother, Ian

  12. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this, one of the earliest talks I’ve listened to from Terence, is also one of his best. I particularly appreciated the quality of his audience and the questions they raised. They didn’t just passively soak it all up but raised quite a few fair objections along the way.

    One thing that interests me it the maturation of Terence and his ideas as revealed by his talks. As this sample reveals, much of his canon was in place very early. Sometimes it seems that the La Chorrera era “made the man” and the rest was just embellishments and refinements. But perhaps that half truth is equally half true of us all!

    I would question his statement around 7:50 “the only time we get randomness is when we examine the output of a random number generator. There is no other process in nature that can be relied on to produce random numbers”. Contrast this with a quick visit to random.org, which ironically offers the natural processes of radioactive decay and atmospheric noise as the very best random number generators of all. Of course I’m sure Ralph Abraham could cut this objection to shreds…

  13. Thanks for asking about my book. I’ve just not taken the time to fix that site yet . . . I’ll make it my weekend project :-).

  14. Hey Lorenzo , love what your doing , Love TMK . In my old pre-psychedelic way of seeing things I never thought I would like this guy.He sounded nerdy , cocky, way too eccentric ,a druggy etc …now I cant get enough Terence, think he is a geniuses’ genius, and take most of his words more seriously than alot of so called “prophets” of many religions of our time (though i know even he would not approve of being called that so I won’t)
    I used to also disbelieve any “philosophical guru” in any field if I found out they did “drugs” lol ,now I hesitate to consider any who havent!
    Please continue what your doing , the podcasts helped me make a transition to become less entwined with the brainwashed masses
    Also , when will your book be back up? looking forward to reading it so that maybe it would give me some ideas and inspiration as to how to leave behind this mechanical 9-5 life and start a more organic day to day

    Peace friend
    seven 🙂

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