Podcast 251 – “The Magic of Plants (Rites of Spring)” Part 4


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

Palenque Norte Lectures at Burning ManPROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“This connection between the cow, and the mother goddess, and the mushroom is some kind of a key to understanding the evolution of religious sensitivity in early man in that part of the Middle East.”

“This notion that it was the presence of the mushroom on the African veldt at a critical bifurcation of primate evolution that created the feedback loop which eventually developed into self-reflecting consciousness.”

“But it isn’t a missing link, I think, it’s a missing factor. And the factor which accelerated the forward evolution of the brain size of this particular primate line was the inclusion of psychedelic plants in the diet, which then fed the tendency toward symbol formation and self-reflection.”

“A history of the human race could be written analyzing it not in terms of class struggle or the impact of great personalities but as a shifting set of interactions between sugar, tobacco, opium, caffeine, alcohol, and psychedelics.”

“That these foods and drugs and spices, we have subtly overlooked them and taken them for granted. They are regulating human history and individual self-expression, how much you know, how you look, how pure your transmission of your genetic heritage to the next generation, all of these things are being regulated and controlled by these plants.”

“Gaia apparently works through the intercession of catalytic compounds that convey revelation, and revelation is then the factor which has historical impact. The people, the messiahs, and the teachers are merely the pipeline for ideas, and the metabolic release of these ideas in the macro environment is being controlled by the plant-animal interaction.”

“I think that probably we are the agent of change that Gaia has unleashed upon herself.”

“The imagination may be, in fact, a three dimensional slice of a higher dimensional universe that is holding all of this in being and causing it to happen.”

“The triumph of Socialism will be the commonality of mind in a capitalist context, that there really will be an ocean of thought that you will swim in and that will be composed of deeper and deeper levels of information.”

“You see, what’s going to happen is that the rules of the imagination are going to replace physics.”


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Posted in Environment, Evolution, Myth, Psilocybin, Psychedelics, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. Lorenzo, I love the goofiness! I love the fact that you are actually doing this for grandchildren:) Any way I think you are on to something when you mention those “coincidences”, after all they are a key to what is being talked about, in one way by being connections between more dots in the universe. Please mention as many of those that you experience as you can!

  2. @ Martin/Victor Yes, I totally agree that the cultural significance between folks such as Alan Watts and Carl Jung are enormous compared to the contributions provided by Pinchbeck, however there is some personal significance revolving around the information Pinchbeck provides. I was not trying to compare cultural significance between them. Suppose you might point me towards some information regarding 2012, and mayan history and culture?

  3. I got an idea while listening to the often repeated part of the place of Mushrooms in our evolution of the language centre in our brain, I thought maybe the next step is a psychedelic “catalyst” (lol) that is a bit more complex and will evolve our physical fields which is the next most complex form of communication:

    1. Mushrooms-> audio-linguistic evolution catalyst
    2. Ayahuasca -> visual-linguistic evolution catalyst

    just a theory … for now

  4. Luke – holy cow!

    Daniel Pinchbeck really should not, under any circumstances, be placed in the same context as Alan Watts and C.G.Jung.

    I can’t go into details, as a mere cursory glance at the creative, intuitive, poetic, gnostic, perennial, output of Jung and Watts will reveal that they are different, in every respects to the whining, dreary Pinchbeck…

  5. Give me Terence, Watts and stuff / until I cry out “hold, enough!” –
    but really, Luke, isn’t Daniel Pinchbeck giving himself more than enough webspace already, for someone as boring as him?

  6. The bud experience itself is not going to miraculously fix. Instead, it allows our body a rest from the stress of difference, while unveiling the internal confusion belonging to the mind. The marijuana connection with balance will become a acquired and, after some time, somewhat permanent response because the essential real human tendency that will homeostasis might be reawakened as well as the natural therapeutic process repaired.

  7. Hi Lorenzo, I’ve just recently found the salon and I really want to say thank you for doing this. After listening to the podcasts here I realized I’ve been missing out on a thriving community of like minded people, and I’m hoping to connect with others in my area. Do you know any resources for finding other members of the tribe in the Minnesota area?

    Thanks again for this great resource!

  8. Count me among the “can’t get enough of McKenna” group! Thanks Lorenzo. You are great. Question: When was this talk? I’m sure you’ll say it at some point, but haven’t yet heard it where I am…

  9. Hey Lorenzo, I love the McKenna talks but I would love to hear some Robert Anton Wilson or Douglas Rushkoff talks if you ever come across any audio. Keep up the great work!

  10. El Lorenzorinoto Grande!
    Football destroys brain cells and leads to brain swelling and mental decline. Please, do not support American Football in any way. It’s a horrible activity for our bright youth. By the way, have ya heard the new Orb David Gilmour album?? You don’t mention music much but…

  11. Hey Lorenzo, I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you for a long while simply to thank you for the 100’s of hours of accompaniment that you’ve given me whilst sitting at work in front of a computer. The secondary reason why I’m getting ahold of you today is to send you a link to this site which has 2 more files in this series. Unfortunately the content on the site is being migrated to another server, and it seems to be temporarily unavailable. Anyway, the link is:
    http://lancerules.oatbox.net/terence/ Hopefully you will be able to access the content some time soon, especially because there is some really great talks which you don’t have posted. The McKenna & Nicole Amazonian Shamanism series is really good.

    If there’s any room for a request, I’m craving material from Alan Watts, Carl Jung and Daniel Pinchbeck. I know some of it can be hard to come by, but anything come to mind?

    Thanks a million for making my job a little less tedious 😀


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