Podcast 263 – “Terence McKenna’s Last Interview” Part 2


Guest speakers: Terence McKenna and Erik Davis

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Terence McKenna at home in HawaiiPROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“The trick to making the shamanic virtual world compelling is to fairly and truly convey it. You can’t cut corners. You can’t fake it. . . . So that this stuff really does blow people’s minds, so that people see, well, human imagination is large enough to accommodate the human soul. It doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re wearing too tight a pair of shoes.”

“We have no idea how strange the world we can create in the near term will be.”

“Given the circumstances as we find them, what rational momentum is there to think that life is unique and arose on this planet only?”

“I think that’s the question that remains unanswered, you know, that’s the grail of the thing. What is the nature of the Other, is basically what you’re asking. Is it a construct, a projection or a discovery? It’s not clear to me what it is.”

“ You can’t believe everything you hear. They are of many kind, some are made of ions, some of mind, the ones of DMT, you’ll find, stutter often and are blind.”

“I think [ketamine] is an inter-uterine memory drug. I think there are things about it that cause you to recapture some kind of inter-uterine state.”

“The psychedelic vision is of some kind of relevant thing. It isn’t just the equivalent of a dust bunny under your psychic bed or something like that.”

“Mathematics is really what it’s all about when you finally get it sliced thin, I think.”

“All doubt means is that ‘I’m shopping, thank you.’”

[Before I had cancer] I had no idea that such peculiar states of mind were naturally available to people, and non-lethal. In other words that you could have fairly frequent brain seizures and experience very bizarre states of body/mind dislocation and have it not kill you. So now I see that the spectrum of human experience is a lot broader than I previously imagined.”

“The mind can adjust to a great deal more than that which simply kills it.”

“Given how weird life has been, why rush to prejudge death. It’s bound to be mighty strange, life was mighty strange, and I’m curious. … It’s an interesting situation to be told that you have a very limited amount of life left, because it composes your mind for you, wonderfully.”

“What psychedelics show is that the world is full of surprises. I consider psychedelics a constant and verifiable miracle. The fact that that can happen to your mind. So it means that all kinds of things are possible.”


PCs – Right click, select option
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Animations Mentioned in this Podcast

Asparagus [1979]

Quasi at the Quackadero

Posted in Death, DMT, Erik Davis, Psychedelics, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. This last part of Terence’s last interview touched me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. At the beginning, his rap about animation completely threw me for a loop. I had never heard him talk about animation before, and I am not sure if he has on any other recordings. As an animator, it immediately resonated, and made me feel his loss in an acute way, a sense of loss I hadn’t felt before. The breadth of his interests always impressed me, yet I thought I knew most of his quirky passions. It made me wish to be able to sit down with him and pick his brain about animation, current, past and future, get answers to questions I hadn’t even considered asking of him before. If it is indeed one of his only recordings mentioning animation, it is all the more special and poignant to me.

    And what a way to end his final interview! The last 25 minutes spent frankly, honestly, and openly discussing death blindsided me. The juxtaposition of his disappointment at the thought of ending his journey too soon with the wide-eyed curiosity of what adventures might wait beyond this life were too beautiful and heart-breaking. I was not expecting to cry for the last 20 minutes of this podcast, but I couldn’t help myself. Thank you for sharing his final recorded words with us.

  2. Great stuff. I’ve been reading Invisible Landscapes, and so far, I find I learn more from Terence’s talks. Probably just me though!

    My favorite exchange (regarding the effects of the medications):
    ED: “You seem to be, largely, Terence.”

    TMK: “I recall who I’m supposed to be. We’re not trading that in too lightly.”

  3. Lorenzo, hey. Long time listener. Have you seen this via Reality Sandwich?

    “Terence McKenna’s Final Earthbound Interview”


    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Yes, it’s very good. But to keep the record straight, it was his last video interview and was conducted about a year before Erik Davis’ interview for Wired Magazine, which took place just six months before Terence died and was in fact the last interview that Terence granted.]

  4. I’m on my third way through now. I really appreciate the level of clarity and intention in Terence’s (and Erik’s) words. Tremendous lucidity. Thanks to all those who helped make this interview available.

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