Podcast 309 – “In Praise of Psychedelics” Part 2


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

Fawkes Mask by Randal RobertsPROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“I think it’s time to begin to talk very, very frankly about the forced engineering of consciousness, about the re-shamanising of society, about the re-birth of archaic values before it’s too late.”

“Anyone who loves adventure, and who loves life, and who loves the experience of being, has an obligation, I think, to explore this [the psychedelic realm]. It’s as much a part of your identity as your sexuality, your ancestral history, or your hopes and fears. And to ignore it is to choose to play with less than a full deck. Don’t do that. Play with a full deck!”

“People didn’t care for the Holocaust, that was a moral outrage, but the policies of the Roman Catholic Church push more people into early death, disease, and poverty than the Holocaust ever did. And yet, they’re perfectly free to run their bingo games and appear among us. Why? They should have to answer for this outrage.”

“Millions of people right now are being warehoused by television. Television is the heroin of the electrified middle class.”

“I think that technology has been obscenely in the service of profit. And science, too, has whored itself to profit. But what kind of world could we build if these things were in the service of art? It’s our cultural values that are out of whack.”

“It’s ridiculous to criticize a drug you haven’t taken. It’s sheer, boneheaded, know-nothingism.”

“DMT is a reliable method for crossing into a dimension that human beings have debated the existence of for 50,000 years. Is there an invisible, nearby world inhabited by active intelligences with which human beings can communicate? You bet your boots there is. And if you don’t think so, then tell me you don’t think so and you’ve smoked 70 milligrams of DMT. Otherwise we just don’t have anything to talk about.”

“Everything has directions. Whether you are ironing your clothes, tuning up your car, or taking psychedelics. If you don’t follow the directions, whose responsibility is it if you screw up? So we have to educate our children, educate ourselves, get these things out of the closet and make them part of the culture. That’s the way to deal with sexuality. That’s the way to deal with drugs. Maturely!

“When I think that I will close my hand into a fist, that’s a miracle. That’s mind over matter. No philosopher in human history has ever been able to explain how that simple act takes place. That tells you that philosophy has been staying well-away from the world of direct experience, because every day we experience willing our body to act, and yet we say mind cannot affect matter. Why do we have this contradiction? It’s because we don’t want to admit the primacy of mind.”


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

Weekend of June 15-17, 2012
“Terence McKenna: Beyond 2012”

Esalen Workshop


Bruce Damer and Lorenzo

Posted in Books, Consciousness, Creativity, Culture, DMT, Future, Psilocybin, Psychedelics, Salvia divinorum, Terence McKenna (mp3), War on Drugs.


  1. @Russell
    I know what you mean. Eugenics in all its historical incarnations has always seemed somewhat inhuman, and sometimes is absolutely monstrous.
    However, the population growth issue seems impervious to any thing other than a full shift in consciousness about the way we conceive children. I just met a very sweet man in Idaho who was volunteering at a church-run espresso bar. His teen-aged daughter showed up at the counter, decked out in fashionable autumn clothes, listening to her iPod. When I learned this was his daughter I queried how many children he had: SEVEN. I’m sure he loves all of them dearly, but if this is happening in the US to educated, materially-wealthy adults in the 21st century, how much more growth can our planet sustain? It is a tough question that desperately needs real answers.


  2. Hmmm… I am really quite taken aback by Terence’s apparent support of abortion-based eugenics with regards to engineering gender balance. I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing. I guess we are just lucky some doctor didn’t kill him in utero on the basis of his genitalia.

  3. I am very interested in Terence’s answer to the woman’s question about the dark side of psychedelic (aprox 36 min or so) and the casualties. Honestly, it bugs me a little bit that he isn’t more cautionary in response to her question, especially in light of the fact that we now know Terence himself experienced trauma from the dark side of the mushroom. I myself have been to these places with high-dose psilocybin and I think it was sometimes a bit reckless of him to just flat encourage people to dive in to five grams with out some goggles and scuba gear.

    One part of the shamanic re-education that is crucial to include and which we have got to give as much lip service to as possible is what I call psychic weaponry. This is so common in traditional psychedelic shamanism: songs, chants, talismans, guardian plant spirits, etc. I have been educating myself relentlessly for years now and yet I dove too deep into the tryptamine dimension and returned fractured, having witnessed some very dark energies at work. I know that many of those reside within me and that they are important to look at, however that is difficult to remember when you hardly remember what you are. It took months to recover from this. Now I know that sage smudge, crystals, ganja, tea, whistling, and other tools are completely necessary to keep to the sunnier streams of these dimensions. My 2 cents, any thoughts on how we include these concepts in education of the public?

  4. Amazing speech. Starting at 49:24 Terence goes into the most politically charged rant I’ve ever heard him give. Awesome!

    Speaking of which, what happened to the Occupy Updates, Lorenzo? I’m starting to miss them, although it’s forced me to expand my news sources to twitter (which is actually great if you carefully select who you follow) and the main blog at OccupyWallSt.org

    As you know, Occupy has come back with a vengeance across North America, and it’s also branching out. Here in Vancouver we’ve begun a project called the Free Market, which is a bi-weekly market and community gathering at Grandview Park. Guess what? Everything that is offered at this market, is FREE!

    The Vancouver FreeMarket facebook group:
    @VanFreeMarket on twitter

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Thanks for mentioning the Occupy Movement. I’ve just posted podcast 311 in which I do another Occupy segment featuring the student strike in Quebec and the student loan debt in the U.S.]

  5. Occupy Consciousness says the great piece by Randal Roberts.

    for all the wisely deliberate focus on Wall St by the Occupy movement, it encompasses all that that entails -which is pretty all inclusive. i would suggest the psychedelic movement be equally singularly focused.

    in the past 40+ years, the pharmaceutical companies have served the Empire and themselves more blatantly, pointedly, and deliberately than ever. for all the Inquisition-style oppression of our consciousnesses and our self-sovereignty, the pharmaceuticals have been the most direct about it. i say the last 40+ years, but yes, it’s been far longer than that -but that was just about when they finally gave up on Freudianism and talk therapy for good -as we learned more and more about the actual physiology of our brains and their two hemispheres.

    yes, the transnats have ruined the amazon and other areas close to our hearts, but closer to home, we are virtually in a struggle for the sake of immediate sanity itself.
    ever seen those reps and their wheeled bags breeze into your doctors’ office? totally commonplace now.
    what’s to be understood is that they are virtually writing the script for diagnosises themselves, which the doctors use in their branch of the predatory capitalism epidemic. how? the DSM.

    next year the DSM 5 is coming out, more daring than ever.

    DSM-5: The Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis
    Publication of the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in May 2013 will mark one the most anticipated events in the mental health field. As part of the development process, the preliminary draft revisions to the current diagnostic criteria for psychiatric diagnoses are now available for public review. We thank you for your interest in DSM-5 and hope that you use this opportunity not only to learn more about the proposed changes in DSM-5, but also about its history, its impact, and its developers. Please continue to check this site for updates to criteria and for more information about the development process.

    there is still much more to learn of our brains. we’re coming to the point of grasping how fundamental our own natural DMT is and how it relates to other aspects and questions of our conscious life. we cannot let this be perverted or subverted. moreover though, we cannot let ourselves be pharmacologically chained.

    understand how it works: a new drug compound begets a new diagnosis or diagnostic category. the hippocratic oath has been trashed beyond trashed.

    if terence had lived, i believe by this point he would have addressed the subject in depth if he hadn’t already.

    what can we do about the new DSM? beats me, save not ignore it. i would love to see it fully addressed at some of these seminars and conferences in the psychedelic community. actualy, i can easily imagine it has & i’m just unaware… certainly, it needs to continue.

    and not just the pharmaceuticals & the DSM, but all the brain discoveries, from amygdala size (vis a vis psychopathology)
    to dietary ramifications.
    …and to the left/right brain hemispheric split itself.

    the chasm between what we’re learning and how it’s being implemented is beyond scandalous, it directs our very future evolution itself.

    me, i want us to get to where we can address this:
    Brains Hardwired To Fear Creativity
    – Creative ideas are by definition novel, and novelty can trigger feelings of uncertainty that make most people uncomfortable.
    – People dismiss creative ideas in favor of ideas that are purely practical — tried and true.
    – Objective evidence shoring up the validity of a creative proposal does not motivate people to accept it.
    – Anti-creativity bias is so subtle that people are unaware of it, which can interfere with their ability to recognize a creative idea.

    Occupy Consciousness should be more than glib but a literal call to movement…

  6. I love it when Terence really pulls out the stops. If psychedelics really work to enhance awareness then in a time of crisis, like now, it is the Gaian imperative to do whatever it takes to wake up!

Comments are closed.