Podcast 345 – “Transhuman Encounters”


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

Present Shock by Douglas RushkoffPROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“We now know enough to fantasize realistically about what the alien would be like, and I think that this then sets up polarities in the collective psyche that previously we have only seen at the level of the individual.”

“By passing into the psychedelic phase, the space-faring phase, the entire species is passing into adolescence.”

“The question is being asked, ‘Are we alone?’ ” And though we now focus on that question we need to think beyond that to what if we’re not alone? Then what becomes the next imperative question?”

“People are, in the confines of their own apartments, becoming Magellans of the interior world and reaching out to this alien thing and beginning to map it and bring back stories that can only be compared to the kind of stories that the chroniclers of the New World brought back to Spain at the close of the 15th century.”

“Actually, this is what has led us into this extremely alienated state, it’s that we haven’t demanded that the stories we tell ourselves about how the world works confirm our direct experience of how it works.”

“In the last eight years we have undergone like a second Neolithic revolution. The first Neolithic revolution was the invention of agriculture. The second Neolithic revolution was the invention of home fungus cultivation.” (from a November 1983 lecture)

“I don’t think that mass drug taking is a good idea. But I think that we must have a deputized minority, a shamanic professional class if you will, whose job is to bring ideas out of the deep black water and show them off to the rest of us and perform for our culture some of the cultural functions that shaman perform in pre-literate cultures.”

“The word ‘self’ is as great a mystery as the word ‘other’. It’s just a polarity between two mysteries.”

“For all we know, we know nothing.”

“You have to take seriously the notion that understanding the universe is your responsibility, because the only understanding of the universe that will be useful to you is your understanding.”


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Books mentioned in this podcast

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now
by Douglas Rushkoff

Against the Grain [Kindle Edition]
Joris-Karl Huysmans (Author)

Posted in Books, Consciousness, Culture, DMT, Evolution, Extraterrestial, Imagination, LSD, Psilocybin, Psychedelics, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. Hello Lorenzo,

    I just thought that this link might be of interest to any would-be PhD student and saloner. It is an add for a PhD position opening at Uppsala University, Sweden. Maybe you could mention it in your podcast?



    “Conceptual and empirical analyses of the nature and function of consciousness in the light of modern neuroscience and philosophy of mind; how consciousness can be accessed neurotechnologically; clinical studies of consciousness of patients with disorders of consciousness and ethical analyses of the results.”

  2. “À rebours” (“Against the Grain”) is an amazing piece of literature. Anyone interested in the psychedelic experience should read it.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: I was just about to begin reading another book first, but your comment has changed my mind . . . off to “Against the Grain” right now.]

  3. …now you make me even feel guilty for leaving you a comment! Yet another thing on your list for things to check online!!

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: . . . I LOVE these comments . . . they don’t stress me a bit :-).]

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