Podcast 356 – “The Psychedelic ‘Religious’ Agenda”


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“You discover that truth is philosophical coinage for the naïve. The ‘banks’ of philosophy do not trade federal truth certificates.”

“All knowing is incredibly provisional, and this is something which is hidden within the context of the culture, because cultures don’t run around announcing how they haven’t got their act together.”

“What the psychedelic thing is about, or at least for me, is it’s a kind of sensual glorification of multiplicity.”

“We are, literally, a schizophrenic species. We are at war with our own nature. Civilization, whatever that means, is felt to be so fragile an enterprise that it’s constantly refusing to come to terms with the context in which it finds itself, which is the animal body, sexuality, emotion, pain, desire, elation, ecstasy, and so we go outside of those things and create a generalized abstraction and reason backward.”

“The reason psychedelics, I think, are so frightening to the guardians of social order is because they represent a direct addressing of experience.”

“What the psychedelics show, that is a secret that some people don’t want told, is that we can redesign our behavior. We can change very, very quickly.”

“The whole history of humanness is a history of unexpected adaptive response to unusual circumstances.”

“Whatever the imagination is, psychedelics catalyze it, psychedelics enhance it.”

“If we could feel the consequences of what we are doing we would stop doing it. . . . We’re like someone half-awake inside a burning building.”

“Everywhere where reason has shown its light the greater darkness has been revealed.”

“The truth, for sure, when it arrives, will make you smile. If it doesn’t you should seek a deeper truth.”

“History is the necessary distortion of an animal species to lead it to the brink of an ontological transformation.”

“The magic, if that’s the word, or the grandiosity, the power of ecstatic exultation that resides in the psychedelic is because it is literally a change of dimensional perspective.”

“The real test of your psychedelic authenticity is your ability to write a novel.”

“The quintessence of understanding is the ability to occupy other people’s points of view.”

“Not reckless dose but committed dose. Not to see if it works. It works, other people have established that. You don’t need to do research to confirm that it’s psychoactive.”


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

Posted in Consciousness, Culture, Environment, Evolution, Future, Psychedelics, Religion, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. Interesting that Zecharia Sitchin was mentioned by Terence.. 2 days ago scientists found that the 2 new small bodies in the outer part of the solar system hint at a superearth far away from the inner planets. Meaning perhaps Nibiru?! Exciting times!

  2. Always a pleasure to listen to Terence. Still, I tried something new this time and decided to give a thorough read at the quotes you selected. It’s incredible to notice that just reading those lines makes me feel like “Yeaaah, this is it ! I needed my Terence dose.”

  3. Thank you Lorenzo for doing this work. I always felt that McKenna’s gift was his ability to make heretofore unimagined connections that seem obvious once he claims them. And to then use those patterns he weaves to perform social commentary from the perspective of a Romantic-era poet. The fixation on such things as timewaves and machine elves and whether they are literally true completely misses the beauty he consistently shares in his oratories.

    Your shift in emphasis in the last year or so when culling examples of his work brings these values to the foreground.

    Thanks again and good luck with your dental work this summer.


  4. Terence says, “I’ve been here as scholar in residence for a week…” I’m guessing this is Esalen. I found these two dates on, http://www.terencemckenna.com/tmbib/tmbib.g.php

    Terence K. McKenna and Brother David Steindl-Rast (1993, 23 Aug) Secular and religious visions of the Apocalypse. Esalen Institute Media Center, Big Sur CA. Presented: Esalen Institute.

    Terence K. McKenna (1993, 26 Aug) On Hieronymus Bosch. Esalen Institute Media Center, Big Sur CA. Presented: Esalen Institute.

    The following Saturday was the 28th.

    Thanks for sharing these rarities Lorenzo.

  5. A podcast worthy of the past decade, to say the very least. Thank you for it and the upcoming one, Lorenzo.
    Obviously… Terence’s part in the transformation of dominator culture will lead the charge as one of many schools of neoshamanism. Those to who take part in this great process will have to look at his spiritual path and consider the same difficulties/ideas about facing the truth. He’s given us great knowledge of the development of the psyche and mind in general, but the fundamental truth already was there, even we are just always too busy to notice it. I’d say that the majority of our psychedelic trips were fundamentally wrong in a way, so far.
    Fate is crucial in this, but nobody should worry about that for the upcoming future, for it’s already clear what should be happening on this planet. We are modern spiritual/pagan warriors. People like you, Lorenzo, are the veterans of the Æsir, and belong to the halls of Valhǫl. You will be fighting & drinking alongside Óðinn, training for the Twilight of the Gods that is coming, while we prepare to welcome you for the last great battle .

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