Podcast 398 – “Where Does Reality Begin & End”


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“Occam’s Razor is fine in the formation of physical theory, but it doesn’t take us far in understanding human motivation.”

“What the psychedelics seem to me to argue for is that reality is not reality. There may be no reality, but certainly this is not it. This is some kind of highly provisional, culturally sanctioned, hallucination that we are all participating in.”

“Reality, whatever it is, is temporary and yields to non-existence.”

“Thought can’t go where the roads of language have not been built.”

“Culture is a kind of environment that we have learned how to interpose between ourselves and whatever is really out there.”

“I just don’t think that a monkey species had the wherewithal to evade the mechanisms of control and constraint that guide and direct everything on the planet. There is a purpose to history.”

“What is to be done? You can’t begin to answer that question until you have some notion of what reality is.”

“But all it takes [when two people are sitting together in silence] is somebody breaking that silence and stating the contents of their mind for the assumption of our shared reality to completely collapse upon us.”

“I think great relationships are built in silence, because then nobody ever finds out what’s really going on.”

“Reality is a naive concept and should probably be abandoned as quickly as possible.”

“What we call reality is, in fact, nothing more than a culturally-sanctioned and linguistically reinforced hallucination of some sort.”


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

Posted in Culture, Evolution, Language, Myth, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. It was intersted to hear this, i felt like i learned more from terrence proposing a bunch of what ifs on philosophy. Then from a narrative lecture of facts on a certain subject.

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  3. He most likely says “eye-phones”, not Iphone, meaning you cover your eyes with some sort of visual aid, not for plugging into your ears.

  4. Really cool podcast thank you. What if reality does not exist? It could still be a reality, but there is no proof of reality as a builder until you see how it builds.
    After non-reality comes normal life. This is what usually is forgotten. That memory can be a way to map reality, but it cannot be reality, as long as reality is non-existing.

    This is where he goes off limits in all aspects and I just am amazed how good a talker and meditator McKenna is.

    Real reality could thus be memory as I am writing it. But if you have big reality in mind, then you’ll have to become one with your memory or just see it working, without fear that it will fail.

    For example Dalai lama has said in an interview that, he’s getting so old, he can’t remember all Things from yesterday. That is exactly what he means. He can’t map reality in the way he did it yesterday. Partly because it is changing so fast and the fact has to be taken in accord that, memory is just a function of the mind…

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