Podcast 418 – “Death By Astonishment”


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“Every drug problem can usually be traced to a previous drug problem.”

“I think drugs are much safer than gurus.”

“I’ve never been absolutely certain that psychedelics have anything whatsoever to do with the spiritual quest.”

“Academic culture runs very heavily on alcohol.”

“It’s hard to live a life where you don’t eventually get your mind altered.”

“Anything which changes your mind can be abused as a drug.”

“People who have taken 50 gamma of LSD, or 100 gamma of LSD, or two grams of mushrooms or something like that, they are not qualified to hold forth on the nature of the psychedelic experience, because those doses don’t deliver it to you.”

“DMT is the strongest hallucinogen there is. If it’s possible to get more loaded than that, I don’t want to know about it.”

“A ten minute DMT trip is worth of academic pharmacology, art history, psychology, and all this other malarkey.”

“Clearly we need to transform our language, because our culture is created by our language, and our culture is toxic, murderous, and on a downhill bummer.”

“A shaman is a person who knows the unspeakable secret. And once you know it, there’s no going back.”

“If flying saucers were to land on the south lawn of the White House tomorrow, it wouldn’t change the fact that DMT is the weirdest thing in the universe.”

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Posted in Ayahuasca, Books, Consciousness, Culture, Death, DMT, Evolution, Family, Language, LSD, Psychedelics, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. Needs reup loaded 🙁

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Why? I just tried it, and it seemed to work fine.]

  2. Another most enchanting talk. And super-interesting: For the first time as far as I have observed Terence confesses doing psychotherapy regarding his marriage.
    And I do think this extreme use (abuse I guess) of cannabis has something to do with some of the issues he had in his life.

  3. Beuno, check out an lsd documentary they are very interesting. When they were working with lsd in harvard way back they found out it helped with alcoholics and recidivism rates of prisoners.

    On another note, I have always been interested in Terence’s comments on speed. Low doses of psychedelics are like speed I guess, so I was wondering if the way we use cannabis (which can be a full blown psychedelic! i.e. equal to 5 grams of cubensis (ever smoke 5 grams of hash after a hiatus? (I haven’t lol)) ) is a form of speed? Afterall racing thoughts, peculiar insights, able to approach problems from novel and insightful avenues etc… are properties of speed. But speed is also an ego boosting thing, so… is cannabis use therefore ego boosting as well? I really want to get to the bottom of this, lemme know what you guys think.

  4. Favorite quote: “if you have 2 out of 10 people agreeing with a rap like this, you better pay attention!” Thank you so much Lorenzo for making me feel like a kid on Christmas morning every time you post a new episode! It is so mind-blowing that we are still getting fresh tapes by this mastermind, and your other podcasts are equally as enthralling.

  5. Lorenzo,

    First of all thank you. I’ve listening to the salon for about 7 years and this Talk/Q&A with Terrence was one of the most moving I have ever heard. The way in which Terrence talks and describes things like the flash of a DMT trip is awe inspiring.

    Now I would imagine he has joined the “ancestors” in the land of the elves.

    Absolutely amazing talk…..

  6. The self transforming machine elves have a lot more to offer a human than just that of sacred geometric dribbling sparkling basketballs. As much as i like to hear terrance rant i often wonder sometimes what they tough him of himself. He never shares any emotional insight into his own healing. Perhaps for good reason? Those who know dont speak, those that speak dont know?

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