Guest speaker: Terence McKenna
[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]
“Once you encounter [the psychedelic experience] you see that this is an aspect or an activity as informing of what it means to be human as something as inimical to our nature as sexuality.”
“What we lack is the will to change our minds.”
“WE are the anomalous factor in the natural world.”
“I think part of what being psychedelic is about, the real shock of psychedelics comes from the realization of the relativity of cultural positions.”
“Dissolution of boundary is somehow the precondition for understanding reality.”
“The truth about reality is that nowhere is it writ large that monkeys should be able to elicit the final understanding of it.”
“No theory of consciousness is going to be worth anything that doesn’t come to terms with the perturbation of consciousness by drugs.”
“This is how I think of mind, that put through the crucible of the psychedelic experience, and I use this kind of alchemical terminology deliberately, put through the crucible of the psychedelic experience the mind becomes fluid and then is recast in a higher dimensional manifold.”
“Culture is about to go hyperdimensional. That’s what’s creating the crisis at the end of history.”
“If consciousness doesn’t loom large in the human future then it is not a human future.”
PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option
Hi Andreas, thanks for your reply.
I was trying to point out one of Terence’s major contradictions with regard to his concern for a clean environment, pollution and planetary degradation etc. I’m pretty sure that inhaling vast amounts of smoke of any kind into one’s lunges will not be good for one’s general health no matter how high it gets you. 99% of all professional doctors would agree on this point. Terence was an excellent story teller and often sounds quite convincing but when thinking people see how he treated his own body they become skeptical of Terence’s validity. Especially with the fact that he died of a rare brain cancer. Drugs may not have been the cause but most people would put two and two together rightly or wrongly.
As for escape from the cycle of becoming, that’s something you will have to study and research for yourself if you so care to. I can’t explain it here in such a forum as I would probably only confuse you more. However, through the practice of Vipassina insight meditation, one can get a glimpse into what the Buddha meant with regards to our concepts of the self, existence and the mind/body phenomenon. Basically, there is no unchanging self apart from the notion of such an illusion which is carried from life to life. There is a way to unravel this illusion so that the flow of consciousness doesn’t become entangled into matter where the pain of birth, old age and death occurs. It’s an interesting topic if you are so inclined to investigate.
That said, I love listening to Terence and his extraordinary articulation of his visions and concepts. I see him more as an intellectual entertainer who displays some shining gems from time to time. Even if he was 100% right about the nature of existence, the world is moving too fast to listen to him and probably wouldn’t understand him anyway. I’m so glad I came across The Psychedelic Salon and I thank Lorenzo for his passion to get it out there for straight folks like me to listen to and ponder. The concept of the “Psychonaut” fascinates me and is a valid method of spiritual investigation of human existence I choose to believe even though it’s not my path.
Cheers Andreas and all the best with your examination of the deeper aspects of life.
i agree with you on the contradictions running wild when it comes to Terence, his brother and else have pointed out this quite a few times.
However i totally missed your point on smoking him self to death with pot ? (didnt even know its possible, ive heard in theory its possible eating pot to death by some miracle of ingesting it crazy amounts if your stomach is like unhuman huge, but smoking?) I thought Terences cause of death was a brain tumor which the doctors convinced him that it was none drug related, they even said hes pot smoking might have slowed down the growth of the thing.
Also my notion of the culture is not your friend, is that hes simple saying that its a put down of your true being by identifying your self only through any form of culture, no matter the culture, surely you may have to live inside one but you dont have to BE it.
To my last point, which is kinda ironic because i just think you contradicted yourself at the end. Okay so nothing lasts, thats fine, not your life, dreams, the earth, the universe etc. Everything is flowing and constantly changing so yes even if we step into hyperspace or whatever it wont last, But with this notion in mind how can you say the escape from cycle of life and death into this buddha none becoming idea of true freedom and “lasting” peace is somehow more lasting then anything else ? I thought the whole point was nothing last… Or maybe im just confused, perhaps you or somebody will care to explain.
I’m not quite sure what to make of the bard McKenna. I go from extreme to extreme in my views of him. Some of his ideas seem so brilliant whilst on the other hand he contradicts himself from time to time. He professes care for the environment and human freedom yet smoked himself to death with his addiction to pot and treated his own body with less respect. Such a contradiction.
That said, I’m willing to take the bad with the good and there was much more good in Terence I choose to believe.
I can’t see how it could be possible to not have or be involved in some form of culture or the other when Terence says that “Culture is not our friend”. To simply exist is to be in a form of culture. The most accurate observation to ever come from the bard is that “Nothing lasts”. Hence, even if humanity did enter some kind of hyperspacial dimension, surely such a dimension would also be governed by the rule that “Nothing lasts”, and we would be back to square one.
Maybe the Buddha was right when he said that we should be seeking a way out of the cycle of death and re-birth. An escape from any kind of becoming regardless of its heavenly subtlety may be our only true freedom and lasting peace.
Cheers Lorenzo, I love your work 🙂
So wonderful to hear Terence again. Been having a rough week and really needed to heard this. I have to keep reminding myself, being happy in life is all about living without closure. Coming to terms with unanswered / unanswerable questions. I would give anything to hear Terence talk in person about the current world situation.
Hi Lorenzo, I got some mail recently about a new site that is in it’s early days which will be an online academic journal inspired by the ideas of Terence.
Here’s a snippet from their correspondence…
“There are a lot of fans out there and we’re sure that some of them would like to pursue their McKennaesque ideas more proactively or even as part of their professional research. It will make us happy if we could become one more little Trojan Horse in the matrix…”
I’m running a promo for them over on TMA
Projects like this wouldn’t be possible without the work you do here at the Salon.
Interesting dichotomy. First half goes off on a brilliant explication of scientism. Second into the now familiar Stoned Ape Theory and from there to Aliens. He is indeed the Bard on display here at his finest.
About time! Been missing Terence here at the saloon… 😉