Podcast 430 – “The Danger is Madness”


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“I sort of see [cannabis] as the pilot light of Gian consciousness.]

“The danger is [in using psychedelic drugs], just to put it out there, is madness.”

“LSD is different. LSD is like psychoanalytical Drano. It’s not a personality.”

“Matter is simply a concept. The world is made of language.”

“If you’re truly psychedelic the difference between living and dying is quite immaterial. No pun intended.”


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

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
Directed by Brett Harvey

The Hasheesh Eater & The Poem of Hashish
By Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Charles Baudelaire

Posted in 2012, Ayahuasca, Cannabis, Crop Circles, Culture, Death, DMT, Education, Eschaton, Family, Future, Language, LSD, Medicine, Psilocybin, Psychedelics, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3), War on Drugs.


  1. Lorenzo your series of statements is misleading, it is a Red Herring.

    Here is the quote from Terence Mckenna which starts at 24:10.
    “Yes well its worth talking about cannabis. Uh, I certainly… Uh I don’t think I would be who I am if it weren’t for cannabis and it hasn’t particularly affected my memory. I’m actually the most devot [sic], on a lifetime scale the person most devoted to cannabis that I’ve ever known is myself. I mean when I lived in Asia I used to set my alarm for 2 AM to smoke because I couldn’t go from midnight to five and uh you know people thought I was bananas.”

    Here is what you said Lorenzo, it starts at 1:20:05.
    “At several points in this talk Terence said that he wouldn’t be who he had become had it not been for cannabis and I find it amusing when he said that he would set his alarm for 2 o’ clock in the morning to have a toke because he says he couldn’t make it until five AM without one. Now here is a place where you just know that he is exaggerating. Think about this logically why would he have to set his alarm if he couldn’t make it without a toke until five o’ clock. If he couldn’t make it all night without a toke believe me he would not have to set his alarm.”

    My argument is as follows.

    Lorenzo’s series of statements is a Red Herring.

    This is why…

    First Terence Mckenna claims that “on a lifetime scale the person most devoted to cannabis that [hes] ever known is [himself].”

    Then immediately after (i.e. the next sentence), in defense of this claim, Terence says “I mean when I lived in Asia I used to set my alarm for 2 AM to smoke because I couldn’t go from midnight to five and uh people thought I was bananas.”

    The sentence “I mean when I lived in Asia I used to set my alarm for 2 AM to smoke because I couldn’t go from midnight to five and uh people thought I was bananas.” is posited as evidence for his claim “on a lifetime scale the person most devoted to cannabis that [hes] ever known is [himself].” and it is appropriately so (appealing to emotion in the matter of his degree of devotion).

    On the otherhand your statements are not so pleasing, misconstruing Terence’s statement to be “he couldn’t make it all night without a toke” therefore he had “to set his alarm”, missing the point entirely.

    Once again your series of statements is a Red Herring. Misleading us from Terence’s claim, namely his devotion to Cannabis. (Notice Terence’s use of “I mean”. Clearly “I mean” is not referring to the claim regarding memory.)

    I believe that this is an important correction because Terence was a proponent of the balkanization of epistemology amongst other things, so we ought to keep our razors sharp if we are to do his message justice. So please take your comment back Lorenzo :), and thank you for taking the time to read this.

    [QUESTION from Lorenzo: 🙂 If he couldn’t make it from midnight – 5am what does “couldn’t make it” mean? Does that mean his lack of cannabis wouldn’t wake him but that he needed an alarm to “make it”. . . . This is the end of this discussion. It’s going nowhere.]

  2. Lorenzo, he couldn’t go from midnight to 5 because he was “devoted” to cannabis. Please take back your comment.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: No. I don’t think that you understood it.]

  3. Does anyone know what book terence mentions at 1:05:34 ?

    He said the author and I think he may be wrong. Sounds like Des pawn ayy.

    It sounds french, but I looked for French philosophers and quantum physicists.

    The title of the book he mentions is “philosophical foundations for quantum mechanics”

    I found that title under Hans Reichenbach, but I wanted to make sure it was correct.

    Just thought I would see if anyone knew for sure.

    Thank you !

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: I came up with the same thing on a search. Terence may have gotten the name of the author wrong. “Philosophic Foundations of Quantum Mechanics” (Dover Books on Physics)
    By Hans Reichenbach http://astore.amazon.com/matrixmasterscom/detail/0486404595 ]

  4. Lorenzo, just came across this:


    A few years ago (2011?) at the end of a podcast, you ‘tagged’ on a series of short clips of Terence speaking at a conference in Mannheim. You said that you found them in a folder on your computer, and didn’t know the source. I think this video is it!

    Check out Eden 123 (Boris Nikolaus Heisserer) – he’s made alot of video’s of Terence speaking, mostly in Germany and Holland, under the name ‘Pyromania Arts Foundation’. Terence even did a brilliant ‘radio-esque promo’ for that project.
    Cheers from Angstland

  5. This was an excellent Mckenna rave and thanks so much to Lorenzo for putting out there.

    I especially liked the personal questions given to Terence and his answers were honest and interesting as usual. I believe Terence would be very popular in these days of digital communication and comment were he still alive today. His articulation of his ideas and thoughts are second to none!

    With regard to the ontological status of phenomena, Terence says that things can be classified as real if they seem real enough. I see every ‘thing’ as a snap shot within a flow of related phenomena. As humans we are conditioned to separate this flow into individual bits in order to make sense of the world. Trouble is we forget that what we call things are not THE truth of the world but only a partial truth at best. Hence we base reality on a false premise and are eternally deluded whether we are ‘seeing’ “Self Transforming Machine Elves”, trees or cars. From my perspective, it’s all an illusion and in that sense, “the world is made of language,” in an effort to describe. And as the great bard Mckenna states, “There is no ultimate closure in an effort to describe.”

    But yeah, thanks once again Lorenzo for making this happen. This topic of conversation is one of the most interesting of all the digital flotsam that’s out there. I would love to donate to the continuation of these pod casts. How do I do this?

    Peace and happiness to all, Darren 🙂

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Thanks for asking about donations. I’ll be running a pledge drive next month that hopefully will get us through another year. There will be an announcement about it in a few weeks.]

  6. This session of talks from Terence over the last few weeks has been absolutely amazing I don’t know if it is just me pulling more details out of the talks. The awe is in the details with the spread of information we can jury to the other side without being on the wrong side of the law which in its own is a delusion. Amosa hostilus and serian rew allowed me to spend some life changing time with lady iawaska that has led me to being a better gardener lover friend and have compassion for all being. Marry has been by my side since i was twelve and I can never thank her enough for being there in some of the hardest times of my life weather a broken bone or hart. Without plants no one would be here and we are so blessed to have so many guides and friends to live in simbionce with. Life on earth for me is a way to exercise the spirit we are all in a gym and we choose which method to grow are spiritual body some sit around watching others hoping to gain wile others roll up their sleeves and get to work.

  7. I especially enjoyed this last segment of the workshop. It combines some interesting discussion of ethnobotanicals such as amanita muscaria, syrian rue and morning glory seeds, a good helping of speculation on the nature of existence and a healthy dose of McKenna’s trademark personality and humour. In a parallel universe, perhaps this talk was titled “bungie jumping into the bardo”…

    Over the years of listening to and processing the phenomenon that is Terrence McKenna, it is slowly becoming apparent to me that at the core of his thesis is the centrality of mind. In this talk when questioned on whether he believes the elves “really exist”, Terence explains that they are “real enough” given that they exist in our mind and that our mind is the filter through which we perceive reality. The universe and the observer are inseparable; one does not exist without the other. To me this means that the universe itself is conscious and individual life forms are fractal reflections of it, sailing along in physical bodies for a finite period of time before receding back into the ocean.

    Regarding perganum harmala, I agree that caution needs to be exercised as it has steep dose response curve. At 2 grams it hardly registers an experience but successfully inhibits MAO; at as little as 4 grams it can be an overwhelmingly intense experience with blurred vision and a lack of motor control.

    happy new year folks!

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