Podcast 469 – “Philosophy With The Gloves Off”


Guest speaker: Terence McKenna
Terence McKenna - photo credit: Steve Marshank


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“We don’t produce enough seritonin for living above 20 degrees latitude.”

“I’m not a big advocate of mixing drugs, anyway. If you really want to get out into unknown territory, where there is the potential for danger, then start pouring these things together.”

“It’s a funny thing the way people relate to drugs. Many people take them in environments that couldn’t be better designed to suppress the effect of the drug. For instance, crowded singles bars, noisy social environments with everybody hitting on each other, and loud music, and lots of activity, and maybe lots of vigorous dancing. Well, this is an environment designed to suppress drug effects. . . . To really see what these things do, you need and atmosphere of quite, sensory deprived darkness.”

“My attitude is always if it’s legal it ain’t gonna work.”

“People have trouble saying a lot about many of these things. I think that’s a learned skill; narrative ability and to keep your wits about you in those places, and to try and bring back some kind of coherent metaphor.”

“The strange thing about opium is that it’s so endlessly fascinating while it’s happening, and there’s just nothing to be taken out of it. It apparently does not transcript into short term memories.”

“It’s as important to tell the trip as to have the trip.”

In answer to the question, “How do you regain yourself when having a difficult trip?” Terence answered, “I always have cannabis ready. It’s the rudder of the boat.”

“The key when you’re having a bad trip is to make your mind wander from the bummer.”

Legal status of Salvia divinorum


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Posted in Cannabis, Culture, Medicine, Psilocybin, Psychedelics, Salvia divinorum, Science & Technology, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. Where was this “Gloves Off” talk given, Lorenzo?

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: I’m quite sure that it was at Esalen . . . and my guess is that you were there :-).]

  2. Concerning the serotonin comment: pretty certainly untrue, we just need to get out and be active more. Wim Hof has shown we are well adapted to life at these latitudes.

  3. Every time I hear Terence describe others’ Salvia experiences I notice that it’s exactly what I felt; I was definitely being rolled out of reality while I was crawling from my bathroom to my closet.

    And I can corroborate you saying Salvia isn’t for beginners. It was a very poor psychedelic substance for me to start with. It certainly didn’t stop me from looking for more answers however.

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