Podcast 514 – “Anarchy Is The Ideal”


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“Democracy is this innate belief in people. It’s a psychedelic way of doing it. It’s the closest we can get to anarchy. Anarchy to my mind is, of course, the ideal. But anarchy has to be mediated with policy, and the way you do that is through democracy.”

“The Earth is in far worse shape than we think.”

“This notion of intensifying change by changing behavior through psychedelics is, as far as I can see, the only way out.”

“The most dangerous habits in the world today are not drug habits. They’re idealogical habits, unexamined ways of thinking about reality.”

“Besides the monotheistic thing, the really odd thing about Western religion is the persistent idea that god will come tangential to history.”

“People think psychedelic consciousness is a permission to escapism. I don’t think so. I think it’s an invitation to a high degree of awareness.”


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Posted in 2012, Culture, Future, Myth, Psychedelics, Terence McKenna (mp3), Timewave.


  1. when i heard there will no longer be any Psychedelic Salon after March, my first instinct was to wonder what could possibly cause Lorenzo to cease doing something that is so beloved by many and what would be in my power to change his mind and re-ignite that spark.

    but upon further consideration… “i’m getting too old for this” is all that needs to be said. Lorenzo has generously given his time and love for the benefit of us all and his dedication to the cause reverberates throughout the whole universe. for that, I salute the man and will forever be grateful.

    if there is ever going to be a Mount Rushmore of psychedelic greats, in my mind Lorenzo deserves a place right there next to Shulgin, Hoffman, Alpert, McKenna, Leary, Wilson and Grof for all he’s done… we’re gonna need a big mountain.

    Lorenzo, you have passed the torch and it’s being lit by the bright flame of a thousand suns. thanks to you, we will continue shining. i hope that whatever you do after this podcast is done you can do so with a knowing smile that all is well.

  2. Hello Lorenzo,

    Please do what you have to do, you’ve done enough to make a difference. You’re website is an outstanding source with information for personal growth. Before I “discoffered” your site my McKenna braincandy mostly came from newsgroups. Nice, but no comparisson to what you made available via your website (I met your site somewhere around 2008, the whole 2012 bang still had to happen :-)). Since than i never looked anywhere else for my braincandy or information on psychedelics. It brought me to my first ayhuasca sceremony in the Netherlands, which was one big happy flow into hyperspace. All the do’s and dont’s I learned here made the difference if you ask me. I whish you all the best for the years to come. Muchas Gracias! Jerry.

  3. Hey Lorrenzo, firstly its been a blast! I’ve only been a listener for the last two years but the huge backtrack of podcasts got me through some tough times whilst working as a postman on the green streets of Liverpool, at one point I was listening to seven or so talks a day THANKS A MILLION LOZZA!
    If you are retiring for good please consider doing something with the unbroadcast talks you have received of late, even if its just setting them free to wander unedited on the internet so we saloners can listen, even if it means we will have to paint our own audio introductions on to it, but for now, see you in psycyberdelic space brother, loves from across the Atlantic to you xx

  4. As far as Terrence’s talk. I don’t find his vision of a paradise planet where every person “programs” his own world to be satisfying. To be honest it seems silly, juvenile, and escapist. It also seems deeply culturally American, like a tv virtual world tailored to every little ME. Neither do I think the barriers to such technology trivial. For 50 years I have been hearing all the miracles that are 10 years way. As far as I can see things are worse in too may ways. I find Huxley’s Island to be a more satisfying vision of what is possible as the next step of human evolution.
    There is a flawed sense within the body of TM’s talks that psychedelics are of themselves sufficient as a transforming force. The fact that they kick you into a boundary breaking transformation of your sense of what is real seems to make them, in his mind, more real, and more effective than other Kundalini, Qi, Shamanic or spiritual practices. I think this gives them a unique efficacy but also perhaps a potential weakness. It quickly becomes obvious in personal and social experience that transformation is more than the enlightening vision, more even that the deep delight of release from imprisoning limits. There is work of a practical nature at hand to reorder both an individual life and a planet threatened by the angry greedy monkey mind that TM often jokes about.
    I don’t know what TM expected in 2012 but but it seems deeply obvious to me that the transformation under discussion by those at this gathering which Terrence is addressing is not going to come as an automatic gift of history. I personally think that many forces must converge on many levels. The empires of military might and greed must fall before a shared global responsibility for the whole. We must find and make our own way of contributing to this revolution of consciousness and behavior. Psychedelics have a profound role to play. However. One does not live to take medicine, One takes medicine to live.
    Anyway that is my 2 cents

  5. Dear Lorenzo
    You have become a friendly and sage voice that I deeply look forward to hearing from, including your gentle criticism of the culture of war and greed that is too pervasive and that endangers the future of this beautiful planet. Far from grumpiness in my view, it is harmonious with the psychedelic vision of interconnected being and the inherent call of that vision on the spirit to have courage on behalf of justice, love, respect for all life, and humility before the mysteries of our existence.
    The sacred medicines seem to me to mark out a path toward wholeness as individuals and communities. Those who have experienced any degree of this healing have a deep appetite to see that wisdom become a shared sacred space common to all- celebrated freely, wisely, peaceably. It is not wrong or grumpy to advocate for this in an open hearted and listening way.
    I am truly intrigued by your idea of a shared salon. The trick is to keep the kind of harmony and respect which you bring to the salon. I have been pondering 2 ideas that are related and might be interspersed with the kind of speakers currently part of the salon: 1) psychedelic stories that freely combine experience and fiction and pass muster by a small board as entertaining, psychedelic, and appropriate in length. These could be very serious and thoughtful accounts of life changing experience or crazy medicine stories. They could be from published work sanctioned by the writer, traditional myths from shamanic cultures with possible interpretations. 2) Some visionary spoken essays that are not directly psychedelic but present large wholistic ideas for consideration: I am thinking of Gary Snyder’s writing on bioregionalism, Wendell Berry’s thoughts on the interaction of communities and
    nature, psychedelic views on the nature of healing. Collaborative reviews and discussion of a major psychedelic work such as Huxley’s Island.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: I like your ideas and will be mentioning them in today’s podcast.]

  6. Dear Lorenzo, your a hero in the community. As well you are a personal hero to me. The podcasts have been something to look foward to. Yes I’m a big fan of the brothers Mckenna.
    Just dont disappear, you’ve become really special to a lot of special people. We love you.
    But if I may briefly spout my own crap. Is it possible that history ended. Is history the hardnoted words that lie about previous events? Events that we have agreed upon “largely”. In spite of cultural differences. A carved stone, relating myth or legend. Scrolls and wood block. Up until recently that was it. Print was it. Its gone now. The newspaper is “no more”, in truth.
    We have moved away from print, or are in the act of doing so. It’s all light on a screen now. Easily deleted. Edited.
    In a funny way I feel that maybe it’s the true meaning of what Terence said.
    The Orwellian image of informational uncertainty, interchangeability. Its the end of a functional history.
    I shot for brevity. You’re a man among men Lorenzo. As Chief Dan George says in Little big man. “My heart soars like a hawk.”

  7. Hey Lorenzo, please don’t be too hard on yourself for feeling like a grumpy old man. There is only so much an individual can do to help make the world a better place, and from my perspective, you have and are playing your part well in many ways. I cherish the Terence Mckenna raps that you have podcast over the years even though I’m not a psychedelic user. If you didn’t put Terence out there then I probably wouldn’t have entered the world of Mckenna, so thank you for that.

    We are all searching for meaning in this cosmic giggle we call existence. Some choose to search a little deeper than others. Some make headway and some reach dead ends only to discover another small path leading out of the jungle. I would like to suggest to you Lorenzo that a ten day Vipassana meditation course is right up your alley. Vipassana means to see things as they really are and this technique of meditation can be used in one’s life as a way to eventually reaching the truth of existence in its many facets. I think that many psychedelic users would benefit from learning Vipassana as they have had deep insights into worlds normally unseen by our surface mind. With solid practice over time, such worlds and their benefits become part of one’s life in the default world as they inhabit everything in nature at a deeper level. It’s just that we’re not trained to see them. Vipassana gives us the eyes to see.

    Any way Lorenzo, without wanting to sound too preachy, this is the best I can offer you for showing me the world of Mckenna and for your open and honest thoughts expressed before and after each of your podcasts. You are a good person Lorenzo. Time is so precious for us all especially for the fact that we have been born into the human realm where we can think, question and reflect on matters metaphysical. Make the most of your remaining time here and invest ten days of your life to do a Goenka Vipassana course. I’m sure you’ll benefit infinitely.

    I think Terence is right on the money when he says the most valuable lesson that psychedelics had taught him is that “Nothing Lasts.” I assume that when Terence articulates the consequences of the deep dmt experience as being “appalling”, he is saying that ultimately, the worlds we inhabit on whatever level are chaotic and devoid of meaning other than what we bring to them through logic and preconceived mentation. We name and categorize phenomena that impinge on our senses in order to create a stable bedrock on which to build our lives. No such bedrock exists and we grieve when we discover that it’s all been an illusion, a provisional strategy for the production of further illusion into the future, an eternal running from chaos towards the illusion of permanence. Not even the best psychedelic world lasts in our minds as we go from life to life, slaves to the conditioned habit patterns of our minds.

    Vipassana is the way out of our sorrow!

    May you find real peace and real happiness Lorenzo 🙂

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Thank you for your very kind words. I deeply appreciate your thoughts. And for the next phase of the Salon, I’ll be posting a piece on the forums today that lays out a plan I want to try to turn the salon over to the community itself. It may take a couple more years of my involvement (without actually doing my own podcasts), but there are a LOT of new voices that should be heard. And I think that there may be a way to morph the salon into a community podcast. We’ll see.]

  8. Sad to hear the end is near, but glad to hear you’ve regained your health. If the website remains active, hopefully the archives will be available. While I’ve listened regularly for more than a few years, there are still all the older episodes from before I found you. Thanks for everything Lorenzo. Peace.

  9. **HOLY SHIT!** Lorenzo NO, don’t stop with the podcasts! The salon website will ALWAYS live on but what am I going to do without your voice? I feel like this couldn’t have weirder timing, just yesterday I had a defining moment that pointed toward a big life change. This hurts but, im sure you know best. I am glad you’re going out with a bang!

    Let us know if you need something, WE ALL LOVE YOU!

  10. I want to thank you for this great podcast and for all work you’ve done Lorenzo. It’s been very important to me and I’ve found so many interesting ideas.

    Do not think you’re a grumpy old man. Everyone who have an idea on what’s going on both politically and otherwise in the world are pissed, or they should be. As you say, things are the same as always… and we all know where this business as usual attitude will lead our human enterprise.

    Pissed off people is a good sign!

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