Podcast 621 – “Insanity and Psychedelics”


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

Charles BukowskiPROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“If you insist on, I don’t want to use the word ‘abusing’ it, but if you insist on using psychedelics frequently, at high doses back-to-back, you will unlock your way into a set of assumptions, and perceptions, and feelings that not very many people can follow you into. And then the question is have you gone into a spiritual domain or have you just fallen off the track? And it’s hard to tell, and maybe it can happen both ways.”

“What does it mean if it becomes harder and harder to take these things? Does it mean you’re getting out of balance? Does it mean you’re just getting older? Where should the blame be put, and what can you do about it.”

“Maybe [the psychedelic community is] a special slice. First of all, it is a monkey brain that we’re operating with here. Nowhere is it writ large that it can actually encompass ‘the truth’. Why should it? . . . So then, if you’re into these consciousness-expanding techniques, whether it’s just paying attention, or using psychedelic drugs, or something else, then you actually get to a place where there is an abyss of knowing.”

“Nowhere is it writ that the universe should be rationally apprehendable.”

“Abstract expressionism, all of these things, Freudianism, Jung, National Socialist, it’s all anti-reasonable. From the point of view of the 19th Century we don’t have to worry about madness, we are mad, every last one of us. We’ve so thoroughly imbibed the values of modernity that we are incomprehensible to our own past.”


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Posted in Consciousness, Creativity, Culture, Death, Psychedelics, Schizophrenia, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. I just came to say this was a repeat, grateful to Anatol for finding the matching episode.
    It *was* worth hearing again, in full.

  2. My astrologer is saying we are moving into a higher realm of some sort.
    I am waiting for the 2012 change. https://youtu.be/n9wQbJ7WOUQ

    This is sort of personal. But i went into state of mind where it is clear, that I am in a wendigo psychosis. I live in a society that doesn’t give a damn.
    My states of mind were so mad. I was looking at an imagery that blew my mind.

    I think we are going through a transition period where it ain’t all clear. But if Terence was right we may have a future of absolute insanity in ahead of us. I explore and it is very hard to bring back. It may be stranger than we can suppose.

  3. “insist on using psychedelics frequently, at high doses back-to-back”
    I’m bored and I can’t register to the forum, so I’ll say it here. A little drunk as I were..
    Does Terence mean that you’ll just do glossolalia and be incomprehensible in every way?
    Or achieve some state of eternal bliss? Mysterious is also one way of describing what it would be.

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