Podcast 625 – “Nature Loves Complexity”


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

Photo by Brandon Green on Unsplash

Photo by Brandon Green on Unsplash


Date this lecture was recorded: July 17, 1998.

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“You really can’t understand the future without the psychedelic experience. History seems to be becoming more and more psychedelic.”

“We have all made too many sacrifices in the name of fitting ourselves into the culture we find around us through the circumstances of our destiny.”

“[Culture is a] toxic environment that one needs to negotiate with great care.”

“Domestication and civilization are curiously intertwined concepts.”

“A society has to be incredibly confident of its first premises to allow its citizens to habitually and regularly explore altered states of consciousness.”

“The entire Internet- computer-revolution rides on the backs of people who were taking LSD in the Sixties. People have expressed horror at this idea and then taken opinion polls at various professional gatherings, such as Sigraph and Comdex, and gatherings like that, and have this insight confirmed overwhelmingly. The entire post-1950s edifice of information transfer and replication technology was created by psychedelic people, and it’s serving them very well, as well as the corporate elite.”

“Only the expansive, the generous, the psychedelic are going to be left standing when all of this stuff is sorted out, if it is ever sorted out.”

“The shaman is the one who is allowed to know how the culture is wired under the board. Everyone else stands out bathed in the glow of the big screen of cultural values, but the shaman are the people who actually understand the reasons for these performances, myths, and rituals.”

“We are trying to build, not a class of shamans but a shamanic culture. In other words a culture, and I think there has never been a culture of this type on the planet, a culture that actually lived in the light of the fourth dimension.”

“No human being has greater insight into your circumstance than you do.”


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Posted in Consciousness, Culture, Death, Evolution, LSD, Psychedelics, Religion, Shamanism, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. Further remarks: I remain highly skeptical that computer tech is the shamanic frontier of our time. It is important and also highly dangerous. It is obvious that it allows global police-sate surveillance on a scale never dreamed, but it also allows a flow of information that might ultimately bring down that police state mindset. What concerns me is that the planet is literally frying and the time for change is overdue. Practical resistance is needed and must be public and powerful . We need to unify enough to contribute to saving the earth. It is not a time to dream of cosmic transformation but to say no on every scale, in every personal habit, in every way possible to ecocide.

  2. I haven’t listened to this yet but definitely will because the quotes fit so powerfully with my current reading which includes Dahr Jamil’s the End of Ice and Derrick Jensen’s A Language Older than Words. Some of the most troubling and accurate descriptions of current and past “civilization” I have encountered in non-fiction. I highly recommend them to those in tune with Terraece’s skepticism about culture and civilization.

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