You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.
Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.
Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature
is ourselves, to be cherished and explored. Shamanism has always known this,
and shamanism has always, in its most authentic expressions, taught that the
path required allies. These allies are the hallucinogenic plants and the
mysterious teaching entities, luminous and transcendental, that reside in that
nearby dimension of ecstatic beauty and understanding that we have denied until
it is now nearly too late.
You put two egos together and you've either got a conflict, which is always interesting, or better yet, a love affair.
The apocalypse is not something which is coming. The apocalypse has arrived in major portions of the planet and it's only because we live within a bubble of incredible privilege and social insulation that we still have the luxury of anticipating the apocalypse.
The tension in the world is the tension between the ego and the feminine, not between the masculine and the feminine.
Television is by nature the dominator drug par excellence. Control of content, uniformity of content, repeatability of content make it inevitably a tool of coercion, brainwashing, and manipulation.
We are caged by our cultural programming. Culture is a mass hallucination, and when you step outside the mass hallucination you see it for what it's worth .
Capitalism is not a human being. Capitalism is a Moloch, a god, a god of bloody sacrifice that sees human beings as ants.
It is of the first order of importance to remember this, that the shaman is more than merely a sick man, or a madman; he is a sick man who has healed himself, who is cured, and who must shamanize in order to remain cured.
And what is the primary datum? It's the felt presence of immediate experience. In other words, being here now is the primary datum.
Ecstasy is not simply joy. Ecstasy is an emotion of great complexity that hovers almost on the edge of terror sometimes.
Notice that the whole story of Eden is the story of the struggle over a woman's relationship to a psychoactive plant.
To carry language from two dimensions into three is the task of the poets, and the rebels in the 20th Century.
Psychedelics are actually a kind of miraculous reality that can stand the test of objective examination.
A lot of people pass through the thinking I'm a guru and take enough trips to understand that no, I was just a witness. I was just a witness.
Don't worry. You don't know enough to worry... Who do you think you are that you should worry, for cryin' out loud. It's a total waste of time. It presupposes such a knowledge of the situation that it is, in fact, a form of hubris.
We have to claim anarchy and realize that systems have a life of their own that is anti-humanist. There is definitely an anti-humanist tendency in all systems.
I think what's really happening is that a dialogue opens up between the ego and these larger, more integrated parts of the psyche that are normally hidden from view.
There is no liberation to compare with freeing oneself from the illusions and delusions of the age in which one lives.
There is an angel within the monkey struggling to get free, and this is what the historical crisis is all about.
If in fact the conservation and complexification of novelty is what the universe is striving for, then suddenly our own human enterprise, previously marginalized, takes on an immense new importance.
Science is the exploration of the experience of nature without psychedelics. And I propose, therefore, to expand that enterprise and say that we need a science beyond science. We need a science which plays with a full deck.
Right here and now, one quanta away, there is raging a universe of active intelligence that is transhuman, hyperdimensional, and extremely alien... What is driving religious feeling today is a wish for contact with this other universe.
I think that's the job of each of us -- to show our best toys and our best tricks that lift us and our friends to higher and higher levels. There is no end to this bootstrapping process. The future of the human mind and body and the future of humans together is endlessly bright.
Earth is a place where language has literally become alive. Language has infested matter; it is replicating and defining and building itself. And it is in us.
A birth is a death. Everything you treasure, and believe in, and love, and relate to is destroyed for you when you leave the womb. And you are launched into another modality, a modality that perhaps you would not have chosen but that you cannot do anything about.
The momentum now is inevitable. Now it's about each of us individually arranging the furniture of our own mind to deal with what has become inevitable.
Every click of the cosmic clock brings us closer to the process for which the planet called us into existence.
So I submit to you that what we represent is a Fifth Column, a Fifth Column that represents the best aspirations that human community is capable of, a Fifth Column that is willing to look at the structure of the psyche in contrast to the mess of society, and willing to dream.
This is a general law of the universe, overlooked by science, that out of complexity emerges greater complexity. We could almost say that the universe, nature, is a novelty-conserving, or complexity-conserving engine.
I think there is a global commonality of understanding coming into being. And it is not necessarily fostered by institutions.
The 'hard swallow' built into science is this business about the Big Bang. ... This is the notion that the universe, for no reason, sprang from nothing in a single instant. ... Notice that this is the limit test for credulity... It's the limit case for likelihood.
You are the cutting edge of a thirteen billion year old process of defining novelty. Your acts matter. Your thoughts matter. Your purpose? To add to the complexity. Your enemy? Disorder, entropy, stupidity, and tastelessness.
Standing outside the cultural hysteria the trend is fairly clear. It is a trend toward temporal compression and the emergence of ambiguity.
The only frontier now left to exploit is not a frontier in space but a frontier in time. We steal the future from our children by plunging massively deeper and deeper into debt.
I'm not an abuser. It takes me a long time to assimilate each experience. And I never have lost my respect for it. I mean I really feel dread. It is one of the emotions I always feel as I approach it, because I have no faith that my sails won't be ripped this time.
Ayahuasca, unlike mushrooms and all these other things is only as good as the person who made it... The ayahuasca is a combinatory drug, and so it brings the human interaction and the lore of it into a much more central position.
My idea of enlightenment is when ego and Tao are fused, and Tao is perceived as ego. Then everything happens with complete appropriateness.
I think psychedelics are sort of like doing calisthenics in preparation for the marathon at the end of time.
The psychedelic inner astronaut sees things which no human
being has ever seen before, and no other human being will ever see again. But in fact this has no meaning unless it is possible to carry it back into the collectivity.
Cyberspace is the human transition into a mathematical super space where we as a collectivity become optionally a single point of view.
The main thing going on in the 20th century is a dissolving of boundaries, all the boundaries that historical civilization put in place.
The testimony of DMT, for me, is that there is a nearby dimension, teeming with intelligences, that from one of the more conservative perspectives seems like an ecology of souls.
Wherever we press beyond the thin curtain of rationalist culture, we discover the incredibly rich, erotic, scary, promising presence of this intelligent Other, that beckons us out of history, and says, you know: 'The galaxy lies waiting.'
What the psychedelics are for us as a species, rather than for each one of us as an individual, what they are for us as a species is an enzyme that catalyzes the language-making capacity.
Death is the black hole of biology. It's an event horizon, and once you go over that event horizon, no information can be passed back out of the hole.
I'll try to be around and about. But if I'm not, then you know that I'm behind your eyelids, and I'll meet you there.
We can move no faster than the evolution of our language, and this is certainly part of what the psychedelics are about: they force the evolution of language.
Technique to me is a kind of a ... I'm reluctant to talk about it because it seems so obvious to me what good technique is. I mean, you sit down, you shut up, and you pay attention is basically the good technique. And then the footnotes add; on an empty stomach, in a dark room, feeling comfortable.
What we call reality is in fact nothing more than a culturally sanctioned and linguistically reinforced hallucination.
If you actually look at the etymology of the word 'hallucination', what it's come to mean in English is a delusion. But what it really means in the original language is to wander in the mind. That's the meaning of 'hallucination', to wander in the mind.
I'm fascinated by hallucinations. I mean, to me that is the sina qua non that you're getting somewhere.
For unknown reasons, there is a tremendous concentration of psychoactive plants on the South American continent. The South American continent has more known hallucinogens than the rest of the planet combined.
Life, carefully examined, is actually a form of allegorical literature with a very tight constructural grid laid over it.
What the psychedelic thing can be seen as, when it's done with plants, as a return to Gaia, an immersion in the feminine.
The question is being asked, 'Are we alone?' And though we now focus on that question we need to think beyond that to what if we're not alone? Then what becomes the next imperative question?
Safety is really a concern of mine, and what I've been telling people recently is that until there's animal and human data on a drug it should probably be looked at very carefully.
At the interface of the say-able and the unsay-able is the novel, the new, the never before seen, said or done. And that's what I think it's important to try and bring out, ideas. Because I think we are the animals that bring back ideas.
The things I encounter that I call elves or gnomes, it's just a gloss. I mean, they're small, and they have the archetype. They're more like leprechauns, and this maybe raises a racial issue.
The truth for sure,
when it arrives,
will make you smile.
If it doesn't,
you should seek
a deeper truth.
The thing that is so powerful about the psychedelics is that they perform on demand, which almost in principle you cannot expect of a mystical experience because that would be essentially man ordering God at man's whim, which is not how it's supposed to work.
It's the only hallucinogen I know, where if it's made right, the next day, or the day after the experience, you actually feel better than if you hadn't done it.
Science works its miracles by turning its enterprise into a kind of parlor game confined to the category matter and energy.
Your memories are eroding away. The futures you anticipate, will mostly not come to pass, and the real richness is in the moment. And it's not necessarily some kind of 'Be Here Now' feel-good thing because it doesn't always feel good. But it always feels. It is a domain of feeling. It's primary.
There's something in the Western mind that gets very nervous when you try to talk about the bedrock of ontology.
The word 'self' is as great a mystery as the word 'other'. It's just a polarity between two mysteries.
What the churches are peddling is high abstraction, and you really have to work yourself up into a lather to be able to accept that as worthy of that kind of attention. The psychedelic subset of society is into an experience, and it's accessible.
If we were to place our power at the service of our imaginations rather than our primate politics we would create a civilization worthy of the name.
There has been no progress in 60,000 years in reducing the psychedelic experience to a known quantity. It is as terrifying, as awesome, as ecstatic, as irreducible to us as it was to them.
Think about this for a moment, we grow so inured to these religious forms, think about the notion of instituting at the center of your religion a rite where you eat your god is probably a memory of a relationship to some kind of a psychedelic experience of some sort.
What I've observed, and I think it's fair to give credit to the psychedelic experience for this, what I've observed is that nature builds on previously established levels of complexity.
In a sense, sexuality is the built-in psychedelic experience that only a very few people manage to evade.
What I like to talk about, and what I have very little competition in terms of talking about, is the content of the psychedelic experience.
I believe that what makes the psychedelic experience so central is that it is a connection into a larger modality of organization on the planet, which is a fancy way of saying it connects you up to the mind of Nature Herself.
What is revealed through the psychedelic experience, I think, is a higher dimensional perspective on reality. And I use 'higher dimensional' in the mathematical sense.
The Gaian mind is what were calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet -- and without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience the compass of the self can be set.
Alchemy is about the generation of a psychic construct, a wholeness, a thing which has many properties, which is paradoxical, which is both mind and matter, which can do anything.
We are like coral animals in a vast reef of excreted technological material that is wired for solid state data transfer.
We have changed. We are no longer, as I said, bipedal monkeys. We are instead a kind of cybernetic coral reef of organic components and inorganic technological components.
We are like coral animals embedded in a technological reef of extruded psychic objects...All our tool-making implies our belief in an ultimate tool.
What we call imagination is actually the universal library of what's real. You couldn't imagine it if it weren't real somewhere, sometime.
The quality of rhetoric emanating from the psychedelic community must improve radically. If it does not, we will forfeit the reclamation of our birthright and all opportunity for exploring the psychedelic dimension will be closed off.
I don't believe that shamanism without hallucinogens is authentic shamanism or comfortable shamanism.
Shamanism is about shape shifting. Shamanism is about doing phenomenology with a tool kit that works.
Shamanism is not some obscure concern of cultural anthropologists. Shamanism is how religion was practiced for its first million years. Up until about 12,000 years ago there was no other form of religion on this planet. That was how people attained some kind of access to the sacred.
This is in fact what shamanism is all about, what the end of history is all about, what psychedelic drugs are all about, we are edge-walking on an ontological transformation of what it means to be human.
Shamanism, on the other hand, is this world wide, since Paleolithic-times, tradition which says that you must make your own experience the center piece of any model of the world that you build.
Skywalker is a direct translation of the word shaman out of the Tungusic, which is where Siberian shamanism comes from. So these heroes that are being instilled in the heart of the culture are shamanic heroes. They control a force which is bigger than everybody and holds the galaxy together.
In a way, this is a definition of shamanism. A shaman is a person who by some means has gotten out of their own culture.
Shamanism is essentially a living tradition of alchemy that is not seeking the stone but has found the stone.
History is like self-reflection through the medium of language propelling itself into self-recognition.
Spaceflight is nothing less than the exterior metaphor for the shamanic voyage. In other words, in our terms, the hallucinogenic experience. This is the way engineers get high. They go to the moon!
We need a pharmacological intervention on anti-social behavior or we are not going to get hold of our dilemma.
And I want to thank all the women that support me. I have wonderful support systems from women of all types who seem dedicated to the notion that Terence McKenna can always be improved. I'm extremely grateful for that. The frontiers are enormous in that dimension.
What was created by the era of the proper gentleman was excellent table manners and genocide over most of the surface of the planet.
Ultimately, I think, what the psychedelic experience may be is a higher topological manifold of temporality.
The social consequence of the psychedelic experience is clear thinking -which trickles down as clear speech. Empowered speech.
Even a billion people is too much. There's no way back to the simplicity we once knew, but there may be a way forward to the simplicity that we once knew.
All of you who have been through high dose psychedelic experiences know that it's very hard to carry stupid baggage through that keyhole. In fact you're lucky if you just get your soul and yourselves through and intact.
It's a relationship like to a crusty Zen master, or something like that. And it is really like another entity because you cannot predict the answers.
One has, you know, a window of opportunity somewhere between zip and a hundred to solve, or understand, or penetrate, or appreciate, or come to terms with the conundrum of being, this amazing circumstance in which we find ourselves, both individually and collectively.
Patanjali specifically says that there are three paths to the goal of yoga. And they are, control of the breath, control of posture, and light-filled herbs. It says it right there. Stanza 6 of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Information is just simply bootstrapping itself to higher and higher levels of self-reflection and self-coordination using whatever means are necessary.
We are the damaged heirs of a damaged cultural style which has been practiced now for about seven thousand years.
A hallucination is a species of reality, as capable of teaching you as a videotape about Kilimanjaro or anything else that falls through your life.
A history-stopping archetype is being released into the skies of this planet, and if we are not careful it will halt all intellectual inquiry in the same way that the Christos archetype halted intellectual inquiry in the Hellenistic Age.
The shaman has access to a superhuman dimension and a superhuman condition, and by being able to do that he affirms the potential for transcendence in all people. He is an exemplar, if you will.
To me it begins and ends with these psychedelic substances. The synergy of the psilocybin in the hominid diet brought us out of the animal mind and into the world of articulated speech and imagination.
We're not going to save the monkey unless we can shed the monkey. And the greatest impetus, the greatest inspiration to the expression of our higher selves comes in the confrontation with psyche that occurs in the psychedelic experience.
The psychedelic issue is a civil rights and civil liberties issue. It is an issue concerned with the most basic of human freedoms: religious practice and the privacy of the individual mind.
If psychedelics are exopheromones that dissolve the dominant ego, then they are also enzymes that synergize the human imagination and empower language. They cause us to connect and reconnect the contents of the collective mind in ever more implausible, beautiful, and self-fulfilling ways.
Everything will come true in cyberspace. That's the whole idea. What cyberspace is, on one level, it's simply the human imagination vivified, hardwired.
What's popularly known as the evolution of consciousness, in other words that the expansion of cognitive repertoire that occurs in human beings, which has always been a great puzzle to evolutionary theory, I believe, occurred in the presence of a kind of catalyst for the human imagination.
The monkey body has carried us to this moment of release, but we are coming more and more to exist in a world made by the human imagination.
The Logos is a voice heard, in the head. And the Logos was the hand on the rudder of human civilization for centuries, up until, in fact, the collapse of the ancient mystery religions and the ascendancy of Christianity to the status of a world religion.
So the idea is to triangulate a sufficiently large number of data points in your set of experience that you can make a model of the world that is not imprisoning. That's why, second to psychedelics, I think travel is the most boundary-dissolving, educational enterprise that you can get mixed up in.
Human populations that do not have contact with the psychedelic tremendum are neurotic because they are male ego dominated.
Although whenever you have intelligent life in the presence of large explosions, a safe bet is that the intelligent life is responsible for the large explosion.
Television, introduced at the close of World War II, has become a form of electronic heroin, and it isn't even your trip. They don't even let you go on your own trip, you get a trip designed by Madison Avenue.
It's as though a certain level of intoxication with the mushroom is the precondition for being able to communicate, but is not itself enough.
Could any symbol be any more appropriate of the ambiguity of human transformation? What mushroom is it that grows at the end of history? Is it Stropharia cubensis, or is it the creation of Edward Teller? This is an unresolved problem.
If I can paraphrase Teilhard de Chardin for a moment, he said, or I will paraphrase in this way, 'When the human race understands the potential of the hallucinogenic drug experience, it will have discovered fire for the second time.'
The thing that seemed to me so important about the psychedelic experience was that it happened to me. I wasn't reading John Chrysostom or Meister Eckhart. And so I assumed that I am a very ordinary person, therefore, if it happened to me it could happen to anyone.
We get to the point then with modern science where you could almost say that modern science is the art of describing those systems so crude in their structure that they are not subject to temporal variables.
You are not naked when you take off your clothes. You still wear your religious assumptions, your prejudices, your fears, your illusions, your delusions. When you shed the cultural operating system, then essentially you stand naked before the inspection of your own psyche.
In the way that the 15th Century discovered the New World, the 20th Century discovered the parallel continuum.
It's our machines and our technologies that are now the major evolutionary forces acting upon us. It's not our political systems.
The way out then is personal responsibility, new operating systems downloaded from outside of culture, which means from the deeper wisdom of the psychedelic plants and then a commitment to community and a motto of To the future, without fear! Without fear!