Terence McKenna quotes

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Terence McKenna

Birthdate: 16. November 1946
Date of death: 3. April 2000
Other names: Terenss Makkena, ترنس مک‌کنا

Terence Kemp McKenna was an American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants. He spoke and wrote about a variety of subjects, including psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, philosophy, culture, technology, environmentalism, and the theoretical origins of human consciousness. He was called the "Timothy Leary of the '90s", "one of the leading authorities on the ontological foundations of shamanism", and the "intellectual voice of rave culture".McKenna formulated a concept about the nature of time based on fractal patterns he claimed to have discovered in the I Ching, which he called novelty theory, proposing this predicted the end of time, and a transition of consciousness in the year 2012. His promotion of novelty theory and its connection to the Maya calendar is credited as one of the factors leading to the widespread beliefs about 2012 eschatology. Novelty theory is considered pseudoscience.

„Television is by nature the dominator drug par excellence. Control of content, uniformity of content, repeatability of content make it inevitably a tool of coersion, brainwashing, and manipulation.“

—  Terence McKenna

Variant: Television is by nature the dominator drug par excellence. Control of content, uniformity of content, repeatability of content make it inevitably a tool of coersion, brainwashing, and manipulation.
Source: Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge

„I think people have a very narrow conception of what is possible with reality, that we're surrounded by the howling abyss of the unknowable and nobody knows what's out there.“

—  Terence McKenna

Spacetime Tsunami http://www.deoxy.org/t_sunami.htm, Interview with Carla Sinclair, bOING bOING #10.
Variant: I think people have a very narrow conception of what is possible with reality, that we're surrounded by the howling abyss of the unknowable and nobody knows what's out there.
Context: I think that people don't understand. As the Firesign Theater used to say, 'Everything you know is wrong.' But that is a very liberating understanding, because if everything you know is wrong, then all the problems you thought were insoluble can be framed differently. And there's a way to take the world apart and put it back unrecognizably. We don't really understand what consciousness is at the really deep levels. With some of the tryptamine hallucinogens, you see into possibilities where questions like, 'are you alive?' 'are you dead?' 'are you you?' seem to have been transcended. I think people have a very narrow conception of what is possible with reality, that we're surrounded by the howling abyss of the unknowable and nobody knows what's out there.

„We cannot expect to cross the rainbow bridge through a good act of contrition; that will not be sufficient.
We have to understand.“

—  Terence McKenna

"New Maps of Hyperspace" (1989); originally published in Magical Blend magazine, also in The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History (1992) http://www.erowid.org/culture/characters/mckenna_terence/mckenna_terence_maps_hyperspace.shtml
Variant: We cannot expect to cross the rainbow bridge through a good act of contrition; that will not be sufficient. We have to understand.
Context: There is a spiritual obligation, there is a task to be done. It is not, however, something as simple as following a set of somebody else's rules. The noetic enterprise is a primary obligation toward being. Our salvation is linked to it. Not everyone has to read alchemical texts or study superconducting biomolecules to make the transition. Most people make it naively by thinking clearly about the present at hand, but we intellectuals are trapped in a world of too much information. Innocence is gone for us. We cannot expect to cross the rainbow bridge through a good act of contrition; that will not be sufficient.
We have to understand. Whitehead said, "Understanding is the apperception of pattern as such"; to fear death is to misunderstand life. Cognitive activity is the defining act of humanness. Language, thought, analysis, art, dance, poetry, mythmaking: these are the things that point the way toward the realm of the eschaton. We humans may be released into a realm of pure self-engineering. The imagination is everything. This was Blake's perception. This is where we came from. This is where we are going. And it is only to be approached through cognitive activity.

„Progress of human civilization in the area of defining human freedom is not made from the top down. No king, no parliament, no government ever extended to the people more rights than the people insisted upon.“

—  Terence McKenna

"True Hallucinations" (1993)
Variant: Progress of human civilization in the area of defining human freedom is not made from the top down. No king, no parliament, no government ever extended to the people more rights than the people insisted upon.
Context: Progress of human civilization in the area of defining human freedom is not made from the top down. No king, no parliament, no government ever extended to the people more rights than the people insisted upon. And I think we've come to a place with this psychedelic issue. And we have the gay community as a model, and all the other communities, the ethnic communities. We simply have to say, Look: LSD has been around for fifty years now, we just celebrated the birthday. It ain't going away. WE are not going away. We are not slack-jawed, dazed, glazed, unemployable psychotic creeps. We are pillars of society. You can't run your computers, your fashion houses, your publishing houses, your damn magazines, you can't do anything in culture without psychedelic people in key positions. And this is the great unspoken truth of American Creativity. So I think it's basically time to just come out of the closet and go, "You know what, I'm stoned, and I'm proud."

„One exists in eternity, one has become eternal“

—  Terence McKenna

"New Maps of Hyperspace" (1989); originally published in Magical Blend magazine, also in The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History (1992)]
Context: The alternative physics is a physics of light. Light is composed of photons, which have no antiparticle. This means that there is no dualism in the world of light. The conventions of relativity say that time slows down as one approaches the speed of light, but if one tries to imagine the point of view of a thing made of light, one must realize that what is never mentioned is that if one moves at the speed of light there is no time whatsoever. There is an experience of time zero. … The only experience of time that one can have is of a subjective time that is created by one's own mental processes, but in relationship to the Newtonian universe there is no time whatsoever. One exists in eternity, one has become eternal, the universe is aging at a staggering rate all around one in this situation, but that is perceived as a fact of this universe — the way we perceive Newtonian physics as a fact of this universe. One has transited into the eternal mode. One is then apart from the moving image; one exists in the completion of eternity.

„One is then apart from the moving image; one exists in the completion of eternity.“

—  Terence McKenna

"New Maps of Hyperspace" (1989); originally published in Magical Blend magazine, also in The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History (1992)]
Context: The alternative physics is a physics of light. Light is composed of photons, which have no antiparticle. This means that there is no dualism in the world of light. The conventions of relativity say that time slows down as one approaches the speed of light, but if one tries to imagine the point of view of a thing made of light, one must realize that what is never mentioned is that if one moves at the speed of light there is no time whatsoever. There is an experience of time zero. … The only experience of time that one can have is of a subjective time that is created by one's own mental processes, but in relationship to the Newtonian universe there is no time whatsoever. One exists in eternity, one has become eternal, the universe is aging at a staggering rate all around one in this situation, but that is perceived as a fact of this universe — the way we perceive Newtonian physics as a fact of this universe. One has transited into the eternal mode. One is then apart from the moving image; one exists in the completion of eternity.

„What we need to do is transcend these localized grids of fate, which make us what we are but don't want to be.“

—  Terence McKenna

Psychedelic Society (1984)
Context: !-- ~28m57s -->Because too much we have lived in the light of the idea that your ideology will be dictated to you essentially by geography! And if you're born in India, you'll find out that the Cosmos is one way; if you're born in Brooklyn, you find out it's another way. What we need to do is transcend these localized grids of fate, which make us what we are but don't want to be.

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„Politics without responsibility IS fascism.“

—  Terence McKenna

History Ends in Green (1983)
Context: We've been infected with the idea of original sin, that's what keeps us infantile... Politics without responsibility IS fascism.

„This is in fact what we are caught up in, is a transforming of information.“

—  Terence McKenna

Psychedelic Society (1984)
Context: Orient yourself towards the psychedelic experience, towards the psychedelic phenomenon, as a source of information. A mirror image of the psychedelic experience in hardware are computer networks. Computer networks, paradoxically enough, are a deeply feminizing influence on society, where, in hardware, the unconscious is actually being created. It's as though we took the Platonic bon mot about how "if God did not exist, Man would invent him", and say "if the unconscious does not exist, humanity will invent it" — in the form of these vast networks able to transfer and transform information. This is in fact what we are caught up in, is a transforming of information. We have not physically changed in the last 40,000 years; the human type was established at the end of the last glaciation. But change, which was previously operable in the biological realm, is now operable in the realm of culture.

„We don't really understand what consciousness is at the really deep levels.“

—  Terence McKenna

Spacetime Tsunami http://www.deoxy.org/t_sunami.htm, Interview with Carla Sinclair, bOING bOING #10.
Context: I think that people don't understand. As the Firesign Theater used to say, 'Everything you know is wrong.' But that is a very liberating understanding, because if everything you know is wrong, then all the problems you thought were insoluble can be framed differently. And there's a way to take the world apart and put it back unrecognizably. We don't really understand what consciousness is at the really deep levels. With some of the tryptamine hallucinogens, you see into possibilities where questions like, 'are you alive?' 'are you dead?' 'are you you?' seem to have been transcended. I think people have a very narrow conception of what is possible with reality, that we're surrounded by the howling abyss of the unknowable and nobody knows what's out there.

„Our ability to destroy ourselves is the mirror image of our ability to save ourselves“

—  Terence McKenna

Psychedelic Society (1984)
Context: Our ability to destroy ourselves is the mirror image of our ability to save ourselves, and what is lacking is the clear vision of what should be done... What needs to be done is that fundamental, ontological conceptions of reality need to be redone. We need a new language, and to have a new language we must have a new reality... A new reality will generate a new language, a new language will fix a new reality, and make it part of this reality.

„What needs to be done is that fundamental, ontological conceptions of reality need to be redone. We need a new language, and to have a new language we must have a new reality…“

—  Terence McKenna

Psychedelic Society (1984)
Context: Our ability to destroy ourselves is the mirror image of our ability to save ourselves, and what is lacking is the clear vision of what should be done... What needs to be done is that fundamental, ontological conceptions of reality need to be redone. We need a new language, and to have a new language we must have a new reality... A new reality will generate a new language, a new language will fix a new reality, and make it part of this reality.

„Somehow I was finding out that thing that you cheerfully assume you can't find out. But it felt like I was finding out. And it felt.. and then I can't remember what it felt like because the little self-transforming tykes interrupted me and said, "Don't think about it. Don't think about who we are… Think about doing what we're doing. Do it! Do it! DO IT NOW!!!“

—  Terence McKenna

"Alien Dreamtime" a multimedia event recorded live. (27 February 1993)
Context: I remember the very, very first time that I smoked DMT. It was sort of a benchmark, you might say, and I remember that this friend of mine that always got there first visited me with this little glass pipe and this stuff which looked like orange mothballs. And since I was a graduate of Dr. Hofmann's, I figured there were no surprises. So the only question I asked is, 'How long does it last?' and he said, 'About five minutes.' So I did it and... [long pause, audience cheers] there was a something, like a flower, like a chrysanthemum in orange and yellow that was sort of spinning, spinning, and then it was like I was pushed from behind and I fell through the chrysanthemum into another place that didn't seem like a state of mind, it seemed like another place. And what was going on in this place aside from the tastefully soffited indirect lighting, and the crawling geometric hallucinations along the domed walls, what was happening was that there were a lot of ahh.. beings in there, what I call self-transforming machine elves. Sort of like jewelled basketballs all dribbling their way toward me. And if they'd had faces they would have been grinning, but they didn't have faces. And they assured me that they loved me and they told me not to be amazed; not to give way to astonishment. And so I watched them, even though I wondered if maybe I hadn't really done it this time, and what they were doing was they were making objects come into existence by singing them into existence. Objects which looked like Fabergé eggs from Mars morphing themselves with Mandaean alphabetical structures. They looked like the concrescence of linguistic intentionality put through a kind of hyper-dimensional transform into three-dimensional space. And these little machines offered themselves to me. And I realized when I looked at them that if I could bring just one of these little trinkets back, nothing would ever be quite the same again. And I wondered, Where Am I? And What Is Going On? It occurred to me that these must be holographic viral projections from an autonomous continuum that was somehow intersecting my own, and then I thought a more elegant explaination would be to take it at face value and realize that I had broken into an ecology of souls. And that somehow I was getting a peek over the other side. Somehow I was finding out that thing that you cheerfully assume you can't find out. But it felt like I was finding out. And it felt.. and then I can't remember what it felt like because the little self-transforming tykes interrupted me and said, "Don't think about it. Don't think about who we are... Think about doing what we're doing. Do it! Do it! DO IT NOW!!!"
And what they meant was use your voice to make an object. And as I understood, I felt a bubble kind of grow inside of me. And I watched these little elf tykes jumping in and out of my chest; they like to do that to reassure you. And they said, "Do it." And I felt language rise up in me that was unhooked from english, and I began to speak...

„The alternative physics is a physics of light. Light is composed of photons, which have no antiparticle. This means that there is no dualism in the world of light.“

—  Terence McKenna

"New Maps of Hyperspace" (1989); originally published in Magical Blend magazine, also in The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History (1992)]
Context: The alternative physics is a physics of light. Light is composed of photons, which have no antiparticle. This means that there is no dualism in the world of light. The conventions of relativity say that time slows down as one approaches the speed of light, but if one tries to imagine the point of view of a thing made of light, one must realize that what is never mentioned is that if one moves at the speed of light there is no time whatsoever. There is an experience of time zero. … The only experience of time that one can have is of a subjective time that is created by one's own mental processes, but in relationship to the Newtonian universe there is no time whatsoever. One exists in eternity, one has become eternal, the universe is aging at a staggering rate all around one in this situation, but that is perceived as a fact of this universe — the way we perceive Newtonian physics as a fact of this universe. One has transited into the eternal mode. One is then apart from the moving image; one exists in the completion of eternity.

„I believe that the truth of the matter is far more terrifying, that the real truth that dare not speak itself, is that no one is in control, absolutely no one.“

—  Terence McKenna

"Dreaming Awake at the End of Time" (13 December 1998) 11:30 - 15:29 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KboPUQ0xCDs
Context: For some reason, a balkanization of epistemology is taking place. And what I mean by that is: there is no longer a commonality of understanding. I mean, for some people quantum physics provides the answers. Their next door neighbors may look to the channeling of archangels with equal fervor. … It is accompanied by a related phenomenon which is technology, or the historical momentum of things, is creating such a bewildering social milieu that the monkey mind cannot find a simple story, a simple creation myth or redemption myth to lay over the crazy contradictory patchwork of profane techno-consumerist post-McLuhanist electronic pre-apocalyptics existence. And so into that dimension of anxiety created by this inability to parse reality rushes a bewildering variety of squirrelly notions, epistemological cartoons if you will. … Conspiracy theory, in my humble opinion … is a kind of epistemological cartoon about reality. I mean, isn't it so simple to believe that things are run by the greys, and that all we have to do is trade sufficient fetal tissue to them and then we can solve our technological problems, or isn't it comforting to believe that the Jews are behind everything, or the Communist Party, or the Catholic Church, or the Masons. Well, these are epistemological cartoons, you know, it is kindergarten in the art of amateur historiography.
I believe that the truth of the matter is far more terrifying, that the real truth that dare not speak itself, is that no one is in control, absolutely no one.… Nobody is in control. This stuff is ruled by the equations of dynamics and chaos. Now, there may be entities seeking control — the World Bank, the Communist Party, the rich, the somebody-or-others — but to seek control is to take enormous aggravation upon yourself. … Because this process which is underway will take the control-freak by the short and curly and throw them against the wall. It's like trying to control a dream, you see.
The global destiny of the species is somehow unfolding with the logic of a dream.

„The world which we perceive is a tiny fraction of the world which we can perceive, which is a tiny fraction of the perceivable world, you see.“

—  Terence McKenna

"Understanding and Imagination in the Light of Nature"
Variant: The world which we perceive is a tiny fraction of the world which we can perceive, which is a tiny fraction of the perceivable world...
Context: Because the fact is, what blinds us to the presence of alien intelligence is linguistic and cultural bias operating on ourselves. The world which we perceive is a tiny fraction of the world which we can perceive, which is a tiny fraction of the perceivable world, you see. We operate on a very narrow slice based on cultural conventions. So the important thing, if synergizing progress is the notion to be maximized (and I think it's the notion to be maximized), is to try and locate the blind spot in the culture — the place where the culture isn't looking, because it dare not — because if it were to look there, its previous values would dissolve, you see. For Western Civilization that place is the psychedelic experience as it emerges out of nature.

„Conspiracy theory, in my humble opinion … is a kind of epistemological cartoon about reality.“

—  Terence McKenna

"Dreaming Awake at the End of Time" (13 December 1998) 11:30 - 15:29 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KboPUQ0xCDs
Context: For some reason, a balkanization of epistemology is taking place. And what I mean by that is: there is no longer a commonality of understanding. I mean, for some people quantum physics provides the answers. Their next door neighbors may look to the channeling of archangels with equal fervor. … It is accompanied by a related phenomenon which is technology, or the historical momentum of things, is creating such a bewildering social milieu that the monkey mind cannot find a simple story, a simple creation myth or redemption myth to lay over the crazy contradictory patchwork of profane techno-consumerist post-McLuhanist electronic pre-apocalyptics existence. And so into that dimension of anxiety created by this inability to parse reality rushes a bewildering variety of squirrelly notions, epistemological cartoons if you will. … Conspiracy theory, in my humble opinion … is a kind of epistemological cartoon about reality. I mean, isn't it so simple to believe that things are run by the greys, and that all we have to do is trade sufficient fetal tissue to them and then we can solve our technological problems, or isn't it comforting to believe that the Jews are behind everything, or the Communist Party, or the Catholic Church, or the Masons. Well, these are epistemological cartoons, you know, it is kindergarten in the art of amateur historiography.
I believe that the truth of the matter is far more terrifying, that the real truth that dare not speak itself, is that no one is in control, absolutely no one.… Nobody is in control. This stuff is ruled by the equations of dynamics and chaos. Now, there may be entities seeking control — the World Bank, the Communist Party, the rich, the somebody-or-others — but to seek control is to take enormous aggravation upon yourself. … Because this process which is underway will take the control-freak by the short and curly and throw them against the wall. It's like trying to control a dream, you see.
The global destiny of the species is somehow unfolding with the logic of a dream.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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