Address to the Jung Society aka Sacred Plants as Guides: New Dimensions of the Soul

Day Month 1991

Location, Claremont, CA


without further ado i want you to welcome ethnobotanist shamanologist and visionary terence mckenna
applause from audience
well, its a pleasure to be in southern california, and in clare mont addressing the jung society
before we get into the main body of all this i will personally introduce myself to some of those who may not know me
I started out my academic career as an art historian with a major in ancient languages and that took me to asia and sort of disillusioned me with traditional spiritual approaches in the asian style
and i reconnected then with my childhood love of nature
and pretty much abandoned the humanities and went into the sciences
but by then it was to late to become a real scientist and i was too tainted by my time again among the poets and the artists so i had to become a very soft hard scientist
so i got a degree in conservation of natural resources, about as soft of sciences as you'll ever hope to touch
and i did a lot of traveling around looking for a viable vibrant numinous approach to spiritual reality
and the only place i found it was uh in the amazon basin, where as you know there are extremely archaic groups of people
people who never submitted themselves to the historical process, the way, the peoples of the middle east and europe did
and there there flourished through the use of chemically complex plants, techniques and traditions for accessing a world invisible to the rest of us
a world of forces and information that is uh transhumance, supernatural, if the word means anything, but this um, this supernatural dimension is uh anchored in the plants that live in our world
and my brother was a botanist and i had botanical training as we studied the psychoactive plants of the world, especially the new world tropics where they seem to be concentrated
we were simultaneously exalted by the realization that we had found a doorway a real doorway into hyperspace and at the same time tremendously upset and alarmed by the fact that this doorway is in the process of being dismantled by the forces of human ignorance that are not even aware of its existence
so, uh, this was the impulse behind the disision on the part of my partner cat and i, that these plants must be saved, they must be preserved in germplams ropistories or botanical gardens or something like that
toward a day when they can be studied and the uh power the dimensions within them can be given their real weight
so to this end we founded a botanical garden in hawaii that is specifically dedicated to preserving plants with a history of shamanic importance,
and i mention this because this is the real world political world that we do
and everything else that i will say today will be barely anchored in a world familiar to most of us
but there is a political anchoring there is a place where it all comes tangential to the world bank and the IMF and the host governments and so forth and so on
it is tremendously important to preserve this shamanic option if for no other reason then we do not know what it is we do not know uh what it is
well uh so at the break if you come up our news letter of the botanical garden is the large stack of beige paper and there are 300 copies of that so i hope theres enough for everyone
we do exist on donations so if any of you are philanthropists we can certainly tell you how to spend your money, we have many plans for your money
okay um
i wasn't kidding about what an honor i think it is to address the jung society
at one point in my life my greatest desire was to become a jungian analyst and i had the good fortune of coming upon jung very young
i was about 15 when a very precotious friend of mine brought psychology and alchemy in the karuahbane translation
i think it had just been brought up
we were stunned and we read it from cover to cover
and then went on to mysterion discontinionase ion the studies and the phenomenologies of the self
i said to someone yesterday we read all the books of jung that the jungians never read
they seem to stop up there at the front of the line with the archetypes of the collective unconscious and the personality type-but to my mind it was the late stuff that was fascinating
and i uh am slightly puzzled and we were talking about it last night
at the distance between the jungian community and the psychedelic community - because they seem to me the unschooled observer to be definitely sharing the same concerns and strangely enough they share much of the same history and geography
bosal was of course junks home town, it was albert hoffmans home town
did one half of town know what the other half was doing (audience laughter) i'm not sure, um that the relationship to jung to the unconscious - to the collective unconscious as it's discoverer has been always somewhat puzzling to me because of course if you know the history of 20th century art you know that da da which was the great prefigurative movement for surrealism rose in zuorich
so you know we got LSD 0 the schools of modern art that laid great stress on the irrational and the great schools of psychology that extended the boundaries of the unconscious, all rappelling around in these little swiss towns. and it's interesting to imagine conversations or meetings that might have taken place when people slightly left there ordinary habits and wandered into bars they didn't know and drank with people they never met before
because jung provided maps of the unconscious
and at 16 when we were beginning to experiment with this
and let me stress this was before the great social waves of LSD taking of the 1960s just preceding that from about 1963-65 we were frantic for maps of the unconscious and fried was useless i meant he notion that the contents of the psychedelic experience could be reduced to what fried called day residues and repressed sexual desire - didn't wash within 10-minutes you could tell that was not a serviceable metaphor
jung on the other hand offered a vast uh pantheon of uh gods and archetypes and psychic complexes forgotten or abandoned
i mean i thought of jung basically as what i call a noetic archeologist, someone who goes with toothbrush and nutpick to dig away the detritus from the bones of vanished idea systems
and if any of you have read the complete - the works of jung in the bulling set
you know that the richness of it all is in the footnotes
i mean her was a man who raised the footnote to a high art and who was aware f a literature to my mind that no one seemed to know about
that junks references reach a thousand years deep into the past with great density of reference
this is where i learned about mechrobius and dosephius and dionysus the pseudo areopica and all those other folks that you just never hear about
it was my introduction to the underbelly of western civilization was through jung
uh and to my mind - now i'll fiend this in to todays theme - i think maria mentioned that jung did not have a lot to say about shamanism
he came to it late in his life and he had already worked through the massive the exojesus of the symbol systems of the europena mind and so she was sort of content to indicate shamanism as an area where more work was to be done
and then the great follow on scholar who was mercialiode who then actually studied shamanism showed what it's archetypal underpinnings were in all times and places
the combination of jung and illiad i think pretty much delivered us as firm map of the psychy as dependable a map of the psychic geography as we can expect to have until we make the trip ourselves and uh readjust the landscape with our own notes and uh observations
for jung the great path into the unconscious was alchemy
and alchemy is an interesting pivotal domain
because i think we could in a way say it lies halfway between the concerns of an archaic cshamanisma dn halfway between the concerns of a quasi scientific psychedelic attempt to explore consciousness
merciliode wrote a brilliant book on alchemy called the forge and the crucible which is the bridge to show you how you go from jungian psychology into an understanding of alchemy that approximates illiad. the notion for the alchemists that jung brought forth very strongly - 13:00
was the idea of projection of psychic contents, projective of the active imagination onto processes and uh objects in the exterior world in the case of the alchemist it was the swirling chemical processes in the elembix in their alchemical vessels that they projected the uh the uh the great round of the archetypes onto these chemical processes
they saw crystalization, sublimation separation a statements about the contents of the psyched as much as about statements about the exterior world
because for them the firm division between mind and matter the firm ontological division between mind and matter that is built into western thinking now did not exist
that comes with renae decart with the invention of whats called the resextensia - the extended world
and the resbaren - the interior world which has no spacial dimension
so for the alchemist mind and matter were two terms who's e exclusivity could be blurred under certain circumstances and the terms of one could migrate toward the other
well now we as moderns - ordinarily only experience this state when we are intoxicated by hallucinogenic drugs or when we are in a state of severe psychic weakness, when there is then overwhelming from the unconscious that is not uh not with the permission with the ego as what happens with the psychedelic experience
all these various ways of approaching the psyched seem fairly abstract and bloodless and removed from daily existence unless the psychedelic experience is present
and it vivifies these metaphors
it makes clear what these perennial traditions are uh talking about
so what i thought i would try todo today - and you're welcome to steer it other directions in the question and answer period is the workshop is sacred plants as guides
uh a lot of information has to be imparted if were going to satisfy my patagogical urge here because i would really like to leave you with information that you didn't have before some of which may have practical efficacy in your own life
so in thinking about this very large issue: sacred plants as guides
i basically break it down into three categories for ease of handling in a context like this
and they are a kind of survey what how many plants are they
what are the chemicals that drive them
and what is their geographical distribution
in other words what are the botanical facts of the matter
and then uh secondly i think that in order to understand what these things for spiritual growth and psychic development you have to place them in a context and the context is chronological and historical
has these things always been around have shamans always been taking them how do they relate to the synthetic drugs that have been developed in the last couple of centuries
so the history of our relationship to the pharmacologically induced ecstasy
and then finally and probably we'll get to this this afternoon the phenomenology of the experience and the techniques for achieving and controlling it
because this is a practical - there is a practicum here
this is not a course in mongolian philology or something like that
the ultimate idea is to get those who feel called to the task
sufficiently informed and psychically empowered that they can push off into the oceans of mind and the interior with some fair amount of confidence that they'll return to the port with all hands
(audience laughter)
so lets start with the survey then and lets talk about what the options are
and this will be sort of unstructured and conversational with forays into other areas
first of all the striking uh thing when you want to study psychoactive drugs and plant and their impact on human culture - and thats really what interests me - is how drugs effect culture - after went through jung and iliad my net port of call was mcluan
and i have soared very deeply the notion that media structure civilizations in ways that the civilizations are never aware of
and jung of course talked about print and manuscript and electroniculture he did not talk about drugs but drugs are a form of media because they - information travels through the drug to the mind - thats a medium of communications and various societies where drugs like clothing with no awareness of their existence at all, someway in the way that a fish relates to water - so that frances if you're in dublin you are swimming in the ambiance of an alcohol culture - you don't have to be drunk to be in dublin although it helps
but the entire society is premised on the possibility x2
in india the entire society is premised on the possibilitiy of uh hasheesh intoxicants and social morays building design
uh everything takes account of this - cultures don't see this - we do not think of ourselves as a meat sugar alcohol culture - people do not walk around saying "oh wow i'm so high on meat, alcohol and sugar, i can hardly stand it" but they are
and certain consequences flow from that
so as i make my way through this survey you need to bear in mind that a culture takes its tone
its clothing from the drugs that it emits, and you can know a great deal about a culture from the drugs it excludes, the drugs that it excoriates and fears
because various drugs exentuate the suppressed different parts of the psychy
so these are statements about anxiety about various parts of the psychy
the striking thing when you set out to do a survey like this
is that you discover that our culture - the culture of europe for most of us some of us are black some of us are asian but largely the roots of american culture lie in europe
this is the most pharmacologically poverished culture on the entire planet
it has the longest history of disconnection from any kind of ecstatic intoxication
and the cultural forms of earope linear abstract narcissistic and promoting of male dominance are to my mind exactly what you would expect in a culture long deprived of the boundary ddesolving numinous encounter with the vegetable mind
so um a lot of the culture problems we are dealing with are based on the fact that we as europeans have no place for drugs
we don't really know quite what todo with that as you move south from europe into the content of human origins : africa
you discover that well africa supports a tropical ecosystem which because that means increased speciation of plants you would think indicate an increased number of hallucinogens
africa is surprising poor in hallucinogens
this is not well understood
as we go through this survey i will make reference to numerous unsolved mysteries in the field and i always try todo this because I'm hoping their are graduate students listening and they are looking for research topics
and there are numerous research areas where important work can be done
one of them is
this question of poverty of hallucinogens in africa - why
does it have todo with the extreme length of time that africa has been subject to human impact
because afirca is species poor generally for a tropical continent
however in the interest of thoroughness there is one hallucinogenic drug complex that should be mentioned because it raises issues that are important for the broader context
and that is
ibogaine or tabernantha iboga the so called bedee cults of zyarre and gabon
now this is the psychedelic about which we in the west probably know the least
it has spawned no waves of social histeria
it has not been the subject of padromes or uh media freakout
and its a powerful hallucinogen and its not only a powerful hallucinogen but it has a component of sexual excitation which is ansylary and unusual, if you have actually ever looked into the chick of aphrodisiacs uh that
genital chaining and prolonged direction
but a true aphrodisiac a chemical that would impel you to want to have sex
there is nothing quite like that except this tabernantha iboga is very interesting
we tend to think of an aphrodisiac because we tend to break our heart away from our genitals as a kind of uh cold thing i think
but when you talk to these people who are taking ibogaine they don't talk about aphrodisiac they say this causes open heartedness
one heartedness they call it
and one heartedness is what they are striving for in the boety colt and they achieve it
and it allows them to resist cultural incursions by christian missionaries
bowery is the main cultural force that is holding back conversion to christianity by these people, fang culture the people who are using this ibogaine
it's an interesting culture
its a great deal of anxiety in fang culture about divorce
because in relationships between men and women divorce is very easily maintained in the fang but it's always followed by extremely lengthy and protracted negotiations with the family of the divorced partner about the return of dowry and a huge amount of neurosis and agony and murder and violence goes on over these dowry return negotiations, the ebogaine stands right in the middle of this as a source of one-heartedness making divorce less likely
so it's a very important as a force for social cohesion
and i mention this because when we reach ayawausca i mean when we reach south america we will see ayawausca not as a type of aphrodisiac or a thing to unify couples
but as a kind of telepathic pharamon that unifies whole small tribal groups together into a one hearted one minded modality
and if we get into a discussion about the possible evolutionary impact of hallucinogens we'll see that it always lies in the direction of these collectivized states of mind
and uh
dissolution of boundaries between people
other than tabernanthea eboga africas hallucinogens are trivial
and i won't mention them in the time we have
cannabis is in africa as well but cannabis is worldwide now and probably has been for quite some time
cannabis is a special case chemically and culturally
we tend to think of cannabis as a recreational drug but thats because in the 20th century we always smoke our cannabis
in the 18th and 19th century cannabis was eaten and jelly forms of cannabis that were eaten judging by the pros of people like _ _ _ _ and people like that it was as powerful as LSD without doubt
i mean these people were being swept into titanically alien dimensions
well when we cross form afirca to india
india interestingly of course all of you know tremendous depth of at least concern with the spiritual dimension if not realization of it thats a tougher call
india would be a likely place to look for indigenous hallucinogenic plant cults because of the spiritual obsession that characterizes indian thought
when we look at the historical foundations of indian thought we find that it all rests on a group of texts composed between 4500 and 2000 years ago called the vedas
and the vedas are nothing less than the worlds longest continuing advertisement for a hallucinogenic plant. the problem is we don't know what this plant is
this is the mysterious soma of the rig vedas
and uh mandala 9 of the rig veda is an entirely a hymn to soma
soma held hinduism of the vedic phase together
later it was repressed and again graduate students pay attention one of the very interesting problems to be looked at by sociologists social psychologists and anthropologists is how if a drug once discovered or a plant once discovered is so wonderful how can these things ever be lost or forgotten
and yet in several instances we deal with literatures which sing the praises of some plant or drug, the identity of which we can't figure out or it becomes a very big arm restle between various competing schools of scholarship
we do not to this day know what soma was
gordon was son who some of you may know the discoverer the modern discoverer of the mushroom cults of mexico founder of the science of enthnomicology believed to his dying breath that soma was amanita mascara the red topped white speckled amanita
this is a mushroom which has a major role in tungustik and arctic shamanism but to say as was son did that this is the supreme entheogen is not supported by the evidence
was sons own efforts to become intoxicated on amanita muscaria were not succesfull
uh my efforts have not been successful
occasionally you will hear anecdotal evidence - someone will tell a story about eating amanita muscaria and obviously they had a staggering breakthrough - a rupturing of plane as mercioliode in his wonderful phrase
but its extremely undependable and when you look at the botany of the amanita muscaria you discover that its chemical constituency is seasonally variant genreically variant uh geographically variant and so forth
often i think as we gain a understanding of a given shamanism we will see that it depended on an extremely deep local knowledge and if you take what a yakut shaman says about the amanita muscaria and attempt to apply it in the national forests of new mexico you could end up with a tag on your toe
uh these things this kind of information doesn't travel well
there are old shamans and bold shamans but there are no old bold shaman
in looking at the indian subcontinent for other hallucinogens that may have made a contribution
the obvious one to my mind is straferious cubensis that which mushroom that grows in the dung of cows and the book that my brother and i wrote was about
other possibilities some of you may know their are a family of the argerea family of morning glories an asian family of morning glories distributed from india to micronesia
thirteen species all containing psychoactive ergot alkaloids
none with a history of human usage
now this is another area which really fascinates me
why do some plants become discovered by human beings and become the objects of cults which last millennia and others are never discovered at all
in societies absolutely obsessed with spiritual advancement
this argeraea nervosa is the perfect example because you take the seeds the seeds are the active part
and you don't need much of this thing
you need four or five seeds
less than a table spoon of plant material which i would bet would make it pure unit volume probably one of the most powerful hallucinogens in nature
and uh
the hallucinations are absolutely stunning
and nobody has ever claimed this
its free for the taking
this means you can cut a deal with an a lie that doesn't belong to the hindus the mayans or the somebody else
its an unoccupied parking space ni uh hyperspace
and its very interesting that the discoveries are continuous
just a year ago some phido chemists in the midwest discovered a new a plant its always been there no ones really taken it very seriously, treated it like a weed
desmenthus elenoyensus
the elony bundle weed
this is suggested that its called bundle weed because a medicine bundle is of course a shamans mojo bag
so bundle weed 6% by dry weight nn dimethyltryptamine - the largest concentration of dmt in any plant and unclaimed by native people - unknown to the folk medicine of the north american indians as far as we can tell
well so this is very interesting
uh continuing our survey
since we're now somewhere on the eurasia continent we should mention uh uh pavisoanaphorum the opium poppy with cannabis
this is probably the oldest human narcotic minoan civilization was entirely based on opium, on the use of opium - 36:00
and in fact when michael ventrist translated the tablets the linear bee tablets they got these tallies and they thought at first that the symbol for opium must be the symbol for wheat
because the tallies were so huge of the things being moved and sold
and then when they sorted out they realized no that for the last 1000 years of it's existence the minoan civilization drifted deeper and deeper into an opium narcosis
that was its way i think
of emephastising the pain of the death of this last outpost of the goddess religion
because thats what it was it was a cultural inachronism
while asian minor had gone over to god king city states
and bronze tipped spears
the people of minoan creet had kept the old old archaic religion that came out of africa
and then in the last gasp of that minoan culture those mysteries were handed on to the main
land of greece and became the mysteries at eleusis and uh and other cult sites
it was said by the commentators
contemporary commentators of the hellinistic world
the site the rights practiced in secret at eleusis are practiced in public at kinosis
and this was the difference
the going underground of the old proto-minoan mother religion
uh in modern times we have a horror of opium
uh i mean people are amazed that i even mention it in the same breath
but it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves that this verilantly addicted substance
opium was not even noticed to be addictive by anybody until 1627
when the english physician john play fare for the first time commentated that opium once taken over a long period of time then there would be a requirement that it be taken throughout life
uh um
we're right in a middle of the drug war at the moment and it's interesting in that context to notice how the goals of drug wars can change
100 years ago the british navy was involved in what is called the opium wars in china
very few people in the modern world have botherd to inform themselves to find out that the opium wars were about the right of the british government to deal opium
the emperor of china did not want opium dealt in the ports of china
and the british government used canon to enforce their desire to sell opium in the ports of china
why were the english trying to sell opium in the ports of china
because the tea trade had collapsed from overproduction they stuck with all these tea ships
they had created a whole global infrastructure for the sale of tea when the market fell out on tea they just turned to opium
they grew it in goa and they sold it in china
this was government policy less than a hundred and twenty years ago
ok well moving on then from eurasia
and I'm sure I'm missing different things but if missed your favorite thing bring it up in the question period to the north american continent
and the north american continent - is uh i almost said similarly cursed like europe but thats just my prejudice
the north american content is similarly poor in hallucinogens
uh there are no very interesting hallucinogens in north america
and north american indians and north american culture did not avail itself of this ecstatic plant induced shamanism it tended more to go for whats called ordeal shamanism
the sun dance thing where you hang yourself by your pectorals on hooks and stuff like that
i mean there are other ways to attain these visions
you see but that absence of good hallucinogens in north america just reinforced that whole bear and woolen and uptight thing that came from europe
uh the only major hallucinogen to have a role in native american culture is of course peyote
and many people without informing themselves imagine that peyote is something which goes millennia into the past
and this is absolutely not true
peyote use may well be less than a thousand years old among native americans
when you go back into the old graves and the very old sites in the rio grande valley in the south you don't find peyote what you find are the beans of sephoris condefolia you all probably know this plant although you may not know it's name its the plant that produces the very hard red and black bean that they can string
if you all know what corellanus are these era thrinas which are related to these things
ok that stuff contains cytosine and sistinethis is these are what are called ordeal poisons
and it might be worthwhile to just talk for a minute about ordeal poisons
i said theres more than one way to skin a cat
theres more than one way to have this experience to shove your through to an awareness of the numinous thats what we're trying todo is have an awareness of the numinous
well in a certain part of the world where hallucinogens were not present in the biome
people concentrated on ordeal poisons and what an ordeal poison is its a chemical compound that you take it and you think you're going to die and you beg for death and you do not die
you get better you're fine
and you're so damn glad to be alive that you undergo an abreaction you get straight
you shed some of your complexes and you turn over a new leaf
is uh is what it is
in madagascar these ordeal poisons have been brought to a high state of perfection
also in malayia theres a poison complex that replaces a hullainogencic drug complex and these are horrific poisons
so uh
what apparently was going on in the rio grande valley was after centuries of this sephoris secundofolia cult someone discovered peyote and said my god
thank god
and the other the other plant which was big in the southern california northern mexico and across the southwest were the tropane containing deturas the so called tulax religion of southern california
where these are deliriant confusants that are unless you have a psychic constitution that is not like mine you can't take these things
they're too i just found them confusing it was like a kind of madness
and also physically very difficult to handle i experimented i had a phase with these things when i was in nepal because there are sadhus in the catnandu valley who swear by this stuff
and if you're in catmanda you may notice in the gutter - well you'll notice plenty in the gutter
but you may also notice these detura pods
empty detura pods
and i noticed them and started asking questions and then out at the kings game preserve past pashupatina i found a bunch of these things and layer in a supply
but it is an occult watery- its a dimension of confusion not a dimension of high awareness
and i think some of you have heard me tell the story about the reason i gave it up was an english men a friend of mine who lived in this little village in nepal where i lived he was also experimenting with this stuff
and one day i was buying potatoes and tomatoes in the market and i ran into him and we started having a conversation and in the course of the conversation he revealed that he believed we were in his apartment - and then i knew we were losing hold on our grounding
uh so i don't recommend that i don't have a whole lot to say about it
apparently its a thing for magic power magic
and i've never been particularly interested in that because I'm afraid of it
I'm uh I'm a watcher i like to look i like to get very close to it and watch it
but I'm not into grabbing it or doing anything with it
i have a feeling that would lead to a catastrophe
for me personally
ok where are we now
northern mexico
now we've gone all around we started in europe we went down into africa crossed the eurosia continent north america north mexico - now things get interesting
because as you leave the senorra uplands and go south in the sierra mazatecka there is this mushroom complex which valentina and gordon wasson discovered
in the 1953s
17-22 species - it depends on who's counting of extremely endemic meaning very localized species of mushrooms all producing psilocybin
coincident with the mayan
the cultural side of the mayan miztechan and mazatechan civilizations
and this is psilocybe
an extraordinarily powerful visionary and benign hallucinogenic metabolite
once the was sons had nailed down this mexican mushroom complex
then people started checking and they discovered these mushrooms or con specific species in many localities
uh two that are worth mentioning are
the pacific northwest oregon washington and british columbia
which appears to be the world center for species density of the psilocybin gene
and strangely enough very good ethnographic research turns up no hint that these quacutal shimsham clinget and other people had any hint of this
they lived in the center of the psilocybin distribution complex and as far as we can tell their shamanism which was highly evolved never discovered or made use of this
not so these civilizations of mesoamerica
the other places where these mushrooms have been discovered is europe
the tragedy of the european civilization is that the logos was apparently there all the time
uh uh the english countryside i understand is now practically a scene of annual mushroom runs
that are not unlike the lemming runs of scandinavia and everyone poors out to collect the semilenciata mushrooms
i've been told i haven't been to these sites but i've been told that uh ionia where the book of keels was composed and where uh saint columba went is covered with mushrooms its very clearly a mushroom ecology
attention graduate art students the tracing of mushroom motifs in european art and civilization and culture is an extremely rich untapped field
if you need some clues uh look at family escutcheons look at family crests
in france and the italian parts of france the morel lie family has the morrell on their eschuchen
there are other mushroom families and mushroom names
so uh there may have been this may have been the struggle between paganism and christianity
may have revolved around a mushroom
we know druids were into plants we know they were into oak groves
but uh the plant that is always mentioned that is the druidic psychedelic psychic plant of choice is mistletoe
but mistletoe is chemically very disappointing and i wonder if mistletoe ~ 50:00
is not, it wasn't the plant they wanted to symbolize
they wanted to symbolize a symbiosis of one plant up on another
its that the mistletoe symbolizes epithetic existence
uh anyways this is an untapped area
once you get into the new world tropics
then you are in the great domain of the hallucinogenic plants
and no one knows why it is that the tropics of the new world are tremendously rich in hallucinogens
i mean idk how many of you are botanists or or biologists
but try to imagine uh figuring out a set of evolutionary constraints that were operating on one side of the planet but not on the other
you know
when we take for instance the jungles of southern columbia
and compare them lets say with the jungles of new guinea
these are both continental floras
both equatorial
both climaxed at a species rich climax
and one has dozens of hallucinogens in it and the other has none
uh this is not well understood
theories range as wildly as obviously that must be where the flying saucer landed
and uh (laughter)
thats where the genes were seeded
i confess I'm not sure why it is
at first i thought it had todo with extremely primitive state so called primitive
extremely archaic state of culture in the south american jungle
that they represent a real stone age culture
where when you go into indonesia it may look primitive to you but the dutch were there before the english arrived in north america
it is
it has had centuries and centuries for in which these things could be forgotten
but then here come the botanists who care nothing for ethnographic data and who simply carry out plant surveys and chemical analysis of plants
they can't find these hallucinogens either
in the tropics of mess america
and the equatorial tropics of the new world
theres a vast panoply of hallucinogens
not only in the mushroom complex
but then also this ayahuasca or yahey complex
that we've referred to several times
uh this is a huge jungle fine
and as we cross into the yahey area we also cross an interesting barrier because we move from plants single plants which are hallucinogenic ally active into the realm of preparations
we're on the threshold of the concept drug here
because what ayawausca is is uh two plants which are not active unless brought into combination with each other
one plant contains a monoaminoxidase inhibitor and the other plant contains dmt which would be destroyed in the gut if taken orally unless it were taken orally in the presence of an MAO inhibitor
this was not understood by western pharmacology until 1956
but it was understood by amazonian shamans millennia ago
so they bring these two things together
and by varying the ratio between the plant containing the beta carbines that inhibit MAO and the plants that contain DMT
they can't intensify or de emphasize the vision
well most of the hallucinogens in the amazon basin run on tryptomine of some sort
usually dmt
in the upper basin of columbia ecuador peru like that
you get these banasteri these yahey ayawasca beverages
these are things you drink and then it comes on
this outlandish trip
as you go down into the lower basin
the banasterri opsis cult gives way to these snuff cults
ebena and neopo
depending on the languages
these don't depend on an mao inhibitor ffor their activity
because they're absorbed through the sub nasal mucosa
which is an extremely effective way for getting drugs uh into the system
the problem with that complex
the snuff complex
we are such delicate and wimpy people that we cant stand that route of drug administration
because what they do is they toast these seeds of anadanantha peragreen
this huge leguminous tree which is the source of the seed
they toast these seeds and powder them
so what you get is a kinda ruff cross between sawdust and charcoal
and then they have a hollow tube about this long
and they load it up with this stuff
and you squat down and put the tube into your nostril
and your friend, your friend (laughter)
not you because you would not do it hard enough (laughter
your friend takes a huge breath of air and pshhhh
its just like being hit in the face by a two by four
and you fall over backwards you scream and you salivate and you squirm around there in the dirt for a minute or two
and then you sit back up and by that time the tube has been loaded for the other nostril (laughter)
and your eyes your sinuses can't believe whats happened to you (laughter)
so you have to sort out this whole sinus shock which is going on in parallel with then an evolving strange state of mind which is beginning to take over and clarify everything
and then there are numerous minor variations on these things
uh might talk just a little bit about the chemistry of these things
and the chemistry of hallucinogens generally
my attitude toward thesee uh
this question of plants compounds drugs should these things be used for spiritual growth
if the answers no then it finishes it doenst go anywhere
and at what frequency and at what dosage and under what circumstances
and over the years I've sort of evolved a three way test that i will share with you
because i think its operationally maybe the most useful thing you'll hear this weekend
and that is
if you are contemplating some compound some plant
the first thing to ask yourself is does it occur in nature
does it have some tangenentialty to what is already existing
because obviously hat exists
thats nature
has undergone some vast winnowing process
out of the set of all things which might exist
in that wonderful phrase of alfred north whiteheads
certain things have undergone the formality of actually occurring (laughter)
you know
and they and so
certain compounds have undergone the formality of actually occurring in the biological matrix
and so they should be our pool out of which our experimental compounds should be drawn
but this is thousands of compounds
how can we further narrow it
an excellent way of narrowing it further is to ask the question of this compound
does it have a history of human usage
does it have a history of human usage
that is your uh FDA approval
because if you can point to a tribe of people who have been taking this plant or mushroom for millennia
and they don't have miscarriages
8 fingers on the left hand
or whatever it is then you can be fail confident that this thing is benign
that these people have observed its action on pregnant women
the elderly
those with you know
and that it has passed that test
then finally the narrowest gate
through which a compound has to go to intersect my precious body
is it has to have an affinity to ordinary brain chemistry
it has to have an affinity to ordinary brain chemistry
we don't want to launch something on your brain that it can't recognize at all
that it has no biosynthetic pathways to degrade
that his no receptors for
just some crazy thing you know
5 amino 3 triothyfinthioimaxodine
we don't want that
its not the spirit that we're acting in here
so if the compound can get through those three barriers
then its an excellent candidate for providing spiritual gain
at low physiological uh impact
well now some people may say oh well you've taken all of the fun out of it
all the good things have been tossed aside in this mad rush to purity
not at all
the very best stuff was retained in this process
because uh
in terms of relative strength and bizarreness of effect
and so forth
the strangest
the most powerful the most transformity of all hallucinogens in nature or out
is dimthyltryptamine
and uh it's worth talking about DMT for a moment
because it will raise certain issues and distinctions that you may not have been aware of
because DMT is hands down the most powerful of all hallucinogens
i mean it is so powerful that whatever is in second place is lost over the horizon
it is the most benign of all hallucinogens because it occurs as an endogenous neurotransmitter in the normal human brain
we every single one of us at this moment have nn dimethyltryptamine being synthesized activated and degraded in our synaptic membrane
so this is almost a paradox
the most benign of all hallucinogens, the most fast acting i should also add
is also the most harmless, the easiest to take
it's sort of removed, it sort of puts a certain obligation on the experient
because there is no reason to hold back
except that there is this question
does it drive you made?
and then the more serious version of that question
what about the possibility of death by astonishment (laughter)
this is no joke, death by astonishment is probably the major risk we run (laughter)
uh with this stuff, because the impact of the breakthrough is uh is so total, so complete, so unexpected
and in a way this sort of brings me back around to my theme
because I encounter DMT LSD all of these things
in that very period when i was getting set to take flight as a jungian analyst and what completely blew my mind about DMT and uh I mention it again, here is an opportunity for research
is how trans
ehres a horretical construction
how trans-archetypal the content of the flash seemed
i was appalled because not only had i a certain amount of interesting jung and proclivity along those lines
but my original major had been art history
art historians
what we're trained todo is to be able to look at a motif
and say oh yes i'm familiar with this from ceramic from second millennia peru and also mendian embroarderary work
we know motifs
we're trained to recognize and connect disparate aesthetic domains
when i smoke dmt
and came down
i said you know this is not on the map
i can't believe it, this doesn't connect to anything
how can there be domains of the human mind that do not announce themselves in folklore
dreams or mandala painting
that are so
from the van of what is human
that they are apparently not except able in structuring our maps of ourself and our psychy
and that for me was the contact with what i call an i didn't call it it this rudolph auto called it this
and this term influenced jung auto preceded jung
was, it is the holy other.
and if there is an archetype of a holly other
then there, this is it
but perhaps the holy other transcends the archetypes
this may explain to some degree interest in gnosticism
especially the valentinian school of gnosticism
that there is a higher and hidden father, all god, who is outside the machinery of cosmic fate
and it seemed to me that in those extremely profound dmt flashes
i was actually witnessing a domain outside the machinery of the archetypes
which is for us as moderns; thats what machinery of fate is
it's not zodiacal machinery
it's hard wiring in our psychology and our genes that gives us our fate
well so having said that uh i've not only made the the survey but also brought us to by ending with dmt - the subject matter of this quest
and i wanna make it clear i speak about the power of the psychedelic experience
because i think people should be informed of their birthright
and i feel very antsy around the notion that someone might go from birth to the grave without ever having a psychedelic experience
it makes me as antsy as the notion that somebody might go from birth to the grave without having a sexual experience
it's a strange kind of uh protective denial or a kind of expression of fear
this is our birthright
this is part of what it means to be human
these altered states of consciousness i think are pretty much scripted into the existence of women because they, most of them will give birth which is an organically scripted psychedelic experience from which there is no escape unless of course you go for the drug knockout, the spinal and then you miss everything
but biologically, physiologically women are set up for uh this experience
man are not, it's possible to build such barriers against overwhelming that it never happens in your whole life
and i believe that if we psychologically analyze the effects of these uh psychedelics what they do is they dissolve boundaries
that's all. i mean, if you interview ten thousand people who've had a psychedelic trip
each one has their own herotheny there own heroschomos that unfolded for them
but the some total of it is boundaries dissolve
and then whatever's on the other side of your boundary comes flooding in to claim you
and to reshape and remake your psychic
well i see the entire illness of our civilization as an
an ego inflationary illness. we have gone so sick with ego that we are literally murdering the planet rather than confronting the consequences of our psychic imbalance.
and uh the psychedelics act to regress this
they are almost an inoculation against the ego
and I see the ego as uh phenomenon arising in historical time or rather actually history is caused by the ego
but the ego is a component of the psychy that arose in the post archaic phase in the post psychedelic phase, uh it's entirely a modern invention
it's less than 15 thousand years old
and the assumptions of the ego are the source of our neurosis
our disequalibrium
why did the ego arise?
it arose because of the climateologically enforced abandonment of these psychedelic religions of the archaic period
in other words here is the scenario as I see it
primates, even primitive-even uh
non advanced primates like squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys
these kind of primates all have male dominance hierarchies
the whole thing with primates is about male dominance
but a lot of things about human beings mark us as the most unique member of the primate group
obviously we look different from any other monkeys
even the stranger monkeys look more like the normal monkeys than we look like them or look like thus us
our upright posture
the other thing about us is our suppressed extra cycle
we cannot tell at a glance whether a woman is in heat or not
and yet obviously that had a tremendous shaping force on the social psychology of uh of the primates
I believe everything about us that is noble and worth saving
occurs against the grain
that if we had followed the grain, we would still be uh competing with jackals for the carcasses left by lions of uh large game kills on the plains of africa
but when the african continent began to dry up and we were forced out of the trees where we had in an arboreal vegetarian lifestyle
we came under great pressure to expand our diet and the - i believe that the great unstudied factor in human evolution and human emergence is the effect of a complex diet on our emerging species
and it's not only the presence of hallucinogens such as psilocybin in the in the diet
but other things swell. psilocybin is the most spectacular case, and if you came to see darwin you'd hear about evolution and if you can to me you'd have to hear this little theory about human emergence
most of you can probably recite it by heart now
uh but its a three step
its a three step feedback loop from a fairly bright monkey to a fairly stupid human being
and uh the way it works is like this
these monkeys come down out of the trees
they're predating on kills of ovungulate animals made by lions, they're competing with jackals, they're testing all of the foods in the environment
and low and behold, in the maneur of these ungulate mammals that are eradeating across the african continent
there are what are called copperfitic mushrooms
and the presence of large amounts of tryptophan in maneur as a substrate means that these copperfitic mushrooms elaborate psilocybin
so here in this new grassland environment are the psilocybin mushrooms
these protohominid creatures testing foods for their diet would reach the psilocybin and would test it
well then this three part feedback loop to humanist then comes into play
and it works like this
very light doses of psilocybe and so light that you cannot an hour and a half or two hours later tell you've taken anything. you say i don't feel it i feel completely normal i must not have taken enough.
that dose, if you would submit yourself to being tested by an optometric analysis we could show you that your vision has improved slightly
this is an effect of eating small amounts of psychoactive amines
increase visual acuity
well o - 1:15:00
you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you're a hunting animal competing in a highly competitive environment and suddenly someone hands you a pair of chemical binoculars you are going to be a more successful hunter than other members of your species who are not availing themselves of this food item
so there was reinforcement there
if we eat these mushrooms in small amounts we will be more successful hunters
or maybe it was never raised consciousness as an if than relationship
it was just we eat mushrooms we hunt well… kind off thing (laughter)
then if you eat slightly more of the psilocybin if you bring slightly more of it into your diet
it's what's called a CNS stimulator
Central Nervous System stimulant
an effect of all CNS stimulants is what's called
and arousal means simply that you can't sit still, you're very restless
you're very energetic
and often in the male animal you have an erection
it's an overall systemic arousal
and uh if you if you give if you witness this situation in monkeys
monkeys are very hang loose kinda characters
and so they just all fall together in a heap and make love
and this uhhh increases what anthropologists and primatologists like to call successful instances of copulation
this means that this increase interest in sex in combination with an increase success in obtaining food is creating the perfect situation in which there will be a population boom of these creatures
they're eating better, they're enjoying themselves more
and they have better relationships with each other
so population boom is on the way
well then, the next and final level is she you raise the dose higher so you're no longer restless or interested in sex or any other - but you're flattened with the ecstatic folding of the flu numinous hallucinogenic rupture of playing
then - and this occurs in the tribal context
then there is boundary dissolution uhhh group sexual activity and group bonding and identification
and this is where uhhh this telepathic coherence
this inner dynamic of cohesion and caring that we see in primitive people to some small degree
and that we imagine must once have been our birthright
this is where it came to be
and at those higher levels of psilocybin
most of you probably know language is formed by an organ on one side of the brain called brooches area
brochas area
the brain being always symmetrically constructed
brooches area has a twin on the opposite side of the brain
but no one knows whats going on there
it's apparently a silent area of the brain
well when you take psilocybin there is spontaneous linguistic activity
glossolalia - henry munn has written about this
in his essay the mushrooms of language
it's almost as though psilocybin is a pheromone that promotes linguistic activity
an effort to take verbal intentionality and connected up to the ontos of being
in some way
and then it's almost as though words are born out of you
you give birth to words
and uh these concrescances of meaning then create a kind of unitarian ambiance
which we call understanding
lanugage is a miracle
i mean make no mistake about it - i don't mean any amount of dissection of monkeys or human cadavers will give you an insight into language
language is a behavior of some sort so bizarre, so many orders of magnitude more complex then anything else we do
that for all practical purposes, this is the thumb print of god up on creation
human language
and it's a self transforming thing
it keeps bootstrapping itself to higher and higher levels
and it creates for us the entire ambience of reality
once we had words, we quirky replace reality with them
and so i believe that what psilocybin promotes is cognitive activity. the coordination of visual input with plants and strategies for hunting or acquisition or whatever
it promotes this uh increased arousal, which really in a way_
we as moderns are absolutely as in awe of as our mushroom munching ancestors 25,000 years ago
we can't reduce it, we don't know what it is
you know jung was always so concerned that people say it's only psychological, it's only the psychy of the news for you
it may only be the psychy but the psychy is a lll there is
and as we came into a relationship with the mushroom, humanness emerged on the african belt
and was able to stabilize itself for a few millennia, and then we fell into history because of climeatological change for many reasons
but we literally fell into history and now we operate in this lower domain
a domain of limitation of misunderstanding of low grade languages
but and we are neurotic
we are unhappy
we are dysfunctional
and i believe this is because our connection to the logos, to the informing voice that gives meaning to being has been broken. over ten thousand years it's fallen away
and all we're left with is our spiritual yearnings
our nostalgia for paradise
and uh our pathologies and miraculously we are left with the time capsule of preservation represented by the rainforest shamanic culture that use hallucinogens
there lies our answer
but it's like the aura boric serpent taking it's tale in it's mouth
the salvation of the super future of the planet lies in a recovery of the values, modalities and religious practices of 25,000-50,000 years ago 1:22:50
Break Break break (applause)

we haven't screened the pile so we're just gonna go through them
i'll read them aloud
normally i give long answers but there's such a stack of questions here i'll try and be general (laughter?)
or general breif n ___?
since dmt is present in the brain does the introduction of excess dmt shut down the production of natural dmt? in the way that the body stops producing opiates during opiate usage. if so what are the effects? is dmt really so chemically perfectly benign?
the firs point to make is that many of your questions cannot be answered because research into these areas is not allowed
so often uh we can't answer our question
this question, "does the introduction of excess dmt, limit endogenous production?"
I can say with fair confidence that that's never been studied
my guess would be that it does not, because the dmt is in no sense of the word do you become habituated to dmt.
i mean - a person who does dmt want's a year as a fanatically heavy user, i would say. and uh the question; is dmt really so chemically benign?" again this has not been studied as you would study with rats and so forth to determine it but experimentally speaking, the amazing thing about dmt is the speed which you return to normal. You return to the baseline of consciousness in under ten minutes. Well that tell's you that the brain is very well able to deal with this compound.
One way of judging how toxic a drug or a plant is, is to ask yourself the question, "how long after i take it do i feel completely normal?"
and with dmt you feel completely normal 15 minutes after taking it
the shortest recovery time of any uh drug
this question is concerning the bundle weed, while it does not correctly meet the criteria of longterm use, is it to be considered safe?
i'd say the way to answer that question is to do a chemical analysis of the bundle weed. if theres nothing present but dmt in it, i think it should be considered safe. Now there may be other compounds present. in south america it's possible to contrast two plants - psychotria veridas. which has almost entirely nothing in it except dmt as the portion of it's alkaloid fraction. or uh varola cathaganascens which is used in the making of snuff, and chemically it's a mess. it looks like they swept the floor. you've gone nn dmt, 5meo dmt, alphamenyltryptamine, monomehtlytryptamine, sixhydroxymothyltryptamine - all these
this is not what you want
you want a surgical strike on the synapse thats what you're going for
not splattering all kinds of junk all over the place
what is the best medium for psiloybe spore germination
the best medium is rye malt agar no question about it, go with rye
organic rye malt agar extract
in todays climate talk about access to shamanic pharmaceuticals for the average person
this is the where do i get it question
dressed up in respectable terms
without being too self serving my brother and i wrote a book about growing mushrooms
called psilocybin the magic mushrooms growers guide by otis and
i'm ottos as you can see
i really believe in growing mushrooms
if you are as you sit here not psychically strong enough or balanced enough to take psilocybin
then if you learn to grow it, at the end of that process you will be
because growing the mushroom teaches you cleanliness, punctuality, attention to detail, uh steadiness
all of these virtues which are the very virtues you need to travel smoothly in that dimension
other hallucinogens other shamanic hallucinogens that you will find easily available to you without breaking any laws
the heavenly blue morning glory
sold in every seed store and garden store, are not to be taken, do not take them. they have been dipped in a fungicide that will make you sick
grow them, and collect your crop and take that
and uh this is a major hallucinogen of uh of great antiquity, extremely visionary
the hawaiian wood rose
uh you can obtain this from uh people who make dry flower arrangements often have these
pay attention, you want the hawaiian baby wood rose
if they try to give you something called hawaiian wood rose, a big clunky thing. that is inactive and uh and won't do it
the deterras are freely available - i do not recommend them. i recommend against them. they're a common landscaping plant in southern california, and the gypsum weed is of course growing out in the desert out around lancaster and other places like that, there are a couple of companies which have very forth rightly decided to sell plants with a history of shamanic involvement
i have no stock in these companies, so uh i can recommend them without fear or favoritism
one is called , of the jungle up in sabasstical california
and the other one is called dream gadens and i think it's here in santa monica
both of these groups publish astonishingly complete catalogs of psychoactive and shamancally important plants
ok that access without going to the streets and crime and that
can you tell us anymore about elenoy bundle weed
i just did, umm
and that's all really i can tell you about it
all these questions are the same question
having convinced us of the wonder of DMT, what would be the easiest and quickest way to obtain it
how does one acquire DMT (laughter)
comment about the supreme court ruling against the use of peyote by north american indians
very bad law obviously, law so bad that the national council of churches, the national jewish affairs committee
and some very large catholic organization, all filed briefs protesting this thing and i think that it was actually realized that it was a goof and it will be brought back in the new-you can't bring something back something in court in a hurry because that's unseemly
but i would bet within 5-10years this would be overturned because a close reading of this law means that uhhh lying for pesa or communion could be construed as a psychoactive substance
and uh the whole thing is just bad law, bad idea
has consideration been given to the possibility that in the case of certain plants which are recounted in writings but the identity is unknown that the reason they are unknown is because shamans purposefully kept their identity a secret. perhaps such secrets are still being kept
this goes to the question i reaised this morning
how can a hallucinogen once discovered ever been lost
and i've only been able to figure out one scenario in which this could happen
it happens like this
people discover a wonderful plant that imparts visions or insight or something
and everybody takes it and enjoys it and then slowly a hierarchy emerges
a professional class, priests, and only they decree, they decree that only they will be allowed to take it
and then they lord it over the rest of society with an iron hand
and then the rest of the society gets fed up with that
and theres a slave revolt and everybody in the ruling class is killed
and the sacrament is lost
i can't figure any other way that it could happen
and the vedic thing, this seems quite reasonable
obviously soma was being more and more confined in it's use to a single class
and then that class became viewed as obnoxious and it's overthrow and the death of this sacrament thing follow each other
perhaps such secrets are still being kept
uh perhaps they are, i--- the fact that this bundle weed could turn up so alter date
probably means their are shamanic lineages with secrets that we don't know
as a field ethno botanist and an explorer i'm always interested in the unconfirmable rumor
and there are some doozy's
the mysterious beatle from eastern brazil which causes intense hallucinogens if eaten
here's a career for somebody
Noooo hallucinogenic insect has ever been found and yet there are persistent rumors in different parts of the world of either a butterfly or a beatle that is uh hallucinogenic
most shamans in the amazon if you spend five or six weeks with them and take ayawausca with them and tromp around with them
when you finally get to know them, they will allow us how there uh is another magic which they call the magic of the big trees
and i've spent half my life trying to find out the names of the big tress and i'm still working on it. we have collectives in peru and nothing is more exciting then a clump of root stuff or a seed packet that comes across our desk, labeled suspect hallucinogen
that that gets me to the edge of my chair (laughter)
what do you think of robert monroe the journey out of the body man?
uh well this a good time to discuss what do i think of all these other things on the spiritual market
uh idk what to think about them, i'm not a spiritual consumer
uh i've never been to a workshop that was never my own unless it was free
and uhhh theres a lot of stuff out there you know
astral traveling, channeling, all of this stuff
and i tend to believe its bogus or it's for people with a psychic constitution considerably different from my own
uh, sometimes people say to me, well these states that you're talking about, can't they be achieved without drugs
and the answer to that is, my god, who would want to
what what would be proved by achieving these things without drugs
if the things i'm talking about, began happening to me without drugs. i would be very very concerned and alarmed (laughter) because umm (laughter) you know i i i just don't uhhh and also i i think theres something to be said for admitting that we cannot do it alone
that if you want this spiritual insight, if you want the dianimatrix then humble yourself to the point of making a deal with a plant
that's the key, you can't enter the bank without the key to the bank
the key to the bank is a plant
jumping up and down outside the bank and exerting the banker to recognize your inner worth and open the door is just not uh not going to do it
i can understand that psychoactive alkaloids are a survival mechanism for the plants
why is that effect psychoactive in man or perhaps animal
well first of all maybe we have to argue with your premise
you're right that a lot of these so called secondary tritary compounds are elaborated supposedly to make things taste bad
or so that birds will spit out things and stuff like that
uh but on the other hand, they studied this question fairly closely
and a lot of these alkaloids are produced specifically to attract animals, to bring them in, to nactaries as pollinators and that sort of thing
old style botany always believes these compounds are whats called tertiary to metabolism
meaning they're kinda like waste products and not very important, garbage
but when you look carefully inside what it plant
invariably what you see is that the psychoactive chemistry is going on where metabolism is most active
this is an indication that actually these things aren't tertiary at all, they are doing something with the plant but we don't know what it is
as to why they have this peculiar effect that they do in us
i think that because there was anciently and over the evolutionary life of human beings actually connection between us and nature
and uh that these these drugs are the antenna, the switches, that switch us back towards the logos of uh the natural world
i suspect that all of nature is a seamless web of pharamonally mediated connections and interactions
and that we are just not yet at an efficient level of analysis uh give it observation to see this interconnected web
you know our idea of nature is that it's all tooth and claw
survival of the fittest, and the devil takes a high most
the NEW version of evolution is entirely different
it says that the way you attain survival is by making yourself indispensable to everybody else
so it's not by triumphing over the ecosystem that by integrating yourself so throughly into it that it can't function without you
then you're on your way to being a dominant species
not by crushing the opposition
uh lets see how we're doing here
what are deconstructionists doing to our understanding of the language? is it helpful? (laughter)
by deconstructionists i suppose you mean uh juckderada and that crowd
well i think deconstruction serves a very useful function and we're unaware of uh of what/how throughly language is a medium in which we swim
how throughly our world is bult in language
in a way the boundary dissolving character of the plant hallucinogens is a dissolving of language barrier
they show you that the surface of reality was not the surface of reality, it was the surface of your local language
and now it's gone
and uh and uh theory is uh what lies beneath it
at what point in the evolution of organic matter on earth do psychoactive plants appear and why?
interesting question, if we're talking about psychoactive fungi we're severely limited by the fossil record which is no fossil mushroom has ever been found over than 40 million years
this is because fossil mushrooms are very soft bodied femoral kind of thing
as primary decomposers which is what fungi are doing on this earth
it's reasonable to assume that they must have been here fro the very beginning of the conquest of the land
but proof in the fossil record has not been forthcoming
now if we're talking about higher plants, flowering plants
which is mostly what we're talking about here
than no flowering plants existed before 65 million years ago
flowering plants emerged out of the same catastrophe that destroyed the dinosaurs and set the stage for the emergence of the mammals
this is something people don't realize
flowering plants are as recent as mammals
you know if you look at the
if the period of life is visualized as a yard stick, the period of the flowering plants is the last inch and a half
and it's also the rise of the mammals occurs in that last inch and a half
so before that the plant life on the earth was of a very different sort
and we know nothing about it's chemistry to someone who asked a zen question (laughter)
what would make the present government interested in the study of psychedelics? (laughter)
i don't know, they could make a buck out of it
i don't think they're very interested in psychedelics
i don't think any political - but "they were very interested in psychedelics" - except that they abandoned it, yes mk ultra, stood for mind control
mind control ultra was the program the via pursued in the 1960s where they tried out all kinds of psychedelic drugs and they also worked with this in combination with hypnosis
they were trying to make what they would call the trojan horse
this is somebody who would be an assassin but not even know it
and uh how far they got with all of this we would never know
because of course it all disappeared behind the walls of secrecy
but the declassified history of the cia and led is very interesting
some of you may know the book acid dreams by uh by uh martin lee
uh fascinating history of the way the government tried and really failed i think to use psychedelics that the governments initial approach was uh this is great this is a truth syrim we can give this to enemy agents and they'll tell us all we know
well a few months of following that path they decided no (laughter)
this is an obscurity drug we can give this to our agents and they can take it if they're captured and no one can learn anything from it
and clearly this was not a fruitful path either
and i really don't fault the government, i don't really fault the government for this
after all the government is in the business of being the government
i don't think any institution can incocate psychedelics into it's own program, because psychedelics destroy institituation
all institutions
it's like trying to move an acid around that corrodes whatever pipes you poor it through
and because the boundary resolving quality of psychedelics is precisely the quality that government is involved in resisting
government builds up label, pans out role models, explains how everything is and this stuff just then melts that, melts that into a primal chaos
so it's pretty corrosive of any social values that don't arise spontaneously out of biological organization
it's anarchists, it's the acid of anarchy in a way
alright we're never gonna get through this list, but it's gratifying to know that it's here if we need to
heres a question about the time wave which i'm gonna skip because we're not talking about the time wave today and pitty the poor soul whose never heard of it
know of any herbal sources to raise seratonin as a treatment for depression?
uh no i'm not uh i don't uh know a lot about herbal medicine and that sort of thing but uh raising seratonin level as a treatment for depression seems likes a pretty good strategy
i don't know of herbs, usually inhibition seratonin is whats going on
and with these psychedelics they do compete with seratonin for the bond site
that what it's all about at the atomic level
is in your synaptic cleft in the synaptic clefts of your neurons there are uh what are called receptors and if you were to fly down and look at these things they look like complex locks their hooks protuberances, little drawers and fit in places, well then the drug molecule comes - is carried into the synaptic cleft by the blood stream and it seeks to whats called occupy the bond site or simply bond and it's trying to fit in
well the normal thing which fits in those bonding sites is seratonin
but some of these hallucinogens are much better fits than natural serotonin
they are what pharmacologists say - competitive at the bond site
and so they literally elbow the seratonin out of the way and then they fit themselves into the receptor
well once the receptor and it's uh it's fit it's against are in place then the biodynamic the bioelectric uh field of the synapse can be activated
well if you swap out serotonin for an exotic molecule like harmine or mescaline or something like that well then this shifts the mode of this huh molecular level electrical environment
and i believe that that is what registers as a higher cortical experience that we call the trip
it's the experience of hundreds of millions of these introduced molecules
displacing the normal serotonin
and then broadcasting this signal in the slightly different way than it is normally perceived so theres a molecular connection
theres a connection down into the molecular level
this will be our last one this morning
language transcendence, huxley jung and others often mention liberating and enlightening epiphanies as beyond language and iconic imagery, you yourself mention this, can you explain further the use of transcendental language?
yeah and we might talk about that a little this afternoon
i sort of alluded to it this morning
my idea is that language is a process that is half completed in us as we sit here
and that languages really something which wants to be seen not heard
but that we are on our way to evolving toward this visible language and we currently are operating with these somewhat substandard acoustical codes
where i make small mouth noises they go through the air, they strike your ear, you look in a culturally validated dictionary, if your dictionary is like my dictionary and you understand what sin your dictionary then we say we are communicating
but in a visual language
in a visibly beheld language
there is no culturally validate dictionary
there is simply hard wired kind of animal language that we all understand instantly from birth without any cultural acclamation to it, because it is the natural language of human beings
of getting out, revealing, defining, refining, uh this natural language
the place where the psychedelics impact upon us as social creatures is the language domain
i mean you may have tremendous horrofinies and break throughs
but if you can't talk about it or paint about it or dance about it or in any way communicate it to anybody then it is not efficacious for the species
its just your private entertainment
so the domain of language is where the collective impact is coming
and one of the things i think about psychedelics is that they are probably capable of helping us force the evolution of language
because we cannot move into the future any faster than our uh language of description for the future
so if we're interested in stream lining culture and getting away from this sort of random lock style of culture evolution then we have to look at rationally uhhh interfacing with the evolution of language
and maybe we can talk about that when we come back
thanks very much um (applause) i appreciate you sitting for this (continued applause)
brian when you get a minute - yo um this morning was sort of an intro uhhh in case people needed to be brought up to speed we discussed basically the distribution of these psychoactive plants with a history of shamanic use and then discussed a little bit about the history of them and i didn't really finish with that
uh because i want to stress uh
that this - i think what we talked about this morning is we got them all to a good place
we got them all to paradise in africa
with clear vision much food and plenty of horsing around
and then we broke for lunch
the forces that created that partnership society in pre-history
the forces that allowed the emrrence of a none male dominant social style
were the same forces which then eventually destroyed it as well
because it was nothing more than climateolgical change
is what was happening
as the african continent became drier
the grass lands retreated the water holes became less frequent and further apart
and the mushroom came under pressure because of increased dryness
and at that point i think probably uh the mushroom festivals became less and less frequent
the whole thing became more tenuous
and there was great pressure then to try and figure out how to preserve the mushrooms through the dry times of the year, to have them available for ceremonies
and i think that uh it's the uh the use of honey as a preservative that uh really set the stage for things to go wrong
because honey um turns into a psychedelic compound on it's own if you do nothing to it but leave it alone
it ferments it becomes mead and mead is a premitive kind of alcoholic beverage
so over several mellenia what began as an ecstatic mushroom cult turned into a beer cult, a cult of alcoholic intoxication, and then you get the same shift of ratios that you see in our own society
i mean how many women in our own society have there first sexual experiences in an atmosphere of alcohol abuse and misuse the two almost go together and less in the twentieth century
before the twentieth century it's almost possible to imagine nobody got laid for a thousand years in the west without being juiced up
because it was pretty unappetizing i can imagine
so this is a way in which sensory modalities and emphasis on different aspects of psyched change over time, uh without a culture even being aware of it
and then i talked this morning a little bit about the - the fall into history
the neurotic, dysfunctionalism that characterizes historical existence
and i think it's worth going back to that because some people have the idea that psychedelics are a kind of instant psychotherapy
and that they address the concerns of the individual
but they're not concerned to link it up to history to see what it was for us in the past and what it's absence has done for us
i think that the whole phenomenon that we call the fall into history is the uh uh scenario of abandonment that we underwent as we broke the umbilical connection to the guy in matrix of organic life
thats what we were um imbedded in in this african context
but when africa dried up and we move out of africa and into the middle east we then were transformed from nomadic pastoralists into primitive agriculturists
and then later city builders and the entire pattern of male dominance and anxiety is set in place
if you look at the world of seven thousand BC the most uh - the most sophisticated human structure on the earth of let's say 7500 BC is at jeriko
in what is now palestine
and it what is it?
it's a grain storage tower, built at jeriko 72-75 BC uh it indicates that the primitive pastoral nomadic form has given way now to an agricultural form that uh allows for the accumulation of surplus and hence the need to defend sane
and hence the establishment of have and have not psychology and so forth and so on
so all of the institution that we now must attempt to reform and grapple with began then!
urbanization kingship, male dominance, representative politics
all of these things uh begin then
and uh are further exacerbated a couple or 3 thousand years later
by the western decision to go with the genetic alphabet
see a genetic alphabet further removes you away from anything uh concrete or real or related to nature
theres no ideogram theres no gliff there isn't even rebus
theres simply an abstract symbol which stands for a sound
i mean this is about as far away from the hands on approach of language that you could get
well the culture that made these decisions
which is our culture
the culture of europe and the ancient middle east
has evolved into the dominant culture on the planet
and has put in place, institutions like science and so forth and so on
our metaphors have grown every more cogent in there ability to manipulate matter and energy as they have evolved less and less relevance to our selves, so now we have ideological systems of tremendous power that none of us can understand or relate to
this is kind of an odd relationship to knowledge
since knowledge is supposed to be an experience of empowerment not an experiment of disempowerment
but our society has done it differently
so we all wander around with a sense of disempowerment
because we're surrounded by accomplishments which we couldn't possibly duplicate
well i mention all of this because i think it shows where the solution lies
if we were in balance 1500 years ago
and it was achieved through the use of psychedelics de emphasis of the ego
non existence of the nuclear family
and the suppression of the concept of ownership we should look at these as possible styles of existence that might be put in place in uh in the future
that's the psychedelic society that you've heard me talk about at various times
well that's probably enough on that - 2:01:30

ohyou thought so too(laughter)
when said we'd look at the geographical distribution, the history, and then the phenomenology i thought that we would put most of the phenomenology of the thing in here in this section because it is important to establish just what we're talking about
and also to empower people to describe their own experiences
which are often so peculiar that unless there is a group such as this a person tends to just define themselves as starkers
i mean what else can you say about some of this
if your starkers and you get ten people to agree with you you're not starkers anymore you're a movement
so i mentioned this morning about DMT and i made a bit the kind of paradigmatic compound
because it's so brief so natural so powerful so quick to recover from
and it's also a very good paradigmatic case when talking about what the psychedelic experience is like to have
because i think if you have the DMT experience on the way to the center of that flash you'll probably have all the other ones
it seems to lie at the center of the mandala
the most startling thing about the dmt flash and i mentioned this this morning when we were talking about jung is how astonishing it is that death by astonishment seems the major danger
and this is even if you're an art historian a jungian an athesian nodo of symbols of so forth and so on
it seems to come from some dimension orthogonal to the human world
and it is not a unitary experience, the way the famous white light and all these others wordless indescribable elusive mercurial things are
it isn't like that at all
it's uh it's extremely multiplisic and it's extremely specific in it's presentation
i mean when you smoke dmt you have the feeling that you have burst into a place that you have not had a psychological experience
you are not having a mental experience
you have burst into some kind of a space and within that space ummm there the first shock is that it's inhabited and this is the shock i've never recovered from
because it was just the last thing i expected to find inside a chemical compound was the equivalent of a bugs bunny cartoon
it is inhabited by um entities is the only word to describe them
and they are as i've said many times, they are like jeweled self dribbling basketball
and their many of them
and they come out of the background and they present themselves to you
they're literally vibrating up and down, they're fasented and rotating and they see you as clearly as you see them
they even uh greet you
some of you may recall the pink floyd the old pink floyd song the gnomes have learned a new way to say hooorayyy
i think it's on pipette the gates of dawn
it's the first album those floyd fans were looking puzzled
it's because it was 40-years ago (laughter)
anyway as you burst into this space the gnomes say hooray
and they present themselves and they are truly the gnomes of uh central european fairytales archetypal gnomes
they are uh they sing and out of their singing elfin chatter condense objects which look like nothing at all in this world
i mean the closest i've been able to come to them are the furbish the edges of furbished eggs
you know they constricructs in sapphire and ivory and crystal and vitreous glass that uh the french designer fabruche created
well these things are like that but theyre like that raised to some excruciating pinnacle of completion
because as they show you these objects you know beyond any possibility of contravention that a sif a single one of these objects were to exist in this world it would change this world forever
if a single one of these objects existed in this world we would spend a thousand years studying this object
the last time this happened was a guy gave a speech on a hill about moral obligation
we've studied it for a thousand years
um this is the same kind of thing and these fabruche hyper-dimensional objects are themselves undergoing a dynamic transformation
they're not static objects like the fabruche eggs
they are undergoing changes, singing, condensing other objectt, these objects are crawling all over the ground in front of you, clamoring for your attention
now remember 12 seconds before you were sitting in a suburban living room somewhere grappling with some drug somebody wanted you to take
now all of that's gone and here are these things
i call them types because i wanted to capture the sense of their childlike-ness
i don't know why i call them types it just seemed like the appropriate thing
if some of you are classessist or students of literature of pre-socratic philosophers
you might recall the 50 second fragmented paraclytus which says uh "the aeon is the child at play with colored balls"
"the aeon is a child playing with colored balls"
and when you break your way into the presence of the aeon it's extremely uh idk it's upsetting you can't believe it's happening, theres a lot of cognitive dissonance
you could believe this if it just weren't happening to you
and there is this tremendous affection and interesting humanity
and then there is urgency a lot of urgency
the types want to initiate you, they have a message and the message is you can do what we are doing
and what they're doing is using their voices to make this ecologics condense out of the air
they're saying, you can do this, do it, do it, DO IT
and their on you and they jump in and out of your chest which is something described in the amazon too
the hiculay in the tryptamine snuff cults of the amamano
that they jump in and out of your chest and they're saying do this thing, do it, do it, suspend your belief and eventually you do do it
you you discover that you can drop the filter of meaning that your voice can move back several registers and out comes elf chatter and this elf chatter is able to ring the air in front of you like a wash cloth and get out chemical gold to drip out of the air and to begin to condense in front of you
well by this time most people would like to call time out (laughter)
so they can make phone calls to various philosophers
but theres no time out, it just keeps going uhhh, and these things have a very, the aura of strangeness of aliens is palpable
theres an emotion in there that we just don't have in this world
because it composed of unbelievable alieness in the presence of unbelievable familiarity
it's an ecstasy that is a coincident appositorum
simultaneously it is both what it is and what it is not
and the human mind can't handle that, that's called cognitive dissonance, and you just go into a a conixifit of some sort
the very fist time i smoked DMT in 1967 with absolutely no expectation
this happened to me and it has happened every time since
and then i've had occasion to observe people taking DMT uh in countries where it's legal
and what i see is there is an archetype which surrounds DMT which you must make your way through it
but at the center of the archetype the archetype is not present in only the alien it's present
the archetype is that of the circus or the carnival
the carnival
think for a moment about the carnival
it has two aspects, one is blazing light and activity at the center of the triple ring the lady in the spangle costume is high above the main floor and the lions and the tigers and the clowns are parading around - that's part of it
but it has another aspect. just off to the side of the big tent, there are the side shows. The hooch coach dancers. The two headed man, and so forth and so on
in other words theres this kinky peculiar shadow side of it
and i often uh if any of you are fans of the film of federico feline
here's a man who understood the archetype of the circus and how if you remember in amachor that circus or if you remember juliette dislike the flaming doorway into the room with the bed of the bed springs and the crate paper flame
these are carnival, carnival images that relate back to uh DMT
when you finally come into the center of it these are all seen to be veils
it veils itself that way because that's how you uh it's the old candy to the baby routine
it treats us as people who would to go to the circus and then it takes us to the circus but then there is a revelation beyond that and i, i don't know how many people present in this room have confronted the thing i'm talking about
i'm always at the moment aware that some people are saying, "my doesn't he perfectly get it" and other people are saying "huh? what is this, what is this guy talking about?"
the point i want to make is it's real, it's not vague you don't have to strain for it. nobody wonders whether or not it happened to them, it's just like somebody walking up to you taking you by the arm saying "there's something i insist on showing you, come this way please."
and i am very -it is the presence of the entities that shattered the person who i was. because i was a scientific rationalist a reductionist i had no no room for elves in my cosmology (laughter) and here they were, hundreds of them. So it seems to me that this is a central question that shamanism has always dealt with. perhaps not witht eh kind of ontological specifications hat we imagine ourselves to have
but this is the question that must be asked
who's int here, who is this
there are at least 3 possibilities, and i'm not sure which is the most conservative
the first possibility is that um we don't understand how the world is constructed, and that in fact there is a parallel universe running alongside of ours, uh full of elves who use a language to make an object. and then why you can burst through to this place on this one drug then it raises each explanation, raises a lot of questions
and then the other possibility is uh um this is the jungian possibility
and jung and i can't remember which one it was, but one of the alter things he talks about these elves. because of the caber the caber are the alchemical children that appear in act three of foist
that jung spent a lot of time on these alchemical caber and the question of the humungulous
and uh he says in one place, i think he says, uh uh, he describes them as autonomous psychic elements that have escaped from the control of the ego
this is a weird way to go about it, i means it's probably an accurate description but how much does it tell us you know? it means that the psyched is to be visualized as a half gallon of mercury. and when we throw it on the floor the mercury balls up and spreads everywhere/ each ball of mercury by god it has a little face looking back at you. that's because mercury is a mirrored surface, you're looking at your own psyched shattered into pieces around you.
another possibility and one i leaned toward for ears, and i still lean toward. because i've noted the radical nature of your explanation diminishes with the distance since the last time ou smoke DMT. uh the longer it's been, the more likely you are to have some humdrum notion that you can poor it into. so the humdrum notion that i settled on was the clearly these are just extraterrestrials. they don't come in silver ships demanding to be taken to the national defense agency. this is how they come, why they come this way, who knows? they're coming through mind, mind is the medium in which they travel. where did they come from? who knows, can it even be located in the newtonian space-time matrix. i mean what do you want here, a star catalog number, would that satisfy you?
and then finally, i think i've exceeded my number of possible explanations (laughter)
and then finally the explanation which is my current favorite, it's a little disturbing and i haven't quite figured out what to do with it. but i'm on the sense that we're on the right track here.
the reason that the DMT space feels so peculiar, both alien and excruciatingly familiar is uh because these things in this other place represent what i call an ecology of souls.
this place is the one place you never thought you were going to make a visit to and come back to and chat it around the coffee maker. this, they're dead, that's who these things are. this is the realm of the dead. well i have to confess in all of my psychedelic voicing and idea mongering, i never was able to go that far to reach that far in my imagination.
it sort of had to be presented to me
but if you go to shamans, world wide, and talk to them about their spirit helpers, and say you know what's the deal with this, whoa are these things. - 2:19:35
they say, well these are the ancestors, didn't you know these are the ancestors.
it's perfectly cut and dried and normal
i i had an occasion i won't use his name to embarrass him but i had occasion to expose a very well known tibetan high mucky muck to DMT and he said after he took it like a man said after words. that is the lesser life. that is the lesser life. and if any of you are student's f mayahani buddhism you know that the lesser lives are the lives you see at the edge of the bardo as you start in to the 42 day process of dying, you encounter the lesser lives
this guy was saying to me. you can not go further in the body and have any expectation of retiring. in other words, once you have seen the lesser lives, you have stretched the umbilicus to matter to the breaking point, if you go one step further, it's eternity for you. well i don't know how i feel about this. the the head type i've had to then ask myself, the head tyk is that me? do you actually encounter your dead soul? is there a dimensions here you are both simultaneously both dead and alive, both simultaneously witness and observer. um i don't know. but i certainly think that if we're going to use a conservative explanation for these things. the only the only theory more conservative then that they are dead people. is the theory that says that they are nothing whatsoever. and that just simply will not serve. i think it would come as a tremendous surprise to twentieth century civilization. if orthogonal to all our expectations of space flight and virtual reality, and all this techno shmechno stuff that we're lining up in front of us. that there would be a broadside from ninety degrees out from the unexpected, and that there would be a doorway swinging into the realm beyond organic existence.
i resisted this fiercely. but i just don't know what we're going to do with these DMT creatures, if we don't try to find a rational explanation. and the - any rational explanation will be exotic because the facts of the matter are exotic. those of you who have not had this experience or sitting there thinking it would never happen to me. you're full of it (laughter) it will happen to you. this isn't this doesn't require the willful suspension of disbelief, this doesn't require a pure heart or dietary prescription. no this is part of the human birth right. and the fact that we deny the existence of a non-human entity, intellectual intelligence on this planet is just part of our heritage from rationalism. and you know, you don't have to take it very seriously, because rationalism the philosophy that gives us permission to deny the invisible world, you know who founded the philosophy off rational materialism? any takers? aristotle was early, i think i give credit to renee decart for modern materialism and rationalism. well uh you know who told renee decart to found rationalism and materialism, an angel! (laughter)
are you ready for this, this is a suppressed history episode in the history of human thought. here are the facts folks. 1619 renee decart is 21-years old. he's a young frenchman in search of adventure, he joins a hoops army that is going off to prague to lay siege to prague, to put down an alchemical revolt there. they kick butt on these alchemists, win the war and their on their way back to france, and in september 1619, this french army camped ulm in southern germany. some of you may know ulm as einsteins home town. in fact that figures in our story oblichuely as you will see
this french army camps at ulm and renee decart hits the hay and in the middle of the night an angel appears to this young man, in the radiance of his rooms and says "the mastery of nature is to be achieved through number and measure" modern science is founded folks
right there, right then. by an angel. so how you know, how far away are the informing voices. How rational is rationalism. how material is materialism? all of you must know i'm sure the famous story of kukulay the german chemist kukulay who discovered the benzymene ray. he was struggling with the problem and physical chemistry could not figure it out. fell asleep in his study and the oraboric serpent appeared before him in his dreams. and took it's tale in it's mouth and he came out of sound sleep and said i've got it. he got to the blackboard and he drew the first benzene ring
angelic intervention. intervention from the unconscious. so my, i - the point of all of this is to suggest that human history is completely interpenetrated by the peculiar, the non-human, that which has intentionality and affection for mankind. for humanity. and this is what shamans call to their aid. this is how the curing is done, it's done through these spirit helpers. they're called, elemental. and um. so far as i know jungians is the only modern intellectual position where you can even raise this issue without having a matt dropped over you. i mean this is absolutely forbidden by the modern world view. uh and yet it lies very very close to the surface in our culture. i mean as an example of how close to the surface it lies in our culture, consider for a moment, um, santa claus. what's this about? santa clause is the master of the elves. the elves that he is master of are demon artificers. they make toys for the world children in their vast underground toy shops. and where are these underground toy shops? at the north pole. i don't have to tell a room full of jungians that the north pole is the axis munid, idrisil, the magic world ash, the center of the mandala. what are the colors of santa clause? red and white, the colors of amanita muscaria absolutely. what is the particular animal of santa clause, reindeer. reindeer are very central to the amanita muscaria cult because reindeer uh eat the mushroom and then excrete their urine and this is thought to be a cleaner and easier way to take the mushroom than to take it on the so-called first path. the second path is after the reindeer have had it. an anecdotal side, if you're ever in the yakut basin one of the great par ells of the intoxicated amanita user is to crawl out of the yurt in the middle of the night to take a leak in the snow and before you can back off the reindeer come and knock you headlong, because they want to get to this amanita flavored soul. so here is santa clause right in the center of our culture and when you take it apart, all of the motifs are there. the demonartificers the elves, the cosmic axis, uh, the magical flight. it's a beautiful example of the preservation of pagan psychedelic use into uh a modern context.
what can we say about this? oh well i know, one more thing i wanted to say about it. that this program that these tyk's are pushing is a language skills program. and we don't know how long people have been bursting into this place. this may be the source of language. you know - where di language come from? we learned it from elves in hyperspace is as good a possibility as any other. and this is still on-going. this language reformation program. they want us to activate our language forming ability and language is the DMT flash i said this morning. it's something beheld. syntax is something potentially to be looked at. not to be heard. and we don't understand this because for us language is something that you hear. we can't imagine a language that you see. but have you ever noticed the way in which we preserve clarity of intention in language with verbal metaphors? we say, i see what you mean, he painted a picture. it means we unconsciously believe that truth will be beheld and some of you who are students of the ancient literature may know phylojudaeus, uh helenistic alexandrian jew, absolute contemplate christ, born before died after. in one of his treatises on the logos, which he was always talking about. phylogudeaus presents an edimology of the word israel, and he says, isreal means "he who sees god" this is this meaning of the word god. and then he goes on to say uh this 'he who sees god' he's talking about that and he says "what would be the more perfect logos?" now i assume most of you would know the logos was an informing voice, a voice in the head. which was the scenic qua non of alexandrian spirituality. uh socrates had it, plato had it. the logos. so philojudeaus asked "what would be the more perfect logos?" and then he answers his own question he says "the more perfect logos would go from being heard to being beheld without ever crossing over a noticeable moment of transition."
well that is precisely what you encounter in deep psychedelic experiences and the DMT flash. you behold the logos. In the initiation of experience. you don't behold it, you hear it. it sounds in michael harness wonderful phrase "like the sound of rushing water" or like the sound of tinkling bells. and it's very far away and then it begins to come closer, you can you can, you vein to forma picture of it in your minds in the way you would of a napoly marching band that you just heard it about a half-mile away and the pa pa pa is getting bigger, coming closer. this is the elf parade. and when it finally comes into view it actually goes without ever passing over a noticeable moment of transition from being heard to being seen. through the phenomenon of approach. you hear it before you see it then you see it far away then you see it very close. and when you see it very close it who cares what it sounds like because you're see ing it.
this more perfect logos is what the tyk's the spiritual helpers want to teach. and i think that it's import ant to spend a little time on this because i think this would have tremendous historical impact upon our situation if we could by hook or by crook create a uh a more visible logos, a language which could be seen. You probably all considered at some time or another, what would telepathy be like? and i think most people answer that question by thinking telepathy would be for me to hear what you think, but how would it be telepathy worth for me to see what you mean. that's telepathy. it put's you in the other guys shoes. if you stand in the other persons shoes you are the other person. to have a persons point of view is to be that person in regard to that single atom of experience.
so i've spent time with virtual reality people, and all these technical folks, because i think visual language is something that wants to be born. and it may be that it is - can be technologically coaxed into existence, that we're gonna have to wear goggles or have fast computers. or it may be that it can be physiologically coxed into existence. there may be drugs which shift the processing of language from being an auditory phenomenon to being a visible phenomena. aywausca is an excellent candidate for this.uh if you spend time with the ayawausca taking populations in the amazon, theres great stress in these populations on acquiring what's called an ekaro
means magical song. and the ekaro is a spontaneous chant like song which comes to you during the intoxication. the thing that's interesting about these ekaro's is that they are critiqued as visual objects, not as sound. people never say of an ekaro, it sounded beautify. they allays say it looked lovely. and then people will say, but there should have been more blue (laughter)
this kind of thing, it's clearly being criticized as a visual modality. well i think that these ryawasca using people are at the cutting edge of evolution.
they are forcing the evolution of the modality of language. it may be that the processing of language is not hard wired not physiologically wired. it's uh software function, having todo with culture, language, upbringing and so forth. because some people claim they are grade visualizers and they do think visually and so forth and we have no reason to deny this
so it amy be that we are just a one gene, or even an expression of gene ratio's different away from an entirely different way from processing communication between each other. and this is what the new age, the end of history, the anticipation of this great breakthrough that we can feel but not really outline is about. if that seems far fetched to you, you should notice how far fetched the original emergence must have been. because i think people were fully people and totally mute and you know unable to articulate a thought. and then either an accumulation of neuro's or some synergistic effects was brought into play and low and behold spoken language emerged out of that.
well something similar could happen to us. in the morning session i talked about the uh forced evolution of language, paying attention to our language. i really think that the way to think of these psychedelics is as catalysts for the imagination. uh if any of you are chemists you know that a catalyst is something that when you add it to a chemical process, the process is tremendously speeded up, but in the end the catalyst is not destroyed. the catalyst is reconstituted at the end. so psychedelics, one way of thinking of them, is as a catalyst for cognition. the original description of psychedelic drugs was that they were consciousness expanding drugs. well if we take the idea that they are consciousness expanding seriously for even a moment then we have to put a lot of attention in on this because it's the absence of consciousness that is murdering us and our planet. we need all the consciousness that we can get, we need to reign it out of computers, get it out of plants, raise it in ourselves and children. wherever we can get it, uh we need it and the present, you know the present situation with the planet is very dire.
very dire because of us. our unchecked evolution in a single direction along the gradient of culture has now created a toxic planet that is an endangered planet. uh. since this situation has arisen entirely within the confines of history aren't we going to have to look outside of history in order to redress this problem, i think so. and when we do look outside history, then we find the institution of plant shamanism there, waiting to inform us, to educate us, and to show us how to set a course out of the present dilemma. i don't think we can find our way out by ourselves. i don't think we can get high by ourselves and i don't think as a species that we can save the planet by ourselves. we have to have a partner. we have to uh get an ally into this situation. uhhh just in closing and as an example, the mushroom as a tremendous problem solving ability. and because we can talk to it, we can ask it questions. we can actually get a non-human perspective on human problems.
a few weeks ago i made this statement before a group of people somewhere, and after the talk was over, somebody came up to me and said well why don't you ask the mushroom how to save the world?
and i just put it off, thought it was the wrong attitude, but then later i wondered about this questions, how to save the world. and i thought maybe i've been to circumspect with the mushroom maybe i should just put it to it. so i carried out the experiment. and put to them, how do we save the world. Now i don't offer the solution, i'm going to tell you the mushrooms answer. so you can see how our backs aren't quite to the walls yet. theres still avenues to be explore. i said to the mushroom "how can we save the world" there was a hesitation of 1/3 of a second approximately. and then the mushroom said, no woman should raise more than one natural child. and i said, "what?" said no woman should raise more than one natural child. so i took that home with me and i thought about it, uh here are the consequences following that piece of advice. uh the population of the earth would be cut in half in 60-years. fifty years fallowing that it would be cut in half again, 50 years after that in half again. in 1 hundred and 50 years the population of the earth could be under a billion people. nobody was shot, no wars were fought. no one was told they could not have a child. no one was coerced, no one was starved. um. then i started looking into this thing about children and population. and most of you, like me. probably imagined that the world has a population problem. and this population problem is going on in places like pakistan and bangledesh and god dangit those little brown people will just not stop having children
well i looked into it and i'ev got a surprise for you
a child born in america will use between 600- and 1thousand times more natural resources and energy than a child forn to a woman in bangladesh. Suppose you went to bangledesh and you met a woman,a young woman of child bearing age, and she told you that her ambition in life was to have a thousand children. you'd be appalled, i mean what kind of social responsibility is this, what kind of a person are you that you want to do this. an american woman having one child is having the equivalent of those thousand infants. now another interesting thing about this suggestion made by the mushroom. that each woman should rear one natural child. when we think of population control schemes, the first objection is "my god you can never sell this to people, they have these religions they have these centuries and so forth they just won't watch"
notice that what the mushroom suggested is most likely to be accepted by the person most important to convert. we don't want to convert the woman of the backstreet of bangladesh to this policy. we want to convert the woman of sherman oak, malibu, pandemoniac, gross point, boston, philadelphia. because these are the woman whose children are using the resources. so here's in one sentence. the mushroom was able to answer a question i put to it, with a suggestion i had never dreamed of, that seems at first glance a way to stand up pretty well. and i've spent a lifetime trying to figure out ways to solve this proble, see we're a little stupid, because we're all alike. Something years ago the mushroom said to me which deals with this was uh people are always - this question of enlightenment, and the mushroom said for one human being to expect to obtain enlightenment from another is like a grain of sand on the beach expecting to attain enlightenment from another grain of sand on the beach. don't you get it, you're all grains of sand. i mean joe shmo who runs a body shop and mookdaruby baba are the same people. theres no difference between these guys, no reason to assume so.
so i think we need help and that little exercising what do you do about the population problem shows that there are suggestions out there that we haven't thought of, avenues that we haven't tried. when i thought about why we haven't we tried this avenue of one woman one natural child it took me about thirty seconds to understand that its real hard to make a buck in this situation when population is retracting at a rate of fifty-percent per generation.
and our whole world is based on making a buck. i told this idea to someone and they said, but if the woman of malibu stop having children they will lose all their political power. because political power is numerical. this is not true. political power is power. and if the woman of malibu stop having children they will be quite a bit wealthier than they already are.
notice that this deciding to voluntarily have one natural child is also very helpful to you personally. that uh a woman will have to work less hard. will shave to cut fewer deals with the in place structure of male dominance if she was only one child. a woman with two children has got to cut a deal with male dominance or she has a trust fund or something
the reason we are i think instinct - we have a tendency to clench at a suggestion and not follow it through, uh is because we imagine there is something holy and sacred about the nuclear family and that we don't want to attack this biological unit that has such integrity. but this is a bunch of nonsense, the nuclear family has no biological integrity whatsoever, it's a creation of the post industrial reformation. the extended family is the natural human unit to ease the pressure child-rearing on young woman. and to give everybody the benefit of contact inter-generational contact and so forth. no this nuclear family that our politicians are always beating their breath about, is the absolute caldron of neurosis in this society as far as i can see. and when you look at the demographics about what is happening, the number of house holds that are one woman one child household i think you can see that maybe our unconscious has already been in communication with the mushroom and it's just the ego that's gonna get the news last.
well i don't want to spend too much time on that but it's an example of how these things offer solution to human problems. and if it can offer solutions to a human problem like over-population by six billion people on a planet, then it can surely take care of the needs and concerns of a group of rainforest hunter gatherer's that number 70 or so people. i doubt that they can conceive of a question that doesn't have an answer to, because it can operate on many levels, uh simultaneously. and this is an example of consciousness in action, you see - me plus nothing had nothing new to say about the population problem, me plus psilocybin had a whole new take, a suggestion. we can slaughter it down and ultimately decide it's a bunch of larch but at least there was a new thought a new try a new hope. this is the consequences of consciousness. and we're beset by problems like this, and we shouldn't assume that they are insoluble simple because we haven't solved them intact we must assume they are solvable otherwise we are not gonna have a place to hang our hat in fifty years. but the solution comes through a act of humility, an act of opening to the dynamic of nature, the feminine, the psychy, the ego is the calcarious knot, tumorous tissue that stands outside of all that. it cannot be trusted, it cannot be relied upon.
and so by attempting to dissolve that, to mitigate it's hard edges, to smooth it out into the greater context of being, then we really discover uh what humanness is about
because humanness is not something that an be encompassed form the point of view from the ego
that's why creating the ultimately egoist society
we created a society with so little humanity in it you know
and i see the psychedelics as a - an - make the world a better place then as we found it
which is certainly not our record so far
but it's not too late, i mean HG wells called history a race between education and disaster
it's not mere coincidence nor even mere synchronicity that at this moment in time and space with these tremendous crisis bearing down upon us that we have reached out to the archaic peoples with a new attitude, not an attitude of how can we enslave them, but how can we learn from them. and my hope is that here in the final kicking of the clock of history, we are going to end our prodigal decent into the desert world of the ego, and return with what we have learned. the fruits of the prodigal journeying of the evan son which is what history has been. return with the fruits of that prodigal wandering to the larger human family that waits on us in the rain forests, in the deserts, in the marshes in the thorn forests of this planet. the archaic people are waiting for us to get on the train and then the train will be able to be part. but we have to awaken to our past and then we can set a course toward a meaningful future.
that's the wrap (clapping, applause)

Deus Ex McKenna - Address to the Jung Society - 2:54:43 to 3:35:35 is mislabeled - this segment is from Rites of Spring 0:09:40 to 0:50:45 -- already transcribed at The Q&A (the second of two question periods during this seminar) for Address to the Jung Society has not yet been transcribed and is available at - questions begin at 1:03:20.

Original Transcription by: [03/21/2015 - Spencer Barrett]
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