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Friday, February 16

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    DMT, Mathematical Dimensions, and Death (Transcribed; Needs Review 1)
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    Mushrooms, Elves, and Magic [interview] (Transcribed; Needs Review 1) [Duplicate of interview @ November 30, 1988]
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    Terence McKenna is one of the leading authorities on the ontologicaI foundations of shamanism and the ethno-pharmacology of spiritual transformation. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a major in Ecology, Resource Conservation and Shamanism, he traveled through the Asian and New World Tropics and became specialized in the shamanism and ethno-medicine of the Amazon Basin. What he learned in these explorations is documented in The Invisible Landscape, which he wrote with his brother Dennis. Born in 1946, Terence is the father of two children, a girl of eleven and a boy of fourteen. He is the founder of Botanical Dimensions-a tax-exempt, nonprofit research botanical garden based in Hawaii. This project is devoted to collecting and propagating plants of ethno-pharmacological interest and preserving the shamanic lore which accompanies their use. Living in California, Terence divides his time between writing and lecturing and he has developed a software program called Timewave Zero. His hypnotic multi-syllabic drawl is captured on the audio-tape adventure series True Hallucinations--soon to be published in book form--which tells of his adventures in far-flung lands in various exotic states of consciousness. Terence is also the author of Food of the Gods, which is a unique study of the impact of psychotropic plants on human culture and evolution and The Archaic Revival, in which this interview appears. His latest book Trialogues at the Edge of the West, is a collection of "discursive chats " with mathematician Ralph Abraham and biologist Rupert Sheldrake. This was our first interview It took place on November 30th, 1988 in the dramatic setting of Big Sur. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean we sat on the top floor of the Big House at the Esalen Institute, where Terence was giving a weekend seminar. He needed little provocation to enchant us with the pyrotechnic wordplay which is his trademark, spinning together the cognitive destinies of Gaia, machines, and language and offering a highly unorthodox description of our own evolution. - RMN
    Go to Interview Bibliography
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Thursday, February 1

  1. page Mind & Time, Spirit & Matter edited ... As many of you know, I am a great fan and spokesman for psilocybin, for the mushrooms. The mus…
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    As many of you know, I am a great fan and spokesman for psilocybin, for the mushrooms. The mushrooms that I’m so stoked on were discovered in 1953 by Gordon and Valentina Wasson in Huautla. Discovered in ’53, made absolutely schedule-1 illegal in 1966. 13 years was the window in which Western civilization had to study this compound and figure out what it was for. And they were just beginning to focus upon it when it was made illegal. LSD, discovered in ’37, not brought into the scientific literature until ’48, not generally available even in the laboratory until 1950, made totally illegal in 1966… 16 year window. Think about the fact that when LSD was legal, uh, psychiatrists, professional researchers were consistently reporting cures of chronic alcoholism with one 500 gamma dose. One dose cure like a 50% cure rate without recidivism for chronic alcoholism. Spectacular findings were being reported. When LSD swept through the scientific community, it- for pharmacologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, it had the same kind of excitement and feeling of breakthrough that the splitting of the atom had for the physicists, for the physics community in the late 30s. Well, science, we are told, is this absolutely impartial God-like body of knowledge prosecuted by great men, and it will fearlessly send its questing mind into any situation or environment. This is a mental discipline so dispassionate that it sees nothing at all wrong with strapping monkeys into apparatus and hurling them into walls at 70mph to study traumatic injuries. This is a discipline so unflinching in its pursuit of truth that it will design tiny television cameras to be implanted in plastic penises so that we can see the changes in the colour of the vaginal wall as it approaches orgasm. I mean these guys are unstinting in their devotion to truth in any form, and yet for 30 years science has accepted government’s refusal to allow science to look at the potential impact of psychedelic plants and compounds on human consciousness, on chronic alcoholism, on schizophrenia, on depression, on autism, on learning disorders, on dyslexias, on memory enhancement, so forth and so on. This, to me, is obscene. The future is mental. Figure it out, if the mind does not loom large in the future history of this species, then what the hell kind of a future is it going to be? I mean this is our crowning glory, our aesthetic sensitivities, our ability to create values that are not simply based on the next meal, the next sexual encounter, the empowering social move, but an ability to create social values based on creating a viable future environment for children, uh, creating a viable present environment for the less fortunate among us, uh, creating a social safety net so that the more maladaptive of us are not reduced to living under bridges and in abandoned automobiles. I mean these are things which set us above the apes. These are the things which take us out of the context of organic nature and make it seem as though “hey, there actually are some transcendental values being maximized here, there actually is something going on in- within the human family.“ But if it were to be lost, fumbled away, compromised, or destroyed the Universe would be a poorer place for it, truly a poorer place for it. And I think, um, I think we take our humaneness too much for granted. I don’t think we realize, um, how nasty, brutish, and short most of life has been over the centuries, and how really only in- within the confines of the 20th century has, uh, a level of, uh, comfort and food availability, and shelter, and basic creature needs been met to the point where most people can begin to lead the philosophical life that previously was the privilege of emperors, kings, great courts. Now we all indulge ourselves. We all have the philosopher kings point of view. We all, uh, have a model of History, a model of the future. And we all feel capable of stepping into the shoes of our leaders and discharging that responsibility. Well, in order to do that, I think we need to overcome our amnesia about how we got to this place. I don’t see- you see what science would have you believe and, explicitly implies, is that we are an aberration. Here, over here you have nature, the beautiful rainforests, the wonderful coral reefs, the cemetery of the hummingbird, the sea urchin and the butterfly, and here you have us, grimy, tawdry, polluting, ugly, driven in disequilibrium, in denial. I don’t believe that. I believe that this kind of thinking that breaks humanity away from the rest of nature is the first of the great disempowering myths by which the Western mind has enslaved itself. And we are not outside of nature, we are not a runaway toxic process, we are not a mutation. We are in fact that part of nature which has been deputized for a purpose. We are the energy-gathering aspect of the Gaian mind. We are the language-forming capacity of Nature herself. You may know the concept of a catalyst in chemistry. A catalyst is something, which when you stir it in to a chemical reaction, the reaction proceeds more quickly that the catalyst itself is not destroyed. And this is what I think we are. We are a strategy on the part of the Gaian mind to produce an effect that would otherwise take much, much longer to produce. The main effect of the presence of human life on this planet has been to vastly accelerate the speed at which nature is able to, uh, creatively express herself. And I would like to believe that this fragile, fragile thing which we call humaneness, which is nothing more than a set of interlocking ideas which we share – we share ideas about caring, and responsibility, and generations yet unborn, and obligation to the integrity of the Earth, and so forth and so on – I would like to believe that these things arose in us a very, very brief window of opportunity. Uh, as may or may not know, uh, all, you know there’s a lot of talk about the relationship between the masculine and the feminine in human beings, and gender issues and so forth and so on. Well, if you go back into the primate line, what you discover is primates always have dominance hierarchies occupied by males. This is the “bad news“ part of the thing. You see, it isn’t that we are a perversion of the primate programme. At this point, we exemplify it, uh, right down the line. But clear back to squirrel monkeys, you get, uh, you get male dominance hierarchies. Why is this? And why is it even an issue for us? Why don’t we just blindly accept it? i mean there isn’t a women’s liberation movement among termites societies or, uh, you know, among reindeer herds. So, why are we so discomforted by our attitudes toward each other? Well, I believe it’s because actually created, at a certain point in our history, a kind of paradise. We actually solved all the problems which now bedevil us of 20 to 15’000 years ago. And how this happened, and half of you I hope are amazed and the other half will groan because you’ve heard it so many times before, uh, what happened is an evolutionary synergy that occurred on the plains of Africa sometime over the last 100’000 years. It’s that- as the African continent dried up, our remote primate ancestors were forced out of the trees and on to the African grassland where they were in an environment completely different from the kind of environment that our ancestor had been living in for millions of years. Gone, were the fruit-filled bowers of the climaxed canopy of the rainforest. And instead, what there was was, uh, a grassland with very little cover, a very restricted, uh, flora and fauna, and into that grassland poor these hungry, displaced, dispossessed, formerly fruitarian primates… When a species gets under that kind of pressure, it has- it must make a choice between extinction or dietary expansion. Many many species will choose extinction. This is an interesting thing about animal species. Most animal species eat one or two foods that they are very tightly focused in on. The reason for this, of you’re not an evolutionary biologist, is it’s a strategy for avoiding mutation. You see, all plants, uh, produce, uh, have a tendency to protect themselves from predation by producing toxins, mutagens, poisons… is what we’re talking about, here. So an animal species will evolve a preference for just one or two food sources. And then it can hold its exposure to mutagenic agents to a minimum. Now, our species, when we moved into that African grassland situation, were plastic enough, malleable enough that we decided “No, by God, we’re not going to go to extinction because of the absence of papayas in this situation. We’re going to test other foods.“ And we began testing other foods in that environment, and that immediately, uh, swelled the number of mutant strains in the human population. Now, in this grassland environment, uh, the number of new foods to be tested was somewhat limited. And the most spectacular and obvious of the unfamiliar food sources in this environment were the psilocybin mushrooms- seem to be growing in the cow pies of the many different kinds of cattle like ungulate animals growing up in that environment. And I- if you’ve ever been to the tropics and seen the Stropharia Cubensis mushroom in its natural habitat, uh, you can’t miss it. It’s the most spectacular thing going on. I mean, you walk out into a Colombian pasture after a few days of mist and rain, and these mushrooms – the size of dinner plates – will be scattered across the environment. Now, when I was in Kenya in the late 60s, I observed baboon troops, uh, and their food gathering behavior. And what they were into was running around frantically, looking for cow flops, and then flipping them over, uh, looking for, uh, beetle grubs or carrion beetles. You see, they understood that the cow flops – great freiza [sp?] – but the fecal deposit of the ungulate animal was a vector for protein. Insect protein. This was a likely place to find carrion beetles, worms, and what-have-you. And, of course, the mushroom. Well, when you observe how, uh, primates react when they’re testing a food, the way they’re very careful, and they’re very conscientious. Uh, a baboon will take a suspect potential food source, take a leaf, put it in their mouth. Just hold it there. No chewing, no nothing. Put it in their mouth, wait 30 seconds, chew, wait, and then either spit it out or swallow. And if swallow, then begin to eat. Well, uh, I believe that this encounter with the psilocybin mushroom, and in the course of this workshop, maybe in the question-and-answer period we’ll get to this, but psilocybin has unique properties which set us up for a sudden enormous evolutionary kick in the pants. And we can talk among ourselves about whether this was just blind coincidence, good old chance, and aren’t we fortunate for it. Or whether benign extraterrestrials operating from their base on Zeta Reticuli where… you know, we can save that for you, we don’t have to get rid of it. Uh, whether it was those shifty Zeta Reticulites or blind chance, whatever the force was, the exposure to psilocybin has three reinforcing consequences that are of tremendous importance for understanding human evolution. And they are as follows: psilocybin, in very low doses, doses so low that if you had taken this amount you would not feel it or you would slightly antsy. In other words, very low doses of psilocybin actually increase visual acuity…means you improve your vision with this stuff. Uh, well again, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or an evolutionary biologist to figure out that there’s a plant in the environment, and you’re a hunting animal, and this plant improves vision. You’re going to be a better hunting animal if you include this plant in your diet. And this is precisely what happened. Early human, or proto-hominid hunters accepted psilocybin into their diet, it made them better hunters. Being a better hunter means getting- being more successful at obtaining food. Being more successful at obtaining food means more of your children reach, uh, reproductive age themselves, and so you outbreed the non psilocybin-using portion of the population. Simple enough, right? On the next level – remember, I said this was a three step process where each reinforces the other – at slightly higher doses of psilocybin, uh, you get what’s called CNS arousal. Central Nervous System arousal. Well, now arousal is just what it sounds like. It’s not only restlessness and alertness, but it’s also a kind of horny diffuse energy. Uh, it incline of one’s thought for the boudoir is what I’m trying to say, here. And so you get what primatologists and anthropologists charmingly described as more frequent instances of successful copulation [audience giggle]. It’s- what successful copulation means is, again, a factor feeding in to more children of the psilocybin-using animals reaching reproductive age themselves. And then finally, and thirdly, beyond visual acuity, beyond sexual, uh, arousal, uh, is the full-blown psychedelic tremendum, the full-blown religious revelation that goes with the mushroom experience. A revelation of such depth and breadth that we, 20’000 years later with all our epistemic sophistication and our parallel processing computers, and all this other malarky are completely unable to come to terms with. Well, this higher dose of psilocybin was experienced in the context of the middle-range dose of psilocybin. So it went on in an atmosphere of, uh, group, uh, religious ecstasy and orgy. I mean, it’s just how it happened, folks. Orgy was a part of, uh, human sexuality before the invention of agriculture. I’m absolutely convinced of it. You see, the growth of the human intellect over evolutionary spans of time is a kind of conquest of dimensionality. And the conquest of dimensionality that gave us agriculture unfortunately gave us male dominance and patriarchy. And the reason for this is, uh, not far to seek. A new intellectual horizon of cause and effect was being explored. Women, who where the gatherers in the hunter-gatherer equation, were realizing for the first time the causal relationship that exists between burying a half-eaten meal over here, and coming back a year later on your annual nomadic peregrination and discovering food plants growing where you buried your uneaten meal of a year ago. In other words, women came to understand the relationship between the act of planting and the appearance of usable food plants sometime later. At the same that this was going on, men were making the connection between the fact that the sex act had something to do with the facts that nine moths later women would- a woman would bear a child. And in a way, this was the beginning of the straight lockstep into hell [audience laughter]. Because! Because, once men had this notion of male paternity, it became more important to know who your children were than it was to participate in the orgiastic group-minded bonding that had previously occurred. And once you have the notion of “my child, my child“, then it moves naturally to “my woman, my weapons, my food, my hunting ground, my everything“. The recognition of male paternity gave permission for the growth of ego. And ego – and this is- this was all a continuous thought, those of you who doubted, this was all a continuous thought – ego is our problem. And we always had it when we were squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, proboscis monkeys and all that, we only lost it in that very brief window of opportunity, maybe 20, maybe 30, 40’000 years long when, as we evolved into the grassland, we included in our diet essentially a drug which corrected our primate nature. A drug which suppressed the expression of male dominance. A drug that promoted an orgiastic sexual style that promoted group values. Because, you see – and this is the point to my mind about psychedelics – what they do, not, you know, my trip or your trip which we can spend hours trading stories about [audience giggle], but when you try and talk about what is the effect of the psychedelic experience, not one or two of them but a hundred thousand them, what generalizations can we make? The generalization that I have found most powerful is the psychedelic experience dissolves boundaries. That’s what it does. And boundaries are what chain, diminish, define, and degrade us. And we are always creating them, and we are always struggling with dissolving them. And the ultimate boundary is this belief in the sanctity of the ego versus everything else in the cosmos. And I don’t believe that this- that the ego arose in a context of language, culture, religion, and so forth simply because evolved in the African grassland, and the climate itself underwent changes that eventually placed the mushroom out of reach. And this is “why“ the fall into History. This is what the Genesis story about the- that I call History’s first drug bust [audience giggle]. This is what it’s about. I mean, isn’t it peculiar that the or myth [sp?] of our culture opens with a drug bust? It’s the story of a woman – right, those bad women – a woman who corrupts her roommate and then they both get kicked out, they break the lease essentially. And they both get kicked out, and where they get kicked out of is into History. And I believe that the Genesis story, definitely told and created at a time when patriarchy was on a roll, is a memory of this break with this orgiastic, goddess-centered, nomadic, cattle-oriented, mushroom using, uh, a form of human pastoralism. Now, notice in this scenario that there are no villains per se. The planet began to get dry, and that’s what broke up this arboreal, papaya-oriented paradise in the treetops where everybody was male-dominated and mindless as tomato but having a good time [audience giggle]. The drying of the African continent broke that party up, created a mixed ecology of forest and grassland into which the primates then evolved this fascinating relationship with the cattle, you see. And I- and much of what I say here is orthodox evolutionary theory. It’s just the part about psilocybin that nobody else will touch with a 100 foot pole [audience laughter], but it moving out into the grassland, testing foods, accepting psilocybin into the diet, and then creating, uh, based on the interruption of the natural, natural! tendency toward male dominance, it was fixed. 50’000 years ago a pharmacological intervention on the entire species created them a situation of partnership. The women were the gatherers, the men were the hunters, this had to with, hum, promotion of different body types that had already taken- was already well-established in these primates. I mean, you get this throughout the primates. The large male, barrel-chested, the more diminutive female, and the femal more largely social than the male. The males hunt. And in the proto-hominid situation this was certainly true. And hunting, as you know if you’ve ever done it, places a great premium on stoic waiting. That’s the hunter’s job- is to keep- sit down and keep your mouth shut and watch silently until it’s time to make your move, and then move ruthlessly without question, you know, with attention. Women had a completely different set of pressures and constraints on them. As gatherers, it was, uh, very important for women to be able to communicate extraordinarily subtle, uh, aspects of the material world to each other. So that a woman needs to be able to say when she comes into camp with the apron full of nuts “I got these near the waterfall by the bush with the small yellow leaves with the waxy flowers and the red berries that has the dry grass underneath it.“ In other words, for a gatherer, there is tremendous premium put on being able to describe your environment. You must be able to communicate, because a woman who makes a food find can only bring back to camp as much food as she can carry. But if she can communicate to her sisters what is going, then no problem. So language, I believe, largely evolved as a prerogative of women. And this stoic- stoicism, and, uh, ability to tolerate uncomfortable conditions was evolved by, uh, men.
    All of this would have been fine. It could have gone on for millions of years in this climaxed situation. The orgies were lunar, meaning they probably occurred every two weeks, or at most every 28 days. That means every 28 days every member of this society was completely dissolving and psychic structures that may have arisen in the previous 28 days, and then everybody whistling [sp?] on each other’s bones in a big heap [audience giggle]. And you can imagine the boundary dissolving impact that something like that would have. Why then, if it was so wonderful, didn’t we just stick with it? Why the descent into, you know, the hell of Pee-Wee Herman and Richard Nixon [audience laughter], and all of this stuff? Well, the same culprit that created that happy story destroyed that happy scenario. And that is the continued drying up of the planet. And that’s what we get in that Genesis story. Remember at the end of the Genesis story it says, uh, “and God set an angel at the Eastern gate of Eden with a flaming sword so that Adam and his children could not find their way back into Paradise.“ That’s the memory of the Saharan sun scorching off the African veldt and forcing those mushroom-using pastoralists to settle in the Nile Valley and set up permanent, uh, settlements and begin thinking about kingship, large-scale agricultural projects, and so forth and so on. Uh, and what happened – it was not as simple as that may have made it seem, you see – uh, this is really the theme of this book that I wrote for Bantam, is the theme that cultures wear drugs like clothing and they’re never aware of it. They just feel naked without their particular drug. And the clothing may differ, you know, one culture feels fully dressed in penis sheaths and warpaint. Another culture isn’t fully dressed unless the gown is by Dior. So there are different styles of clothing, and there are different styles of mental clothing in the form of drugs. And these drugs promote different kinds of cultural values. And what happened in that African situation was a tragedy that in a way we have seen enacted in microcosm in our own society. It was that at a certain point, everything was perfect. The monthly orgies, the suppression of the ego, the group values, the, uh, the recent invention of language was making food-gathering easy for women, uh, the abundant game was making hunting easy for men, so forth and so on. But this drying of the African continent didn’t halt there. It continued. And pretty soon, there were problems: less game, less to be gathered, and most important for my theory, fewer mushrooms. And when there became fewer mushrooms, then, uh, there were two possibilities: you could have your mushroom, hum, orgies less frequently, or you could created some kind of technology for preserving the mushrooms so that when you found a lot of them you could save some of them for dry spells, literally for dry spells. Uh, now the problem with this is strategy is that in a world without refrigeration, the, uh, strategy which Aboriginal people in Australia, in the Amazon basin, the strategy which the Aboriginal people tend toward when they want to preserve some delicate food is they invariably go for honey. Honey. This is why some of you may know that the Romans ate hummingbirds tongues pickled in honey. It isn’t because honey was the preferred medium for pickling hummingbirds tongues, it was because that’s a way of preserving delicate food. The problem with honey is, honey itself can ferment into a psychoactive compound. Honey changes into mead. Mead is a form of crude alcohol. The impact on a goddess-worshiping, orgiastic, non-hierarchical, non-male dominant culture of switching over to an- to the use of alcohol is absolutely devastating. In the same way that I told you what psilocybin did – improves visual acuity, promotes sexual activity, delivers a religious experience – we can talk about what alcohol does. It lowers sensitivity to social cueing at the same time that it gives an empowered of ego. In other words, it makes you into a jerk [audience laughter]. It gives you the courage to say and do what if you are a decent person you would otherwise never say and never do. It turns each one of us into a Clarence Thomas [audience laughter]. This is not what’s needed. Boo! Yes! No! Who knows! Who is Clarence Thomas [Terence + audience laughter]? And time- in time again in human History, these kinds of synergies have been enacted. Well, uh, I want to say more about it. That isn’t the whole story. That could be the whole story, I mean there’s enough in that for it to be the whole story. In other words, if it’s true that the mushroom, uh, you know, suppresses male dominance, it it in facts promotes communal values, and so forth… what a wonderful thing it must be. And we can leave it there. But that’s only a small part of the story. The real story is what is so wonderful about it? Since it’s a mental experience, what is so wonderful about it that it could halt the human tendency to devolve into these counterproductive forms and lifestyles? Well, what’s so great about it is that it is nothing less than half of the intellectual universe. It is, uh, what I call the connection to the Gaian mind. In other words, to this point, what I’ve said is- could be imputed to be just talk about a superb psychedelic drug. And so they’re saying “oh well, so this guy advocates the use of a superb psychedelic drug, seems reasonable or unreasonable“ depending on where you went to church. But it’s not that paradigm-challenging. But what is paradigm-challenging is the content of the experience. The content of the experience is completely, uh, mind-boggling, completely befuddling. I don’t know what we’re going to do with the content of the experience, because fully gotten out, and fully discussed, and fully realized it’s not going to leave one brick upon another in the cheerfully naive edifice that our half-backed civilization has erected as universal truth, we’re not going- science is not going to be able to survive the encounter with the psychedelic experience. Because it is not an encounter with the Freudian, you know, the repressed memories of your miserable and battled childhood or whatever it is you went through. And it isn’t even an encounter with the miserable memories of the battered childhood of the human species that we all went through: Allah, Carl Jung. What, uh, that is all there, but that’s in the hallway where you hang your hat and the antechamber where they take your coat. The main event, folks, doesn’t even have anything to do with the psychology of human beings. The main event is another dimension. A dimension so bizarre, so titanically peculiar, so strange, so unanticipated by our language, our History, our literature, that, uh, it is literally like the discovery of another world. And- and, uh, and there’s life in that world. Now, a funny thing about discovering new worlds is that, uh, you usually- when you get the new world all mapped out, you usually discover that there’s somebody living there. And for them it’s not the new world at all. And you know, you haven’t discovered anything. You’ve just showed in the middle of their scene [audience laughter] with a distorted rap sort of like Christopher Columbus. And this is what we find with the psychedelics.
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    a female intellect [sp?].entelechy. An enclosing,
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    kind of intellect [sp?].entelechy. And this
    And then the other, uh, pole or the other motif encountered in this situation is, uh, trickier to envision. I call it the transcendental object at the end of time. This, if we were, you know, fanatically symmetrical model-makers then we would assign a kind of masculine value to this, but I’m not particularly into that. I just see it as the transcendental object at the end of time. But what it is, is it’s a kind of attractor. And we’re not accustomed to thinking of the historical situation as being under the influence of an attractor. We inherit our belief that history is pushed rather than pulled. We inherit this idea from the 19th century when, uh, the theory of evolution was elaborated. They- these 19th century British, uh, atheists who were creating the theory of evolution were so horrified by the power of deism, meaning the belief in God per se, that they constructed a theory of evolution where everything is pushed from behind. In Darwinian evolution, there is no purpose. A good Darwinist never lets the word purpose cross his lips. A good Darwinist knows that things just happen randomly, and then natural selection makes its selection and then you get whatever you get. Uh, and this is understandable in the intellectual atmosphere of the 19th century, that they would want to get away from that. The problem is we have matured now beyond the simple atheism of the 19th century. And it is now very reasonable, uh, sanctioned by mathematics, and dynamics, and so forth and so on, it is now very reasonable to speak of an attractor. And this, uh, I’m also a little nervous to talk about this because part of what I do is I popularize. I tell you things you should know yourself or you could know yourself if you would but go to a decent medical library and spend the time to look up all this botanical and pharmacological data. So I’m like a clearinghouse. But then there’s another thing which I do which I’m a little more nervous and touchy about, which is I tell you what I think [audience giggle]. And it’s just what I think. It has exactly that much weight behind it, which is like “zip“, you know [audience giggle]. I mean, you don’t have to believe this, why should you? But based on 25 years of fiddling with this stuff and then doing a lot of reading and head-scratching, I’ve come to the conclusion that, um, there is a transcendental object ahead of us in time. You can call it God, you can call it Jesus, you can call it her, you can call it flying saucers from Zeta Reticuli or the Pleiades, I want to get all factions, here, or Zanuba Ganubi [sp?] my favorite stellar origin point. Uh, but whatever you call it, it’s an attractor. It lies ahead of us in the future, and all of human history is being channeled toward it. Pulled toward it. And I see the entire history of the Universe as the history of a journey across a landscape of energy and matter toward union with this transcendental object. And I have a theory of History, uh, not the mathematical one. Don’t bolt for the door [audience giggle]. No, this will be a cocktail party version of the theory of History. I have a theory of History which is the Universe is a novelty-producing and conserving engine of some sort. That’s what we’re inside, folks, a novelty-making machine. Now, what do I mean by novelty? People mean- say “you mean like little plastic bugs and puzzles inside plastic capsules? Is that what you mean by novelty?“ - “No, you idiot, it’s of course not.“ [Terence + audience laughter] By novelty I mean something that has never been seen before. Something unique. The new connection. I always think of the symbolist poet Lautreamont [sp?] who said “I am fascinated by the kind of beauty that arises when a bicycle meets a sewing machine on an operating table.“ Now, that’s novelty, folks [audience giggle]. Because you just don’t get that every day. So the Universe is a novelty-producing engine. It not only produces novelty, but it then preserves it and build upon it. So, if we now look at, um, the story which science tells us – and it’s an interesting story, by the way – if you think I say things which are highly unlikely, notice that I do not ask you to believe that Universe sprang from a point of matter smaller than a proton in a single instant. This is the position of science. The is the limit case for credibility. I mean, if you can believe that, what in the world would you balk at for trying as well [audience laughter]. I mean that is the limit case for credibility. So, science tells us that the Universe sprang from nothing in a single instant, and that it was very hot, very hot [audience laughter]. So there were no molecules such as you and I are made out of, there were no atoms such as lead and gold and water are made out of. There was only a pure plasma of electrons. That was all, and the physics of that Universe were incredibly simple. There were the pure plasma physics unhindered by any other fields of any sort. Well, the Universe then cooled, and as it cooled, lo and behold, at a certain electrons were able to fall into stable orbits around atomic nuclei. And at that point, uh, atomic systems formed, and a whole kind of chemistry comes into being. Uh, further cooling, millions of years pass. Then we get the carbon molecule cooked out of new stars. It has a six valence structure, so that, uh, we get organic molecules. Well then, quickly, we get long chain polymers. Very quickly then, long chain polymers that can copy themselves. And after- and that becomes primitive life. And at that point, you then get complex life. And then sexuality – meaning gene mixing as opposed to the previous thing which was vegetated like- like making cuttings from plants. Well, do you see what’s happening? At each successive stage, the previous level of complexity is not only retained but used to build upon toward the next level of complexity. Well, the wonderful thing about this cosmology is that instead of human beings being like mute witnesses to the grandeur of Jehovah’s creation, or some kind of trip like that, instead you discover “aha, human beings are important. We are more novel than anything else in nature.“ And we 20th century human beings are more novel, more interconnected, more complex, and in possession of more and different kinds of knowledge than most of the people who preceded us. So, this, uh, growing toward complexity seems to be what the Universe is all about. Now, it doesn’t go on for hundreds of millions of years into the future, because as you can see each successive stage has, uh, proceeded more quickly than the stage before it. So now, we are in what I call the short epochs. We are in periods of time where more change goes on in a ten year period than went on in a million year period near the birth of the Universe. We are living in the complex novel end of things. And that complexity, and that novelty, which we experience as tremendous stress in our lives, ushers into the transcendental object at the end time. Not that far in the future. And we as psychedelic people have an obligation upon ourselves to anticipate and to help realize, uh, uh, this future. It is upon us. Every messiah, every religious ontology, every, uh, manager of every booth that this exhibit is reflecting a distorted scintilla of the spiritual reality of the transcendental object at the end of time. Everyone of us is a particular eye [sp?] and distorted image of this transcendental object into which we are being dissolved, into which global culture is, uh, dissolved. So, uh [long pause]. Well, so what? [Terence + audience laughter] So we can cut into this cycle at any point. We can become aware of it, we can become part of it, we can deny it. There is no loss in the circuit. There is no blame. Becoming then what psychedelic means is, it means claiming this dimension as your own. You know, Plato said “time is the moving image of eternity.“ That moving image of eternity can be beheld in the silent darkness of the mind, on five grams of psilocybin [audience giggle]. And if you think the Universe is mundane, if you think there are no more frontiers to cross, no more adventures to be had, I’m telling you you can turn your living room into the bridge of Magellan’s ship on a long Saturday evening [audience laughter] with five grams of psilocybin in silent darkness. We are living in the most empowering age in human history. Because all of the energy of the ancestors, not only the human ancestors but our animal, our primate ancestors, all of that energy pours into, is focused into this moment. We are the transition generation. We have one foot in matter and one foot in hyperspace. And we can redeem the trust of thousands of years. All of the horror of History can be redeemed if we don’t drop the ball. Every pogrom, every instance of racial, sexual or minority persecution can be redeemed if we give the human adventure meaning. And we give it meaning by discovering the totality within ourselves and then amplifying it for each other. And this dissolves boundaries, empowers the weak, uh, enlightens the strong, and brings hope to all. And it can only be done if we accept the gifts which Nature has offered us. Thank you very, very much. [audience applause]
    Original Transcription by: buddha_christ
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    6:21 am

Sunday, January 28

Saturday, January 27

  1. page Man and Woman at the End of History edited ... Day Month 1998 The Ojai Foundation, Ojai, California This seminar examined how one of the m…
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    Day Month 1998
    The Ojai Foundation, Ojai, California
    This seminar examined how one of the most fundamental human relationships, that between male and female, shapes our relationship to technology and ultimately to culture and nature. We looked at the forms of relationship between women and men in the shift from a society based on domination to one based on partnership. This is an exploration of how feminism, technology and the telling of a new story will contribute to rescuing us from history. Riane Eisler is best known for her scholarily authoring of her formidable book, "Chalice and the Blade."
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    Link [Note: This recording comes from a serialization on Roy of Hollywood's show on KPFK. It ends with Terence cut short mid sentence.]
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    [Note: This recording comes from a serialization on Roy of Hollywood's show on KPFK. It ends with Terence cut short mid sentence.]
    This seminar examined how one of the most fundamental human relationships, that between male and female, shapes our relationship to technology and ultimately to culture and nature. We looked at the forms of relationship between women and men in the shift from a society based on domination to one based on partnership. This is an exploration of how feminism, technology and the telling of a new story will contribute to rescuing us from history. Riane Eisler is best known for her scholarly authoring of her formidable book, "Chalice and the Blade."

    Original Transcription by: [Please enter your name or username here when you start transcribing so we know that it is being/has been worked on by someone]
    Review 1 by:
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    6:53 pm
  2. page The Light in Nature edited ... Day Month 1988 The Esalen Institute (Benefit for KPFK and Botanical Dimensions), Big Sur, Cal…
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    Day Month 1988
    The Esalen Institute (Benefit for KPFK and Botanical Dimensions), Big Sur, California (Big Sur Tapes, Big Sur, California)
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    6:52 pm
  3. page Evolving Times edited ... 29 April 1995 Sacramento, California {EvolvingTimes.jpg} Description Audio Link Transc…
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    29 April 1995
    Sacramento, California
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    Google Collaboration Sheet
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    6:46 pm
  4. page Mushrooms, Sex and Society edited ... Location- Unknown Description Audio(missing) Audio Link Transcription Other links Th…
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    The mainstream media hasn't quite got it figured out whether Terence McKenna is putting them on or not. His theories about the origins of contemporary culture in the psychedelic trips of the distant past seem startling to those who have overdosed on Reagan/Bush/Larouche-style propaganda, but they are not without precedent if the names Aldous Huxley, John Allegro or R. Gordon Wasson mean anything to you (if they don't, check out the 'authors' section of the card catalog). McKenna's ideas have hit the media in the form of several books, most notably The Archaic Revival (HarperCollins), Food of the Gods (Bantam), and True Hallucinations (Harper San Francisco). He has also maintained a close connection to the burgeoning rave scene, lending spoken-word performances to concerts by the Shamen and recordings by Space Time Continuum. Major publications from coast to coast have lined up to give him press, generally favorable, if confused.
    I spoke with McKenna recently as part of an assignment for Future Sex magazine (editorial decision squelched the piece)...
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    6:43 pm

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