Terence Mckenna quotes

An American ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut, lecturer, author, and an advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants. He has some interesting stuff you should get on to.

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  • “Part of what psychedelics do is they decondition you from cultural values. This is what makes it such a political hot potato. Since all culture is a kind of con game, the most dangerous candy you can hand out is one which causes people to start questioning the rules of the game.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • What we call imagination is actually the universal library of what’s real. You couldn’t imagine it if it weren’t real somewhere, sometime.                                             – Trialogue #24: The Heavens Esalen, California (1992)
  • “We are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get this, get that.’ And then you’re a player, but you don’t want to play in the game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “What civilization is, is 6 billion people trying to make themselves happy by standing on each other’s shoulders and kicking each other’s teeth in. It’s not a pleasant situation.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “We have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love and the community to produce a kind of human paradise. But we are led by the least among us – the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary. We are led by the least among us and we do not fight back against the dehumanizing values that are handed down as control icons.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “Our world is in danger by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness. And so to whatever degree any one of us, can bring back a small piece of the picture and contribute it to the building of the new paradigm, then we participate in the redemption of the human spirit, and that after all is what it’s really all about.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • Unexamined cultural values & limitations of language have made us unwitting prisoners of our own assumptions.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “Ideology always paves the way toward atrocity”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “If you keep yourself as the final arbiter you will be less susceptible to infection by cultural illusion”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “We need to interact with like-minded people throughout the world to establish the new intellectual order which will be the salvation of mankind.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • “You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.”
    – Terence McKenna
  • I remember the very, very first time that I smoked DMT. It was sort of a benchmark, you might say, and I remember that this friend of mine that always got there first visited me with this little glass pipe and this stuff which looked like orange mothballs. And since I was a graduate of Dr. Hofmann’s, I figured there were no surprises. So the only question I asked is, ‘How long does it last?’ and he said, ‘About five minutes.’ So I did it and… [long pause, audience cheers] there was a something, like a flower, like a chrysanthemum in orange and yellow that was sort of spinning, spinning, and then it was like I was pushed from behind and I fell through the chrysanthemum into another place that didn’t seem like a state of mind, it seemed like another place. And what was going on in this place aside from the tastefully soffited indirect lighting, and the crawling geometric hallucinations along the domed walls, what was happening was that there were a lot of ahh.. beings in there, what I call self-transforming machine elves. Sort of like jewelled basketballs all dribbling their way toward me. And if they’d had faces they would have been grinning, but they didn’t have faces. And they assured me that they loved me and they told me not to be amazed; not to give way to astonishment. And so I watched them, even though I wondered if maybe I hadn’t really done it this time, and what they were doing was they were making objects come into existence by singing them into existence. Objects which looked like Fabergé eggs from Mars morphing themselves with Mandaean alphabetical structures. They looked like the concrescence of linguistic intentionality put through a kind of hyper-dimensional transform into three-dimensional space. And these little machines offered themselves to me. And I realized when I looked at them that if I could bring just one of these little trinkets back, nothing would ever be quite the same again. And I wondered, Where Am I? And What Is Going On? It occurred to me that these must be holographic viral projections from an autonomous continuum that was somehow intersecting my own, and then I thought a more elegant explaination would be to take it at face value and realize that I had broken into an ecology of souls. And that somehow I was getting a peek over the other side. Somehow I was finding out that thing that you cheerfully assume you can’t find out. But it felt like I was finding out. And it felt.. and then I can’t remember what it felt like because the little self-transforming tykes interrupted me and said, “Don’t think about it. Don’t think about who we are… Think about doing what we’re doing. Do it! Do it! DO IT NOW!!!” And what they meant was use your voice to make an object. And as I understood, I felt a bubble kind of grow inside of me. And I watched these little elf tykes jumping in and out of my chest; they like to do that to reassure you. And they said, “Do it.” And I felt language rise up in me that was unhooked from english, and I began to speak…                                                                                                                          – “Alien Dreamtime” a multimedia event recorded live. (27 February 1993)
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  1. Pingback: List of Lists (Random links to past content) | Ungroovygords

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