Archive for Kathleen Harrison

Podcast 271 – “Weaving Modern Ritual from Traditional Roots”

Guest speaker: Kathleen “Kat” Harrison

Big Island, Little Planet

March 17–28, 2012
A Travel Intensive in Polynesia on the Big Island of Hawaii
Ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison and Hawaiian cultural teacher Momi Subiono will lead this travel intensive, open to all who have a desire to immerse themselves in the story of plants, nature, and a deep cultural awareness of place.


[NOTE: All quotations are by Kat Harrison.]
“The role of conscious, intentional behavior that is described by culture or subcultural rules of behavior with reflected meaning is sort of a way of describing ritual generally, and we draw these forms out of a number of traditions.”

“I think when we go into thinking about how to do psychoactive medicines it’s very valuable to look deeply, to look seriously, at the traditions that have attended these medicines through time.”

“Repeated behavior in the same mode over a long time generates a kind of an etheric possibility of it recurring and being potentized by its ongoing, indefinite repetition.”

“I feel that it’s really valuable to look into the ritual history of the place where you live or the place where you’re working.”

“Pay homage to the history of ritual that is coming through the place.”

“Why one [psychedelic medicine] may be your best friend’s ally and not your ally is a mystery. And maybe you can solve that mystery and maybe not. But you should honor the fact that some things work for you and some things are not your medicine, even though everyone around you appears to be having a good time.”

“You don’t lead with your head. You let your heart and your body tell you what to do in these [introspective psychedelic] moments. Then if you think it’s time to get up and bolt out into the street, you let your head come in and tell you, ‘Don’t! Sit down. You’re not going anywhere.’ ”


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Thank you to The Turtles for “Eve of Destruction”

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Podcast 249 – “The Magic of Plants (Rites of Spring)” Part 2

Guest speakers: Terence McKenna and Kat Harrison


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“What would you have if you could have anything?”

“I think that life proceeds through time. It’s an effort by organism to map one dimension larger than itself. So it takes a whole life to do it. A life is an effort to map a ‘something’, and the ‘now’ is the moving edge of the mapping process. You cannot map it instantly, or you would be it. And so what being in time is is experiencing the incremental mapping of this higher order object. And that’s why, hopefully, a long life would give wisdom, because a person would begin to get a whole picture.”

“Yes, well I think psilocybin seems to be the great teacher of history. … Because your history gives you the power of your convictions.”

“I think, better we should tend our gardens and form brotherhoods and sisterhoods of affinity and realize that the task of transformation is one of a lifetime, our lifetime.”

“This is the anguish of the ancestors. This is the sacred trust that must not be betrayed. The pogroms, and the invasions, and the atrocities conducted across history can only be, somehow, redeemed if we, who are the living wavefront of this genetic experience do not fumble the ball. All our ancestors are watching to see how we will do.”

“The ‘other’ is just a way of thinking about all of these things that we name spirit, god, demon, void. It’s that there just necessarily is a place off our map. Whenever you have a map it implies the part that is not on the map, and the other, the truly other, lies outside the domain of language. It’s like the unspeakable. All you can do it point at it.”

“That’s the challenge. You see, that’s the weird thing about the psychedelics. It is a path, but in a sense it’s the end of the path. And then what do you do? Now it’s up to you.”

“The way to do things, if you can do anything, is to do them right.”


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Podcast 240 – “Philosophical Gadfly” Part 1

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“There are several unexplained anomalies. Why is it that fully 80% of the world’s known plant hallucinogens are concentrated in the Amazon basin, even though the flora of the Old World jungles of Indonesia is equally rich?”

“The curing scenario of the ayahuascero is easily identified to the curing scenario of shamans world wide.”

“I think the word ‘psychedelic’ is maybe too broad, because it includes things which are very different from each other. It can include things as different as ketamine and mescaline.”

“The icaros, the magical songs, are actually technical tools for controlling the fabric of the hallucination.”

“It seems very clear that this [ayahuasca] healthcare delivery system is very effective, perhaps more effective than our own, especially in the treating of psychological disorders.”

“You must be aware that I have other wrinkles, the extraterrestrial angle, the end of history angle, several different things, but all of these things were inspired by our belief that these Amazon peoples have a technology for exploring the modalities of the unconscious that is centuries ahead of us.”

“But what I have become convinced of from using these hallucinogenic drugs is that the major portion of the unconscious has very little to do with human beings. It is simply a modality, an interior landscape, and large portions of it are not human.”

“As techniques are developed for exploring consciousness, these trans-human, non-human dimensions slowly come into view. It appears to be a co-equal dimension of existential validity, which our cultural and linguistic programming has blinded us to rather severely.”

“[The mushroom] is not a drug of acceptance, you know. It want’s transformation of a very radical sort. The ayahuasca seems to integrate.”

“Ayahuasca is wonderfully suggestive and can be led in a way that these other things sometimes can’t be.”

“What does it mean that on a psychedelic drug one person can see more art in an hour than the species has produced in 10,000 years? What does that say about how effectively we are accessing our souls?”

“If you want a miracle, then language is the thing to look at.”

“I think literature occupies the same relationship to life that life that life occupies to death.”

“I imagine death to be a kind of release into the imagination.”


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