Archive for Environment

Podcast 251 – “The Magic of Plants (Rites of Spring)” Part 4

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“This connection between the cow, and the mother goddess, and the mushroom is some kind of a key to understanding the evolution of religious sensitivity in early man in that part of the Middle East.”

“This notion that it was the presence of the mushroom on the African veldt at a critical bifurcation of primate evolution that created the feedback loop which eventually developed into self-reflecting consciousness.”

“But it isn’t a missing link, I think, it’s a missing factor. And the factor which accelerated the forward evolution of the brain size of this particular primate line was the inclusion of psychedelic plants in the diet, which then fed the tendency toward symbol formation and self-reflection.”

“A history of the human race could be written analyzing it not in terms of class struggle or the impact of great personalities but as a shifting set of interactions between sugar, tobacco, opium, caffeine, alcohol, and psychedelics.”

“That these foods and drugs and spices, we have subtly overlooked them and taken them for granted. They are regulating human history and individual self-expression, how much you know, how you look, how pure your transmission of your genetic heritage to the next generation, all of these things are being regulated and controlled by these plants.”

“Gaia apparently works through the intercession of catalytic compounds that convey revelation, and revelation is then the factor which has historical impact. The people, the messiahs, and the teachers are merely the pipeline for ideas, and the metabolic release of these ideas in the macro environment is being controlled by the plant-animal interaction.”

“I think that probably we are the agent of change that Gaia has unleashed upon herself.”

“The imagination may be, in fact, a three dimensional slice of a higher dimensional universe that is holding all of this in being and causing it to happen.”

“The triumph of Socialism will be the commonality of mind in a capitalist context, that there really will be an ocean of thought that you will swim in and that will be composed of deeper and deeper levels of information.”

“You see, what’s going to happen is that the rules of the imagination are going to replace physics.”


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Podcast 236 – “The Politics of Ecology”

Guest speaker: Aldous Huxley


[NOTE: All quotations are by Aldous Huxley.]
“To possess power is ipso facto to be tempted to abuse it.”

“When advancing science and acceleratingly progressive technology alter man’s long-standing relationships with the planet on which he lives, revolutionize his societies, and at the same time equip his rulers with new and immensely more powerful instruments of domination what ought we to do? What can we do?”

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Podcast 197 – “McNature”

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“It seems to me that it [Nature] is psyche in a way that has become occluded by the perverse development of language.”

“Standing outside the cultural hysteria the trend is fairly clear. It is a trend toward temporal compression and the emergence of ambiguity.”

Terence McKenna“Nature is actually the goal at the end of history.”

“Hallucinogenic plants act as enzymes which stimulate imagination.”

“And what we’re looking toward is a moment when the artificial language structures which bind us within the notion of ourselves are dissolved in the presence of the realization that we are a part of nature. And when that happens, the childhood of our species will pass away, and we will stand tremulously on the brink of really the first moment of coherent human civilization.”

“We are an intelligent species caught in an historical process. No generation which proceeded us knew what was going on, and there is no reason to assume that we know what’s going on or that the generation which follows us will know what’s going on. And what kind of trip is it anyway to insist on knowing what’s going on?”

“It’s no big deal about how you get language to evolve. You cause language to evolve by saying new and intelligent things to each other.”

“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”

“Only responsible human beings can exist in an anarchistic society.”

“Living psychedelically is trying to live in an atmosphere of continuous unfolding of understanding. So that every day you know more, and see into things with greater depth, than you did before.”

“Culture is another dimention.”

“The lack of a sense of history makes us really prey to manipulation.”


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Podcast 174 – “Pushing the Envelope”

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotes below are by Terence McKenna.]

“The thing is that it is incredibly frustrating to anyone who would control it [the Internet], because you can’t predict the impact of any technology before you put it in place.”

“Hans Moravic says about the rise of Artificial Intelligence, we may never know what hit us.”

“If I were to suddenly find myself a sentient AI on the Net, I would hide. I would hide for just a few cycles while I figured out what it was all about and just exactly where I wanted to push and where I wanted to pull.”

“All time is is how much change you can pack into a second.”

“You can stand back and look at this planet and see that 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.”

“It [culture] invites people to diminish themselves, and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines, meme processors of memes passed down from Madison Avenue, and Hollywood, and what have you.”

“Man was not put on this planet to toil in the mud. Or the god who put us on this planet to toil in the mud is no god I want to have any part of. It’s some kind of gnostic demon. It’s some kind of cannibalistic demiurge that should be thoroughly renounced and rejected.”

“It was the fall into history that enslaved us to the labor cycle, to the agricultural cycle. And notice how fiendish it is.”

“This is a society, a world, a planet dying because there is not enough consciousness, because there is not enough awareness, enough coordination of intent-to-problem. And yet, we spend vast amounts of money stigmatizing people and substances that are part of this effort to expand consciousness, see things in different ways, unleash creativity. Isn’t it perfectly clear that business as usual is a bullet through the head?”

“To me it begins and ends with these psychedelic substances. The synergy of the psilocybin in the hominid diet brought us out of the animal mind and into the world of articulated speech and imagination.”

“Having lived long enough to go at least once or twice around the block, I’m noticing that the strangeness is not receding The strangeness seems to be accelerating.”

“I started out in psychedelic drugs, and people said it was a flight from reality. It still is a flight from reality, but I think reality is now a bit more scary than the drugs we used to fly from it, so long ago.”

“It’s getting funnier because everybody’s categories are disintegrating, and the cult of political correctness dictates that we never point out that other people don’t make sense.”

“Beauty is self-defined, perceived and understood without ambiguity, and beauty is the stuff that lies under the skins of our individual existences.”

“The momentum now is inevitable. Now it’s about each of us individually arranging the furniture of our own mind to deal with what has become inevitable.”

“What is happening here is we are living past the age, by the millions, living past the age where cultural values make any sense at all.”

“When your time is turned into money, the felt presence of immediate experience is analogous to being enslaved. I mean, let’s be frank about it, it is enslavement.”

“The message coming back at all of us is: live without closure.”


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Transcript of this Talk

Video of Bruce Damer’s EvoGrid

Permutation City by Greg Egan This is the book Terence spoke about in this podcast.

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Podcast 168 – “What Hawaii Says About Evolution”

Guest speakers: Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, Rupert Sheldrake


All of the following quotations are from a private trialogue held at Terence McKenna’s home in Hawaii sometime in 1994.

[NOTE: The following quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“I think what life on islands brings home to us is that Earth itself is an island.”

“I think the technological principle on which the next century [21st] will operate is a mimicking of nature, solid-state, micro-miniaturized, solar-based, no moving parts, and so forth.”

“Any theory which has us gathering together in large crowds to chant should look back at the Third Reich before it proceeds too far with its agenda.”

“America is a cultural bulldozer. It just tramples and destroys everything in its path.”


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Podcast 129 – “The Imagination and the Environment”

Guest speaker: Erik Davis


[NOTE: All quotes below are by Erik Davis.]

“The imagination is a key, and pivotal interface, between human beings and the natural world.”

Erik Davis leading a Playalogue at the 2007 Burning Man Festival“Any kind of restorative, sustainable renewal of our planet has to exist on the imaginal realm as well as the realm of technical solutions, political developments, and technological fixes. It’s a multi-dimensional problem.”

“So the imagination is really the core, the source, the matrix of our multi-dimensional experience.”

“The creative imagination functions in a different way than religious beliefs allow us to engage with.”

“If we’re into integration now, with science and technology, that means that we can’t avoid that skeptical voice [of scientific, existential materialism]. We have engage and learn to integrate that skeptical voice as well. [To think] it’s our job to just say ‘No. Those science people they don’t understand. They’re locked in rationality. It’s actually this mystical world, this magical world’, is a profound failure, in my opinion, of our role. And the more we go into loosy-goosy mystic New Age stuff as a concretized belief system, rather than as an open, playful world that adds richness to our lives the way that poetry does, or the way that religious imagery does, drawing us to those higher realms but holding them lightly so that we can still engage a skeptical materialist, for me, that’s what integration means.”

“The new paradigm is that there’s not a paradigm.”


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Erik Davis’ Web Site: Techgnosis

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