Archive for Erik Davis

Podcast 263 – “Terence McKenna’s Last Interview” Part 2


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Guest speakers: Terence McKenna and Erik Davis

PROGRAM NOTES:

Please Support Dennis McKenna’s Kickstarter Project:
The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss!

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“The trick to making the shamanic virtual world compelling is to fairly and truly convey it. You can’t cut corners. You can’t fake it. . . . So that this stuff really does blow people’s minds, so that people see, well, human imagination is large enough to accommodate the human soul. It doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re wearing too tight a pair of shoes.”

“We have no idea how strange the world we can create in the near term will be.”

“Given the circumstances as we find them, what rational momentum is there to think that life is unique and arose on this planet only?”

“I think that’s the question that remains unanswered, you know, that’s the grail of the thing. What is the nature of the Other, is basically what you’re asking. Is it a construct, a projection or a discovery? It’s not clear to me what it is.”
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Podcast 262 – “Terence McKenna’s Last Interview” Part 1


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Guest speakers: Terence McKenna and Erik Davis

PROGRAM NOTES:

Please Support Dennis McKenna’s Kickstarter Project:
The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss!


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“But I did [as a child] spend a lot of time grappling with shit like the nature of the soul, and the nature of sin, and all of these imponderables. And, of course, what you end up doing is you end up reading scholars of mysticism.”

“To me it’s the most psychedelic part of the psychedelic experience, it’s when you get the logos coming out of the trees, the rocks, the berries, the water, everything.”

“[Speaking about how to pursue a psychedelic culture.] Well, I’d say the wrongly-packaged version would be something like ‘Castenadaism’, a formulaic cult. Do these things, take these drugs, follow these instructions and moral obligation will flee from your kin. Nobody can be that foolish. If, on the other hand, you sincerely pursue this stuff, grow the plants, try to understand it, try to revivify the rituals and figuring out what it’s all about, well, that’s an authentic push towards spirituality, a very authentic push towards spirituality, and probably fruitful.”

“It seems to me that ‘the shamanic drug of the month’ is not a very appealing idea.”

“The basic concept [of alchemy] is that somehow intuition and nature are reflective of each other. Until that hypothesis fails we should probably hang on to it, because look how far we’ve gotten. I mean it is really bizarre how much of nature the human mind seems to be able to understand.”

“[I’m hoping] that some lack of resource or vision doesn’t reveal that we can’t give enough people a bearable life. So we [would then] have to live forward into an age of revolution, social turmoil, and struggle for resources. It doesn’t have to be this way.”

“Now let’s see if information can liberate. That’s why I don’t want to do something stupid like die and miss the whole unfoldment of this proposition that knowledge is power, information will liberate. And it will be settled in the next ten or fifteen years. Either they’ll get a handle on it, whoever ‘they’ are, whatever a ‘handle means. Or it will slip from their control, and it will be clear that some kind of dialogue is now going on between individual human beings and the sum total of human knowledge, and that nothing can stop it, that some kind of Renaissance, some kind of total new relationship to knowledge and possibility is put in place.”

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Terence McKenna Vs. the Black Hole by Erik Davis

This is Erik Davis‘ account of the interview heard in this podcast.

Excerpt: The following are excerpts from interviews that I conducted with Terence McKenna in late October and early November of 1999, in preparation for a profile that appeared in the May 2000 issue of Wired. These interviews have also been edited and released on a CD, Terence McKenna: The Last Interview. Given McKenna’s subsequent demise, I chose selections concerning his feelings about death and dying. The October interview was conducted in San Francisco just a few days before Terence underwent a craniotomy, and he therefore spoke a bit more frankly about his condition than during November, when I spent a week with him and his wonderful girlfriend Christie Silness during his sort-of recovery in Hawaii.


Mescal: A New Artificial Paradise by Dr. Havelock Ellis

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Podcast 261 – “The Definitive UFO Tape”


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

Please Support Dennis McKenna’s Kickstarter Project:
The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss!

Books by Terence McKenna

The Missing Chapters of The Invisible Landscape
Chapter 20: The Oversoul as Saucer
Chapter 21: Open Ending

PROGRAM NOTES:

This is Tape Number 004 of the Paul Herbert Collection.


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“In psilocybin and the tryptamine hallucinogens generally we actually have a state of mind that is very similar to the state of mind reported to accompany the UFO contact, and that these things could somehow be co-mapped, one onto the other”

“Involvement with these tryptamines as they accumulated in your system, you seem to acquire the ability to inhabit more than one world at once, as though superimposed over reality there was a super-reality, a hyper dimensional world where information was accessible in magical ways.”

“History is just this froth of artifact production that has appeared in the last ten to fifteen thousand years. It spread across the planet very quickly. But that mind in man just goes back and back into the darkness.”

“The extraterrestrial is the human over soul in its general and particulate expression on the planet. . . . The over soul is some kind of field that is generated by human beings, but that is not under the control of any institution, any government, and religion. It is actually the most intelligent thing on the planet, and it regulates human culture through the release of ideas out of eternity and into the continuum of history.”

“The myths that are building are like the Messianic myths that preceded the appearance of Christ.”

“I think that science has betrayed human destiny to some degree. And that we are led to the brink of star-flight, but we’re also led to the brink of thermonuclear holocaust.”

“The political conclusion to be drawn is to preserve your freedom of thought by deconditioning yourself to the flying saucer religion before it happens.”

“I think that the flying saucer experience is tremendously powerful. And that it really is somehow linked to the psychedelic experience in a way that perhaps will not be understood for some time.”

“Well, see what I’m saying is if we would intelligently examine these dimensions that the psychedelic drugs make available, we could as it were get in touch with the over soul and leave the era when man is disciplined by flying saucers and messiahs and progress is halted for millennia at a stretch just because people can’t evolve their ethics and their technology at the same rate of speed.”

“The modern epistemological methods are just not up to dealing with an elf, with chattering, elf-infested spaces. I mean, we have a word for those spaces, we call it schizophrenia and slam the door. But, you know, these dimensions have been with us since ten thousand times longer than Freud. And people just have to come to terms with them.”

“The discs which haunt the skys of Earth indicate that the unconscious cannot be kept waiting forever. These things are going to have to be dealt with.”

“The imagination is the golden pathway to everywhere.”

“But I think what’s being missed is that a whole dimension of communication is being ruled inadmissible as evidence simply because it doesn’t conform to the epistemological biases of the people who are asking the question. And that is all these voices in the head that guide shamans, that obsess lunatics, that make poetry, and in other words the muse. The muse is real. . . . Well one could talk endlessly about this subject, I suppose, but until it’s resolved all of man’s epistemological dealings with reality will be haunted by this faint spookiness, which can’t be gotten rid of.”

“You see what is happening and why the psychedelic experience is so important is because information is loose on Planet Three. Some kind of very strange thing is going on.”

“What is unusual about Earth is that language, literally, has become alive. It has infested matter. It is replicating and defining and building itself. And it is in us.””

“The over mind. The fact that there is a level of hierarchical control being exerted by the human species as a whole. That the destiny of man is not in the hands of governments and corporations and Communist Party apparatchiks. It is in the hands of a weirdly democratic, amebic-like, hyper-intelligent super organism, which is called Everybody.”

“And the reality of this informational creature is seen more clearly. It’s an organism. We are having a symbiotic relationship with an organism made of information. And this is what psychedelics reinforces, I think very strongly. It’s in the psychedelic dimension that you finally can key in to the voice of the organism and say, “Hey, what’s happening?” And then it explains to you that things are not as you took them to be at all. And that there is in fact layer, and layer, and layer upon interlocking meaning. And that there’s very little else other than that. And that the imagination is the true ground of being. And that there is a dimension, parallel to time, outside of time that is accessible to you as much as you want it, to the degree that you can decondition yourself from the history-bound cognitive systems that have carried you to that point. This is why it has always been said of psychedelics that they were sociological catalysts.”

“What it comes down to is trying to have faith that man is good, because what’s happening is that whatever man is, man is taking control of the definition of being human.”

“Man is going to become a mirror of his deepest aspirations, and the question then becomes, “What are man’s deepest aspirations?’”

“Death is both a historical and individual phenomenon about which we as monkeys have great anxiety. But what the psychedelic experience seems to be pointing out is that actually the reductionist view of death has missed the point, and that there is something more. It isn’t simple extinction. That the universe does not build up such complex forms as ourselves without conserving them in some astonishing and surprising way that is perhaps related some way to the intuitions that we have from the psychedelic experience.”

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Books by Terence McKenna

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Podcast 129 – “The Imagination and the Environment”


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Guest speaker: Erik Davis

PROGRAM NOTES:

[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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Podcast 099 – “Controlling The Culture” (Part 1)


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Guest speakers: Richard Glen Boire, Erik Davis, and John Gilmore

PROGRAM NOTES:

(Minutes : Seconds into program)

05:08 Richard Glen Boire: “What if the government could inoculate you so you couldn’t get high, so if you took a drug it didn’t work in you?”

07:53 Richard begins a discussion about the U.S. Government’s research into anti-drug drugs, which he calls “Neurocops”. “So the question is, is it actually possible to treat illegal drug use with other drugs?”

08:25 Richard Glen Boire: “What I think the drug war is about to become is like truly a “drug” war. The war of your favorite drug against the government’s anti-drugs.”

09:09 Richard Glen Boire: “One of those [“anti-high”] vaccines that is now under production (they have these for all the major classes of illegal drugs right now, including marijuana), and this is the one that’s been tested now in humans, is only known as SR141716.”

10:10 Richard Glen Boire: “The most recent Drug Control Strategy Report, this year’s, has this term, ‘compassionate coercion’. This is a real government publication. [quoting] ‘Compassionate coercion requires the use of innovative techniques for fighting addiction, such as specialized pharmeceuticals.”

15:40 Richard Glen Boire: “What makes this kind of thinking by the government possible: That we’re going to create a vaccine, and you druggies are going to get it so you don’t continue to transmit your disease, is what’s made the drug war itself possible, which is the government’s total disrespect for what we call Cognitive Liberty. And that is the right to control your own neurochemistry, to think the thoughts you want to think triggered by whatever inputs those may be as long as you’re not causing harm to others.”

16:43 Richard Glen Boire: “I think we need in this country a Roe v. Wade of the mind.”

17:11 Introduction of Erik Davis who talks about “Waking Up In The Matrix”

20:16 Erik Davis: “What I talk about in Techgnosis is the way this sort of Gnostic hunch, this sense that there is some kind of false construct that I’m in is really part and parcel of technological society.”

21:02 Erik Davis: “By ’spirituality’ I really mean something very simple, which is the process of inquiry. And I mean inquiry on multiple levels. . . . Constant inquiry, such as ‘what is going on here?’ “

30:14 Erik Davis: “As Dale Pendell said in a line that has just stuck with me, ‘When one learns to face the gods directly one no longer fears facing a king.”

30:37 Introduction of John Gilmore who talks about our Constitutional rights of anonymous travel and speech.

32:48 John Gilmore: “When the government says, ‘Terror . . . danger . . . evil . . . trouble,’ people sort of zoom in and look at that stuff. Instead, I kind of back away and say, ‘What are they doing around the edges while they’re trying to get your attention over here?’ “

34:10 John Gilmore: “If you focus on the ability of individuals to do evil you forget about the ability of individuals to do good.”

36:40 John Gilmore: “The Bill of Rights, the Constitution, these are memes. They’re not alive. They’re not self-executing. They require human hosts to carry them and spread them around, and I’ve been infected by that meme, and I’m carrying it around.”

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Podcast 049 – “Pharmacology and the Posthuman Phuture”


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Guest speaker: Erik Davis

PROGRAM NOTES:


In his inspiring 2006 Palenque Norte lecture at Burning Man, Erik Davis takes a peek at what the future may have in store for us. And contrary to so much of the doom and gloom we hear all around us these days, Erik’s message is that there is much hope for humanity in the future. This talk is certainly thought-provoking and is not to be missed.

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You might also want to take a look at Erik’s new book, The Visionary State: A Journey Through California’s Spiritual Landscape

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Podcast 018 – “Visionary Art/Visionary Design”


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Guest speaker: Erik Davis

PROGRAM NOTES:


In this talk, Erik Davis gives an overview of the role that visionary art, as lineage and practice, plays in today’s planetary culture. Then he contrasts this with what he is calling “Visionary Design”: the translation of the visionary impulse into the design of artifacts, systems, and real-world solutions.

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Podcast 003 – “Beyond Belief: The Cults of Burning Man”


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Guest speaker: Erik Davis

PROGRAM NOTES:

A talk by Erik Davis at Burning Man 2003.

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