Archive for Alchemy

Podcast 298 – “Terence McKenna: Beyond 2012” Part 1


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Guest speakers: Bruce Damer and Lorenzo Hagerty

PROGRAM NOTES:

Today’s podcast features the first of the recordings from last weekend’s workshop (titled “Terence McKenna: Beyond 2012”) that Bruce Damer and Lorenzo led in the Los Angeles area on January 28, 2012. In addition to Lorenzo’s remarks and some comments by those in attendance, three videos created by Bruce Damer were shown. Those videos are embedded below.

The second part of the podcast is the Occupy Movement update, which features a conversation between Lawrence Lessig and Chris Hedges. During the course of their conversation they debate the relative merits of pushing for a Constitutional Convention verses non-violent civil disobedience. Also included is a sound bite from one of OccupyFreedomLA’s live video feeds in which a speaker addresses the actions now being taken by those who are suffering from the foreclosure epidemic that is facing so many people in the U.S.

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Video of the first session of the workshop

Books mentioned in this podcast

Land Without Evil: A Novel
By Matthew J. Pallamary

Death of the Liberal Class
By Chris Hedges

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It
By Lawrence Lessig


OCCUPY SEGMENT:
“The Occupy Movement seems deeply rational for not engaging in normal politics, because normal politics gets us Barack Obama.” -Lawrence Lessig

“All of the correctives to American democracy came through movements that never achieved formal political power.” -Chris Hedges

“Which in my mind means the system is not reformable but will have to be pushed aside. And I think in that sense the Occupy Movement is, in sort of classical terms, correctly defined as a revolutionary movement.” -Chris Hedges

“The legislative branches, both at the state and the federal level, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state.” -Chris Hedges

“But this is a moment, this is more the French Revolution moment. This is a moment when everything is falling apart at the same time, and it’s another reason to be pushing on every front at the same time.” -Lawrence Lessig

This is the YouTube video from which I extracted some of the audio for this podcast.

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Podcast 290 – Robert Anton Wilson “The ‘I’ In The Triangle” Part 1


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Guest speaker: Robert Anton Wilson

PROGRAM NOTES:

Occupy Segment alone is available at: Occupy Updates Day 60

[NOTE: All quotations are by Robert Anton Wilson.]
“There actually have been studies done at many schools in the big cities where IQ has measurably decreases from the entering of grammar school to graduation from high school. The longer they’re there they dumber they get. And some people think that’s an accident, or an oversight, or a mistake, but that is the function of the public schools. The function of the public schools is to stop thinking.”

“I perforce had to invent this style of paradoxes to prevent people from thinking they’re getting the truth out of my books. What you’re getting out of my books is my guesses, my hunches, sometimes my prejudices. … I don’t claim to know the truth.”

“And as a matter of fact, governments don’t act, governments only react. The bankers make the decisions, and then governments decide how are we going to adjust to this. Government can’t do anything unless the bank gives them the money to do it.”

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Links and videos mentioned in this podcast

Robert Anton Wilson (DVD) “The ‘I’ in the Triangle” from The Original Falcon Press

Artist, saloner, and one of the Brooklyn Bridge 700:
Ken Vallario (Web site)

Ken Vallario’s story of his arrest

Information request about
Children of the Revolution: Tune Back In (2005)

OCCUPY STREAM (Video feeds from numerous Occupy sites)

MAKANA the Mighty

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Podcast 267 – “Exploring the Abyss”


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

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


PROGRAM NOTES:

This lecture was recorded in November 1982. A more complete version of this talk may be found in Podcast 317.]

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“My assumption whenever I am confronted with opposites is to try to unify them, to create a coincidentia oppositorum as was done in alchemy, to not force the system to closure but to try and leave the system open enough so that the differences can resonate and become complimentary rather than antithetical.”

“Shamanism, on the other hand [as compared with science], is this world wide, since Paleolithic times, tradition which says that you must make your own experience the centerpiece of any model of the world that you build. No amount of readings from meters, whether they’re metering cyclotrons or any other kind of instrument, are going to satisfy you.”

“What psilocybin focuses as a problem that these other hallucinogens do not is that it allows a dialogue with the other that is full of give and take. In other words there are entities in the hallucinogenic world that psilocybin, and DMT, and a few other not well-known or widely distributed plants, hallucinogens, induce.”

“Our alienation from ourselves has caused us to set up a number of straw men that are keeping us from building actually a mature model of how the universe really works. The content of the dialogue with the Other is a content that indicates that man’s horizons are infinitely bright.”

“Alchemy is about the generation of a psychic construct, a wholeness, a thing which has many properties, which is paradoxical, which is both mind and matter, which can do anything.”

“[UFOs are], in other words, something which in order not to alarm us has disguised itself as an extraterrestrial being but is in fact the collectivity of the human psyche signaling a profound historical crisis.”

“A mature humanity could get into a place where we no longer required these metaphysical spankings from messiahs and flying saucers that come along every thousand years or so to mess up the mess that has been created and try and send people off on another tack.”

“Eternity does not have a temporal existence, even the kind of temporal existence where you say it always existed. It does not have temporal duration of any sort. It is eternity.”

“We are not primarily biology with mind emerging as a kind of iridescence, a kind of epiphenomenon at the higher levels of organization of biology. We are in fact hyperdimentional objects of some sort which cast a shadow into matter. And the shadow in matter is the body.”

“The whole purpose of shamanism, and of life correctly lived, is to strengthen the soul and strengthen the relationship to the soul, so that this passage [death] can be cleanly made.”

“Technology is the real skin of our species.”

“There is not the Newtonian universe deployed throughout the parsecs and kiliacosoms of physical space and the interior mental universe. They are the same thing.”

“An Aquarian science, or a science that places psychedelic experience at the center of its program of investigation, should move toward a practical realization of the goal of eliminating the barrier between the ego and the overself so that the ego can perceive itself as an expression of the overself.”

“This [psilocybin] is a source of gnosis, and the voice of gnosis has been silenced in the Western mind for at least a thousand years.”

“We can release this thing once again. The logos can be unleashed once again, and the voice that spoke to Plato and Parmenadies and Hericlitus, that voice can speak again in the minds of modern people. And when it does, the alienation will be ended because we will have become the alien.”

“But the main thing about psilocybin, and I stress it over all these other hallucinogens, is information, immense amounts of information.”

“Only through the medium of sight can the true modality of this logos be perceived.”

“This situation called ‘history’ is totally unique. It will only last for a moment. It began a moment ago. It will only last for a moment. But in that moment there is like this tremendous burst of static as the monkey goes to godhood.”

“We, and I, we are intellectuals trapped in a world of too much information. Innocence is gone for us. We cannot expect to cross the rainbow bridge through a good Act of Contrition. That won’t be sufficient. . . . Because to fear death is to not understand what’s going on. And to even see it as a big deal is to not understand what’s going on, although I don’t claim to have reached that exalted plane.”

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Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide: A Handbook for Psilocybin Enthusiasts
By O. T. Oss, O. N. Oeric


Recommended Podcasts

The C-Realm Podcast with KMO and Dennis McKenna

Lefty’s Lounge

Scoobysnakks’ Smoking Session

The Joe Rogan Experience

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Podcast 248 – “The Magic of Plants (Rites of Spring)” Part 1


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

PROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]
“The Dawning paradigm of post modern consciousness seems to be the growing awareness that we don’t know what is happening at all, that all of the models we have worked out over the past five hundred years or so have now become recursive, and they can no longer be pushed forward as models of explanation. In other words, they are completed.”

“There is not more blood to be squeezed from the stone of science.”

“Having seen the limitations of science, we have discovered we are in a small row boat in a dark ocean, and we are being swept we know not where.”

“Art is the ultimate expression of this transformation of unorganized matter into ideas which human beings carry on.”

“The Growing Transparency, that’s a good idea for what the end of history is. It’s that everything becomes clearer and clearer and clearer. And as it becomes clearer boundaries disintegrate, and everything is seen to be of the same stuff.”

“Life is a hyper dimensional object. All hyper dimensional objects are organisms, whether they be societies or animals.”

“There seems to be an informational ghost of this universe which is somehow co-present at all points within the matrix, perhaps al la Bell’s Theorem or something like that. And that’s what the psychedelic experience shows you. It shows you a hologramatic space of information, where by sitting still in your room and sending your mind you can cross the universe in an instant.”

“I’ve always thought that Christianity, without making any judgment about Christ himself, that Christianity is hands-down the single most reactionary force in human history.”

“I think that we are spiritualizing matter. This is what technology is.”

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Podcast 239 – “Shamanism, Alchemy, and the 20th Century”


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

PROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna … recorded in 1996, however, it is current enough to have been given just last night … maybe it was :-).]

“And these angel-dealing, horoscope-casting, alchemy-pursuing visionaries of this Rosicrucian Renaissance became simply objects of historical curiosity, completely incomprehensible to the people who followed them, generation after generation after generation, until, I submit to you, the present. And in the present moment we, like they, inherit a world whose ideologies are exhausted and can only be refreshed from the margins.”

“In our own time, through integrative sciences like ecology and animal behavior and psychology we have re-understood what was forgotten during the reduction centuries of modern science. We’ve re-understood that the world is one thing, and it’s a living thing. It’s a thing with an intent and a spirit within it, and this is the key concept [of alchemy].”

“I think the entire message of the psychedelic experience, which is basically the sine qua non of the rebirth of alchemical understanding, the very basis of that understanding is that nature seeks to communicate.”

“Shamanism is essentially a living tradition of alchemy that is not seeking the stone but has found the stone.”

“Within the context of the alchemical vocabulary, the psychedelic experience, as brought to us through plants long in the possession of Aboriginal people, appears to be the identical phenomena [as alchemy].”

“All of you who have been through high dose psychedelic experiences know that it’s very hard to carry stupid baggage through that keyhole. In fact you’re lucky if you just get your soul and yourselves through and intact.”

“The psychedelics have brought us back to this alchemical mystery, shorn of any vocabulary for dealing with it, shorn of any real living notion of the spirit.”

“Shamanism and alchemy are a seamless enterprise.”

“If you look around you, the entire global civilization is undergoing some kind of meltdown. The planet itself is now to be seen as a kind of alchemical retort. The prima materia to be transformed are the nuclear stockpiles, the toxic waste dumps, the industrial wastelands, the populations devoid of hope, the populations in threat of infectious and fatal epidemic disease. There is a great deal of prima materia to be worked on at the historical level of the alchemical process.”

“In the 60’s, we thought that all that had to happen was that everybody would take LSD and the obvious right things to do would be done. And we expected no opposition to this because its rightness was so obvious. We didn’t realize that every righteous crusade in history has marched into the waiting jaws of its oppressors. But the spirit doesn’t die.”

“In the 60’s then, LSD was not sufficient, even coupled with rock and roll it only brought repression [oppression?]. It was like a failed alchemy. Instead of the dissolving and recrystallizing at a higher and more angelic level thousands of prisons were built, and the entire thing failed. But this spirit is THE spirit, the spirit of life itself, the spirit of novelty itself, and it will not be suppressed for long in any time or place. So now again it comes. … It’s a spirit of dissent that says we will not serve the values of materialism, the values of the ego, and the values that separate and break down the community. So here it is again.”

“We are not an army. So our strategy must be stealth. It’s an alchemical strategy, and what do I mean by stealth? I mean the house of constipated reason must be infiltrated by art, by dreamers, by vision. And what is new is that there are massive technologies available to us, not available in the 60’s. They were not designed for us. They were not intended for us. It was never ever thought that such power should flow into the hands of freaks such as ourselves. Never-the-less, through the perverse nature of the unfolding of the world, we have such tools. And I’m referring, as you probably anticipate, to the World Wide Web and the Internet.”

“Well now you can find the others, you don’t have to stick a flower in your hair and go to San Francisco. You just go to the Web. Find the others. We all need to create affinity groups which are subsets of the much larger community that we’re part of. And then, using this technology, which was designed to keep track of us, to pick our pockets, and to sell us junk we don’t want, use this technology to produce art, massive amounts of subversive art, and ALL art is subversive, I’m not calling for an ideological agenda. All truth that springs from the individual is subversive, because culture is not your friend.”

“My brother, years ago, invented this term. He called it extra-environmental. He said, ‘This is what we want to be. We don’t want to be Americans, or Germans, or English. We want to be extra-environmentalists. Always feel wherever you go that you are a stranger, the outsider, the one looking in. This is the viewpoint that makes all places the same to you.’ “

“I think transcending our cultures is going to be extraordinarily necessary for our survival. I don’t think we can carry our cultures through the keyhole of the stretch of the next millennium”

“This is what you are, you are some kind of a mystery suspended between two eternities. And in that moment, when a mind looks out at a world and asks the question, ‘What is it?’ In that moment art can be created. And it is the only form of immortality that I have any certainty of, and it’s available to everyone.”

“A great turning point is in the offing. The world is changing. It’s changed before, but not for a long time in our lives, not since before our lives. But now it’s changing, and there are many many possibilities.”

“Launch your meme boldly and see if it will replicate.”

“Part of what is wrong with our society, and hence with ourselves, is that we consume images, we don’t produce them. We need to produce, not consume, media.”

“Inevitably out of the psychedelic experience emerges not despair, not self-indulgence, but wild-eyed idealism, that’s the inevitable product of any psychedelically driven social process.”

“If you take psychedelics and the Internet and music and put all of that together you have the basis for a new community that is wider and deeper than you know. The people who are building the new machines, who are designing the new circuitry, who are writing the new code are ALL freaks. They work for capitalist dogs, of course, because we all do, but the creative thrust of these technologies is being driven by people just like you and me.”

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Podcast 226-McKenna: “Hermeticism and Alchemy” Part 4


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

PROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“Newton himself was a man with a foot in two worlds. He was a thorough-going occultist. His alchemical experiments and notebooks were voluminous. And yet he was one of the founding members of the Royal Society.”

“History itself is a kind of alchemical process. … History is the catalyst of nature.”

“If we could raise to consciousness our alchemical heritage, and our heritage in the shamanism of the archaic, then we could actually see that the purpose of technology is to liberate, not to enslave, and somehow we’ve lost the thread.”

“You know, Tim Leary used to say, ‘When in doubt, double the dose.’ “

“Capitalism, I can’t say this enough, is NOT in our interest.”

“The Earth is perfectly capable of raising outrageous hell without us triggering a nuclear war.”

“My faith is that we’re just slow to get rolling, and that once the battle is joined, once every person on Earth realizes that we’re in a battle for planetary survival, then people will get with the program, it’s just that things aren’t bad enough yet.”

“We’re lead by jackasses. We [the psychedelic community] don’t bother with our political processes.”

“What we have to do is stop looking for leadership from the top, because the least among us makes their way into those positions of power. I mean, you can see that now [1992], those guys are not fit to throw guts down to a bear … ANY OF THEM!”

“What we have to do is knock off this fantasy of being citizens inside a democratic state. I mean, what we are are the propagandized masses inside a Fascist dictatorship.”

“Know your enemy and they probably will not be your enemy.”

“I think that the Third Reich was a Sunday school picnic compared to the population policies of the Roman Catholic Church. … In a civilized political environment those people would be placed under immediate arrest.”

“The way to gain power is to reclaim a command of history.”

“And so it’s up to the creativity of ordinary people, and the strongest weapon to support and augment the creativity of ordinary people is the psychedelic experience, because it allows you to put information together in new and exciting ways. And this is to be then the basis of a new political order. It has to be.”

“The model of human nature which this society has deified makes it a pathological act, a sin, and a crime to alter your own consciousness. This doesn’t make any sense. We are at war with ourselves, and we’re losing.”

“It’s all about personal empowerment, and personal empowerment means deconditioning yourself from the values and the programs of the society and putting your own values and programs in place.”

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Podcast 225-McKenna: “Hermeticism and Alchemy” Part 3


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

PROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“I’ve never met anyone with a deeper devotion to cannabis than myself.”

“So what you have to do is just like every other thing, everything you’ve been told is wrong, and you have to take life by the handlebars and figure out what’s really going on, which doesn’t mean that you’re reckless.”

“We’ve been polluted by Disney.”

“We are living inside a 90% Nineteenth Century world view. And a culture cannot evolve any faster than its language evolves, because what cannot be said cannot be done. What cannot be said cannot be put in place.”

“So in a way, one way of thinking about psychedelics is that they empower language. It’s a way to force the evolution of language. The way you stretch the envelope of culture is by creating language.”

“It was very important, I think, to the Establishment to suppress that [hip phrases from the Hippie culture], because new words are the beginnings of new realities.”

“What holds us together is what holds all sub-cultures together, which is an experience. In this case, the experience of being loaded, and, you know, it’s a very powerful and immediate kind of experience.”

“It’s amazing that the world has evolved as far and as fast as it has, the human world, glued together by nothing more than small mouth noises.”

“The whole history of the evolution of the Western mind is in a sense the birth of the Logos. The Logos is making its way towards self-expression, and it’s doing this by claiming dimension, after dimension of manifestation.”

“The mind is not a form of intelligence. The mind is the theater in which intelligence is manifested. You don’t want to confuse the garage with the car. … Everything goes on within the confines of mind. It’s like the light that you switch on when you walk into a darkened room, and then everything else is the furniture within the room. Mind is simply the light which is shed over the landscape of appearances. … Mind is the inclusive category, I think.”

“It’s very important to try and make some accommodation to the local language, because in a way, only the local language is appropriate to the place. … Somehow the local language is a part of the local reality.”

“The one thing you learn taking psychedelics is that nothing is straightforward.”

“Anybody who starts talking to you about the grandeur that was Rome, should be reminded: The grandeur of Rome was it was a bargain-basement on three floors masquerading as a military brothel. It was not a great civilization.”

“I’m completely convinced that no one is in control, and that this is very good news.”

“In a sense, the flying saucer is nothing more than a modern rebirth of the philosopher’s stone. The flying saucer is the universal panacea at the end of time. It’s the thing which cannot exist, but which does exist, and which if we could obtain it everything would be different.”

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Podcast 224-McKenna: “Hermeticism and Alchemy” Part 2


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

PROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“I think, when it’s all sorted out, it ALL happened in Africa. I mean, language, religion, symbolic activity, theater, all of this stuff was in place in Africa from, say, 20,000 B.C. up until around 9,000 B.C.”

“The African ‘Cradle of Civilization’, I don’t even regard that as a theory. Anybody who doesn’t believe that is going to have to do some fast talking.”

“They [16th century alchemists] were angelic magicians, is what they were.”

“DMT is this very short-acting hallucinogen that you smoke, but it’s a neurotransmitter. It occurs in all human beings on the natch, and it occurs in various plants and animals. In terms of nature, it’s the commonest of all hallucinogens. In terms of impact, it’s the strongest of all hallucinogens. It’s a completely reality-obliterating experience, and it comes on so quickly that you don’t grok it like a drug.”

“The other thing about DMT that’s weird is, it does not affect your mind. In other words, you don’t feel gaga with ecstacy. You don’t feel relaxed. You feel exactly the way you felt before you did it. It’s that the world has just been swapped out, and that’s strange. I sort of like that, that it doesn’t lay a glove on the observing cognitive processes, instead it just does something in the visual cortex that causes the world to be replaced by a three-, four-, five-dimensional, highly colored moving environment filled with screaming elf-deamons.”

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Podcast 223-McKenna: “Hermeticism and Alchemy” Part 1


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Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

PROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“Human beings are co-partners with deity in the project of being. This is the basis of all magic.”

“In a Christian context magic is heresy because it implies that man can command god to act. In other words that in some strange way the magician compels nature to behave as the magician desires.”

“The Hermetica actually refers to humanity as the brother of god. So it’s a completely different attitude toward being human. It’s an empowering attitude.”

“In the hermetical, magical view human beings are not tainted by Original Sin.”

“Western civilization, in a way, can be thought of as an accumulated series of misunderstandings.”

“Had Western Europe stayed in touch with the mystery religions of ancient Greece, Christianity would never have been able to force its agenda to the degree that it did.”

“Alchemy, and conjuration, and tailsmanic magic, and sympathetic magic, all of these things flourished, really, not as a throwback but as a kind of prelude to modern science. Modern science is an incredibly demonic enterprise.”

“[John] Dee is the last person to be able to unify into one world view science, and mathematics, and magic, and astrology all together.”

“Paracelsus was an interesting guy. He’s essentially the inventor of drugs because he was the first person extract herbs and to get this notion of the essence.”

Today’s podcast begins a newly uncovered lecture by Terence McKenna. His topic is “Hermeticism and Alchemy” and he begins this 1991 workshop in fine form, making statements such as: “Human beings are co-partners with deity in the project of being. This is the basis of all magic.” And, “Western civilization, in a way, can be thought of as an accumulated series of misunderstandings.”

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