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'A Weekend With Terence McKenna' Feb. 1992
Psilocybin actually erodes the ego. This is what is put against a lot of psychedelics. They say, 'These stoners, they don't punch the time clock, and when you threaten to fire them, it seems to have no effect on them. I don't know how to reach these people.' Well, the way you reach them is you appeal to something other than the ego. Modern industrial civilization has very skillfully promoted certain drugs and supressed others. A perfect example is caffeine. Caffeine -- I hate to tell you this -- caffeine is a fairly dangerous drug. It isn't dangerous in that a cup of coffee will kill you, but a lifestyle built around caffeine is going to -- you're not going to live to be a hundred years old, or even seventy, unless you are statistically in the improbably group. Why is caffeine not only tolerated but exalted? Because, boy, you can spin those widgets onto their winkles just endlessly without a thought on your mind. It is *the* perfect drug for modern industrial manufacturing. Why do you think caffeine, a dangerous, health destroying, destructive drug, that has to be brought from the ends of the earth, is enshrined in every labor contract in the Western world as a right? The coffee break -- if somebody tried to take away the coffee break, you know, the masses would rise in righteous fury and pull them down. We don't have a beer break. We don't have a pot break. I mean, if you suggested, 'Well, we don't want a coffee break. We want to be a ble to smoke a joint at eleven,' they would say, 'Well, you're just some kind of -- you're a social degenerate, a troublemaker, a mad dog, a criminal.' And yet, the cost health benefit of those two drugs, there's no comparison. Obviously, pot would be the better choice. The problem is, then you're going to be standing there dreaming, rather than spinning the widgets onto the nuts. (laughter) Coca leaves would be very good. I suspect in the near future we may see the legalization of coca as a sop to the mentality that wishes to see cocaine... Andy Weil, who's a good friend of mine -- we don't agree on everything, but -- a few years ago he had great enthusiasm for a coca chewing gum. And I never got on the bandwagon because I didn't see that we needed another high focus industrial stimulant on the market. But coca would be great, and certainly in the Amazon, if you're a petrone, you encourage your workers to chew coca. I mean, they're worthless without coca. Give them coca and put a machete in their hands and they will just flail for hours at the bush. Another example that's interesting, that shows how blinded and unaware we are of how drugs have shaped our society...We all know that slavery ended in the United States in the Civil War. And most people, if you question them, think that slavery existed before the Civil War in many places back into ancient times. This is not true at all. Slavery died in Western civilization with the collapse of the Roman empire. During the Dark Ages and the medieval period, if you owned a slave, you owned *one* slave. It was the equivalent of
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owning a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. It was an index of immense wealth, and social status, and that slave would be a houseboy, or a cook or something like that, someone close in to you, taking care of you. It was inconceivable to use slave labor in the production of an agricultural product, until Europe acquired an insatiable desire for sugar. Now, let's think about sugar for a moment. Nobody needs sugar. You can go from birth to the grave without ever having a teaspoon full of white sugar. You will never miss it. Throughout the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages, sugar was a drug, a medicine. It was used to pack wounds, to keep wounds septic. And it was very expensive and there was very little of it. Nobody even knew where it came from. It was called cane honey, because they knew it came from some kind of jointed grass, but nobody had a clear picture of what sugar was. Well, when you extract sugar from sugar cane, it requires, in pre-modern technology, a temperature of about 130 degrees. You cannot -- free men will not work sugar. It's too unpleasant. You faint, you die from heat prostration. You have to take prisoners and you have to chain them to the sugar vats. And so, before the discovery of America, in the fifty years before the discovery of America, they began growing sugar cane in the east Atlantic islands, Medeira and the Canary Islands. And they brought Africans, and sold them into slavery specifically for sugar production. Now when we get American history, they tell you that slaves were used to produce cotton and tobacco. In fact, this is not quite the truth. They had to find things for slaves to do, because they brought so many slaves to the New World to work sugar, and they had so many children, that then they just expanded and said, 'Well, we've used slaves to work sugar, we might as well use them in cotton and tobacco production.' In 1800, every ounce of sugar entering England was being produced by slave labor of the most brutal and demeaning sort. And there was very little protest over this. It was just accepted. To this day, sugar cultivation in the third world is a kind of institutionalized slavery. Christian, you know, the Popes, the kinds of Europe, all of Christian civilization acquiesced in the bringing back of a practice that had been discredited during the fall of Rome, in order to supply the insatiable need for sugar. It was an addiction. It had no cultural defense whatsoever.
These things (psychedelics) have another quality which we haven't talked too much about, which is, the psychedelics are the source of special information. And these hierarchies want to control the information. I mean, in other words, it's the pipeline to God problem. You know, the Protestant Reformation was a whole effort to overthrow the Papal claim that you couldn't just pray. You had to have theologians interpret scripture and dogma, and they would gently guide you toward the right understanding, but that you weren't supposed to have a direct relationship to spirit. You were supposed to leave that to experts.
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So I think that's another issue, that the psychedelics empower, with gnosis, true information. And every society is based on a lie of some sort. So having people going around the official lie and getting in touch with reality turns them into social dissidents. And you have to control that. I mean, that was exactly what happened in the 1960's. What happened was, too many people were getting stoned, and then checking out of the official canon of the culture. And people just said, you know, 'You can take that job and shove it.' And this was very alarming. Now every society can tolerate a certain amount of this. You always have people who just aren't playing the game. But what happening in the 1960's was that LSD entered the picture, and LSD is different from all other psychedelics in one tremendously important quality, and that is: A single skilled chemist, in a small apartment, with about $40,000 worth of equipment, in a single long weekend, can produce forty to sixty million hits of a drug. Forty to sixty *million* hits! This is a loaded gun at the head of society. Now I wrote a book on growing mushrooms, and years ago grew mushrooms quite a bit. And I can tell you, an absolutely dedicated mushroom grower, working his ass off for six months, can produce maybe four or five thousand hits of mushrooms. In other words, it's entirely a neighborhood phenomenon. It doesn't affect the dials that measure the fate of society. But you produce forty to sixty million hits of a drug, you have entered the realm of global politics. You now probably have more power -- you and your friends probably now have more power to affect the fate of the world than, let's say, the government of Switzerland. Well, no, not Switzerland, they have the banks. But -- the government of Finland, let's say. You have just shoved Finland out of the way and taken your place in the hierarchy. So no government would put up with that for a moment.
You see, the hidden issue, and it need not be hidden among us...the government always tries to paint itself as the mother hen, concerned about her errant chicks. And so, to keep you from crashing into other people on the freeway, to keep you from leaping out of buildings or committing society, we have to control these drugs. As a matter of fact, you know, this is absurd. More people die because of alcohol than all illegal drugs combined in a given year. The government is not your friend on this issue. The government is very concerned to control the mass mind. And marijuana -- my God, since the British Commission on Hemp, which was in 1889, I believe -- the British East India Company commissioned a study of hemp -- they have spent millions and millions and millions of dollars to find something, anything, you name it, wrong with cannabis. There is nothing wrong with cannabis. It is the most thoroughly tested, pawed over, and examined drug in human history. And they just come up with the lamest stuff. I mean, they tell you, you know, you're gonna have tits. Give me a break. They say, 'You won't be motivated in your job.' Like your job is supposed to be the (pinnacle) against which all things are to be measured. And I think people on our side of this question have been tremendously naive, because
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people just think, 'We just have to convince them that it's harmless.' *It ain't harmless.* It is a knife poised at the heart of dominator values. It would make the modern industrial assembly line, political loyalites, the macho image projection -- all of these little tricks that they're running are severely eroded by cannabis. And they will stop at nothing to eradicate it. Look at the budget of the DEA -- what are they doing? They're giving, 65% is dedicated to cannabis eradication. Heroin gets 20%, coke gets all the rest. It's demonstrably absurd the way the money is spent, unless you have a secret agenda of some sort. And if your agenda is to supress the evolution of unwanted social attitudes in the American public, then you have to keep your eye on cannabis very very closely. The new guy who heads the War on Drugs, Martinez? This guy, I heard him on NPR this week, and his most passionate moment in the half hour interview was, he said, 'We have pushed the price of an ounce of cannabis past the price of an ounce of gold, and we're going to keep it that way.' Nothing about eradication, talk about keeping the price high. The fact that they refuse to tax it when they're starving for revenue shows that there must be a secret agenda. It doesn't make any kind of sense. When I wrote this book, I did a lot of research on an area I didn't know that much about, which is, let's say from 1500 to the present, drugs of addiction. And what I discovered is drug smuggling is like assassination. If the government isn't involved, it never seems to really happen. And governments have been using drugs for centuries as forms of secret revenue. This whole sugar thing that I laid out to you, those were decisions made by the crown heads of Europe in collusion with the Pope. It wasn't common people who set those policies in place. During the 1960's, when the black ghettos began to come apart, suddenly number three China white heroin was cheaper and more available than it had ever been in any time in this history of the heroin problem in the United States. Why? Because the CIA saw, you know, all these black guys are getting up, a bunch of uppity niggers as the government calls them, you just smother it in heroin. Get everybody either hooked or making money... And they don't care really about the effects of drugs, and one group, one faction will work against another. For example, I'm a great afficianado of hashish, and hashish became very hard to get in the United States in the late 70's. But as soon as the Russians invaded Afghanistan, suddenly there was massive amounts of excellent Afghani hashish, at prices that nobody had seen for fifteen years. Well, the reason was, the CIA knows that hashish is not really a problem. But what they wanted is, they wanted an income for the mujahadin. And they had to pay for all these weapons. So they just started bringing it in wholesale. And it wasn't even a smuggling operation. I mean, I received reports from people who said, you know, 'Smuggling? They're not smuggling. They're unloading it on pier 39, union local 1030 is taking off, you know, five hundred pound blocks of hashish by the tens of thousands.' And the day the Afghan war ended? They staged an enormous series of interlocking busts on their own infrastructure, and they closed it down, and they pulled it to pieces.
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When Khomeni kicked out the Shah, the Iranian heroin business then fell under the control of the mulahs, and at that point, suddenly cocaine emerges as a major problem in the United States, because we just switched our supply lines. We could no longer depend on Iranian heroin, because we couldn't depend on these screwy Islamic fundamentalists, so we just turned toward all of these company assets in Honduras and Ecuador and Columbia. Very, very cynical. You know, it's only been a hundred and twenty years since the so called opium wars. Very few people know what the opium wars, what was the issue in the opium wars. Well, it turns out the British government wanted to deal opium in China, and the Chinese Emperor told them to get lost. And they flipped. And they sent naval units, and they laid siege to several Chinese cities, and they forced the Chinese imperial court to agree that they could deal as much opium as they wanted on the wharves of Shanghai... The Japanese, when they invaded Manchuria in the Second World War, they immediately began producing heroin and opium in vast amounts, not then as an economic strategy, but as a strategy to break the will of the Chinese population by encouraging addiction, and there was vast amounts of opium addiction. If any of you saw 'The Last Emperor,' you recall that his mistress was severely addicted to opium, and it depicted it in a number of scenes. So governments have very cynically manipulated drugs, so that the drugs which make it possible for capitalism to function are cheap and freely available, and the drugs which erode dominator values, or cause people to question their situation, are savagely supressed.
How can we win if we're taking psychedelics (which erode the ego)? I think that what we have to say is that we must win by example. You know, the I Ching says you must never confront evil directly, because then it learns how to defend itself. The hippies were certainly no threat to the government as a military force, but as an example, as a model for others to follow, I think they scared them to death. They were probably very happy to see them all turn into Weathermen and begin hurling molotov cocktails. *That* they understood. They could relate to that. But flowers in the barrels of their guns spelled ruin and defeat, and they knew it. One of the things I've discovered in trying to wage this kind of career is, because we are talking about something invisible, an experience, and because we can't all drop here in this room and compare notes...it's often hard to get everybody to the same starting gate. People have entirely different notions of what you actually mean when you say 'a psychedelic experience.' Most people, even straight people, have had what they call a drug experience.
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They either remember the time they drank a whole bottle of cough syrup, or the time that, you know, they went in for minor surgery and were given an anesthetic, or the time they had root canal work, and everybody eventually -- it's hard to life a life where you don't eventually get your mind altered. This does not set you up for the psychedelic experience, and because there's no consensus about this, it's worthwhile talking about the gradations and what is really possible. At the broadest level you have what are called altered states. And altered states are any state different from the state you were just in, you know? So if you have a double espresso, you enter an altered state. If you climb a mountain in three minutes, you have an altered state. If you dive into cold water, altered state. And there thousands -- you know, an infinitude of these altered states. I mean, if states didn't alter, life would be pretty boring. The moment to moment experience of being is an experience of altering states. I'm horny, I'm sleepy, I'm pissed off, these are all altered states. Then, as you close in through the concentric circle of this particular mandala, you come to psychoactive, the impact of psychoactive drugs. Now we've eliminated jumping into cold water, climbing mountains. Now we're firmly in the domain of drugs, substances of some sort. And it includes foods. I mean, you all know what an MSG flush is like. Chinese restaurant syndrome? That's a metabolite, monosodium glutimate, being taken in excess amount and causing an altered state. It's a kind of, you could think of it as a drug. Anything which changes your mind can be abused as a drug. Jalapeno peppers are, in many shamanic societies, people eat huge amounts of jalapeno peppers, and identify the feeling as powr. And they say, 'I am building my inner heat so that I can cure,' you know? It's a very conscious kind of thing. Well, then there are the more traditional psychoactive states, states of tranquility brought on my tranquilizers, halcion, valium, you know. There's a million of these things, they come and go, prozac...or states of agitation, methedrine, benzedrene, dexadrene, amphetamine, white sugar, caffeine, theobromine, the active agent in cocoa and chocolate...and each one of these things pushes you into a different state, which is largely emotive and rooted in the body. But when you get to the -- well, before we talk about the psychedelics... Then there are drugs which are mental drugs which I don't consider psychedelic. My definition of psychedelic is tighter than most people's. For instance, you may know about datura. Datura is jimson weed and these ornamental plants with the large, white, bell-like flowers. Well, if you make a tea out of the leaves, root, flowers, or seed of that plant, it will turn you every which way but loose. I mean, it is a completely disorienting, freaky kind of experience, with loss of memory, confusion of sequence, delusion of reference, amnesia, projective imagining, so forth and so on. To my mind, it is not a psychedelic state. I call it a deliriant, or a confusant.
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I remember -- I always usually end up telling this story. What put me off datura was, years ago when I lived in Nepal, I had this English friend, and we experimented with all kinds of drugs, and one day I was in the market buying potatoes and tomatoes, the only two things you could get in Bodina at that time. And I encountered this guy, adn we started just exchanging the news of the day, and in the course of the conversation, I became aware that he thought I was visiting him in his apartment. He was so lost in this stuff that he didn't know we were out in the street in the market. He thought I had come by his rooms. Well, I just said, that's too stoned. Nobody needs to be that twisted around. I mean, you literally do not know what is happening. To my mind, the psychedelics can be chemically defined, with very few exceptions, as indoles. Now the only exception to this is mescaline. Mescaline is not an indole. It's a phenylethylamine, or some people consider it a cyclicized amphetamine, which is a phenylethylamine. I am not fond of mescaline. It seems to me that to get to psychedelic levels with it, you have to take so much that you're fairly rattled. It's hard on you, and it's hard on you the next day. And many people who are great devotees of peyote, when you question them very closely, it isn't the quality of the visions. It's some more murky thing. It's that they like hanging out with Native Americans, they like drumming all night, they love ceremonies, they like going to the southwest, but it's not the quality of the visions. It's not that mescaline can't do that, it certainly can. If you read these early researchers, like Heinrich Cluvere, S. Weir Mitchell, Havloc Ellis, I mean, these are wonderful descriptions of full-on psychedelic states. But they were using pure mescaline, you know, and close to a gram a throw, which is a lot. Most people when they take pure mescaline, if you actually measure the amount that they're taking, they're taking well under what is clinically considered the effective dose. If you look in the Murke manual or the P.D.R., the clinically recommended dose of pure mescaline is 750 milligrams. Three quarters of a gram of alkaloid! Very few people actually take that. And this brings us to one of the issues around psychedelics. There are a lot of wannabe experts running around who didn't take enough, because you have to take a lot -- not a LOT -- but you have to take a frightening amount to get into what it's really about. People who have taken, you know, 50 gamma of LSD or 100 gamma of LSD or two grams of mushrooms or something like that, they are not qualified to hold forth on the nature of the psychedelic experience, because those doses don't deliver it to you. What they deliver is the periphery of the psychedelic experience: accelerated thought processes, a kind of depth and richness to cognition that is unfamiliar, an ability to analyze situations from unusual perspectives, or to reach unexpected conclusions. And I found this reluctance to come to grips with the full psychedelic experience even among Amazonian shamen. I mean, people are reluctant to go the full distance. We were with shamans at one point in Peru, ayahuasca shamans, and I was aware of an admixture plant that was stronger than the admixture plant that they were using. And I kept asking this guy, 'What about so-and-so? Why don't we do that?' And at first, all he would say was
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that it's not for Christians, which was strange because he always knocked Christians. But I kept pressing, and finally he said, 'We just don't do it that way.' And I said, 'Why not?' And he said, 'Because it's mali bizarro.' (laughter) You know? And I said, 'Isn't that what we're shooting for?' (laughter) Apparently not. A curing shaman wants to be empowered to cure. He doesn't conceive of himself as a Magellan of the phenomenological realm, who's setting out to circumnavigate the mental universe in an evening. And then, of the psychedelics, they deliver differing levels of this, and then, what you always have to bear in mind when you listen to me talk about this is, there are physiological differences among people, you know, in the same way that person A can detect a compound X at one part in 10,000, but person B cannot detect the same compound unless it's there in, you know, a thousand parts in 10,000. We are genetically different in this area of drug receptors, and it's even possible, although it is permissive of a kind of crypto-fascism, to believe that there are shamanic lines, families, races even, that are more or less inclined to this. The Irish are always singled out as special offenders in this area. You know, the stereotype of the Irish is that they have a peculiarly intense relationship to intoxication and to little people in a nearby but invisible world. I don't put a lot of credence to this, but it's very hard for me to tell because I can only sample myself, and I happen to be Irish, although leavened with Sicilian genes to keep it from getting out of hand. So what you really have to do when you start exploring psychedelics is to try and figure out, you know, what's the center of the mandala? What are people talking about? What is it when it's really, when you arrive on the money? And to my mind, the compound that is most interesting for doing that is DMT. DMT is the most interesting of the psychedelics, because more issues are raised by it than any other. Such issues as, I mean, I'll just run over some of them so you get a feeling for it... DMT is the strongest hallucinogen there is. If it's possible to get more loaded than that, I don't want to know about it, and I say so when I'm there. I say, 'My God, if you can get more loaded than this, keep it away from me.' So that's it, it's the strongest. It's also the shortest acting. DMT when smoked in most people is, return you to normal in under ten minutes. Under ten minutes! Now, this is interesting because people who think there's nothing to this should actually invest the ten minutes to find out what's, you know... A ten minute DMT trip is worth twenty years of academic pharmacology, art history, psychology and all this other malarky. Because then you just say, 'Okay, I got it, I got it...' Another very interesting thing about DMT is, it occurs naturally in the human brain. Well, now what's going on here? He's saying the strongest drug, the fastest drug, is the most natural drug? It means that, you know, you don't have to sail off into 3-hydroxy-4-peridalenmethylmarubyshtick or something like that to get into the exotic realms. No -- a human metabolite, which takes only ten minutes to undergo its entire exfoliation and quenching, is the strongest of all.
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Well, then, what is it? What does 'strong' mean? What is a strong psychedelic? You know, it's highly personal. Every psychedelic trip is. But what happens on DMT for a large number of people -- I mean, we don't have any statistics, but -- it is a completely confoundin experience. I mean, you may have had the expectation, you might think if you had never had a psychedelic experience that it sort of begins like the Bach B minor fugue, and goes from there as you rise into the realms of light and union with the deity or something like that. That's not what happens on DMT. What happens on DMT I referred to this morning: a troop of elves smashes down your front door, and rotates and balances the wheels on the afterdeath vehicle, present you with the bill and then depart. (laughter) And it's completely paradigm shattering. I mean, you know, union with the white light you could handle. (laughter) An invasion of your apartment by jewelled self-dribbling basketballs from hyperspace that are speaking demotic Greek is *not* something that you anticipated and could handle. Sometimes people say, 'Is DMT dangerous? It sounds so crazy. Is it dangerous?' The answer is, only if you fear death by astonishment. (laughter) Remember how you laughed when this possibility was raised. And a moment will come that will wipe the smile right off your face. (laughter) One thing that endears DMT to me is, I like to say, it doesn't affect your mind. It doesn't seem to affect your mind. In other words, you don't change under the influence of DMT. You don't become a kinder, gentler person. YOu don't sink into, you know, a line of drool from one corner of your mouth as you sit there twitching. *You* don't change. What happens is, the world is completely replace, instantly, 100 percent, it's all gone. And what is put in its place, not one iota of what is put in its place was taken from this world. So its a 100% reality channel switch. They don't even retain three dimensional space and linear time. It's not like you go to an exotic place, Morroco or New Guinea. It's like reality is swapped out for something else, and when you try to say what it is, you realize that language has evolved in this world, and it can serve no other, or it takes years of practice. So what you're looking at is literally the unspeakable. The indescribably falls into your lap. And when you try -- you're loaded, right, you're there, and you're trying to explain to yourself what's happening, and so this is like you try to pour water over the transdimensional objects in front of you, the water of language. And it just beads up and flows off like water off a duck's back. You cannot say what's there. And I've spent, I don't know, twenty-five years fiddling with this. It's become the compass of my inspiration, trying to say what is on the other side of that boundary. Just two large tokes away at any given time is this non-Euclidean, non-Newtonian, irrational, unEnglishable place, but it's not smooth and empty and clear. That's not what gives it its indescribability. What gives it is indescribability is its utter weridness, its alienness, its power to astonish. What happens to me when I smoke DMT is, there's a kind of going toward it. There's a sequella of events which lead to the antechamber of the mystery. I mean, you take a toke,
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you feel strange. Your whole body feels odd. You take a second toke, all the oxygen seems to have been pumped out of the room. Everything jumps into clarity. It's that visual acuity thing. You take a third toke if you're able, and then you lay back, and you see this thing which looks like a rose or a chyrsanthemum, this orange spinning flowerlike thing. It takes about fifteen seconds to form, and it's like a membrane. And then, you break through it. You break through it, and then you're in this place, and there's an enormous cheer which goes up as you pass through this membrane. Some of you may know the Pink Floyd song about how the gnomes have learned a new way to say hoo-ray? They're waiting. And you burst into this place, and you're saying, you know, 'Geez, you know, this stuff is really speedy.' (laughter) That's like describing a Space Shuttle launching as noisy, you know? (laughter) And you say, 'Am I all right? Am I all right?' That's the first question, and so then you run your mind around the track, and you say, 'Hmm. Heartbeat normal? Yeah, normal, heartbeat normal. Pulse normal? Breathing? Breathe breathe breathe, yes.' But what's right here, right here and from here out is this thing which, no matter how much science fiction you've done, no matter how much William Burroughs you've read, no matter how much time you've spent in the company of the weird, the bizarre, the autre, and the peculiar, you weren't ready. (laughter) And it's completely real. It's in a way more real than the contents of ordinary reality, because, see how the shadows here are muted and there's a lot of transitional zones from one color to another and so forth? This isn't like that. This is crystalline, clear, solid, you can see the light reflected in the depths of these objects, and everything is very brightly colored, and everything is moving very, very rapidly. And there are entities there. It's not about calling them up or the whisperings of them. No, they're IN YOUR FACE. (laughter) And they're right here, and they're worse than in your face, because what they do is, they jump into your chest and then they jump out. And you have to keep saying, 'Keep breathing, keep breathing, don't freak out, pay attention.' And the entities speak to you, and they speak both in English and another way which we'll get to in a minute. But in English what they say is, 'Do not give way to wonder. Hang on. Don't just go gaga with disbelief. Pay attention. Pay attention.' And what they're trying to do is they're trying to show you something. They are very aware of the fleeting nature of this encounter. And they say, you know, 'Don't spiral off into amazement, and start raving about God and all that. Forget that. Pay attention to what we're doing.' And then, what they're doing is they're dancing around, they're jumping around, they're emerging explicitly out of the background, bounding toward you, jumping into your chest, bounding away, and they offer, they make offerings. And they love you, that's the other thing. They say this. They say, 'We love you. You come so rarely. And, you know, here you are. Welcome, welcome.' And they make these offerings. And the offerings are objects of some sort. And now remember, you are not changed. You're exactly the person you were a few minutes before. So you're not exalted or depressed. You're just trying to make sense of this. And the objects which they offer are like, Faberge eggs, or exquisitely tooled and enamelled pieces of machinery, but they don't have rigid outlines. They objects are themselves somehow alive, and transforming and changing. So when these creatures -- I
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call them 'tykes' -- when these tykes offer you these objects, you like, you grok it, you look it and immediately, because you are yourself, you have this realization: my God, if I could get this thing back into my world, history would never be the same. A single one of these objects is somehow, you can tell by looking at it, this would confound my world beyond hope of recovery. It cannot exist. What I'm being shown is a tiny area where miracles are transformed. And the creatures, the tykes, are singing. They are speaking in a kind of translinguistic glossil alia. They are actually making these objects with their voices. They are singing these things into existence. And what the message is, is 'Do what we're doing. You can do what we're doing. DO IT.' And they get quite pushy about this. They say, you know, 'Damn it, DO IT!' And you're saying, 'Bu...bu...bu...bu...' And they say, 'No, DO IT! Do it NOW! DO IT!' And you say, 'I can't handle this,' you know, and then this kind of reaction goes on for awhile. Well, then, I actually...I don't take credit for it, it was not willed, but like something comes up from inside of you. Something comes out of you, and you discover you can do it, that you can use language to condense objects into existence in this space. It's the dream of all magic, but here it is, folks, happening in real time. And then they're just delighted. They just go mad with delight and turn somersaults and turn themselves inside out and they all jump into your chest at once. And after many encounters of this sort...I mean, when I first did DMT, I couldn't bring anything out of it. I mean, I just said, you know, 'It's the damndest thing I've ever encountered and I can't say anything about it and I don't think I ever will be able to say anything about it.' But by going back repeatedly and working at it, I think I've gotten a pretty coherent -- well, let's not go that far. (laughter) I think I've got a pretty clear metaphor anyway for what's happening in there, and I think a lot of people have this experience. When you talk to shamans, they say, 'Oh, well, yes, the helping spirits. Those are the helping spirits. They can help you cure, find lost objects, you didn't know about the helping spirits?' And you say, 'Well, I knew, but I, I had no idea that it was so literal.' And they say, 'Oh, no, that's the helping spirits.' But then, the other thing they say, if you press a shaman, if you say, 'Well, what exactly is a helping spirit?' They say, 'Well, a helping spirit is an ancestor.' You say, 'You mean to tell me that those are dead people in there?' They say, 'Well, yes, ancestor, dead person. You didn't know about ancestors apparently. This is what happens to people who die.' And you say, 'My God, is it possible that what we're breaking into here is an ecology of souls?' That these are not extraterrestrials from Zenebelganooby or Zeta Reticula Beta. These are the dear departed. And they exist in a realm which, for want of a better word, let's call eternity. And somehow this drug, or whatever it is, is allowing me to see across the veil. This is the lifting -- you want to talk about boundary dissolution. It's one thing to get tight to your partner, it's quite another to get tight to the dear departed of centuries past. That's a serious boundary dissolution when that happens.
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What these creatures want, according to them, is they want us to transform our language somehow. And I don't know what this means. I mean, at this point in the weekend and in my life, we all are on the cutting edge, and nobody is ahead of anybody else. Clearly we need to transform our language, because our culture is created by our language, and our culture is toxic, murderous, and on a downhill bummer. Somehow we need to transform our language, but is this what they mean? That we're supposed to condense machines out of the air in front of us? How does this relate to the persistent idea, promulgated by Robert Graves and other people, that there is a primal language of poetry? That poetry as we know it is a pale, pale thing, and that at some time in the human past, people were in command of languages which literally compel belief. They *compel* belief, because they don't make an appeal through argument or metaphor. They compel belief because they are able to present themselves as imagery. You know, William Blake said, 'If the truth can be told so as to be understood, it WILL be believed.' And it's very confusing, because you wonder, have people been doing this for thousands of years? And if so, have they always encountered this tremendous urgency on the other side? If people have been doing it for thousands of years, why is there this urgency on the part of these entities? And who exactly and what exactly are they? It appalls me, you can probably tell, that I have to talk about this, because I am not, this is not my baliwick. I mean, I'm a rationalist who's just had a very weird set of experiences, but I am a rationalist. I mean, I have no patience with channelling, you know, the lords of the many rays, the divas and, you know, there's this whole thing going around about disincarnate intellignece, mostly under the control of fairly, shall we say, non-rigorous thinkers. (laughter) But I like to think that I am a rigorous thinker, and yet, here I am, telling you that, you know, elf legions await in hyperspace one toke away. The difference between my rap and, you know, the finned horned folks or somebody like that is that we have an operational method for testing my assertion. We can all smoke DMT, or you can make it your business to now find out about this, and see for yourself. And not everybody agrees with me. I mean, some people say it wasn't anything like that. But some people agree, and I think if you get two out of ten agreeing with a rap like this, then you'd better pay attention. (laughter)
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'A weekend with Terence McKenna' at Esalen in February 1992 Opening Lecture
My take on science, I mean, just, I might as well couch it as a comment to you, but it will come out in some other form anyway, is...science is excellent at doing what it was designed to do, but it has expanded its province into all reality and seeks to pass judgment in areas where it has no real business going. It's a very limited method that achieves its claim to universality by wildly exaggerating its accomplishments. For example, science, to do its work--I mean, modern science, post-Newton-- depends on probability theory, but probability theory has a built-in assumption that has never been thoroughly looked at, and that is the assumption of what Newton called 'pure duration.' Meaning that, science, if you describe a scientific procedure to someone, they don't ask whether you did it on a Wednesday or a Saturday. Science seeks to be time independant, and in order to do that it has to make the assumption that time is invariant. There's no, this is just a first try with Occam's razor. In fact, in our own lives, what we experience is endless variation. In other words, it may be that the hydrogen bond when it breaks always breaks the same way, but love affairs, investment strategies, political campaigns, the building of empires, these things are always characterized by a kind of uniqueness, and science, by invading these domains with probabilistic conceptions, gives us the science of statistics, polling, and hands to us mythical entities like the citizen or the average white male or--I mean, these are just absurd abstractions that are generated by a particular kind of world view that is not really examining its first premesis. So I would propose a modified definition of science that would then let it do its work in peace, which is, science is the study of those phenomena which are time independant, but that in many realms of nature, a new theory to replace probability theory and flat duration is necessary. The power of probability is simply based on its success in these very very limited domains, and now there's no way back from that. Modern science is thoroughgoingly probabalistic. If you were to try and remake--I mean, they're always raving about the new paradigm in science, and it's always usually some tiny diddling of what they've already got. If you were to really try and remake science, then you would have to replace the assumption of invariability in time with a mathematical statement about its variability. And we'll talk more about that tomorrow, because there is room for that. I mean, science is not reason. Reason is a different domain, and I think anything which is unreasonable, ultimately unreasonable, is just patently absurd. That's why I don't feel great affinity with most of the marching hordes of the New Age, because, you know, the fact of the matter is, they don't possess any razors for separating the nuts from the berries. But nevertheless, our intellectual choices are not between the channellers of Lazares and the American scientific establishment. There's a vast set of possibilities in between there and beyond those poles of discourse that can be worked out.
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Every society that's always existed has had the built-in assumption that they only needed to find out five percent more about reality, and then it would all fall into place, and that they had the right tools for doing that. But we look back then with this great sense of superiority on the naivete of the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks, the Maya, the 17th century English--everybody we look back on their naivete. But in fact our own cultural enterprise is obviously fraught with a peculiar illogic and childishness and naivete. I mean we're a culture that, you know, robs our children to create a pot luck culture in the present. This will look fairly, this would look fairly pathological from any cultural perspective outside our own. The thing--I mean, this is a segueway but it makes sense--the thing that I think psychedelics do that addresses this problem and many many problems or choke points in our ideological effort to understand what's going on, is, the contribution that they make is that they dissolve boundaries. And culture-- I mean, the word 'virtual reality' was used as we went around the circle. Culture IS the sanctioned virtual reality. And it is put place by the machinery of local language, you see. And so then you're born into this circumstance, and you're told, you know, 'You are a male child. You are a citizen. You are a citizen of the United States. You are a Christian. You are a Jew. You will go to college. You will do this...' And this you never question. It's called the social contract. It hasn't gone unnoticed by Western philosophers. It's just, it's gone unnoticed by those of us who are its foremost victims. They try to tell you that you're in a social contract, but when you ask to see your signature on the document, they tell you that you were born into this contract. Well, what the hell kind of contract is that? It means that you were born into a kind of enslavement to a linguistically empowered paradigm, a virtual reality within which you will walk around your entire life, you know, congratulating yourself on its accomplishments and ignoring its contradictions and weaknesses. So what psychedelics do, and why they are in all times and all places such social dynamite, is, they dissolve the cultural machinery. Doesn't matter, you know, head-shrinking Amazon native, Hassidic Jew, Chinese merchant in Singapore, whoever it is, the psychedelic dissolves their cultural construct and puts them in touch with the fact of being an organism. Being an organism is like what you get when you take off your real clothing. Not THIS clothing, but the clothing of language, programming and assumption. Then you find yourself within the context of organism, outside the context of culture. And for the reason this is not a mass movement, is, many people hear that and they say, 'I know what that is. That's called being nuts. I don't want that. That sounds absolutely terrifying.' Well, these are the people for whom that cultural machinery is necessary armoring, almost in a Reichian sense. Necessary armoring. They cannot face the world without culture because they are in fact defined by culture. Now, who are these people? These are the people--and we each to some degree imbibe in this category--these are the people whose values are set by the engines of commerce and propaganda. These are the
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people who dress as they are told to dress, spend as they are told to spend, believe as they are told to believe. But within every human being there is a kind of, at least the possibility of a revulsion against this kind of anesthesia of uniqueness, because that's what it is. You can put your uniqueness to sleep, and then, you know, you dress Gucci and you invest with these people and you drive this car and you KNOW you're correct, because your accountants, your managers, your agents, your public, whoever, your husband, your lover is telling you that you're correct. Definition from without means being defined by the cultural machinery. Cultures other than our own have somehow always known--perhaps because nature is a huge force outside the Western industrial democracies--people have always known that this was a fiction, that the world of cultural values is a necessary illusion, if you will. And so they create a class of people called shamans, or seers, or magicians, or transecstatics, or what have you, and these people are deputized by the cultural machinery to go beyond it, to go beyond it and to return with truth. Not culturally sanctioned truth, but just truth, the felt experience of being an organism that I'm talking about. And by this process, cultures conduct their evolution, if you're an evolutionary thinker, or their random walk through time, if you're more of a phenomenologist. But whatever they're doing, we're not doing that, because the mechanism that we have used to close off access to the beyond-culture dimension have in our hands grown so strong that we have in a sense succeeded to the point where we've put ourselves out of business. And the people to blame for this are these wily Greeks, because while everybody else was carving horned masks and painting themselves with cross-hatching and stuff like that, the Greeks got the idea, 'We'll do it differently. We will portray the surface of the naked human body in marble.' What this means is that the eye rises to the surface of reality and looks around for the first time from the point of view that we would call naive realism. But what a cultural journey it took to reach naive realism, because you had to sever yourself endlessly from the intuition of a symbolic, magical spirit-haunted universe. And the Greeks, through a series of cultural accidents, and I would say mistakes ultimately, achieved this, and they had then an alphabet, a phoenetic alphabet which empowered a further severing of linguistic intentionality from the essence of the object intended, because you see, a phoenetic alphabet symbolizes sound. It doesn't symbolize the way something looks or its 'thinghood.' It just symbolizes sound. And the phoenetic alphabet then issued into a series of cultural styles, science, rationalism, mathematical analysis of phenomenon--I mean, this was something absolutely unheard of and is the unique contribution of the Western mind, that, you know, people noticed that you could take a gut string and shorten it by half and the tone would shift one octave, and stuff like that, and they got the idea of numberical analysis, which opened up the path into culture to the present world. Well, each of these steps into realism, and remember I said we would call it naive realism-now that word takes on a different meaning from the context of the 20th century. It WAS
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naive. It was horribly naive. In fact, we were led down the primrose path by such simplistic notions, because what was surpressed was the invisible, messy world of the spirit and the human unconscious. This is the great tension that illuminates Greek civilization, you know, I mean, it's all--take Plato as an example, because here in one thinker these distict strains of thought, these antithetical strains of thought are perfectly present. You have, you know, an overarching realism, a drive to categorize and to arrange in rational relationships, and you have a thoroughgoing mysticism with roots back into the Minoan religion of Crete and back into Egypt and Africa. I mean, it's really extraordinary. And that was the last moment in the Western cultural enterprise when these things were in balance. And they were not in balance in any one person. If you lived in that world, you probably had to pick and choose, and, you know, the Skeptics were sneering at the Gnostics, who were saying secret knowledge came from an unspeakable place beyond the machinery of cosmic fate. The Skeptics just thought, you know, 'Baloney. What kind of talk is that?' Now we live in the consequences of this naive realism, because like all forms of innocence, if allowed to grow beyond the proper bounds it becomes festering. It becomes decadent. It becomes not innocence but idiocy. It turns on itself. And this is I think the kind of world that we're living in. Now, parallel to this cultural adventure of several thousand years...the rain forest peoples of the warm tropics of the world kept intact the high paleolithic style of cultural relativism mitigated by natural magic. And what did natural magic mean? It meant these boundary dissolving experiences with hallucinogens. Now it isn't simply, I don't want to make it sound reductionist, it isn't simply that culture builds up structure, and psychedelics dissolve structure and then conduct you into some shimmering, existential realm of transcultural being. It isn't that. It's that, in that shimmering transcultural realm of being, you discover new modalities, new rules. There's something there when you dissolve all the boundaries that you can. And the paradox of what is there, from the point of view of the legacy of rationalism, is, what is there is an immense love and affection and intentionality, waiting to engulf suffering mankind, or the individual. This is what I call the mind behind nature, what people call Gaia, the mind of the planet, the organized intellechy that somehow is the mothering force that encloses the whole of planetary life. This is a real thing. And I would never have thought so had I not had experiences which forced me to consider this. I think without the experiences, that rap comes off as horribly namby-pamby, you know, I mean, it's just, 'Oh my God, not another one of these Gaia people,' you know. But, in fact, this is a fact of reality which anyone who has the courage to make the proper investigations can satisfy themselves is a real object of experience. You see, I guess, I mean, I'm 45. I grew up through the 50's and I can remember these movies where the white people get captured by the cannibals and put in the pot to be boiled. And there was always a witch doctor. Well, this guy just epitomized the most nightmarish forces of unbridled primitivism and ignorance imaginable. Now this has
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become, or is in the act of becoming I hope, the guiding paradigm of the culture, because what the shaman is, is the person who is still, and it's men and women, the person who is still in touch with this organic intelligence that lies behind nature. Now, the puzzle behind all of this...I really don't think that there would be much of a problem if what we were dealing with was a planet with teeming oceans, teeming jungles, climaxed forests in the temperate and tropical zone, arctic tundras and so forth and so on. The clue that something weird is going on on this planet is ourselves, obviously. I mean, we are like a fart at the opera. Everything else makes sense. We don't make sense. And the speed with which the human type emerged from the protohominids is unparalleled in the evolutionary history of life. Edmund O. Wilson called the doubling of the human brain in size in under three million years the most rapid doubling of organ size in a major animal in the entire history of life on this planet. Us. There's something weird about human beings. And so much of the explanatory machinery of culture is designed to make it go away, you see. Even something as respectable and expressive of liberal values as Darwinism is in fact an effort to explain how it's all okay. It's natural. Don't worry. It's natural. You just get mutation, and you have natural selection, and you have traits, and these traits extend themselves--but, heh, it's a great step, you know, to Milton, to the Space Shuttle, to an integrated global economy. I mean, are these the products of animal existence? The Darwinist says yes, and we tend to huddle under his umbrella because, you know, these shit-slinging Fundamentalists seem to be the only other people out there. But, obviously, when you're impaled on the horns of that kind of dilemma, there needs to be a breakthrough to a third, fourth, or fifth possibility. And what I will argue for this weekend is that something very very peculiar adheres to the adventure of being human, and that it is not all business as usual. We are not simply an advanced chimpanzee. Neither are we the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty. I mean, that also seems to me a stretch and to raise certain problems not easily swept under the rug. There has to be a third possibility. And I think that when we start, as we will tomorrow, talking about the way psychedelics synergize and stabilize certain abilities within a hominid population, and the way in which then other cultural reinforcements can be built upon that, you will see at least part of the story has to do with the way in which, by being forced toward an omniverous diet by virtue of having to leave the canopy homeland for a bipedal existence in the grasslands, we had to undergo a huge dietary change. And part of our strangeness has to do with the evolutionary changes worked upon us by virtue of our exposing ourselves to unusually high amounts of mutagens in foods as we expanded our diet, and drugs and foods come in here. The other part of the equation, which is much more speculative and which we'll talk about tomorrow night, has to do with the notion of an attractor, and of trying to look at humanness not as a mistake, a cosmic error, or as Heideger said of man, he said we are flung into being, the idea always being that it doesn't make sense, that there's an arbitrariness to us. but I think that there's a way of analyzing process that will show that we
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are not only part of what is going on, an embedded part of what is going on, but that we actually represent the place where all the eggs are poured into one basket. And I'll just say a little bit about this tonight. When you look at the history of the universe, if you look with unbiased eyes, I think that what you will see is that the universe is a novelty producing and conserving system of some sort. The early universe was so simple that, and we're going with science here for a minute, we're asked to believe that it sprang from nothingness in a single moment, that its diameter was less than that of an electron, and then in a very short period of time, a number of very dramatic things happened. But they are all couched in terms of an expansion, and cooling. From the moment the universe is born it begins to cool. And as it cools, complexity magically crystallizes out. The original universe, there weren't even atoms, because there was such high temperatures that atoms could not stabilize themselves into orbits around atomic nuclei. So there was what's called a plasma, just a soup of naked electrons. And then, gradually, as the universe cooled, the simplest of all atomic systems was able to form, the hydrogen atom. And these hydrogen atoms were produced in staggering amounts. And they began to clump together--and this is tricky, but not our problem. This is a problem for science. They don't know why they clumped, 'cuz it should have all been smooth, right down to today, but it isn't. So, in this clumping process, of course, great temperatures and pressures were created at the center of these masses of hydrogen. And, a *novel* process could therefore spring into existence, the process of fusion. And fusion of hydrogen in early stars cooked out heavier elements--iron, sulphur, and especially carbon. Well, after that then, you get all those atomic species, and then they can aggregate into molecular species, and then, because of the presence of forvalent carbon, very comples molecules called polymers, which are chain molecules, can form. Some of them acquire the quality of being able to replicate, some of THEM acquire the ability to enclose themselves in a membrane, and so forth and so on, and in short, the march is on toward you and I here this evening. But, what's interesting to note is that each successive stage in this process happens more rapidly than the process which preceded it. So that, the early universe, ten billion years goes on, and it's all about this star formation cookout thing. And then, you know, planetary formation. Then once you get, and then a billion years they wait for primitive procariotic life, and then, once it happens, the eucariots follow fast, and after them the ciliated protozoas, and you know, it's just a moment to Madonna. Both of them. Okay. Now, what science says about this process is that what we're seeing is an illusion, or that it doesn't matter. They're saying it is not a law of the universe that novelty be conserved and that each new level of novelty proceed more quickly than the one which was its parent. And so, by chopping it off like that, human history is denied any relevance in the natural order. It is not part of the natural order. Even though we think we're a secular society, our assumptions about history are straight out of Genesis, you know. We do not think of history as a branch of biology, which it obviously is.
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So, what I believe is happening is an accelerating process of novelty conservation that has reached such a point now, at the close of the second millenium, that it is absurd to try to propagate the human future by fantasy centuries into the future. There is no future, because the rate of acceleration is so close to approaching infinity that no possible future can be imagined. Now, people talk about this, but they never draw the implications. You've probably seen some show on television where they say, you know, 'Here's the curve of human energy release, and here's the Stone Age, and here's the 16th century, and here's the 20th century, and it's headed for infinity. Okay, next slide. Here's the curve of human speed. In 1750 people could go as fast as a horse could gallop, in 1820 the steam engine, and then the 20th century, and then it goes to infinity.' And they say, 'Okay, here's the human population curve. In the year 1000 there were 400 million people on Earth, in the year 1850, and so forth, and it goes to infinity.' So, nobody takes, they don't believe it. They don't believe that the rational extrapolation of the trends visibly beheld in the present preclude the possibility of any imaginable future, or at least, I don't believe so. I believe that we're actually in the grip of a process that cannot be halted or accelerated but which is now in a process of tightening its gyres, as William Butler Yeats said, that what we call the chaos of 20th century history is in fact the speeding up of this temporal process to the point where it is now visible within a single human lifetime. I mean, we're like mayflies or something, you know, we're born one day and we die the next. So only the most incredibly accelerated kinds of change make any impression on us whatsoever. I mean, mostly we say nothing happens. But in fact, you know, in the 20th century, it's incredible. In the last twelve months, there has been more change that in the previous twenty years. And those twenty years had more change in them than the previous hundred years. And that hundred years had more change in it than the previous thousand years, and that thousand years had more change in it than the previous ten thousand years. But science tells us this is meaningless. This is not a real, legitimate phenomenon that we're talking about. You're just lining up facts to make it appear as though there is an attractor, to make it appear as though the human historical enterprise is about to run itself into a stone wall, or off a cliff, or into another dimension. And this is really the question, I think, because psychedelics are, or were once, described as consciousness expanding drugs. Phenomenonlogical description: consciousness expanding drugs. Well, if that's true, or if there's even the slimmest possibility that that's true, then we have to avail ourselves of these things, because consciousness is precisely what we are starving for the lack of. And, history is no longer rationally apprehendible by the systems which created it. I mean, everybody who's running around gloating over what happened to Marxist-Leninism should understand that Marxist- Leninism is traceable right back to the social contract theory of Rousseau, and that Western liberalism is traceable to the same root, and the crisis of Marxism is they just died first, that's all. But all these
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ideologies are on the brink of a coronary thrombosis, and we're going to have to catch the falling bodies when it hits. I mean, do you think that mercantile capitalism, which extracts the environmental reserves at an ever-accelerating rate, has any future whatsoever on this planet? I mean, they're just looting the last few billion dollars worth of stuff before they announce that everybody's going to have to go on a diet that will drop your jaw, you know? So we've come to the end of our rope. So then, what do we have to do about it? Well, what we have to do is look back in time and find cultural models that served in the past. And, you know, many of you have been here before, have heard me talk about the archaic revival, an effort to jerk 20th century culture 180 degrees, and send it right back to the value systems of the high paleolithic, because that's the last moment that intelligence, language, religion co-existed with nature on this planet in a less than fatal arrangement, you know? From the moment that agriculture was invented, the die was cast, because first of all, agriculture is a strategy for dumping a huge database, the database of the hunter-gatherer, and replacing it with a database that is important for only five or six species of plant. You then give up nomadism, which begins to concentrate your impact on the land into one place. You then plant these crops, and you have such success producing food that now, moving anywhere is unthinkable, plus, the big project after the fall harvest festival is, now we have to build a wall to keep the starving people from stealing our surplus. So immediately there is a Us Successful People and those people who weren't successful and who have different cultural values, and who didn't produce a food surplus. So, you know, we've decided we're going to sharpen sticks and kill all of them, so then you have warfare, thicker walls, retreat into cities, standing armies, defense of territory, class structure emerges, the notion of wealth as an abstraction--because wealth in an aboriginal society is a sharpened stone, not your portfolio with your investments neatly listed, you see. So this is, you know, just a pass over these themes. The idea is that the psychedelics are more than the best fun there is, which they are; more than a tool for exploring your own psyche and straightening out your own kinks, which they are; they are, in fact, the key to understanding the pathology that culture has become, and the way out. I mean, there has to be a way out, and it really is this archaic revival. I mean, and if you're resisting it, think of it this way. If we don't organize the archaic revival, it will be handed to us on a platter in the form of failed agriculture, because the ozone hole is screwed up, infrastructures falling apart, financial systems falling apart, the rise of Fundamentalist religion...in other words, we are GOING to have a return to a previous historical model, and it can either be managed humanely, through an honoring of the feminine, an honoring of the Earth, a return to the techniques of ecstasy that characterized the high paleolithic shamanism, or it can be handed to us in the form of shortages, famines, disease, internessing warfare, nuclear proliferation, toxic dumping, so forth and so on. But one way or another, this whole edifice, put in place by the Renaissance and jacked up to speed by the European Enlightenment and delivered into this hellish climax by mathematical analysis and the rise of global technology--I mean, remember, each of us has never seen these changes within a
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lifetime, and yet within the past two hundred years, the world has gotten tremendously more pathological, tremendously more ill. The size of cities, the power to extract natural resources, to mine Siberia and the mountains of Chile and the interior of the Amazon and Borneo, and these unimaginable technological infrastructures have been put in place to sustain a dying patient. That's what we have here. We're on respirators. We're getting intravenous feeding. They are monitoring everything, because it's not healthy. It can only be sustained through the most extraordinary and heroic means. We're taking bone marrow from the children of the future in order to keep a corpse alive. And people don't find their voice. They don't seem to know how to call a halt, you know?
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