Terence McKenna Quotes

Most popular Terence McKenna Quotes

Probe the edges.
— Terence McKenna

curiosity

Ego is the absolute impediment to Tao.
— Terence McKenna

ego

A hallucination is a species of reality.
— Terence McKenna

reality

Nature is not mute; it is man who is deaf.
— Terence McKenna

nature

Worry is preposterous; we don't know enough to worry.
— Terence McKenna

worry

We live in a domain of triviality that we have created.
— Terence McKenna

the human condition

Culture is a plot against the expansion of consciousness.
— Terence McKenna

culture

The problem is not to find the answer, it's to face the answer.
— Terence McKenna
A meme is the smallest unit of an idea that still has coherency.
— Terence McKenna
Do we embody the radiant correctness of what we say we are pursuing.
— Terence McKenna

principles

The cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation.
— Terence McKenna

society

A secret is not something untold. It's something which can't be told.
— Terence McKenna

secrets

When they come with machine guns, the taste for politics turns bitter.
— Terence McKenna

power

We have a symbiotic relationship with a non-material being that we call language.
— Terence McKenna

language

I'm as against restricting access to drugs as I am to burning books. It offends me in the same way.
— Terence McKenna

drugs

In order to be free I must not believe anything. Then all things can be freely commanded in the mind.
— Terence McKenna

freedom beliefs

If you're interested in drugs, the first stop is the library. And it's a long stop. And you educate yourself.
— Terence McKenna

drugs

Do what you think is right. Think about what you think is right, and once you've thought about it then do it!
— Terence McKenna

right and wrong action

Belief is a curious reaction to the present at hand. It isn't to be believed, it's to be dealt with—experienced and modeled.
— Terence McKenna

beliefs

To paraphrase J. B. S. Haldane: Our situation may not only be stranger than we suppose; it may be stranger than we can suppose.

the human condition

I see the psychedelic experience as a birthright, and we can't have a free society until people are free to explore their own mind.
— Terence McKenna

drugs

I once said to the mushroom: Why me? Why are you telling me all this stuff? And it without hesitation said 'because you don't believe anything.'
— Terence McKenna

beliefs

I think where the dead and the living get together is in the dream time. Australian Aborigines have been trying to tell us this for as long as we would listen.
— Terence McKenna

dreams (during sleep)

The mushroom said to me once, 'For one human being to seek enlightenment from another is like a grain of sand on the beach seeking enlightenment from another'.
— Terence McKenna

enlightenment

All our previous positions are now exposed as absurd. But people don't draw the obvious conclusion: it must also mean then that our present situation is absurd.
— Terence McKenna

reality

I imagine death to be a kind of release into the imagination in the sense that for characters in a book, what we experience is an unimaginable dimension of freedom.
— Terence McKenna

death profound

I've seen things that violated the laws of physics. I believe the laws of physics can be violated. I believe there may well be extraterrestrials somewhere in the universe.
— Terence McKenna

science

You have to take seriously the notion that understanding the universe is your responsibility, because the only understanding of the universe that will be useful to you is your own understanding.
— Terence McKenna

curiosity

If the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on.
— Terence McKenna
The UFO community is just fraught with the most crack-brained, peculiar, self-serving, unstable, mush-minded group of people you would ever hope to get together in one place. I mean it's like a magnet for screwballs.
— Terence McKenna
If you were to meet a termite, to state that his or her goal in life was the perfect modeling of the cosmos, you would think it was quite a comic undertaking. And yet how different are we that we should presume to more than a shadow of the truth.
— Terence McKenna

reality science

I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature.
— Terence McKenna

drugs

My technique, which I recommend to you, is don't believe anything. If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite. Therefore you have given up a portion of your freedom, and freedom is the dearest thing we've got.
— Terence McKenna

freedom beliefs

As long as we pursue the destruction of the Earth, and the elaboration of materialist ideology, and the suppression of psychedelic states, and the suppression of the feminine we are going to be alienated, feel abandoned, and operate in an ambiance of rampant pathology.
— Terence McKenna

society drugs

The myths of science and religion and shamanism all represent a polarity between the mystery of the Self and the mystery of the Other—and remember a mystery is not to be confused with an unsolved problem; a mystery is by its nature mysterious and will not collapse into solution.
— Terence McKenna

mystery

Fairies respond to riddlery. This has to do with this thing about language. And the strange relationship of the Irish to intoxication, fairies, and language suggests that here we might have a restrictive gene pool that has somehow indemnified itself in the direction of these peculiar concerns.
— Terence McKenna
Psychedelics work. If you think that I'm bullshitting you, go home and take five grams of mushrooms in silent darkness and then we'll talk. That's the sine qua non. It'll work, on demand. I'm not saying, 'And wait forty years, or purify yourself, or get your aura stitched up, or any of the rest of it. It'll work. It'll blow your mind to shreds. It's real.
— Terence McKenna

drugs

What a gene is to biology, a meme is to ideology... Madonna is a meme, Catholicism is a meme, Marxism is a meme, yellow sweaters are a meme... rainbow-colored dreadlocks are a meme. Launch your meme boldly and see if it will replicate—just like genes replicate, and infect, and move into the organism of society. And, believing as I do that society operates on a kind of biological economy, then I believe these memes are the key to societal evolution.

be bold

Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it's a feather bed.
— Terence McKenna

entrepreneurship courage determination

I always thought death would come on the freeway in a few horrifying moments, so you'd have no time to sort it out. Having months and months to look at it and think about it and talk to people and hear what they have to say, it's a kind of blessing. It's certainly an opportunity to grow up and get a grip and sort it all out. Just being told by an unsmiling guy in a white coat that you're going to be dead in four months definitely turns on the lights. ... It makes life rich and poignant. When it first happened, and I got these diagnoses, I could see the light of eternity, à la William Blake, shining through every leaf. I mean, a bug walking across the ground moved me to tears.
— Terence McKenna

death