Terence McKenna Quotes
Most popular Terence McKenna Quotes
Probe the edges.
Ego is the absolute impediment to Tao.
A hallucination is a species of reality.
Nature is not mute; it is man who is deaf.
Worry is preposterous; we don't know enough to worry.
We live in a domain of triviality that we have created.
Culture is a plot against the expansion of consciousness.
The problem is not to find the answer, it's to face the answer.
A meme is the smallest unit of an idea that still has coherency.
Do we embody the radiant correctness of what we say we are pursuing.
The cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation.
A secret is not something untold. It's something which can't be told.
When they come with machine guns, the taste for politics turns bitter.
We have a symbiotic relationship with a non-material being that we call language.
I'm as against restricting access to drugs as I am to burning books. It offends me in the same way.
In order to be free I must not believe anything. Then all things can be freely commanded in the mind.
If you're interested in drugs, the first stop is the library. And it's a long stop. And you educate yourself.
Do what you think is right. Think about what you think is right, and once you've thought about it then do it!
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.
To paraphrase J. B. S. Haldane: Our situation may not only be stranger than we suppose; it may be stranger than we can suppose.
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.
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.'
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.