A Handful of Terence McKenna Quotes

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“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

“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

“You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.”
– Terence McKenna

“You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.”
-Terence McKenna

“Half the time you think your thinking you’re actually listening.”
– Terence McKenna

“Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around. An extremely yang solution to a peculiar problem which they faced.”
– Terence McKenna

“The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.”
– Terence McKenna

“The purpose of life is to familiarize oneself with this after-death body so that the act of dying will not create confusion in the psyche.”
– Terence McKenna

“We tend to disempower ourselves. We tend to believe that we don’t matter. And in the act of taking that idea to ourselves we give everything away to somebody else, to something else.”
– Terence McKenna

“The shaman is not merely a sick man, or a madman; he is a sick man who has healed himself.”
– Terence McKenna

“You see, a secret is not something untold. It’s something which can’t be told.”
– Terence McKenna

”If you don’t have a plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan.”
– Terence McKenna

“Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.”
– Terence McKenna

“My technique is don’t believe anything. If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite.”
– Terence McKenna

”We can begin the restructuring of thought by declaring legitimate what we have denied for so long. Lets us declare Nature to be legitimate. The notion of illegal plants is obnoxious and ridiculous in the first place.”
– Terence McKenna

“Some kind of dialog is now going on between individual human beings and the sum total of human knowledge and nothing can stop it.”
– Terence McKenna

“Nothing comes unannounced, but many can miss the announcement. So it’s very important to actually listen to your own intuition rather than driving through it.”
– Terence McKenna

“We need to interact with like-minded people throughout the world to establish the new intellectual order which will be the salvation of mankind.”
– Terence McKenna

“Western civilization is a loaded gun pointed at the head of this planet.”
– Terence McKenna

“Television is by nature the dominator drug par excellence. Control of content, uniformity of content, repeatability of content make it inevitably a tool of coersion, brainwashing, and manipulation.”
– Terence McKenna

“Ego is a structure that is erected by a neurotic individual who is a member of a neurotic culture against the facts of the matter. And culture, which we put on like an overcoat, is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behaviors are acceptable.”
– Terence McKenna

“Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego.”
– Terence McKenna

“It is the imagination that argues for the Divine Spark within human beings. It is literally a decent of the World’s Soul into all of us.”
– Terence McKenna

”The real tension is not between matter and spirit, or time and space, the real tension is between information and nonsense.”
– Terence McKenna

“Nothing lasts but nothing is lost.”
– Terence McKenna

“Matter is not lacking in magic, matter is magic.”
– Terence McKenna

“People are so alienated from their own soul that when they meet their soul they think it comes from another star system.”
– Terence McKenna

“Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.”
– Terence McKenna

“If you’re not the hero of your own novel, then what kind of novel is it? You need to do some heavy editing.”
– Terence McKenna

“Culture is the effort to hold back the mystery, and replace it with a mythology.”
– Terence McKenna

“Unexamined cultural values & limitations of language have made us unwitting prisoners of our own assumptions.”
– Terence McKenna

“This is a society, a world, a planet dying because there is not enough consciousness, because there is not enough awareness, enough coordination of intent-to-problem. And yet, we spend vast amounts of money stigmatizing people and substances that are part of this effort to expand consciousness, see things in different ways, unleash creativity. Isn’t it perfectly clear that business as usual is a bullet through the head?”
– Terence McKenna

“The culmination of man’s effort in time will be the perfection and the release of the human soul. And it’s not that we are ‘doing’ it. It’s that a natural law that we are still unaware of is inexorably unfolding.”
– Terence McKenna

“Culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines.
– Terence McKenna

“Culture is not your friend. Culture is for other people’s convenience and the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes, what have you. It is not your friend. It insults you. It disempowers you. It uses and abuses you. None of us are well treated by culture.”
– Terence McKenna

“Personal empowerment means deconditioning yourself from the values and the programs of the society and putting your own values and programs in place.”
– Terence McKenna

“Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existance is defined in terms of control.”
– Terence McKenna

“The cost of sanity, in this society, is a certain level of alienation.”
– Terence McKenna

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12 thoughts on “A Handful of Terence McKenna Quotes

  1. Love Terrence McKenna! He was one intense dude.

    Although LSD did not make me enlightened, or cure my ills, it certainly changed my life in big and lasting ways. I have no regrets. Sadly, not everyone has a good experience with it, especially those who use it for “entertainment.” I have seen some sad things…

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    • I was talking to my brother yesterday and this subject came up. He had recently taken some magic mushrooms and said he had a “religious” experience. The ‘trip’ lasted 3 hours. It was a clean natural thing, and not something he has plans to do again. The thing with LSD is it’s purity is uncertain, it last 24-48 hours and isn’t a ‘clean’ experience. It’s almost certainly impure via manufacturing on the black market. I credit it with opening the door a bit for me to later open more. Terence was more inclined to use mushrooms or DMT (A.K.A. the Spirit Molecule) than he was LSD, though it had a proper place in his mind for study. Shamanism is not for everyone, inexperienced users need to have an experienced guide. The shorter the trip the better. I couldn’t imagine myself taking LSD again, but possibly mushrooms or DMT. Actually, having tripped 20-30 times in the past I get pretty damn high on a little weed. I experience the external reality dissolve into a higher vibration of another dimension. I can even do this just by meditating. Most of his lectures are not about the drug experience. Like Alan Watts he is a deep thinker who’s philosophy is worth hearing, in my opinion. I place no one on a pedestal, but listen to them and if what they say resonates with me I keep it, if not move I on to the next message. It’s a long stroll through life and the only right way is the way we each do it ourselves. Thanks for the comment, and be the strange you want to see in the world …

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      • Yes, unfortunately, street drugs are not safe. I took LSD in my early twenties, less than ten times. Mushrooms (very good quality) twice and some assorted other drugs.
        I was lucky. Every trip was different because of the impurity issue.

        I might consider taking DMT, but don’t feel any urgency to do that now.

        “be the strange you want to see in the world …”

        Thanks David! I love how you say that :) I like to think I am doing my part there, lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am really fascinated by research I read about using the psychodelic Ibogaine in the treatment of heroin and other drug addiction and alcoholism – conditions for which no effective treatment exists in western medicine. Unlike the US, the drug is legal in NZ though doctors who prescribe it have to notify the government.

    It also seems to be really helpful in symptom improvement in terminal illness.

    At present, the global elite seems determined to exert absolute control over every aspect of our lives. The extent of the control is so extreme that nearly all of us are denied the opportunity to experience our full human potential.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a lot of info on this substance on the net. I’ve never heard of it till now. (It’s noteworthy that Bill Wilson, founder of AA, experimented with LSD as a ‘cure’ for alcoholism). It’s strange that ‘they’ can outlaw an ‘experience’ an adult wishes to have. :/

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  3. Pingback: A Handful of Terence McKenna Quotes | freehand nick

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