When Terence McKenna first encountered magic mushrooms, the trajectory of his life changed drastically. He realizes that he has come up with something amazing and went and delved into psilocybin and described his experiences. Here is Terence McKenna's interview "Psilocybin and the Sands of Time", a lecture that will fill you with fascinating and thought-provoking information.
About consciousness and everything that touches on the life of the individual, on the hidden side of nature and man.
Frank [surname unknown]: Welcome Terrence McKenna
Terence McKenna: Thank you very much [Laughs]
Frank: What I, first of all, am interested in is your education, as you know, how come you developed this kind of very specific interest?
Trans: Well, I got a degree in shamanism studies from the University of California. But that was the consequence of my interest in that kind of thing. I traveled a lot in the East as an art historian when I was very young. Later I moved to the Amazon basin and have always been interested in hallucinogenic plants, drug experiences in general, consciousness and the development of alternatives to it.
But it wasn't until the Amazon that I saw that it was possible in a way that was accessible to me. So I concentrated on these people (the locals), on these chemical families (the plants and their components), and that became the compass of all the work I've done since then. And I treat the title more or less as a joke, because it happened to me with myself. Deliberate learning. It's not really, uh, there's no degree in shamanism. But, my interest was basically, one in the phenomenology of religious experience, religious traditions around the world, and primitive people against the backdrop of tropical nature.
The familiarity with the fungi that changed its trajectory
And here, (for the first time) I encountered mushrooms in the jungles of Colombia in 1971, and I wasn't even particularly interested in mushrooms at the time. We were looking for a cure, one that is not well understood, that has not yet been discussed much in the literature, but exists in a very surrounded area between three Indian tribes.
And we went into the jungle to stay on a mission, which served these Indians, and the priest on that mission cleared pasture and brought white cows and there were many, many of these mushrooms there.
And as soon as we started experimenting with them, I immediately realized that what I had been told about psilocybin, meaning that it was analogous to LSD, but simply required a greater amount for the effect to be present, was a complete simplification of the subject. And in fact, since then, psilocybin has become the focus of my interest and, through extrapolation, the other hallucinogens related (specifically) to the tryptamine family.
Tryptamine is a monoamine alkaloid found in plants, fungi, and animals. It contains an indole ring and is similar in structure to the amino acid tryptophan, from which its name derives. Triptamine is found in different amounts in the mammalian brains and is believed to play a role as a neuromedullator or neurotransmitter. The chemical structure of trypmine is the basis of a group of compounds known as tryptamines. – Wikipedia
And my brother's and I had a big dream was that we had to somehow make the fungus accessible to people, so they could judge for themselves the difference. We worked with it for several years, and in 1975, we managed to grow it using a method, which previously was applied only in the laboratory. Fungi on a commercial container, to study their genetics, and it turned out to be a perfectly adapted method for growing this fungus.
the first book he published; Mushroom Guide
Within a few months, we were writing Psilocybin: The Magic Mushroom Growers' Guide, and the information went out to the company. More important from our point of view was that the fungus was again accessible to us, so we had psilocybin in its form certified for purification by Mother Nature. And that, like, initiated the second phase of, uh, our work with these drugs, which has carried it to this day.
This is actually a project of taking medication, drawing attention to the differences and uniqueness of the situation (consciousness) and trying to attract other people's attention to it. Because I have, we have a very deep intuition about its importance for cultural distress and for humanity in general. And actually, that's how we get to where we are today.
Frank: You just mentioned, uh, that the fungus is really important for our state of mind right now. Do you perceive yourself as a consultant for introducing new elements into our culture, such as an easier way to reach changing states of consciousness? What can we learn from these experiences?
About drugs, culture and prejudice
Terence: Well, the first thing we can learn is that they exist. In other words, that this may have been the truth of the '80s. But at some point, it was thought that there were two states of consciousness, wakefulness and sleep. Now there is a totality of these states, but I still do not believe that the people who deal with consciousness understand how changeable consciousness really is (that is, how dynamic it is).
There is a prejudice against drug abuse because there is an inherent dualism (in culture), within Western thought, in which people value the experience if it is endogenously produced (i.e., produced naturally in the body and not from an external source) produced through anguish, personality, or diet—but it is not appreciated if it comes from drugs. This attitude, in my opinion, has hindered the Western development of understanding consciousness, because, quite simply, I do not believe that these states are accessible in any other way than drugs.
And this is heresy for some people, but the evidence I present in favor of this claim is the history of human art, literature, music, and painting. It is surprisingly empty of the motifs present in tryptamine-induced ecstasy. And always when I talk about hallucinogens, I'm talking about this small family of drugs.
Navigate the Reality Control Panel
Not LSD, ketamine or mescaline, but psilocybin and DMT and combination drugs, which use strategies to make this effect noticeable. And my career is to point to this place in nature that I've come across and say, oh, what is this? What does this conclude? What do you the physicist, the psychologist, you study the afterlife – what do you think about this place?
Even the most sophisticated consciousness researchers tend to rush to focus on one drug, excluding others, yet psilocybin has not received this kind of attention and treatment. And why that, I'm not sure. I think that the element of terror involved in doing so and the fact that it doesn't shower your ego with a cloud of certainty or confidence that everything will be okay.
It's much more cut and dry than that and it's challenging. It's, uh... When you're out in the waves (in the experience of visions), as I call it. Because it seems to come in waves like groups of waves—when you're out in waves, you're against the power of consciousness—against the power of consciousness, so much so, that you know the whole enterprise is at stake. That no matter how much you've been told about dosage and things like that, (You see) that the brain actually holds the key to the mysteries of life and death, and that those parts of your control panel that are usually masked from you are suddenly revealed, and the buttons are there for you to manipulate them if you understand them.
And there is an element of risk. I never tell people there isn't, but I think the risk is worth it, because I think these strange dimensions of beauty and information are really, uh, this is a clue to these things, that gives human history its coherence . In other words, it is not a peripheral issue to the general phenomenon of human formation in time.
Teleologicalobject at the end of human history
In fact, because the evolution of the human race is the evolution of human consciousness, these consciousness-expanding agents (visionary/consciousness-expanding drugs) actually anticipate an end phase in the development of human consciousness; So they throw enormous reflections back into (our) historical landscape. They are the ones who create religions, physics, messianic careers, and bursts of great mental achievements, achievements, ah-and-disgrace.
And until we understand it; Until we understand that there is a teleological object at the end of human history, and that it can be known, we will continue to live the kind of limited intellectual existence that has characterized the last 500 years or so of the development of the West. Psilocybin, tryptamine, is, in my opinion, the means to eliminate the future, by becoming familiar with the architecture of eternity, which regulates time and is the cause of history.
Frank: How do you perceive the future of humanity and human consciousness in this context?
Terence: Well, I've said many times, uh... Human history is a leap over 15,000 or 20,000 years from the primitive primate (a type of mammal), the cutting of stones, to that creature that would step into a cross-dimensional vehicle. Leave the solar system, human history and the concerns of the human ape far behind. And it may take a thousand generations of people, but as a biological fact and as an emerging process of planetary significance—it's just a microcosm, I mean it's a microsecond in terms of cosmic time.
So far the first part of the idea, in the next post we will continue translating the idea and go through and delve into fascinating topics that will not leave you indifferent.