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Terence McKenna on mushrooms, DMT and UFO's

I have recently become a little re-enchanted about the idea of alien life while listening to some of our community's dialog about episode #150 of the Psychedelic Salon [DIRECT Mp3 Download], specifically on the C-Realm and the Cleaver.

I'm also thinking of the recent comments made by NASA moon walkers Dr Edgar Mitchell and even Buzz Aldrin. Top all of this off with the Vatican's chief astronomer publicly stating that "...the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones and that this belief doesn't contradict the Catholic faith because aliens would still be God's creatures!"

All this brought back the fascination I experienced back in 1994 when first reading True Hallucinations. Terence McKenna did such a phenomenal job speaking at this conference, maybe because he was not speaking to his usual audience.

At any rate, I wanted to share some of this rekindled enthusiasm on my blog. So please take a listen for yourself when time permits. I will leave you with the following message from the good bard:

What the mushroom says about itself is this: that it is an extraterrestrial organism, that spores can survive the conditions of interstellar space. They are deep, deep purple - the color that they would have to be to absorb the deep ultraviolet end of the spectrum. The casing of a spore is one of the hardest organic substances known. The electron density approaches that of a metal.

Is it possible that these mushrooms never evolved on earth? That is what the Stropharia cubensis itself suggests. Global currents may form on the outside of the spore. The spores are very light and by Brownian motion are capable of percolation to the edge of the planet's atmosphere. Then, through interaction with energetic particles, some small number could actually escape into space. Understand that this is an evolutionary strategy where only one in many billions of spores actually makes the transition between the stars - a biological strategy for radiating throughout the galaxy without a technology. Of course this happens over very long periods of time. But if you think that the galaxy is roughly 100,000 light-years from edge to edge, if something were moving only one one-hundredth the speed of light - now that's not a tremendous speed that presents problems to any advanced technology - it could cross the galaxy in one hundred million years. There's life on this planet 1.8 billion years old; that's eighteen times longer than one hundred million years. So, looking at the galaxy on those time scales, one sees that the percolation of spores between the stars is a perfectly viable strategy for biology. It might take millions of years, but it's the same principle by which plants migrate into a desert or across an ocean.

I couldn't figure out whether the mushroom is the alien or the mushroom is some kind of technological artifact allowing me to hear the alien when the alien is actually light-years aways, using some kind of Bell non-locality principle to communicate. The mushroom states its own position very clearly. It says, "I require the nervous system of a mammal. Do you have one handy?"

From: Tryptamine Hallucinogens and Consciousness by Terence McKenna

Posted By erocx1 at 2008-09-03 11:32:35 permalink | comments
Tags: alien DMT Eschaton magic mushrooms Podcast Psilocybin Psychedelic Salon Psychoactive Drugs Terence McKenna UFO
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Novice. : 2009-06-02 21:21:59
I can understand your criticisms and I have felt in my experiences that the mushroom and natural world is bigger than Terence. However, as an individual trapped in a consumer based society in which work and shopping have to occur, Terence's speeches act as a source of inspiration to get me through the day. In other words, it is great entertainment.
jamesk : 2008-09-09 12:24:47
For 'curb your forked tounge': I never say "don't do psychedelics", I am just wary (and weary) of people self-brainwashing themselves with gibberish and then proclaiming themselves to be the new messiah and holder of all secrets of the universe. It is old, it is tired. I used to buy the McKenna line until I spent years attempting to verify his results. He got some things right, but he got too caught up in his own mythology to make anything approaching verifiable scientific claims. Most of his rap is pure science fiction speculation and should remain in that realm. I say ignore McKenna and pick your own starting point for your psychedelic exploration, you may come out with something fresh for a change.

RE: Cymatics - McKenna did not invent cymatics, he just riffed on it. I believe that this is still a good field to explore, and that sound resonance is essential to channeling more powerful aspects of psychedelic action.

RE: Golden Ratio, phi - I am still out on phi. Phi is obviously a ratio wired into core functions of the universe, but knowing this seems to be more of a morphological observation as opposed to some kind of all-powerful mathematical secret. Dan Winter says he can use phi to create free-energy and anti-grav devices that cure cancer. Phi is useful, sure, but is it *that* useful? Why hasn't the gov created a phi-based energy pulse weapon to destroy cities from space? Oops. I just gave them my evil scientist plan to take over the world. Dang.

jamesk : 2008-09-09 11:52:02
I agree the notion of mushroom symbiosis is alluring, but there is nothing in the psilocybin molecule itself that would allow for that kind of viral activation and splicing of genetic material. You are suggesting that one would have to eat the whole mushroom organism (not just the synthesized active amine) -- preferably fresh and not dried -- to get the "DNA effects", and then the human becomes a homonid/fungus hybrid of some sort that has alien super powers (paraphrasing). This raises some problems with the theory.

I concede that some organisms can become symbiotic with humans and change our code and behavior, and I concede there is an outside chance that fresh mushrooms may carry a viral pathogen of some sort that could do this, but that viral symbiotic action is not necessary nor is it responsible for the "trip" where the information is "downloaded" to the human consciousness. All that is needed for the trip is the psilocybin amine (or a similarly shaped molecule), which means the psychedelic trip is not genetic in any way, it is a simple pharmacological action.

However, the put an end to this discussion you would need a full workup on the psilocybe genome and the homonid genome and compare homonid DNA sequencing both before and after repeated ingestion of massive doses of fresh mushrooms (hallucinogenic, non-hallucinogenic, and placebo as a baseline), and see if there are any symbiotic fusion and genome changes. Anyone have about five million dollars to fund that study?

roswell mushroom person. : 2008-09-09 10:00:37
The other thing about the ESR theory being, it was primarily an attempt to explain how exactly psilocybin and related molecules could have contributed to human evolution. In order for something to have contributed to actual DNA evolvement (NOT in any way the same as mutations as are caused by random lottery hits by radioactive particles for example, where the chances of any beneficial usable mutations occurring are only a tiny fraction above 'never ever') it is necessary for it to work in harmony with the existing genetic code.
Thus the idea was that the mushrooms could be symbiotically incorporated into DNA, by way of the known method it replicates - unzips and transcribes the code.
This kind of thing is the only way that it could catalyse or enhance the likes of eyesight - continuing long beyond the actual trip wearing off.
Using symbiosis to explain how something can continue to be beneficial after it has been digested and gone from the body, then means you need to ask - well, what's in it for a mushroom to bond with human DNA? And out of that you begin to consider other forms of consciousness and intelligence.
It is in no way outlandish to suggest there can be plants and other creatures that have ways to bond with human DNA or other DNA. Viruses for example are known to get inside cells, and change the cell's instructions - that is changing the DNA. Viruses tend to be known of for their destructive effects; that doesn't mean there aren't variants that are symbiotic thus beneficial. Remember, symbiotic is the opposite of parasite. With a parasite the infecting lifeform benefits and the host is debilitated, with symbiosis both the host and the bonding lifeform benefit.
In most cases, folks that take mushrooms (and other entheogens, psychedelics) report it has a beneficial long term effect for them.
plus. : 2008-09-08 13:29:50
[link]

consider alongside what you read on cymatics

ont. : 2008-09-08 13:04:52
If you want proof of shapeshifting (form changes) by sound / frequency changes:

[link]

curb your forked tounge. : 2008-09-08 12:52:02
Here's some actually scientific back-ups of some things Terence said (scroll down to the bottom).

[link]

If you are sane, ignore jamesk as he is some Icke-type-description of a 4D entity that for some reason chooses to play out being a 'wrathful third bardo' demon. How long is it you've worked for the Bad CIA Jim? This your new strategy with the drug war cause you realised you can't actually get people to quit taking them - hmmm, let's twist facts instead so they don't realise what the truth of it all is, and get them to watch videos of drunk bears instead. Keep them dumb. dum dum dum dum duuum.

jamesk : 2008-09-08 12:18:40
I've studied McKenna's ESR theory pretty closely and it relies on a bunch of stuff that is just plain inaccurate. His assumption that psychedelics manipulate the field nature of consciousness is essentially correct, but the action he proposes (which is the bulk of the theory) is in hindsight pretty ludicrous -- molecular-encoded holographic secrets activated by intercolated (stuck between the DNA rungs) psychedelic molecules causing internal projections via radioactive neural DNA emissions playing ancient movies from the beginning of time directly onto the pineal gland? Okay... He was reaching. But the metaphor is an interesting one to be sure.

Do psychedelics effect DNA? That is the more interesting question. The general rule of thumb is that any "experience" an organism has affects DNA expression. Our endocrine system is basically a hormonal switch-and-gate mechanism for turning experience into direct genetic expression; thus organism growth, metabolism, and behavior will all change subtly over time in accordance with new experiences. Psychedelics cause all sorts of hormonal release and encode all sorts of new types of memory and genetic experience into the organism lexicon. Is this a "hard" altering of DNA like a radioactive particle or virus or mutation? No, this is a soft alteration that happens over time like building memory -- specific genetic traits are exposed and strengthened within the genome as opposed to being "spliced" into the genome in a cut-and-paste fashion. This soft effect on gene expression can be called "affecting the DNA", but it would be inaccurate to think this is the same thing as mutation.

If the question is, "Can psychedelics cause hard alterations in DNA structure, like mutation, chromosome damage, etc.?" I would say that the answer is unlikely, though it is impossible to say for sure with current research. I have not heard of any genetic mutations caused by psychedelics that can be passed down generation to generation, such as acid users having babies that have third eyes or enlarged pineal glands and psychic powers, but we can all hold out hope for the next generation, right?

The science answer is that if you expose enough of anything directly to the cell nucleus in a petri dish you can cause DNA damage and death, but that is proof of nothing. The human body is pretty robust in fending off all sorts of constant cell damage in vivo, and the DNA "alteraltions" we do receive from external mutagens are almost always bad cell changes, like cancer bad. We do not want to take anything that will alter our DNA, but everything we do ultimately "coaxes" our genetic expression in some way or another. Understanding this difference is fundamental to any argument about how psychedelics affect evolution.

jamesk : 2008-09-08 12:15:55
I've studied McKenna's ESR theory pretty closely and it relies on a bunch of stuff that is just plain inaccurate. His assumption that psychedelics manipulate the field nature of consciousness is essentially correct, but the action he proposes (which is the bulk of the theory) is in hindsight pretty ludicrous -- molecular-encoded holographic secrets activated by intercolated (stuck between the DNA rungs) psychedelic molecules causing internal projections via radioactive neural DNA emissions playing ancient movies from the beginning of time directly onto the pineal gland? Okay... He was reaching. But the metaphor is an interesting one to be sure.

Do psychedelics effect DNA? That is the more interesting question. The general rule of thumb is that any "experience" an organism has affects DNA expression. Our endocrine system is basically a hormonal switch-and-gate mechanism for turning experience into direct genetic expression, thus organism growth, metabolism, and behavior changes subtly over time in accordance with new experience. Psychedelic cause powerful experiences that cause all sorts of hormonal release and encode all sorts of new types of memory and genetic experience into the organism lexicon. Is this a "hard" altering DNA like a radioactive particle or virus or mutation? No, this is a soft alteration that happens over time like building memory -- specific genetic traits are exposed and strengthened within the genome as opposed to being "spliced" into the genome in a cut-and-paste fashion. This soft effect on gene expression can be called "affecting the DNA", but it would be inaccurate to think that this was the same thing as mutation.

If the question is, "Can psychedelics cause hard alterations in DNA structure, like mutation, chromosome damage, etc.?" I would say that the answer is unlikely, though it is impossible to say for sure with current research. I have not heard of any genetic mutations caused by psychedelics that can be passed down generation to generation, such as acid users having babies that have third eyes or enlarged pineal glands and psychic powers, but we can all hold out hope for the next generation, right?

The science answer is that if you expose enough of anything directly to the cell nucleus in a petri dish you can cause DNA damage and death, but that is proof of nothing. The human body is pretty robust in fending off all sorts of constant cell damage in vivo, and the DNA "alteraltions" we do receive from external mutagens are almost always bad cell changes, like cancer bad. We do not want to take anything that will alter our DNA, but everything we do ultimately "coaxes" our genetic expression in some way or another. Understanding this difference is fundamental to any argument about how psychedelics affect evolution.

also wearing a duck. : 2008-09-08 11:17:24
Who finds it coincidental that 10+ years ago he was the only person talking about the 2012 end-date, and now everyone knows about it, though not from the same context.

I like The Invisible Landscape a lot, and I completely got where the 'Experiment at La Chorerra' was coming from. But then, I just happened to be reading a lot of PKD around the same time, and Terenece even had an Afterword in the Pursuit of VALIS book. It all made sense & it still does.

I think the ESR theories in Invisible Landscape will be proved true, it seems obvious that psychedelic use alters DNA. In fact, wasn't that used by 'the authorities' in the 60s to claim Leary had "chromosome damage" from taking so much LSD. Of course, it would more likely work the other way around, especially with natural non-toxic plantstuffs. I believe what is said about how shapeshifting works also, that it is about the connection between sound and form, will also be proved true.

Adam L. : 2008-09-06 20:09:38
Who thinks it's a coincedence his entire estate was destroyed ("accidentally") by the only ones to read it after his death, esalan? Why would he tell them to do that?
guerilla peace. : 2008-09-05 11:27:31
"I could certainly go on why I view this as important, but the forum set up is perhaps not the best to do it in."

i see terence, although emaneting some kind of an avataric properties, as a person, human like we all are.
he ventrue himself deep in to the wildness of the novelty, using his bardic skills to cut through it. he was a heretic in the context of status quo thus condemned in this schizophrenic society. that's a hell of a burden to take upon oneself.

there are facts pointing the validity of terence ideas - at least some of them. in a fairly precise way one could point the benefits of the mushroom.

demons are to be(a)ware of so i guess it is important.

Gwyllm. : 2008-09-05 10:19:53
'So you're seriously saying he stopped tripping in 1985 and then went on to give another 15 years of talks advocating how great it is without actually doing it himself?'

Seriously. I still love his ideas regardless. They changed my life back in the early 80's when I thought I was the last person interested in Entheogens... (and found out I was not alone)

I had a nice conversation with him about 6 months before he was diagnosed with cancer.

I was talking to him about the 'White Light', experience on psychedelics and he stated he never had it. This speaks volumes imo.

I could certainly go on why I view this as important, but the forum set up is perhaps not the best to do it in.

Thanks,

G

people are not insaner than you suppose,. : 2008-09-05 09:48:07
Is it really possible to have an "insane period" on a planet in which the dominant species is prone to doing things like blowing up rocks, to transport them elsewhere and lay them over the natural landscape, and then mine and blow up more rocks, to build devices to run over the other rocks, devices that themselves run off of - other mined processed materials, just so we can travel from one place built with mined rocks to other places also built with mined rocks, when the "insane period" is by comparison common sense to what is being done all over the globe.

The answer, if you haven't guessed, is - no, not really. Not by comparison to the majority of what is considered sane.

Sirian wake-up call. : 2008-09-05 09:33:44
Apparently, someone at another forum thinks they can imply it is me that needs to wake up - to their view that someone other than themselves is in fact the buddha. Oh really, and just how many idiots have you convinced thus far of that little guru-farce racket you wish to rope minds into believing? Aitch, you are a complete & utter twat. Who should seek psychiatric help, post haste.
hmmm. : 2008-09-05 01:42:16
So you're seriously saying he stopped tripping in 1985 and then went on to give another 15 years of talks advocating how great it is without actually doing it himself?
troof. : 2008-09-04 21:26:33
Guest, you just aren't hitting your head hard enough.

Link">[link]

Gwyllm. : 2008-09-04 19:48:09
A friend ever since 1969 btw.
Gwyllm. : 2008-09-04 19:45:15
I heard it from a friend of his ex-wife.
guest : 2008-09-04 16:15:41
"I can knock my head into a low doorway and see aliens while I am passed out, does this mean aliens invented low doorways?"
mushrooms mechanism and are much more complex then a knock in the head experience, thou it is a communication form too it says us "avoid blows on the head or it'll hurt you".
so what the mushroom tell us - i dont think anybody can translate it with a precision one would like to see. too poor is our language.
hmmm. : 2008-09-04 15:12:44
> In fact, up to the year of his death, he hadn't used mushrooms
> in some 15 years,

I've listened to just just about every Terence mp3 there is, and he more than once described the way he goes about tripping as something along the lines of "once a month, heroic doses (5grams dry), in silent darkness ..."

His death in 2000 minus 15 years would put as at 1985. It just seems highly unlikely to me that all these talks detailing his tripping habit were held pre-1985.


> He used DMT all of 9 times...

Can you quote a source on that? Would be greatly aprreciated.

Alibaba. : 2008-09-04 14:30:57
Human brain seems like an alien technology, by alien i see not-human technology, encoded in gens and decoded by the environment, developed to communicate. Mushrooms are radiating from the same cosmic, alien technology and i see them as working with our brain communication device.
jamesk : 2008-09-04 12:03:05
It is true that in his latter years Terence's tripping activity dropped off, but for a period in the '70s and '80s there were many high-dose mushroom trips (including the one at La Chorerra) that laid the groundwork for all his subsequent musings. This is called his "insane period", as his loved ones almost had him institutionalized (by his own words). It was after this period that he started backing off and getting more into writing, speaking, and storytelling. And constant weed use, yes. Good for those flights of fancy.
troof. : 2008-09-04 11:00:25
"You can describe the processes and theories of that - but if you were tripping and tried to describe such things, then you'd soon realise what you are really doing when you try to 'explain' it.
That seems to me to be what psychedelics are all about making people realise.
And similarly, this here comment seen from a more absolut point of view, it's just a load of balls that makes no difference whatsoever - it's monkey chatter. If you already know it, yeah it makes sense. But that's the point - you don't know it because of words, you know it because of things you experienced."

So true. Building Tulpas, we are. Defining reality. Stretching it. The art of distraction. Cue the lightning.

Gwyllm. : 2008-09-04 09:33:56
There seems to be this meme that Terence used massive amounts of Mushrooms and DMT...

In fact, up to the year of his death, he hadn't used mushrooms in some 15 years, as following his famous 5 grams in the dark he'd scared himself away from them

He used DMT all of 9 times...

What he did use, and use all the time was marijuana. He had an active imagination and knew how to run with it. That is not to say everything he said was false, there was lots of truth woven into the tales.

I sincerely hope the James doesn't hit himself in the head to change his view of consciousness. It takes more and more everytime you go there.

Cheers,

G

Sirian wake-up call. : 2008-09-04 09:00:20
He knows it's not fantasy - he's one of those aliens that purposely try to keep people trapped only in three main dimensions. He's a bad MIB; I'm a good one. That's why I tell you what he is doing.

What I would also say though is - the 'mundane' reality of the cosmos and biological gaian life here is far more fantastic than the majority of zombies wandering the Earth ignoring it constantly are able to suppose. And there Terence was also spot-on, he identified The Problem: people have a tendency to think they understand something, when really all they have done is describe a process or give something a name.

So when someone says, 'it's not fairies it's actually flashy afterimages caused by a torch beam' - they haven't actually reduced the universe to anything less marvel-like than one which did include fairies. You still are left with absolutely no way of explaining how the Universe got here, and why it took the forms it did, and how such a thing is even possible - and, can also be described, and experienced. You can describe the processes and theories of that - but if you were tripping and tried to describe such things, then you'd soon realise what you are really doing when you try to 'explain' it.
That seems to me to be what psychedelics are all about making people realise.

And similarly, this here comment seen from a more absolut point of view, it's just a load of balls that makes no difference whatsoever - it's monkey chatter. If you already know it, yeah it makes sense. But that's the point - you don't know it because of words, you know it because of things you experienced.

Even if you only go a small bit of time beyond the 'big bang' and get to when atoms begin to appear. Consider how unlikely it is that such a thing would appear, and be stable, and then! - loads more of them somehow are also made, and they are all so similar (some say exactly the same, well they all look the same from far away), and then they start to connect to other different atoms, which also are regular..........it's preposterous to suggest that kind of thing can happen by chance. It's preposterous to suggest that anything happening by chance, explains a damn thing either. 'chance' the phenomena - from whence did it come? Look at the complexity required before 'chance' can get a stage to begin performing on.

perma. : 2008-09-04 07:07:54
just you all wait until you actually experience going from this waking reality...into another one that is more real than this one...and then tell me this stuff is all fantasy
josep yao. : 2008-09-04 00:54:10
i like what adam L had to say. but especially the 'dude' in the last paragraph haha.

i see what he has to say as far fetched, but not impossible as far as i know. but to me, it is much less outlandish to image that fungi evolved here on earth, along with all the other incredible life-forms.

Anonymous. : 2008-09-03 16:14:57
"As a theorist Terence was way too prone to flights of fancy and he rarely went out of his way to support his more outlandish claims. His real skill was in weaving science fiction mythology for the new age, and he was an expert at it. Bards tell tall tales. I like tall tales, but really don't take them seriously at all."

Yes, a point that is often overlooked.

McKenna's main "job" was that of a story teller. Now, stories are not necessarily false, but it isn't their truth-value upon which they are evaluated. McKenna wove tales of speculative fiction, and people get confused about it because he was the main protagonist of the stories. But we are story-telling animals, and it isn't too much of a stretch to say we live by them.

Adam L. : 2008-09-03 14:42:08
You are taking him way too literally when he tells us the mushroom "says" things. Anything he says it "told" him is a conclusion extrapolated from...

damnit, he has told us not to try to explain these things in english before and he is right, it's damn ineffable. Which in a roundabout way illustrates my point about you thinking he imagined anything similar to a "conversation". The spores are dead. There is no conscious energy being directed at him, only from within, and yet there is always more to be sure of when drugs are taken properly.

I don't think a borderline-reclusive, compulsive scholar who has taken pounds of time-dilating mushrooms (to the point where his brain 'became what it ate') and tripped ineffably for what must amount to years can really explain how he came to form the thoughts and ideas he has been left with trip after trip in a 75 minute lecture, dude. But I have seen the same indications of what he is talking about before I ever heard anybody else talk about thinking it, and that's not to say I ate it up with a spoon, either.

jamesk : 2008-09-03 11:55:34
While I enjoy thinking about alien life, the panspermia concept (mushrooms from space) could apply to any life form on Earth. I think the idea of an alien species encoding technology in the genome of a mushroom -- to be decoded when a mammal with language skills eats it -- is so far fetched as to be plain psilly. This is exactly like saying that mushrooms are magic portals to the fairy world, or that they allow you to cross into the dreamtime beyond life and death, or that they are manna from heaven. Mushrooms can certainly reproduce these alien/fairy/mystical experiences, but does that make the "inner paths to outer space" meme valid? I can knock my head into a low doorway and see aliens while I am passed out, does this mean aliens invented low doorways? I've had dreams that I was on an alien planet talking with aliens; does that mean aliens invented dreaming as a technology for communicating across space and time? These are absurd reaches of logic. It is more likely that I just have an active imagination, and like dreaming about weird stuff. I think Terence suffered from the same syndrome. Mushrooms and aliens are not responsible for all the crazy stuff Terence came up with, it all originated from the mind of Terence himself.

As a theorist Terence was way too prone to flights of fancy and he rarely went out of his way to support his more outlandish claims. His real skill was in weaving science fiction mythology for the new age, and he was an expert at it. Bards tell tall tales. I like tall tales, but really don't take them seriously at all.

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