Showing posts with label terence mckenna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label terence mckenna. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Transcendent machines

"Someone once said plants invented animals to carry them around. Well, I think the Earth invented human beings to build machines; and those machines will be the consciousness of the Earth. Have you not noticed that these machines are made of the Earth? They are made of gold and silver and arsenic and copper and iridium. They are the stuff of the Earth, organised by primate fingers into more complex arrangements than the Earth could achieve through geological folding, glaciation, volcanism, what have you. We do the fine-tuning; but the Earth is beginning to think."

--Terence McKenna

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quote of the day

"We are so much the victims of abstraction that with the Earth in flames we can barely rouse ourselves to wander across the room and look at the thermostat."

--Terence McKenna

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Only forward

(Hat tip: Dedroidify.)

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Today's message is brought to you by Terence McKenna.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Terence McKenna and artificial intelligence

"This is a medium so permeating, so inclusive of what we are, that its agenda, in a sense, supervenes the agenda of organic evolution and organic biology."

(Once again, tip of the hat to Dedroidify.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Terence McKenna: Communication via fungi?

The late psychedelic philosopher Terence McKenna isn't typically associated with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence; he mostly concerned himself with the actualization of intelligence here on Earth, taking a welcome cosmic perspective that revealed our species' failings and latent potential. But he introduced at least one new idea to the SETI controversy that deserves consideration, especially in light of recent discoveries.

McKenna suggested that the surreal hallucinatory states experienced by "trippers" might constitute a form of extraterrestrial contact, vastly more intimate than the radio signals anticipated by his mainstream counterparts.

Ludicrous? Perhaps not. Hallucinogenic mushrooms are dispersed as hardy spores capable of traveling incredible distances. McKenna wondered if such spores could have been deliberately wafted to Earth in the remote past, inviting the proposition that many planets conducive to life might have been likewise seeded.

Boldly venturing away from conventional evolutionary narratives, McKenna speculated that homo sapiens might owe its unique cognitive abilities to exposure to psilocybin, a mushroom-derived substance with pronounced neurochemical effects. In McKenna's scenario, the medium is the message: the bizarre worlds encountered by people under the influence of psilocybin are components of an "invisible landscape" with which we share a profound and unacknowledged symbiosis. (McKenna credited the advent of language, among other phenomena, to chemically altered states.)

That our brains harbor receptor sites to specific botanical chemicals indicates a relationship of some complexity, regardless whether the originating organisms are indigenous to Earth or hail from space. If our planet was indeed seeded with fungi, psychedelic experiences might comprise an authentic message, albeit one we have yet to decipher. (Alternatively, McKenna offered the fascinating possibility that hallucinogenic mushrooms themselves could be intelligent in an unrecognized sense, challenging our very definition of the word.)

Recent experiments demonstrate that spores are surprisingly well-suited to the rigors of the interstellar vacuum, vindicating at least a portion of McKenna's proposition. If he was right, then the "aliens" could have already arrived -- a revolutionary notion that pales only when one considers the role they may have played in the development of human consciousness.

This piece originally appeared at

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Terence McKenna: "I think if it's out of control then our side is winning."

(Thanks: The Teleomorph.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Terence McKenna on individuality and democracy's inherent tendency to atomize, cheapen and reject the human experience: "We have been infantilized by our cultural institutions to accept the notion of ourselves as citizens consuming these regurgitated scientific models which are then hashed through by Madison Avenue and then handed down to us by the organs of mass culture and this is supposed to be what we anchor our lives on."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Schirmer Abduction (Kevin Randle)

Finally there is the drawing that Schmirer [sic] made of what the aliens looked like. Here is a point where the contamination might be seen. The alien leader [. . .] with the diver’s hood and the single earphone resembles the aliens in Mars Needs Women, which, coincidentally, had played in theaters only a few months before the sighting and regression. It is an image that has not been repeated in the UFO literature with any regularity.

It does suggest, however, that some of the details that appear in the UFO literate have their foundations in science fiction, both the movies and the magazines. So, when UFO researchers tell us that there is no influence by science fiction, they are mistaken.

Compare and contrast Randle's perspective with that of Terence McKenna, who describes a fascinating first-hand UFO experience in the following clip:

"As I watched, the clouds recoalesced over the next two minutes or so in the same way that they had divided apart. The symmetry of this dividing and rejoining, and the fact that the smallest clouds were all the same size, lent the performance an eerie air, as if Nature herself was suddenly to become the tool of some unseen organizing agency."

"It was, if you ask me -- and there is no one else, really, than one can ask -- either a holographic image of a technical perfection impossible on Earth today or it was the manifestation of something which in that instance chose to begin as mist and end as machine but which could have appeared in any form: a manifestation of a humorous something's omniscient control over the world of form and matter."

In my own opinion, Randle's link between Hollywood sci-fi and the Schirmer abduction is probably spurious -- but does it even matter? The UFO phenomenon seems to deliberately engage us in a dialogue of images culled from memories both personal and collective. What's to prevent it from recasting alien invaders from a "B" movie if it furthers its attempts to communicate with us, if that is indeed its ultimate goal?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Terence McKenna gives an amazing talk on language, artificial intelligence and the role of the shaman in an ever-accelerating future.

(Thanks: Communist Robot.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Terence McKenna: "I think the alien is a being of pure information."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Terence McKenna: "Conspiracy theory is a kind of epistemological cartoon about reality. I mean, isn't it so simple to believe that things are run by the Grays and that all we have to do is trade sufficient fetal tissue to them and we can solve our technological problems."

Monday, May 05, 2008

In this clip, Terence McKenna discusses cephalopods, chromatophores and the potential of creating an information-rich visual communications medium to replace our addiction to spoken language.

The possibilities are dizzying to consider; it's no particular surprise that the idea of fundamentally altering our primary mode of communication is among the most neglected of transhumanist propositions (usually taking a backseat to body augmentation).

Interestingly, we seem to be on the brink of making some meaningful strides in the direction on McKenna's scenario. The clip posted here, for example, invites us to consider autonomous subdermal animation as a platform for erotic expression.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Terence McKenna: "When you shed the cultural operating system, then essentially you stand naked before the inspection of your own psyche."

I'm trying, Terence. I'm trying.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Terence McKenna: "You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Terence McKenna: "Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness."

(Hat tip: PAG E-News.)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Rudy Rucker, Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson star in "The Manual of Evasion." I love it when original thinkers get together to jam.

For more, see Rucker's latest blog post.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

If you have an hour to spare (and who doesn't?), I heartily recommend spending it listening to Terence McKenna explain the shamanic potential of the UFO phenomenon.

McKenna's take is eloquent and eminently topical: we have outgrown our planet, and we're being ushered into a new stage of evolution that's dependent on a new understanding of and appreciation for the human imagination.

The alternative? Nothing short of pathology and extinction.