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Unconventional Inspiration: The Best of Terence McKenna

The Best, 2/9/18

Feb 9, 2018 · 5 min read

The Best is our daily compilation of cool stuff we’ve found IRL and around the web. Every day we will share what we are reading, watching, listening to, doing, or pondering. If you have suggestions for what we should include in future segments, let us know in the comments below!

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -Aristotle

Part of being a lifelong learner means opening yourself up to conflicting ideas that, after careful consideration, you may choose to accept or reject.

Today’s subject has some fairly controversial perspectives, but his thoughts are nonetheless worth sharing. So, prepare to open that mind! :D

For those of you who aren’t familiar with him already, Terence McKenna was a man who wore many hats. While he is most well known for being one of the pioneers of the psychedelic movement during the early 80s, Terence also dipped his toe in a plethora of other topics — things like philosophy, culture, science, VR and AI, the nature of time, evolution… and much more. Even if you disagree with his unorthodox practices, much of what he discusses is still incredibly thought-provoking and fun to ponder.

Without further ado, here is some content to get you started:


Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by 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 coercion, brainwashing, and manipulation.” ―Terence McKenna

Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna by Dennis McKenna

“Psychedelics are not suppressed because they are dangerous to users; they’re suppressed because they provoke unconventional thought, which threatens any number of elites and institutions that would rather do our thinking for us.” ―Dennis McKenna

“Nobody has ever escaped from time, though all of the world’s religions are scams predicated on the notion that we can.” ―Dennis McKenna


Terence McKenna with Art Bell — A series of four interviews recorded between 1997- 1999.

Plus, check out this podcast episode recorded nearly 25 years ago:

“And that’s what we are now, semi-human. We’re capable of enormous acts of kindness and appalling acts of brutality.”

“All of our institutions have been built upon the assumption of ego and dominance hierarchies, and deconstructing that is really what the future is all about.”


Watch: Terence McKenna’s Lecture on Carl Jung & Psychic Archetypes

Watch: Joe Rogan Experience with Dennis McKenna

Terence and Dennis McKenna


On courage:

“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.”

On culture:

“…we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. 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.”

“The cost of sanity in this society, is a certain level of alienation”

“We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.”

On death (after being diagnosed with severe brain cancer):

“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.”

On psychedelics and drugs:

“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”

“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.”

Eating and Drinking

Mushrooms… but not that kind.

Mushrooms are a natural source of energy, immunity, and longevity that’s been studied for centuries. They are so great, that they’ve even earned the title of ‘superfood’. 🍄 🍄

Mushroom Kale Quinoa Soup

Plus, try out ‘Mushroom Coffee’: Four Sigmatic Coffee

Questions, thoughts, suggestions? Holla at us in the comments below, or hit us up on Twitter or Instagram at @TheMissionHQ, with the #TheBest and we’ll try to help!

That’s it for today’s edition of The Best. We’ll be back Monday with more great content like this!

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