Friday, July 13, 2012

Terence McKenna: Paul Herbert Collection

Hello all, I am excited to announce that our friend Lorenzo recently obtained a precious box of over 150 Terence McKenna workshop & lecture recordings from Paul Herbert at Bruce Damer and Lorenzo Hagerty’s Beyond 2012 conference held at Esalen from June 15 – 17th 2012. Lorenzo is currently digitizing these tapes and will share this magnificent collection in the order in which Paul recorded them on future episodes of the Psychedelic Salon. He is also providing a photo of each cassette as well as notes and quotations at

I am including the first 2 tapes here on my blog. Podcast 317 is simply incredible and beautiful. An early 1982 recording of Terence at his best. Of course he never did cease to amaze me, so my enthusiasm could be partially due to the novelty of hearing this recording for the first time but I am certain you will equally enjoy it. He unleashes idea after idea with such elegance and brilliance I can’t really write a description that does it justice.It will take most people many listens to fully appreciate Terence’s work here. So without further ado, here is just the beginning of this amazing gift to our community. Friends please support the Salon however you can to ensure Lorenzo is able to properly host all these, I am certain demand will be high and does this work for the love of it, he deserves our help and then some.



Podcast 317 – “New and Old Maps of Hyperspace”

Download: FREE Mp3


This is Tape Number 001 of the Paul Herbert Collection.

Some of the topics covered in this talk:

Two types of shamanism, narcotic and non-narcotic
UFOs and aliens
The end of history – the eschaton
The psychedelic experience
Psilocybin allows dialogue with the Other
Death and afterlife

[NOTE: All quotations below are by Terence McKenna.]

“The central point about the psychedelic experience is the content of the experience. And this has been occluded or obfuscated by the behavioral and statistical and scientific methods that have been brought to bear to study hallucinogenic experience.”

“Experientially there is only one religion, and it is shamanism and shamanic ecstasy.”

“Shamanism, on the other hand, is this world wide, since Paleolithic-times, tradition which says that you must make your own experience the center piece of any model of the world that you build.”

“The content of the dialogue with ‘the Other’ is a content that indicates that man’s horizons are infinitely bright, that death is in fact, well, as Thomas Vaughn put it, ‘the body is the placenta of the soul’”

“Alchemy is about the generation of a psychic construct, a wholeness, a thing which has many properties, which is paradoxical, which is both mind and matter, which can do anything.”

“Psychedelic drugs, especially psilocybin, allow a searchlight to be thrown on these deeper levels of the psyche, as Jung correctly stated. But it is not a museum of archetypes or psychic constructs, as he seemed to assume. It is a frontier of wholeness into which any person, so motivated and so courageous as to wish to do it, can go and leave the mundane plane far behind.”
[Regarding UFO's] “A history-stopping archetype is being released into the skies of this planet, and if we are not careful it will halt all intellectual inquiry in the same way that the Christos archetype halted intellectual inquiry in the Hellenistic Age.”

“But a mature humanity could get into a place where we no longer required these metaphysical spankings from messiahs and flying saucers that come along every thousand years or so to mess up the mess that has been created and try and send people off on another tack. And the way to do this is to look at the abysses that confront man as species and individuals and try to unify them. And I think that psilocybin offers a way out because it allows a dialogue with the overmind. You won’t read about it in “Scientific American” or anywhere else. You will carry it out.”

“Escape into the dream. Escape, a key thing charged against these drugs, that they are for escapists. I think the people who make this charge hardly dare dream to what degree they are escapist.”

“All information is everywhere. Information that is not here is nowhere.”

“We are, in fact, hyperdimentional objects of some sort which cast a shadow into matter, and the shadow in matter is the body. And at death, what happens basically, is that the shadow withdraws, or the thing which cast the shadow withdraws, and metabolism ceases, and matter which had been organized into a dissipative structure in a very localized area, sustaining itself against entropy by cycling material in and degrading it and expelling it, that whole phenomenon ceases, but the thing which ordered it is not affected by that.” [From the point of view of the shamanic tradition.]

“In shamanism and certain yogas, Daoist yoga, claim very clearly that the purpose is to familiarize yourself with this after-death body, in life, and then the act of dying will not create confusion in the psyche. You will recognize what is happening. You will know what to do. And you will make the clean break.”

“There is not the Newtonian universe deployed throughout the parsecs and kiliocosms of physical space AND the interior mental universe. They are the same thing.”

“The tryptamine molecule has this unique property of releasing the structured self into the overself.”

“I’m not an abuser. It takes me a long time to assimilate each experience. And I never have lost my respect for it. I mean I really feel dread. It is one of the emotions I always feel as I approach it, because I have no faith that my sails won’t be ripped this time.”

“Now your question about the dialogue. I mean this very literally. It speaks to you. You speak to it. It says things.”

More quotes from this talk may be found in Podcast 267.

PaulHerbert002Podcast 318 – “Psilocybin and the Sands of Time”

Download: FREE Mp3


This is Tape Number 002 of the Paul Herbert Collection.

Some of the topics covered in this talk:

Repression of psychedelic drugs
Element of risk in taking psychedelics
The imagination
Interiorization of the body/exterization of the soul
The importance of psychedelics
Bell’s Theorem

[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“I regard [my] degree more or less as a joke because it was self-directed study. They don’t really; there is no degree in shamanism.”

“This [repression of psychedelic drugs] has, in my opinion, held back the Western development of understanding consciousness because quite simply, these states, I do not believe, are accessible by any means other than drugs.”

“There is an element of risk [in using psychedelics]. I never tell people that there isn’t, but I think that the risk is worth it.”

“Psilocybin, tryptamine, is in my opinion the means to eliminating the future by becoming cognizant of the architecture of eternity, which is modulating time and causing history, essentially.”

“The immediate future of man lies in the imagination and in seeking the dimension where the imagination can be expressed. The present cultural crisis on the surface of the planet is caused by the fact that this is not a fitting theater for the exercise of imagination. It wrecks the planet. The planet has its own Eco-systemic dynamics, which are not the dynamics of imagination.”
“A birth is a death. Everything you treasure, and believe in, and love, and relate to is destroyed for you when you leave the womb. And you are launched into another modality, a modality that perhaps you would not have chosen but that you cannot do anything about.”

“There is no knowledge without risk taking.”

“It is slowly becoming understood that the modality of being is the modality of mind.

“Flying saucers are nothing more than miracles, and they occur essentially to bedevil science.”

“The drug may not be toxic, but you may be self-toxic, and you may discover this in the drug experience.”

“I think with the work we do with these drugs we are the earliest pioneers in what over the next 100 years will lead to an understanding of consciousness almost as a thing apart from the monkey body and brain.”

“We are consciousness. We may not always be monkeys.”

So I believe that a technological re-creation of the after-death state is what history pushes toward. And that means a kind of eternal existence where there is an ocean of mind into which one can dissolve and re-form from, but there is also the self, related to the body image but in the imagination. So that we each would become, in a sense, everyone.”

“There can be no turning back. We are either going to change in to this cybernetic, hyperdimentional, hallucinogenic angel, or we are going to destroy ourselves. The opportunity for us to be happy hunters and gatherers integrated into the balance of nature, that fell away 15,000 years ago and cannot be recaptured.”

“It is the people who are ‘far out’ who are gaining advantage in the evolutionary jostling for efficacious strategies.”

“Modernity is a desert, and we are jungle monkeys. And so new evolutionary selective pressures are coming to bear upon the human situation, new ideas are coming to the fore. Psilocybin is a selective filter for this. The wish to go to space is a selective filter for this. Just the wish to know your own mind is a selective filter for this.”

“On these matters of specific fact, like is the mushroom an extraterrestrial and that sort of thing, I haven’t the faintest idea. The mushroom itself is such a mercurial, elusive, Zen sort of personality that I never believe a word it says. I simply entertain its notions and try and sort through them, and I found that to be the most enriching approach to it.”

“Could any symbol be any more appropriate of the ambiguity of human transformation? What mushroom is it that grows at the end of history? Is it Stropharia cubensis, or is it the creation of Edward Teller? This is an unresolved problem.”

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