All quotes from Terence McKenna’s

Apparently, the way the universe works is upon a platform of previously achieved complexity—chemical, electrical, social, biological… whatever—new forms of complexity can be built that cross these ontological boundaries. In other words, what I mean by that is that biology is based on complex chemistry, but it is more than complex chemistry. Social systems are based on the organization that is animal life, and yet it is more than animal life.

The universe didn’t begin in a singularity. Who knows how the universe began, or would even presume to judge! But the universe ends in a singularity. It has been growing more singular, more complex, more unique, more novel every passing moment since it burst into existence. And if that’s true, then we represent a kind of concrescence of universal intent. We’re not mere spectators, or a cosmic accident, or some sideshow, or the Greek chorus to the main event. The human experience is the main event. The coordination of perception, of hope, of dream, of vision that occurs inside the human heart-mind-body interface is the most complex phenomenon in the universe.

This is what’s happening to us. History is a process of metamorphosis. It’s a pupation stage. It begins with naked monkeys and it ends with a human–machine planet-girdling interface capable of releasing the energies that light the stars.

The great exhibit which we must always keep in front of ourselves and our critics is the mystery of the human mind and body. No one knows how it is that I can command my hand to make a fist and that it will do that. That’s mind over matter. That’s the violation of every scientific principle in the books, and yet it is the most trivial experience any of us have.

Notice that, when I speak (if your internal dictionary matches my internal dictionary), that my thoughts cross through the air as an acoustical pressure wave and are reconstructed inside your cerebral cortex as your thought, your understanding of my words. Telepathy exists—it’s just that the carrier wave is small mouth noises.

I kidded with you earlier that they would make sex illegal if they could. Well, they can’t, so it isn’t. But the psychedelic experience is as central to understanding your human-ness as having sex, or having a child, or having responsibilities, or having hopes and dreams. And yet it is illegal. We are somehow told… we are infantilized. We’re told, “You can wander around within the sanctioned playpen of ordinary consciousness, and we have some intoxicants over here if you want to mess yourself up. We’ve got some scotch here, and some tobacco, and red meat, and some sugar, and a little TV, and so forth and so on.” But these boundary-dissolving hallucinogens that give you a sense of unity with your fellow man and nature are somehow forbidden. This is an outrage. It’s a sign of cultural immaturity. And the fact that we tolerate it is a sign that we are living in a society as oppressed as any society in the past.