All quotes from Terence McKenna’s

It seems very clear that business as usual is no longer an option.

We take matter—we, Western civilization, Western technology—and we impress upon matter ideas; millions of ideas. Cities like Manhattan, high-performance weaponry, enormous works of art. All of this is a kind of impulse—very strong in Western human beings—to bring the ideas out of the domain of mind and to somehow solidify them in matter.

Ego is what is destroying us: our inability to displace our loyalty away from the unique locus of space and time represented by our own bodies. You know, community, communalism: these are the things that we fear, that we repress, and that we at the same time struggle to realize. I mean, the collapse of communism on one level was the collapse of a repressive nightmarish paranoid social system. But the dream which lay behind that was a dream of community, of unity, of sisterhood and brotherhood. And the great concern now is that, with the collapse of even a pretense of that position, that we are further fragmented, further atomized into individual competing microbes of greed and need. And this is precisely the attitude which will push us ever closer to species-extinction and to global ruin.

The psychedelic will dissolve boundaries. It will dissolve your boundaries and force you to realize the commonality of the flesh. You know, it’s a startling thing to realize that, really, what you represent is nothing more than a point of view, and that we each are such a point of view triangulating perception through what is essentially simply a nexus of our past history.

Some of you have heard me say that my vision of a perfect future is 25% of the present world population living in ecological balance, living in an apparently primitive, naked, aboriginal state. But when you step into the minds of those people and look behind their closed eyelids, there are menus hanging in bio-tele-electronic space. Culture, you see, can be downloaded into a chip, installed behind the eyelids, so that it is, you know, freely commandable as an experience in the imagination.

If we insist on continually extracting resources from the Earth and fashioning our dreams out of the stuff of Earth, then our dreams are destined to turn to nightmare. It can’t be any other way.

Our own peculiar form of self-reflection emerged in just a couple of million years out of animal organization.

This is the challenge. And it faces us on the political level. Issues such as—you know, all kinds of community issues—such as racism, and sexism, and classism. These are community issues. And then issues between the human community and the planet. Our inability, you see, to emotionally connect with the consequences of what we’re doing. I mean, we as a species present a perfect picture of pathology, because what real psychotic behavior is, is: behavior that one cannot emotionally connect with the consequences of what is being done. And when you realize that we are literally looting the cradle of future human life—that we have decided that we are not simply transient occupiers of this domain, but that it is ours to trash, to use up, to do with as we wish, leaving nothing for the future—then you realize the depth of our need for immediate and widespread therapeutic (indeed, pharmacological) intervention on our state of mind.

The clock is ticking. This is not a test. There will not be a re-try, you know? This is the window of opportunity between the unknown and eternity. If not taken, then the entire enterprise could be lost. The whole thing, from the cave paintings at Lascaux to Whitney Houston—it could all go down the drain if we don’t act to preserve it through an act of human cognition plus courage.