WHAT IS CULTURE?
"I don't really want to get off on this tear because it's a lecture in itself, but - culture is not your friend. Culture is for other people's convenience and the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes - what have you. It is not your friend. It insults you. It dis-empowers you. It uses and abuses you. None of us are well treated by culture. Yet we glorify the creative potential of the individual, the rights of the individual. We understand the felt presence of experience is what is most important. But the culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines - meme processors of memes passed down from Madison Avenue and Hollywood and what have you."
"I love things about the culture, and I define this loving of things about the culture as a kind of weakness."
1. Star Wars
"In the Star Wars phenomenon, Skywalker - Luke Skywalker - Skywalker is a direct translation of the word 'shaman' out of the Temgusik which is where Siberian shamanism comes from. So these heroes that are being instilled in the heart of the culture are shamanic heroes. They control a force which is bigger than everybody and holds the galaxy together. This is true as a matter of fact, and as we explore how true it is, the limitations of our previous worldview will be exposed for all to see."
2. Rosemary's Baby
"Buddhism, for instance, Vajrayana, it's just 'Oh yes, many worlds, many beings, beings, beings... all kinds of beings on every level, and you have to learn to deal with them.' But, that's well and good until you actually are dealing with these beings, and go through, like that wonderful moment in Rosemary's Baby where she says 'My God, this is really happening!' Well, there are those moments where you realize, you know, that this doesn't appear to be a hypostatization of discriminating intellect. It appears to be some kind of eight-armed shmiggy, which is coming at you with all these, uh, implements."
3. - 4. Science Fiction B-Movies
"Some of you may have seen, years and years ago, this B-movie about a guy who has a big ranch in Mexico, and one of the Campesinos comes rushing back from having encountered a brontosaur in the forest, and he can only point inarticulately at the woods and say ‘something, something, something, something!!’ And that’s what I am! I’m a monkey. And I’ve come back to the troop, and I’m telling you there’s something over the next hill that is off the scale, off the scale."
"You know how in all these ’50s B Science Fiction movies there was always this theme of the landing area. And I saw it in ‘Mars Attacks!’ too. There must be a landing zone. Somehow we must let them know that we welcome them by building a landing area. And the Nazca plane has been claimed and on, and on, and on. I think that the alien is a creature of pure information. It’s purely information. It’s non-local. It comes out of the Bell non-locality part of the universe that exists distributed through hyperspace. The alien is real but it is only made of information."
"The most alien thing in the cosmos is the human soul. That's why these movies like 'E.T.', or even 'Alien', those guys could come tomorrow and, uh... the DMT trance is weirder! And holds more promise for information for the human future. It is that intense a kind of thing."
"We tend, you see, to always imagine the challenge rests with someone else. We have been made spectators to life by a disempowering view of ourselves carried to us by science and mass media. You know, you're supposed to identify with Madonna or Elvis or somebody, but the richness -- the inner richness -- of one's own being, because it cannot be bought and sold, is deemed worthless by the culture."
"Television, introduced at the close of World War II, has become a form of electronic heroin. And it isn't even your trip! They don't even let you go on your own trip. You get a trip designed on Madison Avenue to sell, you know, this year's model of the Crapmobile, or whatever else is being pushed. So, unquestioningly, and even as I speak I'm sure there are people in this audience who are revolted at my lack of patriotism and love for an American institution of such nobility and depth as TV. Well, you know where I pulled back from TV, really pulled back from it? It was when I made a mild knock on TV and someone in the audience said, well you can say anything you want about television, but you must admit that it's given our children a wonderful education concerning nature."
"I was raised Roman-Catholic and indulged in the kind of theological fiddle-faddle that involves. And then grew out of that into atheism, into agnosticism; by the time I got to college I was reading Jean-Paul Sartre and Husserl. My intellectual ontogeny had followed historical phylogeny and I had arrived in the 20th century."
"This was in '67 when I was a sophomore in college. The interest in altered states of consciousness came simply from, I don't know whether I was a precocious kid or what, but I was very early into the New York literary scene, and even though I lived in a small town in Colorado, I subscribed to the Village Voice, and there I encountered propaganda about LSD, mescaline, and all these experiments that the late beatniks were involved in. Then I read The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, and it just rolled from there. That was what really put me over. I respected Huxley as a novelist, and I was slowly reading everything he'd ever written, and when I got to The Doors of Perception I said to myself: There's something going on here for sure."
"And I started out, you know, reading Jung, doing my Hindu, you know getting up to speed with all that, studying Zen Buddhism, studying shamanism."
"I was reading the philosophy of science, and Imre Lakatos, and reading the history of science, Thomas Kuhn, and all of those people, trying to understand you know, well what is a true idea? What is true and what is false? And when you have an idea which makes claims as sweeping as these, then you want to try to understand just what the limits of knowability are, and I discovered that all you can require of any idea is that it be self-consistent..."
9. Visual Arts
"I mean, to me, you know, it is a miracle to be able to speak poetry. It is a miracle. I mean, when Coleridge wrote ‘And south, and south, and southward aye we fled, and it grew wondrous cold, and ice mast-high went floating by as green as emerald’ I mean, that’s language! And it’s magic! We have a fascination then, we also paint. Then we sculpt. Then we write. Then we create electronic databases. Then film, television. Clearly, what we want to do is we want to communicate visually."
10. Looney Tunes
"They are - the word that comes to mind is: they are Zany. It's like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, uh, gone mad. And all of this energy - they are elves. This is what elves are. It's this weird thing, where they love you - or they like you a lot, but you can tell that their sense of humor is weird."
all quotes by Terence McKenna
Terence McKenna movie: https://youtu.be/aAlaRdrcQcY