"In answer to your question about the mushroom and its role in human history, I've gone through many changes about this since the mushroom began talking to me since I wrote that forward. I have a manuscript now, which, uh, one of the titles that we toy with for it is: Alien Intelligence and Psilocybin. Although it probably won't be called that, a lot of what it deals with is the fact that post-modern people, which is you and me, are getting in touch with something which the modern worldview cannot handle at all. For modernity, voices in the head are a clear instance of pathology. And, yet, for the Hellenistic world and the post-modern world, voices in the head are a clear, uh, aspect of following the path. And, this was classic before the rise of the forms of reductionist thought that characterize modern thinking. Socrates had a daemon. He mentions it many times. It told him what to say. It helped him with what he should think, and it was commonplace for sages and philosophers of that time to make that kind of claim."
"I asked the mushroom once about the social chaos at the end of history, and the mushroom said: No worry, bro. This is what it's like when a species departs for hyperspace. There's a little shimmy in the landing zone as we take off."
"Uh, somebody once said -- actually, it was the mushroom itself, it wasn't 'somebody' [audience laughs]-- uh, but, somebody, who happened to be a mushroom, once said... uh, what did they say? 'If you're not part of the problem you're part of the solution.' [laughter] No. What was said was, uh, that culture is like the shockwave of eschatology. Nothing...nothing is unannounced... Everything is preceded by the shockwave of its coming."
"The mushroom said to me once, apropos of absolutely nothing, it said: What you call man, we call time.”
"The mushroom said to me once: If you don't have a plan, you become part of somebody else's plan."
"It has many manifestations. Sometimes it's like Dorothy of Oz; sometimes it's like a very Talmudic sort of pawnbroker. I asked it once: 'What are you doing on Earth?' It said: 'Listen, if you're a mushroom, you live cheap; besides, I'm telling you, this was a very nice neighborhood until the monkeys got out of control.'"
"Gordon Wasson, who discovered with his wife Valentina the mushrooms, told a very interesting story in one of his books about how in Mazatecan, the people who are speakers of Mazatecan, when they chant what the mushroom says, they have created a special form for this, which goes like this: 'zabaz zabaz zabaz *tse*' This word 'tse' means 'says.' Daba daba daba *says*, dada dada dada dada *says*....
I didn't know this at the time I took mushrooms the second time, and in my head I heard the mushroom speaking in English, but adding the word "says" to the end of the sentence. So it was almost like, you know, this thing could speak in Mazatec, it could speak in English, but it always kept its cadence and its structure."
"One day, I was just- I think it was during bookkeeping or something very much mundane, the little voice that interrupts every once in a while said that 'A plant teacher is a teacher who has taken the form of a plant.'”
"The mushroom said to me once: Nature loves courage. Nature loves courage, and I said – what’s the payoff on that? It said: It shows you that it loves courage because it will remove obstacles. 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 up. It will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers, the one’s 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. It’s done by hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering that it’s a feather bed."
"The mushroom said to me once, it said, ‘This is what it’s like when a species prepares to depart for the stars. This is not unusual.’ The earth quakes, the oceans boil, the planet came into existence for this. All life for over a billion years has been pointed toward taking this step, leaving the oceans for the land was dress rehearsal for what will now be done. It’s chilling because it’s so huge. You don’t even know. It’s just enormous. Yet, apparently, when you look back through the history of the universe, this is how it precedes. Incredibly gradually over staggering scales of time but then every once in a while you come around the corner and there it is – a continent sinks, an asteroid impacts, a star explodes, two intelligent species meet somewhere out in the cosmos. These things set ripples going for eons."