Terence McKenna at His Best: Drugs, Legality, and Love (Interview)

Terence McKenna at His Best: Drugs, Legality, and Love (Interview) | Third Monk image 1

Terence McKenna is one our favorite psychedelic luminaries. Here is a short interview of his where he talks about many ideas concerning drugs, legality, and love that are increasingly becoming commonplace among a larger and larger portion of our global populace.

Ideally, we’ll look back at this time in history and laugh at our collective foolishness and hubris.

shroom spiral - terence mckenna

My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts. – Terence McKenna


True Hallucinations: A Terence McKenna Psychedelic Book (Audiobook)

True Hallucinations: A Terence McKenna Psychedelic Book (Audiobook) | Third Monk image 3


Hearing Terence talk about his ideas is even better than reading them.

His eloquent passion drips with every spoken word, and his emphasis on certain words reveals glimpses into his mind-set when he was writing.

True Hallucinations is, well, perhaps Publishers Weekly’s hilarious review said it best:

In 1971 ethnobotanist McKenna ( The Archaic Revival ), his brother Dennis and three friends boated to a town in Amazonian Colombia, seeking a hallucinogenic plant that enables the Witoto tribe to talk to elf-like “little men.” In psychedelicized ravings interspersed with diary excerpts, McKenna records their experiences after ingesting mind-altering mushrooms and other psychoactive plants.

A flying saucer slowly flew over McKenna’s head; he calls it a “holographic mirage” of a future technology. Dennis had a revelation about a “psychofluid” that pervades the universe. McKenna flashes forward to Hawaii in 1975 where mantis-like creatures from hyperspace attack his lover, and flashes back to his tantric lovemaking in Tibet and to Indonesia where unrepentant Nazi scientists tried to recruit him in 1970. He posits the existence of a particle of time, the chronon , which conditions matter. A bizarre book. – Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc

True Hallucinations Audiobook

Prefer reading: True Hallucinations PDF

Our self discoveries make us each a microcosm of the larger pattern of history. The inertia of introspection leads toward recollection, for only through memory is the past recaptured and understood. In the fact of experiencing and making the present, we are all actors. – Terrence McKenna

terence_mckenna True Hallucinations

DMT – Hallucinogenic Fuel Produced By Our Brains

DMT - Hallucinogenic Fuel Produced By Our Brains | Third Monk


DMT is an illegal, psychedelic compound found in the human body and at least 60 species of plants worldwide. Terence McKenna (who has raised awareness of DMT to its present level) called DMT “the most powerful hallucinogen known to man and science” in his 1994 lecture Rap Dancing Into the Third Millennium

McKenna first smoked DMT as an undergraduate at Berkeley in early 1967. He had experience with LSD—ingesting it “once a month or so”—and other psychedelics, but said in an interview:

It was really the DMT that empowered my commitment to the psychedelic experience.

DMT was so much more powerful, so much more alien, raising all kinds of issues about what is reality, what is language, what is the self, what is three-dimensional space and time, all the questions I became involved with over the next twenty years or so. – Terence McKenna, The Archaic Revival (1992)

Third Eye Perception

From 1990 to 1995, Dr. Rick Strassman administered 400 intravenous doses of DMT to 60 heavily pre-screened volunteers with extensive experience with psychedelics. He documented the results—in fascinating detail, because it “was important that other people knew how to wind their way through this maze,” the two-year process was published in DMT: The Spirit Molecule (Dec 2000), nine months after Terence McKenna died.

The pineal gland of older life forms, like lizards, is called “the ‘third’ eye” and has a lens, cornea, and retina. As life evolved, the pineal moved deeper into the brain. The human pineal gland is not actually part of the brain. Rather, it develops from specialized tissues in the roof of the fetal mouth. From there it migrates to the center of the brain, where it seems to have the best seat in the house.

Twenty-five years ago, Japanese scientists discovered that the brain actively transports DMT across the blood-brain barrier into its tissues. I know of no other psychedelic drug that the brain treats with such eagerness.

This is a startling fact that we should keep in mind when we recall how readily biological psychiatrists dismissed a vital role for DMT in our lives.

If DMT were only an insignificant, irrelevant by-product of our metabolism, why does the brain go out of its way to draw it into its confines? – Dr. Rick Strassman, DMT Researcher

DMT: You cannot imagine a stranger drug or experience  | VICE

Generators of Imagination, The Historical Purpose of Human Beings – Terence McKenna (Video)

Generators of Imagination, The Historical Purpose of Human Beings - Terence McKenna (Video) | Third Monk

From a 1991 lecture entitled Where Does Reality Begin and End?, Terence McKenna talks about the role of human beings in nature and reality.

We can become a highly evolved and aware species that acts as the voice of nature but artificial conflicts are holding us back.

We are energy storage and release mechanisms, sanctioned by nature for some purpose which will be visible somewhere downstream in the flow of time but which is opaque to us now.

– Terence McKenna

Soundtrack: DJ Shadow – Transmission 2


Trust Yourself – Terence McKenna (Video)

Trust Yourself - Terence McKenna (Video) | Third Monk image 2

Experience is real. This moment is real. How much of your own experience on this planet is tainted and perverted by different ideologies, looping thoughts, and enshrined beliefs?

Terence McKenna urges you to trust yourself. Question everything, and embrace the chaos of the world.

Claim your identity, your vision, your being, your intuition, and then act from that without regret.

Take responsibility for what you think and what you do.

Trust Yourself Waterfall

Empower Experience…

What do YOU think when YOU face the waterfall?

What do YOU think when YOU have sex?

What do YOU think when YOU take psilocybin?

It’s a wonderful thing to learn to be able to stand up and yell “Bull Shit!”. I did it when I was about 18 years old and it was the meme of the hour and it did blow their minds. It was uncivil. It was rude and crude and correct. – Terence Mckenna

Trust Yourself mckenna_terence

> Terence McKenna | Eco Hustler

There is No Deeper Truth Than the Psychedelic Experience – Terence McKenna

There is No Deeper Truth Than the Psychedelic Experience - Terence McKenna | Third Monk image 1


Terence McKenna served as the most visible expert on psychedelic culture during his time. He wrote five books – two with his brother Dennis – on his way to develop a worldwide following. Brainy, eloquent, and hilarious, McKenna applies his Irish gift of gab to making a simple case:

Going through life without trying psychedelics is like going through life without having sex. For McKenna, mushrooms and DMT do more than force up the remains of last night’s dream; they uncover the programming language of mind and cosmos.

Psychedelics are still controversial but McKenna’s lectures helped them emerge from the underground and into normal lives.

Today’s users are surgeons, bankers, physicists, computer programmers. They are productive members of society. You can’t point your finger at them and say they’ve dropped out.

– Scott O. Moore, editor of the psychedelic journal The Resonance Project


In 1971, McKenna and his brother went to the Amazon to hunt for ayahuasca, a legendary shamanic brew. But when they arrived at the Colombian village of La Chorera that spring, what they found were fields blanketed with Stropharia cubensis, aka shrooms. Serious psychonauts knew all about the psilocybin mushroom from scholarly books on shamanism, but no one in the US was eating S. cubensis in the early ’70s because no one had figured out how to cultivate them. After returning from South America, the McKennas discovered the secret, which they promptly published. Shrooms were on the menu.

McKenna got his 15 minutes of fame when his books came out in rapid succession. Food of the Gods, published in 1992, aims directly at thinkers. In it, McKenna lays out a solid if unorthodox case that psychedelics helped kick-start human consciousness and culture, giving our mushroom-munching ancestors a leg up on rivals by enhancing their visual and linguistic capacities.

The psychedelic experience is not the equivalent of a dust bunny under your psychic bed.

It’s a product of the fractal laws that govern the world at an informational level. There is no deeper truth.

– Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna’s Last Trip | WIRED

The Psychedelic Experience by Warrior Poet Aubrey Marcus (Video)

The Psychedelic Experience by Warrior Poet Aubrey Marcus (Video) | Third Monk image 1

The Psychedelic Experience is an artistic video with a powerfully positive psychedelic message. The evocative images are timely interwoven with Aubrey’s voice, a harmonic synthesis of passion.

Aubrey MarcusThe Warrior Poet – is a well-known psychonaut, who, much like Jason Silva, positively describes the psychedelic experience for it’s ability to heal and reveal us.

The Psychedelic Experience - by Alex Grey

Full Transcript:

What is the psychedelic experience? Aldous Huxley believed it was the fundamental craving of the human spirit. A desire to turn off the survival biased filter of perception just for a moment… and catch a glimpse beyond the bars of our cognitive prison.

The psychedelic experience does not require drugs. Religious history and spiritual traditions are built upon these sublime moments. Messiahs hear the voice of God after a 40 day fast. Holy men, having isolated themselves in a cave, suddenly emerge with visionary truth.

But to indulge in a 40 day fast to reach this heightened state is like burning your house down to bake a loaf of bread. One hour in a salt-water isolation tank quiets the noise of sensation until awareness becomes the mirror that reveals you to yourself. A single session of holotropic breathing restricts our mental chatter long enough to plunge you into the zero-state of visionary Inspiration. Then there are the earth movers… The plant medicines at the core of many religious sacraments, which according to Graham Hancock were integral to inspiring the earliest known art in caves throughout Europe.

These plants are technologies. In a recent placebo controlled study completed by Johns Hopkins university 18 healthy adults were given Psilocybin, the active ingredient in ‘magic’ mushrooms. Fourteen months after participating in the study, 94% of those who received the drug said the experiment was one of their top five most positive experiences; 40% said it was the single most meaningful experience of their life.

Ayahuasca, long called the Master Medicine by the healers of the rainforest, offers an experience with the most visually powerful and mysterious of all molecules endogenous to life, DiMethyltryptamine

Iboga, the root of an African shrub, confronts you with the voice of your own inner truth for 24 waking hours and is being used to treat Heroin addiction with relapse rates reported at a shockingly low 7%.

Why doesn’t the world embrace these technologies? Terrence Mckenna has an answer, “It takes courage to take psychedelics — real courage. Your stomach clenches, your palms grow damp, because you realise this is real — this is going to work. Not in 12 years, not in 20 years, but in an hour!”

What can the Psychedelic Experience be?
The cloth that wipes clean our lens of perception,
The compass that points true north to our life’s calling,
The lantern in the catacombs of our subconscious,
The sword stroke that unfetters the muse,
The sunlight that dispels the shadows of our past
Or simply a respite of eternity, in the fast flowing river of time.

I’ve been to the other side, stared unflinching into the eyes of my eternal soul and seen a matrix of a thousand possible destinies. I’ve witnessed the span of our current universe contained in an unceasing heartbeat, each world a single bloodcell and each contraction a new existence for life itself. I’ve learned of humility on the back of a dragon, felt the terminal extreme of heaven and hell in the marrow of my bones, died and been reborn anew. What will your psychedelic experience be?

Courage to you all.

Psychedelic Filter

The Truth About LSD – 10 Profound Quotes From Great Minds About Dropping Acid

The Truth About LSD - 10 Profound Quotes From Great Minds About Dropping Acid | Third Monk image 2


Taking LSD can often be a wonderfully mind-expanding journey, especially when taken in a healthy environment with a positive mental outlook.

Many great minds agree.

Steve Jobs


Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important – creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.

Terence McKenna


LSD burst over the dreary domain of the constipated bourgeoisie like the angelic herald of a new psychedelic millennium. We have never been the same since, nor will we ever be, for LSD demonstrated, even to skeptics, that the mansions of heaven and gardens of paradise lie within each and all of us.

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

If God dropped acid, would He see people?

Bill Hicks


Always that same LSD story, you’ve all seen it.

‘Young man on acid, thought he could fly, jumped out of a building. What a tragedy.’ What a dick! Fuck him, he’s an idiot. If he thought he could fly, why didn’t he take off on the ground first?

Check it out. You don’t see ducks lined up to catch elevators to fly south – they fly from the ground, ya moron, quit ruining it for everybody. He’s a moron, he’s dead—good, we lost a moron, fuckin’ celebrate. Wow, I just felt the world get lighter. We lost a moron! I don’t mean to sound cold, or cruel, or vicious, but I am, so that’s the way it comes out.Professional help is being sought.

How about a positive LSD story? Wouldn’t that be news-worthy, just the once? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition and lies? I think it would be news-worthy.

‘Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we’re the imagination of ourselves’ . . . ‘Here’s Tom with the weather.’

Ken Kesey


I believe that with the advent of acid, we discovered a new way to think, and it has to do with piecing together new thoughts in your mind. Why is it that people think it’s so evil? What is it about it that scares people so deeply, even the guy that invented it, what is it?

Because they’re afraid that there’s more to reality than they have confronted. That there are doors that they’re afraid to go in, and they don’t want us to go in there either, because if we go in we might learn something that they don’t know. And that makes us a little out of their control. – Quoted in the BBC documentary, ‘The Beyond Within: The Rise and Fall of LSD,’ 1987

Alexander Shulgin


I don’t know if you realize this, but there are some researchers – doctors – who are giving this kind of drug to volunteers, to see what the effects are, and they’re doing it the proper scientific way, in clean white hospital rooms, away from trees and flowers and the wind, and they’re surprised at how many of the experiments turn sour.

They’ve never taken any sort of psychedelic themselves, needless to say.

Their volunteers – they’re called ‘subjects,’ of course – are given mescaline or LSD and they’re all opened up to their surroundings, very sensitive to color and light and other people’s emotions, and what are they given to react to? Metal bed-frames and plaster walls, and an occasional white coat carrying a clipboard. Sterility. Most of them say afterward that they’ll never do it again. – Pikhal: A Chemical Love Story, 1991

George Carlin


Fuck the drug war. Dropping acid was a profound turning point for me, a seminal experience. I make no apologies for it. More people should do acid.

It should be sold over the counter.

Timothy Leary


‘Turn on’ meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end.

‘Tune in’ meant interact harmoniously with the world around you—externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments.

‘Drop Out’ meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean ‘Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity.’ – Flashbacks, 1983

Hunter S. Thompson


That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary’s trip. He crashed around America selling ‘consicousness expansion’ without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him too seriously . . . All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours, too.

What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped to create . . . a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody—or at least some force—is tending the Light at the end of the tunnel. – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1971

Albert Hofmann


Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I attained as a fundamental understanding from all of my LSD experiments: what one commonly takes as ‘the reality,’ including the reality of one’s own individual person, by no means signifies something fixed, but rather something that is ambiguous—that there is not only one, but that there are many realities, each comprising also a different consciousness of the ego.

One can also arrive at this insight through scientific reflections. The problem of reality is and has been from time immemorial a central concern of philosophy. It is, however, a fundamental distinction, whether one approaches the problem of reality rationally, with the logical methods of philosophy, or if one obtrudes upon this problem emotionally, through an existential experience.

The first planned LSD experiment was therefore so deeply moving and alarming, because everyday reality and the ego experiencing it, which I had until then considered to be the only reality, dissolved, and an unfamiliar ego experienced another, unfamiliar reality. The problem concerning the innermost self also appeared, which, itself unmoved, was able to record these external and internal transformations.

Reality is inconceivable without an experiencing subject, without an ego. It is the product of the exterior world, of the sender and of a receiver, an ego in whose deepest self the emanations of the exterior world, registered by the antennae of the sense organs, become conscious. If one of the two is lacking, no reality happens, no radio music plays, the picture screen remains blank. – LSD: My Problem Child, 1980

> Greatest Lysergic Acid Diethylamide Quotes | Alternative Reel

Evolution of Reality – Terence Mckenna

Evolution of Reality - Terence Mckenna | Third Monk image 2

The transcension hypothesis asks whether the evolution of our civilization is rapidly developing into something similar to a black hole.

Some physicists also argue black holes may be “seeds” or “replicators” for new universes, thus giving us a clue as to what we would do after we encounter other intelligent life forms.

The purpose of being a human is to complexify reality even more. To hand on a more diverse, more complicated, more multifaceted universe to our children.

-Terence Mckenna



Psychedelic Sex – Terence Mckenna (Video)

Psychedelic Sex - Terence Mckenna (Video) | Third Monk image 1

Psychedelic sexTerence Mckenna recounts his experience with a woman while on DMT; the idea of connecting so deeply with another human while in a deep psychedelic trance is sensational.

Mckenna’s trademark story telling skills bring this moment to life in an avalanche of vivid descriptions with plenty of psychedelic nuances as he brings this moment into focus.

Psychedelic Sex – Terrence Mckenna

A mind, body and soul inclusive experience; psychedelic sex; an experience shared by Terence Mckenna.

Sex on Acid

Nature Loves Courage – Terence Mckenna (Comic Strip)

Nature Loves Courage - Terence Mckenna (Comic Strip) | Third Monk image 3

Terence Mckenna provides encouraging advice on walking lightly through life as you pursue your passion.


Terence McKenna was a psychedelic warrior – a writer, lecturer and expert on ecology, botany, shamanism and spiritual transformation. McKenna’s books discuss the benefits and mind-altering effects of LSD, psilocybin and other hallucinogens, and the role they’ve played in human history and culture.

I had an impossible dream (become a web cartoonist) and I made the commitment and hurled myself into the abyss (quit my job and sold my house to fund the dream) and so far, it’s worked out better than I could have imagined.

Now I don’t want to give people a false sense of hope – that all you have to do is take the leap and everything will work out peachy. For me, ‘making the commitment’ means working my ass off, drawing these comics 6-7 days a week. But the work is satisfying and meaningful to me. So I would say that hard work, planning, skill, commitment and grit make up 90% of the equation, but maybe that last 10% is just deciding to hurl yourself into the abyss. – Gavin Aung, Zen Pencils

Terence Mckenna – Nature Loves Courage , Unfold the Stone (Audio)