Friday

One Great Thing - Terrence McKenna


“...scattered through the ordinary world there are books and artifacts and perhaps people who are like doorways into impossible realms, of impossible and contradictory truth.”  
--Terrence McKenna

My favorite thing about the internet is that, for all its silliness and obscenity, it also seems to be a storehouse of the sum total of human knowledge and achievement.  It is a place where you can get up close and personal with the recorded thoughts and deeds of absolutely amazing people you might otherwise have never heard of.  

Here’s One Great Thing (a brilliant mind in this case) that you can learn all about with ease, simply for having been born when you were.   Congrats!  (Seriously.)
Many of you may already know all about Terrence McKenna.  He’s pretty famous.  But I didn’t.  Never heard of him until recently.  Through the miracle of the internet, I’ve been reading up on this strange and wonderfully insightful person who died in April of 2,000.
I am not an advocate of psychedelic drugs, nor am I a user of them, nor a detractor.   Then again, I could say the same thing about Skydiving.  I’m probably a little too cautious/scared for either of those things.   But, whatever path Terrence McKenna took to come to some of his ideas, it was certainly a fruitful one.  



Here’s a clip of Joe Rogan’s podcast (language warning!) where they discuss McKenna's “Stoned Ape” theory (from that book above) of how human intelligence evolved. 

He also said things like this - paraphrased in this article from the Scientific American website…  
"Modern science often depicts humanity as an accident, a bit player in the universe, but the timewave theory puts us at center stage in the cosmic drama, according to McKenna. If he had to define God, he would define it as this novelty-generating process. This definition could serve as the basis for a new moral order. “Anything which destroyed novelty would be bad, and anything which helped build it up and advance it would be good.”
What about Nazi Germany? I asked. Wasn’t that novel? Or the hydrogen bomb? Or AIDS? McKenna acknowledged that novelty may be accompanied by increased suffering and death, but in general progress of some kind emerges out of these catastrophes. In the case of Nazi Germany, “the twentieth century had to deal with the issue of fascism. It couldn’t close its eyes and waltz past that. And it did! So in that sense Nazi Germany, with its science-fiction production values and its silly rhetoric, served a useful purpose.” McKenna, deep down, was apparently an optimist.”
See?  
Here’s a lot more, the thing that got me interested to read up on this “whoa, who the hell is this guy?” guy.   It’s the last recorded interview with McKenna before his death.  At least it claims to be that, but it’s from the internet, so who really knows?  It’s also in the middle of the woods for some reason.  Which is strangely appropriate and awesome.  The video is over and hour long. and the most amazing part (cuz there is a LOT of “amazing” in here) is that he’s basically just talking.  Free-forming stunning thoughts in complex constructions of logic, insight, and what many may feel is total wackiness, like he’s ordering lunch for 500 co-workers at a drive-thru window.  Barely takes a breath.  Just goes and goes…
Definitely worth the time. 



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