50 of Terence Mckenna's Mind Bending Quotes

A Dive Into The Mind of Terence McKenna


What do you think of when you hear the name Terence McKenna? Well, here's a quick list of some of Terence McKenna's most mindbogglingly profound quotes to help you get a mental image of his processes, McKenna, a man who lived somewhat of a strange life, did things and drugs that some would be scared to today, and also opened up people's minds to the idea some of these drugs have benefits, medically, mentally and physically, he comes back to the regular world and has insight of information we can use in the world we live in today.

Terence Kemp McKenna was actually quite the scholar who earned himself a few degrees. Born on November 16, 1946, McKenna was an American ethnobotanist, a mystic, a psychedelic juggernaut and mental explorer, a lecturer who spoke publicly frequently, psychedelic plants. He used his voice in the safety of responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelics plants. He used his brain to its full potential maybe even more than most of the population of the world, but on April 3, 2000 Terence McKenna died from a brain tumor in a fight with cancer at the age of 54. He went a bit early, but that's not to say he didn't make the most of his life and a massive impact on society as a whole and the world while he lived out his days.

Some would say Terence McKenna is one of the most interesting people in the world, with a mind full of thoughts that are completely over the top and out of the box, you can see he was educated, but on a whole other level for sure!

So without further adieu, let's get right into this list!

  1. It is the imagination that argues for the Divine Spark within human beings. It is literally a decent of the World’s Soul into all of us.
  2. Half the time you think your thinking you’re actually listening.
  3. The surface of things is not where attention should rest.
  4. Nature has an economy, an elegance, a style, that if we could but emulate it we could rise out of the rubble we are making out of the planet.
  5. I think ideology is toxic, all ideology. It’s not that there are good ones and bad ones. All ideology is toxic, because ideology is a kind of insult to the gift of human free thinking.
  6. Beauty is self-defined, perceived and understood without ambiguity. It’s the stuff that lies under the skins of our individual existences.
  7. Art’s task is to save the soul of mankind.. anything less is a dithering while Rome burns.
  8. Belief is a toxic and dangerous attitude toward reality. After all, if it’s there it doesn’t require your belief–and if it’s not there why should you believe in it?
  9. Alchemy is really the secret tradition of the redemption of spirit from matter.
  10. Ideology always paves the way toward atrocity.
  11. Matter is not lacking in magic, matter Is magic.
  12. You see, a secret is not something untold. It’s something which can’t be told.
  13. I don’t believe consciousness is generated in the brain any more than television programs are made inside my TV. The box is too small.
  14. How do we fight back? By creating art.
  15. The engineers of the future will be poets.
  16. It’s clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning. ..We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it’s not easy.
  17. Culture is the effort to hold back the mystery, and replace it with a mythology.
  18. Closure is a neurotic and infantile demand to make upon reality, other people, or language.
  19. Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.
  20. Now, I think, it’s time to refine our mathematical skills, learn to think straight and not be afraid to, uh, denounce the pernicious forms of foolishness which are vitiating the energies of our community and making us appear, uh, marginal and absurd in the discourse of our truly transforming society.
  21. As a society we cannot seem to make peace with nature. As individuals, it’s hard for us to be at peace with ourselves.
  22. Human beings are co-partners with deity in the project of being. This is the basis of all magic.
  23. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature.
  24. Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control.
  25. You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.
  26. Language, thought, analysis, art, dance, poetry, mythmaking: these are the things that point the way toward the realm of the eschaton.
  27. If you want a teacher, try a waterfall. Or a mushroom or a mountain wilderness or a storm-pounded seashore. That is where the action is.
  28. Right here and now, one quanta away, there is raging a universe of active intelligence that is transhuman, hyperdimensional, and extremely alien… What is driving religious feeling today is a wish for contact with this other universe.
  29. The problem is we have to transcend cultural languages and fall into a phase with the communication systems that nature has placed all around us.
  30. People are so alienated from their own soul that when they meet their soul they think it comes from another star system.
  31. Nothing comes unannounced, but many can miss the announcement. So it’s very important to actually listen to your own intuition rather than driving through it.
  32. Find the Others.
  33. The notion of illegal plants and animals is obnoxious and ridiculous.
  34. There is a transcendental dimension beyond language… It’s just hard as hell to talk about!
  35. Unexamined cultural values & limitations of language have made us unwitting prisoners of our own assumptions.
  36. The imagination is the goal of history. I see culture as an effort to literally realize our collective dreams.
  37. We are so much the victims of abstraction that with the Earth in flames we can barely rouse ourselves to wander across the room and look at the thermostat.
  38. If you keep yourself as the final arbiter you will be less susceptible to infection by cultural illusion
  39. The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer.
  40. The way you stretch the envelope of culture is by creating language.
  41. The real tension is not between matter and spirit, or time and space, the real tension is between information and nonsense.
  42. Nothing lasts but nothing is lost.
  43. Matter is not lacking in magic, matter is magic.
  44. People are so alienated from their own soul that when they meet their soul they think it comes from another star system.
  45. Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.
  46. Ideology always paves the way toward atrocity
  47. The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas. It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets, and you let these nets down – sometimes, something tears through them that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore, and put your head under your bed and pray. At other times what slips through are the minutiae, the minnows of this ichthyological metaphor of idea chasing. But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.
  48. You don’t want to become so open-minded that the wind can whistle between your ears.
  49. If you’re not the hero of your own novel, then what kind of novel is it? You need to do some heavy editing.
  50. Culture is the effort to hold back the mystery, and replace it with a mythology.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this list feel free to share it around!

Dean Abbass
Dean Abbass

I'm an 18 year old getting to the riches (hopefully) through the internet and via promotion and music and just the arts, but if you're reading this, you probably are too

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50 of Terence Mckenna's Mind Bending Quotes