“The mushrooms once said to me: You must have a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you will become part of somebody else’s plan.”
Terence McKenna (1946-2000) was an influential lecturer, writer, and psychonaut who Timothy Leary called “the Timothy Leary of the 90’s.” In McKenna’s obituary in The New York Times, author Douglas Martin sums him up this way: “Mr. McKenna combined a leprechaun’s wit with a poet’s sensibility to brew a New Age stew with ingredients including flying saucers, elves and the I Ching. The essential seasoning was the psychedelic mushrooms that transformed his life and that he recommended — in ‘’heroic doses’ — for virtually everyone.”
The Stoned Ape Hypothesis
McKenna explains that as Africa began to undergo desertification, human ancestors were forced out of the forests and onto the savannas to find food. These groups would follow footprints and dung on the ground to find animals to hunt and eat. It just so happens the hallucinogenic mushroom Psilocybe cubensis is a dung-lover and often found growing in the manure of animals that live on the savanna.
According to his stoned ape hypothesis, human ancestors ate these mushrooms and experienced their extraordinary hallucinogenic effects. The effects are often described as “mind-opening,” feeling empathy and increased courage, and seeing fractal patterns even with the eyes closed. After consuming the mushrooms, leaders emerged within groups as those who were brave and kind to others. These leaders became trusted as looking out for their best interests by other group members.
McKenna’s theory goes on to propose that psilocybin mushrooms improved visual acuity, making individuals better hunters. More food meant a higher rate of reproductive success. Although there is no scientific proof, McKenna also thought higher doses of psilocybin would increase sexual arousal, resulting in more mating attempts. He also proposed that higher doses would increase activity in the language-forming regions of the brain, causing visions and music.
Further, McKenna said the strange effects of psilocybin dissolved the ego and contributed to the development of religion. So, the theory argues access to hallucinogenic mushrooms was an evolutionary advantage for humans. McKenna called it the ‘evolutionary catalyst.’
In this video compilation we hear McKenna talking about some profound messages the mushroom gave to him during some of his own heroic journeys with this powerful 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.”
Below is my my own personal experience with mushrooms recently. I hope this live gives you insight and knowledge on the magic of mushrooms.
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