Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotes and thoughts by Terence McKenna on life, wisdom, philosophy, culture, environment, ego, control, life, chaos and alchemy.

55 Thought-Provoking Quotes By Terence McKenna That Will Reclaim Your Mind

Quick Facts

Famous As: Philosopher, Psychonaut, Ethnobotanist, Author

Born On: November 16, 1946

Died On: April 3, 2000

Born In: Paonia, Colorado, United States

Died At Age: 53

Terence Kemp McKenna was an U.S. author, mystic, lecturer, ethnobotanist and also an advocate of sensible use of psychedelic plants. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, and it was during this time that he started studying shamanism and also experienced the effect of drugs like opium. McKenna wrote and spoke about a variety of subjects other than psychedelic plants and some of his favourite topics included culture, philosophy, technology, alchemy, culture, the environment and languages among many others. McKenna had also propounded the novelty theory, which although unscientific proved to be hugely popular and is regarded as one of the factors behind the widespread fear that the world was to end in December 2012. He had also written several books and some of his noted works include ‘The Invisible Landscape: Mind’, ‘Hallucinogens and the I Ching’, ‘The Evolutionary Mind’, ‘The Archaic Revival’, ‘Synesthesia’ and ‘Food of the Gods’ among others. He was also a well-known public speaker who delivered a number of lectures on a variety of subjects. His writings covered several subjects and viewpoints. The below collection of Terence McKenna’s most famous quotes have been excerpted from his writings, papers, books, lectures, speeches, interviews and thoughts. Read on the collection of sayings and quotes by Terence McKenna.

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.

Terence McKenna

If the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on.

Terence McKenna

The cost of sanity in this society, is a certain level of alienation

Terence McKenna

The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.

Terence McKenna

You have to take seriously the notion that understanding the universe is your responsibility, because the only understanding of the universe that will be useful to you is your own understanding.

Terence McKenna

Western civilization is a loaded gun pointed at the head of this planet.

Terence McKenna

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.

Terence McKenna

If you don't have a plan, you become part of somebody else's plan.

Terence McKenna

Television is by nature the dominator drug par excellence. Control of content, uniformity of content, repeatability of content make it inevitably a tool of coersion, brainwashing, and manipulation.

Terence McKenna

Only psychos and shamans create their own reality

Terence McKenna

My technique is don’t believe anything. If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite.

Terence McKenna

Nobody is smarter than you are. And what if they are? What good is their understanding doing you?

Terence McKenna

Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.

Terence McKenna

Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience that primordial shamanism is based on is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego.

Terence McKenna

Half the time you think your thinking you’re actually listening

Terence McKenna

The problem is not to find the answer, it's to face the answer

Terence McKenna

I’ll try to be around and about. But if I’m not, then you know that I’m behind your eyelids, and I’ll meet you there

Terence McKenna

There is a transcendental dimension beyond language... It's just hard as hell to talk about!

Terence McKenna

The imagination is the goal of history. I see culture as an effort to literally realize our collective dreams.

Terence McKenna

Even as the nineteenth century had to come to grips with the notion of human descent from apes, we must now come to terms with the fact that those apes were stoned apes.

Terence McKenna

The shaman is not merely a sick man, or a madman; he is a sick man who has healed himself.

Terence McKenna

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.

Terence McKenna

My voice speaking is a monkey's mouth making little mouth noises that are carrying agree-upon meaning, and it is meaning that matters. Without the meaning one has only little mouth noises

Terence McKenna

You see, a secret is not something untold. It’s something which can’t be told.

Terence McKenna

We tend to disempower ourselves. We tend to believe that we don’t matter. And in the act of taking that idea to ourselves we give everything away to somebody else, to something else.

Terence McKenna

The purpose of life is to familiarize oneself with this after-death body so that the act of dying will not create confusion in the psyche.

Terence McKenna

The bigger you build the bonfire, the more darkness is revealed.

Terence McKenna

Time will perfect matter.

Terence McKenna

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.

Terence McKenna

No one knows enough to worry.

Terence McKenna

Ideology always paves the way toward atrocity.

Terence McKenna

A hallucination is a species of reality, as capable of teaching you as a videotape about Kilimanjaro or anything else that falls through your life.

Terence McKenna

It is not easy to measure the ocean, but we can be measured by it, confront it, and be in it.

Terence McKenna

Reality is, you know, the tip of an iceberg of irrationality that we've managed to drag ourselves up onto for a few panting moments before we slip back into the sea of the unreal.

Terence McKenna

Human history is a Gaian dream.

Terence McKenna

You don't want to become so open minded that the wind whistles between your ears.

Terence McKenna

What civilization is, is 6 billion people trying to make themselves happy by standing on each other's shoulders and kicking each other's teeth in. It's not a pleasant situation.

Terence McKenna

It’s pretty simple, the ethical life. It’s just demanding.

Terence McKenna

We live in condensations of our imagination

Terence McKenna

There's only the integrity of doing and having done.

Terence McKenna

We are the inheritors of a million years of striving for the unspeakable.

Terence McKenna

Human beings are co-partners with deity in the project of being. This is the basis of all magic.

Terence McKenna

The race isn't to the swift, it's to the thoughtful.

Terence McKenna

The spiritual atrophying of contemporary culture may be due in large measure to its loss of sensitivity to processes in the collective unconscious.

Terence McKenna

The monkey body has carried us to this moment of release, but we are coming more and more to exist in a world made by the human imagination.

Terence McKenna

Nature is not mute; it is man who is deaf.

Terence McKenna

Reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.

Terence McKenna

The real truth, that dare not speak itself, is that no one is in control. Absolutely no one.

Terence McKenna

There is no question that a society that sets out to control its citizens' use of drugs sets out on the slippery path to totalitarianism.

Terence McKenna

A hallucination is to be in the presence of that which previously could not be imagined, and if it previously could not be imagined then there is no grounds for believing that you generated it out of yourself.

Terence McKenna

There is no mundane dimension really, if you have the eyes to see it, it is all transcendental.

Terence McKenna

Authority will lead you into ruin.

Terence McKenna

Nowhere is it writ that anthropoid apes should understand reality.

Terence McKenna

If you cross an onion with a UFO, what you get is a flying saucer that brings tears to your eyes.

Terence McKenna

You don’t go on bended-knee to petition the official culture for your rights. You have to take them.

Terence McKenna