March 29, 2023

Dillon Hicks Interview On Terence McKenna Live At Wollongong University S2e13

In 1997 Terence McKenna graced our shores with a solo spoken-word tour hosted by my dear friend Dillon Hicks. Cruising the East coast he spoke at many venues and had many experiences. Terence was taken with the “Aussies” as he found us to be so giving and friendly. I had the opportunity to meet Terence on this tour a few times and each meeting was consistently hilarious as his infectious positivity and sense of humor always left you on a high. Dillon recorded the Wollongong University performance and it has never been released until today.
Supernormalized Podcast
Supernormalized Podcast
Dillon Hicks Interview On Terence McKenna Live At Wollongong University S2e13
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Supernormalized Podcast
Supernormalized Podcast
Dillon Hicks Interview On Terence McKenna Live At Wollongong University S2e13
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In 1997 Terence McKenna graced our shores with a solo spoken-word tour hosted by my dear friend Dillon Hicks.

Cruising the East coast he spoke at many venues and had many experiences.

Terence was taken with the “Aussies” as he found us to be so giving and friendly.

I had the opportunity to meet Terence on this tour a few times and each meeting was consistently hilarious as his infectious positivity and sense of humor always left you on a high.

Dillon recorded the Wollongong University performance and it has never been released until today.

With the courtesy of Dillon we have an exclusive for you… Terence’s Wollongong Uni talk.

It’s an awesome monologue with the lilting leprechaun like voice of Terence letting us all know how to embrace the other and avoid the pitfalls of culture which we are all now experiencing first hand.

Dillon believes this is one of his best lectures of the tour and I couldn’t get away from work to see this one live so I’m glad to have the recording for all to enjoy. Please share widely… this one is *amazing*

On your favorite podcast app please scroll down and rate me 5 stars right now! That way more people can find me and this talk! Just do that courtesy even before listening and if you don’t like it you can change it later. If you have something you’d love to share on the show please contact me supernormalized@proton.me

Enjoy!

Transcript

[00:00:00] Dillon (Guest): I will admit that I’ve run many things at once. And I thought about this at the start of the week and then no, and then just as we’re coming to this, I was like, what year is this? Just as a street. This thing was 25 years ago.

[00:00:20] CeeJay (Host): Yeah, I know. That’s a long time ago.

[00:00:22] Dillon (Guest): Like, 25 years ago, this oh, really?

[00:00:26] CeeJay (Host): Far out.

[00:00:27] Dillon (Guest): Yeah.

[00:00:28] CeeJay (Host): Okay.

[00:00:28] Dillon (Guest): Yeah.

[00:00:29] Terence McKenna: Culture is not your friend. It’s not your friend. I don’t care what your culture is. I don’t care if you’re a Manhattan stockbroker or a shaman in the Amazon or you’re selling Dramedaries in Abu Dhabi.

You are imprisoned by your cultural values. Cultural values are training wheels for true being.

[00:01:14] Dillon (Guest): Sam.

[00:01:42] CeeJay (Host): Welcome to the show, everybody. I’m your host, CJ. Barnaby. Thanks for listening. And if you have an experience or lifestyle or healing medali you’d like to share with me on the show, email me direct at Supernormalize at proton me. That’s Supernormalized with a Z at proton me. Or go to the website supernormalize.com and hit the contact button. There any way you can get a hold of me and get your story on the show today on Supernormalized rin for a treat, we have a previously unreleased spoken word by Terrence McKenna, courtesy of Dylan Hicks, the promoter of the East Coast tour of Australia in the late 1990s. I’m sure you will enjoy. Welcome to Supernormalized, and I am your host, CJ. Barnaby. And on today’s show, I’ve got Dylan Hicks. And Dylan was the promoter for Terrence McKenna way back when. Dylan, say hello.

[00:02:41] Dillon (Guest): Hi there. Thanks for having Chris.

[00:02:43] CeeJay (Host): Yeah, thanks for coming on. It’s always a pleasure, bro.

People don’t know this, but we used to actually live together. We lived together at the genesis of all this in a house that was known as The Void, because basically everyone went there and got lost.

[00:03:02] Dillon (Guest): And found themselves at some point.

[00:03:04] CeeJay (Host): That’s exactly right. And people would walk away from there because they were completely touched by the whole experience. And it was always awesome.

Now. I was reading the books Archaic Revival, and I was actually reading Carl’s Castnata as well. But I fell into Terrence McKenna at the time, and I think it was one of those books that I shared to you or pushed on you or you found around that I left around, and you started reading it, and it prompted you to think more on Terrence and his ideas.

What happened?

[00:03:37] Dillon (Guest): Yeah. It’s interesting, isn’t it? Because I think if I reflect, most people I talk to started with Food of the Gods, which is sort of more narrative and ends with the great spaceship and all of that.

It’s all very interesting and great, but I don’t think I would have been as taken or as interested. It may not have proceeded to any of the other publications or books had it not been for Archaic Revival, which is more like a collection of essays and stories from magazines and different things that came out over the year. And so in being that was this really kind of interesting and eclectic look at a bunch of different things or ways that he was thinking. Right. And over time. So you got to see an arc of a progression of thinking. From my perspective, it was just fascinating. Right. And obviously he’s also incredibly articulate, or was incredibly articulate. So he was able to make fantastic things like Jules of Earn Level and beyond fantastic things approachable.

[00:04:55] CeeJay (Host): Yes. He would take ideas, which did take a part of, I would say, a bit of a leap of faith to be able to pull all together. But he put it down in such a way that it was absolutely believable.

[00:05:12] Dillon (Guest): I suppose my other root reflection would be having done the tour, reading that book back now, there’s also a cheeky sort of vaudevillian entertainer in the background that actually wants you to sort of have a good time. Right. And I don’t think I quite realized that on that first read. But the guy liked Monty Python.

[00:05:38] CeeJay (Host): He was the pure example of a shamanic psychopomp. He was like a real character, like an absolute character and the extrane equivalent of the laricon. But he’s like the little Irish leprechaun, but it was a lot taller than we’d known leprechauns to be.

[00:05:58] Dillon (Guest): Yeah, he’s the tallest leprechaun I’ve ever met, that’s for sure.

[00:06:04] CeeJay (Host): How did you get into promoting him and everything?

What happened there?

[00:06:11] Dillon (Guest): Yeah, that’s an interesting story. It’s an interesting time. So I’d come out of years of rock bands and playing in rock bands and would sort of turn my hand at promoting different kinds of music, broad spectrum of music over time. But it was also like this era where people became, and certainly I did too, interested in the notion of seeing ideas as a show. Right. Or wanting higher concepts and wanting to be able to access them, but also wanting to be able to access them in a physical space. And so we saw various examples of this marketed under terms like spoken word with a lot of stuff coming out of the punk rock community. Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, all that sort of stuff. Which is, again, not really what Terrence was all about. But there’s a little cultural movement where it’s like people were interested in ideas and coming out for ideas. It’s not stand up comedy. They’re coming out for ideas. And then I think somewhere around the time I was finishing Food of the Gods, I heard I think it was Alien Dreamtime, that kind of live performance he did with Name of the Musical Art Spacetime.

That’s right. And so I started just thinking around like, okay, these ideas are really interesting. We’re in this moment where people are craving kind of higher end ideas or interesting ideas, whether they agree with them or not. Right? And so I think once I heard that record, I kind of started to put a lot of things together and just thought, this is a great opportunity, given that I was a young promoter, to do let’s be honest. Like, a low cost tour with someone who’s really compelling and really interesting that I’d like to just work with anyway, right, and hang out in a higher car for like, two or three weeks and shoot the shit.

But also, I think, commercially, I think this could work. Won’t be super lucrative, but we’ll make some money, won’t lose loads of money. It’s definitely way easier than trying to get a band here where you’ve got trucks and vehicles and visas and all that kind of jazz.

And I felt like I just had this gut feeling that there was something worthwhile about it. There’s something that was compelling and that we could draw people to and get a crowd and provoke a reaction, right? And that was the other thing for me at that time, I really had a frustration with.

I’m just going to go inverted commas. Meth, right? The worst thing that can happen to an artist is meth. Right?

I’ve an evoked emotion. Is that emotion positivity and applause or joy or actually, oh, my God, this is awful. I really don’t like that thing. I caught art, but meth and I’d been through a few meth and I was like, I’m not doing that anymore. And sometimes that means you’ve just got to go with your gut.

[00:09:33] CeeJay (Host): So that’s what excellent, excellent. And what was the experience like touring with Terrence McKenna for you at the time?

[00:09:46] Dillon (Guest): Like, the guy’s super amenable, super available, super intelligent.

And as we said before, he had a real mischievous sort of streak, right? He liked a good time.

He liked the joke. Didn’t mind it if it was your expense. You didn’t mind if it was his expense either, right? But what was really interesting is that there was a few things, right? The culture of giving random people just came up and they would just give him things, right? They’d give him lunch, they’d give him variety of different, very interesting consumable gifts.

They would give him the gift of ad lib poetry through the window of the car as we’re trying to get away from the event.

I remember there was just one guy who did this music event.

I think Ollie Olsen backed him while he did sort of a spoken piece, not entirely dissimilar to the alien dreamtime thing from a conceptual perspective. And it was supposed to be down at Moonlight Hair. But anyway, there was some drama with the local police that got moved to a farmer’s property that was fighting with the local licensing sergeant. And it was like, honestly on for young and old. And we’re trying to get out of this event and we finally got away from the Mod and we’re in this tiny Nissan Teeter style hire car, and this guy with what I can only describe as a Flintstone style comedic bone through his node that’s, like, wider than his head. He’s got his head in the car, like, leaning in through the window and he’s doing this kind of like Jack Kerawak, Jules Verne, James Joyce ad lib poetry with no kind of punctuation. And it goes for 20 minutes and we’re trying to get and then at the end, he hands him a gift and says, thanks very much, and leaves. But for a while there, I was wondering whether he was an axe murderer.

[00:12:12] CeeJay (Host): But this is what further inspired remember Sydney? Remember the Sydney event? Right? How bananas that went.

And getting to the car, he said, I get out of there. What did he say? I can’t. Because it was like.

[00:12:35] Dillon (Guest): It was like a mob. Actually, I’d forgotten about that until you just said it. It was the Manning or the old Manning bar before it was refurbed in the last, I don’t know, ten years or whatever.

And so the bars for those that have never been there is kind of right at the top of this old University of Sydney building.

And it was like, you can’t leave via any of the regular stage exits because people are kind of mobbing him, right?

And the booker from and the handlers from the union are like, okay, we have to get you guys out, like, this elaborate and I felt like I was in the film Spinal Tap, right? The bit where they’re trying to find the stage, except that we’re trying to get out of the building. It’s, like, in reverse. And we go all down all these weird corridors and access routes until we come out in this place. I’m like, Where even are we? And where is the car? Was honestly just truly bizarre.

Some of the tactics people because I think it was sold out. Some of the tactics people went to to get through the door. Like we had sold out. We had yeah, right. That girl that just took a shirt off and just ran with her arms up like this.

Not touching that.

[00:13:53] CeeJay (Host): What can we do with that? That’s nothing. And we like, what? She’s in it’s?

[00:13:56] Dillon (Guest): Like, just come through. Right?

Yeah.

It was a great time.

[00:14:04] CeeJay (Host): It was one of the craziest ones. And yeah, I remember it getting so crazy I didn’t even go inside. I just went outside and waited for the end.

[00:14:14] Dillon (Guest): Yeah, I’m with you. I spend a lot of time at that, like, batting people away and trying to find this Ride the Knifeline between.

People have paid their money, right? And they want their pound of for McKenna, that means they want a conversation. Right? It’s like, if they go and see the Rolling Stones, they just need to see Can’t Get No Satisfaction and Jumberjack Flash and we’re happy, right? And we’ve got our pound of flesh. But if you live in the world of ideas, then they want a conversation. And that’s very difficult to facilitate when there’s a thousand people trying to get at one guy.

[00:14:58] CeeJay (Host): That’s exactly it. And the thing is, his information is so approachable that you want to express your opinion back to him because it feels like he’s talking to yep.

So this show is in wollongong that we’re going to play. And tell me about that show, what was happening?

[00:15:17] Dillon (Guest): The Wollongong one was one of the ones that I described when we just sort of kicked off our preamble. The reason the tour was at the time of year that it was was because I was trying to maximize, like promoter, right? Trying to maximize the amount of money because it costs a lot of money to get people here.

Let’s do as much work as possible. And typically at that time, start of the academic year, there’s a little bit more money available for kind of weird arty things, kind of lunchtimes and daytime events and that sort of thing. So this is one of those things at the like, much like you, Wongong was my hometown, so we kind of knew everyone.

I think Don Beale was the guy booking entertainment at the time, and I kind of shared this notion with him and he just thought he thought it was pretty cool. He’s like, absolutely, let’s do this. We need to give some people something to think about at the start of the year and was super supportive. But we were lucky enough that I think it was Ben. I can’t his last name escapes me because it’s 25 years ago. Super great guy said, Can I record this? And I was like, in principle, yes, but ownership needs to vest with us. And he was very cool about that, gave us a copy of it, was just really interested in the ideas and wanted something for posterity. But it turned out of all of the events that we did to be the most succinct on point and interesting talk that he gave on the entire tour, in my opinion, maybe not the one with the greatest amount of leprechaun, right? Or the most mischievous, but in terms of the ideas, it was the one where I really felt like he was fluid and he was just in the moment and he kind of owned it. I felt like of all of those daytime things, too, it was by far the most successful.

[00:17:25] CeeJay (Host): Excellent. Excellent. Yeah, I really love it. And yeah, I think with that, we’ll play the show.

[00:17:33] Terence McKenna: (note the first part is cut off due to the sound guy hitting record at the last minute)

McKenna I’m a writer and a lecturer from the Entferinichtenstaden, the good people who brought you hydrogen bombs and Michael Jackson.

And now my own small contribution.

I’m down here on a tour around Eastern Australia, basically meeting with techheads ethnobotanists and enclaves of freaks. My special, Baileywick, is the psychedelic experience, its source in nature, its implications for human evolution in the distant past and the future evolution of human culture. And I’ve done a number of events backed with music in a more theatrical presentation. A lot of people expressed frustration with that that they couldn’t get their licks in in terms of Q-A-I give long answers to questions. So I thought today I would do Q A if anybody had anything they wanted to get to me with. Otherwise you’re just going to be the victims of my own agenda and notion of what needs to be talked about. So before I flail you with that, is there anybody who wants to try a question on me and see if we can make that work?

A reticent watching Fearful Gang no takers, eh?

All right, well, question right? The question is in a book I wrote called The Food of the Gods I tried to offer an account of the evolution of human consciousness by implicating psilocybin in the early human diet.

And do I stand by that? And then what are the implications for the future of psychedelics and human evolution?

Before I address the first part of the question, let me say obviously what psychedelics do is they catalyze cognitive processes. It’s hard to imagine how catalysis of cognitive process would not issue into more complex forms of organization.

A lot of things are contributing in the present situation to the advance of cognitive processes, not the least of which is the creation of a global culture, a mixing of all kinds of social and religious systems. The way I proposed that this worked in the distant past.

First of all, you have to understand sort of the nature of the problem.

The great embarrassment to orthodox evolutionary theory is the human evolutionary story.

If this were a planet of wombats and chipmunks, wildebeests and coral reefs, natural selection as modified by molecular theory would be sufficient to account for the biota of the planet. The fly in the ointment is the human brain.

Lumholtz, who is a very orthodox and conservative evolutionary thinker, has said of the human brain and its expansion in size over an evolutionarily brief period that this represents the most remarkable transformation of a major organ of a higher animal in the entire fossil record.

So then the question becomes there must have been extraordinary factors, pressures involved. After all, higher mammals had been on this planet at least 500 million years before the advent of self reflecting consciousness. It’s also a further embarrassment to evolutionary theory that it can’t account for the explosive appearance of the large human brain because it’s worth noting that that’s the brain which generated the theory of evolution. So absent an explanation of its own existence, the theory of evolution seems somewhat hung out to dry. So I looked at this from the point of view of searching for an extraordinary selective factor or environmental input into the protohominid world at the time that the transition was taking place from arboreal dwelling to knuckle walking and radiation into the grasslands.

Like most animal species, human beings or protohominids would have reached evolutionary climax and equilibrium in their chosen habitat, which was the Canopied rainforests of Africa.

Were it not for the fact that that habitat destabilized over the past. About 5 million years ago, Africa began to dry up and the unbroken equatorial rainforest began to be fractally interlaced with what are called gallery grasslands. A much simpler environment containing many of the species found in the forest environment, but overall many fewer species. And I believe that it was probably nutritional pressure that forced our early ancestors to leave the Canopies and begin to explore the new grassland environment. Recently, some primatologists in Assam published a paper in which in twelve months of observing monkeys in those rainforests, they only saw them leave the canopy on two occasions. And on both occasions it was for purposes of collecting mushrooms. So I want to suggest that our remote ancestors moving into the new world of the grassland were opportunistic. Foragers every animal species that has the luxury of doing so will tend to specialize its diet. It’s thought that this is done as a conservative strategy for avoiding chemical stress and hence mutation in the environment. In other words, if you’re adapted to eating only eucalyptus leaves, you can handle that, but switch over to something else and suddenly infertility rates rise, mutation rates rise, child spacing becomes chaotic, so forth and so on.

Higher animals, when they come under nutritional pressure, face either death or diversification of diet. And we faced this kind of a situation in the new grassland environment in which we were evolving.

It’s been suggested that we predated on lion kills, that this is the reason for the atrification of the olifactory mechanism in human beings, because we were basically rubbing our noses in a lot of carry on in the first phase of all of this. But having spent time in grassland environments in South America, in Kenya, other places, it’s very clear to me that the coprophytic, meaning dung loving, psilocybin producing mushrooms that prefer the dung of ungulate animals, especially cattle, would have been a very noticeable feature of that environment. And in fact, in Kenya I actually saw baboons investigating what in America we delicately call cow pies. And what these baboons were doing was they were flipping them over, looking for beetle grubs as a source of high caloric fats. So primates understand that manure is a potential source of nutrition and if you’ve ever seen stropharia cubensis, your golden tops but this is a pantropical mushroom. It exists now throughout the tropical world after a hard rain in the grasslands. It’s one of the most noticeable features of the grassland and certainly would have been investigated as a food source. Now, psilocybin, aside from its psychedelic properties, has some other properties which I will contend make it a perfect candidate for driving the wedge in that allowed the full flowering of the human mind. First point psilocybin in low doses. Doses so low that you can’t feel it as a shift in consciousness. Nevertheless, people in that circumstance, given standard eye tests, do considerably better than unstoned subjects. And the eye test on which they excel most noticeably is what’s called edge detection. Well, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if there’s a chemical factor in an environment that gives a hunting animal slightly better vision, slightly enhanced ability to detect predators moving through the tall grass, toward them or dinner sliding away, out of sight. Those animals which accept this chemical, this food, this plant into their diet will be better. Hunters will obtain more food for themselves, and their offspring will, in fact, tend to outbreed the non Psilocybin using members of the species. And I believe this, in fact, happened that there was selection in the early African grassland environment in favor of the Psilocybin using members of the early hominids, specifically on the basis of enhanced visual acuity. But the story is more complicated than that.

At slightly higher doses, psilocybin causes what is called arousal. And I’m sure you all know this feeling. It’s the feeling you have when you take a double espresso on an empty stomach. It’s a feeling of agitation, alertness, scanning of the environment. And in highly sexed animals like primates, it can be accompanied by male erection.

So you have a second factor here promoting outbreeding of the non Psilocybin using members of the species. Essentially, the Psilocybin using members of the group are more sexually active. And anthropologists without a trace of humor refer to this situation as offering greater opportunities for successful copulation. And we certainly can applaud that.

But there’s a very interesting thing here in this domain of the impact of Psilocybin on our sexuality. Not simply an increase of sexual activity, but a slight change in the style of the sexual activity. And this was really important to my formulation of my theory. All primates clear back to the old world monkeys and squirrel monkeys and the more primitive primates, all primates have what are called dominance hierarchies, or male dominance hierarchies. What this means is the hard bodied, sharp fanged, sexually active young males run roughshod over everybody else the young, the old, females, homosexuals. Everybody has to take their marching orders from the dominant males of the tribe or the clave or however you wish to style it. As we sit here today, we have this problem. We know we have a problem with gender politics. We know we’re not utilizing 50% of the talent of our population. That has to be female because of the momentum of dominator attitudes in this area.

But an interesting thing about human sexuality quite different from that of other animals, is how we do our sexual business is not under genetic control the way it is in other species. It’s a matter of cultural decision. Apparently, how we express ourselves sexually is so close to a disequilibrium point that cultural factors can push you one way or the other. So on this planet today we have cultures which are fiercely monogamous, cultures which are happily polygamous and then interesting variations, cultures where wives are shared among brothers, for example and endless variations on these themes privately arranged among people. So our sexuality is not genetically programmed and looking at two near relatives of ourselves, the chimpanzee, which differs in its DNA from human beings only by about 4% and bonubos, or so called pygmy chimpanzees although they are not physically obviously smaller than ordinary chimpanzees you have to be a zoologist to tell these animals apart. But the sexual behavior of the bonubos and the chimps could hardly be more different. Their DNA differs by less than 2%.

Chimpanzees are classic male dominators, as I described. Bonubos are polymorphically, sexual mating, pair bonding is very weak homosexual activity on the part of both sexes is the rule is as common as heterosexual activity.

All kinds of things are going on. Apparently we rest somewhere between the chimps and the bonubos and something like a psychoactive substance entering into the diet was able to redefine our style of sexual relating and I believe that we went from being monogamous, male dominated, hierarchically organized primates to shortly after moving on to the African grassland. The presence of psilocybin in the diet promoted an orgiastic sexual style. The interesting thing about orgy one of many things is that men cannot trace lines of male paternity.

For men in an Orgiastic society children are simply our children and so it’s an incredible social glue especially in a group of individuals probably rarely numbering more than 100.

So increased hunting by accepting psilocybin into the diet, a reorganization of sexual behaviors based on admitting slightly higher doses into the diet. And then I want to move beyond that to talk about high doses where hunting is out of the question, hanky panky is out of the question, and you are simply nailed to the ground near the fire, unable to move, caught in the full flood of what we call the psychedelic experience. And even today, with deconstructionism under our belt and Husserlian phenomenology honed in each of us and so forth and so on, we are still completely in awe of the psychedelic experience. It challenges our categories, it pushes us to the limits we reach for metaphors, religious and alien and extravagant to explain it, to integrate it so you can imagine its impact on our ancestors and again chemically unique and not necessarily linked to its psychedelic properties.

At high doses of psilocybin Glossalia or speaking in tongues is a common phenomenon.

In other words, glossalalia is language like activity in the absence of culturally assigned meaning. It’s as though the syntactical and language forming capacity of the human being simply overflows in an excess of stimulation and people or protohominids experiment and indeed involuntarily express language like behavior. And the only way I can imagine spoken language coming into being is if it first existed as a form of entertainment absent culturally assigned meaning. The way scat singing or shamanic chanting or something like that is interesting to listen to but doesn’t carry meaning. Then, much later, conventional associations. This sound means small animal needing to be killed and this sound means waterhole. That way, so forth and so on came to be so. It was a three stage process increased visual acuity a redefining of our sexual behaviors and a big kick in the pants toward articulation of language. So in this period in the African velt when all these factors were present we went from being a hierarchically structured semicarnivorous hominid to human beings.

Everything about us humor, altruism, dance, theater, philosophy, loyalty everything that we claim as most noble and human about us emerged in this period of quasi symbiosis between cattle which were the source of the manure mushrooms and early human beings. Well, so then people say well, it’s such a wonderful story. What the hell happened? How did we get from here to there? Well, the answer is I believe it lies in examining the dynamics that created the original situation.

Recall at the beginning of this wrap I said it was the African continent’s tendency to go dry that disrupted the original canopied forest equilibrium. This process of drying didn’t stop at the heights of the mushroom paradise. Northern Africa was a vast grassland swarming with animal game cut by rivers flowing out of the Algerian highlands. Water abundant water abundant resources of all types. But the continent kept drying. And by 25,000 years ago, at the height of the Ice Age the unlimited supply of mushrooms and their ubiquitous distribution in that North African habitat began to be interrupted. The mushrooms became seasonal.

Still later, they retreated into the rain shadows of mountains.

Still later, there were none. And the human response to this was to change the style from every Saturday night getting loaded around the fire and then having sex in a big heap to lunar parties and then later probably solsticeial parties. And then as the supply dwindled role specialization only certain people were allowed the mushroom shamans or high calf, something like that. Then an even more insidious factor entered into it. If your mushroom supply is dwindling but is seasonal you will attempt strategies of preservation.

In a world without refrigeration, you have two strategies of preservation. One is to dry the mushrooms and then seal them in a vial or a tight container. But tight containers are hard to come by in the paleolithic.

The other strategy is to preserve them in honey. And in fact, in Mexico to this day, among Indian populations we see honey as a means of preservation. But honey is an insidious preserving medium because honey will itself turn into a psychoactive substance.

It will ferment into a 12% alcohol material. And in the same way that psilocybin carried certain culturally impacting potentials so too does alcohol. And the story is not so happy.

Alcohol promotes an overestimation of one’s. Social skills and verbal facility at the same time that it lowers sensitivity to social queuing. You only have to visit a singles bar on a Friday night to see these factors in full play.

And alcohol has always been the drug of dominator cultures and dominator styles. So sadly, at the end of the mushroom paradise, agriculture, fermented, honey and slightly later, fermented, grain beverages, sedentary, living styles as opposed to the previous nomadism return of male dominance. Understand, you see that the 100,000 years or 60,000 years in which this sexually egalitarian society existed, the old dominator genes had not been taken out of the animal, but they had been chemically repressed, almost as though we had been self inoculating against male dominance. As the mushrooms left the social system, the male dominant tendencies reemerged and you get male anxiety over female sexual and reproductive behavior, role specialization, standing armies, kingship, urbanization.

And at the same time, agriculture is coming into the picture and producing enormous surpluses which then create anxiety toward exogamous groups. In other words, you have to defend your surplus against the people from over the next valley. This was then the fall into history. There really was a paradise and there really was a fall.

But in the period when psilocybin had been a basic part of the human cultural toolkit in Africa, we had gone from a mute or barely linguistically able creature to fully being in command of language and rudimentary astromathematics and so forth and so on. So suddenly an age of brutality dawned and the archaeological record across North Africa and Europe is clear. This is what’s called the Tanged point technocomplex. These tanged points that are found in great assemblages where in deeper strata, in older strata, if you find a chipped point, you find one, it means somebody lost an arrow in hunting. But in this tanged point technocomplex situation, you find large assemblages of chipped points. These are not arrow factories because there’s no chippings. These are sites of sieges between early human groups. Well, what’s the point of telling a story like that? Well, two points. First of all, there is no good competing theory about how we came to be the bizarre creatures we are with 1ft in the animal body and 1ft planted on the road to Alpha Centura or something like that. To my mind, this explains it all very nicely. It also explains our gender discomforture, the bizarre non, the anxiety around women’s role in society, the bizarre resistance to full membership in society for women, so forth and so on.

But the question is reasonably asked. Well, so this is some kind of a footnote on evolutionary theory and it’s all very fascinating, but ultimately so what? So what? Well, the so what is that we are now in a cultural crisis of major dimensions fueled by the dominator institutions that emerged at that point. I mentioned standing armies, role specialization, male kingship. A few thousand years later, you throw in the phonetic alphabet, the Greek fascination with the surface of things, the absence of symbolism in Greek art and the birth of realism, which is the beginning of the path toward empiricism, positivism, reductionism, et cetera. And these things have left us now with a polluted, overpopulated and largely clueless global cultural dilemma.

But interestingly, about 100 years ago, beginning around 1888, a German chemist named Lewis Lewin made a journey to the United States where he scored 100 pounds of peyote and took it back to Berlin and was able to get a crystalline material out of it, which he named mescaline. This was the first of the aboriginal hallucinogens to swim into the kin of Western science, and it was followed in short order by harmoneline and harmine in the 20s. LSD was invented in 1937, though it didn’t really make its way into the world until the early 50s.

Psilocybin was isolated by Albert Hoffman in 53.

DMT was first synthesized and smoked by a human being in 56. My point is, in the last hundred years, and with increasing frequency in the last 50 years the program of anthropological exploration and cataloging of the world has brought into our ken the toolkits of these so called primitive aboriginal. People who, because they don’t build atom smashers or send probes to Venus, we took to be somehow less fit than ourselves even though their societies, absent our input, would be doing just fine. Thank you. While we’re at a social crisis, well, it’s one thing to bring back woven baskets and feather capes and spears and fish traps and all that very harmless detritus from other cultures. But you start bringing back other people’s magical drugs, their instruments for transforming reality, and you have brought a Trojan horse into the cheerful world of post classical positivism. As the establishment discovered to its horror in the 1960s when it was realized that millions of people were interested in conscious alteration, millions of people were felt constrained by the options for self expression offered by their own culture. I think it is not without implication that in our own culture, crisis of resource management and diversity, of race and sexual expression and so forth and so on, that these things have shown up on the scene. I think these things are the antidote to historicity. They are the magic bullet for overcoming empiricism, positivism, reductionism and all the other fragmented and categorical ways of looking at the world that we derive out of Greek philosophy and German idealism. The interesting thing about psychedelics, to my mind, is it’s not an ideology.

It’s not an ideology, it’s an experience.

And to my mind, the 20th century should have taught us, if it taught us anything, the bankruptcy of ideology.

We are not here to choose good ideologies over bad ideologies. All ideologies are extremely toxic and dangerous to the human spirit. All ideologies proceed from a lower dimensional understanding of what a human being is.

Psychedelics don’t say give all your money away or seize the means of production or anything like that. They say find your place in your senses. Essentially come to your senses.

Ideologies are a cultural crap game of some sort and I think anyone who lives long enough and keeps their wits about them will sooner or later come to the realization that culture is not your friend. It’s not your friend. I don’t care what your culture is. I don’t care if you’re a Manhattan stockbroker or a shaman in the Amazon or you’re selling Dramedaries in Abu Dhabi.

You are imprisoned by your cultural values. Cultural values are training wheels for true being. And at a certain point and you can choose when 1625 45 55 people want to get rid of the training wheels. They want to become a full human being not a full human being within the context of a given culture. This is extremely unsettling to establishments and all systems of control.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept neotony. Neotony is a term in biology that means the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. So for instance primatologists say of human beings that our hairlessness is a neonatal trait. All primates are born hairless but humans remain more hairless than any other. Also our skull to torso ratio is an infantile or embryological ratio. So neotony in the area of social theory neotony is a strategy used by human societies to keep the populations infantile.

And so the true metamorphosis of a person into their complete heritage as a whole being is something societies tend to mitigate against and resist. They would rather have you associate yourself to some cult political or religious to find gratification through consumerism daytime TV. We all know that every society is stupid to some degree. Well that stupidity of society is neotony at work. So psychedelics whether you like them or hate them the thing they do trying to make a general statement that few could argue friend or foe what the psychedelics do is they dissolve boundaries.

They dissolve the illusion of separateness between yourself and your mate, between you and the environment, between you and your history, you and your future, you and everything else. And this dissolution of boundaries is extremely unsettling to cultural agendas because cultural agendas are defined by boundaries. So when large numbers of people start taking psychedelics the cry is always heard that chaos is not far behind.

That’s right.

That’s right. And chaos is the proper antidote to all this constipated linear print created categorical role defined programming that everybody is walking around in. So I really think our culture crisis requires drastic medicine.

Science is not sufficient in the hands of our politicians to save us. Our political systems produce enormous disparities of wealth and accessibility to resources. They produce enormous disease in the population.

So in a book I wrote called The Archaic Revival I tried to say that the answer to this is already in the wind. That the entire 20th century can be seen as a slow turning of the cultural canoe to sail in a different direction. The 19th century brought the culmination of Western values when proud white men went forth to conquer the world and left passive women behind to keep house for them and carried science and engineering and public health to every village on the planet and so forth and so on. The 20th century, it opens with Freud’s discovery that we are not all Eduardian gentlemen and ladies, that some of us are driven by cannibalistic drives, incest obsessions that right below the Eduardian surface was the jungle. And of course, then Jung came along and more or less connected things up more clearly and said, yes, all human psyche has its roots in the same soil.

The Amazonian shaman, the French intellectual, the Indian, the practicing Hindu, the dreams, the free associations of these people show they all come out of a common mental world, the world of the archetypes. While this was happening in the cafes of Paris, people like Pablo Picasso were bringing back masks and other souvenirs from West Africa and painting these things and distorting perspective. The same time in Zurich, Dada was getting going. 1919. Three years later, Henre Breton, the manifesto of surrealism. In the same year that the Copenhagen Conference on Quantum Physics announces the meltdown of rational physics, you enter a world of the uncertainty principle, so forth and so on. Jazz, sexual permissiveness in the flapper era, the first wave of cocaine use. And not all of this is a happy story. The Nazis are in there too, with their emphasis on the call of the blood and these Nietzschean impulses deeper than intellect and so forth and so on. Sort of get that beat down. And then you have abstract expressionism, rock and roll, LSD and then in the last 20 years, the shave pierced scarified and multisexual world that we all know and love and all the rest of it. The new age. Well, what this all is about is an impulse toward the archaic. You see, when a culture gets in trouble, when it loses its compass, it has an unconscious reflex. And the reflex is to go back, to search back through time to the last sane moment it ever knew and then to try and build a new civilization around that. And an example which I think makes it perfectly clear is classicism.

At the end of the Middle Ages, there was a period when in 90 years, no pope died a natural death.

In other words, the values of Western society were up for sale. The fact that it was a crap game was fully exposed to everyone.

Papal indulgences were dealt to the highest bidder, and the way to heaven was open if you could make the down payment. And the revulsion against this collapse of values caused some Italian capitalists to dig up ancient Greece and to go to Syria and bring back the Hermetic corpus, the Platonic books that had been lost in Europe, the parts of aristotle that had been forgotten. And people like Jamisticus Platho and Marcelo Ficino, under the patronage of Lorenzo di Medici, translated these things into vernacular languages and classicism was born.

We don’t think there’s anything strange about this, but it’s worth pointing out that when these people did this, greece had been in the ground, ancient Greece, for 1500 years. And yet the Sydney Library, the US. Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Houses of Parliament all have these Corinthian columns and this certain architectural look. And our laws have a certain look, and our city planning has a certain look. This is Classicism, and it stabilized the post medieval world up until the Industrial Revolution, and then all the bad little boys of the 19th century frederick, Nietzsche, Apollonaire, Lantremont I’m sure you all know the list got loose and the party came to an end. Our culture crisis is much deeper than the culture crisis that brought the rebirth of Classicism. Shall we go back further past Greece? Next stop, Dynastic, Egypt. Uh oh. Looks like the Nazis got their trademark on that particular thing after all, what is Dynastic, Egypt but a cult of an absolute leader called Pharaoh, who has a millinerian plan and uses slave labor to build tasteless overscale architectural projects with Jewish labor? You see, you can’t even tell whether we’re talking Nazi Germany or the Court of Akhnutten.

So, no, in the entire historical continuum, there is no anchor for our culture crisis, which is global.

Where we unconsciously put our attention, then, is in the prehistoric mode, the Archaic. And this is why, as I say, trans dancing, body piercing, scarification, new sexual diversity, new sexual ethics, a new interest in trance spirituality. I mean, all of these illegitimate concerns from the point of view of the value system of print, created classical 19th century thinking. But I maintain at the center of this impulse back to the Archaic is the figure of the shaman. And when the figure of the shaman is deconstructed with sufficient honesty, we discover two kinds of shamanism.

And at the risk of enraging somebody, I will call them real and ersats. Real shamanism is based on psychedelic drugs or some more destructive way of transforming consciousness, such as abandonment in the wilderness, flagellation extreme ordeals such as the Sundance in North America, where people hook metal hooks under their pectoral muscles and hang in the sun for 14 hours. In a world without antibiotics, you can imagine how many people must have died of septicemia from these kinds of practices.

Shamanism among the royal Maya was based on genital bloodletting in a rainforest tropical environment teeming with bacteria. I mean, to my mind, the psychedelics are the most effective and the least destructive of these many, many paths to authentic trance. And as this has become understood in different sectors of society, the commitment toward alteration of consciousness and shamanism has built, and it is now, I venture to suggest, a basic part of the toolkit of the creative endeavor. I mean, artists, people who are pushing the limits, people who are trying to bring stuff out of the unconscious are resorting more and more to shamanic methods, vocabularies and approaches. And as we now look with new eyes at the aboriginal cultures around the world and their toolkits we’re discovering that while we made an immense journey toward the understanding of matter to the point where we can sequence the human DNA trigger fusion in our laboratories and upon the heads of our enemies if necessary, so forth and so on Aboriginal people people outside of history made an enormous and continuous effort to understand time and experience.

And this leads you. Time in the animal body is hooked to metabolism. We know nothing about this. The time we recognize is the time of subway schedules and punch clocks. This is a synthetic time, a time of print and linear kazooistry. Real time is the time of the body. Real time is the time of the dream time. And the way out of history is through psychedelics and back toward these Aboriginal cultural values. Now, I’m not suggesting that ever again we will happily herd our flocks across the grasslands of a restored Sahara. You can’t go home again. But in the same way that the Italian Renaissance did not recreate classical Greece it nevertheless recreated an adembration of it. And I believe that through the Internet, through miniaturization, through nanotechnology, through redefining ourselves in a more honest and multiplistic sexual fashion we approach these archaic values and can revivify them. And the psychedelics are the inspiration for these ideas, the catalysts that can carry large societies toward this. And it provides an experience against which the constipated experience of consumer satisfaction which seems to be the apex of Western values can be compared and contrasted. Thus my motivation for bothering to talk to you here this afternoon.

End of the answer to the first question.

Anybody want to follow up? Yeah.

Well, the original motivation for leaving the trees probably wasn’t psychoactive drugs. It was probably just drying that the habitat was shrinking. What are you going to do?

You have two choices starve to death or experiment with food. Now, if you’re a simple animal, you will in fact, starve to death.

If you’ve ever tried to raise caterpillars for your children so they can watch butterflies emerge from cocoons you know that if you get the food plant wrong, the caterpillar will die. You just can’t give a caterpillar this green plant. Lower animals are very, very specialized.

There were, I’m sure, catastrophic incidents. I’ve concentrated here on psilocybin because it interests me. But imagine, for example, a group of our hungry ancestors moving into a new environment and encountering not psilocybin mushrooms, but diascaria vines of the sort that produce sweet potatoes. At one end of the spectrum, a preferred tropical food in Oceania and the Amazon. Sweet potatoes but at the other end of the spectrum, some of those diaschorea vines are the source of the birth control compounds that go into drugs like orthonovum in other words, birth control pills. That’s all, at least in the States, grown on huge plantations in northern Mexico. So imagine these desperately hungry primates moving into what they think is a patch of sweet potatoes, but it actually contains all these hormones impacting the female menstrual cycle. Well, then you have just chaos. You have infertility, you have screwed up child spacing, you have sick animals. And I’m sure we had very rugged experiences over and over again in the new environment as we learned what is food? What impacts our mental life in a positive way? And what things either kill or cause blindness or infertility or Parkinson’s or so forth? So, at every stage of human history, we find people who gave their lives and their health that the rest of us might be here today. Yeah.

Speak up.

Well, let me say the question is, what the basis of the visions on DMT? And what do I see there?

I’ve tried to make rational models. I mean, I am a rationalist, and I try to make rational models in an area where there’s been very little rational thought.

Let’s try to understand shamanism for a minute. What is it? A shaman in a classical setting tells the people knows where the game has gone. A shaman predicts weather.

A shaman can settle little domestic hassles of somebody sleeping with the wrong person, or somebody stole somebody’s chicken or little social hassles that create tension within the group. The shaman is expected to resolve those things. And then finally, shaman’s cure. And without any cynicism. Let me suggest, as any doctor will tell you, the essence of being a good doctor is having an uncanny ability to choose patients who will get well.

That is the essence of being an excellent doctor. So, looking at these talents of the shaman, telling where the game went, predicting the weather, picking patients who get well, so forth and so on, it begins to look like this is nothing more than a kind of higher dimensional perception. I’m sure you all are aware that if you could see in hyperspace, if you could see in four dimensional space in this world, any locked box appears to be open. If I could see in hyperspace, it would be as easy for me to look into your kidneys as it is for me to look into your eyes.

The distinction between the inside and the outside of the body doesn’t exist in a higher dimension. Similarly, time has a different presentation in hyperspace. And so here’s a metaphor too weak to call a theory, but a metaphor that you can try out for yourself.

The mind exists in two conformational geometries.

Some of you may be students of chemistry. You know that sulfur is a yellow powder which, when heated, turns into a black liquid. But did you know that if you continue heating the black liquid it turns back into a solid and must be heated to a still higher temperature to become liquid again? We say of sulfur. It has two conformational geometries in the solid state. Well, now, let’s make a metaphor about the human mind. The ordinary human mind. It seems reasonable to me. In fact, incontrovertible has evolved as a threat detection device. Remember the early talk about edge detection and sabertooth tigers creeping on their bellies through the grass toward you? Your conscious mind has been evolved to save the body because this chunk of meat at the center of the show must be preserved at all cost. If it is pulled apart, all the pretty philosophy and the fine hopes and the rich memories are as. Not so. There is a portion of the brain extraordinarily concerned with the preservation of the body. And it’s very paranoid that part of the brain because it expects to be attacked at any moment from above, from below, from behind. So we are constantly alert. But now build a big fire at the mouth of the cave. Put your hunkiest guys there with their sharpest spears. Move into the back of the cave. Build the fire higher in the place where the food, the furs, the women and the children are all gathered. In other words, go to the safest space. You know.

Now completely rearrange your consciousness with a local psychoactive plant and the second conformational geometry of the human mind will emerge. And it is not this animal paranoia three dimensional scanning thing ready to defend itself at a moment’s notice. Instead, the boundaries of three dimensional spacetime dissolve and one sees presumably back to the origin of time itself and forward to the conclusion of the universe.

In other words, absent the conditioning of the animal body the human mind is a superb instrument for exploring non local space and time. And I don’t really have time to flail you with it this afternoon but this idea of non locality of information coming out of physics begins to make it look like we have a sensory organ which we have misunderstood. We know that our eyes tell us what is there to be seen.

Our hand tells us what is there to be felt. But we have this peculiar organ called the imagination.

We tend to think that the imagination is a psychological function for the production of what we call fantasy. It isn’t. The imagination is a perceptual organ for non local information.

And when you imagine something, you are seeing something which is real but not anywhere tangential to your three dimensional spacetime locus and never can be. So when we smoke DMT or take psilocybin and are inducted into these worlds of self transforming elf machines, alien intellects, so forth and so on I believe this is non local information and that this non local information will become more and more important for the rest of our cultural development. There are no aliens, in my opinion, visiting this planet in ships of beryllium with a program of universal brotherhood. I find that preposterous for reasons too complex to go into. But I do believe that we can connect into a universal I don’t know the word, hegemony is somewhat loaded, but a universal system of intelligent organization. We can communicate with aliens, but they will always come clothed in the stuff of the human imagination. Art is the process of downloading non local information into local space. And now that we have understood this, we can carry the program of art forward in a much more efficient fashion. The purpose of art is to bring alien beauty from the alien dimensions in which it resides into the three dimensional human world as a source of positive reinforcement for the idea that we are ourselves part of this non local universe of information. These kinds of perceptions will dissolve the illusions of the limited historical vision and replace it with a technologically based, hyperdimensionally sophisticated neoshamanism completely capable of the rescue and restoration of the human destiny and the planetary ecosystem.

I’ve run out of time, folks. I can do this for hours. But thank you very, very much. I appreciate your attention.

[01:21:41] CeeJay (Host): Do you have any other takes on the show that you’d like to share or you hadn’t, from your experience of it?

[01:21:50] Dillon (Guest): Look, it’s actually a long time since I’ve listened to it. Right. I think it’s like making an album with a music album. By the time you’ve finished making it, you never really want to listen to it ever again. You hand it over to other people to enjoy.

Well, hopefully they 400 takes in the studio. Yeah, right. Like by the time you’ve spent six weeks mixing something down and you’ve analyzed like is that guitar tone right in those 3 seconds in the break?

[01:22:23] CeeJay (Host): Should we pan it over?

[01:22:24] Dillon (Guest): Kill me now just a little bit.

Kill me now. Right. Eddie Van Halen but look, I think it’s like I said before the break, for me, it’s the most succinct collection of his idea or most succinct presentation of the collection of ideas that he was pushing through that not pushing, but that he was going through during that period while we had him for the tour. Right. Which is kind of I suppose, that period is he’d just done trilogues at the edge of the west with Drake and Rupert and Ralph and so a lot of that stuff was at the forefront even though everyone else was kind of focused on the books that they read, which were now number of years old.

So he’d sort of already moved on. But super interesting. Like I said, that’s how I remember it. Right. And I remember how well it went over with people. Whether people liked it or didn’t like it. Nobody was meth. Right.

It divided the room. But I think mostly people were open.

[01:23:41] CeeJay (Host): Minded it was a life changing event. Having a Terrence McKenna UFO come over Australia for sure.

Have mushrooms had any impact on your life at all?

[01:23:58] Dillon (Guest): I think anybody that comes into contact with that sort of thing, of course it’s going to impact your life. Right.

I think what’s really interesting and we spoke about this, I don’t know, a couple of weeks ago when we were wrapping around what would the talk track for this show be? Right. The really interesting thing for me is to go like 25 years later and the reframing around psilocybin and psychedelics as that’s, that for me, coming into contact with some of the ideas of McKenna’s was really kind of a revelation because it’s very easy to trivialize a lot of the stuff or the personalities that came before the Timothy Leary characters. Right.

It’s all a bit strobe and it’s a different generation, and it’s easy to psychologically trivialize that. Right. Whereas this was a really firm stake in the ground that said, this is medicine. Like, this isn’t trivial.

And so if I come back to my point, like, seeing mainstream science now, many cycles later, 25 years later, come to this realization and to be able to reframe this as treatment.

[01:25:30] CeeJay (Host): Yes.

[01:25:31] Dillon (Guest): Right. It is actually, like, this is the archaic revival.

[01:25:37] CeeJay (Host): Right, exactly. Yeah. Look, I remember all of us sitting around in the lounge room way back when saying this would happen, and now it is.

[01:25:46] Dillon (Guest): Yeah.

That reframing for me is an affirmation that the ideas were on point and also that they’re not new ideas. These are old ideas.

[01:26:01] CeeJay (Host): Yeah.

[01:26:04] Dillon (Guest): I say this in so many areas of my life, but particularly in business, everything old is new again.

Right?

[01:26:15] CeeJay (Host): Yeah.

It all comes around. It all comes around.

Are there any other messages that you’d like to share to the listeners at all in regards to Terence and his influence upon reality?

[01:26:33] Dillon (Guest): I think if there’s one lasting impression I have of Terrence is, well, one of many. But the answer to your question really is that reality is what you make it. Right?

[01:26:50] CeeJay (Host): Yeah.

[01:26:50] Dillon (Guest): Reality is what you make it. Right. And so there is an element of choice. And now I’m not for a minute saying that everyone’s born into the same set of life chances, because that is certainly not true. Right.

Sort of intersections of socioeconomic status or religious background or ethnicity and all of these different intersecting things can make your possibility for life choices much more complicated set of things. But the notion of how we deal with things is often a matter of choice. Right. Like, I choose to be this way. Right.

I don’t even mean that to be esoteric. I choose to not dwell in negativity. I choose to be optimistic. I choose whatever it is that we’re talking about. Right. And this is fundamentally part of the fabric of reality.

What’s the choice, at least to the degree to which you’re able to. Influence that based on your circumstance at any given moment. Right. That, to me, was a bit of a.

[01:28:16] CeeJay (Host): Good. Very good.

Well, Dylan, it’s been wonderful having you on and thanks for sharing with us the Terrence McKenna Wollongong show. And yeah, hopefully in the future I can bring you on for something else.

[01:28:36] Dillon (Guest): Sounds good, mate.

Always happy. Thanks for having me, my friend.

[01:28:41] CeeJay (Host): All right, I’m just going to clap you out and I’ll speak to you.

[01:28:46] Dillon (Guest): You’re going to give me the clap? That’s what I’m hearing.

[01:28:51] CeeJay (Host): For the audience. That’s just a marker.

[01:28:55] Dillon (Guest): Editing.

[01:28:56] CeeJay (Host): All right, bye for now.

[01:28:59] Dillon (Guest): See you.

 

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Excited to have David Alan Aeon on #Supernormalized podcast! With a diverse background in science, arts, and playwriting, David’s journey led him to explore the mystical world of consciousness and spirituality. Join us as we delve into topics like Cobra breath, Gnosticism, Enochian magic, and the dangers of AI. Don’t miss out on part 1 of this enlightening conversation series! #Consciousness #Spirituality #Mysticism #Enlightenment #AIRevolution #PodcastGuests

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