Watch: Terence McKenna Asks ‘What Does It Mean To Be Human?’

“Part of the package of being a living, thinking being is that you get a universe inside you,” says Terence Mckenna at the onset of a video clip titled “What Does It Mean To Be Human?” The video takes an audio recording of the famed psychonaut’s description of the essence of the human experience, set to a backdrop of stills. Cutting between images of galaxies, nature and artwork, Mckenna’s words describe the magical, endless potentials of the conscious experience.

He considers the ways in which we can delve into our own minds and mitigate our own suffering through psychedelics and other natural means of consciousness exploration.

At the end of the clip, he asks: “What kind of structures, if any, can we put in place to assuage the pain and accentuate the glory and the wonder that lurks waiting for us in this very narrow slice of time between the birth canal and the yawning grave?”

Watch the video below.

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I’m not sure why there isn’t more commentary here unless TM is preaching to the choir. I discovered McKenna several years ago, after researching the idea of culture as an “Operating System”. Since McKenna’s passing it seems that nobody is discussing this idea with any seriousness. I believe that your culture IS your operating system and it can empower, or impound, your human potential.

McKenna was a strong critic of western civilization yet he was able to enjoy a platform (Internet, MP3, etc) furnished entirely by the accomplishments clear western minds. Don’t misunderstand, I love this guy even though he indulges himself, and his audiences, too often, in nasal snarky-ness toward western culture. I have been a person of faith for many years and have grown increasingly frustrated with the impotence of the modern church in its approach to missions, but I am even more frustrated with the deception of the modern Darwinist-humanist worldview and the obsequiousness of our western character before dysfunctional third world cultures.

TM’s monologues have not only deepened my understanding of these conflicting worldviews, they have also renewed a deep interest in psychedelics as a catalysts for self examination and change. All cultural change begins with the individual. His talks have sparked a personal search for a new ways to examine and discuss these important issues.


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