Civilization is six 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, and yet you can stand back and look at this planet and see that we have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love and the community to produce a kind of human paradise, but we are led by the least among us — the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary — and we do not fight back against the dehumanizing values that are handed down as control icons.
I don’t really want to get off on this tear because it’s a lecture in itself, but culture is not your friend. Culture is for other people’s convenience and the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes, what have you. It is not your friend. It insults you, it disempowers you, it uses and abuses you. None of us are well treated by culture, yet we glorify the creative potential of the individual, the rights of the individual. We understand that the felt presence of experience is what is most important, but the culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects, it creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness and false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines, meme processors of memes passed down from Madison Avenue and Hollywood and what have you.
Audience: How do we fight back?
It’s a question worth asking.
Ask Terence McKenna: Psychedelics in the Age of Intelligent Machines
Just came across this site, which is an effort to transcribe all of McKenna’s recorded lectures, and a lot have been transcribed! What an amazing resource.