Terence McKenna's 1992 Talk at Esalen, Part Two: Politics and Ethos

Terence McKenna

November 13, 2020

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Today, another archive edition. We’re presenting part two of a lecture series given at Esalen in 1992 by the one and only Terence McKenna, ethnobotanist, mystic, psychedelic adventurer. The talk is entitled "Politics and Ethos," but as you’ll hear, McKenna forsakes those topics quickly in favor of a more robust discussion that includes shamanism, synesthesia, paranormal phenomena, climatology, astronomy, renaissance humanism, and telepathy-- all of this subsumed within the discourse of the psychedelic experience. It’s good fun to listen to McKenna’s playful explorations with language - for example, some of his ecstatic phrasings include references to “the heaving notions of the spaghetti of ambiguity” as well as (ahem) “the indwelling entelechy that creates the cohesion of the nexus of actual occasions that is the coordinated prehension of an organic system.” McKenna often stated that language failed when called upon to convey truly complex meaning, but in truth, he was one of the masters of the form.

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