Using underground media to
promote self-directed mysticism and the pursuit of mystical mind states
through whatever means necessary. Providing practical information
traditional and modern techniques for achieving mystical mind states. Bridging
the gap between science and mysticism. Exposing hypocrisy and
deceit in media, culture, and society. Promoting theorists, artists, and
organizations who are trying to make a difference. Having fun.
"Well, these people have
clearly never read Thomas Kuhn's _The Structure of Scientific Revolution_.
The only people who ever advance science forward are the people who come
edge, from the outside, usually amateurs,
usually not institutional. The way scientific advance happens is though
completely irrational bursts of brilliance. Then they create a scenario
of careful research and cross-checked data and slow accumulation. It doesn't
happen like that. People are free to dismiss me, I don't even necessarily
say they're wrong. The ideas need to be judged on their own merit. If they're
saying they can't be true
because I take drugs, that's like saying 'It can't be true because he's
a Jew' or 'It can't be true because he's a homosexual.' These are not sufficient
reasons to dismiss anybody's ideas."
"Well, I'm not wedded to
any of this. I just simply state the facts, and the facts are that, not DMT
so much, which is pretty common in many plants and animals, but psilocybin. Psilocybin
is 4-phosphoryloxy-NN-dimethyltryptamine. This is slightly technical, but
it is the only 4-phosphorylated indole on this planet. That's strange because
the way biology works is if you have a molecule useful in a biological
system, then in other biological systems you will get that same molecule
or tiny variants; methylated or o-methylated. So here is psilocybin with
the only hydrolation in the 4 position on the planet. Well now, they search
for extraterrestrial life with radio telescopes waiting for a signal. Fine.
Another way would be to search the biological inventory of this planet
for something that looks like it did not evolve from the main, broad flow
of animal and plant evolution.
And if you do that, this 4-phosphorylated indole is sticking up there like
a sore thumb. I'd like to see a paper about how many of these kinds of
are known to exist on this earth in life. And what's the explanation for
this? I've never seen anybody discuss this kind of thing. And yet to my
mind the psilocybin molecule is as artificial as aCoke
bottle. As it appears in nature. If you'll just inventory nature
you'd pick this molecule up and say, 'Well what is this!'"
"Yes it is. It's not a mushroom, but it's a fungus. It's not a basidiomycelae. LSD is a more complicated molecule with a 3-dimensional architecture. Most psychedelic molecules are flat and planar, and in fact that's why they will fit in-between the base pairs of DNA. They're just little, thin sheets that shoot right in there. That I think is an incredibly peculiar situation that I've never heard anybody talk about. I mean, why is it that these drug molecules fit perfectly into DNA? Coincidence? Well, but the DNA is the core stuff, it's not letting anything in there that hasn't passed four billion years of evolutionary vetting. So, the fact that these molecules activate mind and have a relationship to the genetic material seems to me highly suggestive. Also, in here, the unsolved mystery of memory. Where are the memory traces? If your body changes every molecule every five years, then how can an eighty-year-old person remember the pattern of their grandmother's dress? I think that memory is one of those areas where reductionist science is sailing close to the rocks. I don't think you can produce a theory of memory out of reductionism."
You see, what happened in the 60's, the first postwar generation came of age that had been given what was then called a liberal education. When you're given a liberal education you read John Stuart Mill, Rousseau, Voltaire. What this makes you is a social critic. They said, my god, we're financing our own suicide! We don't want tens of millions of 25 year olds asking why we are not following John Stuart Mill's prescription for liberty. They said the universities must be turned into trade schools. Forget Western philosophy, art, and culture. Teach these people data entry, management skills, financial skills, and high tech. And this is what has happened. I think that the idea of universal, public liberal education was... they realized we'll all hang if we proceed along this path, and so they stopped it. And now people are given 6.5 hours of TV a day, the Brady Bunch, all this. Idiot jobs, idiot political choices, and people are completely diverted by... Michael Jordan's father's problems, baby so and so who was carried to term by a camel and a contract which is now being debated...
McKenna interview in issue #3 (1993)