Terence McKenna

terence mckenna on mushrooms

If you’ve never heard of Terence McKenna, you are in for a treat. McKenna was an America philosopher who focused on the nature of consciousness and its relationship with psychedelic drugs.  One of his long standing theories about the nature of conscious evolution, that I find to be very compelling, was that primitive man encountered psychedelic mushrooms, and it was the incorporation of psychedelics into the primitive diet that prompted self-realization and language to come into existence. McKenna is also no fan of the state, which he calls an “ape man political system.” Obviously I share some agreements with him on this point. While I don’t agree with every thing that McKenna has to say, I do agree with the vast majority of it. He’s not a political philosopher, so don’t expect to hear any references to Menger or Rothbard, but his take on consciousness is quite extraordinary and very compatible with what I have come to discover through other routes of inquiry myself. Some of his insights about psychedelic mushrooms include the possibility that such mushrooms are potentially alien to the Earth’s natural ecosystems. If you consider that each mushroom is capable of emitting millions upon millions of spores, and that the spores are so small that they can be subject to electrostatic forces in the environment, it is possible for those spores to be carried aloft out of Earth’s atmosphere. Mushroom spores are practically custom built to survive in the environment of space.  Assuming spores are capable of being pushed into outer space by electrostatic forces, a mushroom species could potentially colonize the habitable planets of the galaxy in around 40 million years. Given that mushrooms are non-invasive, and occupy the very bottom of the food chain since they primarily survive on decomposing organic matter, their survivability among alien worlds is very high. It is also interesting to note that psilocybin (the psychedelic drug in mushrooms), when taken in low doses, increases visual acuity by increasing edge detection. Grass land animals who incorporated psilocybin into their diet would have a competitive advantage over those who did not. There are many other interesting effects of psilocybin that most people don’t know about because of their illegal status and the prohibition on psychedelic research. Though still legal is the study of magic mushroom spore syringes for the purposes of identification and taxonomy of many mushroom species.