We Are Caged by Our Cultural Programming

We Are Caged By Our Cultural Programming
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“We are caged by our cultural programming. Culture is a mass hallucination, and when you step outside the mass hallucination you see it for what it’s worth.”

Terence McKenna (1946-2000) is one of the most well-known “psychonauts” of the 20th century, along with contemporaries Timothy Leary and Alexander Shulgin. He was considered a renaissance man for being capable of lecturing on various topics from literature, history, philosophy and ecology to shamanism.

McKenna was best remembered for his advocacy for the “legalization of nature,” or the legalization of plant medicine. He was one of the few “psychedelic thinkers” who used extensive knowledge on philosophy, science, and language to illustrate life-changing psychedelic experiences. Enthralled with the wonders and miracles of life, he formulated a concept of time based on fractal patterns, which he claimed to have discovered in the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination text.

His life consisted of travels, adventures, spiritual discoveries, and mischief. He claimed to have made contact with “Logos,” an informative, divine voice, when he and his brothers attempted to bond harmine (a psychedelic compound) with their own neural DNA. What seemed to be an enlightening experience led him to his “Novelty Theory”.

Although a firm advocate of psychedelic experience facilitated by the ingestion of high doses of psychedelic mushrooms, McKenna was not keen on synthetic drugs. He stated, “I think drugs should come from the natural world and be use-tested by shamanically-orientated cultures, one cannot predict the long-term effects of a drug produced in a Laboratory.”

Inevitably, his career was not without oppositions and controversies. However, it was an effortful attempt to broaden people’s perspective and knowledge.

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