The Teachers Speak: Terence McKenna on Psychedelics, Art and Empowerment – Part 1/2

The Teachers Speak (KEEP)

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

I could give the usual description of Terence McKenna – he was a writer, author, lecturer and advocate of psychedelic drugs – but it doesn’t really capture what he was about. He was a pioneer in the psychedelic movement, and he believed that the use of psychedelics is the best way to expand our consciousness and come closer to the great mystery.

Some of his theories and opinions contradict a lot of things that form the foundation of the conscious community and the New Age movement, and he felt that psychedelics are all we need to speed up the evolutionary process.

He discouraged following spiritual teachers, and he felt that the sacred teacher plants are our true guides. He also had a unique perspective on the UFO phenomenon.

Terence McKenna. Credit:

He theorized that the UFO is a manifestation of the oversoul of humanity (rather than friendly extraterrestrial visitors), and he prophesized that UFOs would land, help us reconstruct society in a more enlightened way, and leave, making us wonder why they left and disappointing those who chose to worship them. (1)

While he didn’t discourage being interested in the subject, he did discourage worshipping the UFO as a god.

He believed that the purpose of the collective oversoul posing as friendly extraterrestrial visitors is to help us get back on the right track, and once we are, it’s up to us to stay there; hopefully, without running our society into the ground all over again.

UFO sightings and contacts appear to have taken place throughout history, and every time the spiritually and technologically evolved extraterrestrials land and begin helping, they depart soon after, leaving a civilization to either utilize their teachings and technology or fall into idol worship.

The oversoul manifesting itself as extraterrestrial visitors wasn’t his only unique theory, and here, we’ll discuss some quotes from him that sum up what he stood for and who he was.

The quotes come from End All Disease, and in the first one, McKenna shares his thoughts on the importance of the psychedelic experience.

“I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature.”


In one of his well-known quotes, he points out that experimenting with our consciousness is a human right.

 “If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”

You don’t have to agree with psychedelic use to agree that we have a right to decide what we do with our own body as long as we aren’t hurting anyone, and if we don’t have control over such a personal matter, we really don’t have control over anything.

We shouldn’t let the power structures use unjust laws to define what we can and can’t do with our own body, and nobody should be jailed for psychedelics.

He also encourages us to produce our own images instead of continuously consuming the ones society pushes on us.

“Stop consuming images and start producing them.”

At our core, we’re creative beings who thrive from self-expression, and the more of our own images we produce, the fewer images we’ll want to consume.

We’ll be more interested in how we can move the world forward than keeping up with our favorite movies or TV shows, and if we’re determined, we’ll achieve great things for the planet in the face of all odds.


In another well-known quote, McKenna reminds us that we all matter.

 “You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.”

No matter how separate we feel from a higher consciousness, we’ll reunite with it again someday. We might as well use the time we have to help the world wake up and create a personal revolution that, if persistently pursued, will become a worldwide revolution of the heart.

If we can help the world in some way before we return to the unfathomably vibrant and mystical place from which we came, then our existence on this planet will mean something. We can look back knowing we did our best and helped some people along the way, and it’ll make our triumphant return back to the unknown all the more enjoyable.

According to McKenna, the world is in “crisis” because of a lack of consciousness.

“You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.”

We can be the ones to fix our society’s massive lack of consciousness, and it starts with us regaining our own inner awareness and then raising the awareness of others.

It’s not hard to raise awareness with the internet and other things that bring people together, and we just have to find and pursue what we enjoy. In doing so, we can bring back the good ideas this world needs, and it all results from an increase in social and spiritual consciousness.

Continued in Part 2 tomorrow.


  1. Terence McKenna: “The Oversoul as Saucer” –

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