Appreciating Imagination (Terence McKenna) (FULL)


A workshop that Terence McKenna conducted at Esalen Institute in 1994, the focus of which was the human imagination. While he has some interesting thoughts about imagination such as, “Art is like the footprint of where the imagination has been.” It was his thought about computers that most people may take away from this first part of the workshop where he also says, “The only difference between computers and drugs is that one is too large to swallow … and our best people are working on that very problem.”

“The imagination is actually a kind of window onto realities not present.”

“If the imagination runs riot in the dimension of the mundane it’s paranoia.”

“Art is like the footprint of where the imagination has been.”

“Below the ordinary surface of space and time, ruled by relativistic physics, there is this strange domain of instantaneous connectivity of all matter, of all phenomenon. It raises the possibility then that the imagination is in fact a kind of organ of perception, not an organ of creative unfoldment, but actually an organ of perception. And that what is perceived in the imagination is that which is not local and never can be.”

“Who would have placed their bet on a monkey to be the top carnivore when there were saber toothed cats walking around that weighted 1100 pounds?”

“Imitation is an act of the imagination.”

“What is a city but a complete denial of nature? … Urbanization is the first of these impulses where society leaves nature and enters into its own private Idaho.”

“What this [virtual reality] should tell us, in the domain of light the intractability of matter is overcome. And so we are on the brink of a time, we have arrived, we are at the time where the human imagination now need meet no barriers to its intent. And so we are going to find out who we are. We are going to discover what it means to be human when there is no resistance to human will.”

“Shamanism didn’t use matter to build its realities. It was more sophisticated than that. It directly addressed the capacity of the human mind, in the presence of unusual neurochemicals, to produce unusual phenomenon and unusual sensoria of experience.”

“A true civilization lives in its own imagination and lives through its imagination.”

“We now know from the study of the introduction of media that if a medium of sufficient power and bandwidth is introduced into a population it will abandon all previous forms of media in favor of this.”

“Clearly we [humans] view the language-forming enterprise as a task not yet brought to completion.”
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