Terrence McKenna

Terrence McKenna through a variety of journeys across the world, and eventually into the heart of the Amazon jungle had discovered something very profound, and began to write about his insights and give lectures about the topic of psychedelics for the remainder of his war on drugslife. There were two ideas which had consumed him, the first being what he called Timewave zero, in which he believed he had discovered a relationship to all the major events in history, the I-Ching, numerology, the lunar calendar and historical events. He also discovered something he and his inner circle called Transrealism. Transrealism to them was the idea that every single element that one can view and observe around them has another underlying meaning. Extended periods of psychedelic use can alter someone’s awareness sufficiently enough to experience this very acutely, and bestow certain insights upon such an observer about the true nature or symbolism behind every living and non-living object within our perception. When Albert Einstein was asked if he believed in God, he replied that he believed that either everything was a miracle, or nothing was. Adept hermeticists see this relationship as well, and also hold this to be true.

The Rabbit Hole

Transrealism has an even deeper magic to it than most non-entheogenically experienced users can realize. Terrence commonly experienced certain impossible scenarios when he was alone in this mind state. However, whenever he attempted to display this magic to the other members of his entourage, it eluded them. This began to plant the seeds of concern among those who knew him, since these scenarios he was experiencing all were text book flags of mental illness, delusions of grandeur, psychopathy, schizophrenia and the like. In the end, even those of his inner circle who did witness to a certain extent this transrealism for themselves eventually rejoined the rest of society, and had abandoned and in cases, Dennis McKenna included, found a way to rationalize their experiences with science and psychology. During the last ten years of his life as is reported by his brother Dennis, it seemed that Terrence also gave up on these two ideas, but not entirely. Was it this internal psychological conflict that was at the root of the cancer in his brain that hastened his exit from this plane of existence? I personally believe, that this is a living example of how disease works, and why it manifests to the corresponding location of the conflict of the patient. Some would understand this as the hermetic law of attraction.

I would like to invite you to learn to experience this transrealism in your own life to whatever degree you can reconcile it, and integrate it into your life. Many flocked to the bookstores to get copies of The Secret, which is probably the most famous example of a modern transrealism movement. I find that particular aspect of this phenomenon base, and short sighted. There is so very very much more than accumulation of material wealth and success to be found within this magical realm by the true understanding of cause and effect. To treat nature in such a way as to try to steal Her pearls on your first date with the occult mysteries is detestable. The reason so many do find success with such teachings, is that number one, they are based upon a universal law, although they ignore more than 100 others, and number two, She feels as though “Well if that is all you came for, take it, and I will simply recollect it once you return to the dust.” If you learn to treat Her like a Lady, then it is quite possible that you will be invited to know all of Her mysteries, and those who cannot be bought, cannot be sold either. There is another way to take care of your needs, if you walk upon the path She sets out for you, Her blessings will be found all around you where ever that takes you. Transrealism can become a new way of living, should you choose to find this path, and hold your course. Do not allow the doubts of your own, or of others to infect your faith, or moderate your level of courage or inflict you with internal psychological conflict.


Terrence’s apparent lack of a new methodology seems to have been partly at fault. He attempted to ideas which cannot be mapped by the constructs he had available. He narrowed it down to two different ideas. Transrealism, or Jung’s reductionist theories. The problem with these ideas, and the resulting paradoxes that arose for him, and everyone else in his entourage including his brother are these: Transrealism assigns significance to everything in nature, and in the world as having some specific method to their existence. In modern psychology, this is also a strong definition of psychopathic behavior. The reductionist theory states that these hallucinations are the product of one’s own mind, which corresponds with schizophrenia. No matter how you slice it, if you choose one of these theories as your truth, then you are suffering from a severe mental illness by today’s standards. Terrence sided with the transrealism theory, and his brother Dennis with the reductionist theory. The rest of their original entourage into this experiment were said to merge back into society, and brush it all off. The truth of the matter, is that reason as modern science defines it, is incorrect. It seems to fit very well, because it was put there for us to find. This means that people that are of a new level of awareness need to redefine psychology, and make a new map for themselves, and abandon what scientists call reason, until they can see far enough to complete the puzzle. The sleepers have one definition for everything, and the awakened have quite another. Neither are wrong, but without both sides mapped out by those who have access to such faculties, the human consciousness is drastically incomplete. The sleepers will not see this, despite the evidence, it is part of their syndrome of denial or S.O.D. for short. As such, the awakened do not require their approval upon such a completion. I am not saying abandon reason, what I am saying, you cannot possibly see the entire picture, unless you step out of the frame.

Guide to the unseen realms

Here is a wonderful introduction into psychedelics that was created to tell the Terrence McKenna story, I would recommend watching this movie prior to engaging in the entheogenic journey. I would also recommend you ignore the small part about the time wave theory which he used to try and map out the relationship between the I-Ching, numerology, astrology and human history. He believed that he could use this to predict future events, by analysis of past patterns in his mathematical representation. This theory is something he never completed, and for some reason gave up on in the last years of his life. It is not necessary to understand such things to create your own relationship with the medicines. This theory proceeded things like M Theory, and ignored Bootstrap Theory (causal loop) but I believe that these things may have been on the tip of his mind, though he possibly thought that what these two aforementioned theories were the basis of an endless pit of madness, and thus could not reconcile their impact upon his own work.

Dennis McKenna described very vividly and very recently some of his escapades with his late brother in a documentary on YouTube. He described Terrence McKenna’s tongue in cheek attitude toward his own book and the subject matter, specifically the spiritual prologue, stating that neither of them had actually decided for or against the idea of intelligent design of the universe, or if this entheogenic experience was all just some kind of electrochemical reaction rooted within their own brains. For all the times Terrence spoke of the Goddess, and the spiritual nature of these experiences, how hypocritical and unfortunate I find this attitude. Terrence is a wonderful philosopher, with a great depth of mind and spirit. However, it does seem quite evident, that perhaps he outsmarted himself in the end and intellectually painted himself into a corner. He used rationalism to a great degree to explain ideas that cannot be contained within a modern rational construct. As he shows us, you can go very far with this. I believe had certain mathematics been advanced far enough earlier, that he may have been able to reconcile certain paradoxes that eventually arose in his personal philosophy and halted his journey.

It seems by his brothers own account in many of his lectures, he was playing to his audience to some extent. There are a number of other fundamental flaws in both logic, and transcendence, and evolution that I completely disagree with as well. When I listen to some of Terrence’s better lectures, I find that he is paraphrasing hermetic works, such as Manly P. Hall, and sometimes it seems word for word. However, if they both had the same higher teachers, then that is easily explained by the fact that the truth of the matter is reduced to those particular statements, and when each arrives at the truth no matter the path they took, or the teacher they had, these true statements are all that is left which can be explained by words. I find Terrence takes the words right out of my own mouth on many occasion. Terrence had an exceptional memory, and he was very educated and vastly intelligent. Through the extensive use of entheogens, Terrence was able to amplify these qualities substantially and admirably. However, cerebral intellect is not what passes the tests to come, and it can become ones downfall, as reason makes every attempt endlessly to try to explain away anything and everything of a spiritual or mystical nature. Spiritual intelligence in all forms is the key to the Kingdom. Do take the time to study Terrence’s body of lectures, they are wonderful for stages one and two of the entheogenic journey, and to breach the wonderful world of transrealism.

Terrence died in April of 2000 after a year long battle with cancer which followed a decade long internal psychic conflict regarding his life’s work, and just what it amounted to. Terrence passed from this plane of existence seemingly without the peace, connection or understanding for which he became known, and is still known (assumed) today. Dennis McKenna describes himself and his brother as “reductionists” which means that these entities experienced such as God, the Goddess and all the rest are generated within one’s own mind. Jung described this reductionist theory as schizophrenia. He uses the phrase, take it with a grain of salt, and states that it doesn’t matter if They are in your head or have an existence outside of you. In other words, he is exploring states of schizophrenia when he takes mushrooms. This is fine for Dennis to say this, as it is his opinion that he is sharing. I know he is wrong, but this doesn’t make him a bad person. However in the case of his brother, this is quite the opposite of what he commonly told others during his lifetime, which invalidates certain parts of his teachings, and kind of drops those whom have followed after him firmly outside of this proposed magical realm of transrealism he seemed to be such an ardent proponent of for most of his life. Despite this schism in his personal philosophy, find the gems he left behind, the wonderful new ways of understanding psychology and the nature of existence. He for the most part was many years ahead of his time in most of his profound insights into consciousness and the nature of reality. What he may have lacked in resolve at the end does little to tarnish the truth. As he said himself many times, the truth does not require your belief or approval to exist. In one of Terrence’s last documentaries, he said he didn’t regret any of his pursuits. But in the end, the only thins a good man regrets, is losing his dream, and all the things he didn’t do.

Here are some recent videos by Dennis McKenna discussing his current conclusions:

Beginners guide to entheogenic ceremony    https://www.secretofthevine.com/ground-rules/

Stage One expectations, insights and revelations   https://www.secretofthevine.com/stage-one/

Stage Two expectations, insights and revelations    https://www.secretofthevine.com/stage-two/

Stage Three expectations, insights and revelations   https://www.secretofthevine.com/stage-three/

Emergency psychic treatment for those who went too far too soon    https://www.secretofthevine.com/a-t-i-c/