on Looking for Aliens
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.Arthur Schopenhauer
A few days ago I posted here about the disparate perspectives surrounding essentially the same phenomena. The force of culturally sanctioned ideas is tremendous when it comes to the suppressing of those which do not suit the dominant [and i use the word explicitly] cultural agenda.
Subsequent to that posting I came across a talk given by Terrence McKenna at a UFO conference. Whilst it is evident this is not his familiar audience, he makes very clear his position, and speaks very much to this issue of where it is and is not deemed acceptable to look in intellectual endeavours.
For those unfamiliar with his work, McKenna was known principally as a spokesperson for the Sacred Mushroom [although he would probably have not used the term] made known to the West by the work of Gordon Wasson, and his meeting with Eva Mendeza, [a pseudonym used to protect, unsucessfully, the privacy of Maria Sabina] a mushroom curandera of Mexico.
Terrence McKenna's ideas at the outset may appear particularly outlandish, but over and over he displays such erudition, and lays out his case so reasonably, with such voluminous insight into the history of science and it's methods, that he shows clearly the irrationality of science's position insofar as exploration of contact with other sentience in our biosphere. He remains for me one of the most sensible, interesting and amusing voices of the 20th century and, and although I do not agree with everything he says, I heartily recommend an exploration of his prodigious outputif you would care to be delighted by the manner in which the word can stretch and shape previously constricting world views.
"Everybody knows this who has to do with this stuff [psilocybin], Gordon Wasson, Richard Shulties, Albert Hofmann, the giants know that this stuff is animate. This is not a drug. It’s something that’s disguising itself as a drug in order not to spread alarm.I think that the alien will be so alien that your jaw will hang in the air. And expecting to meet an anthropoid-like alien with an interest in your reproductive machinery and gross industrial capacity is as culture-bound a concept as searching NGC-321 for a good Italian restaurant. It’s absurd on the face of it." Terence McKenna
I heartily recommend listening to the whole talk here, but Terrence's closing remarks demonstrate clearly the myopic view, with a tendency towards glorifying science and demonising nature, that prevent us as a culture from apprehending solutions and ways of addressing current cultural crises which are literally under our noses.
this track excerpt from the one linked above under Creative Commons 3.0 NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Thanks to Lorenzo at Psychedelic Salon.