Humans and Hallucinogens

Fact: Something that actually exists; reality; truth.

Ummm…Don’t you feel like there should be an addendum to that definition… “until proven otherwise.” There are a lot of “facts” that have been later discovered not to be true. For instance it was once a “fact” that the world is flat but now we know it is actually has boobs. See? Maybe we should be more careful about throwing around terms like facts and consider everything to be more of a hypothesis.

Maybe I have a more flexible understanding of “science,” and as a consequence I find myself to be fascinated by many different potential perspectives. In reality we don’t really know anything. We don’t know for sure how the universe was created, we don’t know for sure what the missing link is, we don’t know for sure if someone likes to be spanked. We can have theories and ideas, but there will always be an alternate possibility worth considering.

An idea I find pretty compelling is Terence Mckenna’s theories on the influence of psychedelic mushrooms on human evolution. How these mushrooms came from space as interstellar pores and developed on earth to further develop our minds. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a psychedelic crusader and have only been to Burning Man once so really I am just a poser, but I do think there is a possibility in hallucinogens playing a major role in human consciousness.

In brief, Mckenna theorizes that when we were living in Africa and the ice turned to grass lands we started herding cattle, would follow the cows around, eat mushrooms that grew off their shit, and trip out. Now I don’t know why the first guy said to his fellow early man friends… “Hey… what is this here growing off of this shit? I think I am going to put it in my mouth?” But I do know that guy obviously knows how to party.

So then ancient man formed these mushroom cults to use them for ritualistic purposes, and through these experiences imagination, self-reflection, and linguistic capabilities were born. Mckenna goes on to say the lack of mushrooms and the juxtaposition of not being on them, was where the Jungian concept of the ego was formed. Well, I can relate to that. When I have been on mushrooms I thought trees were hilarious, I would never amount to anything if I didn’t let go of everything, and told a fantastic story about bubbles coming out of my ears. Then when the mushrooms wore off my ego said “what the hell were you thinking?”

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