Ethnobotanist and hallucinogenic scion Terrence McKenna said in one of his lectures that, “Culture is your operating system.” Through hallucinogenic drugs, McKenna posited, one could shed that operating system for a time and gain union with nature, other humans, and even an ancient mode of thinking which could give us insight into modern life. He wanted to bring about an “Archaic Revival,” which would end estrangement from society and reconnect us with one another.
— Does the Language We Speak Affect Our Perception of Reality?
In the chapter “The Doors of Perception” of my book No Sex Please, We’re Brutish! I relate my personal experience of the insights into cultural conditioning that were induced with the use of substances that trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness:
I was in my room, in the Halls of Residence, when I decided to taste this cow-dung grown “delicacy” that promised to deliver sounds, shapes, insights and altered states of consciousness, to say the least. They are colloquially known as magic mushrooms or shrooms and they can be any of a variety of hallucinogenic mushrooms species, i.e. Psilocybe cubensis (boomers or gold caps) or Psilocybe semilanceata (liberty caps). I prepared a tea by boiling the mushrooms, pouring the liquid in my mug, and allowing a black tea sachet to infuse it in order to give it some flavour, or, more aptly, to obscure the not-so-pleasant taste of the mushroom brew. In about 15 minutes my stomach started to experience a slight unrest, as if it was trying to decide whether it should push my food all the way up to my mouth or not—nothing really to worry about, as it proved later…
Read the book to find out what happened.