120. TERENCE McKENNA: Nature loves courage
Terence McKenna (1946-2000) was a psychedelic warrior – a writer, lecturer and expert on ecology, botany, shamanism and spiritual transformation. McKenna’s books discuss the benefits and mind-altering effects of LSD, psilocybin and other hallucinogens, and the role they’ve played in human history and culture. His ‘Stoned Ape Theory’ argues that the rapid rise of homo sapiens was triggered when our ancestors started eating magic mushrooms, leading to increased brain size, creativity and language. Pretty fascinating if you ask me.
I can say from personal experience that there is truth in this quote. I never believed in “The Secret”, all that talk of “if you put positive energy into the universe, the universe will reward you” or “the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward”. I thought it was new age bullshit – something Dr. Phil and other ‘life coaches’ trotted out to suckers. But honestly, my experience over the past 18 months has changed my mind. I had an impossible dream (become a web cartoonist) and I made the commitment and hurled myself into the abyss (quit my job and sold my house to fund the dream) and so far, it’s worked out better than I could have imagined. As soon as I handed in my resignation letter, good things started happening to me. Tim Ferriss contacted me about contributing to his book, my house was sold after I was super stressed that it wouldn’t, and all sorts of other small, positive things encouraged me to keep going. It did kind of feel that the universe was rewarding me for making the decision to finally act on my impossible dream.
Now I don’t want to give people a false sense of hope – that all you have to do is take the leap and everything will work out peachy. For me, ‘making the commitment’ means working my ass off, drawing these comics 6-7 days a week. But the work is satisfying and meaningful to me. So I would say that hard work, planning, skill, commitment and grit make up 90% of the equation, but maybe that last 10% is just deciding to hurl yourself into the abyss.
I’m interested to hear what your experience is with this. Have you taken a risk and found that it paid off big time? Or have you taken a leap of faith only for it to end badly? Are you better off for trying, or did the experience just leave you bitter and angry?
Thanks to Daniel, Kent, Kaveri and Senyor for submitting this.