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Watch > Episode > Dennis McKenna - The Psychedelic Pioneer: How Plant Medicine Can Save Humanity

Dennis McKenna - The Psychedelic Pioneer: How Plant Medicine Can Save Humanity


A global shift in consciousness

Dennis McKenna is an American ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author. He is the brother of well-known psychedelics proponent Terence McKenna and is a founding board member and the director of ethnopharmacology at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit organisation concerned with the investigation of the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicines.

Dennis & Terence McKenna

Dennis McKenna and his late brother Terence are known as pioneers of the psychedelic movement. The American ethnopharmacologist, author and psychedelic expert, Dennis has been a leader in psychedelic discovery and the use of plant medicines, including psilocybin, DMT, and ayahuasca for over four decades.

The McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy

Earlier this year Dennis founded The McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy, dedicated to advancing a symbiotic and co-evolutionary partnership, with the entire planetary community of sentient species.

I was super excited to have Dennis back on the show for a second time. We talked about everything from climate change to the Reconnect movie we made together where Dennis and I travelled down to Soltara in Costa Rica to partake in three ayahuasca ceremonies.

This is the best I’ve ever seen Dennis McKenna, he’s on fire in this episode and I know you’re going to love what he has to teach us.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Climate change, plant medicine, and a global shift in consciousness
  • Robin Carhart-Harris, meditation, and psilocybin
  • Neurotransmitters, ayahuasca, and John Joseph
  • Pharmaceuticals, tobacco, and alcohol
  • Shipibo Master Shamans, ritual, and DMT
  • Beta-Carboline, Terence McKenna, and LSD
  • His academy, nature-based religions, and Eleusinian Mysteries
  • Iboga, zeppelin travel, and Tom Swift adventures


00:00 | Trailer.
03:02 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:29 | Brian’s introduction.
05:36 | Dennis’ relationship with London.
06:42 | What happened after Dennis invited Brian to come back to the well and drink in Costa Rica.
11:32 | What a psychedelic is.
22:50 | His response to those who suggest alternatives to psychedelics such as meditation.
26:57 | People have a misconception of what drugs are.
31:02 | Why in Costa Rica they choose to use Ayahuasca and not any other drug, i.e. alcohol.
52:32 | The role of DMT.
1:03:33 | His and brother Terence’s hazardous journey to Columbia where they discovered mushrooms.
1:13:20 | The death of their mother may have influenced how the magic mushrooms affected them.
1:15:23 | They introduced Psilocybin magic mushrooms to America.
1:19:16 | His memories of Terence McKenna and the environmental cause they have led him to.
1:25:12 | 2020-2030 will be the most critical decade we have experienced as a species.
1:31:24 | Starting up the McKenna Academy a catalytic nexus for the transformation of global consciousness.
1:41:04 | Perhaps plant intelligence is responsible for the growing interest in plant medicine.
1:46:25 | Dennis is frustrated by those who don’t acknowledge global warming.
1:49:16 | Dennis speaks passionately of his hope that world leaders will take strong action very soon.
1:54:00 | What he expects to be doing in five years time.
2:03:55 | Dennis advises how to learn about psychedelics and use of them
2:11:00 | Brian’s summing up.


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