Comments upon The Stoned Ape.

Hesiod over at Hesiod’s Corner made a comment about my
The Stoned Ape post, to which I am posting the following reply:

I hadnt considered that consumerist view upon this picture; it does make sense to it, and perhaps in a manner you may or may not be aware of.

I am not sure who painted this picture…


, but I got it off of the Terrence Mckenna site. Though my opinions around Mckenna and his ideas roll vast to yea and nay, I nevertheless have a quite involved opinion.

Lets see If I can be somewhat succinct and to the point. Lol. I will assume that you are not familiar with Terrence Mckenna.

Philosophically, this topic is quite involved; that’s why I write books  But, I do tend to side on evolution, rather than “hand of God” type speculations, some of which can include the phenomenalist ideals of reality contained in discourse, where we “appear in the world”.

So, if we can realize what evolution must mean from a pure stand point, then there is a lot going on, again, quite philosophically.

This picture: What I see in it and understand of it is a kind of ‘reverse’ view from the “bad” consumer view.

The ape is sitting on a mushroom; in particular the Fly agaric mushroom. Mckenna’s ideas are quite distasteful for those who like to center themselves in the Big Logos, the Reason God with which many philosophers like to hold communion with, because Mckenna did drugs and in fact advocated that people do “heroic” amounts of psychedelics. Most people do not like to include intoxication and its affects in their ideas of what may be rational.

His basic principle is that apes ate plants such as Camellia sinensis, Coffea, marijuana, and many other intoxicating plants, many of which were poisonous and deadly, but some that were poisonous but not quite deadly. We can find numerous examples of animals eating intoxicating plants for no other purpose that to get high; early hominids most probably ate substances that got them high also, even if accidentally. At some point they came across plants that had psychotropic substances, such as N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, Muscimol, psilocybin and psilocin, and these substances’ interaction with chemistry particular to hominids is what brought about what we know as (human) consciousness. The discussions and arguments are somewhat involved and lengthy, but that’s the kernel of it.

This is the “stoned ape” idea. The idea is that we are still stoned, not special, just ‘stoned’.


This is appearing to make more and more sense with philosophy, as I will be discussing in my coming book (without any reference to the Stoned Ape idea, btw, lol).

In response to the consumerist idea, though; if we include ourselves as not exceptional in the universe, then it is possible that all objects occur equally, effecting and or sensing one another through various relations that are come upon in the due course of the objects being objecs in themselves. If we keep in mind that human beings are not exceptional, as also every other object also is (not exceptional), then we should be able to understand that the very idea of ‘consumption’, the object that we call ‘consumption’, this “thing” that appears in the universe as the object ‘consumption’, is likewise doing the same thing human beings think we are doing, but unto itself. Likewise, all objects that we see ourselves (as centrist beings) consuming, might be consuming us. It is possible, then, that our own consumption is not a problem that has repercussions that will lead us to destruction or some compromised state of being human; it may be that we are involved with the universe in the same manner that it is involved with us, so that we could actually be “being drawn” into the universe through these ‘consumer’ relations with other universal (consuming) objects.

So it may be that we a stoned consumerist ape, but it may not necessarily mean that something is wrong.

Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

6 thoughts on “Comments upon The Stoned Ape.”

  1. Considerations: On the issue of consumerism, which I was immediately attached to in your original post, I find the issue of “non-speciality” and consumerism to go hand in hand. Not that being special doesn’t ward off against consumerism either. And as you note at the end “It is possible, then, that our own consumption is not a problem that has repercussions that will lead us to destruction or some compromised state of being human.” So here is the consideration:

    For instance, part of the Jewish doctrine of image of God came with the stewardship ethos. Yes, humans were above the rest of creation, but they were also tasked to be stewards of the creation. Hopefully inculcating an ethic of responsibility to God’s creation. Conversely, the strong anthropocentricism of the doctrine has also led to destruction, as Lynn White Jr. argued in his famous 1967 essay “The Historical Roots of our Environmental Crisis.” And yet, White Jr., also posited that the imago could be redeemed by embracing the more environmentally “creation-care” conscious ethos of the likes of St. Francis of Assisi. His point: human speciality offers two routes, with one clearly better than the other (with his take that we had historically chosen the worse of the two but we could choose to get back onto the better).

    Conversely, the lack of speciality and acceptance of being alone in the “cold, dark, and meaningless” universe leads only to consumption to satisfy our never to be satisfied appetite of consumption. How much is enough? This is the problem with Locke, who said we ought to leave land and material things for others, but how much is ever enough? (Locke never specified and just thought that human reason would sort that question out for us. 300 years on it doesn’t seem like Locke was right in that regard.) The whole basis of classical economic theory is predicated on indefinite growth and consumption; yet we live in a finite world. By accepting non-speciality (however we conceive of it), we resign ourselves to death. In a way, this is what Nietzsche was playing with with his concept of the overman and trying to overcome himself. Since the overman is “special” in a way (being separated from the herd of the last men who accept the parasitic devolution to death).

    Consumption necessarily entails destruction. The very act of consuming reduces. Thus, mass consumption as what binds all and everything together, is the binding of everything together towards the embrace of destruction, don’t you agree? We, in effect, get our popcorn, sunglasses, and iPads out and all joyfully indulge in irresponsible hedonistic consumption as we ride with the universe to the Big Crunch (so aptly named given the consumerism of this post and comment). Wherein, if the Big Crunch theory is right, the universe is “coming together” into singularity wherein the final stage of this coming together is ultimate destruction.

    I give consumerism a major place in my dealing with political philosophy. I’m, if you couldn’t guess, a very strong anti-consumerist. Now, the retort is: We need to consume to survive. Yes, I recognize that is well. This is the paradox that other philosophers have long noted; say, like Ibn Khaldun, wherein the success of “good living” (achieving that peaceful and secure consumeristic life) brings about its own demise. What’s the solution? I don’t pretend to know. But I know the solution isn’t more consumerism! :p


    1. nope. I can’t write the whole thing again. Oh well maybe later Ill reply. it was very long made some good point I would have liked to hear what you had to say about it. but I just can’t do it all again. I really really hate technology. UUUhhh.


      1. Although part of the tech generation, I’m something of a hypocrite — utilizing it so much, but also feeling it has detrimental ramifications for being human! :p


      2. I don’t mind it when it works. But when it does stuff I don’t like or doesn’t work the way I think it should: DESTROY ALL COMPUTERs!! Hang all digital advocates !!!


        Philosophy can take so much, sometimes, to say something simple. I just don’t have it in me right now to spend another 2mintz. Trying to say the reply again.

        And I’m writing a book on a schedule. Only got so much time to write.



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