Terence Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000) was an American philosopher, psychonaut, ethnobotanist, lecturer, writer and author of several books. He spoke and wrote about a variety of subjects, including psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, culture, technology and the theoretical origins of human consciousness. He was also the creator of a mathematical theory of time based on patterns found in the I Ching which he termed novelty theory.
“We tend to disempower ourselves. We tend to believe that we don’t matter. And in the act of taking that idea to ourselves we give everything away to somebody else, to something else.”
– Terence McKenna
“The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.”
– Terence McKenna
As a vibratory instrument, our brain transforms sensations such as thought and sound into frequencies that affect our body. In our brain, there is a vast network of neurons that discharge waves of electrical energy in different frequencies and patterns called brain waves. There are four types of brain waves, categorized by their frequency: alpha, beta, theta and delta. Each brain wave type is associated with specific levels of functioning and consciousness. Although the brain operates using all four frequencies, there is always a dominant frequency, which determines an individual’s state of mind.
All of our feelings, emotions, and behaviors originate from the brain, and our brain cells are affected by the thoughts and words that we choose. The vibration of thoughts and words causes the cells in the brain to vibrate. The brain, in turn, responds to this stimulus by sending off electromagnetic signals, or brain waves. The amplitude of the vibration of brain cells is determined by the amount of concentration and focus put out in connection to the thought or word. These cellular effects give rise to key brain functions, including mood and behavior.
As sound waves, words have a frequency. Due to this, they can affect the frequency of our brain waves. The repetition of certain words or phrases can induce particular brain waves and cause shifts in both heartbeat and respiration. In his popular book Healing Mantras; Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing, Thomas Ashely-Farrand explains that different words and sounds cause various shifts in brain wave activity. “Gradually, the vibration of the mantra begins to override all of the lesser vibrations.” The cerebral cortex can become charged or positively stimulated by certain types and frequencies of sound.