When I asked McKenna if he seriously believed that psilocybin mushrooms represent messages from an alien intelligence, he told me that his proposal was not as whimsical as it sounded. Mushroom spores, he said, can survive the cold of outer space; in fact, mushroom cultivators here on earth store the spores in liquid nitrogen. “So if somebody were designing a bio-informational package, a spore is how you would go. Millions of them pushed around by light pressure and gravitational dynamics would percolate throughout the galaxy.”
Psilocybin’s unusual chemical structure suggested an unusual origin, McKenna added. It is “the only four-phosphorelated indol in all of nature,” which indicated “that maybe it came from outside the terrestrial ecosystem.” The personality of the mushroom, as revealed by the experiences it triggers in humans, also had an alien, science-fiction quality. “It presents itself as this particular slice of alien, aesthetic motif from Hollywood–the shiny metallic surfaces, the mercuroid forms, the piercing, instantaneous biointelligence.”
“The mushroom’s claims” in McKenna´s book True Hallucinations:
I am old, older than thought in your species, which is itself fifty times older than your history. Though I have been on earth for ages I am from the stars. My home is no one planet, for many worlds scattered through the shining disc of the galaxy have conditions which allow my spores an opportunity for life. The mushroom which you see is the part of my body given to sex thrills and sun bathing, my true body is a fine network of fibers growing through the soil. These networks may cover acres and may have far more connections than the number in a human brain.
Space, you see, is a vast ocean to those hardy life forms that have the ability to reproduce from spores, for spores are covered with the hardest organic substance known. Across the aeons of time and space drift many spore-forming life-forms in suspended animation for millions of years until contact is made with a suitable environment.
Symbiosis is a relation of mutual dependence and positive benefits for both of the species involved. Symbiotic relationships between myself and civilized forms of higher animals have been established many times and in many places throughout the long ages of my development.