I believe that what these psychedelic states are are actually a sense to a higher order of information. And by a sense, I mean the word in a dimensional context, as a mathematical idea that here we are deployed in a three dimensional matrix. The past fades into unknowability. The future fades into unknowability, and only the crudest and least interesting of processes like the rising of the sun and falling of the tides can be propagated into the future with confidence.
What shamans see in contrast to this is a hyper-dimensional universe of information. They see the past the origin and they see the goal, the culmination, the place where the ouroboric snake takes its tail in its mouth. We who are locked in linear history don't have this perspective, and what we have in its stead is immense anxiety, immense anxiety about the future. We map the unknowable future onto the presumed experience of our own death, and vise versa, and we build up a universe that is characterized by exsisential abysses. The unknown future, the inevitability of death, and the impossibility of intellectually assimilating what that means. Shamanism isn't like this. Shamanism is a fractal point of view. What fractals are are structures that have their subsets embedded in them. Subsets embedded in them. So the course of the history of an entire people can be known by looking at the history of an individual, or a family. ll subsets refer to levels above and below them. This is entirely different from the kind of linear history that we get in a hierarchical, scientific society. It is more characteristic of experience, and this is a very important point because the two phenomena that I tried to call your attention to, that argue for hope, are the self-evident accumulation of novelty, and the self-evident acceleration of that accumulation of novelty. Well, now notice the phrase 'self-evident'. These are not things that you have to study advanced mathematics to perceive. These are not things revealed to the holders of advanced degrees. This is stuff that one can tell by feeling into the world. The structure of linear society has disempowered the individual. We are all now- we have bought the Habesian notion that we are social atoms in a vaster machine than ourselves with a greater purpose than we can know. This is actually hogwash. If we move away from the human individual, the human individual, the consciousness about what is happening becomes more and more low grade and amoeba-like. You have the consciousness of the Giuliani administration, the consciousness of the American government. You see, as you widen the ven [???], it becomes more and more primitive, more and more simply a matter of stimulus and response. But you, the supposed irrelevant atom at the center of this process, make very subtle judgements, take in information of all sorts, compare, contrast, weight, understand, seek evidence. This is the subtlest thinking that's going on, but we don't reclaim our own minds, we look for institutional guidance, and yet it was institutions that guided us to this moment. So the character, then, of this next advance into novelty is from my point of view now easily discerned, it is boundary dissolution. This is what is happening. This is why great wealth and great poverty must come to terms with each other, it's why the first world and the third world must come to terms with each other. It's why gays and straights must come to terms with each other. Boundary dissolution is what is happening, and this has been going on for a long time, but it affected our peripheral technologies first. Almost without us noticing it we've gone from a world where information moved at the speed of the horse's gallop, to a world where all information is co-tangent. Space is only an illusion of the plebs. Everyone else, with their computer networks and their connections, knows that the world has become a kind of virtual point. And yet still we maintain the most toxic of all the fictions to come out of the dominator experience. The fiction of the individual ego. This maintenance of the fiction of the ego is what is exacerbating a smooth transition into a new world order because people have one foot in the dematerialized connectivist, feeling-tone experience based future, but they also have one foot in the consumer fetish, objectified, constipated, linear, acquisitive, class conscious, sex conscious, race conscious past, and each one of us is a union of these opposites. Each one of us is trying to make some kind of an alloy of our hideously dysfunctional cultural past, and the incredibly compelling yet frightening, dimensionless, boundariless, polyamorous polymorphous future.