||Rites of spring, Ojai Foundation, Ojai CA
Terence McKenna: Well, the parachute never looked more like a mushroom than it does right now. [Terence chuckles]
I couldn't really see you all in the firelight last night so this is like seeing you for the first time. Welcome, and, uh, I hope you feel free to interrupt what's going on at any time and ask questions, or if something needs clarification please, uh, don’t hesitate.
My hope for these kinds of retreats is that it will quickly become so interesting to everyone that the, uh, presentational form will transform itself into a dialogue among many people. It seems to me that’s when it happens best. And I don’t think people would be here if they didn’t have strong opinions and ideas about probably everything which is said. So, that’s the way the group mind is generated, by everyone opening up and, uh, expressing how they relate to these things that we’re going to discuss.
I guess the place to start is sort of with looking at the notion that, uh, the dawning paradigm of post-modern consciousness seems to be the growing awareness that we don’t know what is happening at all. That all of the models whose implications have been worked out over the past 500 years or so have come to a place where they are now recursive and they no longer can be pushed forward as models of explanation. In other words, they are completed, and ontological analysis of how they work now shows us the limitations of their application to reality. They just simply cannot -m- there is not more blood to be squeezed from the stone of science. There may be further discoveries, but further growth and understanding along those lines now seems unlikely, what with the complementarity principle, Bells theorem, the primacy of language with the formation of ontology. All these things show the relative power of science to account for reality where before it was assumed that science would ultimately give a good account of reality.
So, postmodern living is living in the light of the fact that that faith has dissolved away, and that we’re now living in some kind of intellectual free space, or fire-free zone where everything is up for grabs. And the, uh, the 20th century’s fascination with the archaic, with shamanism and, uh, breakdown of perception through modern art, exploration of the unconscious through psychoanalysis, mass political movements, all of these things relate to this fascination with the archaic which is an effort on the part of the culture to stabilize itself because we really have- having seen the limitations of science, we have discovered we are in a small rowboat in a dark ocean and we’re being swept we know not where. So all past tradition is searched: magical traditions, alchemical traditions, lost philosophical traditions, pre-literate tribal traditions, everything is frantically searched for a key.
And while there are consoling perceptions that arise out of this search through all this other extended human knowledge, there haven’t yet emerged certain answers about what is going on. This is why several people last night referred to how weird the time is, how hopeful we are with so little reason, uh, on the surface to be hopeful. And, uh, it’s because the gelling out of this historical problem is happening right now, and it’s not clear, uh, what it will become. Meetings like this are efforts to uh, build an understanding of it. It doesn’t appear that it’s going to filter down through the transformation of institutions of control. It appears more like it’s going to be some kind of proletarian, uh, upwelling of a shift of point of view.
Now, the shorthand way of saying what I just said is that we now know that we don’t know anything. And things like uh, the psychedelic experience and the use of psychedelic plants throws open doorways that science was able to successfully keep closed during its heyday because they were areas where the number of variables exceeded science's power of description and therefore they said “Well we’ll just keep driving straight ahead, and we’ll go up those rivers later.” But now that is all changed and the exploration of, uh, the existential dimension of not-knowingness which psychedelics makes possible is what is forming modern people, I think. I mean, people who will be seen to have lead lives that were relevant 50 years from now, or 100 years from now, people who had actually figured out the context of the world they were living in and tried to come to terms with it.
And, uh, this morning I think we want to talk about uh, plants and how they relate to the planet, but before we do that I want to paint a picture for you of a, of a mandala which then I will discuss later in other meetings. But my notion of, of what the post modern person's mandalic projection on to the world should be in terms of a map of understanding is a, uh, a quadrated circle in which psychedelics, and feminism, and cybernetics, and space travel are the four parts of the circle. And in the center of the circle, looking backwards in time, there is a category that I would call conservation. Which means conservation of the planet, conservation of traditional and historical knowledge, conservation of values, conservation in the sense of intelligence husbanding the planet.
And when the mandala is flipped over and you look through it into the future, conservation has been replaced by art. Art is the ultimate expression of this transformation of, uh, unorganized matter into ideas, which human beings carry on. And we carry it on in a technical mode of necessity, but in the artistic mode, out of a kind of upwelling of ecstatic self-expression about the universe. So conservation is the way we relate to the past and human history is seen as an object of collective artifice-making in the future culminating in the notion of, uh, of the flying-saucer.
To do this, we have to completely re-design our understanding of reality which in terms of practical experience will mean that reality itself will appear to be redesigned. And I touched on this for a moment last night when I mentioned plants and said how admiring I was of them because they subs- they exist on sunlight, air, and earth, and that this is what we have to learn to do in order to release spirit out of the ape matrix that we’re bound in. And strangely enough the way this is to be done apparently is by a redefining of the nature of the biological world in relationship to this other kingdom of being which we call plants. Plants represent some kind of entire other dimension of existence of which we view the topological manifestation of the form, but are completely occluded as to the network or energy and information that this represents.
And like the zoological kingdom which has uh, thousands of forms of expression and progressively more complex forms which culminate in self-reflecting primates the vegetable kingdom seems to have intelligent species and gradations of awareness in the world so that we are opening a dialogue at the end of history with this other form in the biosphere which we are just beginning to cognize as our own understanding about what the world is really about falls into focus. And certainly a hundred years ago no one would have thought that this was in the direct line of historical development of the high tech civilizations, that they would have to explore the mind of the vegetable plant goddess who was the only force contending with them for control of the planet. That’s what it’s come down to.
So, with that kind of idea in mind, the idea of "plant and planet", which is a phrase of Anthony Huxley’s which is wonderful. Uh, Kath maybe you would want to talk about this, this is a good...
Kat Mckenna: Um, yeah. I was thinking uh, last night and this morning about plants particularly [clears throat], um, because of our talks that I anticipated and back at the tent a little while ago I had a gnawing feeling that I was ignoring the animals too much and then I, um, arrived here and they all began to gnaw on me. I just got about 14 ant bites just sitting here, you see the scratching on it, so I feel grounded again. [Kat chuckles] Uh, I don’t know about having a dialogue with the end of history through plants [laughter], I don’t know about that, but um, I do think they are this obviously great and ever-present mystery which we ingest all day long, um, without thinking of those as plants, without thinking of them as sacred plants in the way we do the sacred ones. Their chemistry- their input is influencing us all the time. Whether we eat meat or not we eat plenty of plants, and we breathe from them, and we soothe our nerves by seeing them and being near them, and we go out into places like this and see kinds we’ve never seen before and marvel at how they can survive. They're real models of graceful survival, I think.
Um, the jungle where we spent a fair bit of time, the competition it seems is for light and for protein, I guess, for, for organic matter, the animals competing. Here it’s obviously for water. They have a kind of, uh, a deal. If you look around under the bushes you see wonderful wildflowers right now, the rains have just held on, the moisture has held on long enough that many things are going- and the short life cycle plants are going through their intense short life cycle and they often need to shade to do it. So you can see- we found something that we were sure was an African violet bush yesterday, you know? You can see wonderful things if you look carefully and don’t bother anybody else that might be under there.
Um, the question I’ve been asking of myself recently, and of a few other people- now I have many of you to ask it I hope I get some answers, is, um, how can a plant be a teacher?
Um, I asked this of someone the other day who was deeply involved in neuro-linguistic programming and he got way off on a tangent about “What does this question mean?” you know [laughter] just broke down every part and phrase and it was wonderful, we never got to anything like what he thought about the answer but [Kat chuckles] uh, it does assume all sorts of things. You have to have an image of what you think of as a plant, which although we have sort of a language-verified easy answer it doesn’t really touch on the reality and, uh, and then of course you have to think what you mean by 'teacher'.
Well, I know there’s at least one biologist, serious biologist in the group here so I’m hesitant to define a plant. I guess from my point of view as an observer, I, I’ve done botanical illustration and I really value the opportunity I had to learn to really look and them. And then when you think you've really looked, look closer. You can just keep on learning from them just visually, that way. But they are, uh, organisms like us that that draw in all the elements: fire in the form of sunlight, and water and air and earth and, uh, go through this transformation of energy into, uh, something else, in the same way that we do. Um, this moment right now is when they are doing that most energetically for the year. They are taking that moisture in their…you can look at each one- the leaf tips are new, and the tissue is soft, and the colors are bright as well as the blossoming and all that.
Um, they are also laying out the structure as I understand it for that growth to become more permanent, or woody, the perennials anyway, so during the year they will fill that out, and next year they will come from that place doing this envisioning the future, what they’ll have to deal with, how to move to make their interface with it, and then how to reproduce. And, uh, and their little messages are going into the, uh, the seeds coming from the pollination of other plants. So it’s always like with us, you choose a mate it's your choice for how you’d like the future to be, right? My genes, your genes, here it goes down the line.
Um, really all I have about this is questions. I hope you don’t mind if I just throw questions up, if anyone wants to say anything, please do. Uh, one thing I wonder is, we regard ourselves as such individuals, we don’t think of ourselves a species much. Terence talks about that a fair bit. But in our daily life we really identify ourselves as individuals, as, uh, some of us having more power, more clarity, more energy, more talent, whatever. We divide that way. With plants we tend to think of each plant on a species basis, you know. I wonder if, um, how much that’s true. plants that we’re familiar with like ayahuasca, banisteriopsis capii in the South American jungle, if you want to make this visionary drink you go and find uh, a member of that species but different members have different potencies and different takes on the same kind of message. This gets to the teacher part.
The, the, um- a friend of ours, Eduardo Luna, interviewed a number of shamans in the uh, jungle. They use this term “plant teacher” in Spanish as we’ve come to use it too and uh, he asked them, do you think that all plants have a, a plant teacher in them, or do you think that some do? And they were divided on this question, some people think that only the sacred plants do, right? Other shamans said “no all plants do, just some of the spirits; they call them ‘the mothers’, the mother of the plant, or the spirit or the teacher. Some are stronger.” So that implies that anytime we eat any plant we’re taking in that, that teacher. They um, they mix these plants with ayahuasca which already provides the vision. Then they take a new plant that they don’t know so well, or that they want some particular aspect of and they mix it in with that and take it and feel that they are radiating what is that plant, what is the personality, Whatever you want to call it, of that plant. And that they take on the qualities of that plant.
So um, I think the Indians in this area as I understand did that too with their plants, they wanted to take on the quality of the- peyote is a good one, you know. I mean, it's- it lasts a very long time in a very subtle way doing who knows what all that time when it’s not being eaten by something which is metabolizing the teacher in it. Is the teacher in it, when it’s just sitting there all that time? Is it experiencing the, the visions that come with, uh, that come into the, the animal organism that ingests it? I don’t know
I guess on the species and individual thing I wonder as a, an adjunct that, you know when you grow your own plants- anyone who gardens you know when you grow your own plants and vegetables how they taste different than the ones obviously at the store whom are probably grown, certainly with the same kind of physical care, but certainly not the same kind of attention.
TM: It’s the question for me, or what always astonishes me about it is where does the information come from? I mean, the peyote plant or the ayahuasca vine, or the mushroom growing there in the jungle or in the desert, how did it manage to tap in and become filled with a, a universe of alien Platonic beauty? Why is that there? All the rules of orthodox evolutionary theory conserve- only what is necessary is conserved. So it’s very hard to understand how- why a plant needs a uh, library card at the intergalactic library, uh, because it’s just sitting there in the desert of some planet alive and living. S-
KM: But each plant is different too, their library cards don’t take them to the same libraries even you know? Each one of these visionary plants provides something distinct. And sometimes you can see how it’s a cousin of that one and sometimes you can’t see that they are related at all.
Terence: Well isn’t it that mind is, somehow at the reflexive level, chemical? And that when you change the chemistry of the engine which is giving the pictures, the pictures change. There- sometimes it seems almost like a biological radio that you tune in to very strongly broadcasting stations, some of which are, uh, you know, alien high-tech insectoid science-fiction places, others are jungle worlds or things that you can’t even English.
KM: Giant human teachers, I met one who was 40 feet tall, you know, and he took me by the finger like a little child and let me through, what was that doing in the plant?
TM: Yeah what is it for?
TM: When you take a longer slice, you realize that the individual existence is like an illusion,m= and that really the planet is involved in some kind of chemical process which is like a gene swarming, and it’s been going on for a billion years with more and more- and, and animals and plants, as species and as individuals, are just, uh, aggregates of genes of varying degrees of permanence. The individual is a very impermanent aggregate of genes. The species has a slightly longer duration. But what’s really happening is these information transferring molecules are just swarming on the surface of the planet, and controlling, as you mentioned, the weather, the chemistry of the soils, the rate of heat transfer. They’ve discovered now that plankton control weather in the oceans by controlling the surface reflectivity that- the question I think is the peculiar dualism in the world of information. Why does it seem that reality is not reality? Why are there co-present- actually two worlds are co-present in our experience. This is the taboo subject that we’re here to talk about: the weird fact that there are two worlds, one of which our culture doesn’t acknowledge but we all experience. That’s a very schizophrenic situation to be in. We all exist in both of these worlds, but our language, our culture, our institutions tell us “No there’s only one world.”
We have gotten into this lethal cul-de-sac where, by not acknowledging the second world we have, uh, have veered off on a tangent which is uh, threatens our extinction now, this obsession with control of world one, matter, energy, and the complete ignoring of the world of consciousness which stood in front of it and manipulated it, but just taking that as a given has created this fantastically imbalanced culture.
Q: I think that gets back to the plants as teachers because uh, since we do, as in your words, play with fire as human beings, perhaps the question you were asking as to the plants as being teachers, my feeling at the time was they are in communication with us as we are in communication with them, we’re all transparent beings, and you’re talking of gene swarming on the planet. There’s no, um, safe in which we lock our own human knowledge. It's, we’re transparent to all around us and if you get into intelligent plants which is what we were talking about earlier, perhaps, I mean if you follow that logically out, why not have teachers as chemicals? That's how they can manifest within this particular body and do the library cards as you said.
Q2: They realize that we are doers and shakers.
Q1: Well I think there is only one life on the planet though, and to say that we’re separate from the plants or from this or from the air is a fallacy.
TM: So that’s a great image, the growing transparency. That's, that’s a good idea for what the end of history is, it’s that everything becomes clearer, and clearer, and clearer, and as it becomes clearer boundaries disintegrate and everything is seen to be of the same, uh, of the same stuff.
KM: I think for much of the world, and still for instance in the Amazon and other cultures who are tuned into nature, it was very transparent for very, very long. Progress was the losing of that transparency and the you know forging ahead of certain parts of it and, and almost the point of either just eliminating to extinction or to the extinction memory, the, the lessons.
One day, I was just- I think it was during bookkeeping or something very much mundane, the little voice that interrupts every once in a while said that “A plant teacher is a teacher who has taken the form of a plant” and that raised all these questions for me you know, does that mean there are teachers floating around looking for places to land, right? And ways to interface with the other species? Or- and you know I’ve always thought of rocks, big rocks, many places in the world you can just sit on them and you can just hear them you know and feel them, really.
TM: I’m sure you're- you know Rupert Sheldrake’s theory, well its basically the idea of like kind resonate together, and, when- I've thought about this problem before, about LSD and where does it fit in to all of this. LSD is in, uh, is in the morning glories of central Mexico and the far Pacific. And what I think that makes a plant teacher complex is how many people it’s taken. And that a plant that has been used 100,00 years is filled with all of the contents of the minds of the people who took it over that time.
But I want to introduce the notion that life, the plants and the animals, are intrusions into 3-dimensional space of some kind of topological manifold of a higher order. You see, the way in which a chair differs from a giraffe is that if you, if you slice through the chair and then come back and examine it twelve hours later it will be the same, but the giraffe will have changed radically. This is because by cutting into the giraffe you will have intruded into the temporal dimension of its existence. It is more like a musical note than an object. It must be born, grow, mature, and die. I- it- and that process, growth maturity and death, is how 3-dimensional beings like ourselves describe the intrusion of these hyper-dimensional vortices into our world. That’s the mystery of life. Cannot be encompassed in 3 dimensions. Life is a hyper-dimensional object. All hyper-dimensional objects are organisms whether they be societies or animals. So the question of “What is the plant.” You know, when you ask yourself “What am I?” What you immediately concentrate on is what philosophers call your internal horizon of transcendence. You look into yourself to understand yourself. When we try to describe a plant, we inevitably give a topological mapping of it, how it appears to us: its uptake of minerals, it’s surface reflectivity, it’s weight. But the plant obviously experiences itself very differently. All life has an internal horizon of transcendence toward which it aims. Its, um, Whitehead called it “appetition,” its inclusion of sensory data out of which it maps being. But what the nature of this higher dimension is, that these vortices are intruding into our dimension from, is absolutely anybody’s guess. I mean you can call it a mathematical conundrum or a religious mystery, but it’s what’s making the world happen. It’s what- how the mystery of our being will eventually be shed one more level of uh, veil to let us understand it.
You see an organism is a chemical system which does not run down. The, the second law of thermodynamics says that the whole universe tends towards the dissipation of structure and the release of energy in heat and then everything, all structure and all energy is dissipated. But, the, uh, life has achieved the miracle of, by being an open system and taking material into it, and extracting energy from it, and getting rid of waste, uh, life has been able to leave the main stream of thermodynamic degradation and establish itself at an equilibrium point off that graph and maintain itself there for, at least on this planet alone, four billion years. Now the average life of a star in this galaxy is on the order of 2.5 billion years, some last longer. But that means that biology is no epiphenomenon, no iridescence off the surface of matter as the 19th century physicalists wanted to describe it. It means that life is, uh, indicative of a physics of higher dimensions which intrudes into this otherwise thermodynamically degrading system which we call the physical universe.
And, uh, information, there seems to be an informational ghost of this universe which is somehow co-present at all points within the matrix, perhaps a-la Bell's Theorem, or something like that. And that’s what the psychedelic experience shows you. It shows you a hologramatic space of information where, by sitting still in your room and ascending the mind, you can cross the universe in an instant, you know, and return. And the question of “Is this real?” is in bad taste. [audience laughter] It violates the two ontological categories you see. I, I mean, uh, it just isn’t done.
But- you're right, and the plants seem to be the things which shake us out of these cultural conventions. We have this very bad habit of when we encounter a new experience we describe it, and as we describe it we erase its reality and replace it with a map. And forever after when we encounter that input, we access the map and overlay it over the things and say “Aha I know what this is” and so by the time a child is five years old they have completely entered into a symbolic construct which hides the real world from them. And, uh, fortunately, uh, these plant teachers seem to have the unique ability of showing you the relativity of language which for us is the relativity of being. And then you are freed because you have seen something incontrovertible, there’s no going back. You know, you are-that is the great first gateway on the path, to realize the relativity of language and the malleability of, of, of the world.
And for instance, coming out in to the desert is typical of people seeking visions, the first thing you have to do is leave the polis. Culture is this effort to hold back the mystery and replace it with a mythology which is then in the control of those who recite that mythology whether they be shamans or priests. This holding back of reality is this strange- is what Christian theologians call “The Fall”, our strange alienation from nature that causes us to crowd into cities and mint money, and uh, put a price on everything.
This is why it’s so important to go back to the Amazon and Eastern Indonesia, and these places and try and understand what spark it was that those people kept, you know, over the millennia while we became the prodigal son and wandered into matter and, uh, you know, horde on the cities on the plain. We have now come full circle and returned at the end of history with the dilemma that we have made such a mess of things that there’s nothing we can do now but lay…
36:05 [audio seems to cut out for a second here]
Each stage is a greater distancing from the wellspring of being, and it’s brought us, you know, to the valley of dry bones, to the valley of the apocalypse. And, uh, now the fat is in the fire. Now we’ll find out what stuff man is made of as, uh, the chickens come home to roost. But, uh, well no, I- I’m very optimistic!
Q: The metaphors!
TM: Well is it my metaphors or my pessimism? Oh the horrible metaphors... Yes well the rhetorical hyperbole unbridled…
Q: Asking about the multiple worlds “It interests me greatly, do you think there's two worlds, or do you think there’s many, many worlds?”
TM: Yes well I think you’re right, but there are different orders of different worlds. I mean, I guess it was the physicist Wheeler who thought that every time there was a choice, the universe took both paths and had always done this, so that the number uh, and kinds of universes was, uh, you know, staggering.
I don't- I find that cumbersome [laughter], but there certainly seem to be a number of universes and there seems to be different kinds of universes, for instance, uh, you can tune from channel to channel, but some of them you can’t make heads nor tails out of, you know. It’s just too far away from your conceptual schema for you to be- so it’s sort of like watching, uh, ideological mandalas or something. You can’t say much about it afterwards, but it certainly was compelling while it was…[audience laughter] And, uh, well, I don't know, Robin. You've, you're such a skillful questioner, you've brought yourself to the doorway of my most recent mania. Maybe I should unburden myself briefly about it. [audience laughter]
One of the weird things about, about growth, or trying to make your ideas always become new is that you always assume you’re going to, uh, to, uh, know what the next step is, that even though you’re going to become more and more enlightened, there won’t be any surprises. In, and- uh, so, a few weeks ago I was meditating in my usual fashion and uh, I began to get this new idea which was so weird that I immediately shifted into “Aha this is, this is not the truth, this is not a transmission about the nature of reality. This is a plot for a science fiction novel that I, that I should write” and try to hold that as the defense. That was my shield against the onslaught of this thing.
And I’ve never been one for Atlantis, or Lemuria, or all these invisible pre-historic lands and places that people enjoy so much, but I was told a very funny thing which I will share with you. It’s, uh, a funny idea. Now let's see, how does it go. It has two versions, one of which speaks a scientific language, the other speaks a mythological language. Ok, so the scientific language goes like this: There’s something in the universe called a fractal soliton of improbability. This means it’s a unicate event, it only happens once in the lifetime of a universe. You can think of it as a wavelength with one wave. That’s why its called a soliton. And if, if one of the- and these things move not in ordinary 3-dimensional space but, but in some kind of much higher spatial manifold, and when they collide with a planet, or when one collides with a planet in a universe the time stream of that planet is divided and two copies of the entire planet spring into existence without either having any knowledge of it, it just is something which happens. So this voice was telling me that, uh, this had happened to the earth, and that this was the secret that we were all striving to understand, was that an event in the past had actually divided our time stream, and that a twin of this planet had come into being in another dimension.
Ok, so that’s the scientific explanation of it. So the mythological explanation was that the universe is Gnostic, that the creation of a demiurge, not the highest expression of divinity, but a kind of demon, a fallen creature, and that this demiurge was able to coax itself into being and actually incarnate into history as a human being. And that when this happened this was then the mythological expression of the fractal soliton of improbability. And when it happened the time stream split.
KM: The universe was the creation of the demiurge, and the demiurge impelled itself in in the form of an individual?
KM: It waited a long time!
TM: When you're a demiurge, who can hurry! [laughter]
KM: Ok, go ahead.
TM: Ok so, so the time splitting event had to do with the career of Christ who was an extraordinary manifestation of energy in the historical time stream, not to be confused with a Buddha, or a Mohammed, or a Zoroaster, who were great saints. And, uh, it was something else. It was in some sense what it claimed to be, but in some sense. Ok? So now at the moment of, and you can choose either the immaculate conception or the resurrection depending on which side of the bed you got up on today. But at that moment the time stream split and this other place came into being without having any awareness that- and they were identical at that moment, these two worlds.
Now, Christ had no children, so- oh, what I forgot to say was that the event, the fractal soliton of improbability, has this quantum mechanical half-charge so that in one of the universes it happens, in the other universe it doesn’t happen. And so everything about these two worlds was the same, except that in one of them the immaculate conception had not taken place, or the resurrection had not taken place. Now because Christ had no children, the world in which he was absent, it was not a genetic line which was missing, it was an ideological line which never received expression. And consequently, as time passed, first decades and then centuries, the absence of this particular intellectual influence in the world changed the world radically in the following way: Greek science did not suffer the suppression that occurred with the conversion of Constantine. The academies were not closed. The hermetic knowledge was not repressed.
--Audio cuts off here and starts again at "Greek science did not suffer the suppression..."
Conversely, the Empire was stronger and was able to repel the barbarian invasions of the second to the fifth century, and, and mathematics, which had halted in our world at Diaphantis, proceeded through his disciple Hypatia to develop a calculus by AD 370 so that the millennium of Christian stasis that occurred in our world did not occur in that world. And as time passed and engineering advances occurred by around 850 they had ships which were able to cross the Atlantic ocean and they encountered the Mayan civilization reaching its fullest flower on- in Guatemala and on the Yucatan peninsula. And in fact in this vision I saw the Roman Emperor Cosmodorus the Fifth make a pilgrimage to Tikal in 920 to be present at the coronation of a king at the end of that Baktun 8.
Anyway, this Greco-Roman imperial culture immediately recognized the genius of the Mayans in mathematics and astronomy and, and Europe was transformed into am- an amalgamation, a Greco-Mayan civilization with, uh…[clears throat] [laughter] So let me see, and, and this civilization continued to develop. Now one of the influences around the year 950 was their extremely sophisticated psychopharmacopaeia and shamanism. And this mated with Neo-Platonism and Hermeticism, so that rather than science developing as it developed in our world, a kind of magical, psychopharmacolitic technology of thought and understanding was what was developed over the centuries. And then in later centuries, centuries before it happened our world, they contacted the orient and the Sung- the dynastic influence of the Sung poured itself into the creation of the global civilization such that by around 1200 AD they were able to land on the moon and create a cybernetic global civilization similar to the kind we have now. They continued evolving with all this psychotronic and shamanically derived, and now by this time you can imagine it was an unbelievably exotic and alien, uh, civilization compared to our own.
The fruits of their psychedelic and psychoanalytic investigations into higher space was the discovery of our world. [laughter] They found out what had happened. They figured it out by studying dreams and by making deep journeys into the psychedelic space they were able to discover our sleeping unconscious with its repository of the legacy of the Christian centuries under the reign of this demiurgic ideology. And they conceived of the notion of saving us.
And it, it has to do with this whole thing about the UFO’s, and influencing dreams, and astral traveling, and the other side, is actually the manifestation of this bizarre Greco-Mayan, postmodern, star-faring civilization trying to reach across the dimensions to save us from the momentum of our history by making us aware of, first of all, their existence, and also their technology which is evolving towards a point where, I think around the Mayan millennium, around 2012 the time island will be f- we will flow past the time island and the two time streams will be rejoined, and we will make peace with this civilization which is now 1,000 years more advanced than us with this totally different cultural history and this completely different take on reality. So this came to me in the space of about 15 seconds [audience laughter] and uh, more details have flowed in, I use it mostly as a meditational device because it’s so interesting ask to be told about how this other civilization developed.
Its amazing exoticism, you know, its Neo-Platonism, its Daoism, its Mayan influences melded into a completely different kind of civilization than the one that we inherited. I’ve always thought, you know, that the, that Christianity, without making any judgement about Christ himself, that Christianity is hands-down the single most reactionary force in all of human history, and where would we be had that 1,200 years not been given over to this peculiar meditation, you know? All the pieces were in place for the kind of civilization that I’ve outlined, it was just, uh coincidence. Kat does not endorse this idea, [laughs] or even encourage it...
KM: He only told it to me a couple of days ago in Apache Junction at a truck stop or something, and he didn’t tell me it’s the plot for a science fiction novel he said ‘this is the truth!’ and I said ‘let's get back to it being a good science fiction novel.’
Q: Well the thing is that it, it would on our level explain perhaps the questions you were asking earlier. Why the teaching plants?
TM: Ye- sure.
Q: Another thing I was curious when you were talking, the physics nowadays you can have an electron on one side of the universe and split it into two and separate them on two sides of the universe and they are still in communication with each other so is that why, logically, you can bring the time island back together again?
TM: Yeah, this would be a quantum-mechanical super macro-physical Bell's Theorem event, a kind of, a kind of hyper dimensional vacuum fluctuation where the two worlds spring apart, sail along for a period then parity is conserved and they're rejoined.
Q: Well this is interesting. I’ve had dreams that are parallel, and its very interesting that you bring this up, I’ve not heard of it before,
TM: It's a-
Q: It, it- another thing I was curious is that this takes place, uh, this would be on a human experience level, uh, what you’re speaking of. Now the plant kingdom, would they remain in, uh, connection between the species?
KM: Interesting question.
TM: We're free to have it any way we like. [chuckles]
KM: So it- how has Christianity possibly affected the evolution of plant species in this time stream as opposed to the other. Have they gone on..
Q: How did our lack of say 100,000 or one million species in the last 200 years that the other planet has- how does that affect the parity between the two? Uh..
TM: You mean how does our destruction and contort... Well, the part of the myth which I didn’t tell you which I will now tell you [audience laughter] was, uh, that, uh, naturally, well, they were developing and exploring technical options many hundreds of years ago and they, uh, theoretic- they discovered the theoretics for nuclear fusion and fission but they never used it, until a few hundred years later one of their great theoreticians- this was after they had discovered our time stream -made the prediction that the physics of atomic explosions were such that they would cross the time stream, and so they performed an experiment by detonating an atomic device in what is our year 1907 and this was the Tungusca-
KM: ...yes sir, can anyone guess?
TM: ...the Tungusca, the Tungusca event. And then by monitoring the dreams of Siberian shaman which they had in clear focus, they saw aha, this explosion which we actually set off did occur in both time streams and at that point they became very interested in monitoring our, uh, time stream because they were picking up the dreams of a Swiss telegraph worker [audience chuckles] who seemed to be pushing toward an unimaginable conclusion. So now there is a certain amount of urgency because if we explode our atomic stockpiles it will wreck the place that they call “Home world”.
TM: Yes, yes. Not self-preservation because they now have star flight and encompass many systems, but preservation of Home World which on the other side is a vast botanical and ecological preserve from pole to pole, I mean it’s a sacred site of pilgrimage, it’s, uh-
KM: ...the earth
TM: ..the home of the species, it’s the Earth. And the notion that suddenly great parts of it will be blown apart by leakage from hyperspace of one of our atomic wars is impelling them now to attempt to open the doorway and rejoin the time streams, and we'll be allowed a few years inside the botanical park to acclimate and then most people will ship off for the stars, I imagine.
The British science fiction writer, Ian Watson, has a wonderful book called “Chekov’s Journey” in which he talks about the Tungusca event, and his theory is that it was a catastrophic failure of a Soviet time-travel experiment conducted shortly after the turn of the next century. [audience laughter]
KM: Tough one to prove, right? [chuckles]
TM: Obviously! Why didn't I think of that! [laughter] Well, I mean, I’m not sure, I’ve thought of that before, you know, it’s the claim of Christian theologians that Christ comes in the center of history, they speak this same language. Before Christ no souls were entering Heaven. He freed the valve and now it's possible to enter into heaven. Before his intercession that was impossible.
Q: [unintelligible from the audience]
[audio splits here 56:20]
So I thought that the millenium had come, that forever after we would - BREAK
All trash... Muzare Sharif
[this seems to repeat?]
----REVIEW IN PROGRESS---
efore I had this idea, I had another which I’ll tell you (laughter) which was a completely different kind of idea and it’s the idea that there is an overmind, this doesn’t involve other dimensions.
There is an over-mind co-present on this planet and when technology, when the development of technology exceeds the development of ethics then this over-mind can work miracles. Because the over-mind is plugged into each of the individual minds that compose it, this miracle always has this unbelievably creepy quality of being exactly the thing which can convince you to change your mind.
In other words it like it reads you so perfectly that it’s able to present the one situation which you can not refuse, so in the case of Rome, you know Rome was a pigsty, Pasterna called it ‘a bargain basement that ran on two floors’ it ran on slavery and it ran on brutality and captive populations and outrageous garrisoning of military power in foreign lands.
People like Diophantus, this mathematician I mentioned and hero of Alexandria, these people were on the brink of the calculus and the steam engine. So the over-mind is seeing that and seeing their appalling ethical state sent their miraculous personage of Christ who in a world where information could not move faster than a horses gallop, this religion within 60 years was beating at the gates of Rome itself, it was like a fire you know just burned through the empire, and changed everything, and halted technical advance.
Everything stopped, now I created this idea in an effort to explain the UFOs because the new theory of UFOs or the new school of UFOs says “we’ve been wrong to ask what are they, that has not been fruitful, what we should be doing is asking what are they doing?”
What are they doing?
And we can analyze what are they doing in the same way that we can analyze what anybody is doing through sociological polling of human populations we can find out what the flying saucers are doing.
So they polled human populations and what they discovered is that what the flying saucers are doing is that they are sowing disbelief in science.
They cause people to not believe in scientists, because scientists come off so lame when asked to explain flying saucers.
It’s like, the flying saucer is a confounding of science in the same way that the resurrection was the complete confounding of Greek stoicism, and democracy, and materialism in the Roman world. It’s conceivable that the flying saucer, the statistics are now something like 12 or 11 percent of the American population have seen a flying saucers 52 percent believe flying saucers are real.
And so forth. It is a faith which is percolating up from the lower levels, its people who live in trailer courts and read Fate magazine who are the believers in this thing.
What it may be is an intercession on the part of the over-mind, which it can do anything, it can do ANYTHING from our point of view.
In the most extreme version of this idea I said “What if enormous space-crafts were to fall into orbit around this planet?” and “What if television images of this craft were to be beamed into every home on the planet?”
Then a teaching revealed some completely mind boggling thing which you could have thought of it yourself but you never did, which is always how these things are.
Then suddenly, then after 30 days of melting the nuclear arsenals and causing all cancers to disappear and curing all infectious diseases and delivering this message the enormous spacecraft disappears, 30 days…
Then everybody says “My god, we have been abandoned, we have abandoned again into time.”
And you know…history would halt, everybody would do nothing but study the teachings of the saucer and try to figure out how we can get right with them, how we can figure out how to get them to come back. Dogmatism, theories of communication, priestcraft, the whole thing.
Though I am fascinated with the flying saucer, and what it says about the malleability of mind and matter, I think mature civilizations should not be haunted by Messiahs or Flying Saucers. That these things are like metaphysical spankings imposed from on high that are saying it’s a boot in the tail, wake up! Stop repressing.
K: Lets take your two ideas, because neither one of them is that old, what does the over-mind have to do with, or think of the double time stream?
Terence: Now that’s a question I never would have asked. You mean if that’s true? I sort of think of these as mutually exclusive. I think the demiurge is a negative expression of the over-mind. I think of the over-mind as the logos, you know, it’s the understanding and self-existence which permeates everything and the demiurge is the force of matter and time and cosmic destiny which is always trying to lock in the logos and condition it and make it subject to the rules of the physical universe of space and time. The logos is like something from like, this is all Gnostic theology by the way this is just straight from the book. The logos is trying to struggle through the labyrinth of the material universe to escape, to rejoin the real source of itself which is outside of matter. Matter is viewed as an entrapment.
If any of you have read the late works of Phillip K Dick, he was probing in these areas, he was a genius, his book Veilus is pure exegesis of internal, unravelment of what was going on.
His take on it was that he believed from AD 69 until 1948, no time had actually passed and that we were living in apostolic time, and that the crucifixion lay only 75 years in the past, and that the demiurge had inserted a false history, and the Nag Hammadi manuscripts, he believed, were actually the logos as printed letters and when the Nag Hammadi manuscripts were deciphered it was like this information creature would come alive and again be present on the earth.
Like the Logos in 1948 was beginning to infuse everything and that shortly it would dissolve the illusion of the intervening 1,860 years or whatever it was and then we would realize that the prophecy would be fulfilled and that the last days were upon us.
He didn’t get around to the anti-Christ, to his credit probably.
You have to distinguish between Christ the person, the teacher, and this thing called the Christos, which is the archetype of such power and force that immediately people of ill-intent could get lined up behind it and impose their will. Yeah sell love, and sell forgiveness, what a scam.
The Christos is the thing history is ruled by the archetypes which the people can generate, I mean most people are very ordinary, I mean your Mick Jaggers and your Henry Kissingers are very ordinary people but they are able to project an archetype and that is the thing which sets them apart.
And when that reaches the kind of super intense focus that you get in a Mohammed or a Christ, then you know history is just putty in the hands of the force, not the person, the person is usually martyred in some horrible way. But the archetype draws energy to itself, and we don’t understand how this process works.
If there ever is developed by benevolent or malevolent forces a science of social control, it will be a science of knowing how to project archetypes.
Different archetypes apparently are suitable to different times, I mean you can almost pause at an astrological theory of archetypes, but its something about how…what’s appropriate for the 1st century AD is not appropriate for the 15th.
When the archetype is appropriate, nothing can stop it.
The modern term for archetypes is paradigm.
We expect it not to be a person, not a messiah, but an idea which will save us all which will then give us certain affinities with Mystical Judaism where the Messiah was expected in the form of an idea, and this is sort of our faith. We are Messianic ideologues or something like that.
(brief commentary, inaudible)
Oh I agree with you I think dualisms have to be dissolved in the notion that there is one thing, you know that’s the Platonic faith. The problem is all these secondary and tertiary operational levels and you know we’re actually trying to operate in a universe of scarcity and a body which requires energy and all these things. This is really the central problem in Western thinking, I think.
The tension between dualism and unity and matter and spirit, and how do you do it?
I think we are spiritualizing matter, this is what technology is. The spiritualizing of matter is the highest expression of our technological output and that this will become more and more of what this is about, so that in the next century the difference between mind and brain and cell and machine will all have been subsumed under a new vocabulary.
Because we are hard wiring our minds and we are making the artifacts of our culture intelligent, and we are breaking down the barriers between ourselves and larger databases, and this kind of thing so that the old “I am an ego inside a skin” definition gives way to a much more malleable and plastic thing.
(Commentary) “In astrology, something I like is that the symbol for Pisces is a symbol with 2 lines and a line going through it, it’s the definition of relationship quality by opposition, it’s polarity, it’s right and wrong, good-bad, male-female, Russians-Americans.
The Aquarian one which is 2 lines of waves over each other is one of resonance, it’s one of dolphins jumping in the water together, it’s one of people coming together and realizing how I resonate with you and what I have to give you and what you have to give me, but you’ll have something to give me that other people can’t and so on, and we need to swim together.
That breaks down all the of the dualistic bonds, and I think we’re right at the crux right at the moment, the place between Pisces and Aquarius where we’re kind of 2 worlds again, flipping from one side of opposition, being torn from life and death and seeing, as the Christ I feel was that prototype, that template, of light and spirit and matter coming together and saying “I can dance in this, I can leave it, and I can come back into it, I have this power it’s my conscious compassionate love that is just so unbounded that it give me the opportunity to play in clay, if I so choose”
Much of what I say is Alfred North Whitehead, his philosophy and believe me if you’re looking around for a serious ontological foundation you don’t have to read Sanskrit, ANW will serve very admirably, science in the modern world, process and reality. He was and remains the great psychedelic philosopher of the 20th century and the heir of Burgson. You had another question?
Yeah I’m going to be 84 in the year 2012 and I’m wondering how to manage my life so I’ll be ready for the concrescence.
Well I don’t know, I think that the canyons of the creode down which we as individuals are moving, those walls are getting higher and higher too.
A lot of times when I had this intense contacts with the teaching entity I would have an anxiety about “What should I do? What is it for me to do?”
And it always said “Nothing, relax”
Your function is to just…you’ll be present where you’re necessary, and this isn’t a fatalism, this is a kind of recognition of the dynamics of time that the thing is trying to teach you see.
It’s trying to say that, if you understand how process works you will always understand where you are in any given process, and then you won’t have anxiety about not occupying some other point in that process, you know.
When I began having these ideas, the only way I could previously relate to the notion of the end of the world was that I had a head full of cartoons of bearded men in sandals carrying signs on street corners saying “Repent! Repent!” and here was I, former Marxist, former this former that espousing these unimaginable things.
It’s always good to do your homework, and I discovered there’s this wonderful book called Pursuit of the Millennium by Norman Comb in which he details the history of Milinarianism, that’s what this phenomenon is, belief by a person or a group of people that the end of the world is about to occur.
It existed among the Jews in the Exilic period, it’s part of the phenomenon, or part of the social expectation that gave Christ his entre.
The early Patristic Christians lived in the imminent expectation of the end of the world, and then during the Medieval period the most utopian prophetistic Millenarian movement before Marxism was Floraism, or the people who followed the teachings of Wakiin of Flora who was a wandering monk who predicted the end of the world, I think for 1244 and he died in 1222, but his followed carried on and the Pope had to send out armies to quell uprisings as people wanted to distribute the wealth because they felt the end of the world was upon them and why should anybody go to work you know this sort of thing.
Similarly in the year 1,000 there was great expectation of Christ’s imminent return.
This is the thing which the human mind, at least in its Western expression seems to seek to do. Islam too has its apocalypses, 1967 isn’t bad, I thought it was happening, I thought we were months away from a new secular order for the ages.
My theory of history views these things not as evidence against such a thing occurring, but as evidence that it will occur.
That these uprisings, that these outbreaks of irrational expectations of the millennium are in fact temporal reflections, they are catching the light on the temporal prisons from the object at the end of history contains the apocalyptic scenario.
It’s very important to manage the apocalypse in the millennium.
It’s very important that people not confuse the cleansing flames of transcendence against the ability to use thermonuclear weapons against your ideological enemies.
It’s a very delicate matter because our mythologies and our fears run so deeply, but I think that its an awareness of this potential of the existence of this law of temporal compression.
And of course institutions don’t promote Millenarianism because institutions want people to invest their money at low interest and long term, and have the expectation that everything will carry on pretty much as it has.
An examination of the last 500 or 1,000 years of human history would lead anyone I think to the conclusion that everything is going to be swept away, and that everything that replaces it is going to be swept away, and we are just moving into an era of change that might as well be called apocalyptic and it must be made Millenarian, otherwise it will just end in some kind of Goterdamuron and the worst Bogey men will emerge and destroy it.
(Commentary) I know how the wave accelerates and comes towards this transition point, I never call it the end because then the beginning of a new series of many (muddled?) waves is there I guess I believe in flux so the whole process is one wave and at that moment we begin another process. At that point we discuss being the end of the universe as you did a little while ago and sometimes I feel like when everything is accelerated like it seems to have recently and when you’re close to a moment of transformation of some sort as it seems to be you see great strives forward being made and great slips backward being made all at the same time right. It seems possible that the transformation will be so fantastically physical as the end of the universe or turning inside out of the, whatever this is. But actually as we sweep through world wide peace of mind, what if that occurred?
That’s large enough to qualify, it seems to me for the change-over in the wave.
Terence: Yeah I think the hardest thing to know is the nature of what this ultimate compression is. What it means. Like one way I imagine it, and that’s why I love to quote Joyce about “Man becomes dirigible” I imagine it as “The day when your mind becomes your home” and all over the world people just realize that their mind is their home.
(Question) “But do you feel free to describe that as the end of history or the end of the universe?”
Not the end of the universe, the end of history because I think history is some kind of involvement with matter, it’s a wrestling with the angel of matter and the end of history is when you pin the angel of matter to the mat. Then you stand up and you say “I am the ademic human being made of light” and you leave the realm of matter and you return to some previously hidden dimension.
Whitehead called these things epochs, these long periods of time. He called transition from one to the other “a shift of epochs” well we’ve only been dong things like measuring the speed of light since 1910, all the so-called constants of our physics are based on miniscule periods of actually monitoring these things to see if they are constants.
So I can imagine it as a shift in the laws of the universe that somehow cause consciousness to perceive itself more as it must truly be. I am always trying to find physical models for these transcendental hallucinations, the one which fits this is a few years ago this Scandinavian astronomer called Hans Altden wrote a book called Worlds and Anti-worlds and in it he talked about what’s called a vacuum fluctuation.
A vacuum fluctuation is where suddenly out of nothingness there emerge a stream of particles and they are equally particles and anti-particles. And they sail along for a period of time and then they collide again and each particle is destroyed by its anti-particle.
What is called parity is conserved, meaning that when you add up all the charges positive and negative you get zero. So it’s ok that this matter came from nothing, and returned to nothing, it violates no laws as long as parity is conserved.
The interesting thing about this phenomenon called a vacuum fluctuation there seems in quantum mechanics no rule which would limit the size of such a phenomenon as this.
It’s conceivable that our entire universe is an enormous vacuum fluctuation and its just you know 10^72 particles that emerged from nothingness and are hurtling through space and in another parallel dimension the anti-dimension which is the twin of this universe is also hurtling through space and at some point in future time, completely unpredictable from the state given within each universe, the two will collide and parity will be conserved, and all particles and anti-particles will be conserved. However the interesting thing is that photons, which is what light is composed of, do not have anti-particles.
They are this one weird exception. So that when the universe collided with its anti-matter twin what would be left would be a universe made only of photons, and those photons would be in the configuration they were in in the moment when the cosmic collapse of the state vector occurred.
Well we have no idea what the physics of a photonic universe would be about, a limiting case or a good try would be that it is just nothing, no life, no self reflection, but why posit that?
There is such a persistence in the perennial philosophy of the notion that spiritual development is somehow related to light, and to the cultivation of inner light, and to the creation of light bodies, and to the stabilizing of light.
It’s possible to suggest that the world of the imagination is simply the world of internal light, that it’s a world where light is manipulated by thought in the way that in this world physical organism manipulates matter. You live in the radiant castles of the imagination after a shift of epochs in which the photonic mode predominated. That’s just one way of imagining it.
It’s one of the richest meditations there is, to try to imagine the millennium, again it’s this thing, what would you have if you could have anything? Sometimes I imagine it, Heronomous Bosche’s great trip to the garden of earthly delights where men and women of all races mingle among giant rends and strawberries and feed each other pomegranates under autumnal sun in an endless rolling park-like world of exotic vegetables and sexual excess hard stuff to (base?)
You can really take a readout on yourself by seeing how would you like things to be. I have sometimes my fantasy is “I would like to be alone on a star ship 10,000 light years from home with all the books in the universe and I would dress like captain Ahab and I would stride around the catwalks inside this echoing star ship and faithful robot slaves would bring me crumbling volumes of ancient lore which I would say…” no this is a little too Vincent Price.
If any of you are into science-fiction the science-fiction of Cordwainer Smith is really wonderful, and one of his stories The Starship is really George Washington’s estate Mount Vernon in New York. And it’s all exactly like Mount Vernon in Washington’s time except that in the library of the big plantation house there is one room from which the thing is controlled and its actually a starship in mid-flight.
(Question) Yes I had a question, you mentioned how the now is flooded with future perception and I have, its really part of the Tibetan practices, it’s always something which captures my imagination, how come it’s now, now?
The fact that these future perceptions are so tremendously tangible to us, especially while sitting in meditation, while taking a meal even or something, and how come it’s not yet today? And how come it’s not tomorrow? How come I am here now when I just have to flick my mind and I’m in yesterday, and equally easy in tomorrow. I wonder if you have anything to say on that?
Well I think that life precedes through time, it’s an effort by organism to map something one-dimension larger than itself, so it takes a whole life to do it, a life is an effort to map a something, and the now is the moving edge of the mapping process. You cannot map it instantly, or you would be it.
So what being in time is, is experiencing the incremental mapping of this higher order object, and that’s why hopefully a long life would give wisdom, because a person would begin to get the whole picture.
What did Plato say? The present is the moving image of eternity. That’s pure good Platonism.
You can think of the now as a kind of laser which is moving over a larger surface and illuminating it, you know scanning it. It’s scanning something and it takes it a while to scan it, and in the end all the data is in place and you say “Oh yes I see now what the object of cognition was” and our faith is, and there’s no reason to doubt it, that this is a great transcendent experience.
This is the peace that paseth all understanding as you sink into death.
It’s just that we like to think that the psychedelic experience gives us preview, no one escapes the final realization, it’s just that some people do postpone it to their last act,
But there’s no reason for that
Because it is the mystery, the culmination, it is the depalm and the wellspring.
(Commentary) I’d like to…I’m always interested in pursuing things from the Mayan days and I’d like to ask about how this theory of time relates to the individual, somewhat related to BJ’s question, there’s some sense I have that in their techniques and certainly you’ve experienced this, and other people have experienced this with the mushroom at high doses of traveling through time and actually seeing the future or seeing the past. I was wondering if you could say more about that, and some framework for understanding how that is possible.
Yes will I think psilocybin seems to be the great teacher of history and part of its teaching is…it views a person without a history as a person with amnesia, a person with a diminished capacity because your history gives you your power of convictions.
The way I use the wave, or the way I’ve been using it recently is I’ve been trying to study the time immediately ahead of us so we don’t misjudge what is going on, and you know it’s a mathematical process, there’s no indeterminacy about it, if we anchor the whole wave system on 2012 and what I see from that anchorage point is in the 67 year cycle from 1945 to 2012 we have reached that point which resonates with the larger 4,306 year cycle at that point which corresponds to the collapse of the Roman empire around 475 AD, in other words, we have been through a period of Imperialist expansionism which has lasted for a number of years, certainly since the beginning of the 80s, but I see a re-treanchment of that and a recidivus tendency, a tendency towards religious fundamentalism, rigid social structures and in short the sorts of things which could be seen as valid resonance patterns to the early Medieval phase of European civilization.
The period from AD 474, lets for shorthand call it 500 AD, the period from 500 AD to 1500 AD, in other words till the discovery of the new world by Columbus, that 1,000 year period is the resonance that we are going to experience from now to the late 90’s, from now until 1998 we will reach the beginning of the Renassaince and the discovery of the new world, but we are going to have to endure a period not entirely to our liking, we represent the pagan Helenistic spirit which has held full sway within the empire for the past 25 years. We may feel constricted now but I think that our ideas and our position in society has further constriction to undergo before it reflowers downstream a bit.
When I first realized that I felt very pessimistic, then I asked myself “What aspects of Medieval life could I groove? What aspects of that Medieval eschatology were solitary to my needs and wishes?” then I discovered it was an age of great mystical faith and illumination, it was an age of communities of like-minded peoples seeking transformation far from the turbulence of the collapse of the empire.
My theory leads me away from those people in the New Age who think we’re about to be catapulted into the corridors of power, I think that’s preposterous, and the evidence for it: Zero
I think better we should tend our gardens and form brotherhoods and sisterhoods of affinity and realize that the task of transformation is one of a lifetime, our lifetimes you know.
Every time someone like Dick Price or Tony Lilly moves from the wheel I always wonder “How did it feel to know it wasn’t finished?” To go with it undone?
I have no doubt that when the saucer comes that Tony or Dick will be in control, one of them. What is it Bob Dylan says in his song? “Ezra Pound and T.S Eliot fighting in the captains tower”?
But yes so I don’t know if that answered your question but I wanted to get it in because the real meat for most people for this idea about time is not the mathematics of it and the symmetry of it, that’s only pleasing to a certain mentality. But really what does it tell us about the years immediately ahead?
What it says is “consolidation, illumination, community, and self-discipline”
(Commentary) I can always say thanks a thousand times we don’t have to go through it for 1,000 years, and only for like 15 years, this acceleration seems to be very, very convenient. Imagine if we were born in 500 AD and we had to look forward to that
Yes well that’s why I say you know, imagine the people who lived in times when the temporal river was stagnant, or even when counter currents swept it backwards. This is the anguish of the ancestors, this is the sacred trust that must not be betrayed, the pagrons and the invasions, and the atrocities conducted across history can only be somehow redeemed if we, who are the living way front of this genetic experience do not fumble the ball. All our ancestors are watching to see how we will do.
Kat: It seems like you were asking on a more mechanical…how did this happen,
Commentator “Well yeah how can it be that the Mayans or we on psychedelics can travel through time and see these things”
Kat: My image for it that explains that phenomenon to me and I’ve had the same experience, past and future, is Terence just referring to the temporal river. It’s a river which flows two ways, from the past to the future and from the future to the past
And if you put yourself out in the middle of it, let go of control, let go of fear and maybe you want to choose your orientation, or maybe you don’t…
You can just find out where you float and sort of face the past or face the future and just float there. I mean this is not a physicists explanation of how this happens but it seems to work that way you know and we think perhaps far too much of the past creating the future and that we should think more, and perhaps other people have of how it’s flowing the other way.
And this is how some so-called primitive people have managed to conserve the very simple effective beauty of their lifestyle, and that REAL strong feeling that every moment is now…because they’re thinking of it simultaneously…
(commentator) I think about it and that also sets my mind off, you know that’s kind of like the river is flowing both ways, and if you take a step to the side somehow that you’ll catch the current from the future. That’s appealing, but I am always playing with these metaphors and maybe I’m literalizing too much. Is it possible to step out of that stream in some way and then looking above sort of choose where you are going to descend into and then another image that came to mind was…are there somehow holes in the fabric of time that you can shoot through, sort of like in 2001 the Stargate opening up and there’s this hole in between and where you emerge is not the other side of it but some place completely different
Terence: If you take the wave seriously and apply it on these short scales of time, you know you can find your way into unique configurations of the moment, it’s like astrology in that way. Often the content of a psychedelic experience can be later seen to be because of the situation of historical resonance that you weren’t perhaps even aware of at the time.
Kat: Or if there are parallel worlds, one or many, which ones happen to be adjacent in that moment as the cosmic weather comes, you know sometimes I’ve taken the mushroom just to say like a weather person would say “I just want to see what’s happening out there right now” not with a will, you know you can find that it’s about knitting in your rocking chair you can find that you are just in some landscape that you couldn’t have conceived of before.
Terence: The essence of Tao is the correct apperception of process. That’s what Taoism is, is to understand processes to be Taoist. I think that this is almost a formal rendering of the notion of Tao, almost an effort to create a mathematics, an algebra of the Tao.
And as long as it’s true to the notions of what Taosim conserves, which is flow, and determinacy, and indeterminacy, it serves. This is what understanding time is to understand process, but to understand it so well that it’s like a sense for you, it’s like seeing. This is the kind of seeing that is very important, to see into time.
It’s what history and culture have experimented with.
It’s what we now, by identifying that as what is going on, can accelerate much faster.
(Commentary) I was picking up a conversation earlier this morning, maybe you could talk more about The Other.
Oh, the other……well I’m not sure exactly what he meant by talking about the other, I mean the other is just a way of thinking about all of these things that we name “spirit, God, demon, void” it’s that there just necessarily is a place off our map, whenever you have a map it implies the part that is not on the map.
The other, the truly other, it lays outside the domain of language, its like the unspeakable, all you can do is point at it, you know.
The Gnostic idea of God was that it was totally other, that there was nothing in this universe that gave any clue whatsoever as to the nature of God. That that was its essence, to be completely other.
The other trickles through and reverberates in our lives in all kinds of dimensions, the first other that you meet is the world, and a later point in your development, your attachment to another human being can become a confrontation with the other. It’s just a way of shorthand, signifying, right?
The dimension that carries you beyond yourself into the things that you previously couldn’t expect or imagine.
Or Vitchkinstein’s Unspeakable or, you know, I’m always fond of quoting this poem by Trumble Stigny where he says “I lean over your meanings edge and feel the dizziness of the things you have not said” That’s the other, it’s the dizziness of the things unsaid, the things that lay beyond the edge of meaning.
(Commentary) Part of the question to do specifically in the mushroom experience in high doses, this sense of alien intelligence or other, I think that like you said I think that its some of our conceptions of God, many psychedelic experiences, at least with LSD or other light doses are that I am connected to that, I am part of that thing, but somehow the tryptamine said its this alien intelligence, I mean what do you make of that?
Well I don’t know what quite to make of that, LSD is self-reflective and integrative I think. These tryptamines seem to be informational, and largely unconcerned with the impact that the information they carry has on the perceiver.
I don’t know I think it just must have to do with the fact that the universe is not all smoothed out and filled in, and that this is really an area of personal exploration where you can penetrate into an area, a terra-incognito, a place where nobody knows exactly what is going on.
We’re not used to that experience. We expect to have maps of everything we look at and everywhere we go. And it is strange that in this one area we don’t, that apparently our taboo at looking at the unconscious or delving into the mind has made us content to just fence off this area.
Well then if you climb over the fence and start wandering around out there, you don’t know what you’re going to find because the culture has carefully engineered itself to go around all of this stuff.
Even I think shamanism is largely concerned with gaining power to protect yourself from the onslaught of the other.
I mean, you know they’re very concerned…to hold stuff back, they don’t really have this “Lets hurl ourselves into it” attitude that we have.
We found in the Amazon, we were looking for this one plant which had DMT in it, and the ayahuascera that we were working with, I kept leading the questioning back to the matter of this one plant, first he said that it was “comida del perro” food for dogs, which seemed like maybe a putdown of some sort.
Then he went back over it again and he said “Whoa it’s mallen bizarre, it’s too strange!” So this was a man who his whole life was about taking ayahuasca and triggering hallucination, but he felt to go into that plant it was too weird. You often have the feeling with those people that they involve themselves in the psychedelic effect like a dancer, almost as little as possible to get the job done.
Kat: Refers to the history of that particular man and his opinions on psychedelics including mushrooms, and do different things on different nights and he would try new plants and new combinations, he was pretty intrepid, he did have boundaries.
Terence: In 1983 or whenever it was that I was down there last we were dealing with a different group of shamans on the upper Apeyaku and it was to get this orally DMT thing made from tree resin, and we had pure chemical DMT as a trade item, or we weren’t sure why but just in case we needed it.
Then talking to the shaman that could make the verolla paste stuff we said this and he said “oh you have the essencia, you have the essence!” and we said “so what is that like?” You don’t take it orally, you don’t take it by mouth, you smoke it.
He said “Oh what happens?” So we described it a typical DMT trip to him and said “would you like to try it?” and he said “No thank you” (laughter)
So they’re not thrill crazy by any means
(Commentary) I read the Castenada books he goes into what he calls the old seers and the new seers, and the old seers, maybe you’re more aligned with them, but they were more willing to explore any territory, they made a division between the known and the unknown. It was the new seers that came up with the third category of the unknowable, in other words there’s this reality which is the known, then there’s the other realities you go to which are the unknown, which maybe the ayahuascero takes you to the unknown, but then there’s this other realm where they don’t go, they would probably call the unknowable because the impact it has on you to go there would be dangerous,
(2nd commentator) From the place of the unknown they could glimpse very briefly the unknowable, which is usually a pretty shattering experience.
Well that’s interesting, it makes me think of you know I mention Vitkenstein’s Unspeakable I think the unspeakable and the unspoken, and all these esoteric and initiatory religious numbers are trading in the unspoken, you know you come to them and they will whisper in your ear the previously unspoken teaching, they will give you an oral empowerment but beyond that lies the unspeakable which no teacher can orally impart, or impart any other way because it lays outside the bounds of transmissibility by its nature and to some degree I would think so, and that’s the thing which you validate, you can only validate it for itself, in itself for itself.
It is the private object of being, it is not something which I can tell you about or you can tell me about, it’s the private mystery that is ontologically private because it’s unspeakable.
Kat: I don’t think what we call the unspeakable is the same as the unknowable, I think that all of us who have pursued these dimensions have many experiences that it’s very hard to talk about, or that when you talk about them its very silly compared to what you experienced, right?
Its on of the challenges of having this kind of group discussion or these kinds of workshops, to try to talk about that. But there is, I think a big area that just doesn’t language, the ineffable is all I can think of……
Terence: Well you can sort of chip away at it, the whole progress of human development is maybe slowly eroding the unspeakable and turning it into the spoken.
(Commentary) That is the process of everything from the very beginning to the very end, we as human beings on the planet are just somewhere in the middle of this process of the unknowable becoming the known. Tying back to your whole thing with time yesterday, you say that the physicists are interested in the first second, or parts there or and what you’re interested in are the final or coming up moments as things speed up, what the physicists are looking at is basically the form, but you’re looking at it as the ideas which are coming into being more and more, time is more and more recognition so it’s really like spirit, or mind, or knowing, so its like the opposite end, and one is the latter coming into form in the beginning, and the former is the knowing of all of this just coming to a point. An ant, or whatever lower level of consciousness, or say a cell, or an amoeba, they have their thing, and there’s the unknowable which is what we are acting in. What about the blood cells inside our body can they know about our world of communication and symbols, such as we are on this unknowable is really a greater universe, a higher level of just known by a higher way of being, so it’s like each end, the matter here and the mind coming into it, this point comes shortly, this 2012 is significant in that it is possibly the opposite end of knowing becoming complete, like life becoming completely aware of all life in and of itself. But is that the end of everything?
It seems that its just a point, like a mid swing of the pendulum.
Yes well then some other process having to do with the career of spirit instead of matter is initiated.
Yes well that’s the end of everything, it’s a complete end of one way of being, of us a species as a life development, it’s not just humans, it’s all life, if that life entity goes through a great metamorphosis another way of saying what happens to the rest of the universe is that the universe is a concept in our minds. Right well that’s the metaphysicality of it.
But to say what’s never been said, to do what’s never been done, to paint what’s never been painted, to dance what’s never been danced, this is somehow you are acting for everybody when you do that.
It’s an amazing thing to do what’s never been done, it means once you’ve done it, it’s been done!
-Refers to something like a big fence that is becoming larger and more extensive and the great minds fence off a particular area where all of humanity can run around and you know it’s a whole process of…
It’s what aeronautical engineers call “stretching the envelope” when you fly a figher plane you have the predicted engineering performance characteristics, but once you validate that it can do that, then its up to the pilot to find out, to stretch the envelope, to find out what it can really do…how fast it can turn, how fast it can climb.
That’s what we as creative artists can do for the human enterprise.
The lacking ingredient is courage, I think.
Often I have the feeling that it’s no longer at least in my own life about seeking the answer, its about facing it.
It isn’t about “Is it yoga? Is it Taoism? Is it this is it that?” I think now I know, at least for me what it is, but that the answer is so appalling and requires such courage to execute it and carry it through that I don’t know what to do.
I have no doubt that we could all become the Taoist hermit on cold mountain, and be that person of whom people in the valley say “Oh him! We see him sometimes when it snows very deeply, because he comes further down for wood” He comes and goes in the mist and never talks to anybody, we could all become that person.
There are no barriers to ultimate spiritual attainment, but what about your mortgage? And your lover? And your devotion to French chocolate? And all of these things.
That’s tricky. That’s very, very tricky.
For instance like the matter of the flying saucer, I have no doubt that if you took 10 people selected from this group and trekked days east of Death Valley and stayed up all night and everybody took 8 dried grams of mushrooms and hoped and hollered and waited that something would happen that would be so appalling and so destructive to our preconceptions of what’s possible in this universe that you just come out of it pointing into the desert saying “mmMMM mmMMM MMMMM!!!”
I’m careful, I don’t doubt that appalling, appalling, appalling things can happen and reality can be completely pulled to pieces, I don’t know what that means but I really want to deal with that on my terms. That’s a kind of fear you know, it’s a kind of holding back. That’s why, I know people who seem to me superhumanly reckless, I mean they tell me the thing they do and I just shake my head, you know because of the power, of the vistas of the energies that they must have laid their hands on. It’s too much for me, I am a simple scholar and bookish collector type. I am like Brother John here.
We like our home and hearth. But that’s the challenge you see, that’s the weird things of psychedelics. It’s a path, but in a sense it’s the end of the path, and then what do you do? Now it’s up to you, it’s no more about the guru says “In 5 years you’ll make progress, or if you just keep eating this spiralina, or fiddling with your crystals” or something, but no, you’ve arrived, now what do you do with it?
Do you really want to be a wandering figure at the edge of civilization glimpses occasionally with your tattered clothes and your wild ravings…
Kat: Nick and I were talking this morning about envisioning something and how these plants help you to generate a vision of something real that you want to create or organize in the world and then they help you to have the discipline and dedication to carry it out.
In the real day-to-day telephone call, how do I get the money for it? Kind of way.
That I think is a real strength for it that all of us have, it’s one of the responsibilities of being granted the visions is to make the visions then as real as you can.
We do have our bodies here on earth for some time to come, we do have pleasure of course which we should all indulge in, but we also have responsibility to make it as much as like, even if it’s a small step, as much like as that fantastic thing we can see in our visions and I think that it gives you the object then it helps you move towards it, and we need to do that work and keep refreshing our vision if it starts to get weak or we start to give up on it. If we need to shift directions slightly.
(Commentary) Let me go back to astrology, with Saturn being on a ring around a vision and then Saturn stairway, envisioning the steps that it takes to get there, and how you can’t jump 40 steps up without losing part of the foundation, as an artist myself I’m finally getting to a place of patience that the slower it goes, the better it gets, and my statement goes “If I only had more time, I’d use less words to write”, I would start using things carefully, and allowing the process, for years I was just like “I gotta get this out!” but not anymore, I’m just taking the slow, patient steps to create a foundation strong enough to someday, even if its not in this lifetime to manifest that dream.
KM: If you use the quality of your daily life as your currency for how you’re proceeding towards something. If you know the quality of your daily life is good, deep, and satisfying and you have a goal, you’re probably on the right path.
But if you’re saying “God it’s just going to be hell for 3 years until I can get this project together” you maybe should think about it again.
I could reflect all this on a greater scale to the evolution of life itself, and that if life were to very quickly achieve the knowing pure spirituality, then what good is it? And that’s like (through humanism?) and through history and through all of our time, and even this coming moment 2012, that might just be this reflection of another even ultimate, and it most likely is, it’s just that reflection, and it’s really endlessly drawn out patient process is just taking its time as long as possible so that every aspect can work into place.
This quality of daily life thing is an interesting point, because I think it was yesterday or two days ago we meditated or thought “What would you do if you could do anything? How you imagine…or if the genie were to tell you you had not 3 wishes but thousands, and you begin to dabble in fulfillment and of course all the trivial and superficial things I mentioned, palaces and Ferraris and all this, but then things that you could move anywhere instantly, how would you choose to travel instantly if you could move anywhere instantly?
At La Chorrera, these possibilities were to real to us that we actually grappled with it sufficiently to see how it would develop. How it develops is that if you discover that you can do anything, the only values which have any meaning, if you can do anything and have anything, are aesthetic values. If you could travel anywhere instantly, how would you travel? You would walk…obviously. You know, because it’s so tasteful, it’s so completing, it’s such a complete reverence for space and time in your body and the correctness of the situation. Time and time at La Chorrera, someone would be doing something some way, and someone else would be saying “Well you’re omniscient, why don’t you just make it be done?” and the answer is that is crass to do that.
The way to do things, if you can do anything, is to do them right.
KM: Cooking is like that.
I guess, but that realization of the total richness and correctness of the moment is that’s the correct interpretation of the attainment of these cities. The things that would go on at La Chorrera, as an example of how the Tao works, I would walk out into the jungle and there would be butterflies circling.
I would hold out my hand and speak to the butterflies with my mind and invite them to come down and land on my hand and display themselves. And the butterflies would do this, they would come and land in my open hand and turn, and strut, and show me all facets of themselves, and this would go on for 2 or 3 minutes where I would experience gratitude, reverence, delight, and then this other emotion: the need to show somebody else what I could do.
Then I would walk back to the camp and smiling with a bizarre inward smile I would select one of my camp mates and ask them to walk out into the jungle with me. Then to their horror, I would stand underneath this tree and gesture, and ask for the butterflies to come down from the trees and land in my hand, and people would just turn away in a mixture of horror and embarrassment that anyone could be such a jackass first of all, and that anyone could be so mentally deranged as to operate like that. Of course the butterflies would have nothing to do with me, I would be left just sputtering and it happened many times. It was not only the butterflies, it was that as long as I had no ego I could work magic, but it was magic that was the necessary magic.
It absolutely had no use other than to make my life a more perfect work of art, as an example we had a pot in which we could de-vein (…?) every morning it was our magic pot, and the scrubbing out of this pot was a major pain in the neck and was consequently a rotating camp duty. So at the height of this it was my turn to scrub this pot and I went down to the little spring where the sand was, and I squatted down by the water and I picked up the sand and I rubbed it on to the pot to get ready to scrub it. Then I looked and the black stuff was just flaking off, it was like easy off or something, and I just took the pot holding it by it’s 2 little protrusions and immersed it in the spring like this and looked and all the black stuff was just flaking off and crudding off and I was just amazed. The magical scouring agent.
So then I went back to the camp and got my most severe critic and again, smiling with inward benign-ness I lead them down to the river and said “I’m going to teach you how to wash a pot”, the Zen master you see. So we squat across from each other by the spring and I pick up the sand I put it on and she says “So I’m supposed to know that sand can wash a pot?” I say no, look. And again it failed me. By then I was getting the message, and I stopped…and there was one other instance which was actually very puzzling because I saw another person go into it too. It had to do with this prophecy which my brother had made.
One of the motifs which circled in his mind space during this period was what he called ‘The good shit’ and this was, he had claimed, imagined that sometime in the past he had got a sample of Afghani hash that had had cow manure, very, very carefully worked into it and the hash had been infected with psilocybin mycelium and all of the cow manure had been converted into psilocybin, so he had this psilocybinated hash, and he had this notion that he would invent a musical instrument like an electric guitar, which when you played it, it would cause this stuff to come out of the air and reign down on great crowds of people.
So anyway there was this thing about the good shit, and one night he announced that the good shit would appear at a certain time. So then I went back to my hammock in this hut in the jungle and the woman who was with me came as well and we had no watches, but he had said that at 11 PM the good shit was going to get here. I was settling down to roll my evening joint, and it was this Colombian weed that we had brought in with us. As I lit the joint, this little thing fell out of the end of it on the floor burning, and I picked it up and I smelled it and it was unbelievable hashish, I mean hashish to die for. I put it in the pipe and I smoked it and I said to this woman, and I said “Smoke this” and she agreed that it was astonishing. I looked and opened this baggy with this stuff and started smoking it, it didn’t change its appearance, but the odor and everything was just the most finest hash I’ve ever smoked. I thought the millennium had come.
[AUDIO BREAKS HERE]
So I thought that the millenium had come, that forever after we would all trash. Yes. The end of the world is when all trash, as Muzare Sharif, uh [Terence laughs] ...when trash becomes hash. [more laughter]
But, but at the crack of dawn the next morning I went tearing down to my harshest critic and knelt beside her hammock and woke her up and said, you know “You’ve got to smoke this!” and of course, you know, garbage was back! [Terence laughs]
So, so I don’t know why I got off into this, I guess it was the 'life is art thing and this thing about what would you do if you could do anything.
K: Enhance that. The
myth, isn't it from New Guinea? Uh, about the good ship? Remember that one, where they generated.
TM: You mean the thing about the resin, where the resin bar grew longer?
I’m not sure how this relates to it, but I’ll tell it. In the study of Messianic movements, in fact you can read about this in Sylvia Thrupp’s book Millenial Dreams in Action where she talks about a number of millennial religious groups. There was a movement around 1910 in Java called the calloupan [?] movement and it was some guy was sitting on his porch on day in a hut off in the jungle, and he was playing his flute, and they collect Kopal in the forest there and sell to traders. And as he was playing his flute, he noticed that this bar of rolled-out Kopal multiplied to twice its size right in front of him. And not only did this happen, but the same moment it happened his mind was flooded with the sudden realization that the meaning of this event was that all human lives were now going to be twice as long as they had previously been before.
And he started, uh, he told people in his village and he had the proof because they had this bar of Kopal that was twice as long than anybody had ever rolled them in the village. So it spread from village to village and, uh, before long people from all over, uh, Java were vectoring in on this place, and, uh, eventually the army had to be sent to put up road blocks and turn people back, and uh, it all had to do with uh, this piece of resin which had doubled in length while this guy was playing his flute.
KM: And that is what you call a cognitive hallucination..
TM: A cognitive hallucination..
KM: Right, where an idea becomes so real to you that you see it, but then there's this funny border where maybe it becomes so real that other people see it, and maybe that's actually how we keep enlarging and complicating reality is by having consensual cognitive hallucinations of what's possible.
TM: That's right, that's right.
TM: The ayahuasquero that Kat mentioned she liked so much and worked with in Peru, Don Fidel, he lived behin- he lived off this road we knew and a few miles down this trail, and we would go over there often and we would walk with him back and forth between his house and where we could catch these little Jitney busses into town.
And he said one afternoon as we were walking along the Amazon jungle, apropos of nothing he said “This is the path that Christ walked when he lived on Earth” and it became so. You saw that somehow this was not a logical statement, this was a statement about the transposition of time and dimensionality, and that he was living in the light of Christ, that he was living in the presence of the master through being enveloped in a cognitive hallucination, and uh, I think our entire culture is headed for being enveloped in a cognitive hallucination where our real wishes will be fulfilled and that’s why its so important to, uh, to find out what our real wishes are.
One of the most powerful forms of yoga, one of the highest forms of yoga is what is called Yanutatara-Yoga-tantra and it involves a series of visualizations and they say “Imagine your home as a sp- splendid palace, and imagine the common utensils of your everyday life as golden vessels, vessels of beaten gold encrusted with jewels. Imagine your raiment as being made of the finest silk, and imagine yourself as a God centered in the midst of all of this splendor. Well, this is like trying to induce what is called in Western psychotherapy “A delusion of grandeur.” A delusion of grandeur is when you are a hell of a lot happier other people think you should be, you know? [audience laughter] And uh, say “What do YOU have to be so happy about?!”
And it’s all about infusing the quality of life with greater purity. We were saying around the fire last night that the way to relate to the millennium is to make it happen as soon as possible in your life so that you become a spectator to it as a historical phenomenon. Well the way to make it happen in your life is to not transcend desire but to transmute it so that what you really want is what you actually have, you know.
KM: I um, that, the mushrooms particularly, that to will, to choose, to become an archetype that I of course both have to be able to identify as an archetype, but one that I can relate to or wish to be, and become, you know, as large, a hundred, a thousand times larger than we are, and as smooth, and as...everything is light, you can practice being in the Tao so deeply in those states, and that everything you do no matter how minuscule it is you’re doing most gracefully, and everything you say you’re saying most eloquently. And, you know, even um, I’ve used the mending-sock thing, because sometimes I think that’s what I’m doing, that level of work, but that I’m doing it perfectly, you know, and that’s, that's a great feeling.
If you indulge in the feeling of being a Goddess, or a God or Goddess, or one of whatever you identify with, you know, you get to choose whatever, then you get to carry it back. It's a really good way to carry it back into your daily life, and, and uh learn to practice it either in moments when you’re wobbly and you suddenly need to grow into the situation, or in moments of ecstasy, you know, and to be archetypes making love is pretty good.
TM: Well that’s the technique of tantric practice, imagining these Gods in union with their consorts in sexual union…
Q: Want to have a break?
TM: Yeah let's have a break.
[Guitar Music & Singing Interlude ends 1:10:19]
TM: The people burning to speak should speak. [Terence chuckles]
Q: I have one comment, um, that in different part I keep hearing people say we don't know anything.
But I think we're all dancing around it very well. I think you’re dancing around it really well, and so I think we know something, not a lot perhaps, but we do know something. If words are that important and do have that meaning, meanings, whether it's what we’re saying is true, or the sound of our voice that is true, something is true right here. Uh, I think we're beginning to say the unsayable. I just have that feeling. [Audience chuckles] [Terence chuckles]
TM: And what a feeling it is! Yes, well, we're f- feeling the dizziness of the things not said, we feel it, we’re dizzy from it, it’s here.
Q: I think a lot has to do with trust. A lot of times [???] You just gotta say it, and you move on. That's how it keeps forming, creation, words, thought idea. They attach themselves to this larger structure and just keep getting larger and larger. Pieces fall off, people add, uh, but
Its about trust and that leap of faith to the other side to what you can understand, to trust it, as you trust your lover, as you trust a friend, it doesn’t always work out, but trust is the only way. Uh, because otherwise there’s only fear, fear of ourselves, fear of others, fear of ideas. I think this community is part of that building trust among people who have different ideas.” [1:13:10]
Q2: learning and teaching [???] psychedelic experience....You can use a lot of verbiage to explain to people what that search is about, but in the end probably the best communication is…dispense the sacrament (inaudible) I just want to express my appreciation to those involved in the work, with great respect for the sacrament, I just am very deeply wishing the best, it’s something I missed for a long time since the days in the 60’s was the last time I was around people who knew about that work and approached it with the kind of reverence that I see here.
TM: The great thing about the psychedelics is that they speak for themselves, so they need no priest, no interpreter, uh, they can deliver their message all by themselves.
Q2: [??] seem to be so wonderful with words. Even the unspeakable [???] togeth in silence. -to say. For me it was always babbling. It's quite an event.
TM: Well it’s wonderful that you feel so comfortable with people that you don’t have to rattle on. Why don’t you lead us now, Kat, in a meditation.
KM: Hold hands. We’ve seen, uh, many eggs in the last two days and had the pleasure of holding them and swallowing them, and um, I’ve spoken about luminous eggs and feeling very “eggy” today, resurrection and all that stuff. Um, so I was thinking that our luminous eggs should meet each other in maybe a less verbal way. Ok close eyes, and find your center, the light. And let it swell out into your egg, your shape. And then you feel that light of yourself moving into your head and letting everything else out of it. You can breathe through the top of your head, and through your forehead and your eyes and let it become, let your head become like a cloud of light. When it gets strong, that floats up above your head so you have a sphere of light that you can feel and see just above the top of your head that seems to get more charged as you perceive it. And then it grows. The light is growing, the sphere is growing rounder and fuller and softer until it meets the lights of your neighbors. And we have a huge halo over us together. If you travel through it, in your light, you'll encounter everyone very softly. And we can charge that halo of light to be stronger and bigger than us. I feel like it, uh, becomes a sphere, a dome above and beneath us which meets the light of the spirit of this place, the spirit that lives here. It's partly in the earth and partly in the air, and very old and wise with a sense of humor. And so we're all inside our collective luminous egg which we could take anywhere actually, but perhaps for now we should just greet the spirit of this place and gradually breathe and draw the white light energy back into ourselves, into our circle and into our individual spaces. Above and through and beneath us. And when we go out and sit out on the rocks alone we can keep doing this even though we're not in a circle.
It's good to connect with all of you. Thank you.
TM: Thank you. Mhm.
Q: I don’t know how to phrase this best, um, you were suggesting that this kind of, um, visual language, somehow, um, our future lies there, I know Gueyes talks about the future of technology being light and sound in probably the same way you’re talking about it. Um, I guess my interest in formulating this question has to do with, um, things like the Mayan hieroglyphic language system or, um, also Egyptian hieroglyphs, basically that kind of um, visual language that maps Northwest coast Indian designs were there’s very particular kind of uh, design patterns. Another piece of this question is the interface between the past use of that and the future use of that somehow. That is seems that- I mean, my sense of these hieroglyphic languages used in the past, they would literally see these things that are being drawn, or these things would speak to them and provide information as you are talking about. Um, and that somehow as we evolved we lost that ability somehow, or buried it, or shunted it off to one side. And so my question has to do with some sense of the re-emergence, or the uh, in the Joyce sense here comes everybody, the democratization of, uh, of that ability in future cultures.
TM: Yes well I think so, I think that the way that these, uh, hieroglyphic languages especially Mayan and Egyptian differ from uh, alphabetic languages is that, uh, etymology remains on the surface in a hieroglyphic language so that, uh, thousands of meanings are immediately visibly present. And, and so it’s more like an ideogram rather than like a word with a dictionary meaning. You couldn't really- I doubt that a Mayan could conceive of a dictionary of Mayan glyphs because they're, they're, uh, they infinitely shade off one into another so that- and, and that kind of sensitivity to the depth of language and to the uh, presence of the past in the present, in a word, in what Joyce is trying to do in Finnigans Wake, you know. And that’s why if you read it carefully, you feel many historical layers of meaning in the same passage because he wrote it with almost a pictographic consciousness of the meaning of the words rather than a lineal and literary sense of it. So yes in that sense, it’s like that. How this will be achieved in the future in our culture I’m not sure.
The control of the macintosh through an internationally set of unders- internationally understood set of control glyphs is very weird and if any of you have worked with a macintosh you immediately see “Ah” this idea which seems very odd, could in fact, I could learn this very quickly and anyone could do it, kind of thing, may be presages a world of illiterate computer users who communicate with computer through symbols, because literacy has been lost. But it's it’s very interesting.
Q: [??] So the computer plays a role in the visual component. Like I heard you talk about actually when you asked your question “Will computers become intelligent?” I’ve heard you talk about it more, and that the technology of computers will become available to us as almost a biological extension from the-
TM: Yes that’s what I think will happen. I mean my vision of a perfect world is where, you know, the earth is restored to its prehistoric, edenic perfection but technology has not been eliminated, it’s merely been micro-miniaturized to the point where the computers which maintain the history of the race and the governance of the planet have all been secreted in a certain pebble which lies on a certain beach somewhere on the planet and we walk around in perfect harmony with nature and in perfect and complete touch with an imaginary holographic world that is our self-expression, as a city is our self-expression.
To then be simultaneously, you know, in the world of techne and in the world of nature, but with neither violating the other, and I think that’s reasonable. In fact, I think perhaps in a sense this is what so-called preliterate cultures in the Amazon have achieved. That’s how it looks to them from the inside. They have an extremely rich inner life. It isn’t maintained by vast computer networks and projected into holographic space and taped on to magnetic tape and all of that, but it’s still, in feeling, it’s the notion that the richest world is within and that you uh, promote a balance with the exterior world, but then the purpose of the leisure created when you have achieved balance is not then to accumulate things but to explore the interior horizon of transcendence through the recitation of myth, and ecstasis, and uh, and this sort of thing.
Q: Terence, in connection with Roberts question, in conjunction with it, could you further elaborate this idea of the material externalization of the soul and the internalization of the body as a definitive thing in evolution.
TM: Well, I think imagination is where we want to go, that this has become the arrow of our epigenetic development because everybody says “In the future, you’ll have everything you want!” Well if we believe this then we have to think seriously about “what everything you want” is.
I mean obviously you want plenty of food, plenty of clothes, plenty of money, plenty of friends, but then if you get all that and they say “Well you still- you haven’t even dented your credit account” and you say “Well I want to live in Versailles, surrounded by brilliant robots who- and I want great writers and artists to have lunch with me every day, and then the Hope diamond, and Rembrandts.” Eventually this becomes very silly and instead there is an ascent toward truly grandiose aspirations, you know. Truly boddisatvic calling. And I think that uh, this- the rich imagination is the real frontier, this is why the poets and the artists are so important.
This is why, I think, one of the aspects of the space thing that is never mentioned by the Al-Phi society or any of these engineering types who are so into it, is the interesting thing about outer space, we are not going to go through space to other worlds. That will be very incidental to going into space. Going into space will be going into space, that space itself is a medium with unique properties for a species such as ourselves, and one of those unique properties is the engineering, which on the surface of the planet always has to always be cognizant of stress, and bearing loads, and the limitation of materials, engineering is just going to become like ballet. And objects miles in extent can be created that are obedient only to the laws of the human imagination, and of course the funding available to create these things, in other words the constraints of nature are pretty much lifted.
Outer space is very much like what you see when you close your eyes in a dark room. It’s a vast unfilled void into which anything whatsoever can be projected. The hallucinations of the individual are, are the cultural artifacts of the species 500 years from now. I mean, all these visions and dreams that we have will been realized, I mean, in ways that we can not imagine, but realized nevertheless. This has been consistently what has been going on. The alchemical dreams of the 16th century are fully realized in the 20th century, you know. And of course it has facets that they never imagined.
But, uh, going into space and going into the imagination is the same thing, and in the same way that the new world presented a tremendously tight genetic filter to immigrants so that only the soldiers of fortune, the religious fanatics and exiles came to this place and that created a unique gene mix, space is going to be a much tighter genetic filter. I mean, most people who go are going to be very smart and very healthy, and uh, and uh, very quickly I think a space type will arise but I don’t think you can create a space-based civilization without recourse to psychedelic plants and the psychedelic experience, because it’s too much the same thing. You know, without- if you don’t integrate psychedelics into the leap to space and realize that what is happening is that more and more we perfect the uh, aspiration to vertical ascent.
In the myth of Icarus and Daedalus you get this, then in the brother Mongofie [??] and their gas-filled balloon, and then the Wright brothers, and then the Apollo project. All of these things are this aspiration to ascension. Apparently it is a biological drive, some people have suggested it is a nostalgia for the canopies of the rainforest that no longer exist, but whatever it is, it’s going to take us eventually outwards to the stars and inwards to the stars because, uh, you know the real question mark which hangs over all this is the nature of mind, and we do not know what mind is, and yet everything goes on upon the stage that is conditioned by and assumes mind as a given. And, uh, every society has assumed that it had the answers, that just fifteen years more of fine-tuning of the current ideology would do it. And no society has ever been right about that, so why should we be right?
We are hurtling toward an unimaginable future in the same way that our present would have been unimaginable to people 200, or 500 years ago. But it is uh, it is the imagination because it is consciousness that is growing and expanding and strengthening itself. And if we take the notion that these uh, psychedelic plants are consciousness expanding agents, this is what they were originally called, “consciousness expanding drugs,” if you take that seriously for a moment how can you not center it in your life? I mean obviously consciousness is what must be expanded as fast as possible at all costs in all times and places because it is a lack of consciousness that will, uh, be toxic to our species and the planet. Consciousness is the saving grace and so it has to be cultivated by any means, uh, available. Yeah.
Q: You were saying that this urge to ascend is related to this biological urge and that maybe something related to the rainforest.
TM: Well I think we are the trigger species...
Q: What I want to make is that, when we think of going to space we’re so human centered, yes us as humans can exist in space, but what I think is really important about going away from this planets surface is that it’s not just a human centered thing, it’s a totally biological thing and that we are just implements of it, we are the thinking conscious creative tool-makers that will be able to implement this getting off this “gravity trap”, this “gravity well” but it’s not just for humans it’s for all life, and we have to, it will be a complete synthesis of all biological life that will exist away from the planet.
TM: Yes if we go to space we will take everybody with us.
Q: Just like in a rainforest, it’s not just…..it’s everything.
TM: That’s right we are the species that is deputized to use energy to do the thing for all life on the planet. That’s why I’m not pessimistic about history and I don’t see history as unnatural or somehow opposed to nature. What history is is a 10,000 year process by which the monkeys attain an understanding of physical processes to build the habitats in to which all life on the planet can then migrate. That’s what I was talking about this morning when I said “I think the planet senses the finite of its- the finiteness of its existence and that biology is a wild scheme for getting out to the stars for dispersal of uh, of life, and you’re right, we have great hubris and believe “we are doing this” and man will go to the stars. It’s more that man is the pecking beak of the cosmic egg- of the cosmic chick in the egg of life on earth, and the entire bird will emerge and fly but it was man with his atomic weapons and his radar and all this who, who can break the shell and then the whole of the biosphere will flow outward into space and escape the cycle of energy degradation that will eventually turn this solar system into a group of cold cinders rotating around a uh, a red giant or something.
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TM: Yes, well we’re trying to compare our maps, everybody has seen different pieces of a geography whose total size we don’t know. So we don’t know, maybe none of our maps overlap, or maybe some do and some don’t. And maps which don’t overlap are not invalidated, it just means nobody has been there but you. I mean, I often have the feeling that I am seeing things that no one has ever seen before. Often.
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Leon asked me to talk about time, Leon is off on alone time, so he’ll miss this. The thing that really interests me or draws me back to the psychedelic experience again and again is the notion that there’s something that you can learn that would somehow be, uh- have an impact on society at large, that when, that when you have the psychedelic experience, it’s like you’re a sailor on some kind of a vast ocean where you let down your net into the deeps and the hope is that you will snare an idea of some sort and of some size. And it may be, you know, that you come up with the equivalent of tuna, which is many small ideas, or- and perhaps you bring up your nets and see that they have just been shredded by something so large [audience laughter] that you scarcely care to imagine it.
But the, the hope is to land an idea of intermediate size that, uh, you can then fully, um, explore and understand. When you s- go into that ocean as a swimmer you see these things passing in review, uh, things of such beauty and intricacy and complexity that you are literally speechless, and even speechless in terms of an interior dialogue about what you’re seeing. You can't, uh, it just blows your mind and washes past you in such profusion that there seems to be- the notion of capturing it seems to be like a child emptying the ocean with a cup. But if you have a net, and I’m not sure what a net is exactly, but it’s a way of somehow capturing these psychedelic ideas and then bringing them back for examination.
And I think, um, part of it rests on a technique of, uh, cyclical recitation to yourself of what you have seen so that you carry a vision to a level of reflection in memory as you pull away from it, and then 10 minutes later you tell yourself again what has just happened, and then 20 minutes later again so that you get a series of telescoping images which are granted a compression of the original event, but nevertheless they bear the, uh, the uh, stamp of what the thing was.
So, the thing of this class that has happened to me is a very peculiar idea about time which was developed, uh, fairly suddenly as I would imagine ideas develop, uh, in me in the early and mid 70’s and then it was pretty much formulated in my head but it took the invention of small computers to make it possible to write software so that I could actually talk to other people about this idea. Well since we have no computers and not even a blackboard this will be a kind of feeling-toned uh, excursion into talking about this theory of time.
Its, um, it has an abstract foundation and a practical foundation. Its abstract foundation is the notion that, uh, time is different than we have come to conceive of it as the legacy of Western science. The legacy of Western science is that time is duration, that time is a dimension necessary for process, and it’s usually thought of as a flat plane against which some other fluctuating variable can be plotted. This is called, you know, “linear time."
Um, and Newton's physics took the same view of space. The Newtonian view of space was that it was essentially emptiness; it was something which you had to have if you wanted to put something somewhere, so it was a kind of an abstract, uh, plenum, but Einstein showed that space is actually some kind of a thing, it has properties of thing-dom, it is distorted in the presence of a large magnetic field and, uh, and so it beca- it rose out of the realm of abstraction and then was cognized as an objectifiable entity, a topological manifold that was real.
This is, I think, the same step that has to be taken for time. Time is not simply the dimension of duration required for the successive occurrence of occasions. It is rather some kind of conditioned topological manifold. We can think of it as, um, uh, a fluid medium flowing across a surface, a river in other words. In some places the river is very broad and shallow and meanders because the pitch of the incline over which it's moving is so slight that it can barely discern which way to move. You see this often in the Amazon. In other situations the incline increases and the speed of the flow increases, and the depth of the channel increases, and the sides o- distance between the banks decreases, so time runs slowly and it runs quickly. It has a kind of modulated speed.
Well, it’s been a, uh, a commonplace of Western cosmology since Darwin, although it’s never been elevated to the status of a law or even a principle that complex- steady complexification has occurred in the universe since its very beginning. That this is, uh, something that we see in the very first moments of physics and proceeding right up into our own day. In other words, in the era before physics, that period of time so short that it’s the period of time- it's less than the amount of time necessary for the photon to cross the radius of the nucleus of the atom, there was absolutely chaos and a complete absence of physics. And then what sprang into being was a physics of pure electrons, of pure energy. And it was not for many seconds that, uh, temperatures fell to a point such that other factors could come into play, such that free electrons could fall into atomic orbitals and, uh, and, and this sort of thing.
And at each successive level of cooling new forms of order became possible. At first everything was just this plasma of particles and energy, and then atomic systems sprang into being. And then at still lower temperatures these atomic systems were able to form molecular systems. The energy level in the general medium dropped below the level at which it would disrupt the molecular bond, so then molecules came into being. And then at that point there was the aggregation of stars and the cooking out of the heavier elements through the hy- the process of cooking hydrogen so that iron and carbon and these things then arose. And by this time the universe is much cooler than it was at the beginning, and then finally you get, uh, temperature regimes and environmental situations where very large colloidal molecular, uh, species can come into being, large polymerized molecules and, uh, and this sets the stage for DNA which once it emerges- and the, the thing to notice at each of these stages of complexification is that it requires a shorter time than the processes preceding it.
If the universe is, uh, let's uh, take the long view and say 20 billion years old, then the first 10 billion years not very much happened that was interesting in the realm of complexity. There was star formation and, uh, the percolation of heavy chemistry but not life and- or it's doubtful that life occurred in the early universe. So what we see then is the emergence of more and more complex animal forms at a greater and greater speed. And then finally the emergence of self-reflection in the primates, and then epigenetic methods of encoding information in other words writing, and storytelling, and language.
And uh, at each point what is happening is there’s a progressive time-binding of energy and a progressive intensification and speed-up of the complexification of certain parts of the universe. Right now the most complex part of the universe that we know is the human brain-mind situated in its network of computers and cultural conventions and social obligations and expectations and hopes and fears and historical aspirations, et cetera. This is the realm of the densely-packed that the Buddhists are talking about.
So it seems to me that this should be seen as the operation of a general law and we are not outside of this. We are in fact the cutting edge of it. Somehow of all the animal species on the earth the human beings are carriers of this temporal, speeding-up process which is now engulfing, uh, the entire planet. And, uh, so that’s the general law, or the general perception upon which this idea I elaborated was based, the notion that complexification is being conserved through time and being built up as, uh, some quality that the universe is very interested in maintaining.
And then I looked at the I-Ching which I hope, uh, is familiar to most of you. I’m sure it probably is. It’s a very ancient Chinese oracle system of- that uses what are called hexagrams which are 6-leveled ideograms of broken or unbroken lines, and the possible subset of these things is 64 which is an interesting number because it’s the number which DNA operates on because it uses 64 codons, and in fact I came to see that as no coincidence, that actually life was organized around this number and the I-Ching as well because both were subject to, uh, a set of rules which was, uh, surfacing in the phenomenon of biological organization and the organization of a Chinese oracular theory for understanding past and future time.
But- and I looked at what is called “The Sequence” which is the way in which you move from one hexagram to the next, and I sought order there and found order that I think had been lost since pre-Han perhaps pre-Zhou time. And I came to see the I-Ching as we possess it today as an archaeological artifact, a piece of broken machinery. It’s like the turbine of a jet plane. You puzzle over it and you see that it can be used for various things and you do use it for things and you see that it’s very effective but it’s really a piece of broken machinery from a very ancient technology which ceased to exist before the rise of the Han dynasty. And what it was, was, it was like a uh, Taoist technology of understanding time, that by the practice of certain techniques whose historical, uh, echoes I think you get in the stilling-of-the-heart techniques of Vadrayana Buddhism, these people were able to see into the quantum-mechanical foundations of thought and consciousness and they noticed there a flux which they called The Tao and it was a thing which came and went. The Tao Te Ching says “The way that can be told of is not an unvarying way” and they stilled their body functions and they looked inward with a cataloging, analytical mentality, and they noticed that while this flux was variable it seemed to be not infinite in its, in its, uh, in its uh, contributing factors but that in fact it seemed to have a pattern and they discerned the pattern as revolving around the number 64.
In other way- in other words, they discerned through this process of meditation temporal elements that had a kind of ontological validity that the material elements of the periodic table have for matter. That there is not one kind of time or two kinds of time, but actually 64 facets of the possible temporal jewel. And they saw that any moment in time was the combination and the overlay of, uh, this a a- wave system which they called Tao and it was a harmonic wave system, it had, uh, re- it had, uh, periods of self-expression which were very short in duration, on the order of seconds or hours or microseconds, it had levels of expression which were cognizable in the human world as years and decades and centuries, and it had vast resonant periods which were as large as history and then larger many times. Periods of historical- or periods of, uh, temporal resonance which could only be referenced to the life of the planet. And this is, I think, uh, you know, part of the Chinese notion of, uh, the Tao of heaven, earth, and man. These are different speeds at which these temporal waves of conditioning of the world of phenomenal appearance are moving.
And if you, if you take an idea like this, uh, seriously, even as a personal discipline of thought to, to picture it, to visual it- visualize it in a Vadryana spirit then you see that what’s really being offered is a map of time. It’s saying that, um, the condition of knowing a fading past and facing an unanticipatable future is not a n- ontologically given necessity of existence, that it is possible to imagine an existence in which one saw into time the way we as animals see into the space in front of us so that we are able to run, and leap, and dance among the rocks. It’s because we can see into space. A creature that- or a culture that could see into time could anticipate where the river of time would flow quickly, where it would broaden out and move slowly with a rich sense of the conservation of accomplishments achieved, where it would cascade and break-up its previous patterns and produce great cataracts of novelty. A civilization which knew these things, or a person which knew these things about their own life would claim a new dimension of existential freedom for being.
And um, you know, I was having this whispering entity, this daemon, this Logos show me these things and it was expressed on a very, very practical level. I mapped what is called ‘The first order of difference’ in the sequence of the I-Ching. That means how many lines change as you go from one hexagram to another. And I discovered that it looked like a random wave, it looked like a stochastic slice except that at the beginning and the end there were tongue-in-groove points of fit if you rotated the thing 180 degrees and brought it down against itself so that the thing achieved closure at the beginning and the end. This satisfied me that I was dealing with an artifact of natu- uh, that, you know, I was dealing with an organized structure either of nature or created by intelligence. And then using the principle of hierarchical resonance and stacking of modules into, uh, into hierarchies which is really the principle by which all Chinese metaphysics has operated from the very beginning, I created, um, a cosmic calendar which had- where each level was a resonance of the level below it, but either collapsed or multiplied by a factor of 64.
I discovered a very- well, recall that, um, because the I-Ching is 64 hexagrams with, uh, 6 lines in each hexagram, it’s composed basically of 384 “yao” or lines. And I discovered that this number 384 has a very interesting property, the, uh, cycle of the moon is 29.5 days so that if you take 29.5 times 13 it's something like 383.93, and it seemed to me then immediately obvious that, that part of what the machinery of the I-Ching was describing in the humanly cognizable phenomenal world was the cycle of the moon using a 384-day lunar calendar which precessed 19 days a year against the solar calendar. And when you take that 384 day unit and multiply it times 64 you, uh, get 67 years and some months and days. This is exactly six 11-year sunspot cycles, and China is the first place where we have historical records of the observation of sunspots.
So that’s one sunspot cycle for each line in the six-line hexagram. Also sunspots cycles have a greater peak every third cycle so that’s one large sunspot cycle for each hexagram in that trigram. And I saw then that there were, uh, these resonances. When you take that number, 67 years, again times 64 you get 4306 years. And uh, that was- that works out to...let's see 4306... two hundred, one hundred and fifty years for each zodiacal sign, each zodiacal sign is slotted to one trigram. These are all- notice that all of these things that this resonance calendar is predicting are things that are visible to the naked eye. We’re talking about movements of constellations, sunspots, and, um, and the moon.
So I saw then that this was a tremendously powerful natural calendar that- that, that was a, a technology developed by proto-Taoist central Asian shamanism very, very long ago. But it had this curious property of when the wave was mathematically analyzed in modern mathematical- by modern mathematical methods so that we could draw these maps of novelty, we could see then that it showed us the map of the temporal river from earliest beginnings to the collapse of the state vector at some time in the future. And so it was obvious then that if we could lay the map over the portion of reality we had already experienced we could then propagate the map forward into the future and know- and begin to take hold of ourselves in this other temporal dimension. And so it became a question of what is the best fit of this undulating wave of novelty?
And I used the word novelty out of Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy because he, he had this notion that novelty was the concrescing of a force which knits things together. And, uh, and I like that, that’s what I felt it was, that the Tao is making itself and that this compression of novelty through the speeding-up of time will eventually reach a place where everything is connected to everything else. And this is, you know, the universe’s self-birthing of itself.
Well, you must be aware of all these, uh, very straight studies which say “If we keep increasing how fast we go by the year 2020 we’ll go 10 times the speed of light, if we keep increasing the amount of energy we release by so-and-so we'll release the energy in the sun. The propagation of all these curves of development become asymptotic and then nobody knows how to interpret what they mean, they just seem to mean that the whole culture is just going to go kazowie, you know.
And this is sort of the idea that this theory implies, it implies that far from the universe being a steady-state entity uninfluenced by the existence of the human mind, which is going to go on and exist for billions of years until the stars burn out and the 2nd law of thermodynamics is going to reduce everything to heat death, that that’s all wrong, a hundred percent wrong, and that actually the universe is made by mind within and without organism, and that mind is a- capable of bootstrap leaps in its organizational self-expression and that we are, uh, privileged to be the witnesses of the final act of life going through some kind of immense transformative, um, unfolding from itself in a kind of vortex which has been building on this planet for billions of years but which has been accelerating to, you know, such excruciating intensities over the last 25,000 years that it has called forth self-reflective intelligence from the monkeys, and the invention of quantum physics, and spaceflight, and shamanism, and it is novelty upon novelty. Novelty so intensified that the genetic machinery can no longer carry it and it bubbles out into the epigenetic, into art, and language, and poetry, and religion, and religious mania and romanticism and, uh, all of these things. It is a progressive knitting together, an expression of the universe's will to become, that causes me to think that we may be in the shorter “gyres” as William Butler Yeats called them, the shortening spirals, of this vortex of novelty and compression.
You see, a curious quality about this kind of cosmology that I’m describing, a cosmology where each, uh, epoch is preceded by an epoch which is a 65- 64 times greater in duration. The curious thing about that is that you only need about 20 multip- instances of multiplication before you go from a period of time smaller than the duration of Planck’s constant, which is, uh, ten poi- 1.55 x 10^-23, which is a very short period of time, to- then by th- by 20 multiplications of 64 you reach a period of time in excess of the required time for the age of the universe, a period of time on the order of 72 billion years. Well, if each time the, uh, spiral goes into a state of collapse at the end of one of its cycles, then in the last 384 days of the existence of a universe like that it would transit through half of its epochs of transition. Do you see what I mean? It’s like a screaming mimi, it really winds up.
And, uh, instead of the w- the the vision which physics gives us, is that the really rapid transitions of phase and state occurred at the beginning of the universe, they- whole professional lives are given over to discussing the first ten pico-seconds of the physics of the universe, right? And well I'm saying it's- I don’t care about that, I think that the really interesting stuff will happen in a big hurry at the end of the universe. That the picture that the 2nd law of thermodynamics gives us of just…[sighs] you know, tumescence, maximum de-tumescence is what it's picturing is all wrong, and that actually this strange hyper-dimensional force in the universe called life and information transfer is in the process of working itself up into a real tizzy and wrapping all space and time around itself.
And, uh, what was startling and what made me think that maybe I was losing my marbles was that when you look at that time that way and push these novelty graphs against the historical continuum, I reached the conclusion that we entered the last 67-year period before the collapse of the state vector at 8:30 in the morning on August the 6th, 1945 when the atomic bomb went off over Hiroshima. You see, it was a temporal reflection of the birth of the universe. It was actually a- you could call it an event which was a reincarnation of the big-bang, because each cycle begins with a bang, and that cycle, initi- the fact that human beings had used atomic weapons on other human beings meant that we had entered a new era, a new epoch of moral danger, and the stakes had been raised, you know, by a power of 64 to a new level.
Now, using the mathematics inherent in the cycle, if you propagate forward from that date, 67 years, 104.25 days you reach, uh, um, late November of 2012 AD. And I concluded based on all kinds of factors, personal, and historical and so forth that that was the fit. That, that if Hiroshima was, was day 1, then the place where it all came together was this date in 2012. And I worked with that for several years before some kind soul, Henry Munn I think, pointed out to me that the Mayan calendar which is a cycle of three- of thir- the long-count calendar I’m now talking about, is a cycle of 13 time periods which are called baktuns, and the baktun is 396 years in duration. After 13 baktuns the world ends completely, and the 13th baktun of the classical Mayan long-count calendar is the winter solstice of AD 2012, within 30 days of the date that I had fastened in on, using a completely different, uh, path of analysis.
And so this raised all kinds of questions, uh, one of which is, is it simply that individuals and civilizations who take mushrooms become, I want to say privy slash engulfed by a certain mathematical secret about the cosmic machinery? What is so important about this date in 2012? You know, the meso-American cultures have the most uncanny history of, uh, successful prophecy in the world. I mean, the Aztecs anticipated the coming of the Spanish, the day, the book of Chilam Balam [pronounced wrongly as 'Belam' by TM], gives the day when the Spaniards would weigh anchor off the coast of Mexico. And of course, the fact that it happened exactly as prophesied was a major undoing of that civilization.
So I put this out, I- this was a very confusing experience for me to, uh, channel or transmit this idea because I was interested in the I-Ching, I had carried it with me in India, I used to throw it at each full moon, but I was not mathematically inclined and when…
-AUDIO BREAKS HERE-
-s reading the philosophy of science, like Paul Firob [TM may have meant Feyerabend?] and Imre Lakatos, and reading the history of science, Thomas Kuhn, and all of those people trying to understand you know, well what is a true idea? What is true and what is false? And, and when you have an idea which makes claims as sweeping as these, then you want to try to understand just what the limits of knowability are, and I discovered that, um, all you can require of any idea is that it be self-consistent, that it not generate any contradictions within its own set of rules, you see. And that’s why astrology is, uh, beyond criticism, because astrology is a mathematical theory with an interpretive exegesis attached to it, and who can quibble with a mathematical theory? Well then the ma- the, the uh, interpretational exegesis has to do with the sensitivity and subtlety of the interpreter. Well, isn’t this true of mathematical data in science exactly the same way?
So, I discovered that what I had created was a self-consistent idea that appears to be sealed beyond refutation in some weird and uncanny way which makes it seem very non-human because you can’t really find your way in to telling whether it's- can answer- can be answerable to the notion of objective truth. So what I’ve decided about it is, that it’s a, it's a teaching, or it’s, um, it's a kind of- it an exemplary model about how all process goes on and it’s a way of learning how things happen. To see time as a modulated flux of elements; to see it as a series of waves moving at different speeds through which you are taking a vertical slice and then stacking that slice and that gives rise to the multiplistic ever-changing flux that is called the now. It is actually made up of reflections and adumbrations of the past, and it’s made up of, of, uh, anticipatory shock waves and intimations of the future.
The past and future are co-present in the now, they are in fact what’s making it happen.
You can almost think of it as a hologram where you have two- or, or a standing wave, where you two wave systems—one from the past, one from the future where they cross an interference pattern forms which has a curious, uh, stability as a system in, and of itself. And, and yet it’s almost a ghost created by these other two realities and that is the moving present. And uh, ah, mathematically this notion of time that I evolved delivers, you know, the map of novelty, a two-variable flux, a wandering-line graph that’s, uh, very pleasing for arguing with formalists. But what lurks behind it and what is so rich for the romantic, and the shaman, and the poet, is these- this wandering-line graph is the composite of s- of the the overlay of certain historical time periods which are in a state of flux at various speeds so that they give rise to an endless kaleidoscopic unfolding in what we call three-dimensional space and of what we call reality.
And this is why I often mention Finnigans Wake in my lectures because Joyce understood this, he understood that every moment is caused by everything that happened in the past, and everything that happened in the future, and I like to give, you know, the, the trivial example that you find yourself in Hadrian's hamburger joint, this is because the emperor Hadrian invaded England in a certain year and conducted a campaign.
We are ghosts of past and future events. And what the- what the chaos at the end of history that we are now living through is, is that for thousands and thousands of years people have felt a vague thing calling across time to humanists, calling us to be a certain way, to practice certain rituals, to observe the stars, to observe the plants, to observe birth, and observe death, a calling, and that thing which some people have called “God,” whatever it is, is throwing a gigantic shadow over human history now, because now the creode of development that leads to our merging with this thing the walls are very steep, the water is moving very swiftly, and it’s almost as though the future event is throwing off great sparks that are themselves faceted, contradictory epitomizations of this mystery. This is what Mo- Mohammed, and Christ, and Buddha are. They are human personalities that were situated in time in such a way that they became macrocosmic reflections of the super-ordinate edenic humanity that is going to be generated at the end of history.
And we are close, we are close. It is, uh, all of history can be seen as the shockwave of this eschatological event. This is what the prophets were anticipating: the culmination of man’s God-making effort in time will be the perfection and the release of the human soul. And it has- it- it’s not that we are doing it, you see, it’s that a natural law that we were previously unaware of is inexorably unfolding. And that is what all this cross-connectedness of, of, uh, man into matter, plant into animal, uh, earth into space, all of this flowing interconnectedness, this reaches right down into the rocks of the planet. This is not simply a phenomenon of biology. This is the unfolding of a general law of which biology is only the cutting edge of a wedge of becomingness which includes all being and reaches right down into the neutrinos.
And it is, uh, you know, i- to be a being in time is to share in the immense flood of pre-cognitive anticipation that fills the universe in, uh, anticipation of this event, and that’s what being is and that’s why it's so rich and complete within itself, and yet always somehow pointing beyond itself because, uh, the, the richness of the matrix through which we are moving is, uh, incomparable and beautiful.
And, uh, and so I- this is the basis of my extreme optimism, is I think that everything is under control, that we are in the grip of a force so powerful that the notion that we could jeopardize or overthrow it is completely preposterous because uh, we are acting in accordance with a resonance that was set going millions and millions of years ago. And of course being is fraught uh, with danger, but uh, the stakes are uh, you know, to be at play in the fields of the Lord, to be at rest in the mansions of the Goddess, and uh, it's- it’s soon I think. At least the historical mimicking of it is clearly soon because, uh, the- the thrust toward the millennium of this society will not be, uh, turned aside, if it is not a law of the universe then it will become a myth of human beings and be created anyway. So, since we are human beings I see us as the central actors in that mandala, and this is the task of the next hundred, or five hundred years to realize the alchemical nature of, uh, humanity and being and have everything fused into a super-numinous concrescence that is time. Joyce said “All space in a nutshell”, you know, all time bound into a lenticular vehicle which is bo- both everyone’s and mine alone, and yours alone, and yours alone…
[REPEAT from 'Leon is off on alone time']
What I want to talk about this morning is an idea, I’ve talked about it in a couple of places, uh, some of you may have heard it before. I think it bears repeating. It’s a much more serious idea than what I put out yesterday which had a note of whimsy in its genesis. This idea is important, whatever that means, because it would change, uh, not only the area of its concern but our view of the world generally. And Easter is an appropriate time to discuss this because it concerns the genesis of man, of consciousness and self-reflection which is what the Easter mythologium is uh, also an expression of.
So what I wanted to talk about this morning is a new notion of how human evolution occurred, and what the critical factors were in it and how to draw a, uh, picture for us that shows how our intellectual complexity and symbol manipulating facilities could have emerged naturally from a background of animal existence and over a fairly rapid period of time. Over the last, uh, 3 to 5 million years actually the African continent has been growing more dry and has experienced fluctuations of aridity. Nevertheless as recently as, uh, 2,000 years ago the Roman historian Pliny called North Africa “The breadbasket of Rome” because wheat was being grown over thousands and thousands of acres. Now, it’s in this same area [TM clears throat] of Northern Africa, the great rift zone of the Serengeti plane where physical anthropologists place the origin of human beings and it has to do with the following sequence of events.
Arboreal primates living in an unbroken ra- continental rainforest ecology achieve a close adaptation to existence in the canopy and this is stabilized for millions of years. They are insectivores they have the opposable thumbs and binocular, or uh, rudimentary binocular vision. The drying up of the African continent caused the breakdown of this continental rainforest into a configuration of patches of forest with uh, grassland in between. And in this grassland ecology, uh, herds of mammals evolved, proto-cattle, proto-bison, exotic mammals like giraffes and gazelles of all types. At the same time the primate adaptation to this increasing aridity was to begin to descend from the trees and to hunt in packs and to shift from a diet of, uh, canopy fruits and berries, and roots dug from the ground to an omnivorous diet that could include meat.
So, in this situation these, uh, tribal monkeys developed a complicated repertoire of signals to aid in pack hunting in exactly the same way wolves are known to do. Now, into this situat- their, and their habit was nomadic and to follow behind these great herds either killing the animals that were uh, less well and could be killed by the crude means at their disposal, or living off [TM clears throat] the kills of other carnivores and this is still the habit of uh, baboons.
Now into this situation comes a mushroom which grows in the manure of the ungulate animals that have evolved on this plain. And in this protein intensive environment where there is pressure on the availability of protein, these foraging primates are testing every object in the environment for its food value. So, uh, Rolland Fischer who was a researcher into the effect of psychedelic drugs and the structure of consciousness showed that small doses of psilocybin, sub-psychedelic, thr- uh, sub-threshold doses of psilocybin actually increase visual acuity and he had a very elegant experiment where t parallel lines could be deformed by turning a dial, and you would put graduate students in front of this stoned, and unstoned, and ask them to press a buzzer when the lines no longer appeared to them to be parallel. And he showed that consistently a small amount of psilocybin allowed you to detect this change uh, sooner than an ordinary subject was able to. And he said to me, he said you see that “This proves that drugs give you a clearer picture of reality than their absence.” And what it means is that these primates who were inculcating the mushroom into their diet were gaining a subtle adaptive advantage over their fellows who were avoiding the mushroom, because they were gaining in visual acuity which is one of the critical parameters that a uh, pack hunting carnivore would be subject to in that kind of an environment.
So, uh, without any teleology being involved, without any invocation of extraterrestrial intelligence we see that a feedback loop was established in the food chain of these primates very early on. Those who ate the mushroom tended to survive and outbreed those who did not, at the same time the relationship between these animals and these herd ungulate mammals was shifting from a hunting situation to a situation of domestication which was bringing the mushroom ever more into the fore, and if you look back, uh, at the archeological evidence in North Africa, especially the paintings, the uh, late Neolithic paintings on the Tassili Plateau in Southern Algeria you see there magnificently portrayed herds of cattle, and, and, I mean, num- beautifully painted. More sensitively portrayed cattle than you find at Altamira and Lascaux, and you see also shamans dancing with mushrooms sprouting out of their body and with mushrooms clutched in their hands, groups of them running holding on high with geometric matrices of connected dots all around them.
And, uh, now of course in that area its very similar to this, its an area of sculpted sandstone, and uh, cross-cut arroyos with undercut cliffs. And it’s very dry, but in some places the Neolithic detritus is several meters deep. And the people who lived in the Tassili Plateau when the aridity of the Sahara further increased are the people who migrated east to the valley of the Nile and established the proto-Egyptian civilization of six to ten thousand years ago.
The important point I want to make about this later phase of the, uh, human involvement with the mushroom was that it was always intimately connected with cattle. And the Goddess religions of Ancient North Africa and the Middle East are, are, uh, religions of cattle Goddesses, and this connection between the cow and the mother Goddess and the mushroom is some kind of, uh, key to understanding the evolution of, of uh, religious sensitivity in early man and that part of the Middle East.
It carries forward into, uh, historical time with the mysteries at Eleuisis where there is a, uh, a clear indication that a psychedelic substance is being used. Either ergotized rye or, uh, a mushroom of some sort. And this, uh, this notion that uh, it was the presence of the mushroom on the African veldt at a critical bifurcation of primate evolution that created uh, the feedback loop which eventually developed into self-reflecting consciousness. Because you see at lower doses the psilocybin is giving increased visual acuity and it seems like increased symbol-processing ability, its strange effect on the language centers. But of course inevitably they would have discovered its higher dose effects which would be to convey then into an inner tremendum that became then the cultural guiding image. In other words it was perceived as, as a God, as a Goddess, as the Goddess and became then the arrow for cultural dynamics and evolution.
And the reason I think this is important is because the spinoff implications of the acceptance of an idea like this would bring us into much greater harmony with our environment. We sort of have the anxiety of an orphan about our origins because our best people in physical anthropology don’t give very good accounts, can’t seem to make sense of how we could have l- been forced out and emerged out of primate organization. And so there’s been much talk in the 20th century for the search for the missing link which was always been conceived of a physical skeleton of a certain kind of intermediate hominoid form. But it isn’t a missing link I think, it’s a missing factor. And the factor which accelerated the forward the evolution of the brain size of this particular primate line was the inclusion of psychedelic plants in the diet, which then fed the tendency towards symbol formation and self-reflection.
If this idea gained wide acceptance uh, some of our laws and some of our ways of relating to nature and to medicine plants in particular would have to be altered and brought into line. This is the source of our humanness. Apparently the, the psychoactive compounds being elaborated by plants throughout nature are regulators of various forms of evolution in animals, and food chains and all this which appear very trivial on the surface are actually the message-bearing, uh, medium of the, of the hand of God which is forming and sculpting nature along these various creodes of development.
And, uh, the thing to understand about this, or why this has impact in the future is because it’s a continuous process which we can foster and husband, uh, and help develop in healthy ways if we recognize that it’s going on. I mentioned Eleuisis as this kind of thing going on in historical time, also of course Soma, the sacrament of the Vedic civilization, appears to have been a mushroom, was certainly a psychedelic plant. And it isn’t only psychedelic plants but all plants which affect and shift consciousness.
I mean, a history of the human race could be written analyzing it not it terms of class struggle of the impact of great personalities but as a shifting set of interactions between sugar, tobacco, opium, caffeine, uh, alcohol, and psychedelics so that, you know, we need to understand that- chocolate, that these food- cocaine- that these foods and drugs and spices, we have subtly overlooked them and taken them for granted. They have regulated human history, and individual self-expression, how much you know, how you look, how, uh, pure your transmission of your genetic heritage to the next generation, all of these things are being regulated and controlled by these plants in this way.
Now, if we could create a civilization or even a, even uh, a clique within a civilization that understood this and that had its fingers on a vertical monopoly of research from the jungle to the clinical hospital, great things could be understood. Uh, this is the way to do it, to systematically explore these relationships and see that Gaia apparently works through the intercession of catalytic compounds that convey revelation, and revelation is then the factor which has historical impact. The people, the messiahs, and the teachers are merely the pipelines for ideas and the, the metabolic release of these ideas in the macro-environment is being controlled by the plant-animal interaction. And so it will be on into the foreseeable future, and by understanding this a kind of new science looms into view. A kind of integrated, dynamical understanding of, uh, the flux of energy mediated by chemistry in the environment so that the, the guiding image of culture can be revitalized and realized, uh, in a much shorter period of time. And this whole shortening period of time thing has also been going on for a while.
You see it isn’t astonishing I think that self-reflection could emerge giving basic- given basic primate organization, but what is astonishing about it is the speed with which it happened. I mean in the last thirty to fifty thousand years the human brain has changed more than it changed in the previous 3 to 5 million years. So, you know, factor has entered, a catalyst is in the mix and it must be something in the food chain, or something in the environment, or the hand of almighty God, or the extraterrestrials, or, you know, elf invasion from hyperspace… but something is causing this accelerated development. And I thi- and what I said this morning could be criticized as being reductionist, I try to give a very sober account of it, I haven’t said why the mushroom appeared in the manure or discussed whether it has awareness or a stake in the catalyzing of this primate evolution. I just introduce it as a chemical factor, and that’s how it would be written if it were presented to a straight audience.
The fact of the matter is that it raises all kinds of questions, I mean why is this process being catalyzed in the primates? Is it just by happenstance? Where has the mushroom been? Is it, uh- what is its relationship to the evolution of other forms of life on this planet? Did it drift in from the stars? If so, long ago or recently? And with intent, or by chance? And, you know just a host of questions. The thing that puts us in such an existential situation, individually and culturally, is this puzzlement over our origins.
We are not strictly speaking religious in the 19th century way so that we can not really, I think, accept that, you know, God sculpted us out of clay and set us down here on a world he created, and yet if you were to look for the thumbprint of God on this planet you would certainly have to focus in on the human beings and their activities as a special case of natural phenomenon. Perhaps so special a case that it had to be accorded a separate ontological status. We are different and, uh, why, and for what?
Um, I think that probably we are the agent of change that Gaia has unleashed upon herself, that the planet itself is aware of the finiteness of planetary existence. And it's sort of like the story of the ant and the grasshopper. You can have a planetary consciousness which says “Well I look forward to 3 to 5 billion years of sentient existence and then I am willing to be extinguished with the death of my star” or you can have a plant with an an- a planet with an ant-like mentality that says “I can sense winter coming 3 to 5 billion years down the line and I’m going to organize some wild strategy to break through the tyranny of the energy cycle of one star and I’m going to organize biological existence so that energy can be brought- greater and greater amounts of energy can be brought under control so that eventually a kind of liberation can occur where life can burst out of the planetary cradle and disperse itself through the universe.”
And here are apparently several strategies for this, one is evolve intelligence and build starships. Another is, you know, become a mushroom and produce 3 to 5 million spores per minute during sporulation, that are particles small enough to percolate by Brownian movement away from the atmosphere of the given planet and by sheer numbers, uh, and the slow gradient of drift by light pressure and that sort of thing, emanate through the universe, and establish yourself in any planetary regime that is suitable.
The- the obvious next great revelation in biology, and it’s strange that we can state it because once it’s stated by Carl Sagan it will be headlines everywhere, but it’s obvious that space is no barrier to life. It’s a- it's a- it's a barrier, in the same way that the Pacific Ocean was a barrier to life’s colonization of the Hawaiian islands, but that’s all. It’s just a tight filter, but spores and starships, and shamans probably get through to other, uh, closed topologies in orbit around other stars. You know, there must be a dimension somewhere where all surfaces in the universe are contiguous, and if you could move into that dimension you could just walk to Zeta Reticuli.
So, uh, the means by which life will penetrate these larger dimensions that free it from its dependency on the energy cycles of the material universe are not by any means clear. I mean, it may be that it’s about organizing the mind and building an inner vehicle and moves off into the imagination. The imagination may be, in fact, a 3-dimensional slice of a higher dimensional universe that is holding all of this, uh, in being and causing it to happen. The imagination, it’s hard to account for it in evolutionary terms if it is not, uh, somehow mapping a, uh, field of data that is important for development.
So that’s that notion, the notion of the importance of, uh, psychedelics in the formation of the- this species and a continuing formation of the cultural design. I think what the psychedelics do is they de-condition from cultural programming and allow models to be replaced at a much greater rate of speed so that, uh, that the culture that uses psychedelics can trim itself to every historical current. And this is really the challenge of the future. We are moving as a culture faster and faster through the temporal medium, through the historical space, and this is creating a compression of events. And it’s almost like an airfoil approaching the speed of sound. There is a wave of concushi- concussive shock building in front of our culture and we have to almost re-design ourselves in mid-flight in order to push through that barrier and into the, uh, different order, the different set of laws that will prevail once we have gotten through that. But this whole sense of everything accelerating, of all historical input being intensified and all previous times being somehow co-present, this is the phenomenon of the winding down of a universe, or the building up of an eschatological shockwave in front of a, uh, a vehicle that is trying to transit out of history and into some kind of millenarian space that is not, uh, not subject to the anxiety that history involves.
And that’s what the whole crisis and, uh, around the millennium and the whole 20th century really is about, you know, is this, this effort to create a complete summation that can also be used as the force to propel us beyond everything we have been or thought before because there’s obviously no other escape from the culture crisis. It is, uh- that kind of situation is called a forward escape. It means the only thing you can do is move forward into the crisis at ever greater speed, because the only solution is to pass through it and move beyond it.
And, and, as we move toward the millennium and as, you know, the intelligence of our machines, the size of our databases, the desperation of our politicians, the intensity of the visions of our visionaries, all of this will build to a crazy concatenatious climax. It can’t be any other way because Christian civilization has wired us up for these things at the end of every 1,000 year period.
I mean, in the year 1000 everything just went haywire, I mean people stood in the streets for months just gaping at the sky, no work got done, you know, there was such an eminent expectation of the onslaught of the millennium. Nevertheless this archetype of renewal is seeking in thousands and thousands of ways to be born, and I think that the rediscovery of psychedelics, LSD, everything that Wasson did, all of these things are critical factors in this cultural mix that is going to gel towards the recognition of the things which we hold as clichés. You know, that the inside and outside are the same thing, that the universe can be crossed by thought in an instant, all information is somehow co-present, and, uh, and so on.
Are there any questions about any of this? Yes, I said that what we take for granted, that the inside and the outside are the same thing, these things will be assimilated by the larger culture. And things like, uh, you know, human-machine interface and the ego identification with the body, I think all these things are going to be obviated. That, you see, we don’t know what man is and we have a strong association that humanness is related to the monkey body, but yet our whole historical career has been of projecting ideas into technical, uh, accretions, and now that we have computers and things which, uh, mimic intelligence we are beginning to explore, you know “What is humanness ontologically?” That’s what people are really talking about when they say "can machines think? Will machines think?" They mean “is what we have focused in on as the defining factor of our being that sets us apart from all other things something which we could manufacture?”
And the answer is probably to some degree yes. Because much of what is intelligence, or appears superficially to be intelligence is simply data and retrieval so that, you know, more and more of the culture is being hardwired into an electronic coral reef that is simply the outermost of each of our own exoskeletons. We all, uh, have telephones in our homes. Many of us have computer terminals. These things introduce us to a global skin of information but as the hardware grows more and more unobtrusive we will more and more come to identify these things with our own ego. And we won’t even realize that we’re being charged for thinking about certain questions because we’re actually accessing a database somewhere which is feeding us data. So that the commonality of mind is I think going to be- somehow the triumph of socialism would be the commonality of mind in a capitalist context. That there really will be an ocean of thought that you will swim in and that will be composed of deeper and deeper levels of integrated information. Perhaps this is all that hyperspace is, is the entirely expressed informational ghost of this physical universe.
And that it’s in the, it's in the informational reconstruction of the physical universe that the mind will eventually come to swim like a fish, you know, and will come and go from various constellations of aggregation and integration. I mean you see, what’s going to happen is that the rules of the imagination are going to replace physics so that we are going to be able to do and be whatever we can imagine. Well, none of us have ever probably put in much thought to what would I be if I could be anything I could imagine?
And just 20 minutes of that meditation will lead you into pretty strange places. So what would it be like if the culture evolved for a thousand years in that way? If you could be anything. I guess the first step everyone takes is they imagine themselves as the flying saucer, the lenticular, uh, mind-object made of light that can move at any speed and become any object and answer any question. And, uh, well its an archetype of wholeness in Jung in his flying saucer book, uh, talked about this thing in alchemy called the “rotundum” which is the thing which spins, you know? It’s also in alchemy called “the scintillia”, the spark, and it's, uh- simply because it’s round and spins it’s a symbol of wholeness, but its like the exteriorization of the human soul. The realization that, you know, expressing what is within us may culturally eventually mean actually exteriorizing the human soul and interiorizing the human body so that this world is traded in for the imagination. And this is sort of what art has always been trying to do, but we’re talking about a breakthrough in ways and means on such a scale that you can just march off into this art.
Q: Terence, do you find it reasonable to anticipate that eventually human technology will succeed in producing computers that are just as conscious as we are, and can be able to do anything that we can do?
TM: Oh yes well Kat and I did that without even a flashlight battery, just by having children. [audience chuckles] I mean there’s an epigenetic combonent and a genetic component and, but what I’m saying is the difference between these things may become dim indeed, in other words the way a person is made is the way a DNA message is read by RNA, and it’s a, it's a group of codons of nucleotide bases which are then templated and then a ribosome reads it and, and assembles little pieces correctly and then the protein is created.
Well, there’s no reason why anything should be made any other way. All machines should be produced by the transcription of molecular templates, so then all our machines will become strangely quasi-biological. You wo- Chevrolets will not be manufactured, they will be grown [audience laughter] in yeasty vats and when they talk to you, the question, you know, becomes very moot as to whether this is a pet, a friend, a colleague, or uh [Terence chuckles]… Because that's- you see, nature works with very low energies, DNA can make anything and there’s no smelting, no huge release of toxic byproducts and uh, and the amazing thing about these proteins is that the ribosome stamps them out and they come out in like a line, but they have forces, electrostatic, and other kinds of forces, uh, scripted into them so that they fold in very, very complicated ways, and they always fold the same way. And their memory of how to fold, where this comes from is one of the great, uh mysteries of molecular biology, it’s not at all understood. Well imagine if we could make machines which just uh, emerged as a strange form of spaghetti which then folded itself into jet planes, refrigerators, automobiles, color television sets, lipstick cases, and what have you.
This has to do with my notion that uh, really the next evolutionary leap is uh, well, I shouldn’t call it an evolutionary leap, is uh, it’s a leap in epigenetic development, but is what I call the genesis of visible language. That there is an ability just under the surface of human organization waiting to be coaxed out either through yoga, or slight genetic engineering or something like that, and it is, uh, something that was anticipated by the Alexandrian philosopher Phylo-Judeas. He talked about the Logos, and- which is this teaching voice, this informing thing which is heard, and he was interested in what is called “The more perfect Logos.” And he said “What is the more perfect Logos?” and then he answered his own question and said “it would be a Logos which went from being heard to being beheld without ever crossing over a uh, border of transition.” In other words a form of synesthesia.
Well, what using ayahuasca and DMT and compounds like this which are very closely related to our ordinary brain chemistry, and practice and dedication, you can begin to explore places where a vocal synesthesia becomes a colored topological manifold. And you can communica- you can show someone your thoughts by singing in such a way as to condense visible objects into the air in front of them. And these objects are, they are hyper-words, they are words which you don’t hear but which you see. And they are, and like objects they have sides, and facets, and can be rotated and examined from all sides.
Well now, the biases in our language that cause us to say things like “I see what you mean” when we mean “I understand you fully” shows that we really place a greater emphasis on seeing the truth than on hearing the truth. So, the truth seen is somehow more valid than the truth heard. And, uh, ayahuasca is a perfect example of a plant which communicates with a visible language. The mushroom, you often hear it, and often the hearing evolves into a uh, visible synesthesic field of photonic input. But the ayahuasca always communicates visually, and it’s like the Mayan glyphs or something. It’s this fantastically complicated surface which is conveying alien meaning. After an ayahuasca trip you just feel like your eyes are sticking out of your head because you’ve just been looking, a- as one looks as the page of a book, for hours and hours as this strange, uh, alien, uh, 3-dimensional language flows through your mind.
But I believe this is a human ability just under the surface, and that in psychedelic states of mind this happens to people. This is why all the fiddling with glossolalia, it’s the hope of reaching, you know, that concordance of chemistry and that the moment will allow this to happen because it’s for some reason very satisfying, it’s like an utterly harmless siddhi- it seems to ha- it is true magic and the person doing it is utterly transported by their ability to project vis- visual beauty. But it appears to have no use other than entertainment of one's self and others, but eventually when it is integrated as a cultural mode I think it will be- it is what telepathy will be. Telepathy will not be hearing other people’s thoughts in your head. Telepathy will be when you switch into the language which lets people see what you mean. It will be the “see what I mean" language.
And I think that, uh, psilocybin from the very beginning was catalyzing the language centers, and in fact the kind of language that I’m speaking to you right now is a prototypic type of this eventual development in human organization, and that this is the thing that makes humans unique, is this ability to make small mouth noises which are arbitrarily coded with conventionally agreed-upon meanings, which allows us then a vast control of a previously invisible, uh, linguistic space. And it’s in that linguistic space that we have erected our cathedrals and conducted our pogroms, and gone about all our, uh, forms of business. And, uh, and becoming aware of this, of language as a thing to journey into, and language as a thing to avoid the pitfalls of. To be- you know, the Buddhists say “awareness of awareness” maybe it’s easier if one thinks of it as “awareness of language,” you know.
Q: I wanted to, um, pursue this thing of the visual language, because they'll have their mouth open and there will literally be these beautiful things coming out of their mouth with flowers and they interpret this flowery speech, but perhaps, uh, they were in fact doing what you’re talking about.
TM: They don’t interpret that as flowery speech they call it that, that yes I think that’s what it must have been. This is all very puzzling to me, and if anybody knows, if anybody is an acoustics person, or I don’t know what’s going on exactly, but the question of how- “what is voice?” and “what can you do with self-generated sound?” How neutral is it to your own organism? In other words, any of you who read The Invisible Landscape, the theory in there is that you take a certain drug, a certain plant, and you hear and interiorized tone which is not a psychological phenomenon, but rather it is actually the electron-spin resonance of this highly biodynamic molecules by the millions entering into the synaptic cleft and competing with the endogenous, uh, transmitter there for uptake.
And that this “mmmmMmmMMmmMm” is molecularly real and hence can be treated as a manipul- a variable to be manipulated with the input of other kinds of sounds such as the sound which cancels it or sound which uh, reinforces it to then manipulate these molecules in, in one's body.
And this is uh, this is really I think the frontier of shamanism world-wide, that everybody is trying to figure out how far you can go with sound, and what you can do with it and also how dangerous is this? How permanent can some of these brain changes be? And what is the mechanism? You know, is the electron spin resonance thing pretty close to it or is that just a myth, and that an entirely different set of coupling mechanisms are, are making that happen?
But all of the ayahuasca shamans are great hummers, and great controllers of their voice, and, uh, you know, they do operate on your body with light and sound, and there are sounds which can slice into your body. And, uh, and it seems to me this is where experiential and experimental work with these things should concentrate to try and understand just how much of humanness can we take control of?
How bound in are we? What do these special abilities mean and uh, and uh that tradition, if any, have anticipated them?
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