The Amazing Thing About Psychedelics

December 1994

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Terence: Yeah...
Man: I'm trying to phrase my question; it esentially goes, [uhm], do you manufacture this stuff [out] of old cloth, in your mind? Is it there in the beginning or is it something that you are taking in? Is it new information or something that the brain is remarkable if it could be processing and creating images... 
Terence: Well... 
Man: What is going on in earnest...?
Terence: See, my original bent was I wanted to be an art historian. 
And so, the job of an art historian is to understand the evolution of motifs and how styles are transformed at the hands of certain artists, and over time, and in different places. So, it's this kind of specialized thing with a visual vocabulary. And I thought, you know, you could go into the psychedelic experience, and you could perform an art historical reduction on it. And say, "Aha!", well, that's a Tibetan treatment of a line, and that's a Maori way of portrait; and it was not like that. It was like the art that is made on another planet, art that arose completely in the absence of human conventions or values. And that convinced me that it wasn't being generated from my self. 
And, you know, I read Jung, and I realized that there was a very way to define the self that it would allow it to produce that kind of thing. 
But it's really accomplished by a rhetorical trick, because the word 'self' means 'that which is most familiar to me'. 
Well, if that which is most familiar to me can generate something completely unrecognizable to me, to call it 'the self' is to betray the notion of the self. So, what I've called it over the years, from the very, very beginning -- I can't even remember how long ago we incorporated this nomenclature -- is, I called it 'the other'. 
And, you know, the German historian of religion, Rudolf Otto, defined God as 'the holy other'; 'the holy and totally other', he said.
This is somewhat like Nicolaus Cusanus's theology of the late 14th century where he said God can only be defined by negative statements: God is not this, God is not that; uhm, uhm, the holy other. 
And the experience of DMT seems to be that. 
And I don't know if it's just that we are neurologically set up,

- denise In Review

neurologically set up, that there's a button in us, the equivalent of a reset button that just clears all the registers and that's why it's wholly other.  It's wholly other because you just dumped your entire memory load off your disk and you're now looking at a clean disk for the first time in your life, and you don't have the faintest idea what it could possibly be. It's something like that. Language fails. Anticipation fails. And naturally because we have this sort of metaphysical openness in our ideological systems we identify this wholly otherness with God, with the transcendent force in our lives, and so it seems to be in fact. You and then you. Yeah.

Audience member: I'm interested in uh, the idea of an other that talks to you and you've talked before

- evap In Review

Audience member: before about the fact that the mushroom talks. So I have two questions. One is: is your experience only with the mushroom talking or are there other psychedelics that have had that effect, and secondly, can you remember some things that it said?

 TM: [laughs] Can I remember some things that it said. 

Audience member: Or your favorites or something.

TM: Well, first of all, yes, this idea of an other that you can relate to. It's interesting. It's fascinating how if you really go to bedrock with these things there's some really interesting Christian theology that relates to all this. You know, the existential theology of Aaron, of Søren Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard said the defining relationship in life is an I-Thou relationship to Christ, and the I-Thou relationship, and Martin Buber made a great deal of this as well

- evap In Review


- Absaann In Progress

- Absaann In Progress

... demonic possession from the point of view of my critics. Uh, to speak about this other way of, of looking at things - in terms of what it had said to me - it's this revelation about the nature of time, and it's a puzzling revelation because, uh, it's mathematical, it's formal, it will either be proven spectacularly true or spectacularly false, there is no escaping this incredible definitive test built into it, it's not something I would ever have thought up, uh, and, it's just something I was given. And I was sort of at a dead end, I mean, I was a good person to give it to, I didn't really have a job in life. And, I-, I-, it's like a talisman, or a key. I-, you know, you meet people who are into astrology, and for them, it opens up all doorways, everything can be explained, and I'm not belittling it, I'm making an example of it; uh, the timewave is like that, for me, and I would maintain for everybody who sufficiently involves themselves in it. It's a Rosetta Stone into the structure of reality, that has an uncanny, uhm, correctness about it, and I'm more aware than most of my critics of where the weaknesses lie, but nevertheless, I'm also more aware than my-, most of my critics of where the weaknesses lie in the competition as well. The whole thing is pretty provisional. 

Robert, did you ever get to say what you wanted?
[Robert]: When you were talking about the holy other, one of the things that happened to me in my early experiences with DMT was that, I was totally in awe... I was flabbergasted, and until I stopped being flabbergasted, and payed attention, I didn't get that they were signaling me to do something. They wanted me to participate in what was happening, rather than just sit there and go "wow, isn't this incredible!". 

[Terence]: No, they say to you, or they say to me, "Do not abandon yourself to amazement", you know, "Don't give way to astonishment". I mean, "Try to hold it together, fella". Which is a strange thing to be being told by an alien entity inside a hallucinogenic flash. It's not encouraging you to let it all go, it's saying, you know, "pay attention", and then, in my case, what they're trying to do, is, they can make things out of sound, or, their words are three-dimensional modalities. They are operating in a linguistic domain where words are sculptural entities made of light, and they're singing objects into existence, which are like puns, or mathematical formula, or small machines that are cycling through various kinds of changes, and they're singing this stuff into existence, and, insisting that you attempt to do the same, you know. And, you know, this is so startling! You have to understand, these trips only last three to five minutes, so there's not a lot of time to get used to this, I mean, there you are, sitting in a room with your friends talking about consciousness exploration or whatever rhetoric you use to get yourself to the edge of these things, you fire up the pipe, you take one enormous hit, and, the next thing you know, you know, you're surrounded by screaming elves, by the hundreds, that are speaking in this alien language that is causing objects to hang in the air and ricochet off the walls. And these things come, you know, it's a scene of wild confusion, it's like a Bugs Bunny cartoon running backwards, and these things come bounding up, and they say "Look at this!", and out of the air, out of their guts, out of nowhere, they pull objects, which are the most astonishing things you can imagine; literally, the most astonishing thing you can imagine: jeweled, filigreed, machined, turning, things- and you look at it, and you say "My God!". You know, anybody in-, from my planet looking at this would not have to be told what this is; this is an alien artifact, and you're looking at it, and they say "Forget that, look at this one!" [Audience laughs] And then, "Here's another one!", and they're tossing them up, and meanwhile the objects themselves are able to sing other objects into existence, and there is this aura, the word "zany" comes to mind; it's like a Mack Sennett comedy, or a Marx Brothers cartoon, I mean, uhh, it's a- it's a land of explosions, and falling anvils, and surprises are popping out of everywhere, and you're just trying to hang on. You say, you know, now we're at, uhh- you know, we're a minute and a half into it at this point. And, this intense effort to communicate something, and, you know, we have talked in the past, we can talk now if you want, about Celtic fairyland, and tradition, worldwide tradition of gnomes and elves, and-, but when you're there, it doesn't look like that. It's much more pointed ear, shining eye, strange machine, it's much more off planet, I mean, we're not seeing leather jerkins, and kh-, and pointed toe little boots, and uh, the plucking of fairy harps, it's not quite like that. 

- adnan In Review

...fairy harps, it's not quite like that. 

[Question from the audience]: What about children who seem to experience the phenomena that you are talking about, these people who come into their bedrooms in the middle of the night and communicate with them, uhm, [unintelligible] ?

[Terence]: Well, I think this is where the abduction thing is coming from, that-, that-, I don't know what these entities are. I don't-, when you burst in to the DMT place, there is an incredible sense of place, and yet, the things that you are witnessing, matter is not capable of, any matter. I mean, aliens can be one thing, they can have tentacles, they can do this-and-that-and-the-other-thing, but-, but when there's no defined form, then you say, you know, "you are like an idea" - I say to the entity. "You are like an idea, you have no defined form, you're continuously amorphous", and, you know, it then replies "Yes, I am Huam (?)" or something like that, it's the face of the abyss. I mean, I've had conversations with it where I've, after, you know, a more zany episode, where you then begin to feel a little confidence with it, and then you say "well, show me what you are for yourself, what are you really? I can tell that you're coming to me through a series of filters and presentations and masks; what are you really?" - and it's like, the temperature falls ten degrees in the room and a black curtain begins to rise, and there is an organ note, like that thing in the Bach, B minor mass, and after about fifteen seconds you say, you know, " it off!". [audience laughs] "I'm not ready for it. Let's go back to the little fuzzy bunnies and the alien invasion scenario, but I'm not- I'm not ready", and then it, like, it's- it's very obliging; says "Okay", you know, "you've asked for it". Uh, but, so there is this sense, you know, of: "What is this?". I don't know. I think that the may- that this is the most important fact about our situation on this planet, and it's discovered over and over again over the past hundred thousand years, that there's somebody else, something else, somewhere else, here! And anybody who says they understand it is f- bullshitting. The Theosophists don't understand it, the Catholics, the Kabbalists, nobody understands it. But it is real. And, I don't know what it means to find this out. Uhh. You see, the amazing thing about psychedelics is, it's no- it doesn't depend on a state of grace. It doesn't depend on allegiance to a leader. It doesn't even depend on a special diet, or theological predilection. The astonishing news about these psychedelic experiences is, you don't have to go to India for ten years, you don't have to be chosen by Babaji. This works for most people, and would probably work for you. And, if you think the world has no surprises, if you think that you've got it all figured out, and you haven't ever had an intense boundary-dissolving psychedelic, then you're absolutely out to lunch, you don't know what's going on. It's like the opinions of eleven year old boys about sexuality, you know? What do they know!? - that they should hold such opinions. And, uhh, you know, err, sexuality provides a good metaphor; we cannot forestall our sexuality, you know, eventually the roar of hormones through the bloodstream pushes most people over the edge, some sooner than others. Uh, this capacity for the psychedelic experience, which is built into our soma - our body - as well, you can actually go from birth to the grave, and never experience it. If you are sufficiently sold out to a sufficiently idiotic culture, then it's possible to evade this experience of maturation. It's like having a Mercedes, and there's a certain button on the dashboard, and you never pushed it. You don't know, you know, what it did. Uhh, because- and yet it's as profound as sexuality, it's as profound as the forming of relationships, the birthing of children, uhh, birth - death, this is the thing. And many many religions have come to the conclusion that life somehow need to be a preparation for a passing on to some other place, and the metaphor of light vehicle is used in many different traditions. And I think that you-, there is some truth to the notion that the reason we're alive is to learn the path out of the labyrinth, and that shamanism is a rehearsal for death. All this talk about hyperspace, and other dimensions, and eternity, you know, what we're really talking about here, is the cultural and personal enterprise of leaving the body behind.

- adnan In Review

Audience member: Terence, you started talking about abductions and children and never...

TM: Oh yeah.

Audience member: back to that.

TM: Let me clo- let me do that. Well, it's simply that we share this planet with some other kind of entity and culture is a way of sealing us off from this fact which, children are not fully acculturated. Children are barbarians of some sort, and then as they become acculturated their invisible companions fade away and they become as dreary as uh, as the rest of us. The abduction phenomenon, I think, is simply an inability to tell the difference between dream and memory. Dream is the fascinating dimension, and I don't demean these experiences by associating them with dream. I think that probably when we fully understand DMT we will realize that, uh, every night in deep sleep most people go to the meltdown place and actually experience a DMT trip, but the essence of the core of the DMT trip is you cannot remember it. A really good DMT trip has a part, always, in the center where you do not lose consciousness, you are conscious while it is happening, but you can never ever talk about that part of the trip because within 20 seconds of its ceasing to be the present, it's gone. It lays down no memory trace, and that's the moment where you really find out what's going on. They show you, you know, you get the hyper-masonic initiation of the local galactarian lodge at that point, but then you come out of it and you have no trace of it. You have the sense of having been in the presence of the pleroma, but what that means you haven't the faintest notion. Yeah.

Audience member: Um, I'm curious about common elements from person to person repeatable in some way in a particular trip. For example, you've talked a lot in past lectures about your experience with these self-replicating machine elves..

TM: Right.

Audience member: and um, I've never met them myself under DMT. I go to a vast crystal cave, but there's some experiences that repeat with mushrooms for me like a crystal ball coming down from the left and if I can tune it in just right I pass into another dimension. I'm wondering if you have, um, in speaking to lots of people, found common elements that are, that, that show up in entities or whatever.

TM: Well, my, uh. Yeah. My approach to that was, is sort of Jungian, and I've talked to a lot of people who've done DMT and tried to build up a composite image of what is happening and a great deal, it has a lot to do with what you bring to it, your past education and experience, obviously, and it has a great deal to do with just your descriptive powers and your ability to stay calm. I mean, some people just go nuts and yell for it to end and carry on. From talking to a lot of people the archetype that rules DMT, I would say, is the archetype of the circus and, uh, think for a moment, uh, the circus is about a focus on a well-lit central area filled with chaotic activity. First of all, the clowns. And the clowns are the self-transforming machine elves. They arrive in their tiny car and 15 of them get out, and they have big noses and rubber shoes, and they dance around. Clowns. But in the DMT thing there is a weird and very strong erotic component, and I believe from my own work on myself that I became aware of Eros, I wouldn't say had my first erection, but maybe the first one I was ever conscious of or something like that, in the presence of an, a lady acrobat at a circus wearing a tiny spangled costume and hanging by her teeth way up in the, and I got it. Death and Eros, and this incredible dynamic. So you have the clowns, the death and Eros thing, at the circus, and then you have this kinky undercurrent which is the sideshows. You know, the rat-faced boy, and the thing in the bottle, and the two headed lady, and all that. Just, just off the main ring, folks! The hoochie-coochie dancers and all that. And then when you think about the concept of the circus generally you realize it's a perfect metaphor for DMT because I grew up in a small town in Colorado where every first of July the carnival would come to town, and we were told we couldn't stay out after 9:30 at night playing when the carnival was in town because these carny people, they were just a different stripe. You know? Some of them probably drank heavy. They were of racially questionable origins, and so forth. And they brought immense excitement to this little town, unpacked their wonders, built their ferris wheels and rides

- evap In Review

wheels and rides, bilked all the rubes of their cash and packed it all up and went away, and of course every kid worth his salt wants to run off with the circus, and you know Ray Bradbury in his book, The Circus of Dr. Lau, used these motifs. Fellini in his films, over and over again the circus is a motif for the unconscious. So over time, and I've had people say, you know, very interesting things. I saw a woman do a sub-threshold trip on DMT, and unprompted, and never having heard this rap when she came down she said, uh, "it was the saddest carnival I've ever been to." She said, "all the rides were closed and there were just those little, square ice cream papers blowing in the wind and getting caught up, and I was the only person there." Well, that's about as down a DMT trip as you can have and basically as you do more of it you just dial it up until, you know, it becomes Barnum and Bailey Ringling Brothers, and then it goes on to become the Star Wars bar, and then it goes on to become something from which English cannot even uh, begin to wrap itself around. But I think that's the archetype. Yeah.

Audience member: What do you consider the importance of venue or place when you're ingesting psychedelics? Do you pick up the energy that has been left in that place? Is that an important component?

TM: I think the main thing is to be in a situation where you're not interrupted and where you're confident. I don't, I do not take psychedelics outside very much because I've noticed that the, the synchronicity thing is uncontrollable. I mean, if you want to have adventures, you know, take 200 micrograms of LSD and step out into, let's say, the Lower East Side of Manhattan and it's just terrifying. So, and I learned that lesson very early so I unplug the phone, bolt the doors, tell everybody I've left town and then do it. Sometimes I do it outside like in the jungle and stuff like that, but the main thing is I have a real horror of interruption. I guess, since you brought this up, I should say, you know, there is a technique for doing these things correctly, and the way to do them is on an empty stomach in silent darkness. And then also do a good, stiff hit. Don't piddle around with it. It won't hurt you. Yeah.

Audience member: Have you ever heard about the [?? @27:48] killed in Virginia?

TM: The, the out of body people. Yeah. Yeah.

Audience member: And um, they are exploring these worlds.


- evap In Review

Audience member: -they are exploring these worlds. So what you're describing there, you can read it in the descriptions of their journeys. But for me I pref- I prefer this way. And with an intoxication I haven't any control about it.

TM: No, you're absolutely right.

Audience member: But for example it's the same like lucid dreaming. From a lucid dream you can easily go on to [unintelligible @28:26] journey. The way to get into this subject is to me to control yourself, feelings, thoughts, to, for example, to be able to be playful in your life, to change totally for to get prosperity in this area. So have you ever seen that connections between your work?

TM: I, yes, I mean, I read the Monroe Institute books. I was not sure what the connection was exactly because many of the worlds that they describe are very much like this world except just slight details have been changed. What it, the psychedelics seems to land you in much more radically transformed places. Uh, this is a big controversy, the "can you do it on the 'natch" controversy, and my position is that I wouldn't wish to simply because I like, to me the ultimate control is the decision, yes or no, to take the substance. You really have control. I mean, everybody here has so much control over the psychedelic experience that you could have one this evening if you wanted for sure. So that's control, but where there isn't control is once you start down the chute then you have, and I associate this control issue with the boundary dissolution. The boundary dissolution is, is alarming to the ego. It doesn't like that feeling, and it tells you that you're dying, and psychedelic voyagers have to learn to just, when that red switch goes on you just reach out and turn it off and say, "oh no, it's set wrong. Not dying." But it tells you that you're dying because the ego very strongly identifies with the equilibrium of the physical body, and as the physical body begins to slide into the intoxication the ego is saying, "what's happening here? Wait a minute. Losing coherency, this is not good. 

- eva In Review

not good. You made a mistake, Joe. Joe?! We need help, Joe! It's coming apart. You say, "chill, chill. It's going to be alright." And, and so the, the, you have to discipline yourself that way. The dissolving of the ego, that is, the dissolving of this maladaptive behavior pattern that has made our, our sexual and social politics so complicated. In other words, the ego is not a good thing. It is a m-, it is a, uh, its existence in each one of us in so expressed a form is a symptom of neurosis, cultural neurosis. Uh, and, and the psychedelic dissolves the ego but the ego protests noisily while this is going on. And, and then when, and then people who are very ego dependent, if they have a psychedelic experience they usually only have one, and then they say, "well, that was like going nuts. I hated it. I just hated it. It was awful," because they are very strong identified with the ego. Another person who isn't so strong identified with the ego could look at the identical experience and say it was a wonderful liberation, it was just the quintessence of freedom, and light, and openness. So when I say we are pathological and that we need to take strong medicine to fix ourselves I don't mean the kind of medicine where you can't feel it working. I mean the kind of medicine where you can feel it working, and uh, the suppression of the ego has basically, was permitted by monotheistic religions and promoted by the phonetic alphabet and there were just a whole bunch of cultural decisions that had the unfortunate effect of reinforcing the ego, and this is why we have such a problem now because intellectually we're united if we're, you know, enlightened liberals or whatever. But we can't feel the agony of each other. If we could feel what we were doing, we wouldn't do it, you know? And yet, because each one of us identifies with our own body very strongly and checks no further, so the attitude is basically, "well, I'm alright, and if you're not, too bad!" And uh, uh, it's, it's a very abstract case to move people off of that and, but in these early, nomadic societies

- eva In Review

societies which probably every new and full moon were taking psilocybin, and everybody who was capable was having sex in a heap with everybody else, and then the children were being reared in this environment under the sky with no material possessions, uh, uh, was a ho-, it was what we were meant for. It's what, where, when we were happiest. It's when our poetry was at its peak, and our dance was at its peak, and our drama, and perhaps our philosophy, and certainly our storytelling. All of those things were at prime, you know, 14,000 years ago. And uh, yeah.

Audience member: Um, you mentioned the great attractor, um, earlier in the conversation and I, I've been observing that there's a lot of interest in society again, it seems, in popular science and so on in hyper-dimensionality, that's super string theories, uh, you know, Michio Kaku's book on hyperspace became a best-seller, and what these new theories seem to be predicting is that this universe that we're embedded in is actually just a cross-section of some sort of a hyper-dimensional structure that may have originated with the big bang, or whatever. And, and there is this proliferation of these hyper-dimensional theories, and of course in quantum mechanics there's this many worlds hypothesis that's been floating around.

TM: Right.

Audience member: So my question is, um, is this attractor that you're perceiving embedded in this space or in a hyper-dimensional space in which case that particular attractor might only be one outcome. We're steering our way towards or away from that attractor depending on what's happening from moment to moment.

TM: Well, I've always, before I adopted the vocabulary of chaos dynamics which uses this term "attractor" I always called it "the concrescence" following out of Alfred North Whitehead's philosophy. And, and he said, you know, "a concrescence is a nexus of events," or he also called it "a nexus of actual occasions." And so I regard the temporal surface as a kind of undulating topology, and you could think of the attractor as the lowest point in the temporal landscape. So then, if you think of historical systems as marbles rolling across that landscape, where are they all going to end up? They're all going to end up in the low point because that's where the attractor lies, and they're all concentrated in this. Uh, what I'm suggesting is that the spacetime continuum has an attractor for novelty and that for a very long time the universe of process has been circling 

- eva In Review

process has been circling around the rim of this attractor and then, you know, several hundred million years ago it began to make its ever more rapid decent toward the dwell point. And now novelty is extraordinarily concentration and the collapse of the state vector that moves us into hyperspace is sort of this umbilical point in the historical process. See, the, the most evident fact in nature that science has overlooked, totally overlooked, is that nature is speeding up. It always has been, and yet you will never hear this discussed. The early life of the universe, there were no stars, no planets. There were, there weren't even complex elements. There was only helium and hydrogen. And, you know, talk about dull. It was dull! And over time helium and hydrogen aggregated together and formed masses of such size that the temperatures at the center of those masses triggered fusion, and then out cooked iron, sulfur, carbon, and the process of star formation began. The point being, uh, the further back in time you go the less events there are, and as I said last night, I think, we are the inheritors of this process. If nature loves novelty then nature loves us above all else in the cosmos because we, there's more novelty in our domain than anywhere else and, and our, we work around the clock to elaborate novelty. Human society is almost a pure novelty producing process, and what it, what all this novelty, one way of thinking of novelty, and Whitehead suggested this, is density of connectedness. Well then, if you define novelty as density of connectedness then you can predict what the ultimate novelty would be. The ultimate novelty is when every point is connected to every other point. That is a mathematical definition of a super-space. Where all points are cotangent you have a super-space. So apparently culture, not only culture, but biology uh, and perhaps even simpler systems seems to be imbued with a strategy the result of which is the conquest of dimensionality. The earliest organic life was fixed on clays. 

- eva In Review

TM: earliest organic life was fixed on clays. It was like lichen-like. It was lichen-like and fixed, and then the whole history of the evolution of animal life is the history of the evolution of better senses and better organs of locomotion. What are we talking about? The conquest of dimensionality, uh, and in, uh, in the human world this reaches a whole new level because we are advanced animals. No doubt about it. Our binocular vision, our grasping hand, our running speed, we're a very advanced animal, but we then add on to that language. And what is the purpose of language? I would submit to you that in bio-, in evolutionary terms the purpose of language is to talk about the past, that the past ceases to be what it was when you have language because you can pull it back. Memory. Memory does something to time. It causes the past to remain in the present as a residuum, and as your memory storage technology advances from storytelling, to writing, to optical discs, the percentage of the past that you're able to hold onto increases. And now with virtual reality and all that we dream of holding on to as much of the past as we want. The con-, so culture has become the servant of this conquest of dimensionality, and uh, I think that inevitably this leads to a bifurcation because dimensions occur in uh, quantized form. Uh, in other words there is a cusp and then a phase transition, and so what has been going on on this planet for the past 10,000 years is an edging toward the cusp, and the, the, the vector that is being sought is greater novelty, so the system keeps automatically correcting itself to seek ever-greater novelty. The end result of this will be uh, a kind of instantaneous phase transition where everything uh, passes in to another modality. And exactly how this will occur is not a problem at this point because we're too far in the past. Ask me that after 2005 and I should have an answer for you, but at this point in the historical continuum nobody knows. Is it going to be nanotechnological? Are we gonna all become pissant size and go live in uh, stratocumulus clouds somewhere over South America? Are we going to, you know, invent the Banducci spin-dizzy engine and build ships the size of Manitoba and set out for NGC-354 or something like that? That's a possibility. I mean, technology has held surprises before. Or, you know, are we going to do something very unexpected and discover that plants are doorways into dimensions as alien as other planets and as nearby as the grass growing at your feet? Uh, we don't know but our best people are working on it and long before we get to 2012 uh, it will all be, be made clear. Did that answer the?

Audience member: Uh, sort of?

TM: Good. I'd hate to think that we, uh. 

Audience member: What happens after 2012?

TM: What happens after 2012? Well, that's a, an interesting question. I'm thinking about it in a different way than I have before. In the past we've spent a great deal of time talking about what happens at and after 2012, yet strangely my theory only addresses what happens before 2012. Uh, after 2012 the timewave is kaput and you're back to existentialism again. Uh, I think that, well, it depends on how loaded I am what I think will happen in 2012. Um, because I can imagine it all the way from that the laws of physics fail, that the, the entire universe rolls up like a la-, a window shade. It's unlikely, or it appears unlikely, but on the other hand who's estimating the odds, and what do they know? Uh, it could be, I've, I've noticed that what the timewave seems to track best is the tool-making process, and so one way I think about concrescence and this enterprise that we're involved in is we are trying to make a tool. Not just any tool. We are trying to make the tool. Now, what is a tool? A tool is something that lets you do something. What, therefore, would be the ultimate tool? It would let you do anything. And, as William Burroughs says, aaa-nyyy-thing. That's what it would let you do. The flying saucer comes into the discussion at this point. The flying saucer, I believe, is an image of this tool that haunts 

- eva In Review

that haunts the human experience of historical concrescence. It haunts the psyche of human beings and the skies of Earth because, like the bar ball, spinning in the club, it is a precursive reflection of the tool at the end of time. The people who got this right are the alchemists of the 15th and 16th century who believed that out of matter you could coax a universal substance that would be a perfect panacea. It would be all things to all people. It would cure all diseases, confer immortality, change lead to gold, uh, you know, the blind would see, the halt would walk, the dead would rise and this ideal was immediately in place before the birth of modern science as the goal of uh, the exploration of matter, and I think that we are possibly looking at a technology which the newspapers will call time travel, but which the people who create it will explain, "well, it's not that at all. You see, it's actually a redactive doubling of hyperspatial feedback in a heteroclymic situation and, but it comes off as time travel," uh, because one way that I can imagine linear history ending is by it just simply ending. you know, linear history depends on the past staying what it is. If you have time travel it's possible to imagine a cultural domain where the past is constantly being changed in which case you can't describe the ebb and flow of novelty with a simple Cartesian graph. So it could be something like that, or it could be something somewhat on, of a metaphysical type. I mean, here's a, here's the Stephen King version of what it could be. Imagine if, on the day of concrescence, the sun exploded. Well, now that would certainly put rainforest activism in a quandary. Um, the explosion of the sun would kill all life instantly on the earth. We don't know what death is. Uh, you know, our secular materialists cheerfully assure us that it's a big nothing, but that's just their guess. Nobody knows. Nobody knows.  But a mass die-off like that would instantaneously propel the entire biota of the planet into death, whatever that is, and that might be part of the dynamics of the solar system. I don't like that idea. It's rather morbid. But there are some problems with the sun. There are some curious disjunctures between measurement of solar radiation and nuclear theory that suggests that the sun may not be as healthy as we would like it to be. Yeah. [there seems to be a break in the recording here] Psychedelics catalyze the imagination, inform the population, and allow people to entertain larger perspectives than the completely pissant perspectives which they're being given by the popular media. I mean, the popular media exhibits no imagination at all. That's why we have no space program. That's why we have no advanced research project agency, uh, no commitment to explore the solar system and so forth and so on. It turns out that really was all being done to beat the Russians. All that fine talk about space flight and the outward urge. That was just Pentagonese horse shit so they could dig into our genes and build intercontinental ballistic missiles. We who believed that we were headed out into the starry universe were, as usual, shafted. Well, that's a little coda on that. It see it's uh, time to uh, uh, knock off for a while. Uh, we have time for one more question though. Is this working for people? I mean, I wander one way, then another.

Audience member: [inaudible]

TM: No, no. You, you.

Audience member: What you just said about all this uh, this space program stuff. Why all the, there seem to be this incredible influx of sci fi in the media as far as the programming and uh, television, films. Uh, what's your comment on that? On-

TM: Well, I think that virtual, that virtual reality, the entertainment industry, I mean, if you look at the figures, if we spent as much money trying to save the planet as we are spending trying to develop advanced systems of electronic entertainment, hell, we'd fix it overnight. That would just be a done deal. I'm, I'm suspicious. I'm a techno fan, and I use technology, and I, I'm into it, but I, I was with Howard Rheingold one night actually here at Esalen when we achieved a kind of apotheosis together, and he said to me, he said, "my God, I've just realized what virtual reality is for!" And I said, "what's it for, Howard?" And he said, "it's to keep us from ever leaving the planet." And I, I see in the game design, and in the website design, and in the look and feel of the net

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 look and feel of the net how it's to be a simulacrum of uh, the great frontier. You know, it's gonna all be virtual, the trip to Pluto, and the conquest of Mars, and the journey out to Andromeda. Uh, I, I think you h-, that, you know, I don't fault technology. You just have to be very aware, but, you know, it's like heroin. And we must not consume. We must produce, as a community. The psychedelic community must produce art, not consume it. Once, if they get it flowing the other way and we begin to consume it then we are de-potentiated. So what I've said, you know, the m-, the millenial program is to put the art pedal to the floor. Uh, you know, in virtual reality the difference between at 10-story building and a 100-story building is one zero. Enter the zero and it's now a hundred-story building. We can build with light. The constraints of materiel and the constraints of capital investment that have limited us in three-dimensional space are not going to be present in VR, and I think we're going to be able to build those castles in the sky, and that what, I've said this many times, uh, as I see the late 20th century cultural enterprise what we're trying to do here is turn the human body inside out. We want to take the mind which is this invisible hyperspatial organ with its teeming imagination and we want to make it literal or virtual. We want to bring it into existence. Meanwhile the body has become, because there are so many bodies, a real drag on the political system. So the body wants to become something freely commanded in the imagination, and it's literally like we are turning ourselves inside out, uh, and this is an alchemical process. So now I've spoken of the alchemical process as something happening to the body, as a cultural enterprise-building tool, as an irresistible motion towards an attractor which can be glimpsed through the hyperdimensional vision conferred by psychedelics. And, uh, and then it merely remains to unpack and download these ideas into the popular and mass culture because I think they assuage anxiety. People feel better about themselves and the, and the fate and direction of the world, but, you know, we have painted ourselves into a hell of a situation here. The momentum of our past mistakes is staggering. The good news is we primates love a good fight, and we don't really get our dander up until the last possible moment. This is it. This is the last possible moment.

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