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words and wit of the alchemical bard
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An Interview By James Kent
Before and Beyond History
Gaia, Eros, and the Archaic Revival
Gaia, Psychedelics, and the Archaic Revival
Having Archaic and Eating it Too
Leprechauns, Elves, or Dead Souls?
Making and Unmaking History and Language
Morphogenic Fields and Psychedelic Experiences
Mushrooms, Sex and Society
Psychedelics in the Age of Intelligent Machines
Terence McKenna's Trip
The grammar of ecstasy — The world within the word.
(aka This Counts, Somehow it Matters & A Higher Dimensional Section of Reality)
A Better World (Toward The End Of History)
A Conversation with Terence McKenna and Ram Dass
A Necessary Chaos
A report on crop circles with Abraham and Sheldrake
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The Invisible Landscape (Peer Review)
The Invisible Landscape (Peer Review)
The Ojai Foundation, Ojai, California
[Introduction on recording: "This is first of three tapes of Terence McKenna at the Ojai Foundation, under the Teaching Tree, in April 1985]
Terence McKenna: I don't think of myself as a teacher, primarily or at all. I think of myself as a researcher, who, because of the unorthodox nature of the research has to submit to this kind of situation for peer review. That's what this is. This is peer review of my rap, not teaching in any sense of the word. So, before I get into it I'll say a little bit about my attitude toward epistemology and system making generally. Um, this is one of the slightly uncomfortable moments because I have to make distance, uh, between myself and large numbers of other people and say I do not believe in the wars of Atlantis. I do not believe in reincarnation. I do not believe in the healing power of crystals, and a whole string of alienating "I do not believes". Fact of the matter is; I don't believe in belief. I think belief is a tremendously stultifying force. What I'm interested in is freedom, and I noticed very early that a belief absolutely precludes the possibility of holding to its opposite, and therefore if you believe something you have signed away its opposite and, uh, limited yourself. This comes close to the ideal but not the fact of how science is supposed to be waged. So I'm , uh, impression and fact-collector and I will propound a number of ideas that are very controversial, I guess, and I want you to understand they appear controversial to me, and the controversy over their applicability to reality rages in me at least as strongly as it will rage in any dialogue that I have with any of you.
The area that we're working in at the fringe of science, at the frontier of psychology is too chaotic and disorganized to be called a science at this point. We're in the Baconian phase of it where you merely collect facts, catalogue facts and wait for emergent patterns to, uh, be visible. And, uh, this is what I've done and I did it, I began as a skeptic, fairly confident that this kind of examination of reality and collection of facts would support the rationalist reduction- reductionist minimalist mapping of reality, and I discovered, to my delight and amazement that the world is quite a complex place, quite a large percentage of it goes on outside the descriptive power of any metaphor that we presently have a handle on and, uh, so I just want to put that out, that my attitude is, uh, is one of a kind of skepticism that allows and I am well-known as the proponent of the notion that there is an extra-terrestrial or trans-human intelligence accessible through certain psychedelic drugs. I have that experience often, but I am not a believer in it. I am very puzzled by it. I return again and again to reason as the measure against which all these things have to be played, so peer-review is very important I think because we're moving in an area where very little is known. It- we're somewhat in the analogous position to the early explorers of the Amazon who would sail up the main flow of the Amazon and note in their logs 'passed a river mouth that ?? two miles wide. Origin, unknown.' This is what we are charting. Enormous unknown flows of which we are only able to chart the, uh, the most gross, uh, expression of these things.
Ok, so that's enough about method. The, um, as I understand it, the- the matter around which this counsel is spun is the journey beyond history and the notion in that implicit is that there is an end to history. So, what I want to talk about this morning, and it's the most difficult lecture that I give because it is- the goal is not to convey a feeling or an impression, but to actually convey an idea, and ideas, you either get or don't get. It isn't like you can halfway get how to factor a quadratic equation. You either know how to do it and it's trivial or you don't know how to do it and it's inconceivable.
What happened to me was a series of, um, channelings, although I hate that word [audience laughter, Terence laughs]. It's so obnoxious -- I prefer maybe the word 'psychosis'. [laughter] Anyway, a series of self-amplifying revelations springing from an interior source that appeared from my best judgement not to be me, right? [laughter] And it was, uh, an unusual example of this sort of thing, although I do not immerse myself, I have never read a word of what Seth? has to say or any of that. But I gather these things are largely, um, urging people, they’re moral teachings is what they are, urging people to straighten themselves out and fly right and care for the earth and be aware and be decent, and. the thing which I received was more in the character of an unravelling of a mystery. Somewhat analogous if any of you are familiar with Robert Graves book “The White Goddess” wherein a series of continuing revelation he grains, gains great insight, uh, into early Celtic and Goidelic poetic alphabets and encryption methods. The object of my uh experience was I Ching and I noticed, discovered, uh, a number of things about the I Ching which lead me to the conclusion that what we possess in the King Wen sequence is in fact a fragment, an archeological chunk of a piece of broken cosmic machinery. I concentrated entirely on the I Ching as a prehistorical artifact. I unburdened myself completely of the necess, of the necessity to be a sinologist by concentrating on the I Ching as it existed in the pre-han period, that is before 400 B.C., 200 B.C. All the commentary on the I Ching, all the exegesis is han or post han, so I didn’t deal with that at all, I dealt with what is called the King Wen sequence. How many of you are well familiar with the I Ching? Good. The rest of you, good luck. [Laughter].
The King Wen sequence is the oldest uh, if you give up Atlantis, Lemuria, etcetera, the oldest ordered human abstraction. It is uhh, we find fragments of it on shoulder bones that are four to five thousand years old, so it’s a human generated abstraction that has been preserved through the millennia. Now the question is: Is it an ordered sequence? And this was the first koan that the interior voice posed to me. "What is the order of the King Wen sequence?" As you know the human sequence [clears throat] begins with the creative and which is all solid lines, then the receptive which is all broken lines, and then umm whatever it is, uhh I noticed immediately that it was obviously organized in pairs. In other words, each hexagram the subsequent hexagram can be generated by turning the first one upside down. That’s all that’s happening. Now there are 8 cases where turning a hexagram upside effects no change in it. In those 8 cases a second rule has been applied which is if turning the hexagram upside down causes no change, then all lines change. You meet the first exception in the first two hexagrams. Clearly, when you invert the created six solid lines, you obtain the created again. Therefore, all lines change, and you get the recepted?. So then that solved a problem of partial ordering, that showed that uhm, we were dealing not with 64 hexagrams but with 32 pairs of hexagrams, and the next question was “What is the order of the 32 pairs?”. Now this is a deeper question, and not so easily solved. But it was easily solved for this interior voice that had my attention. It said “look at the first order of difference”. Now this is a very fancy way of saying “Look at how many lines change as you move from one hexagram to the next.” Obviously as you move from the first hexagram to the second, six lines change. As you move from the second to the third – I forget how many it is – four I believe, and so on. So that you can make a linear graph of the first order of difference as you move through the King Wen sequence and I rushed out and bought graph paper and did this, and looked at it. And it’s a saw tooth, all of these figures by the way are in the book “The Invisible Landscape”. It’s a double challenge to give this lecture without visual aids let me tell you. But as you all are probably expert visualizers, why uh, you should have no problem.
So when you graph the first order of difference in this way, an anomaly just jumps out at you. This is clearly not a random, uh, stochastic process that you’re graphing. If it were a stochastic process you would expect the possible values which are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, to occur in more or less, uhh, similar proportions. However, you notice immediately there are no values of 5, there are no first order of different changes in the King Wen sequence of 5. Now what is the prohibition against 5 about? I don’t know but its worldwide and Neolithic. Astragali are the knucklebones of sheep that have been used since the late Neolithic inter-roman times to gamble with by burning dots into the knucklebones, and in fact playing dice is called throwing the knucklebone. There are no Neolithic astragali with 5 dots burned into them, it’s a number which is just strictly avoided. So there is some curious, uh, thing going on with the number 5, knowing that Timaeus as people are coming in and sitting down for dinner, Plato turns to Timaeus and he says “The one generates the two, and the two the three, but where oh where is the fourth my dear Timaeus.” And this the first four numbers seem to lie in a much more archetypically intense relation than the number 5. 5 has been called the first human number. In any case, uh, that was not the anomaly which leaped out at my eye when I graphed this thing. What I noticed was that, uh, there was a saw tooth stroke at the beginning and at the end. Such that if a reflection or to use the technical term if the stereo-isometric reflection were rotated 180 degrees the two ends would fit together perfectly. They would dovetail like the joint of a cabinet maker. And it would not fall into this kind of parallelism or congruence at any other point. Only at the beginning and the end, and only I then noticed, if the hexagrams were paired across from each other in such a way that they always added to 64. In other words, 64 is across from 64, that’s the exception. 63 is across from one, 62 is across from 2, 63 is across, and so forth okay so the sums in all directions to 64.
And umm, so I looked at that for a long long time, and then I saw that what I had done, that though there were parall- these congruencies at the beginning and the end, there were also approaches to parellism – parallelism at 6 points in this figure, rather evenly spaced. And I realized then that what I had done if I had taken the entire King Wen sequence, run it forward, run it backward against itself and created a kind of macro hexagram. A super hexagram which contained the entire sequence twice, running backward and forward, and at that point I had insight into a curious passage in the Confucian commentaries, where it says, of the I Ching, the backward running numbers refer to the future, the forward running numbers refer to the past. This was a, a, an anagram which makes no sense whatsoever, unless you posit the kind of structure that I am talking about. So then I wondered, what could this thing possibly be for? And I experimented with, uh, I said okay, this thing I have built in accordance with the principal of hierarchy construction, which is completely expressed at every point in Chinese history, and is therefore be assumed to antedate Chinese history and be prehistoric. This hierarchical principal can be used to manipulate this strange figure. Now the lines of a hexagram are called yao, and there are 384 yao in the 64 the hexagrams, obviously, 6 times 64 is 384. So I said I will take my figure and I will treat it as the yao of a hexagram. And so I made 6 of them, end to end and then I said okay now I have the 6 lines of a hexagram, some kind of hyper or macro hexagram. But a hexagram is composed of more than 6 lines, it is composed of 2 trigrams. So I took my figure and I multiplied it by a value of 3, and I laid those two, over the 6, generating everything from a common point of origin. So then I said okay, now I have everything that is in a hexagram, except the hexagramatic wholeness, but it is embodied by the thing as a gestalt as a holonomic entity. So I laid a big one over the 6 little ones and the two medium sized ones, generating everything from a common origin point and having everything return to a common origin point, so it looks and its figured in the invisible landscape, like a, uhm, an oscilloscope tracing, a mult- a three level tracing of lines, a tremendous mish-mash. And this was a problem. The voice then was by this time saying “this is the map, the fractal map of all space and all time. It is existing on many levels of resonance, and I personally could feel that. And I spent literally months and it was madness, much of this was generated in the amazon jungle. You have to picture a man in a thatch house on stilts, with the amazon flowing by, the Indians, the drugs, everything raging outside, and me with my slowly deteriorating pad of graph paper just drawing these lines, hours and hours a day, and looking at them and finally realizing convincing myself that it did in fact map time in a certain way. But realizing that it had the quality of a mystical doctrine. The interpretation of these slashing paralleling intersecting lines was impossible to convey to another person. I had to have a method of reducing this compound complex wave to a single wave, moving in a single direction on a single level.
Fortunately for you I am going to skip over the mathematical details of how this was accomplished, but I assure you that it was accomplished and to me it was, it was like a series of revelations. I didn’t even care about the I Ching. And the notion that out of myself I could extract the techniques to collapse this wave and to produce something coherent out of it, it was like a revelation. And I don’t even today know that much about the mathematical ways of handling waves. Im sure that I reinvented the wheel in some sense. But the point is that I didn’t reinvent it all by myself. And when it was over, I had something which I could show to people. I had the notion that there is a factor in reality, which we have previously missed, which is called novelty. Right and novelty is something which comes and gos, dowism is talking about this.Tao Te Ching it says the way that can be told of is not an unvarying way.” Way is clearly a mistranslation for wave, and [Laughter] and uhm, so then okay you have this thing you’ve reduced it to one level, and it is now an object of reasonable research but what are the periods, what are the frequencies, what are the harmonic uh, uhm resonances by which this thing expresses itself in time.
In other words, what I had generated up to this point was a wave unscaled against the world. And the teaching voice said “now we will show you how to scale this against the world” If, remember that there are 384 yao in the complete sequence. 384, is a number that has not be well regarded by calendar makers, its 19 days longer than a solar year. However there have been lunar calendars at various times among the pre exzealot jews and other people where 384 day lunar calendars were used. I found out all this after the fact but the voice proposed was that I looked at lunations and I discovered what seemed to me an astonishing fact which is a lunation is 29.53 days long, 29.53 x 13 is 383.89. So it it comes very close to being exactly 13 lunations so I looked at that and then I said well I constructed this wave through affrication of these principals of hierarchical ordering that are inimical to Chinese thinking. I will now using the same periodicities apply the thing to time and see if I get astrological correlations at higher levels. So I took the 384 days and I multiplied it times 64, that’s the obvious uhh multiplicon. And you get 67 years 104.25 days, now if we think of that as a hexagram, it should have 6 lines embedded within it, if you decide 67 years 104.25 days by six you get a number which is very very close to the average duration of a sun spot cycle, 11 plus years. However people who study the sun know that there isn’t only the famous 11 year sun spot cycle. There is also a larger cycle of 33 years, where the peak reaches a greater height. Well that then would be the trigramatic? level of this hexagram. So what I seemed to have was a lunar calendar which was also capable of keeping track of sun spot cycles. Now the earliest observation of sun spots occurs in China, and is a naked eye observation from around 12 A.D. So obviously and we don’t know whether there was part of a tradition of observing these things or not. So then I was very pleased with that, well that’s interesting. So what happens if you take 67 years 104.25 days and multiply it by 64. The same multiplicon used before. And it uh the answer is 4306 years s-something like that. Uhm and I thought that was very interesting because that is uh, exactly 2 zodiacal ages. It takes approximately 2200 years – and there’s argument about the length of zodiacal ages because theres argument about the width of the sign the number of degress to be assigned to each sign. So but it was remarkably good correlation.
. And then the voice said “now multiply that not by 64”, the previous multiplicand used, but by 6 the number of lines in a hexagram. When you do this you get 25,800 years, within 1% of the value accepted for the processional great year, in which the zodiacal signs move around, uh , the earth in a twenty-six, roughly twenty-six thousand year cycle.
Well, you know, great thrills for the person who discovered it. But so far all we have is a Neolithic calendar, constructed out of the I Ching. The notions that then began to be put forth were, that the ancient Chinese had assimilated this notion through their early development of what are called stilling of the heart techniques, which are this particular stripe of yoga that aims for complete suppression of bodily functions in order to contemplate the mind in its nakedness, you now, uncontaminated by the gross uh, attributes that are being reflected upon it by the body. And uh, the notion was that they were actually observing a fact in nature. That this is not simply a calendar, it is THE calendar. It is some kind of previously unnoticed thing present in the world, which is mitigating change. The e- recall that I said that uh what we had was a figure which was together at the beginning flowed apart in a series of interference patterns and then flowed together at the end and restored the value of 0. In other words, if you think of 0 as parity, parity is conserved by this wave. So the notion was that this hierarchical calendar is not an eternal calendar. It’s a calendar with a built in closure, and this is hard to visualize so I wont spend too much time on it but.. The last 3 values in the wave are 0. Consequently, as you approach the last 3 positions on the wave, in any of these duration schemes I’ve mentioned – 384 days, 67 plus years, 400 and three hund.. –
As you approach the last 3 positions the higher level in the hierarchy is given a value of 0 and it ceases to contribute its valuation to the lower levels. So you get a sudden drop in the in the mathematical value of the wave. And these things, for a long time I called them passages and I called them necks and I called them different things. José calls them harmonic convergence – something like that. And I saw them as places where novelty rushed into the world at a much faster rate than it had done before. And, yes. And then I Saw the entire career being in space time is effected by this curious property of intensification of novelty and acceleration of time. And we have tended to -because we view the universe as fragmented we have tended not to connect this up to the universe. We believe that human history is an abomination unrelated to biology and modern times an abomination unrelated to sacral and mythical civilizations and uh so forth. But what this notion was suggesting was that matter, I don’t know how far back you care to go, but the something is in the process of becoming and that this process of becoming is not gradual but proceeds in a series of telescoping leaps into density of connectedness and that uh, if you look at the history of the universe it was very active the first 10 high sixteen (10^16) nanoseconds. But then things settled down for a long long time and there was just cooling until finally a point was passed in the cooling process where uh, electrons could maintain orbits around atomic nuclei so that we were no longer in the era of free particles but we entered into the era of nuclear chemistry. Further cooling of the universe allowed a much more intensified form of novelty to come into being through the molecular bond which then allows a fantastic variety of structures and possible combinations. You no longer now have free atoms winging around in the void. You have uh, the complete cornucopia of molecular structure that we’re familiar with. Physical chemistry I’m talking about, life has not yet appeared. But then further levels of order, further inclusions of novelty into the becomingness of being, and you begin to get self-replicating molecules. Then you get life in the sea, THEN life on the land. Now each one of these phases of novelty is taking less time than the previous phases. Finally you get land animals, finally then you get higher mammals, then the “ponzi deradiation”? of the primates.
Suddenly, 50,000 years ago you arrive at the threshold of self-reflecting consciousness. Instantly, you have thermonuclear weapons, parallel processing in computer, super-conducting colliding waves and all of the accoutrements of modern uh, modernity. This is a continuous process that has been going on since the moment the universe was born. Now, what is so interesting about it and what boggles my imagination and what causes me to wonder if I wasn’t in fact losing my marbles and heading by some dark path toward Christianity it was the notion that this process that we have no entered what I call the short epochs. The epochs now do not last a billion years or 18 million years or 275 thousand years the short epoch is history. The first short epoch is history and we entered it around 2300 B.C. See I - this is why I’m not fond of “pushing-backism”. The amazing thing to me about humanity is not how there are cities in the Bermuda triangle that are 50,000 years old but how man emerged almost instantly out of the background of a planet covered by forests and populated by animals. Something happened. I mean it IS the thumbprint of God, it DOES push you almost to the notion of a deus ex machine intervention in the course of nature. Uhm.. We have entered the short epochs. We entered the 4,306 epoch as I say around 2300 B.C. arou- You know there is a hiatus, pre-dynastic Egypt is the Egypt which built the pyramids. It- That all closed down around 2400 B.C. then there’s a period of about 350 years where we have very little information. I’m talking Egypt. Then suddenly you get the rise of the dynasties, and the thing we are familiar with as the Egyptian stereotype. So I believe there was a significant cultural change at that point. It may be Julian Janes
; it may be the ability to epigenetically code information through writing; To no longer depend simply on the genetic machinery to carry information. I see this whole process I am describing as the career of information. It is information that is loose on this planet. When people say DNA they mean information. DNA is the vehicle of the information god, and all nature is the vehicle of the information God, and so is all culture and all individuality. Okay.
Dividing 4,306 years by 64 you see the need for 67-year epoch. The next short epoch, and this occupied me for a long long time trying to figure out where it began. And then finally it hit me where it began. It began about 8:30 in the morning on August the 6th 1945 over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. And at that moment the big bang - Its tiny parallelism. It’s little self in the world of history was born, as a thermos-nuclear expl- er- not a thermo-nuclear, but a nuclear explosion. Uhhh, and we are now living out that last epoch. Now why did this push me toward uh, Christianity? Because the next short epoch will only be 384 days in duration. And the one after that will only be 6 days in duration. And the one after that will only be an hour and a half in duration. And the one after that, two and a half minutes. So what I have done is I had constructed a cosmology that 5 hours before its complete dissolution it was only half way to completion. You see? Because these rapid closures mean that half of the novelty that the universal being will express in its career of becoming will occur in the last 384 days of time, of time.
And uh, and so this explains to me the chaos at the end of history, which is what we are living through, and the mushroom has said you know, many times, “no big deal”. This is what it’s like when a species prepares to depart for the stars. There is nothing wrong, nothing wrong with H-Bombs and super colliding. This is all part of the narrowing neck. You know, monkeys don’t go to the stars, and you must go through the monkey net to find yourself on the other side. But what I’m not, I’m not talking about uhm, a historical transformation in quite the same way that I think Jose and perhaps Peter were indicating. I am talking about a change in physics, not a change in the human heart or the human political structure. I’m talking about a collapse of the entire space time continuum, and a necessary consequence of the laws under which IT operates. And so we are not responsible and we have no choice and it’s not a question of who wants it and who doesn’t, any more than death is open to that kind of fiddling. And in fact, death is the reflection in the macrocosm of every individual experience of the wave running down to zero into the ultimate novelty, which you can call a zero or you can call the concrescent essence of everything. Depending on your ontological bent. Uhm. Now, there’s a funny thing about this which is and to talk about it requires introducing the notion of fractals. Fractals are curves of a peculiar variety because they seem to have fractional dimensions. M- C- They are one and a half dimensions, two and a half dimensions, three and a half dimensions, and the reason for this is that when you talk a portion of a fractal and blow it up, it looks exactly like it looked before. Now this is easy to visualize in the simplest version of a fractal, which is a circle. I mean think of a segment of a circle. If you blow it up, it looks just like it, and then take a piece of it and blow it up – TAPE GOES BLANK FOR UNDETERMINED TIME –
There are given themes, and this is what the hexagrams are about. This was the genius of the Chinese to realize that time has elements. The orthodox uh, or, let me put it this way. Western science had to go through a whole conceptual reformulation to realize that space is not simply where you put things, that’s how space is treated in Newtonian dynamics and up until Einstein. It’s just the necessary dimension for three dimensional description. But then Einstein said “well no no, space is a thing affected by magnetic fields. Torqued in the nearby vicinity of a star.” And, and so then this notion that it was a thing and that it could have various properties of curvature because allowable. Now what I am suggesting is that time has elements – 64 of them as a matter of fact. And the formulators of the I-Ching simply by stilling the heart, by eliminating noise from the body, where able to see these states which we could call quantum mechanical, but since they are not material we don’t need to invoke the holy god of quantum mechanics to bless this effort. Anyway whatever these things are and whatever dimension they exist you could think of them more, I think of them more like platonic archetypes. They – the way in which they inner penetrate three dimensional being is what gives three dimensional being its primary qualities. The qualities of color, of tone, of emotion, of feeling. All of the descriptive qualities that science has left out, and has called epiphenomenal and uh, and uh, subjective but which are the things we all experience, you know, what science has achieved is a tremendous devaluation of primary experience. And what this notion is trying to say is that there is possible physics of experience, and understanding of history that will make it coherent. So that the coherency which we know must be resident in the universe is no longer a value dark dimension to us. The order becomes visible.
Now how does this work? I always use this rather idiotic example but it amuses me. Its that if you find yourself in Hadrian’s Hamurger Joint having a burger, there is a direct causal relationship between your doing that and the campaign of the roman emperor Hadrian; You are in fact passing through the Hadrian analogic moment. Now, I think the only person who has really understood this to bedrock, is probably James Joyce. Who realized that a walk to the store IS the Trojan War. It IS the Trojan War. You cannot pass through a gate without passing through the gates of Thermopylae. You cannot, uh, we and so, a notion like reincarnation or past lives is seen in a whole different light. What we are are harmonic adumbrations of events in the past. Now this comes fairly close to Rupert Sheldrake’s notion, and we’ve talked a lot about this. The, what is absent in Rupert’s scheme is an explanation of novelty. What he is saying is that the past has a tremendous influence on the future that the very fact that something has happened, sets up all uh, following time for a more.. a higher likelihood of this thing happening. What I’m suggesting is that that’s true but then the mystery of why there is novelty is solved by realizing that the way in which the morphogenetic field impinges upon reality is through a fractal expression. And there would be nothing surprising about this, uh, fractal- the electromagnetic waves described by Maxwell’s equation. That is essentially a fractal transformed. It is how waves work.
So uh, another way of thinking about this notion that we are adumbrations of larger historical epochs is the aphorism “Rome falls 9 times an hour”. This is the idea- and it does! I mean I always notice it. Its.. its just there. We are very state bounded in our self-observation and we only tend to value what is relevant to profane existence and communication. So, the fact that as you sweep the house you notice Rome falling nine times an hour, there’s not much to say about it. It’s just I think weird things; I wonder if everybody thinks weird things. I think the answer is yes and not only does Rome fall nine times an hour but the Celts move out of Spain and into England nine times an hour and so forth. That really the present is a, an interference pattern caused by epochs in the past uhm, coming together to create a certain particular situation. So what has been happening since 1945, since the dawn moment over Hiroshima is that the entire history of the universe is being recapitulated uhh. Now it has many cycle levels of cyclic expression. On one level the first land animals have yet to appear. We are truly in the inchoate darkness. On the level of the 4,306-year cycle, we are deep in the dark ages. And on the basis of that, and the barbarians, the time when the barbarian hoards poured into Europe. The sacking of Eleusis and all that. I see uh, punk culture as the harmonic response to the fact of this happening. On the basis of it I would predict that in the late 80’s the uh, new wave punk phenomenon will give way to an almost gothic, religious sensibility. Which will be in fact a recapitulation of the early middle ages and uh,. - Well No no.. [laughter] in the mariological cults that found their expression at Sharpe and places like that in the early 90’s. We will have a, a, uh, a feminist revival which will be slightly longheaded because it will make those same mistakes that those gothic people made. We will not even reach the threshold of the industrial revolution until about 23.., two-zero-zero-three.
So you see the notion of us sitting around making sense of things is quite preposterous. I mean, we are still waiting for Newton, let alone for Maxwell and Einstein. We are not-prehistory except on the highest level. Uhm, so this intensification will occur. Now uh, what is it leading to? This is the part that, you know, Christianity insists that the world will end. And that it will just roll up like a scroll and uhh, the triumphant Christ will come to judge the living and the dead. Now, why do they believe that? Obviously, apocalypse haunts history like a ghost, in the kind of cosmology I’m defining. There MUST be anticipations of it. The death of every human being is an anticipation of the apocalypse. The collapse of every empire, the uh- ANY sensation is a part of THE sensation. It is the archetype of the ending. So this knitting together, this compactification of novelty and connectedness which is emanating out from the most densely compactified and connected thing in nature which is the human cortex. This is an interesting thing, we’ve worked so hard to move ourselves out of the center of the mandala, but the fact of the matter is the most complex object nature is the human brain. Curious... Uhhh.
This knitting together that is emanating from the human brain is accelerating at such a rate that we are rapidly going to become unrecognizable to ourselves. [49:35] The- The end point which I have come to feel is correct is the endpoint 67 years 104.5 days after the Hiroshima blast, and that would be dawn of the 16th day of November in 2012. Now I have worked all this out and the thin thread on which I am here in a conference devoted to the Mayans is that after I had worked all this out I discovered that the long count of the Mayans, the calendar of which you have heard so much, contains thirteen baktuns. Now the emergence of uh, of uh, Mayan civilization as we currently understand it is around bak- late in baktun 6, and the complete collapse of the Mayan is in around the middle of baktun 11. But their whole calendar was generated from the end of baktun 13; There is no baktun 14. They said “that’s it. That’s the end.” The end of baktun 13 is the winter solstice of 2012. 34 days later than the date I reached through this series of involvements with the I-Ching.
But then I discovered there’s what’s called the Thompson Correction. The Thompson Correction is a different reading on certain calendrical material which would locate the end of baktun 13 only 4 days after the date that I had chosen. So the question seemed to me then, “What is it about psilocybin mushrooms that a civilization in Mesoamerica in the 11- in the 8th and 9th century and an individual in California in the 20th century would both, through an elaborate series of mathematical contortions, different mathematical contortions, reach the same point in time?” What is happening there?
And uh, we were talking last night about how um, how the uh, my, my little story about what happened to the Mayans, to the Maya. And Peter pretty much agreed was around 970 and probably at Copan, which was the Alexandria of the Mayan world. Its where the mathematics and this and these things were you know, brought to their peak. They figured it out. They figured it out. And they ended the long count. It was obviously ended as a uh, an order. It took about 20 years to emanate out from Copan and to reach the most remote Mayan centers, Paraguay and Palenque and so forth. But within 30 years the long count had been ended. The stele had been pushed over face down in the grass. The cities emptied and the Maya returned to being primitive agricultural pastoralists.
I think it was because they figured it out. They saw what was coming, and one you have figured it out the curious thing about this notion I’m propounding is that it carries no obligation. It is a way of making you free by admitting you are more deterministically bound than you ever dreamed, you know. You HAD to go into Hadrian’s Hamburger Joint, it was settled when Hadrian invaded Scotland, that you had to go into that hamburger joint. And so we are, we are bearing an unnecessary burden of guilt and responsibility. We are living in a cosmos, not a chaos. The universe IS doing what it wants to do. It is calling forth the kind of novelty that it wants to call forth. The fact that we cannot understand it’s purpose is our problem. You know? And we are not its victims. The- In these short epochs, what is happening is something that I think can only be understood by uhm, having recourse to the metaphors of alchemy. Alchemy and modern science; These are anticipations of taking control of energy. Of binding as James Joyce says, “All space in a nutshell.” Its where- what the concrescence is, is the flowing together of everything in a higher spatial dimension.
We mentioned last night the saying in the I Ching – if this sacrifice is cor- the person who correctly understands this sacrifice can hold the universe in the palm of their hand like a spinning marble. 54:46 This is absolutely true. It’s a statement of physics. It is not a metaphor, and analogy or anything else. It is that reality is being knitted together, into a spinning marble. Everything but that spinning marble is an illusion. Uhm, it has many reflections in linear history, which is like the shadow cast into three dimensional space time, by this higher dimensional reality. It is the telos at the end of time. Uhh, its modern manifestation is the flying saucer. The flying saucer haunts time like a ghost. It only exists at the end of the historical process, yet it is somehow co-present spread throughout the historical process. It is uhm, the proof that the apocalyptic moment exists.
Another metaphor for this is concrescence, this spinning marble is uh, the holy grail, or the philosophers stone. The philosophers stone is an object which is made out of mind. It has, [it’s called the] one gloss on it was it was called the sophic hydrolith. The uhh, the water thought stone. It is something which has the quality of mind and matter. And this is what the human function is, I think, is through technos to eliminate the distinction between mind and matter, to free us into the imagination. That’s where we’re going when the novelty wave runs to zero and we are released into this trans-historical space. It is the imagination and it will not be miraculous. It will be created by us, through us, through a number of uh, disciplines, technologies, ideas, and innate abilities that we cannot currently hope to do more than glimpse, because we are so far back in the historical continuum from where this thing is going to happen in 2012. So basically, uh, this is a funny explanation of almost everything.
They say when you create a funny explanation of almost everything, you have to be careful that you don’t unexplain a whole bunch of things, and I don’t think this unexplains too much because it is uhm, it is not an extension of a current paradigm. In other words it is not physics, it says nothing about particle physics or quantum mechanics or anything that- it talks about time, which is not matter. We have been obsessed with matter for millennia, and thought of time as, just as something passing by, couldn’t really get a handle on it. But uh, maturity will mean getting a handle on it. And everything I’ve said about the historical process and how puzzling it is is true in our own lives. For instance, you may have noticed that every day is sort of like every other day and yet every day is different. This is this fractal nature of things working, and there are days of great advance but they are embedded in this larger matrix of a pretty state situation. I studied with West Churchman who was a futurist, and he used to like to say that most of the future is already present in the present. And uh, its this kind of idea so uhm..
What I was able to do with this I-Ching wave and what I offer as the uh proof or at least the uhm the place where pressure should be put on the theory if we want to falsify it is uh- We wrote a computer program which very rapidly sorts through the wave on many levels, and will draw the graph of novelty for any point in time, and it will draw it on different scales, like uh- Say you were interested in the French Revolution, 1789. We can throw a picture up on the screen which shows you 1788, 89, and 90. And you can then ask yourself “Does this line fulfill MY intuition of how a novelty curve descriptive of the French Revolution should look?” Suppose you’re a specialist, you’re interested only in the assignation of Marat, okay.. Then we can look at the 19 days in 1789 surrounding his assassination on the 20th of July, and so forth. But where it is really interesting is in application to our own lives. And there then, you have a personal body of information that you can try against the wave, to see if in fact it fits your intuition of how your life should work.
There are a couple of people here who have counselled with me one on one, where we’ve actually looked at their life and then on into the future. It goes right on into the future to 2012, and of course 2012 is just my choice after a lot of reflection I chose that as the apocalyptic zero date. The program is set up so early in the program you can enter any apocalyptic zero date. And then you search the best fit. And the way I use it is I like to go to the scale where there is 19 years on the screen or I mean 3 years on the screen or even 200 years on the screen, and then I’ll go way back and then it has a continue function and I just fly over the mountains of time. And when I see a steep valley I dive into it, and blow up the fractal landscape and then the program has a function called “Near” which is a historical data file and you can just hit a button and it will tell you uh- Ascension of Artaxerxes, 514 B.C.
There it is, look! His son was an idiot but then he came on and the wave it fits, it works, it fits! It’s all clear! So it’s a way of modeling history, and If I could contort it into a video game my life would be much easier. [Laughter].
1:01:30s – 2:05:15 is peer review questions and dialogue.
Self-maintaining, over quite a long period of time until then its overcome and it is in this period that I mentioned this morning that all of these things happen. Now let me demonstrate some of the commands within the program. These are the position numbers of the wave here, and as I mentioned to Francis, we could take those position numbers, and if you have a copy of the invisible landscape you could look at the drawing of the wave in there and derive this set of hexagrams that would give you feeling toned rather than mathematical information about what’s going on. Anyway, here are some of the commands.
Question mark and one of these numbers, such as, for instance 157, gives you the absolute value is 308 righ there. So this trough is riding along at about the 300 level. Okay now, if we query D 157 we’re asking a different question about this point and the answer is the 11th day of the 3rd month of 533 B.C. Is right there so- and I through long experience happen to know that these blips are 11 years long so I’ll just save us the trouble and tell you that that flat area there runs then, uh, from the 11th day of the third month from early in 533 B.C. to uh, let’s see, we substract.. to 511 B.C. Right in here. Now when I query 158 which is in there, with the command “n” which stands for near, “n1-5-7”, lets make it 1-5-7, it now goes to the history file and it searches.
(Female Peer) – “And you programmed all this?”
Terence – Yes that’s just a chore to enter a huge bunch of historical data. I used the uh, London – Tape cuts off.
-works of art, political acytivity, migrations, religions, artistic motifs, all that stuff.
Kay, what have we got. Okay, if minus 540 was the restoration of cestatus? Deuteronomy is being worked uh, 539 is the fall of the Babylonian empire. Here at 532 Pythagoras flourishes according to Apollodorus, uhm- And in that same period all these other things were happening. C is the continue function, it gives you more data. What it does is it blots out the nearest date. It prints in reverse the nearest date and then it prints all the other stuff around it. Now it’s scrolling up more okay.
Pythagoras, Persian conquest of Egypt, birth of Aeschylus, uhh Buddha, Lao Tzu uhm- Ezekiel will scroll up next and so forth. So it is uh, or is it,
confirming that this deep trough is in fact reflective of an incident of novelty?
Now if we hit uhm, quit, we just go back to the beginning and we can look something else. Not rub 0, run zero.
Although rubbing 0 might be more interesting. Okay and again the default date, and what I want to show you now is uhm, the waves version of the 20th century. Essentially, let’s just start with uh, well lets enter the Hiroshime date which is the 5th day of the 8th month of the 1945. And let’s look at this situation on the 200-year level. I promise you this will end at three o’clock. And, yeah I don’t know where’s the sun coming from. Is that better?
Is that good? Okay. Now.
The entirety of time from 1945, in other words, the 67 year period in which all of the historical themes will be recapitulated is contained in this center section and as you see its almost a flat line. All that’s there is like a tiny pimple, all that lies between us and this completion that we are so hot for, is portrayed at this scale, as just the tiniest uh, energy barrier. That’s why I think we can feel it so eminently. But remember that because the wave is fractal also lying, that this is the same picture if we think of this as 4,000- as the 4,306 years preceding the apocalypse, er- preceding the whatchamacallit. So uh, all of that time period since 2300 B.C. has been imbued with this sense of the eminence of the transcendence, the transcendent. And that is what has given this period of time its peculiar character.
The bomb is uh, right there. The top of the pimple is early January 1967, and that is where if you’ll recall what was going on at the time, that’s where the concatenation of the struggle of the opposites reached its most intense point. That’s where LSD was a mass phenomenon, when the hippie phenomenon was in the quintessence of the 60’s is spring-summer 1967, that’s the summer of love. 12 months later we were in the streets fighting the police and so forth. So it was a brief, brief moment. We have no come off that uh, that uh, high point and we’re moving along now a kind of uh, prenylated surface, where there are many dips and many rises but the sum total of what’s happening is that we’re oscillating around a mean. And I certainly, that for me describes the 1970’s. It was much oscillation around a mean and many people found that very ideological corrosive because they expected the continuous deep descent of ever faster into novelty that they had experience in the 60’s, and the fact of the matter is it just isn’t happening. Now –
Male Peer - Was not 67 also the year that Mao released the red guard?
Terence – That’s right, the whole red guard phenomenon in China, all of these things were global phenomenon.
Male Peer – sort of the opposite to the summer of love.
Terence – Right, although these things uh, certainly represented chaos forces each in the society in which they were happening. Now, the my reading of it is is that at 2012 the wave disappears, the reason the graph is shown as ascending rapidly into entropy is because the computer is stupid and it wraps it around, and connects it to the beginning of the wave. But you should view this last one as simply the blank unknown, okay? We know not about that. Now I want to change the date of interest and uh, let’s look at 1-1-1-9-8-5. In other words, the 1st of January this year, and let’s look at it at a level which will give us uh, 3- approximately 3 years on the screen. I say approximately because what is really being given on the screen are harmonic resonant increments of the other calendrical system that I have lined- the one that uses the 384 day year, not the 365 and ¼ day year.
So what we’re really seeing is 3 of these lunar years, these thirteen month lunar years on the screen. So we’ll see this will be ’84 into ’85 here. It will pass into the future approximately mid-screen. Oh yeah, I remember this.
This is uh, here is the campaign, here is the election, here is the inauguration, and here are we. Well, if you, we are down on, we are in a deeper more novel situation. This definitely was a long period in which everything was held in stasis, and then the, the uh, uh, party of the right uh gained ascendancy at least on this continent, and you see this happening.
Now let’s see, you see this line here at 228 is uh, 16-7, the 16th of July 1985 is right there. So we are in this small period here coming down off this peak, I can get it up in more detail, let’s see, change the date of interest, no. Yes, change the date of interest to the present, what is today? The 14th. The 14th day, January- February- March- April- of the fourth month.
After years of doing this..
And I’m going to show it al- So that we only have 19 days on the screen.
So this is like a uh, my notion of a preview of the next 6 weeks or so, we can just look ‘til we’re bored.
Well that period before the election was long, it was more than a year in length, uh.
Yes, like, remember how I said we were moving through, that we had just moved through the period of the dark ages and the barbarian invasions when learning died out in Europe and they thought that the circumference of a circle was twice its diameter and all this stuff. Well, that is that is that same plateau and we are now slightly beyond it, but only at the beginning of the proto-mediaeval period. I mean we’ve reached approximately A.D. 800 which is of course the coronation of Charlemagne, and the inauguration of the Carolingian Kingdoms, which really do end the dark ages, although where this is happening I’m not sure, maybe in Brazil. Oh, now what have got, oh yes! The 10th, 289 or 288. It was the 11th, that was uh, did I fly in from Hawaii? Was it the 11th? Well we’re all in it together, how was the 11th for you? Judging by this see, its giving a very clear indication that in all of those 19 days unambiguously the 11th was uh, the clincher. Thursday.
So you know it’s not doing sleight of hand, if you didn’t have a big 11th then this is wrong for you. Well its lunar so it tends to keep track of that kind of thing. Now, is a deep decent in to novelty. Now we’re moving along this thing. We are in this trough right here, and I might say that because I have assumed the end date to be in 2012 even uh, small drops in novelty like that carry the entire planet into a new level. We are now every day there is we are going more and more into it. There are very few backwashes, enough to wipe out the impression that just every day novelty is intensifying and we’re thinking it to it.
Let’s see if that was the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th… must be 291.. [2:20:00]
Yes, had we given it at the very beginning of the program when it asked “End date:” we could give it any date. We could give it José’s date, uhmm..
Do you want to see José’s date with my end date setting?
Oh okay, uhmm.
Let’s see José’s end date it the 16th of August 19-
No, but the date you’re interested in is? Yes, It’s the 16th day of the 8th month, no ’87, ’87.
[Peer] Whats curious to me Terence, is does this also take into account uh, like the southern hemisphere?
[Terence] Yes, I believe so. I think its hyper-dimensional. Its uh, you mean because of the international date line and all that?
[Peer] The history you’ll have stashed in there will be northern … history
[Terence] Oh yeah, although so much of the southern hemisphere is ocean, and so recently colonized that there is an absence of historical uh.. It’s the blank end of the wave you see. It’s the blank…
But we’ve no record, we can only work with the data we have. That’s a data dark dimension, for example these African empires and stuff.
[Peer] So we still have northern hemisphere chauvinism. [Laughter]
[Terence] Well we need to recover the secret history of kiwi land. [Laughter]
Oh no I know! I am sympathetic. The marsupials where do they fall into all this. [Laughter]
Okay, level 5. Okay now we’ll see José’s date embedded in the three years, the three lunar years of time, around it. There’ll be 3 lunar years of 13 months portrayed on the screen. His date will fall somewhere on the second year, as close as the computer can look at it. Okay now see this does not support his contention, because what we have here is this situation of oscillation around a mean. It goes up, it goes down, it goes up, it goes down, but after three years of this, it is in fact exactly where it started out from. Now let’s get the dates on this.
Which means nothing as far as the theory is concerned. What this screen is saying is that from uh, the 16th of July 1985 until uh the 10th of September 1988 you might as well go fishing. Because it’s all uhh, it all amounts to very little you see.
If we put, if we enter José’s date as the end date and then look at another date. Oh okay, uhmm.. Now I think that requires a cue ... here. Okay now it asks zero date, we’re going to enter José’s date, 16th day, the 8th month 1-9-8-7.
Now what date should we look at to test José’s theories. The bomb. I think the bomb is the good concentrated clearly major event that we can all agree is some kind of a water shed.
Enter the day you wish to look at it. What is it uh, 5, August, 1-9-4-5. Okay, now we’ll, let’s look at it uhh, if we look at it on the 200 year scale it will just say it’ll close to the end because this date is even earlier than the previous date. Let’s look at it on the 3 year scale, 3 lunar years. It always tells you you are 15,351 days from the end. A nice little touch there. Yeah, shopping days.
[Peer] How much will you consume.
[Terence] Whooa, now where is it? It’s at position 144, okay look! Look whats happening a long flat totally steady state at this level of clarification, and then bingo, and a long, long slide. That we could by well- well- before i change the screen does everyone understand the interpretation. That that moment clearly initiated a long plunge into novelty. Oh you mean where is the date? It says it’s at 144, 5-8-45 is at position 144. Right at the falling. Now I’m going to shift the screen by using the command continue and we’ll see how long this descent into novelty went on before it was overwhelmed by the uh, entropic backwash.
Okay, there it is. It’s this thing here. D-157. Until uh, early November 1947, now my guess would be that’s an election day. 6-11-47, wouldn’t someone have been inaugurated in January ’48.
[Peer] Elected in ‘48, Inaugurated in January ‘49
[Terence] Oh I see so it’s not an election date. It’s something, by this version, and this long trough it’s like this long flow into novelty, which ends in a wide trough and then is mitigated and slides off. So if we use José’s end date we get pretty good agreement with that particular piece of data, now let’s see. We have two minutes shall we test him on the whole history thing? How can we do that, Oh I know, now let’s see.
[Peer] You should … continue with this cause it sounds like everybody’s interested.
[Terence] January 1 minus 6 minus eight hundred, let’s give ourselves some room here, minus 800, yes, yes, at the two hundred year level. Well I just want to get way back in B.C. I just want to get way in front of that trough, then we’ll cruise forward in the wave until we find the trough, then we’ll get the date then we’ll…
With my setting. Well there will only be uhh, yes, whatever the difference between ‘87 and 2012 is. So he’ll hit the trough too.
[Laughter] about surviving the timewave.
The continue function pushes it up one shingle, these things are called. Pushes it up on shingle. We’re looking for the trough, I hope we didn’t miss it. There it is, okay now by José’s applying mine to his there’s the most, the moment of greatest creative advance, concentrated creative advance in human history was from, yes, from uhhhh, December 559 B.C. until December 547 so what would right in the middle of that be about 553. So let’s query near with his date on 158, and 158, and it goes to the history file and.. this really seems like magic to people who don’t know how computers .. they say, “Is all of human history in the computer? What?” All we typed in, friends.
Sure, we… From Hildegard Von Bingen to Judy Chicago, it’s all…
Okay Cyrus the 2nd of Persia defeats Eumenides. The Persian empire, oh he establishes the Persian empire, the great counter-foil to roman power which held Zoroastrianism is made the official religion, in 545 Persia conquered Assyria, restoration of Cestada? So here we come then into my thing, oh look he got Zoroastor, although my typist apparently didn’t know who Zoroastor was, uhmm…
Anyway, I think that’s enough of that…It’s 3:00. I’ll briefly entertain questions, you, I’m sure now I hope get more of the jist of some of what was said this morning. Because I think, the program really makes it accessible to people. And you can spend hours cruising these hills and valleys and dipping into the thing, if that’s the kind of thing that interests you. I’m a real bug about history, I think that people who don’t know history are amnesiac. And that uh, you know, we would all, there’s nothing more important, really in all these forms of self-cultivation and development, than to read history. You know it’s not cliché that those that don’t know it are doomed to repeat it. It’s true in individual lives as well, and it’s the story of who you are, and how you got here, and if you don’t know it, it’s kind of a strange lacuna, in your uh, in your knowledge.
[Peer] … correlate I-Ching with the DNA codings?
Well, no, I did that, that’s not very interesting to me, it’s been done by a number of people and I had a scheme for doing it and uh it just didn’t tell me anything. Once I knew what hexagram was lysine and what hexagram was L-alanine, I didn’t know enough about lysine and L-alanine to know really what to do with that information. Uhm, this session will go I believe until about 5:00. Are there any questions about this morning or is anyone burning to take up any of that again? If not I’ll go on to uh, something related but different. Related but different.
Okay well, I guess what I’ll talk about is uhh, uhh…. Just trains of thought that I see present in the world, that I think will eventually be seen to flow together and to provide facets of this question “What is the nature of the transformation and what are the factors that go into it?” I mean obviously all fronts of human knowledge are developing at a tremendous rate but uh, certain strains of thought claim for themselves a kind of primacy, and I know the new age, whatever that nebulous term means, it has a connotation sometimes of an elite with an answer that is only- all that’s holding back the world is that this answer is frustrated in making its appearance, and I don’t really hold with that I think that by and large the new age is a fairly minor phenomenon. It’s basically the search for a way to get high without drugs, a way to uh advance yourself without putting yourself on the line, you know, just anything is better than facing 25mg of psilocybin and uh, while all these things have merit, they don’t seem to have transformative merit; In the sense that the great decade of new age thinking which was the 1970’s is certainly one of the most stagnant decades that we’ve seen in a long long time.
However, there are strains and things going on and I sort of wanted to construct a mandala, not very seriously... But a mandala of four human concerns that lead to what I will, in my short hand, call the flying saucer, which is this concrescent alchemical union of humanness and otherness and humanness and technology that is uh, to come, I think, and inevitable I think we all are articulating the inevitability of something. And this game we play of prophesying the moment..
You know William Blake said there is only one moment in all eternity, and Satan’s Watch-Fiends search through all eternity which is the way into God’s Creation, but they can never find it, it is, the secret of the moment is well kept. Uhm..
These fields, or these endeavors I’m going to called Psychedelics, Cybernetics, Space and Feminism. But each one of them over-flows it’s label, and becomes many other things. I mean, in other words if someone said but “What about politics?” I would say well, that’s a subset of feminism, and what about something else that goes somewhere else…
So let me, there’s no particular order in which to take them... I think maybe first I’ll talk about cybernetics because that’s a good transition from this little beast.
Cybernetics is this epigenetic transformation of information going wild. It begins with uh, the notion of writing and number and develops up to the point where now 9 million computers a month are being connected into the global information grid, and uh, there are only 9 billion neurons in the human brain. There is a school of self-organizational theory which holds that new properties simply emerge through the connecting up of large numbers of elements, and that once you pass a critical level whole new properties begin to emerge from what were before fairly well understood matrices and arrays.
The cybernetic thing is viewed as uh, invasive, and masculine and technological, but I think that’s only because we’re seeing it in its most raw emergent phase, we’re actually seeing adding machines changed into these cybernetic devices. All the computers in the world are digital analyzers. We have yet to have an analytical machine, and this is coming. And what we have so far are large adding machines, and when we get the so called “thinking machine” and its coming, it’s going to have an enormous impact on our self-image and our society. You can imagine the impact that Darwinism had on the 19th century conception of man where, you know, the notion that man was descended from the primate line was just intolerable. Well, the notion that machines can think, and you’ve noticed it used to be very fashionable for cyberneticians to write articles saying “The thinking machine is a complete misunderstanding of cybernetics. Utterly impossible. Machines don’t think,” That voice has grown quiet in the light of what has been learned about cybernetics and linguistics in the last 5 years, particularly in the last 18 months. And it now seems very reasonable that this goal is within reach, an actual simulacrum of the human mind and what that will mean is very hard to gauge. I had a mushroom trip recently in which the aphorisms arose “To design computers is to be designed by computers.” And I saw very clearly that the keyboard is entirely an illusion, a convenience, and that the keyboard could be made to disappear very quickly and then you would not truly and clearly perceive where the interface stopped.
And people who spend hours and hours working on computers admit that this happens, and there’s a meshing and you’re part of the circuitry. I think what holds this back from becoming any even more noticeable phenomenon is just our willingness to materialize these cybernetics objects as furniture. But the day is coming you know, when you will be able to reach the library of congress by tapping a certain tooth with your tongue. And that is simply what the masculine engineering mentality is thinking about. Obviously the feminine matrix which supports these kinds of imaginative constructs exists already, and it’s simply that the engineers are catching up to these notions of integrated intuition and field perception and that sort of thing.
To me the computer not the computer so much as the cybernetic network is actually a feminizing force, it’s like hardwiring the unconscious so that these oceans of information that beat against the human uh mind are not abstracted, not contained in libraries but made ubiquitous throughout , you know, consciousness and actually that we are beginning to create a, an extra genetic foundation of human understanding which will always be there in the form of these large data banks. And as we learn to swim in this sea of information, the character of our understanding is going to change radically. We are all confined by ignorance of all sorts, basically ignorance of simply the facts of the matter. Leave alone what theories might organize the facts of the matter. The other thing is the human machine interface is becoming more and more subtle and miniaturized away. And its, it’s possible you know, to imagine a world where you wander naked through Eden, and there appears to be no technology on the planet, because the technology is all in a particular grain of sand lying on a particular beach uhh, in Madagascar. We’ll put it in the southern hemispheres to uh..
[Peer] That’s where it is now!
[Terence] You’re right! The key is to actualize this thing you know.. William Blake said “To see what eternity in a grain of sand, and to put it in there if need be in order for that to happen.” So that is cybernetics.. The transformation of cybernetics into something really exciting I think is going to happen through psychedelics, which is the next of these quadrants of the mandala that I would mention. Psychedlics is uh, totally discounted as a transformative force by the powers that be. It isn’t even, it doesn’t even rate much of a budgeting in the DEA budget. It’s just a dead issue, and ytet I believe, perhaps many of you believe that it is some kind of overlooked factor. Almost of the character of a taboo because it is totally corrosive to all paradigms. It is, it cannot be encompassed. The measure of it cannot be taken, science it useless because it is a phenomenon of individual experience, and uh there is no way that science can get a hold on that, any more than it can get a hold on falling in love. The problem is falling in love has not yet been shown to be completely dependent on a chemical substance, a material molecule, an atomic arrangement in space and time. And uh, the psychedelic thing is the path to the origins, The transformation that we want to see talk place is essentially an ouroboric transformation. A taking of its tail in its mouth, by the snake of time, and this cannot happen unless we’re in contact with our origins.
This is why I think the shamanic uh, strain of the new age mentality is the probably the most enduring, because there is something to be learned from primitive so called primitive pre-literate people who are living in the dream time, who are living in the imagination, and never saw any need for technological constructs, because the constructs of the imagination were so wonderfully satisfying. We glimpsed these constructs uh, with psychedelic drugs and even upon our society with all of its rationalism and all of its reductionism they have a tremendous impact which we respond to with prohibition and coercion and propaganda. I don’t think that they are uh, static in spite of the importance of shamanism. I don’t believe that it is always had the character that it has today. Because the psychedelic experience works with the cultural overlay, works with the contents of your mind, I could never have created the theory I created if I had not known about the I-Ching and DNA and all of these things. And yet the psychedelic intelligence was able to take that information and whip it together into something which was astonishing even to me and yet I had been the source of the information. Psychedelics show the relativity of these various mental dimensions and constructs that we inhabit, and uh to this point I’ve been basically speaking of drugs like mescaline, LSD, that sort of thing …
Possibly although it’s not really a psychedelic, it is a synthetic for sure. What I’m more interested in, and I think that Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas open a way to understand the difference is plant hallucinogens which have existed in living systems for millions, in some cases hundreds of millions of years, and have been taken by human societies for untold millennia. When a person takes a drug the drug takes the person, and so a drug like psilocybin that has been used for thousands and thousands of years has a tremendous morphogenetic field about it, garnered from the experiences of all the people that have taken it that have flowed into it. Uh, these things point the way toward engineering states of mind that we can hardly imagine. The interesting drugs to me are the ones which uhm, occur in plants, have a history of shamanic usage, and mimic brain chemistry in some way. In other words, you’re not interested in a massive disequilibrating intrusion into your brain chemistry... you want something which is almost like what is present but which gives you a massive shift in cognitive apperception without any shift in the perception of how your body is operating. You know, you don’t want it to cause muscle tension, kidney.. all of these things. You want it to touch the mind and all else very lightly. The curious thing about the mushrooms is of course that they seem to have this logos like entity, locked up inside them. A speaking voice, a teaching entelechy, that is somehow concerned to involve you in a personal exchange of information and that point when you reach that level you have totally cast of from uh any of the metaphors that your society has prepared for you to understand that kind of things. It just appears to be delusion and yet it has a very healing and uh, integrating quality for the person who is experiencing it. Perhaps there is a lifeform, long resident on the Earth and so different from us the main problem is one of recognition.
I mean I vacillate between whether the mushroom is you know, whether we really can split off portions of our psyche so completely that we cannot recognize them as parts of ourselves and then they can approach us to teach and torment us. Or whether that’s an unnecessarily breast beating attitude and that it would be much more reasonable to just say there’s no reason to be in awe of the pronouncements of modern science. Modern science knows nothing about the density of life in the universe or the constitution of consciousness or its probability of occurring in any planetary or physical regime other than the one we’re acquainted with. We have no idea how densely life and intelligence is spread through the universe and what the strategies are that have evolved. What I said this morning about uh, taking control of the human form by the act of understanding DNA which got a ripple from people, I’m sure that this is inevitable and I’m sure it is inevitable for every species which passes through that narrow neck, because knowledge is used and applied. I mean there may be Zen like cultures that find out these things and turn and move away from them. Perhaps that’s what the Maya were about, but pastoral and romantic as the vision of the Maya turning away from technocratic civilization is still if you take evolution seriously the goal of evolution is to keep the options open. Many- most (creatures?) preachers –Tape cuts out 2:40:34-:44 –scended to the tropical veldt and grass lands, we migrated across the deserts of a near and middle east which were not so desertous at that time but we also were able to cross the Himalayas, we exist in the arctic, in the rainforest, we exist at the level of the Witoto or the modern new Yorker. We are adaptable and this is what’s kept our options open, and this is what I think we have to uh, recognize and conserve, and the psychedelics do that. The psychedelics are to my mind, although people have actually argued this with me, although it seemed really incontrovertible to me, that they are deconditioning agents, that they make you question what Marxist Mormon, whatever you are, if you take psychedelics you will ask questions that cannot be answered in the paradigm in which you were brought up. And that’s important because all of these social systems are only means to the next level of ascent. What we see in the Soviet Union today is a hang-up, they have an ideology which allows no means to the next level of ascent. They are caught forever in the Hegelian dialectic, there’s no escape its uh, its hopeless and uh, so they have occupied an evolutionary niche very successfully but now what are they going to do. And every society is confronted with this because every society erects institutions which try to freeze the historical process. It’s almost as though we are continuously calcifying and yet we must not let that happen. I think it was Ludwig Von Bertlanffy who said “Human beings are not machines, but in every situation given their own will they will behave like machines, falling to routines and just cease to examine what is in front of them.”
So I think that the psychedelic thing is very important. I’m sorry to see its … clouded it’s a murky picture. I don’t see, I think people should do more of it, and reflect and that there should be much less missionary work. That the goal is not to get as many people stoned as possible. The goal is to make sure that everybody who gets stoned gets really stoned. So that we don’t have a bunch of confusion about just exactly what we’re talking about. I mean I meet people who the only drug they have ever taken is MDMA. [2:54:34]
And we’re trying to have a conversation about the nature of psychedelic cosmology? It’s weird sledding, you know.
Okay, cybernetics, psychedelics, space is the other one. And I see all of these things as just completely one thing, and I, as I said this morning, I think the difference between José and I, one difference is that he is interested in creating a planetary consciousness, out of the surrender of the ego, of individuals to this higher vision of what should happen. I think that there already is this tra- super-human organism, and that our freedom is largely illusory. We are all moving to the tune of what Feud called the super-ego, and I what I call the overmind because I don’t like the notion of superego, is a little torch light parade and that sort of thing. But the overmind, the notion of simply a control mechanism, which is uh, almost cybernetic, but which is leading everything forward and actually is orchestrating what is happening, so that all of these human groups, which aspire to hegemony, you know wall street, the communist party, the Zionist, you name it. They are all frustrated, because there seems to be an invisible, impeding force against their machinations, and their vision of how things should be. And no matter how many guns they pile up, no matter how much propaganda they churn out the historical continuum has a way of stabbing them in the back, and surprising them endlessly, because they are fools, playing with a master which is the super-ego.
And uh until this en- what we as individuals can do, is help that process by not participating of the projections of anxiety that these various factions are pushing, that arise out of their frustration with their inability to get a handle on things. I don’t want them to run things, Wall street or the communist party or anybody. I think that it works very nicely that it is run invisibly from the unconscious. I think it was Charles fort who said uh, there comes steam engine time, and then there will be steam engines. And uh, and that is what is happening with modern technology, even to the point of the atomic bomb, I am willing to explore the notion that the atomic bomb has been a wonderful force for cohering people’s minds around the question of planetary survival. That if we had come out of World War II with aerial bombing and mustard gas but nothing quite horrifying enough to shock people awake. I think it’s remarkable that we have lived in such a stable world since 1945. That it has never- only once used against a human population. And my god think of the hatred and the loathing that is loose on this planet, and yet the bomb has sobered people, and every political movement for social cohesion and enlightenment that is post 1945 has built its rhetoric around the bomb. The peace movement to some degree, the hippies, the existential response of the beat generation. All of these rich cultural phenomena have been reflections on the bomb. So the bomb is good, the thing that is important is not to use it. Then, then it becomes a problem.
I think that this thing that has broken about nuclear winter is very interesting. But uh, capitalism is very interested in making money. A decimated earth is not good real estate. And I think that the nuclear winter issue is the beginning of the end of the nuclear uh, log jam, that because the soviet academy of science has conducted an independent study, they reached the same conclusion. The people that were skeptical of Sagan and the others they researched it, they reached the same conclusion. War is obsolete, and this is actually understood by the people who frighten us the most. I really think that they have come to see it as a bad deal, and no money maker. And in that case, uh, there will be change. The novelty wave is effecting all of these institutions. The strategies are changing at the very topmost level, because it’s no good to have a no-win situation.
So, and as far as the space travel thing is concerned, I really think that inner and outer space are the same thing, and that we will come to understand this through research on the psychedelics. That when the Ayahusacero in the Peruvians amazon tells you he goes to the milky way, he is not really kidding. You see no matter how radical we are in our assumptions, it’s very hard to not assume that we don’t at least have 95% of the picture. I mean for instance, we believe in things like elementary particles and all- well these things may be no closer to the mark than the notion that the world was created when the Ant King got out of his canoe at the second waterfall to take a leak. You know?
These may be preposterous notions. The polite approach that is usually taken is to say well “everybody has a bit of the piece. The Mayans had a bit of the piece, the Buddhists they know something, those Sufis they’re pretty sharp.” The mushroom suggested that nobody has a piece of the action. That it’s all wrong, that it’s all completely 100 percent bullshit. You see? And that’s a very cleansing notion to begin to explore. To return to ground zero. And start out with- how radical a deconstruction can we carry on with this world. What is the real nature of language? This is what all of these fine theories leave out. It’s what mine leaves out, it’s what José’s leaves out. It’s that you know, what is this phenomenon called language? Where by making little mouth noises, we coax roughly congruent into each other’s brains, and then gabble joyfully over this achievement, you know? Reality is not made of electrons or quarks or any of these things. It is clearly made of language. And all of these abstractions, the faithless myths we mentioned this morning, are totally naïve about language. They just view it like a fish views water. You know? It’s good to speak clearly, that’s important., but other than that they haven’t a word to say about the epistemic basis of language. Science is most guilty of this because science is a very old institution. Consequently, its most fundamental assumptions are, were carried out in the atmosphere of greatest epistemological naïveté. [3:03:15] You know, things like that the universe is knowable at all. Things like that induction is a good way to think. Induction is when you say well if it happened ten times it’ll probably happen the eleventh time. Probably. There’s a loaded word, that science is very big on.
So the real revolution is to come, I think, in language and the way in which psychedelics and feminism and cybernetics all come together is that we each need to carry out a very basic analysis of what we think about language and what we think it is and what we think it does. For instance, I’ve noticed and uhm, this may be because I’m male, but I’ve noticed that there are all these things flying around which can’t be discussed. And I finally realized that they’re emotions, is what they are. And that we have a very very limited vocabulary of emotions. We experience an amazingly rich interior gradient of shifting modalities, of which we never can say- I mean we say “I like you”, “I don’t like you”, “I’m uncomfortable”, “I really feel weird”. I mean this is just like, y’know, petroglyphs about emotion. Ralph Metzner and I have have been playing with the idea that there is a- and certainly Robert Graves and other people have preceded us in this but that there is hardwired into the human brain a kind of “urrr” language, that is older than agreed upon dictionaries, that is in fact to hear it is to understand it. The problem is that the only thing it can convey are emotions. But the emotions that it can convey are so finely graded and so rich in their adumbrations and resonances that it’s like a form of magic, and we call this glossolalia and classify it is as a sub-psychotic or near-psychotic phenomenon, brain origin-uncertain, cultural use-uncertain, so forth and so on.
Ralph and I have even toyed with the notion of holding weekends where we would insist that every rationally apprehendable utterance be followed by an utterance which was not rationally apprehendable. The non-rationally apprehendable utterance would uh, anchor you in the emotional gestalt of the moment. And that would be like the carrier wave- Do it? I thought you’d never ask!
Terence McKenna glossolalializes.
As does peer member.
[Audience member] I’ve had a conversation like this with a Sufi in the Sudan, and it was amazing to me because there was a third person there who could translate exactly what he said”
[Terence] What is being conveyed once you get used to it is the anchoring and the gestaltum of the emotional moment.
[Peer member] And this man was reading my emotions to a finer level, the one who was translating. I mean I recognized what he was saying but it was accurate, the mood that ….? The Sufi made.
[Terence] That’s right. You discover these things on psychedelics, but the are clearly subject to creodization, in other words to being learned. That you can lay down these pathways in the brain and its marvelous that-
[Peer] I think there’s some mental language learning anyway. This is how the child learns and how you learn when you’re in a foreign country and you don’t study from a book. You understand long before you can speak and you don’t know what’s being said but you can come to understand. And the child is always spoken to in turn about anything? Of its verbal comprehension.
[Terence] So we need to learn to be able to create these linguistic constructs, which are not meaning-tied but which communicate. One of the most interesting things about psilocybin is that on high doses, a synesthesia takes place, where, when you articulate in this emotional glossolalia you actually can condense objects which are beheld, in other words you take control of the mechanism of the hallucinations and you create these hyper-
these toy-like, jewel-like self-transforming grammatical complexes. You’re speaking some kind of translinguistic language which is beheld, rather than heard. And you know Philo Judeus talked about the more perfect logos. And he said the more perfect logos will be beheld, rather than heard, but it will pass from being heard to be being beheld without ever crossing a discernable barrier of transition. And I’ve experienced this, and I think other people have, where you hear the glossolalia like wave, and it comes closer and closer and then at a certain point it is manifest as a topology and I think many of the psychedelics communicate in these visual languages, after taking ayahuasca you know, and sitting with these people in darkened huts in the amazon, after hours and hours of it, your eyes are just bugging out of your head. You just have spent hours looking and looking and looking and drinking in this visual data, and uh, this is how really dense information is conveyed. Not a linear of string of little mouth noises where the brain rushes to the conventionalized dictionary and then grimly reconstructs the intention provided nothing too finely sculpted was intended.
And I think what’s happening with the monitoring of brain states- Ralph Abraham who was here this morning is the director of the visual mathematics project at Santa Cruz. Glossolalia, language, drugs, cybernetics, all of these things are the means to transforming the human self-image. It’s almost impossible to imagine what a society would be like where this glossolalia held sway equal with speech. I think the pre-celtic- or I mean the Celts of Ireland may have been into this, because they rarely spoke without punning, and you were expected to pun on multiple levels. And the pun, far from being trivial, is a step toward this hyper-dimensional linguistic construct. It’s almost like a fractal. A pun is a word with one and a half dimensions, or more, in it. And uh, it resonates. This historical, this vision that I conveyed this morning of the co-presence of resonant epochs in time, could only be conveyed if someone could transform their language in such a way that it was implicit that this was happening and we were all noticing it and experiencing it the way we are noticing and experience the greenness of this tree, the fall of the sunlight through the leaves. We could also also be experiencing the ebb and flow of midd- Mesopotamian empires and Hellenistic religions and so forth and so on.
The fourth quadrant of the mandala, and then I will open it up for questions, which I hope there are many, is feminism, and I feel very trepidatious, wading into this, but never the less, I really feel in some ways it is the most important of all of these, because it is uh, going to work the change that is going to go on between us as individuals. What is happening I think is nothing less than an awareness that the most appropriate way to talk about the entelechy of this, on this planet is to call it her, and to admit that the goddess worship which was repressed by the rise of the patriarchal religions is now, its return is necessary. I don’t want to say that the patriarchal interlude which lasted two-three thousand years was not necessary, I think it was necessary, but the fear will go out of the bomb when the hand that rocks the cradle holds the bomb, essentially. And all the bad little boys of the 19th and the 20th century who have been fiddling with their chemistry sets, now need to recognize that this all has to be handed over, to cooler heads who have not been scarred by the historical experience, in the way that I think masculine intelligence has been.
And uhm, psychedelics I count as a feminizing force, because they introduce you to the unconscious. Cybernetics I count as a feminizing force because it hardwires that same unconsciousness and raises it into inaccessibility. No longer are these things the theoretical constructs of psychologists, they become, you know, living realities in our lives. And uh, the transformation of the species into a, into a space-faring, whether interior or exterior or something else kind of space is only going to happen if this feminizing influence can now take the heat off the technological processes which were necessary to move us here. And feminism really, it has nothing to do with gender, it’s just an attitude toward being in the world that is open I think basically to the translingustic. If you had to stirp it of all biological notions of what feminism is, feminism is a kind of mentality which operates exterior to language. And there’s no, it’s like, the Nogual and the Tonal, theres no unifying those two things, or encompassing one with the other, it just is not like that. These things are uhm, alchemical opposites and as such the only way they can be unified is in a kind of coincidentia oppositorum. A union of opposites where the identity of each element is still fully expressed. This is not a rational concept, its like being in two places at once time. Nevertheless, it is a concept that is psychologically and experientially very, very valuable. And I see, as I say, all of these forms of self-exploration and technological expansion and even space,I mean if the earth is our mother then certainly outer space is our dark-blue great grandmother.
So I sort of give this as a background on what was said this morning, because I, I wanted to convey the one thing I have to convey which is uniquely mine which is this strange wave, and that’s mine. That its difficult to understand and its importance is open to debate. It may be trivial in the extreme. This afternoon, I sort of wanted to speak as a member of the culture who is trying to figure it out like everybody else using the same data banks that everybody else is using, and I- it was in Hawaii that I thought about this a lot, and I think these are the four pillars or the four quadrants of the mandala that lead into the coincidentia oppositorum which is the flying saucer, the exteriorized soul of the human race and the end of time, the transcendent object that will carry us all completely out of these concerns and into an entirely different set of concerns of which we have not the faintest inkling. So are there questions, or debates? In the back, Don.
[Peer Review for remainder of lecture-]
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