You are on page 1of 11

Terence McKenna Title: Terence McKenna's Final Earthbound Interview File Information: Director John Hazard interviews Terence

McKenna about Novelty Theory File Location: Total Video Time [01:03:38] McKenna: Well, Novelty Theory is something I've been working on since the early 70s, inspired by psychedelic plant experiences in the Amazon. To attempt to look at time and really deconstruct it and attempt to understand what it is. And thi s has been a wild intellectual ride leading to some pretty easily stated conclus ions. One is that novelty, which is my term for complexity, or advanced organisation nov elty increases as we approach the present moment. The universe you and I are liv ing in is a far more novel and complicated place than the early universe was. We ll, some people would say, Well that's just a consequence of the unfolding of dev elopmental processes. But, this asks the question, What are development processes? Why should the universe have a preference for order over disorder especially wh en we have something like the second law of thermodynamics which tells us exactl y the opposite? Physicists believe the universe is running down, ultimately, into a state of dis order. But what I see, is everywhere the emergence of more and more complex form s, languages, organisms, technologies; always building on the previously achieve d levels of complexity. So that was one of my insights. Coming out of that insig ht was the further understanding that this process of complexification through t ime is not proceeding at a steady rate. It actually follows a kind of axiomatic curve. In other words, it's happening faster and faster, and this was a revelati on to me because it allowed me, philosophically, to contextualise the human worl d and to understand that human technologies, languages, migrations, art movement s, ideologies, are not something different from nature. They're the same downloa d of process that we see in the movement of continents, the evolution of new spe cies of animals except that these human novel emergent situations are happening mu ch more quickly. So, I see the cosmos, if you will, as a kind novelty producing engine. A kind of machine which produces complexity in all realms: physical, chemical, social, w hatever, and then uses that achieved level of complexity as the platform for fur ther complexity. Well, this explains our present circumstance. It explains the rush toward all fo rms of new technology and social organisation in the new millennium. But you don 't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if the universe is complexif ying faster and faster, an epoch, a time will come when this rate of complexific ation is occurring so rapidly that it will become itself the overwhelming phenom ena in the world of three dimensional space and time and I call this the Omega Poi nt, or the transcendental object at the end of history and I believe it is not tha t far off. That with the emergence of global internet ,a human population of several billio ns, an electronic noosphere, that we are now within the shadow of this transcend ental object at the end of time. Our religions sense it, that's what gives them their apocalyptic intuitions. And I think the ordinary man and women in the stre et sense a kind of built in acceleration to time itself. Well, rather than dismi ssing that, or treating it as psychological perception, or something unique to o ur society, I took it as a basic perception about physics and have built elabora te mathematically defined theories around this idea and then have found, to my a stonishment, incredible congruences with other work.

And somehow it does this through the production of conscio usness. a pure swarm of unassociated electrons. I believe it will happen in 201 2. from the previous systems that had come into existence. th e relationship of the Earth turning to the calender. and the result of this.I'm thinking of the Mayan calender and its curious countdown like quality toward an extremely unique event that the Maya felt would occur in the same timeframe that my own equations predicted even though at the time I was unaware of the May a. and as it does this it becomes somehow more aware. more being-like and less thing-like and. and class boundaries of all sorts. these are still spans of time that when compared to the life of planet are fractions of a percentage. what I mean really is. and energetic domai ns in which change can occur. let me answer in the form of a question. So. d issolution of political. Each one of those more complex phenomena cr ystallised out. and in fact brings it into some kind of a congruent relationship. Even if I'm wrong. . all the thin gs which are symptoms of our passage through time don't seem to be throwing them selves out of kilter. as I do. a billion years ago. is mo re of the same. le t alone chemistry. as I said. We say. You didn't even have atomic systems. in December. the early universe was a pure plasma. as we approach the present. More connectivity occu rs now in a calender year than occurred in a million years. gender. we find ourselves in an ever denser re alm of activity. what's happening over time is that the universe is coordinating a point of view. our religions. coincident with the same events that the Maya placed at the end of their calender. So. complex speciated life. social. what would be the ultim ate state of connectivity. this process is not proceed ing at a steady pace. We are all gathered here at the end game of development processes on this planet we about to become unrecognisable to ourselves as a species. more self-conscious. has pushed us toward this for thousands of years wit hout us awakening to what the (?)demeanor would be. somehow. inter-relationship. what do you really mean about time speeding up? McKenna: Well. which may appear profoundly unrelated. So what we have here is a new model of time based on a very real intuition th at I think most people share. Which lasts longer? A mil lion years in which nothing happens. ever more immersive technologies. really. connectivity. clocks. Consciousness is this integrative function in biology which takes data. whether you believe. or 10 seconds with 50000 events crammed int o it? In other words. molecular chemistry. very slowly. if you will. So how. Well. life. which is. or whether yo u believe it is simply coming soon and fast really doesn't make that much differ ence. Well. an organism coordinates a point of view. and dynami cally balanced planetary ecosystems. For example. or emerged. or of happening? It's when all points are connected to all other points. that we can kn ow the precise moment of this transformation of the world of time. Now we stand close enough to it. that human bei ngs are part of that process. In other words. and that the culmination of that process is now wi thin the van of historical time. it is proceeding faster and faster. JohnH: I am very perplexed when you say that time is speeding up? As far as I ca n tell: such things like crystal oscillators. It's connecting the dots. even if it's 100 years or five hundred yea rs later. things which keep time. our science. and I think that all but the most lumpen amongst us must feel the tug of th e transcendental and the transformative. more and more is happening. Our technologies. and so really what I'm saying is that the universe is getting its act to gether. in a way. The character of time as we approach t he present is that there are more and more physical domains. Somehow this concept of connectivity is intimately linked to the concept of comp lexity. that time is speeding up. It's bringing everything into co-relationship with everything else. time is only experienced by the events which occur within it. the full moon. and I maintain that the early universe had very little going on and c onsequently time moved very. And if you ask the question. So when I say time is speeding up. producing a shrinking globe.

which may seem exotic to American and European audi ences but which is. So by moving from the genetic to the epigenetic realm we have vastly accelerated all k inds of processes. of course. and communication of all sorts. In the Amazon all was chaos and mythic revelation but I knew that you couldn't bring that back as a scientific theory and my bias has always been towards science and out of these many intuitions and revelations I discerned a t hread which was about time. for a bird to change its plumage. it's a very ancient method of divining and predicting the future based on the idea that eve ry moment can be symbolised by a unique ideogram which is somehow its essence. customs. a new kind possibility was born. make connections. evolution on a coral reef and you compare it . Why should an ancient Chinese book of divination hold any insight whatsoever for modern physics? But. so I understand it took you some y ears to. but someho w a day centuries ago. ch ange which is not about genes but which is about languages. so this idea then of a time being a resonance created by other times not immediately before or after it. work it all out? McKenna: Yes. in other words. JohnH: Your description of the process by which you developed the time wave theo ry: I understand. True Hallucination. I pr opose a revolution in physics based on what I know about an ancient Chinese divi nitory system that would seem foolish to me. machines process infor mation. Wel l. that was one of the basic assumptions and then the structure on which this a ll was hung was the I Ching. as familiar to any one in Chinese society as the Declaration of Independence is to us. So. Did you know. it seems unscientif ic. come together to create an inter ference pattern that creates the unique moment. behaviours of human beings. the uncanny thing about the I Ching is that it seems t o work. the fastest changes on this planet of any con sequence were genetic changes. no. W ell. I not only didn't know that. in a way. w riting. sometimes millions of years of evolutionary time. again. And what is the I Ching? Well. let's say. even in the hands of its critics it seems to work. before t he advent of man. So we see. And from photographi . mo dern Europe's rate of change in this domain is thousands of times faster. a progressive acceleration of t he process of creating and maintaining varieties of connectivity. and of course. and do their work at a rate thousands of times faster than any human being can work. Well. It began with a conversation with this Logos entity where it said to me. to the evolution of political ideas in modern Europe. the human beings. And that's wha t I mean by time is speeding up. Epigenetic change reaches its dramatic culmination in speech. Now we appear to be about to move from the strictly human dom ain to the human machine symbioses domain. I read. Sand dunes look like wind in some sense. And so the carriers of epigenetic change . Ah. biologists know that for a fruit fly to add a spur to its leg. centuries in the future. My style of thinking is scientific enough that if I were to say to somebody. Visualise for a moment sand dunes and notice when you look at these sand dunes i n your mind that they look like wind. the sand grains moved about by the wind are like a lower dimensional slice of the wind itself. what a bi zarre idea. obviously.So that's what I mean when I say the universe is speeding up. So let me try out a m etaphor on you which I think makes much more clear what's going on here. With the advent of human beings. What is wind? Wind is a pressure variant phenom ena that fluctuates over time. You know. Changes in the genomes of plants and animals. every day is composed of four other days? And I said. kind of. you need hundreds of thousands. are automatically then the carriers of accelerated novelty. then analyse the situation. m uch in the way that science believes you can explain all nature with 108 element s. And so when you look at. let's say. the ancient Chinese took the position that time itself was made of elements. it's never even occurred to me. using spoken language. of human beings. as in scientific causality. It's called epigenetic change. it seems a cult.

you know. each squirrel. that's God. For five thousan d years we pursued understanding energy and this process ends with thermonuclear explosions in the deserts of the American south-west. We never ever. It moves the genes around in a pattern which i s a lower dimensional slice of the force which created the situation. 64 situations are all the possible potential situations the re are. Well now. less th an a thousand. for sure. you don't use enormous phy sical pressure. it was interested in time. less than 500. You meditate. we know how to do that. considered that notion that we are being pulled. but the fusion of these two viewpoint s is going to give us a complete understanding of the universe of space. some group of people thousands of years ago. So really. And I'll argue this with anybody in the field regardless with how hard core an empiricist they claim themselves to be because. it's a different problem and you bring different tools to bear. what the I Ching is. let's think of genes. and it is not necessarily mystical. we're on the brink of a fusio n of western science with quote. each whale. my belief is that someon e. the bottom l ine is. You consider the situation. Out of 64 types of time. except that we call it mysticism. It's not transparent to a person who has not studied mathematics b ut to a professional mathematician it's utterly trivial. unquote. more than 20. look ed by meditative techniques into the center of their own beings. m atter and energy. Well. time. The eastern mind was not inter ested in energy. Well. eastern mysticism. it left its calling card inside each human being. the people who pursued this understanding of time achieved as sophistica ted a relationship to time as the western relationship to matter expressed throu gh our ability to trigger fusion and fission. [23:40:00] JohnH: I want to go to this step about the strange attractor at the end of histo ry. of the wind ebbing a nd flowing that made it. but in a scient ific context we don't speak like that. And that's what we have here. There's nothing occult about it and I think true understanding can be communicated and formally describ ed with mathematics. let's think of a billion years of evolution. it's not a book of Chinese mysticism. It's not a simple corresponse between 64 and 64 all the processors that occur in DNA can be easily modelled with the 6 line hexagrams that make up the I Ching. an energy field that w as in a constant state of flux and they asked themselves: How many elements are n ecessary to describe this energy field? And the answer was. instead of a wind storm. looked into human organism. the coincidence between the structure of the I Ching and the structure of the DNA is staggering . It's almost as though western science was fascinated by energy. it's a book of molecular d ynamics that sees through biology to the physics that allowed biology to come in to existence. you study history. Out of 64 sub-types of time you can create everything from the coronation of Que en Mary to the resignation of Madonna. more than 10. That's what t he western mind achieved. low and behold. nor were they empiricists.c analysis of dunes you can calculate the speed and duration of the wind that ma de them. Nothing mystical a bout it. So there's a great deal for us to learn in the west from these oriental efforts to understand time. exactly like the I Ching. So. Now somebody could say. the DNA codons are based on a system of 64. on every living organism there is the imprint of the higher dimensional fo rce which made it. they were simply curious. In other w ords. the dune is a lower dimensional slice of time. and human beings. er. And when they finally got it worked out. and they were n ot mystics. We can light the fire tha t burns in the heart of the distant stars. political issues aside. That's the DNA. But at the cent re of the meditative experience they saw an ebb and flow. Inste ad of grains of sand. But whatever it is that made blind matter into whales. as opposed to simply just going on for ever and ever and that's. In any case. Well. somethi . What I did was entirely mathematical. So. looking at it and you don't use atom smashers. let's change the metaphor a little bit. and they spent 5000 years deconstruc ting it. squirrels. you study the movement of water around p ebbles. you look inside yourself.

you know. The process of biological evolution was actually being channelled betwee n high walls. or any sort of myth. but if you take this other point o f view. Recently mathematicians have evolved what they call the notion of attractors. for example. It seemed more as though these pr ocesses were not just wandering across a flat epigene(tic). Or strange attractors in some cases. plus. the time. because it hands on the energy. the idea has been that events are pushed by the causal necessity embedded in the events which preceded them. in other words. if you spoke of nature having a pu rpose. if you asked the question. momen t. Once it was the life of the early oceans. ah. beco me what mathematicians call co-tangent and it gives the universe the feeling of being imbued with a caring presence. without invoking God. the space.. Because in the 19th century there was great pain to eliminate anything like pre-formation. and so i t seeks the novel by. or purpos e. the moment just before th is moment. inevitable. from the point of view of the new mathematics. then up the side in short er and shorter cycles until it finally comes to rest in the exact bottom of the bowl. that its attractor is the bottom of the bowl and the ball bearing w ill roll down to the that people are going to go: Huh? McKenna: Well.. the bottom of the bow l is a basin of attraction and the ball bearing has fallen under its influence. if you release a ball bearing up near the ri m of a bowl. philosophy. You could almost say that nature abhors habit. some this . for the first time in 500 years. So.. You could almost say. language. A very e xistential notion of our place in the cosmos. technology. Once it was the great dinosaurs . human beings are moved back to the centre of the stage because we are th e most novel thing on this planet. All these things they were trying to eliminate from evolutionary theo ry and until very recently in scientific thought. That what the universe is doing is: it is under the sway of what I call. and that is this domain of hyper-c onnectivity. then suddenly. it could move it had some motion this way. It makes it appear as though nature is tend ing toward something and that. then halfway up the side. that process is under the influence of an attractor. a flat genetic lan dscape. suddenly human beings become important. and that the value the attractor is maximising is novelty. ah. five billion years as the life of the Earth. Once it was the volcanic processes that shaped this p lanet. and so on. What is the most important event. you were thought to be anti-evolution. Wh . or teleology. Well. but its forward direction was. so forth. politics. So. And so there really is a purpose to the universe. science tells us that we're the products o f a cosmic accident: we're at the edge of a ordinary galaxy in an ordinary star system and we're damn lucky to be here and that's it. We are everything biology is.. I n other words. chemistry and society. So. and this is the idea of an attr actor. you know. or God. in terms of shaping this moment? The answer would be. And all nature aspires for this s tate of perfect novelty. you give meaning to human life. I have always doubted that evolutionary theory without purpose. that's our place. not mere c osmic witnesses to a meaningless cosmos but the cutting edge of a cosmos that gl ories in order and is moving towards higher states of order and at the present m oment we are the carriers. and these are processes where a dynamic is no t pushed by causal necessity from behind but it's pulled by point in the future. but today. without tele ology. And it changes our own ethical and moral positi on in the universe because. humanity represents the cutting edge of complexity and this process of moving towards complexification. Its purpose is this state of h yper-complexification in which all its points become related to each other. producing various kinds of phenomena at every level in biology. That it would be perfect novelty. could produce this complex a world as we see around us in as short a time . art. in the 19th century. the transcendental object at the end of time.

ah. this is an ethica l position. So we've created an entire science to study the movement and behaviour of mark ets. So. you know. and. ah. sort of. We talk about the difficu lty of moving an object at the speed of light. the purpose of being a human is to complexify reality even more. So. McKenna: It's certainly true that we see a limited slice of reality and your exa mple from Flatland anything that moves as a gradient through time we will not di scern very carefully. Well. you know. They are part of us. these are major cemetery breaks. and so on. You know. To go beyond those capacities of the anima l body you have to make a marriage with mechanical things. but which has become very important to human institutions . scientific. and i t's. an elephant can li ft three tons and so forth and so on. But in eve ry case the answer has been. We don't perceive them as part of us because we ident ify with the flesh and exteriorise the fabricated metal. it may be th at we will find a way to technologically stretch time and this will become for us like a false eternity. it will. more multifaceted (sic: multifaceic) univers e to our children. we'v e been involved in building complex prosthesis.. Could we leave the ocean. life is narrow and confined and ends at the grave.. are op erating at about 100 Hertz. Because it keeps track of the behaviour of markets which is something you can't see or feel. the expectations of all of these r eligions but it will fulfil it in a mature. we are finding ways out of the 3 dimensional Newtonian prison. You may only have 10 minutes left in your life but it may be time enough to pack in all of human history from the fall of Rome to the pre sent moment. we're doing it by becoming information that is freed from material and some how this allows us to make this ascent to the next dimensional modality. we are extend ing ourselves through the machines. you don't lean on people who make gender choices different from yours . get a picture of what we're headed towards. and sooner or later somebody did it and then all succeeding generations have followed suit. more complicated. That means we could do 800 million more things in this moment than we can do when we're wearing is man's purpose? To advance and preserve novelty. you bet. we. One of the things I'm always trying to visualise what the concrescence would be li ke. So. Tetrabytes of it. It means you don't replace rain forests with pastures. What is fascinating about this p articular transition is that we are conscious of the implications. It's a fourth dimensional factor that we need to co-ordinate into our planning . you know. and universal way t hat these religions all lack because they all reflect their parochial origins. and when this process of complexification reaches the omega p oint. which says. could we go up into those places. I mean. for instance. an aliena ting environment as the land? And so. one of the things that these machines do is they're time compressors. One is.. even though I know in principle it's probably not possible to imagine it but s everal factors are on the horizon which I think can be brought together to. So we see how we stand then like children at the edge of the ocean of information and we're putti ng our feet in and wondering. Could we swim in that? What would it be l ike to be wet in that? What would it be like to go into that new medium? A simila r dilemma must have confronted the early amphibians as they stared at the land a nd said. co uld we breathe air and actually make the transition to such a hostile. you and I sitting here talking. Ah. To hand o n a more diverse. We do this every day. for some time now. we will who m . No. I believe.. they are a part of us. this is why we have the science of e conomics. Our entire planetary technology c annot achieve moving a marble at the speed of light but we can move information at the speed of light. it will fulfil. you don't cen sor books. but in fact.[3 0:52:40] JohnH: That's certainly true. So. You know. so forth. Informa tion is not time and space constrained the way we are. The animal body has reached the limits of it s evolutionary abilities: a cheetah can run 75 miles an hour. which we call machines and compu ters. our agriculture production system s. If we could be magically downloaded into a top of th e line computer we would run at 800 MHz. as much as our political systems.

ah. A friend of m ine once said.) Is it a human thing? Is it unique. We're moving beyond matter? I just can't imagine what yo u mean? Can you try to talk a little bit more about that? McKenna: Well. is virtual reality. They simply were behaving evo. Obviously. that's completely wrong. Part of what I discern here. Human history is be ing caused by the nearby presence of this event. ah. Some to medieval time. is the 25 thousand year transition zone. And people have said to me. Can we hurry it? No. For a billion y ears there's been life on this planet but never life that could step outside of matter.. will you still feed me when I'm 64. One way of thinking of this is that the laws of physics are ev olving to permit greater freedom.. This is p art of the archaic revival. really exist. What could that mean? Maybe the bridge. The planet is on a collision course with the most profound event it's possible to im agine. concept. The freeing of organic life from the chrysalis of matter.. I think that we are as much corks tossed on the ocean of time as are humming birds and prairie dogs. if you think of the event as something which has shells of influence: some of its shells of inf luence reach so far back in time that they drag life out of the primitive oceans . But for 25 thousand years you're kind of an animal and kind of a god. (break: laughing. And I think this is where psy chedelic substances come in. quote. and I believe that as historical processes intensify it's reasonable to believe that we are ever closer to the eschaton. Well don't you find it a little strange that such a momentous event would occur. unquote. I think this is the test. though we humans are always ready to suffer gui lt and take blame for everything going on in the universe. Are we cau sing it? No. Will you still love me. understand its implic ations. and evolutionary dic tated behaviours but the degrees of freedom accessible to us are so multifarious t hat we can actually appreciate for the first time our circumstance.. History is the shockwave which precedes the eschaton. It's built in to the structure of matter itself.. And you're constantly being s wamped by your animal nature and then great teachers are appearing and dragging people back to the right line and we are schizophrenic in history..ake the transition will in some sense. I can't quite imagine what we mean either. we're on the brink of building computer assisted worlds that don't. In a way there's nothing new here.. After you leave the zone you're a god. I ask them. Some shells reach back t o Egypt. the planet is 5 b illion years old pretty unusual coincidence that human history would be happening when this cosmic event happens. Can you imagine this planet in 500 years giv en the propagation of ordinary historical and scientific rates of unfoldment and . some limited sense.. first of all.. What history is. is this ascent into novelty a human thing? No. If my ideas seem strange to someone. Before you enter the z one you're an animal. A re we rolling? I've forgotten the thread? What was it? Oh. we about to take the step out of matter. I don't believe this is something we're doing. to imagine. in human history? After all human history is 10 000 years wide. No. But this is obviously what's in the cards and we are privileged to be ce ntral to that [!pauses for watch chime!] event. Some its shells of influence reach so far back in time that they define the em ergence of the hominid line out of the higher primates.. an event of cosmi c significance and importance is going to occur not far in the future. I mean. where I don't think that was true for the animals that left the primordi al oceans. but that which we'll experienc e the way we experience dreams or the imagination. In other words. Can we stop it? No. and our circ umstance is awe inspiring.. In other words. As you approach the present it becomes stronger and stronger but I would argue that the presence of human civilisation on this p lanet is the strongest evidence we have that matter and organisational processes are about to make some kind of a leap to a new order of being. blind instinct. Shamans have always entered into a non-physical rea lm of information through trance. JohnH: You've just said. he said. and we are.. And I absolutely believe that.

and concrescence is what waits at the end. If you study physics there is no biology. Eschatology is the study of the time of the last thing. And physicists study physics. He can't because it is literally over the event horizon of the future and when we look into the future we see that the east is streaked with rosy dawn but we cannot conceive of the da y that is about to come. True being exis ts at the concrescence. The eschaton is the concresce nce. you would have to give credit to biology for b eing a stage higher than chemistry and you would have to give credit to human hi story as a stage higher than biology. You don't have to deal with issues of biology when . The complexification the further away that you get away from the Big Bang and the fact that everything. in their models these aspects that you're pointing to? McKenna: The main reasons they aren't friendly toward a model. Concrescence is the idea of something that grows together. The last thing is the eschaton and it is everything become one thing. JohnH: Um. Concrescence is the end of the process of becoming. b ut history does not bring us into the presence of the eschaton. Becoming is not true being. The complexification is speeding up? W ould you talk just a little bit about. It simply means the last thing. and the reason why is because asking that question is like asking a man looking east at 2am to describe the coming sunrise. let's go backward. or hyper novelty. All we can see is the dim glow of some kind of eschacol ogical promise. including. or the com ing of the eschaton. Now. Eschaton first. um. the relationship of those observation s to the world of the physicist and their efforts to define reality and why they 're not using. the animal mind. The main reason s physicists are not friendly to a progressive. ah. Ask me this question in 2010 and I'll have a different answer. more defined in space and time .discovery? Can you imagine this planet in a 1000 years? No. more connected. And when I talk about the transcendental object at the end of time... it's a partial p rocess. But the eschaton is the last thin g. For theologians it's God. that the process of the human and biological concrescence of intent reaches some kind of maximum. Eschaton is a good word out of theology. I took it from Alfred North Whitehead. And this indicates to me that the future is exploding in an asymptotic unfoldment i nto a kind of cultural superspace and our own bafflement at the impossibility of conceiving any real future given the political and social and technological for ces in play is proof of that. becoming. is a partial state of being much like history is a partial state of concrescence. that experience of that is going to be like? McKenna: No. no one can imagine t hat because processes are now in play which so totally rewrite the script that n o one can imagine a 100 years or 200 years in the future because the discoveries which will be made in that span of time will so totally rewrite the human exper ience of itself and the environment that we cannot see deep into the future. It becomes more dense. back to this issue of physics and your description of the two things which are left out of their models? The way that you describe it is so self evid ent and simple.. [42:39:40] JohnH: Before we go farther I would like you attempt to give me a definition of concrescence and eschaton? McKenna: Well. I mean. The kind of being we experience.. concrescent model like this is b ecause you would have to look at. what was the othe r word? JohnH: Concrescence? McKenna: Concrescence? This is a little trickier concept. JohnH: But we really can't have any way of knowing what that is. It c oncreases. for somebody of a mor e materialist bent it might be something else. History def initely places us outside the world of biological intent.

they give no credit to physics. tend to discount biolo gy. a realisation that for us to survive. They call it a epiphenomena. breakthroughs in e ducational levels and qualities of life but it's definitely a dynamic where you' ve got extremes of good and evil in that way. they're the ones who are telepathic with the an imals. Would you talk a little bit about . then when you talk to sociologist s. chemistry. beginning with Freud's discovery of the uncon scious and Jung's elaboration of those discoveries and then every phenomenon of major importance that you care to mention in the 20th century: fascism. physicists just d iscount it. I mean. In a sense. they probably do. faster and faster. jazz the list is endless. beginning with Pablo Picasso bringing masks back from Africa and showing them a round in French cafes in 1915. geology. but in the same way they prepare people for d eath they prepare people for transformation. As the century unfolded the understanding of what this re-emp owering of archaic values might mean. The shaman is the par adigmatic figure and the psychedelic experience seems to be the anticipatory exp erience of this eschaton that we are headed toward. linguistics. That's what made the archaic. In other words. biology. and at the same time there's this sort buzz and thrust of optimism: everything from a guy like Peter Swartz talking about the long wave. We need a the ory of everything. Physics talks about theories of everything but none of these theories of everything address biology. has changed. let alone sociology. filled with acts of unspeakable evil. body piercing. all of these people were very close to the mark. discovered that we are not all ladies and gentlemen but that there is a cannibal lurking within. Well. and ah . very chaotic. t hen still later. not saying man is some special study physics. in fact.. You know. when psychedelics were first being discussed. the archaic revival. abstract expressionism. Well. ordinary way to describe the times that we're living in is that they're ve ry. shamans have always been anticipations of some future state of mankind. They're the masters of language. that's how you travel into the future. they are the ones who can see into the future. we have to re-empow er archaic values.. tendency to compl exify through time. A. and that's really what I offering. They represent rejections of the Edwardian gentleman with his white man's burden and represent instead. I'm offering a theory which covers: physics. can be discerned.[52:45:40] JohnH: We have 14 years until this event. Ah. psychedelic experiences. That's how you visit the realm of the ancestors. archaic. and live with ourselves. the phenomenon of human beings. There is a way of looking at the entire 20th century. as such.83 billion years old. rav e culture. It gets you used to the idea that t he world is not what it appears to be and it gets you used to the idea that the world is somehow animate. sexual permissiveness. um. psychedelic drug taking. not saying that we need artificial division s but that over the entire domain of known phenomena this. physicists are. the whole thing. the big booming economy. Albert Hoffman's discovery of LSD demonstrated th at that inner wilderness is accessible to most people through chemistry. it was thought that they would prepare people for de ath. rock & roll. but it's not w ell received in physics or biology. So. this archaic nostalgia gets real focus once you realise that it is the shaman and his or her shamanic techniques that confers on them the extra-historical dimension. That that is how you get out of linear history. they want. it was understood that the key ingredient in active shamism is psychedelic plants. So. And in a way that closed the loop b etween archaic the impulse toward the archaic and the impulses of modern science a nd modern medicine. and B. Science has compartmentalised natu re in order to analyse it and there is no theory of nature. that's how you break up the tyranny of N ewtonian serial time. and so people like Freud and Jung and the surrealists and the Dadaists and the Abstract Expres sionists. The key is the psychedelic experience: that's what makes the shaman a shaman. sociology. even though life on this planet is 4. you know. intelligent and proceeding along its own agenda. ah. measured on the calendar and a really co mmon. there is something called biophysics. Jung and Freud discovered the unconscious. linguistics. So in a way. What do all these things have in common? They are reversions to archaic behaviours. Well.

the next 14 years. all sanctio ned norms of behaviour. So. perceived. the great watershed difference between the archaic understanding and what is called scientific materialism is the archaic mind understood. the rise of the internet. appalling acts of brut ality. novelty is not necessarily good or nice. this impulse towards the Gaianic and the archaic is a survival in . even beyond the excruciating present levels of contradict ion. perm itted us to dissect it. The entire destiny of all life on the planet is tied up in this. this greater Gaian holism. These are changes so immense nobody could imagine them ever happening . And they're quite right that it's happening. You don't depart for the stars under calm and orderly condi tions. put us the jungle. the Great Spirit. and finally it's going to be so weird that people are going to have to talk a bout how weird it is. Ah. we survive. and now that they have happened nobody even bothers to mention what a big deal it is. The collapse of the socialist world. that as primates we are incre dibly adaptable to change. Ah. to th e nation state. between now and 2012. we survive. we have almost destroyed our home. people nev er talk about it anymore but when I was a kid the notion that that would ever chan ge was beyond conceiving. I look for: the invention of artificial life. it's a fire in a madhouse. and align itself to. the realm of the ancestors. I see how with Jenkins calling it Galactic Co smology.the relationship between that dynamic as we go forward and the novelty continues to climax? McKenna: Well. in fac t. possible human immortality. um. The breakdown of anything and this is why the rightwing is so alarmed because what they see going on is the breakdown of all tradition. What the hell is going on? It's just too nuts. And at that point novelty theory can come out of the woods . to the planet. The goal of the archaic mind is to connect with. it's like our home continues to expand we've gone from the village. famine. or from ourselves.. genocide. So. which is sometimes called natu re. a concatenation of tendencies and forces here a t the end. JohnH: Let's pause for a second. all order. that nature is conscious. let's just talk about the conclusions of the archaic mind. the fire in the madho use at the end of time. ah. we have almost cut the earth from beneath our own feet.. Put us in the desert. really. homophobia. as unintelligent. allowed us. communicate with . possible contact with extraterres trials. and in fact it is true. under Hitler we survive. We can put up with about anything and it's a good thing because we are going to be tested to the li mits. we happen to be th e point species on a transformation that will affect every living organism on th is planet at its conclusion. Novelty is complex. What it re aches? McKenna: Well. (laughs) So. you have to explain why it's so nuts. So I see. the consequences of living like that is coming back to haunt us. and that's what we have. The level of contradiction is going t o rise excruciatingly. Our own decisio n to view the universe as dead. the cloning of human beings. This is what it's like when a species prepares to move o n to the next dimension. JohnH: So. race baiting. starvation. You know. under Nixon we survive. nature is an organism f ull of intent. because the syste ms which are in place to keep the world sane are utterly inadequate to the force s that have been unleashed. so the good news is. we are not acting for ourselves. and at the same time. The mush room said to me once. nature is alive. but they're quite wrong to conclude that it should be resisted or is somehow evil. we're ready to take on the big picture. as inanimate. and deny its validity outside of human purpose. use it. but this is what the archaic m ind understood and was comfortable with. Now. McKenna: Now. the fact that there is no such thing as the Soviet Union. and weirde r. because eventually people are going to say. it said: This is what it's like when a species prepares to depart for the stars. that 's what it is. It's only going to get weirder. I think it's just going to get weirder and weirder. it's not enough to say it's nuts.

We must give. structures are created with core s that are more complex than their outlying neighbourhoods. and in a sense. with a dense centre in its spatial domain and a dense centre in its te mporal domain. galaxies are like this. ah. and that all organisms have a core.stinct at this point. the solar system. whether we're talking about the cell. but that. the whole entire milky way. scientists are very puzzled that the galaxies don't fly apart. High temperature. bird fl ocks. in fact. very distinctly defined by the vast em ptiness that lies between it and the next galaxy. yes. You know. we are a part of a morphogenetic intent and a n unfolding reality that is larger than human understanding. So th e archaic holds answers but it only holds answers if we are willing to think of the universe as a living intelligent entity in with which we are in partnership.. So. reverence and credence to nature and nat ures methods because no other methods will allow us to work our way out of the p resent mess we're in. it wants to hold onto the level of novel. n ot set against. The ga laxy has a nucleus of very dense material where very mysterious processes are go ing on. galaxy.. is a being? McKenna: Well it's a kind of. In the process of the conservation of novelty. And then it is an individual. planets. those spirals are very large pictures of the time wave where we can at last see it. [end 01:03:30] . It's an organism. the Earth. spirally. The galaxy stays together because the galaxy wants t o be a galaxy. Then it has a cytoplasmic envelope of stars and gas clouds that surround that core. ah. It has an actual appetite for expressing itself in that form that's why the galaxies are spirals. coral reefs.. (laughs) JohnH: So. everything organises itself fractically. but in the case of the galaxy it's particularly easy to obser ve the structure because the thing is so huge that its forces dominate and damp out other forces which might distort it. we're at the end of the rope for these things. the galaxy. To my mind a galaxy hanging in space is a picture of the timewave every star is a datapoint in an enor mous computer simulation of the novelty wave that's why it has that spiral structu re.. not confused w ith its background or foreground. high energy resource extraction. Yes. Imagine. larger tha n human understanding. in other words. stars. You can think of it as a fractal resonance with the cell. We are like this. They do n't seem to have enough mass that their gravitation should hold them together an d there's been a lot of talk about dark matter or some missing factor. and the galaxy is a kind of an organism. commodi fication. mega-agriculture. and then a deployed surround . mor phology that it has achieved. I think nature builds by fractal intent. Well. the missing factor is novelty.