Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Breanne Hunter's Closing Show Friday 30 June 06

Join us at the Alchemists' Guild for Breanne's She-Owl Finale...Take one last look at the drawings that have made us tremble and cower all month. There will also be food, drink, and good company. 7-9pm... Don't miss out

Life and Yoga By Sri Aurobindo

THERE are two necessities of Nature's workings which seem always to intervene in the greater forms of human activity, whether these belong to our ordinary fields of movement or seek those exceptional spheres and fulfilments which appear to us high and divine. Every such form tends towards a harmonised complexity and totality which again breaks apart into various channels of special effort and tendency, only to unite once more in a larger and more puissant synthesis. Secondly, development into forms is an imperative rule of effective manifestation; yet all truth and practice too strictly formulated becomes old and loses much, if not all, of its virtue; it must be constantly renovated by fresh streams of the spirit revivifying the dead or dying vehicle and changing it, if it is to acquire a new life. To be perpetually reborn is the condition of a material immortality. We are in an age, full of the throes of travail,when all forms of thought and activity that have in themselves any strong power of utility or any secret virtue of persistence are being subjected to a supreme test and given their opportunity of rebirth. The world to-day presents the aspect of a huge cauldron of Medea in which all things are being cast, shredded into pieces, experimented on, combined and recombined either to perish and provide the scattered material of new forms or to emerge rejuvenated and changed for a fresh term of existence. Indian Yoga, in its essence a special action or formulation of certain great powers of Nature, itself specialised, divided and variously formulated, is potentially one of these dynamic elements of the future life of humanity. The child of immemorial ages, preserved by its vitality and truth into our modern times, it is now emerging from the secret schools and ascetic retreats in which it had taken refuge and is seeking its place in the future sum of living human powers and utilities. But it has first to rediscover itself, bring to the surface the profoundest reason of its being in that general truth and that unceasing aim of Nature which it represents, and find by virtue of this new self-knowledge and self-appreciation its own recovered and larger synthesis. Reorganising itself, it will enter more easily and powerfully into the reorganised life of the race which its processes claim to lead within into the most secret penetralia and upward to the highest altitudes of existence and personality.

In the right view both of life and of Yoga all life is either consciously or subconsciously a Yoga. For we mean by this term a methodised effort towards self-perfection by the expression of the secret potentialities latent in the being and a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent Existence we see partially expressed in man and in the Cosmos. But all life, when we look behind its appearances, is a vast Yoga of Nature attempting to realise her perfection in an ever increasing expression of her potentialities and to unite herself with her own divine reality. In man, her thinker, she for the first time upon this Earth devises self-conscious means and willed arrangements of activity by which this great purpose may be more swiftly and puissantly attained. Yoga, as Swami Vivekananda has said, may be regarded as a means of compressing one's evolution into a single life or a few years or even a few months of bodily existence. A given system of Yoga, then, can be no more than a selection or a compression, into narrower but more energetic forms of intensity, of the general methods which are already being used loosely, largely, in a leisurely movement, with a profuser apparent waste of material and energy but with a more complete combination by the great Mother in her vast upward labour. It is this view of Yoga that can alone form the basis for a sound and rational synthesis of Yogic methods. For then Yoga ceases to appear something mystic and abnormal which has no relation to the ordinary processes of the World-Energy or the purpose she keeps in view in her two great movements of subjective and objective self-fulfilment; it reveals itself rather as an intense and exceptional use of powers that she has already manifested or is progressively organising in her less exalted but more general operations.

Yogic methods have something of the same relation to the customary psychological workings of man as has the scientific handling of the force of electricity or of steam to the normal operations of steam and of electricity. And they, too, are formed upon a knowledge developed and confirmed by regular experiment, practical analysis and constant result. All Rajayoga, for instance, depends on this perception and experience that our inner elements, combinations, functions, forces, can be separated or dissolved, can be new-combined and set to novel and formerly impossible workings or can be transformed and resolved into a new general synthesis by fixed internal processes. Hathayoga similarly depends on this perception and experience that the vital forces and functions to which our life is normally subjected and whose ordinary operations seem set and indispensable, can be mastered and the operations changed or suspended with results that would otherwise be impossible and that seem miraculous to those who have not seized the rationale of their process. And if in some other of its forms this character of Yoga is less apparent, because they are more intuitive and less mechanical, nearer, like the Yoga of Devotion, to a supernal ecstasy or, like the Yoga of knowledge, to a supernal infinity of consciousness and being, yet they too start from the use of some principal faculty in us by ways and for ends not contemplated in its everyday spontaneous workings. All methods grouped under the common name of Yoga are special psychological processes founded on a fixed truth of Nature and developing, out of normal functions, powers and results which were always latent but which her ordinary movements do not easily or do not often manifest.

But as in physical knowledge the multiplication of scientific processes has its disadvantages, as that tends, for instance, to develop a victorious artificiality which overwhelms our natural human life under a load of machinery and to purchase certain forms of freedom and mastery at the price of an increased servitude, so the preoccupation with Yogic processes and their exceptional results may have its disadvantages and losses. The Yogin tends to draw away from the common existence and lose his hold upon it; he tends to purchase wealth of spirit by an impoverishment of his human activities, the inner freedom by an outer death. If he gains God, he loses life, or if he turns his efforts outward to conquer life, he is in danger of losing God. Therefore we see in India that a sharp incompatibility has been created between life in the world and spiritual growth and perfection, and although the tradition and ideal of a victorious harmony between the inner attraction and the outer demand remains, it is little exemplified. In fact, when a man turns his vision and energy inward and enters on the path of Yoga, he is supposed to be lost inevitably to the great stream of our collective existence and the secular effort of humanity. So strongly has the idea prevailed, so much has it been emphasized by prevalent philosophies and religions that to escape from life is now commonly considered as not only the necessary condition, but the general object of Yoga. No synthesis of Yoga can be satisfying which does not, in its aim, reunite God and Nature in a liberated and perfected human life or, in its method, not only permit but favour the harmony of our inner and outer activities and experiences in the divine consummation of both. For man is precisely that term and symbol of a higher Existence descended into the material world in which it is possible for the lower to transfigure itself and put on the nature of the higher and the higher to reveal itself in the forms of the lower. To avoid the life which is given him for the realisation of that possibility, can never be either the indispensable condition or the whole and ultimate object of his supreme endeavour or of his most powerful means of self-fulfilment. It can only be a temporary necessity under certain conditions or a specialised extreme effort imposed on the individual so as to prepare a greater general possibility for the race. The true and full object and utility of Yoga can only be accomplished when the conscious Yoga in man becomes, like the subconscious Yoga in Nature, outwardly conterminous with life itself and we can once more, looking out both on the path and the achievement, say in a more perfect and luminous sense: ``All life is Yoga.''

The contents of this document are copyright 1972, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry, India. You may make a digital copy or printout of this text for your personal, non-commercial use under the condition that you copy this document without modifications and in its entirety, including this copyright notice.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Daily Comics #9 by Cody G.

The new daily comic is back for the attack!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Maps of Hyperspace by Terence McKenna

A talk given at the invitation of Ruth and Arthur Young of the Berkeley Institute for the Study of Consciousness, 1984. (Included as written word because this edited transcription appears in print as part of his book The Archaic Revival - dimitri)
In James Joyce's Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus tells us, "History is the nightmare from which I am trying to awaken." I would turn this around and say that history is what we are trying to escape from into dream. The dream is eschatological. The dream is zero time and outside of history. We wish to escape into the dream. Escape is a key thing charged against those who would experiment with plant hallucinogens. The people who make this charge hardly dare face the degree to which hallucinogens are escapist. Escape. Escape from the planet, from death, from habit, and from the problem, if possible, of the Unspeakable.
If one leaves aside the last three hundred years of historical experience as it unfolded in Europe and America, and examines the phenomenon of death and the doctrine of the soul in all its ramifications - Neoplatonic, Christian, dynastic-Egyptian, and so on, one finds repeatedly the idea that there is a light body, an entelechy that is somehow mixed up with the body during life and at death is involved in a crisis in which these two portions separate. One part loses its raison d'etre and falls into dissolution; metabolism stops. The other part goes we know not where. Perhaps nowhere if one believes it does not exist; but then one has the problem of trying to explain life. And, though science makes great claims and has done well at explaining simple atomic systems, the idea that science can make any statement about what life is or where it comes from is currently preposterous.

Science has nothing to say about how one can decide to close one's hand into a fist, and yet it happens. This is utterly outside the realm of scientific explanation because what we see in that phenomenon is mind as a first cause. It is a example of telekinesis: matter is caused by mind to move. So we need not fear the sneers of science in the matter of the fate or origin of the soul. My probe into this area has always been the psychedelic experience, but recently I have been investigating dreams, because dreams are a much more generalized form of experience of the hyperdimension in which life and mind seem to be embedded.

Looking at what people with shamanic traditions say about dreams, one comes to the realization that for these people dream reality is experientially a parallel continuum. The shaman accesses this continuum with hallucinogens as well as with other techniques, but most effectively with hallucinogens. Everyone else accesses it through dreams. Freud's idea about dreams was that they were what he called "day-residues," and that one could trace the content of a dream down to a distortion of something that happened during waking time.

I suggest that it is much more useful to try to make a geometric model of consciousness, to take seriously the idea of a parallel continuum, and to say that the mind and the body are embedded in the dream and the dream is a higher-order spatial dimension. In sleep, one is released into the real world, of which the world of waking is only the surface in a very literal geometric sense. There is a plenum - recent experiments in quantum physics tend to back this up - a holographic plenum of information. All information is everywhere. Information that is not here is nowhere. Information stands outside of time in a kind of eternity - an eternity that does not have a temporal existence about which one may say, "It always existed." It does not have temporal duration of any sort. It is eternity. We are not primarily biological, with mind emerging as a kind of iridescence, a kind of epiphenomenon at the higher levels of organization of biology. We are hyperspatial objects of some sort that cast a shadow into matter. The shadow in matter is our physical organism.

At death, the thing that casts the shadow withdraws, and metabolism ceases. Material form breaks down; it ceases to be a dissipative structure in a very localized area, sustained against entropy by cycling material in, extracting energy, and expelling waste. But the form that ordered it is not affected. These declarative statements are made from the point of view of the shamanic tradition, which touches all higher religions. Both the psychedelic dream state and the waking psychedelic state acquire great import because they reveal to life a task: to become familiar with this dimension that is causing being, in order to be familiar with it at the moment of passing from life.

The metaphor of a vehicle - an after-death vehicle, an astral body - is used by several traditions. Shamanism and certain yogas, including Taoist yoga, claim very clearly that the purpose of life is to familiarize oneself with this after-death body so that the act of dying will not create confusion in the psyche. One will recognize what is happening. One will know what to do and one will make a clean break. Yet there does seem to be the possibility of a problem in dying. It is not the case that one is condemned to eternal life. One can muff it through ignorance.

Apparently at the moment of death there is a kind of separation, like birth - the metaphor is trivial, but perfect. There is a possibility of damage or of incorrect activity. The English poet-mystic William Blake said that as one starts into the spiral there is the possibility of falling from the golden track into eternal death. Yet it is only a crisis of a moment - a crisis of passage - and the whole purpose of shamanism and of life correctly lived is to strengthen the soul and to strengthen the ego's relationship to the soul so that this passage can be cleanly made. This is the traditional position.

I want to include an abyss in this model - one less familiar to rationalists, but familiar to us all one level deeper in the psyche as inheritors of the Judeo-Christian culture. That is the idea that the world will end, that there will be a final time, that there is not only the crisis of the death of the individual but also the crisis of death in the history of the species.

What this seems to be about is that from the time of the awareness until the resolution of the apocalyptic potential, there are roughly one hundred thousand years. In biological time, this is only a moment, yet it is ten times the entire span of history. In that period, everything hangs in the balance, because it is a mad rush from hominid to starflight. In the leap across those one hundred thousand years, energies are released, religions are shot off like sparks, philosophies evolve and die, science arises, magic arises, all of these concerns that control power with greater and lesser degrees of ethical constancy appear. Ever present is the possibility of aborting the species' transformation into a hyperspatial entelechy.

We are now, there can be no doubt, in the final historical seconds of that crisis - a crisis that involves the end of history, our departure from the planet, the triumph over death, and the release of the individual from the body. We are, in fact, closing distance with the most profound event a planetary ecology can encounter - the freeing of life from the dark chrysalis of matter. The old metaphor of psyche as the caterpillar transformed by metamorphosis is a specieswide analogy. We must undergo a metamorphosis in order to survive the momentum of the historical forces already set in motion.

Evolutionary biologists consider humans to be an unevolving species. Some time in the last fifty thousand years, with the invention of culture, the biological evolution of humans ceased and evolution became an epigenetic, cultural phenomenon. Tools, languages, and philosophies began to evolve, but the human somatotype remained the same. Hence, physically, we are very much like people of a long time ago. But technology is the real skin of our species. Humanity, correctly seen in the context of the last five hundred years, is an extruder of technological material. We take in matter that has a low degree of organization; we put it through mental filters, and we extrude jewelry, gospels, space shuttles. This is what we do. We are like coral animals embedded in a technological reef of extruded psychic objects. All our tool making implies our belief in an ultimate tool. That tool is the flying saucer, or the soul, exteriorized in three-dimensional space. The body can become an internalized holographic object embedded in a solid-state, hyperdimensional matrix that is eternal, so that we each wander through a true Elysium.

This is a kind of Islamic paradise in which one is free to experience all the pleasures of the flesh provided one realizes that one is a projection of a holographic solid-state matrix that is microminiaturized, superconducting, and nowhere to be found: it is part of the plenum. All technological history is about producing prototypes of this situation with greater and greater closure toward the ideal, so that airplanes, automobiles, space shuttles, space colonies, starships of the nuts-and-bolts, speed-of-light type are, as Mircea Eliade said, "self-transforming images of flight that speak volumes about man's aspiration to self-transcendence."

Our wish, our salvation, and our only hope is to end the historical crisis by becoming the alien, by ending alienation, by recognizing the alien as the Self, in fact - recognizing the alien as an Overmind that holds all the physical laws of the planet intact in the same way that one holds an idea intact in one's thoughts. The givens that are thought to be writ in adamantine are actually merely the moods of the Goddess, whose reflection we happen to be. The whole meaning of human history lies in recovering this piece of lost information so that man may be dirigible or, to paraphrase James Joyce's Finnegans Wake on Moicane, the red light district of Dublin: "Here in Moicane we flop on the seamy side, but up n'ent, prospector, you sprout all your worth and you woof your wings, so if you want to be Phoenixed, come and be parked." It is that simple, you see, but it takes courage to be parked when the Grim Reaper draws near. "A blessing in disguise," Joyce calls him.

What psychedelics encourage, and where I hope attention will focus once hallucinogens are culturally integrated to the point where large groups of people can plan research programs without fear of persecution, is the modeling of the after-death state. Psychedelics may do more than model this state; they may reveal the nature of it. Psychedelics will show us that the modalities of appearance and understanding can be shifted so that we can know mind within the context of the One Mind. The One Mind contains all experiences of the Other. There is no dichotomy between the Newtonian universe, deployed through light-years of three-dimensional universe, and the interior mental universe. They are adumbrations of the same thing.

We perceive them as unresolvable dualisms because of the low quality of the code we customarily use. The language we use to discuss this problem has built-in dualisms. This is a problem of language. All codes have relative code qualities, except the Logos. The Logos is perfect and, therefore, partakes of no quality other than tiself. I am here using the word Logos in the sense in which Philo Judaeus uses it - that of the Divine Reason that embraces the arhcetypal complex of Platonic ideas that serve as the models of creation. As long as one maps with something other than the Logos, there will be problems of code quality. The dualism built into our language makes the death of the species and the death of the individual appear to be opposed things.

Likewise, the scenarios that biology has created through examining the physical universe versus the angel- and demon-haunted worlds that depth psychology is reporting is also a dichotomy. The psychedelic experience acts to resolve this dichotomy. All that is needed to go beyond an academic understanding of the plant hallucinogens is the experience of the tryptamine- induced ecstasy. The dimethyltryptamine (DMT) molecule has the unique property of releasing the structured ego into the Overself. Each person who has that experience undergoes a mini-apocalypse, a mini-entry and mapping into hyperspace. For society to focus in this direction, nothing is necessary except for this experience to become an object of general concern.

This is not to suggest that everyone should experiment with mushrooms or other naturally occurring sources of psychoactive tryptamines. We should try to assimilate and integrate the psychedelic experience since it is a plane of experience that is directly accessible to each of us. The role that we play in relationship determines how we will present ourselves in that final, intimated transformation. In other words, in this notion there is a kind of teleological bias; there is abelief that there is a hyperobject called the Overmind, or God, that casts a shadow into time. History is our group experience of this shadow. As one draws closer and closer to the source of the shadow, the paradoxes intensify, the rate of change intensifies. What is happening is that the hyperobject is beginning to ingress into three-dimensional space.

One way of thinking of this is to suppose that the waking world and the world of the dream have begun to merge so that in a certain sense the school of UFO criticism that has said flying sources are hallucinations was correct in that the laws that operate in the dream, the laws that operate in hyperspace, can at times operate in three-dimensional space when the barrier between the two modes becomes weak. Then one gets these curious experiences, sometimes called psychotic breaks, that always have a tremendous impact on the experient because there seems to be an exterior component that could not possibly be subjective. At such times coincidences begin to build and build until one must finally admit that one does not know what is going on. Nevertheless, it is preposterous to claim that this is a psychological phenomenon, because there are accompanying changes in the external world. Jung called this synchronicity and made a psychological model of it, but it is really an alternative physics beginning to impinge on local reality.

The alternative physics is a physics of light. Light is composed of photons, which have no antiparticle. This means that there is no dualism in the world of light. The conventions of relativity say that time slows down as one approaches the speed of light, but if one tries to imagine the point of view of a thing made of light, one must realize that what is never mentioned is that if one moves at the speed of light there is no time whatsoever. There is an experience of time zero. So if one imagines for a moment oneself to be made of light, or in possession of a vehicle that can move at the speed of light, one can traverse from any point in the universe to any other with a subjective experience of time zero. This means that one crosses to Alpha Centauri in time zero, but the amount of time that has passed in the relativistic universe is four and a half years. But if one moves very great distances, if one crosses two hundred and fifty thousand light-years to Andromeda, one would still have a subjective experience of time zero.

The only experience of time that one can have is of a subjective time that is created by one's own mental processes, but in relationship to the Newtonian universe there is no time whatsoever. One exists in eternity, one has become eternal, the universe is aging at a staggering rae all around one in this situation, but that is perceived as a fact of this universe - the way we perceive Newtonian physics as a fact of this universe. One has transited into the eternal mode. One is then apart from the moving image; one exists in the completion of eternity.

I believe that this is what technology pushes toward. There is no contradiction between ecological balance and space migration, between hypertechnology and radical ecology. These issues are red herrings; the real historical entity that is becoming imminent is the human soul. The monkey body has served to carry us to this moment of release, and it will always serve as a focus of self-image, but we are coming more and more to exist in a world made by the human imagination. This is what is meant by the return to the Father, the transcendence of physis, the rising out of the Gnostic universal prison of iron that traps the light: nothing less than the transformation of our species.

Very shortly an acceleration of this phenomenon will take place in the form of space exploration and space colonies. The coral-reef-like animal called Man that has extruded technology over the surface of the earth will be freed from the constraints of anything but the imagination and the limitations of materials. It has been suggested that the earlioest space colonies include efforts to duplicate the idyllic ecosystem of Hawaii as an ideal. These exercises in ecological understanding will prove we know what we are doing. However, as soon as this understanding is under control we will be released into the realm of art. This is what we have always striven for. We will make our world - all of our worlds - and the world we came from will be maintained as a garden. What Eliade discussed as metaphors of self-transforming flight will be realized shortly in the technology of space colonization.

The transition from earth to space will be a staggeringly tight genetic filter, a much tighter filter than any previous frontier has ever been, including the genetic and demographic filter represented by the colonization of the New World. It has been said that the vitality of the Americas is due to the fact that only the dreamers and the pioneers and the fanatics made the trip across. This will be even more true of the transition to space. The technological conquest of space will set the stage; then, for the internalization of that metaphor, it will bring the conquest of inner space and the collapse of the state vectors associated with this technology deployed in Newtonian space. Then the human species will have become more than dirigible.

A technology that would internalize the body and exteriorize the soul will develop parallel to the move to space. The Invisible Landscape, a book by my brother and myself, made an effort to short-circuit that chronology and, in a certain sense, to force the issue. It is the story, or rather it is the intellectual underpinnings of the story, of an expedition to the Amazon by my brother and myself and several other people in 1971. During that expedition, my brother formulated an idea that involved using harmine and harmaline, compounds that occur in Banisteriopsis caapi, the woody vine that is the basis for ayahuasca. We undertook an effor to use harmine in conjunction with the human voice in what we called "the experiment at La Chorrera." It was an effort to use sound to charge the molecular structure of harmine molecules metabolizing in the body in such a way that they would bind preferentially and permanently with endogenous molecular structures.

Our candidate at the time was neural DNA, though Frank Barr, a researcher into the properties of brain melanin, has made a convincing case that there is as great a likelihood that harmine acts by binding with melanin bodies. In either case, the pharmacology involves binding with a molecular site where information is stored, and this information is then broadcast in such a way that one begins to get a mental readout on the structure of the soul. Our experiment was an effort to use a kind of shamanic technology to bell the cat, if you will, to hang a superconducting, telemetric device on the Overmind so that there would be a continuous readout of information from that dimension. The success or failure of this attempt may be judged for oneself.

The first half of the book describes the theoretical underpinnings of the experiment. The second half describes the theory of the structure of time that derived from the bizarre mental states that followed the experiment. I do not claim that we succeeded, only that our theory of what happened is better than any theory proposed by critics. Whether we succeeded or not, this style of thinking points the way. For example, when I speak of the technology of building a starship, I imagine it will be done with voltages far below the voltage of a common flashlight battery. This is, after all, where the most interesting phenomena go on in nature. Thought is that kind of phenomenon; metabolism is that kind of phenomenon.

A new science that places the psychedelic experience at the center of its program of investigation should move toward a practical realization of this goal - the goal of eliminating the barrier between the ego and the Overself so that the ego can perceive itself as an expression of the Overself. Then the anxiety of facing a tremendous biological crisis in the form of the ecocrises, and the crisis of limitation in physical space forced upon us by our planet- bound situation, can be obviated by cultivating the soul and by practicing a new shamanism using tryptamine-containing plants.

Psilocybin is the most commonly available and experientially accessible of these compounds. Therefore my plea to scientists, administrators, and politicians who may read these words is this: look again at psilocybin, do not confuse it with the other psychedelics, and realize that it is a phenomenon unto itself with an enormous potential for transforming human beings - not simply transforming the people who take it, but transforming society in the way that an art movement, a mathematical understanding, or a scientific breakthrough transforms society. It holds the possibility of transforming the entire species simply by virtue of the information that comes through it. Psilocybin is a source of gnosis, and the voice of gnosis has been silenced in the Western mind for at least a thousand years.

When the Franciscans and the Dominicans arrived in Mexico in the sixteenth century, they immediately set about stamping out the mushroom religion. The Indians called it teonanacatl, "the flesh of the gods." The Catholic church had a monopoly on theophagia and was not pleased by this particular approach to what was going on. Now, four hundred years after that initial contact, I suggest that Eros, which retreated from Europe with the rise of Christianity, retreated to the mountains of the Sierra Mazateca. Finally, pushed into seclusion there, it now reemerges in Western consciousness.

Our institutions, our epistemologies are bankrupt and exhausted; we must start anew and hope that with the help of shamanically inspired personalities, we can cultivate this ancient mystery once again. The Logos can be unleashed, and the voice that spoke to Plato and Parmenides and Heraclitus can speak again in the minds of modern people. When it does, the alienation will be ended because we will have become the alien. This is the promise that is held out; it may seem to some a nightmare vision, but all historical changes of immense magnitude have a charged emotional quality. They propel people into a completely new world.

I believe that this work must be done using hallucinogens. Traditionally it has been thought that there were many paths to spiritual advancement. In this matter I must fall back on personal experience. I have not had good results with any other techniques. I spent time in India, practiced yoga, visited among the various rishis, roshis, geysheys, and gurus that Asia had to offer, and I believe they must be talking about something so pale and removed from closure with the full tryptamine ecstasy that I don't really know what to make of them and their wan hierophanies.

Tantra claims to be another approach. Tantra means "the short-cut path," and certainly it might be on the right track. Sexuality, orgasm, these things do have tryptaminelike qualities to them, but the difference between psilocybin and all other hallucinogens is information - immense amounts of information.

LSD seemed somehow to be largely related to the structure of the personality. Often it seemed to me the visions were merely geometric patterns unless synergized by another compound. The classic psychedelic experience that was written about by Aldous Huxley was two hundred micrograms of LSD and thirty milligrams of mescaline. That combination delivers a visionary experience rather than an experience of hallucinations. In my opinion the unique quality of psilocybin is that it reveals not colored lights and moving grids, but places - jungles, cities, machines, books, architectonic forms of incredible complexity. There is no possibility that this could be construed as neurological noise of any sort. It is, in factm the most highly ordered visual information that one can experience, much more highly ordered than the normal waking vision.

That's why it's very hard with psychedelic compounds to bring back information. These things are hard to English because it is like trying to make a three-dimensional rendering of a fourth-dimensional object. Only through the medium of sight can the true modality of this Logos be perceived. That is why it is so interesting that psilocybin and ayahuasca - the aboriginal tryptamine-containing brew - both produce a telepathic experience and a shared state of mind. The unfolding group hallucination is shared in complete silence. It's hard to prove this to a scientist, but if several people share such an experience, one person can describe it and then cease the monologue and another person may then take it up. Everyone is seeing the same thing! It is the quality of being complex visual information that makes the Logos a vision of a truth that cannot be told.

The information thus imparted is not, however, merely restricted to the mode of seeing. The Logos is capable of going from a thing heard to a thing seen, without ever crossing through a discernible transition point. This seems a logical impossibility; yet when one actually has the experience, one sees - aha! - it is as though thought that is heard does become something seen. The thought that is heard becomes more and more intense until, finally, its intensity is such that, with no transition, one is now beholding it in three-dimensional, visual space. One commands it. This is very typical of psilocybin.

Naturally, whenever a compound is introduced into the body, one must exercise caution and be well informed with regard to possible side effects. Professional psychedelic investigators are aware of these factors and freely acknowledge that the obligation to be well informed is of primary importance.

Speaking for myself, let me say that I am not an abuser. It takes me a long time to assimilate each visionary experience. I have never lost my respect for these dimensions. Dread is one of the emotions that I feel as I approach the experience. Psychedelic work is like sailing out onto a dark ocean in a little skiff. One may view the moon rising serenely over the calm black water, or something the size of a freight train may roar right through the scene and leave one clinging at an oar.

The dialogue with the other is what makes repetition of these experiences seem worthwhile. The mushroom speaks to you when you speak to it. In the introduction to the book that my brother and I wrote (under pseudonyms) called Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, there is a mushroom monologue that goes: "I am old, fifty times older than thought in your species, and I came from the stars." Sometimes it's very human. My approach to it is Hasidic. I rave at it; it raves at me. We argue about what it is going to cough up and what it isn't. I say, "Well, look, I'm the propagator, you can't hold back on me," and it says, "But if I showed you the flying saucer for five minutes, you would figure out how it works," and I say, "Well, come through." It has many manifestations. Sometimes it's like Dorothy of Oz; sometimes it's like a very Talmudic sort of pawnbroker. I asked it once, "What are you doing on Earth?" It said, "Listen, if you're a mushroom, you live cheap; besides, I'm telling you, this was a very nice neighborhood until the monkeys got out of control."

"Monkeys out of control:" that is the mushroom voice's view of history. To us, history is something very different. History is the shock wave of eschatology. In other words, we are living in a very unique moment, ten or twenty thousand years long, where an immense transition is happening. The object at the end of and beyond history is the human species fused into eternal tantric union with the superconducting Overmind/UFO. It is that mystery that casts its shadow back through time. All religion, all philosophy, all wars, pogroms, and persecutions happen because people do not get the message right. There is both the forward-flowing casuistry of being, causal determinism, and the interference pattern that is formed against that by the backward-flowing fact of this eschatological hyperobject throwing its shadow across the temporal landscape. We exist, yet there is a great deal of noise. This situation called history is totally unique; it will last only a moment, it began a moment ago. In that moment there is a tremendous burst of static as the monkey goes to godhood, as the final eschatological object mitigates and transforms the forward flow of entropic circumstance.

Life is central to the career of organization in matter. I reject the idea that we have been shunted onto a siding called organic existence and that our actual place is in eternity. This mode of existence is an important part of the cycle. It is filter. There is the possibility of extinction, the possibility of falling into physis forever, and so in that sense the metaphor of the fall is valid. There is a spiritual obligation, there is a task to be done. It is not, however, something as simple as following a set of somebody else's rules. The noetic enterprise is a primary obligation toward being. Our salvation is linked to it. Not everyone has to read alchemical texts or study superconducting biomolecules to make the transition. Most people make it naively by thinking clearly about the present at hand, but we intellectuals are trapped in a world of too much information. Innocence is gone for us. We cannot expect to cross the rainbow bridge through a good act of contrition; that will not be sufficient.

We have to understand. Whitehead said, "Understanding is the apperception of pattern as such;" to fear death is to misunderstand life. Cognitive activity is the defining act of humanness. Language, thought, analysis, art, dance, poetry, mythmaking: these are the things that point the way toward the realm of the eschaton. We humans may be released into a realm of pure self-engineering. The imagination is everything. This was Blake's perception. This is where we came from. This is where we are going. And it is only to be approached through cognitive activity.

Time is the notion that gives ideas such as these their power, for they imply a new conception of time. During the experiment at La Chorrera, the Logos demonstrated that time is not simply a homogeneous medium where things occur, but a fluctuating density of probability. Though science can sometimes tell us what can happen and what cannot happen, we have no theory that explains why, out of everything that could happen, certain things undergo what Whitehead called "the formality of actually occurring." This was what the Logos sought to explain, why out of all the myriad things that could happen, certain things undergo the formality of occurring. It is because there is a modular hierarchy of waves of temporal conditioning, or temporal density. A certain event, rated highly improbable, is more probable at some moments than at others.

Taking that simple perception and being led by the Logos, I was able to construct a fractal model of time that can be programmed on a computer and that gives a map of the ingression of what I call "novelty" - the ingression of novelty into time. As a general rule, novelty is obviously increasing. It has been since the very beginning of the universe. Immediately following the Big Bang there was only the possibility of nuclear interaction, and then, as temperatures fell below the bond strength of the nucleus, atomic systems could be formed. Still later, as temperatures fell further, molecular systems appeared. Then much later, life became possible; then very complex life forms evolved, thought became possible, culture was invented. The invention of printing and electronic information transfer occurred.

What is happening to our world is ingression of novelty toward what Whitehead called "concrescence," a tightening gyre. Everything is flowing together. The "autopoetic lapis," the alchemical stone at the end of time, coalesces when everything flows together. When the laws of physics are obviated, the universe disappears, and what is left is the tightly bound plenum, the monad, able to express itself for itself, rather than only able to cast a shadow into physis as its reflection. I come very close here to classical millenarian and apocalyptic thought in my view of the rate at which change is accelerating. From the way the gyre is tightening, I predict that concrescence will occur soon - around 2012 A.D. It will be the entry of our species into hyperspace, but it will appear to be the end of physical laws accompanied by the release of the mind into the imagination.

All these images - the starship, the space colony, the lapis - are precursory images. They follow naturally from the idea that history is the shock wave of eschatology. As closes distance with the eschatological object, the reflections it is throwing off resemble more and more the thing itself. In the final moment the Unspeakable stands revealed. There are no more reflections of the Mystery. The Mystery in all its nakedness is seen, and nothing else exists. But what it is, decency can safely scarcely hint; nevertheless, it is the crowning joy of futurism to seek anticipation of it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

the Mighty Galactic Phil Collins has his own site!

Check out that crazy blue meanie on his own turf... fnord

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Miss Prints by Courtney

Courtney's new prints are in... Come in and check out the selection... Super cheap, super stylin'... $10-$15 They go quick, so don't postpone the inevitable...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Quick on How Magick Works by The Mighty Zin-Zin Bodieo

Occult magick, witchcraft, and shamanism is concerned with the re-ordering of reality through the re-ordering of consciousness and the accessing of will. The magickian aims the change self, consciousness, and/or peripheral reality in accord with will. Through migickal practice and ritual the magickian aims to cultivate the consciousness necessary to manifest such change.

Most occult practices presume a sympathetic model of the planet or universe- a web of life, if you like. The Idea that the we are One, yet Many. While in the reality-tunnel of our "normal" state of consciousness, we believe ourselves as autonomic, individual, and un-connected to the whole. But it is not far-fetched to entertain the concept that we are as yet unable to perceive 'higher' levels of existence.

When you alter your reality through ritual, sex, drugs, sensory deprivation, or what you will, 'normal' reality ceases to be and we can access a seemingly 'mystic' dimension, whether it be a dimension of the mind or an actual dimension in space. Magickians and Shamans of yore knew that too much time spent in the mundane world and 'normal' consciousness would cause them to 'forget' alernity and thus sabotage the success of their magick, whether it be healing, precognition, or controlling weather. They knew that the common world view of individual separateness worked as a wall to block the underlying magickal sympathetic reality while bombarding them with doubt, interference, reactionary thinking, and criticism. That is why they took care to break routine now and then incorporating such acts as fasting in the desert, strange rites, ingestion of drugs, vision quests, and prolonged sexual abstinence and/or activity into their lifestyles. Harvard psychologist William James believed altered states of consciousness are the key to magical powers, the key to becoming artists of our own lives. Altered states lets us put off the cloak of culture and tune into the primary self where the future rests ripe for manipulation, if you will. Dr. James said,"Actualities seems to float in a wider sea of possibilities from out of which they are chosen."

Magickal reality pre-supposes the existence of a free-for-all power source - that "divine" energy which has its center everywhere and circumference nowhere- variously called the Archetypal World, the lifeforce, Void, Atman, Tao, Anima Mundi, Spirit, Chaos, God, etc. This is the stuff from which magick, inspiration and genius stems. It is the thread which connects us to the ancient mind, the Great Memory, the Akashic Records, or the Aboriginal Dreamtime, holding the potential of future as well as the tapestry of the past. It is the force which, upon amalgamation and application of conscious will, allows us to speak the language of our primal ancestors: animals, insects,plants, algaes, stones, rivers, and, earlier still, the stars, and, perhaps even to communicate with our future selves....

Coming Soon Pt. 2 Summioning Eris For Fun and Magick or What Kind of Hair is That?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Iowa City Comics Creators Club - Join the Parade

Have you been yearning for a place to talk, draw, and otherwise convulse over comics? Join Shane the O'Face O'Shaughnessy for a weekly injection of comic interaction... with some free food! Good God man, could it be for real? Well, that depends on you... and the shape of your hair cut... Every Sunday from 2-5pm at the Alchemists' Guild the chips and cookies will flow and so will the comic sloppy...

Check it out, Chum!