Archive for Chaos

Podcast 396 – “A Freely Evolving Topology of Light & Sound”

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“It is not that culture is evolving. The evolution of culture is an epiphenomena attendant upon the evolution of language. Language is the part of man that is evolving. Culture carries along.”

“I think people have a greater sensitivity to the mysteries of human interaction simply because so much LSD was taken in the Sixties.”

“The world is not nearly as chaotic and random as we suppose. We are actually trapped inside a giant organism. And it is not Gaia. That’s a much larger organism. We are trapped inside a large organism which is the human collectivity, and that’s why we are such different monkeys.”

“But really the psychedelic experience is like an intimation of immortality. And at varying distances in time from the point you occupy it shows you ever more vague intimations of the future, but they are there nevertheless.”

“What the psychedelics really do, I think, is release us from cultural machinery.”

“There is a potential for immortality, but it isn’t assured. It is something which comes to the courageous.”


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Podcast 377 – “An Ecology of Souls”

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“In the matter of deeper things, deductive reasoning rests only on the appeal that hope can lend to its case.”

“In the felt domain of experience called ‘living’, intuition is how most of us, even the most self-defined as non-intuitional, are operating.”

“[Nature] seeks to maximize cooperation, connectedness, mutual interdependability is the thing which holds the whole thing together. And the species that is most successful is not the species that can dominate all others, it’s the species that can make itself indispensable to all others.”

“Culture, as it is in a sense, the software of the infrastructure of the global civilization, which is the hardware.”

“Culture can be redefined as software and radically re-written so that it runs much more smoothly.”

“I did not say that we were software or hardware. We are neither. We are the user, and this is the important thing to remember. We are not scripting ourselves into some kind of machine future. We are designing the future that we want to have rather than allowing the blunders of our grandparents to dictate the kind of future we will have.”

“To offer instead a potential calendar in celebration of flux, change, growth, and feminism, which are the values that are going to have to be maximized if we are going to open a dialogue with our souls and [the] soul of the planet and save ourselves from the lethal momentum that so many hundreds of years of dominator culture have imparted to the machinery of our civilization. We must awaken.”

“The path out of the Dark Wood in which we find ourselves is cognition, thought, getting smart fast. We have to dance, sing, calculate, and drum our way out of the circumstances into which we have fallen.”

“To the degree that we can celebrate the irrational, the feminine, the unconscious, the transpersonal, and even the psychedelic, to the degree that we can celebrate these things we are giving permission for the order that is in nature to manifest. The plan wants to come to be. We have to get out of the way.”

“Life is some kind of opportunity. It’s an opening between unbridgeable chasms of the unknown. And yet, out of chaos, for twenty, forty, seventy years we come into a domain of immense opportunity. It is a conundrum. It is a puzzle. It is something to be figured out.”

“The path with heart is the path which astonishes.”

“All of our technology is an excretion of the imagination. All of our technology is the condensation of ideological intention.”

“My own private opinion about this is, I think that what psychedelics in these high-dose, correct set/setting situations carry us into is an ecology of souls. . . . Those ‘things’ in that place are our ancestors.”

“Do we know what we behold? We need to know what we behold because inevitably we become what we behold.”


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Minecraft: The Story of Mojang

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Podcast 339 – “A Necessary Chaos”

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“This is where I think the psychedelics come in, because they are anticipations of the future. They seem to channel information that is not strictly governed by the laws of normal causality. So that there really is a prophetic dimension, a glimpse of the potential of the far centuries of the future through these compounds.”

“Actually, the highest form of human organization is not realized in the democratic individual. It is realized in a dimension none of us have ever penetrated, which is the mind of the species, which is actually the hand at the tiller of history. . . . It is an organized entelechy of some sort, and human history is its signature on the primates.”

“I think it’s the sheer power of the hallucinogens that puts people off. You either love them or you hate them, and that’s because they dissolve world views. And if you like the experience of having your entire ontological structure disappear out from under you, if you think that’s a thrill, you’ll probably love psychedelics.”

“The leading edge of reality is mind, and mind is the primary substratum of being.”

“We can no longer have forbidden areas of the human mind, or cultural machinery. We have taken upon ourselves the acquisition of so much power that we now must understand what we are. We cannot travel much further with the definitions of man that we inherit from the Judeo-Christian tradition. We need to truly explore the problem of consciousness.”

“Capitalism is a gun pointed at the head of global civilization.”

“The way I think of the psychedelics is, they are catalysts to the imagination.”

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Podcast 297 – “A Tribute to Robert Anton Wilson”

Guest speaker: Douglas Rushkoff, Antero Alli, Tiffany Lee Brown, and Joseph Matheny


The featured audio that I play in this podcast is part of a two-CD collection produced by Joe Matheny and given to the salon to podcast by the distributor, The Original Falcon Press, which you can find via The voices you will here are those of: Douglas Rushkoff, Antero Alli, Tiffany Lee Brown, and Joseph Matheny.


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For the Occupy Segment, I first play a few minutes that I’ve taken from a three hour interview that Chris Hedges gave on CSPAN 2 on the first day of this year, and in it you will hear this Pulitzer Prize winning journalist explain how corporate personhood isn’t just a threat to American Democracy, it is a threat to humanity itself. . . . Following that, I play a short speech for you that Senator Bernie Sanders gave on the Senate floor as he introduced an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will strip personhood from corporations. After those two kind of heavy duty pieces. I lighten it up with a two minute clip of country music star Willie Nelson and his wife reading a poem that he wrote about the Occupy Movement. Finally, I close with a song that was written and is sung by a young man from Salt Lake City named Noel. And this is from a YouTube video I found where Noel was singing on Day 1 of the Occupy Salt Lake City street theater.

Books and links mentioned in this podcast

“The Terence McKenna Experience” a new film by Ken Adams

Pyramid Eclipse, a Symbiosis Gathering

RAW week at

A few random quotes from Robert Anton Wilson

“A monopoly on the means of communication may define a ruling elite more precisely than the celebrated Marxian formula of monopoly in the means of production.”

“An Enlightened Master is ideal only if your goal is to become a Benighted Slave.”

“Belief is the death of intelligence.”

“Every war results from the struggle for markets and spheres of influence, and every war is sold to the public by professional liars and totally sincere religious maniacs, as a Holy Crusade to save God and Goodness from Satan and Evil.”

“Horror is the natural reaction to the last 5,000 years of history.”

“Most of our ancestors were not perfect ladies and gentlemen. The majority of them weren’t even mammals.”

“Nobody sees the obvious, nobody observes the ordinary. There are more miracles in a square yard of earth than in all the fables of the Church.”

“On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison, the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.”

“Only the madman is absolutely sure.”

“The Bible tells us to be like God, and then on page after page it describes God as a mass murderer. This may be the single most important key to the political behavior of Western Civilization.”

“The border between the Real and the Unreal is not fixed, but just marks the last place where rival gangs of shamans fought each other to a standstill.”

“The Right’s view of government and the Left’s view of big business are both correct.”

“You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you.”

“Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”

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Podcast 195 – Timothy Leary & friends “The Future of Higher Intelligence” Part 2

Guest speakers: Robert Anton Wilson, Dr. John Lilly, Dr. Timothy Leary


“Creativity has a touch of the bizarre” –Robert Anton Wilson

“Since things are moving faster and faster, we cannot afford the amount of stupidity that we used to be able to tolerate.” –Robert Anton Wilson

“We need something to replace death as an intelligence increaser. Generally, the only way that intelligence could grow was to get rid of the people who haven’t taken any new imprints since adolescence, as Tim would say.” –Robert Anton Wilson

“The bizarre, the unthinkable is where creativity comes from.” –Robert Anton Wilson

“In that process [Ilya Prigogine’s theory of dissipative structures], we are dissipating, collapsing, out of all the structures we know, not into chaos, not into the collapse of civilization, but into a higher level of coherence.” –Robert Anton Wilson

“There seem to be more optimism about psychedelics. They seem to be treated now with more rationality, as I was hoping they would be back in the Sixties, but they couldn’t be then. We were too ignorant.” –Dr. John Lilly

“The dumb people in the Sunbelt have all gone to Washington and New York to seek their fortunes there, people like Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone. He’s just plain dumb. He’s got a track record not where everything he touches is turning wrong simply because he’s betting on the past.” –Timothy Leary

“The doomsday sayers, the people who are warning of and hoping for some sort of apocalyptic crisis, an earthquake, an end to everything. Now anyone who lays that trip on you, just look at them and smile and say, ‘Listen, the world isn’t coming to an end. You have come to an end of your vision. It’s you who feel that your end is at hand. The evolutionary picture is moving along beautifully.’ “ –Timothy Leary


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Podcast 170 – “How the Web Looked Back in 1994″

Guest speakers: Ralph Abraham, Terence McKenna, and Rupert Sheldrake


All of the following quotations are from a private trialogue held at Terence McKenna’s me in Hawaii sometime in 1994.

“I believe that the World Wide Web is, as a matter of fact, the noogenesis of the noosphere of the future. This is it!” –Ralph Abraham

“Notice that throughout history the most oppressed group has not been the Jews, the Irish, the blacks, they’ve taken their hits, but the most consistently oppressed group of people throughout human history have been smart people. And now comes a tool for smart people [the Internet] utterly incomprehensible to dullards, that is essentially the equivalent of the hydrogen bomb.” –Terence McKenna

“Chaotic as the Web is, what it is is a controlled psychedelic experience spreading through the populace at the highest levels of intelligentsia.” –Terence McKenna

“What it [the Internet] will be in the future will depend on what kind of people with whatever motives would actually go there.” –Ralph Abraham

“I think it’s [the Internet] built into the evolutionary morphogenetic unfolding of the cosmos in that it could no more be stopped than mitocondria or societal organization.”–Terence McKenna

“I think it [the Internet] will supersede us. I don’t know how much monkey meat will be connected to the World Wide Web when the Web is complete. It may shed the monkey meat.”–Terence McKenna

“The population explosion could end, let’s say, because of the World Wide Web. This is my greatest dream.” –Ralph Abraham

“Nature is a world wide web. That was the first world wide web.” –Terence McKenna


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Podcasts 19 (Part 1) & 20 (Part 2)
“The World Wide Web and the Millennium”
a conversation between
Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham
(August 1998)

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Podcast 161 – “Reality Check”

Guest speakers: Ralph Abraham, Rupert Sheldrake, and Terence McKenna


"Chaos, Gaia, Eros"  by Ralph Abraham“We have the concept of the ideal city in the ancient world, most especially the ideal city of Plato’s Republic. So casually we might call that Utopian fantasy. Although Plato did try to actually realize it in the political organization of a particular city. He ended up in jail for that effort. Another thing to kind of keep in the back of your mind as we choose whether or not to associate with this particular strand of the human endeavor [utopianism].”Ralph Abraham

"The Rebirth of Nature" by Rupert Sheldrake“A restoration of the sense of the life of nature could lead to a new society in which heaven and Earth are mediated through human beings. Human beings would be the mediator of the marriage of heaven and Earth to bring about a harmonious relationship at the whole of nature on this Earth, somehow bringing human society into a right relationship between the Earth and the heavens.” Rupert Sheldrake

“If you restrict yourself to the realm of the rational, then you only have two choices: utopia or more history. And more history is beginning to look less and less likely.” Terence McKenna

“I see all these Christian fundamentalists running around, they also believe in the millennium. And they are the major anti-progressive force in most advanced societies.” –Terence McKenna

"Food of the Gods" by Terence McKenna“We have the money, the scientific knowledge, the communications systems and so forth to solve any of our problems, feeding the hungry, curing disease, halting the destruction of the environment. The problem is our minds, that we cannot change our minds as quickly as we can redesign harbors, flatten mountains, cut rain forests, dam rivers, these things pose no problem. Changing our minds is very difficult.” –Terence McKenna

“We represent the individual atoms that are flowing together to make the transcendental object at the end of time.” –Terence McKenna

“The historical record does not support the eschaton.” –Ralph Abraham


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Podcast 066 – “Chaos and Imagination” (Part 2)

Guest speakers: Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, and Rupert Sheldrake


(Minutes : Seconds into program)
02:29 Terence McKenna:
“The ego is essentially paranoia institutionalized.”

03:53 Ralph Abraham:
Considers the possibility that ego became strengthened when psychedelic usage became less frequent.

05:29 Terence:
Talks about a “psychedelic rebirth.”

08:15 Terence:
“A calendrical reform would be a wonderful thing, and I have just the calendar all worked out.”

09:48 Terence:
“It’s an effort to deny man’s mortality, this solar calendar. It’s reinforcing a false notion of permanence, and what we actually want is a calendar that says ‘all is flow, all is flux, all relationships are in motion to everything else. It’s a truer picture of the world.”

13:22 Rupert Sheldrake:
Comments on the fact that the Islamic calendar fits the definition of Terence’s suggested calendar.

16:22 Rupert:
“One of the things that’s clear is that chaos is feminine, and creation out of chaos is like the creation out of the womb, coming out of darkness.”

20:56 Terence:
“I think it’s the notion of as above so below.” . . . “In talking about these things you can’t force closure.”

22:14 Ralph:
Explains how the painting in the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe (the black virgin) is actually a representation of the goddess chaos.

26:19 Terence:
Explains how the Faustian pact with the physical world that humans have made by adopting the “deadly cultural forms” of written language, moveable type, etc. have had a negative impact on our self-image. . . . “In the absence of this boundary-dissolving ecstasies, and replacing that with the machinations and plottings of the ego leads very, very quickly into a cultural cul de sac. . . . This was the wrong-turning.”

29:15 Terence:
Explains the difference between dominator and partnership.

33:17 Terence:
“You cannot trust the dominator style not to go psychotic here at the end.” . . . “Who is it who has the power to pry the dead fingers of the dominator culture from the instrumentality of power?” . . . “Everyone should understand this, that chaos provides opportunity for commandos of the new persuasion to rush forward and jam vital machinery of the dominator metaphor.”

39:14 Terence:
Discusses the question of whether there can be consciousness without an object.


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Podcast 065 – “Chaos and Imagination” (Part 1)

Guest speakers: Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, and Rupert Sheldrake


(Minutes : Seconds into program)

02:29 Ralph Abraham“So I should like now to speak about the chaos
of ordinary life and the relationship of this chaos to the imagination.”

05:41 Ralph:
“Chaos, Gaia, and Eros are the gods, or concepts, of the primitive types.”

13:56 Ralph:
“People have a resistance to their own creative imagination, and I’m suggesting that this resistance has a mythological base.”

20:55 Terence McKenna“Chaos is feminine. Chaos is intuitional. Chaos has a very flirtatious relationship with language.”

22:16 Terence:
“The birthright that connects us to the divine is our poetic capacity, our ability to resonate with an idea of ideal beauty and to create that which transcends our own understanding in the form of art through the imagination.” . . . “We have a secret history. Knowledge of which has been lost to us and only now is recoverable . . . ” . . . “We are the victims of an instance of traumatic abuse in childhood as a species.”

24:34 Terence:
“Once we lived in dynamic balance with nature, not as animals do, but as human beings only could but in a way that we have now lost.” . . . and then he explains what it is that we have lost and how it was lost.

27:46 Terence:
“There are certain episodes in the life of a female which are guaranteed to be boundary dissolving.”

“The beginning of wisdom, I believe, is the ability to accept an inherent messiness in your explanation of what’s going on.” . . . “For me, the creative act is the letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.”

32:37 Terence:
“For me the imagination is the goal of history. I see culture as an effort to literally realize our collective dreams.”

37:30 Terence:
“There will come a moment which will be an absolute leap into space, and we will simply have to have the faith that there is something waiting there, because the dominator style has left us no choice.”

45:01 Terence:
“Fear it is that guards the vineyard.” . . . “So the fear of the psychedelic experience is quite literally the fear of losing control.”


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Podcast 063 – “Creativity and Chaos” (Part 2)

Guest speakers: Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, and Rupert Sheldrake


(Minutes : Seconds into program)
02:14 Ralph Abraham: Takes issue with McKenna’s and Sheldrake’s interpretation of chaotic attractors. . . . To a mathematician, the word ‘attractor’ does not necessarily imply attraction.

07:23 Rupert Sheldrake:
“But Newtonian physics and the triumph of the mechanistic system, in my opinion, only works because what it was seeking to deny was introduced into it by a kind of subterfuge and pretended that this was a mechanical principle whereas it was something else.”

09:37 Ralph:
“The idea of two dimensional time could aid us here.” . . . The problem with the teleological approach is that the cause is in the future.

10:54 Ralph:
“The more interesting idea is to make a model for evolution itself.” . . . “The determinant of evolution [in the case being discussed] is the free will in the moment as the collective action of the citizens in the present.”

13:24 Rupert:
… discuses the concept of morphic attractors as a way of dealing with the fact that somehow, in the present, the person, etc. is subject to the influence of a potential future state that hasn’t yet come into being. “But that future state is what directs and guides and attracts the development of the present system.”

14:26 Terence McKenna:
“Well, this is all very interesting.” . . . “The modeling task, ne plus ultra, is history. This is where you’re no longer playing a little game to demonstrate something to a group of students or colleagues.” . . . “I think the whole reason history has bogged down in the 20th century is because of the absence of belief in an attractor.”

20:31 Terence:
“Our cultural phase transition that we are going through, vis a vie machines, may signify that we are not, as I have always thought, very close to the maximized state of novelty, but that we’re out there somewhere in the middle of that wave . . . “

22:41 Rupert:
“I think there’s a very big difference between spoken language and written language.”

25:16 Ralph:
“Well, I imagine, just to be contrary, that mathematics preceded not only writing, but mathematics probably preceded language as well.” . . . “We could reach a point where we had models that were decent in some sense to aid us in the understanding of complex social relationships.”

33:06 Terence:
“[Ralph] do you still cling to the mathematical proof of the impossibility of monogamy?”

34:16 Terence: “And in a way that’s what I see the three of us and others mentionable as doing. We’re trying to create a self-fulfilling prophecy where it’s such a good idea that it will act as an attractor, and the world will move toward that form.”


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