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"Human history as a response to a future Attractor." - A talk by Terence McKenna
Human history as a response to a future Attractor
A Talk by Terence McKenna
(~ 5 minutes)
"Human history represents such a radical break with the natural systems of biological organization that preceded it, that it must be the response to a kind of Attractor, or dwell point, that lies ahead in the temporal dimension. ..."
(Note: If an empty rectangle appears just below this note, try clicking on it. An icon of the HipCast audio player should appear, from which you can play Terence's talk. ~ ron)
Here's my rough transcript of Terence's talk:
"Human history represents such a radical break with the natural systems of biological organization that preceded it, that it must be the response to a kind of Attractor, or dwell point, that lies ahead in the temporal dimension.
Persistently, Western religions have integrated into their theologies the notion of a kind of end of the world, and I think that a lot of psychedelic experimentation sort of confirms this intuition. I mean it isn't going to happen according to any of the scenarios of orthodox religion, but the basic intuition that the universe seeks closure in a kind of Omega Point of transcendence is confirmed. It's almost as though this object in hyperspace, glittering in hyperspace, throws off reflections of itself, which actually ricochet into the past, illuminating this mystic, inspiring that saint or visionary, and that out of these fragmentary glimpses of Eternity, we can build a kind of map of not only the past of the universe, of the evolution and ingression into novelty, but a kind of map of the future.
This is what Shamanism has always been about; a Shaman is someone who has been to the End, is someone who knows how the world really works. -- And knowing how the world really works means to have risen outside, above, beyond the dimensions of ordinary space, time, and casuistry, and actually seen the wiring under the board. Stepped outside of the confines of learned culture and learned and embedded language into the domain of what Wittgenstein called the Unspeakable, the transcendental presence of the Other, which can be ascensioned in various ways to yield systems of knowledge which can be brought back into ordinary social space for the good of the community. And so in the context of 90% of human culture, the Shaman has been the agent of evolution -- because the Shaman learns the techniques to go between ordinary reality and the domain of the Ideas, this higher dimensional continuum that is somehow parallel to us, available to us, and yet ordinarily occluded by the cultural convention out of fear of the Mystery, I believe. And what Shamans are, are people who have been able to decondition themselves from the communities of instinctual distrust of the Mystery, and to go into It, to go into this bewildering higher dimension, and gain knowledge, to recover the Jewel lost at the beginning of time, save souls, cure, commune with the ancestors and so forth and so on. A Shamanism is not a religion, it's a set of techniques -- and the principle technique is the use of psychedelic plants.
What psychedelics do is they dissolve boundaries. And in the presence of dissolved boundaries, one cannot continue to close one's eyes to the ruination of the earth, the poisoning of the seas, and the consequences of 2000 years of unchallenged dominator culture, based on monotheism, hatred of nature, suppression of female, so forth and so on. So what Shamans have to do is act as exemplars, by ... making this cosmic journey to the domain of the Gaian Ideas, and then bringing them back, in the form of art, to the struggle to save the world. ..." (~ 3 minutes of music follows)
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