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Terence McKenna's Novelty Theory

A transcribed and abridged version of a 1997 Terence McKenna talk at the Esalen Institute.  From the wonderful Psychedelic Salon podcast.

The Timewave

The Timewave is a variable wave scaled against time.  What this is measuring is the ebb and flow of novelty and habit.

The basic assumption is, there is a quality to reality which science has overlooked.  Some people in the east have called it Tao.  I want to divorce myself from the freight of that tradition and call it novelty.  Novelty is the quality in nature that seeks complexity; and it's countervailing force is called habit.  I am proposing that we live in a universe ruled by two fundamental forces that are larger than physics and electromagnetism; habit and novelty.  In every situation, whether it lasts a millisecond or a billion years, the struggle between these two tendencies of the universe can be discerned.

Now, it's pretty self-explanatory what these terms mean but I'll run through it.  Habit means repetition of previously established patterns, continuation of an equilibrium situation, a tendency for a system to degrade entropically under the aegis of the second law of thermodynamics, a conservative tendency, a preservationist tendency.  What is novelty?  It is the new, the untried, levels of complexification previously unachieved, unusual connectivity, creativity, surprise.  These two things are locked in struggle over vast scales of time. They are not eternally locked in struggle because the good news is that novelty is winning.

If you get big enough chunks of time, though there may be vicissitudes, ups and downs, ultimately the situation ends up more novel than it started out.  Ilya Prigogine, who got the Nobel Prize for work in non-equilibrium thermodynamics, called this "the principle of order through perturbation".  A counter-intuitive phenomenon in physical chemistry because for a very long time, one of the strongest-held faiths in physics was that the universe is undergoing thermodynamic degradation.  In other words, everything is tending to fall apart.  Prigogine showed that this is not true, even in simple physical systems there can be spontaneous mutations to higher states of order.  So what's really going on in the universe is a struggle between these two tendencies.

The basic data comes out of the I Ching.  "So you want to make a revision in physics based on a Chinese occult divinitory system?  Are we getting this correct?"

First of all, let's look at the Western notion of time as we derive it from Newton.  The Western notion of time is called "pure duration".  The only thing time is in Western physics is the place where you put process so that it doesn't all happen at once.  Time has no quality, it is pure duration.  Think of it as a perfectly smooth surface.  The only modification to this doctrine over the past 500 years is Einstein came along 100 years ago and said, "In the presence of massive gravitational fields this perfect smoothness is slightly distorted over very large scales."  So we go from perfectly smooth, pure duration, to slightly curved space-time.

This adherence to the idea that time is perfectly smooth is a sentimental notion left over from our obsession with perfect geometrical shapes when Greek science kicked off about 2500 years ago.  It took Kepler and Copernicus to demonstrate the orbits of the planets were not perfect circles and one by one the perfect objects of Greek mathematical and geometric theorising have been laid aside; except this idea of pure duration.

The reason the idea of pure duration has been hung on to is because modern science does its business through a series of hat tricks called "probability theory".  The unexamined assumption is that time is completely uniform, that it does not matter when the measurement was made.  Is there any reason to assume that?  Looking at nature there is no reason to assume that; however, you cannot do science unless you assume that.  Science depends on what is called the "experimental method" and basic to the idea of experiment is what is called the "restoration of initial conditions".  If time is not uniform, then you cannot restore initial conditions.  If you cannot restore initial conditions you cannot make sense of probabilistic data.  If we were intellectually honest about what's going on, we should say, probability theory and modern science is the study of those natural phenomena so course-grained that an assumption of a restoration of initial conditions does not destroy the integrity of the phenomena.  In other words, a lens that can be focused only to a certain depth.

What we're interested in are love affairs, dynastic transitions, corporate takeovers, political revolutions and family feuds.  The interesting thing about these things is that they never happen the same way twice, we would never even expect such a thing.  We understand that the complexity of those phenomena ensures their uniqueness.

This theory has probably not stormed the intellectual battlements of Western Civilisation because it poses so fundamental a challenge.  Science cannot swallow the Timewave.  You have to choose one or the other.  The Timewave is not occult, but it is not science as we have done it for the past 500 years.  Because it assumes that one of our primary intuitions is true.  The intuition that every moment is unique.  It treats that as the central starting point for an entirely new metaphysic of being.

Now why the I Ching?  For the same reason that Western culture evolved a maniacal obsession with matter that ends with atomic fusion, sequencing of the DNA, room-temperature super-conductors and all that, in the East people were interested in time, the other great mystery given to us in this dimension.  The way you understand and investigate time is by moving inward into metabolism.  The human body is a knot in time.  It is a non-thermal dynamic state of equilibrium maintained by the miricle of metabolism.  Metabolism is a slow controlled chemical burning of organic material.  A so subtle form of burning that the energy is trapped in various membranes and cytochrome cascades and put to the work of organism.

If you imagine then, at some time thousands of years in the past, a people possessing techniques that today we would call yogic; noticeable breathing, noticeable heartbeat, noticeable pulse, techniques for stilling all this.  As noise leaves the physiological circuits, the mind falls inward into a world of interiorised phenomena for which we have no language, because this is not our cultural obsession.  We say it's dream, it's hallucination, but in other cultures complex vocabularies were developed to study these things, vocabularies as complex as our scientific vocabulary.

Out of 110 basic elements the entire world of material phenomena emerges.  Similarly, in the inspection of time, it was realised, that time too comes in flavours, 64.  They not only saw that time is made out of these elements but they saw that they occurred in certain patterns of fixed occurance, at different levels, at different speeds.  That from the point of view of this I Ching philosphy, a given moment in being, at some locus of space and time, is a kind of interference pattern created by moving levels of influence and these influences interpenetrate each other on many levels.  And all of this can in fact be quantified and mathematecised and portrayed in the universal language of mathematics and that's what I've tried to do.

When the wave moves up, habit is increasing, when the wave moves down, novelty is increasing.  And you can feel these things in your own life.  100 million years of radiation into all sorts of niches across the planet, then suddenly a planetary cooling and a mass extinction, the novel forms disappear.  But over long periods of time, as I said, habit is vanquished and novelty is concentrated.  The other half of the story is that this process of movement into deeper novelty is speeding up, always has been speeding up.  Once life appears, the pace quickens.  Once life leaves the ocean the thing is practically a direct descent into novelty.

It's telling us that 4500 BC a descent into novelty is underway; Sumer, Ur, Chaldea, Babylon, Egypt, a series of civilizations, each leaping beyond the accomplishments of the other until we reach the pyramid-building phase of Egypt, the Old Kingdom, something that was not surpassed in novelty until early Roman times.  This up-swing back into habit is characterised by brutal civilisations; the Hittites, the Mitanni, Imperial Assyria; motorcycle gangs with chariots.  The turning point is up here when Homer sings his song.  That's what set the last phase in motion.  Homer sings his song and it begins an almost unbroken cascade into modernity.

There is an aspect of this theory that I find very appealing that I haven't touched on yet.  I showed you a screen where I said that at the top of a certain mountain Homer sang his song, this is that same shape.  But now we're not looking at thousands of years, we're only looking at 52 years.  If this is a span of time from 1944 to 1996 it is, on another level, a span of time from roughly late Egyptian time to Umayyad Caliphate, with Homer singing his song up here.  On the short scale, the 52 year scale, this is 1967.  Now these two things are, according to this theory, in a situation of resonance or geometrical relationship to each other. 

In other words, orthodox theories of history and time would tell you that the most important moment shaping this moment is the moment which just preceded this moment.  It was, as it were, the conduit for the wave of causal necessity to arrive at this moment; but I'm saying something different.  I'm saying that every moment in time is an interference pattern made by other moments in time that are related to each other not through linear seriality but through this much more complex schema of relations.

If the theory has any utility, if this idea of habit and novelty has any instructive value at all, then we should find novel events clustered in these troughs and we should find periods of constipated recidivism on these up-sweeps.  So now we have two data fields with which to play, the mathematically defined wave and the admittedly messy data of natural and human history, and you can seek a best-fit between them.  When you impartially get them lined up so that it seems that most major episodes of novelty that historians or people who care about these things agree on and most low points in the wave line up with each other, then you simply go to the end of the wave and look at the end-point and it kicks out a date.

Every theory has a hard swallow.  The hard swallow in ordinary science is the Big Bang.  If you can believe that the whole universe sprang from nothing in a single instant for no reason, what would you resist as a hypothesis?  Science says, "Give us one free miracle and we can then go from there and never ask the favor again."  So apparently you get one free miracle in your system building.  The secret of universal architectonics has been handed over to an Irishman by a mushroom for the edification of mankind.  I mean, that is too much.  So we have this peculiar three-pronged situation.  We have a pattern in the King Wen Sequence of the I Ching, taken by an Irishman, and contorted into a mathematical wave which gives a prediction for the apotheosis of the world which matches the expectations of a vanished Mesoamerican civilization.

You see, if the last cycle from 1945 to 2012 is real then in a sense all larger cycles are compacted into it.  In a sense, from 1945 to 2012, we're reliving the entire history of the world.  Consequently there's this feeling of things moving faster and faster.  In a universe that was actually built on this type of architecture, imagine this, a universe that actually had this kind of closure, where each time cycle was 1/64 the size of the one that preceded it.

Apparently, as far as I can tell, what will happen is that as novelty asymptotically increases in the final months, hours, minutes, milliseconds, boundaries will dissolve, all boundaries.  We see the nation state dissolving, but wait until the atomic field dissolves.  Everything is apparently crunching together in some kind of meltdown.  It's the equivalent of a black hole, but it's not a gravitational collapse, it's a novelty collapse.  We are collapsing into a black hole of novelty.  And I've tried to imagine how this could happen.

The way it was revealed was very odd, because it never let me see where I was going, I couldn't figure out what I was doing.  It said, "Go buy graph paper.  Go get your I Ching.  Look at the King Wen Sequence.  Graph the first order of difference."  I would try and guess, "What are we doing?  Are we discovering an ancient Chinese calendar?  Why are we doing this?"  "No, no, don't worry about that.  Next step."  And it always hid from me where I was headed.  It still hides from me, where I'm headed.  The software has been written, the controversy rages on the internet, I even now have critics.  I'm not sure about the wisdom of all of this, but I figure, let the meme fight for its life in the jungle of competing models of reality.


I did talk earlier in the weekend about this model of the hyper-dimensional object intruding into three-dimensional space-time and through the miracle of metabolism wrapping matter around itself for a few years and then when the hyper-dimensional form retracts out of this lower-dimensional matrix the matter that it's organised simply falls apart.  I like that model.

The thing about DMT is that it is an inhabited space.  A huge percentage of the people who take it encounter entities of some sort, entities with intelligence, with language.  Some people, including myself,  wanted to leap to the conclusion that these must be the aliens, we've finally found their hive.  It isn't under the Atlantic trench, it isn't inside Mount Everest, they're hiding inside this organic molecule.  But, I think, in service of the principle of parsimony, preferring the simplest explanation, these things must be human souls.  It's easier for me to believe in the human soul than to believe in a colony of extraterrestrials camped inside an alkaloid.  It's not that easy for me to believe in human souls, but still, the feeling you have from these things is one of immense affection for humanity.

In other words, if you were to actually die, rather than smoke DMT, then - if we follow this model - you would be in that place but there would be no going back to this world after five minutes.  It appears like, once out of the body this incredibly enfolded and compacted field called the soul begins to unfold into its death rite, and quickly one would become incomprehensible to this world.  And all that is retained is the affection for us in our limited situation.

Any situation can be looked at from a point-of-view that reveals the whole fractal.  In other words, experience is holographic on one level, but linearly sequential on another level.  It says, the most novel and amazing thing that will ever happen to you is the last thing that will ever happen to you; we gather our experiences, we become wiser, we meet people, life becomes more novel, we have children, they have children, we have success, we have failure.  If you're living right your life should just get more and more baroque, beautiful, complicated, mysterious and then you die and then it really gets interesting.  That's what this all seems to want us to believe.  "But if the world is fractal, then is it not true that the evolution of an individual could be extrapolated to be the evolution of the whole system?"  That leads to the mildly unsettling possibility that this great transition we are moving toward is not T1 for everybody but D1 for everybody.  In other words, death. 

Death is the thing that really stirs us; we don't know what it is.  I've looked a lot at asteroid impactors because the people who study these things know that this is not an act of god or a miracle, this happens.  It has happened, it will happen; and it happens on different scales.  A meteor crater in Arizona 50,000 years ago and everything within 800 miles of that impact died instantly.  65 million years ago an object the size of Manhatten impacted in the gulf of Campaychay and nothing on this planet larger than a chicken walked away from that.  You talk about ecological disaster, there's never been one like that in the history of the planet.  Thousands, tens of thousands of species died, entire orders of animals were wiped out, the continents were rearranged.  But the flowering plants of which we are so fond, and our own dear selves, of which we are even more fond, would never have had the chance to insinuate themselves into the evolutionary life of this planet had there not been that clearing out of the reptilian climax.

So you look at this thing and then you say, "Was this the greatest mass extinction in history, or the greatest leap forward for biology in the history of the planet?"  And the answer is, it was both.  Out of enormous death comes an enormous surge in the domain of organic novelty.


Now we're working from the notebooks.  In other words, this is not prepared for public consumption, this is something I meditate on in the bath.

I can't help but notice that as novelty increases in time - according to this model - that the spatial domain of its focus narrows.  So for instance, in the early phase of the Timewave the stars are condensing and the galaxies are forming.  We could say that the entire universe is moving toward novelty.  But once carbon chemistry appears the cycles of fusion in stars and production of heavy elements and things like this are stabilized and the domain of novelty becomes biology and for a billion and a half years biology evolves and adumbrates its forms and moves from the prokaryotes to the eukaryotes to the multicellular, the conquest of the land begins.  But then, with the emergence of language-using and tool-using higher primates, novelty leaves the domain of organic life and organic life becomes metastable and evolution and mutation happens, but where the action has moved is into the epigenetic domain entirely defined, on this planet, by human activity.

And so the human beings are the carriers of novelty.  And that has gone on until about, pick a number, about 3000 to 2500 years ago.  And then the novelty seems to concentrate itself in Southern Europe.  The Greeks take some kind of step that no other people had ever taken.  The Greek mind crossed an invisible boundary and somebody said, "Let's take a block of marble or some clay and let's not symbolise a human being, let's make a perfect topological simulacrum of a human being.  A face that looks like a face, flesh that looks like flesh."  It was like the Greek consciousness rose to the surface and left the unconscious behind.  The eyes were open and no longer saw through symbolic filters but instead said, "Nature, in and of itself."  This is the foundation for science and art as we know it.  So the novelty then was largely in the hands, I'm rushing here, exceptions are obvious, in the hands of what we call the Greco-Roman mind.  And so it has been for a couple of thousand years.

Well then, pick a number, a hundred years or so ago, it further contracted the novelty into the high-tech industrial democracy.  And now it has further retracted.  One of the problems we're having is that there's a bifurcation going on in our society.  Part of us are going with the new novel technologies that knit us together and make us dimensional telepathic creatures through the internet and some people are digging in their heels and saying, "Oh no no beyond newspapers I can't go."  And so those people are being left behind.  They are practicing old-style culture in an equilibrium state.

So now it isn't even all of the high-tech populations of the industrial democracies.  As we get closer to 2012, if this process proceeds, then the source of novelty will constrict even further and I guess it may eventually come down to one or two people, or a group of people.  And maybe those people will make a machine and then the machine will be the source of the novelty and all of us will be put out to the pasture of equilibrium and maintain the rest of the world as it was.  But the novelty would have focused to some incredibly intense point.  And looking at it from that model it's hard to see how it could be an asteroid impact or something like that because that would affect all biology, all geology, it would completely violate this long-standing tendency of the novelty to concentrate itself. 

Well now the Buddhists have an interesting perspective that maybe has something to do with this.  There are many schools of Buddhism and I don't want to get into that.  But there are schools which hold the following doctrine.  That if a single person could attain enlightenment then all sentient beings in the cosmos would attain enlightenment instantly.  In other words, that only one person, or one being, has to break through the boundary for the entire state system to collapse and rearrange itself. 

The future

It is 2012-12-21 and through the worldwide VRML hookup of the internet everybody with an IQ above ten has gathered in the great collective space to witness the first attempt to send a human being through time.  At the World Temporal Studies Institute at Lochaera in the Amazon the president of so-and-so makes a speech, the lady time traveller makes a speech, she straps on her helmet, she steps into the machine, the "Fanfare for the Common Man" is played, a button is pushed, and off she goes into the future. 

Now, what has always been put against time travel is what's called the Grandfather Paradox.  If time travel were possible I could travel back in time and kill my grandfather.  If I did that I wouldn't exist, therefore I couldn't do it, therefore there is a closed loop of paradox, therefore time travel isn't possible.  I put this to the mushroom and it said, "Well, time travel is possible but you can only travel as far back in time as the moment of the invention of the first time machine.  You can't travel further back in time than that because there were no time machines before that."

So here is my model of what would happen when the lady temponaut sails off into the future.  Let's forget about her and ask the question, What happens next in our world?  And my first guess was, what happens next is thousands and thousands of time machines arrive from all points in the future.  They have come back through time to witness the first time machine take off.  And then I said, "Well, but wait a minute.  We haven't dealt with the grandfather paradox.  One of these time machines from the distant future, on its way to the first time flight, could stop off and kill the grandfather of the driver of that time machine and we haven't got anywhere at all."  So then I built a slightly more complicated model, because the future is not what we think it is. 

What happens when the lady temponaut goes into the future is not that time machines arrive from all over the future.  What happens is that the entire rest of the history of the universe happens instantly; evolutionary developments, conquests of the galaxy, vast technologies that allow star-flight and wormhole travel and all that.  The fruits of all that are delivered instantly to our doorstep in 2012.  I call it the God Whistle Model.  In other words, we end the whole thing.  We collapse the state vector and everything goes into a state of novelty.  And what happens then, I think, is the universe becomes entirely made of light.

Parity is conserved

There is something in physics called the Principle of Parity.  This is that particles can appear out of nothingness as long as they appear in pairs such that after a certain period of time the members of the pair encounter and annihilate each other.  When this happens, physicists say, parity is conserved.  Now it's known in quantum physics that there is a phenomenon called vacuum fluctuation.  Vacuum fluctuation is a situation where in absolutely empty space, suddenly out of the quantum sub-space particles jump into existence, they follow trajectories, they encounter each other, they annihilate each other, parity is conserved.  So you talk to these quantum physicists and you ask, "How large can one of these vacuum fluctuations be?"  And they say, "Most of them, they last milliseconds, nanoseconds."  You say, "Well, is there a theoretical upper-limit on the size of a vacuum fluctuation dictated by theory?"  And they say, "No, no no.  It's simply that the longer the fluctuation lasts, the rarer it is."  So, in other words, the longer a vacuum fluctuation occurs, the less likely you are to encounter one.  Well then you say, "Is it possible that this entire universe is such a vacuum fluctuation?"  They say, "Yes, but that would be very rare to have such a long one."  You say, "Hell, you only need one!"  Calculating the probability of a unicate event is a fool's game, it's either 100% sure or zero sure. 

So here is a model, and I took this from the Swedish physicist Hannes Alfven, who hasn't gotten enough credit but who's a very interesting thinker.  Imagine that the universe is this kind of vacuum fluctuation, a 17 billion-year-long vacuum fluctuation.  Well, what it means then is that at the Big Bang, not one universe was born, but two.  And they sailed off into superspace and they have no connectivity with each other, or they have Bell's non-local connectivity or something.  But anyway, they are distinctly separate.  But they are, unbeknown to each other, on a collision course.  Parity must be conserved, eventually.  And a model like this holds open the possibility of the instantaneous transformation of the entire cosmos because the collision of these two universes would not occur in three-dimensional space, it would occur in a higher-dimensional space.  So this cosmological model holds out the possibility that all matter in the universe could be instantaneously cancelled in this encounter with the antimatter twin that was born at the beginning of the cosmos. 

Every particle known to physics possesses an anti-particle which is locked into this parity-conserving thing played out for you with one exception, one astonishing and amazing exception.  The photon has no anti-particle.  There is no anti-photon.  So this universe is on a collision-course with itself in hyperspace, at the moment of the conservation of parity, all matter vanishes, and what is left is a universe made entirely of light.  And we have no model, I have no model, for a universe made of light.

What would happen to forms?  What would happen to your body, my body, this planet?  The answer is, no one can know.  But it is very interesting that the esoteric traditions of nearly every religion talk about light a great deal.  Talk about ascent to the light, cultivation of the light, the after-death vehicle as a thing made of light.  So, I just put this out here because it occurred to me.  My imagination, my effort to make the assumptions of novelty theory congruent with the known laws of physics, you know.  This sounds like wild-hair stuff, but no violation of the known laws of physics is involved in this scenario.  So perhaps enlightenment is when an entire universe drops its matter and antimatter out of its structure and it becomes entirely made of light.  That would certainly fulfill the novelty theory.  Anyway, that's enough of that malarkey.

Zero Point

Well, you see the way the novelty theory is structured is you have this wave and it is iterated on different scales.  And if you have a given level, let's call it A, above A is a larger level that is A times 64.  Below A is a smaller level that is one sixtyfourth of A.  And wherever you go in the hierarchy this is true; levels above, 64 times larger, levels below, 64 times smaller.

The Timewave had the largest cycle I found necessary a 72 billion year cycle.  So let's call that the top cycle, the A level.  A 72 billion year cycle, plenty of time for the universe to evolve to its present state.  Below that is a level one sixtyfourth that size, roughly 1.2 billion years.  At the initiation of that cycle some dramatic thing happens in biology.  Below it is another cycle, if the B level is 1.2 billion years then the next level is one sixtyfourth of that, roughly 275 million years.  Next cycle, divided by 64, 750,000 years.  You see where I'm going. 

Eventually you get to a cycle that is 4306 years in duration.  That is basically the cycle of late history.  The next cycle down is only 67 years long, from 1945 to 2012.  Each cycle begins with a bang, literally.  Below the 67 year cycle there is a 384 day cycle and that will run from late-2011 to the end of 2012.  And I call that the Year of the Jackpot, it's a 13 month year, but the entire history of the universe will be reprised in that 384 day period.  Then comes a six day cycle.  By this time either I will have gently bowed out or the entire world will be aware of what is happening because the novelty will be so intense.  Imagine a six day cycle in which the entire previous 67 year, 4306 year, up to the top level, are all being compressed and replayed in six days.  Then comes the 95 minutes cycle.  Then comes the minute and a half cycle.  Then comes the 1.3 second cycle.

Now, at that point, 1.3 seconds, if we assume that the cycles cannot be iterated beyond the level of Planck's Constant, you still have 13 cycles to go through and you have come through 13 cycles.  So the universe is only half done 1.3 seconds before its end.  That's why asking what will happen in 2012 is preposterous; the mind fails.  Half of the universe's evolutionary unfolding will occur in the last few milliseconds of its existence because of the asymptotic expression of the acceleration of novelty.  So it's this thing that began very gently, very stately; the march of the atom, the condensation of the stars in the galaxies, the emergence of biology, the emergence of higher animals and into a screeching photo finish where all the stuff is bundled together, squeezed together, connected, transformed, lifted into higher dimensions.  And this is not a process we can take responsibility for and discuss our guilt or innocence, this is the cosmos itself tearing loose from its previous constraints and moving ever-faster toward ever-greater freedom with ever-more appetite and momentum until it achieves its goal, which is infinite novelty throughout all space and time; holographic connectedness, god-mindedness, you know, whatever your vocabulary is.

It's mind-boggling to think of this in human scales of time, that half of the universe's becoming occurred in a few milliseconds; but dig, that is the position of orthodox physics as we sit here.  It's just that they say it happened at the beginning, I say it'll happen at the end.  The Big Bang occurred and then a few nanoseconds after the Big Bang there was this thing called the inflationary-expansion phase.  It lasted a few nanoseconds and in those few nanoseconds the universe became tens of orders of magnitude larger than it was.  So it's a legitimate move in physics, however counter-intuitive it may seem on the human scale.

Once beyond the zero point novelty must mean the simultaneous realisation of bifurcations of all sorts.  In other words, what ultimate novelty must mean is anything we say it means.  There are no limitations when novelty soars to infinity.  The universe is a series of impediments to the expression of novelty and when it has overcome all those impediments there is a flawless higher-dimensional matrix throughout all being, I guess is how you put it.


Let me try to sum this up, certainly not to sum up the ideas because the ideas are really not that important.  They may be true, they may be untrue, they may reside in a domain where those rules don't apply.

Maybe you don't understand ten-dimensional vector calculus, then don't use that tool to understand.  Hone the tools that you have and try to create models.  Understand that all models are provisional.  This is the antidote to the idea of ideology.  Ideology is when you believe something passionately.  Models are when you dispassionately attempt to define the operation of a system.  The word model implies that you are perfectly willing to discard the model when a better model comes along.

I mean, get a grip people, where is it written in adamantane that talking monkeys should be able to understand the universe?  If you met a termite who told you that he was on a quest to understand the universe, a certain lip-curling cynicism would ensue.  Do you think you're better positioned than that termite to undertake that?  To understand what one understands and then to build outward from that.  The tools are mathematics, drugs, attention to phenomena, intuition, community and inspiration.  These things may not solve your marital problems or increase your earning power, but they will put you in touch with the larger dynamic of being.

I think being is most appreciated when it is understood, that is why worship raises my hackles.  True religiosity is signified by honest intellectual efforts to model and understand and it's by that process that we increase our connectivity to the universe and the depth and richness of our connectivity to our community.

That's what it's really all about.  That's our glory; to understand, to model, to describe, to explore, to appreciate.  So, meet me at the waterfall at the top of the river.

1 comment:

Ten Thousand Winds said...

Fascinating stuff. Mckenna suggests more novelty in one day then in 2 billion years. Approaching this fast maybe in next five years. I can barely comprehend this.