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This nOde last updated June 8th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
(4 Cig (Owl) / 4 Zots (Bat) - 56/260 - 22.214.171.124.16)
Centering his attention on examining the King Wen sequence of sixty four hexagrams, McKenna's search for the ordering principles that lay behind it managed to translate what was essentially a mystical diagram into a rationally apprehensible, mathematical model. Working with Peter Meyer, McKenna developed a personal computer software package that takes his discoveries concerning the I Ching and creates time maps based upon them. These time maps, or novelty maps, show the ebb an flow of connectedness, or novelty, in any span of time from a few days to tens of millennia.
In McKenna's novelty map, when the graph line moves downward, novelty is assumed to be increasing. When there is movement away from the base line, novelty is assumed to be decreasing in favor of habitual forms of activity. According to this graph, one trend toward greater novelty reached its culmination around 2700 B.C., precisely at the height of the Old Kingdom pyramid-building phase. Perhaps most remarkable of all McKenna's discoveries was the fact that the only point in the entire wave that has a quantified value of zero is December 21, 2012 A.D. -- the same date that has been interpreted as the Mayan Calendar's end of time.
The Timewave zero model shows the past 1,500 years to have been highly novel times that have oscillated at levels of novelty very close to the horizontal axis, the maximized "zero state." When the zero point is reached, the wave passes out of the past and into the future. We are approaching a point, says McKenna, "when the rational and acausal tendencies inherent in time may again reverse their positions of dominance."
McKenna views history, with it's hunger for completion, as "an anomaly... a complete fluke," in which "all ideas of salvation, enlightenment, or utopia may be taken to be expressions in consciousness of the drive of energy to free itself from the limitations of three-dimensional space." As history races toward it's denouement, evolution is carried out of strictly biological confines and into the mental realm where language and other abstractions begin to pull us together toward "a complex attractor that exists ahead of us in time." This"concrescence," says McKenna is now so close that it can be felt in the sense of accelerating time and complexity.
McKenna discusses the repercussions
of our collective approach to Timewave Zero
and how psychedelics
can be used to condition ourselves for our upcoming move into of the body
of eternity and out of three-dimensional time and space.
And the beginning of intellectual maturity is to be able to simultaneously hold two contradictory ideas in your mind at the same time. People ask me if I believe in the 2012 prediction. I don't believe in anything. My anti-ideological stance makes it very important to believe nothing. I regard Timewave Zero as a fascinating model of a previously unmodelled system - which is human history. The fact that it seems to deliver interesting data... for instance, I predicted a very deep plunge into novelty this past summer. Just as it was at its deepest, the Martian meteorite chock full of fossils arrived - along with a lot of email demanding to know where was the miracle I had predicted. [laughter] I like the word models. What we're trying to do is build models. By saying the word 'models', we make it very clear that this is not 'Truth', and that there will be a better model, and we'll swap the old for the new. So at the moment Timewave Zero is simply a better model of history than the idea that there is no model at all, which is what's taught in the Academy. The definition of history, if you study history in the Academy, is: it's a trendlessly fluctuating process. If true, it's the only trendlessly fluctuating process ever to be observed in this universe. So obviously it's not true, it's just that we lack a model. So people say... like, Toynbee's model was that 'God is waiting', somebody else had a 'Great Man' model, Marx believed it was all driven by class struggle, and Freud that it was all libido. Well, these are just opinions. Those aren't theories, those are opinions. A theory has an ability to make predictions, and refine itself, so that's what I offer with Timewave Zero.
- Terence McKenna
Hello.. alright. Have you
ever noticed how ahh, there's this quality to reality which comes and goes,
and kind of ebbs and flows
and nobody ever mentions it or has a name for it except some people call
it a 'bad hair day' or some people say 'Things are really weird recently.'
And I think we never notice it and we never talk about it because we're
embedded in a culture that expects us to believe that all times are the
same, and that your bank account doesn't fluctuate except according to
the vicissitudes of your own existence. In other words, every moment is
expected to be the same and yet this isn't what we experience. And so what
I noticed was that running through reality is the ebb and flow of novelty.
And some days, and some years, and some centuries are very novel indeed,
and some ain't. And they come and go on all scales differently, interweaving, resonating.
And this is what time seems to be. And Science has overlooked this, this
most salient of facts about nature: that nature is a novelty conserving
engine. And that from the very first moments
of that most improbable big bang, novelty has been conserved because in
the very beginning there was only an ocean of energy pouring into the universe.
There were no planets, no stars, no molecules, no atoms, no magnetic fields;
there was only an ocean of free electrons. And then time passed and the
universe cooled and novel structures crystallized out of disorder. First,
atoms; atoms of hydrogen and helium
aggregating into stars. And at the center of those stars the temperature
and the pressure created something which had never been seen before which
And fusion cooking in the hearts of stars brought forth more novelty: heavy
elements - iron, carbon, four-valent carbon. And as time passed there were
not only then elementary systems but because of the presence of carbon
and the lower temperatures in the universe, molecular structures. And out
of molecules come simple subsets of organism. The genetic machinery for
aggregating into membranes, always binding novelty, always condensing time,
always building and conserving upon complexity, and always faster and faster
And then we come to ourselves.
And where do WE fit into all of this. Five million years ago we were an
animal of some sort. Where will we be five million years from tonight?
What we represent is not a sideshow, or an epiphenomenon, or an ancillary
something-or-other on the edge of nowhere. What WE represent is the nexus
novelty that has been moving itself together, complexifying itself, folding
itself in upon itself for billions and billions of years. There is, so
far as we know, nothing more advanced than what is sitting behind your
eyes. The human neocortex is the most densely ramified complexified structure
in the known universe. We are the cutting
edge of organismic transformation of matter in this cosmos. And this
has been going on for a while; since the discovery of fire, since the discovery
But now, and by now I mean in the last 10,000 years, we've been into something
new. Not genetic information, not genetic mutation, not natural selection,
but epigenetic activity: writing, theatre, poetry, dance,
art, tattooing, body piercing and philosophy. And these things have accelerated
the ingression into novelty so that we have become an idea excreting force
in nature that builds temples, builds cities, builds machines, social engines,
plans, and spreads over the Earth, into space, into the micro-physical
domain, into the micro-physical domain. We, who five million years ago
were animals, can kindle in our deserts and if necesary upon the cities
of our enemies the very energy which lights the stars at night. Now, something
peculiar is going on here. Something is calling us out of nature and sculpting
us in it's own image. And the confrontation with this something is now
not so far away. This is what the impending apparent end of everything
actually means. It means that the denoument of human history is about to
occur and is about to be revealed as a universal process
and expressing novelty that is now going to become so intensified
that it is going to flow over into another dimension.
You can feel it. You can feel it in your own dreams.
You can feel it in your own trips. You can feel that we're approaching
the cusp of a catastrophe, and that beyond that cusp we are unrecognizable
to ourselves. The wave
of novelty that has rolled unbroken since the birth of the universe has
and coalesced itself in our species. And if it seems unlikely to you that
the world is about to transform itself, then think of it this way: think
of a pond, and think of how if the surface of the pond begins to boil -
that's the signal that some enormous protean form is about to break the
surface of the pond and reveal itself. Human history IS the boiling of
the pond surface of ordinary biology. We are flesh which has been caught
in the grip of some kind of an attractor
that lies ahead of us in time, and that is sculpting us to its ends; speaking
to us through psychedelics,
through visions, through culture, and technology, consciousness. The language
forming capacity in our species is propelling itself forward as though
it were going to shed the monkey body and leap into some extra-surreal
space that surrounds us, but that we can not currently see. Even the people
who run the planet, the World Bank, the IMF, you name it, they know that
history is ending. They know by the reports which cross their desks: the
disappearance of the ozone, the toxification of the ocean, the clearing
of the rain forests. What this means is that the womb of the planet has
reached its finite limits, and that the human species has now, without
choice, begun the decent down the birth canal of collective transformation
toward something right around the corner and nearly completely unimaginable.
And this is where the psychedelic shaman
comes is because I believe that what we really contact
through psychedelics is a kind of hyperspace.
And from that hyperspace we look down on..., we look down on both the past
and the future, and we anticipate the end. And a shaman is someone who
has seen the end, and therefore is a trickster,
because you don't worry if you've seen the end. If you know how it comes
out you go back and you take your place in the play, and you let it all
roll on without anxiety. This is what boundary
dissolution means. It means nothing less than the anticipation of the
end state of human history. A return
to the archaic mode. A rediscovery of the orgiastic freedom of the
African grasslands of 20,000 years ago. A techno-escape forward into a
future that looks more like the past than the future because materialism,
consumerism, product-fetishism, all of these things will be eliminated
and technology will become nanotechnology
and disappear from our physical presence.
If we have the dream, if
we allow the wave of novelty to propel us toward the creativity that is
inimitable to the human condition. That's what we're talking about here:
psychedelics as a catalyst to the human imagination,
psychedelics as a catalyst for language; because what cannot be said, cannot
be created by the community. So what we need then is the forced evolution
of language. And the way to do that is to go back to the agents that created
language in the very first place. And that means the psychedelic plants,
and the mysterious, beckoning, extraterrestrial minds beyond. Hooking ourselves
back up in to the chakras
of the hierarchy of nature, turning ourselves over to the mind of the total
other that created us and brought us forth out of animal organization.
We are somehow part of the planetary destiny. How well we do determines
how well the
experiment of life on Earth does, because we have become the cutting edge of that experiment, we define it, and we hold in our hands the power to make or to break it.
This is not a dress rehearsal
for the apocalypse. This is not a pseudo-millenium. This is the real thing
folks. This is not a test. This is the last chance before things become
so dissipated that there is no chance for cohesiveness. We can use the
calender as a club. We can make the millenium an occasion for establishing
an authentic human civilization, overcoming the dominator paradigm, dissolving
boundaries through psychedelics, recreating a sexuality not based on monotheism,
monogamy and monotony. We.. All these things are possible if we can
understand the overarching metaphor which holds it together which is the
celebration of mind as play, the celebration of love as a genuine social
value in the community. This is what they have suppressed so long. This
is why they are so afraid of the psychedelics, because they understand
that once you touch the inner core of your own and someone else's being
you can't be led into thing-fetishes and consumerism. The message of psychedelics
is that culture can be re-engineered as a set of emotional values
rather than products. This is terrifying news. And if we are able to make
this point then we can pull back, we can pull back and we can transcend.
Nine times in the last million years the ice has ground south from the
poles pushing human populations ahead of it and those people didn't fuck
up. Why should we then? We are all survivors. We are the inheritors of
a million years of striving for the unspeakable.
And now with the engines of technology in our hands we ought to be able to reach out and actually exteriorize the human soul at the end of time, invoke it into existence like a UFO and open the violet doorway into hyperspace and walk through it, out of profane history and into the world beyond the grave, beyond shamanism, beyond the end of history, into the galactic millenium that has beckoned to us for millions of years across space and time. This is the moment. A planet brings forth an opportunity like this only once in its lifetime, and we are ready, and we are poised. And as a community we are ready to move into it, to claim it, to make it our own. It's there. Go for it, and thank you.
- recorded live February 27th, 1993 (8 Ak'bal (Night)/6 Kayab (Turtle) - 203/260 - 126.96.36.199.3)
Before that, language was primarily verbal amusement. After all, the most readily at hand musical instrument is the human voice. Sound is an incredibly powerful transducer of energy that we haven't really come to terms with. When we put a test tube in which a chemical reaction is going on, into a square wave generator and bombard it with very high amplitude sounds, we find that these sounds drive the chemical reaction faster, as if sound were an enzyme. When people are loaded to the gills on ayahuasca, they do the same thing. They sing for hours and sonically drive these states, navigating through a world of vocal landscapes that come forth from sound.
McKenna - _Timewave Zero and Language_