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Terence McKenna: Vertigo at History's Edge

C-Realm Podcast

"C" stands for consciousness

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Special thanks to C-Realm listener Stephen B.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
Here's a list of selected quotes from this episode with timecodes pretty close to when they start.
KMO, thanks for posting this one, it happened to be just the thing to use as a source for McKenna quotes for a folklore paper my professor suggested I write about McKenna (specifically on how McKenna relates to patterns of millennial or apocalyptic belief--as you might expect, he seems to mix, yet transcend all of them).

Now that I've written down a bunch of quotes, I might as well post them in case they might be useful to somebody else.

1 16:07 "Is there any reason why smart people should hope? In other words, can one combine intelligence with hope and not betray one or the other"
2 20:40 "I think that our worldview has overlooked two fundamental facts about the nature of reality, and the absence of these two fundamental facts in our models… is what has given us such a downward trajectory into factionalism, existential despair, a broken connection to nature and in some cases to each other" (conservation of novelty)
3 23:18 "As time passed, you could almost imagine complexity crystallizing out of a universe that cools. As it cools, new properties emerge"
4 26:20 [in evolutionary science] "biological process is not seen as progressive, and yet what I'm saying to you this evening is that not only is biology progressive, but it emerges out of an antecedent progressive process, the evolution of physical matter…and so forth, and it anticipates a deeper advance into progressive integration in the form of culture, language, human beings, the creation of material culture, the elaboration of the arts and sciences..."
5 27:18 When you go to the universities and you ask what is history, you will be told it is a trendlessly fluctuating process. Well this is fascinating. If it is a trendlessly fluctuating process, it is the only process ever observed to behave in that fashion. Processes by their very nature have an innate predictability.
6 28:13 I submit to you, this is the most complex moment in the most complex place, in the universe to date.
7 29:32 Not only has novelty conserved itself and built on what had been achieved in the past to move toward the future, but (and of the two points this is the more important, each stage of advancement into novelty, into complexity, into concrescence, has proceeded more quickly than the phase that proceeded this. The universe is in a state of asymptotic acceleration of some sort. And this has been completely ignored; not ignored, denied by science.
8 32:30 We now aspire to a planetary civilization, to the electronic storage of information for eons and we have only been at this global cultural game for about fifty years. It's very clear, to me at least, that life is a process as important in shaping the eventual destiny of the universe as physics or chemistry, and that intelligence also plays a role there.
9 33:10 If you have a universe that is building on achieved novelty, and building faster and faster, then you have a universe which is consuming its share of time, if you will.. A universe which is building toward its conclusive denouement much faster than the entities, beings embedded in it might suppose.
10 34:06 In order to hope, you have to dump the whole scientific view of the universe. You also have to take your own humanness much more seriously.

(to be continued, livejournal comment max reached.)
Mar. 9th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: Here's a list of selected quotes from this episode with timecodes pretty close to when they star

11 34:45 I take an entirely different view, harking back to the renn. Humanists with a vengeance, and I think that human beings on this planet and the kind of society we live in is an annunciation of the approaching ascent into higher-levels of novelty.
12 35:43 For a very long time, the human species has been knitting itself together, claiming technologies which allow the manipulation of energy, letting its population run uncontrolled to force an ever-expanding cultural and technological frontier. The presence of ourselves on this planet is the major evidence that a transcendental process of some sort is underway here.
13 37:30 I believe governments, scientific-industrial democracies are simply now managing the terror of apocalypse because they have no clue as to how to halt, direct, manage, or control the processes that they have set in motion…we're not getting any kind of leadership from the top..everything is managed toward a steady state. Meanwhile, technology, is proceeding unabated around the clock.
14 39:00 No one can forsee, the consequences of all this technological development (software, wetware, hardware) being stirred together. The planet has shrunk to a single informational point.
15 39:33 I believe, following the dictum that nothing is unannounced, that we can from what is happening to us now, extrapolate toward this adventure in transformational novelty that is now looming ahead of us
16 41:13 Here at the height of the trajectory of the enterprise of science and materialism, news comes from the rainforests, from the aboriginal peoples of the world, that there are technologies of a different sort that have been in place since at least the last ice age. These are neural technologies, quasi-symbiotic relationships with plants, pharmacological approaches to manipulating human memory, aspiration, aesthetic concerns, so forth and so on.
17 42:20 I believe that what these psychedelic states are, are actually ascents to a higher order of information.. In the dimensional context, as a mathematical idea.
18 43:20 What shamans see…is a hyperdimensional universe of information. They see the past (the origins), and they see the goal, the culmination… we who are locked in linear history don't have this perspective, and what we have in its stead is intense anxiety about the future.
19 44:10 These are not things you have to study advanced mathematics to perceive. These are not things revealed to the holders of advanced degrees. This is stuff that one can tell by feeling into the world.
20 47:00 We look for institutional guidance, and yet was institutions that guided us to this moment, and so the character then of this next advance into novelty is from my point of view now easily discerned. It is boundary dissollution. This is what is happening.
21 51:03 As we close distance with the transcendental object at the end of time, there is going to be a lot of vibration [that accumulates] on the social structure of the social airfoil. If the airfoil cannot be redesigned in flight as we approach this barrier, we will be ripped to pieces.
22 51:45 We [as a species] are not a lost cause yet, but we may end up a lost cause.
23 ~53:00-58:36 What is to be done? I think the answer to this is not only nothing, but considerably less than nothing. And what I mean by that is that the real solutions to our problems lie in a series of negatives: do not believe…don't follow…then a harder one, a more radical one, the one that might get me shot: do not consume...we shouldn't watch...[And] do not multiply.
24 53:40 It is beneath your dignity as a body to get mixed up in ideology. After all, where is it writ large that talking monkeys should understand the nature of being anyway?
25 54:10 The ideologies of the 20th century are so shoddy and hobbled together or toxic to human values they're not worth believing in anyway.
Mar. 9th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: Here's a list of selected quotes from this episode with timecodes pretty close to when they star
26 1:00:00 This is what I'm talking about here is reclaiming experience. This is what's been taken from us. This is why the new music and dance culture is so important. This is why drug culture is so important. This is why the celebration of sexual minorities is so important. This is all about coming to grips with who you really are and how you really feel and then experiencing it.
27 1:01:00 We are creating a world that celebrates diversity, that celebrates the uniqueness of every person. The complexification of our species is a process directly dependent on the complexity that we each bring to the process. The diversity that is spreading through society is a comcomitant to the boundary dissolution.
28 1:01:30 Science's inability to make sense of human beings in the world as part of nature, to make sense of art, love, hate, aspiration, fear…is the failure to come to terms with the transcendental aspect of reality. We are the best evidence there is that something extraordinarily unusual is happening on this planet.
29 1:02:20 There is no going back from the momentum that history has imparted to the human imagination. There is only going forward, into what is called a "forward escape" through art, through design, through management and integration. We have to push the art pedal to the floor.
30 1:03:18 The catalyst now is a combination of technologies…and pharmacology. The world that we are leaving behind, the world that failed us, was a world of ideologies and mechanical technologies. And the ideologies one by one are going down the tubes… and the mechanical technologies cannot be sustained.
31 1:04:13 What is coming into place is a world where drugs replace ideology. That's why drugs are so terrifying to those who oppose them. That's why they say, 'you want to… take drugs to escape.' That's right! You want to escape! You want to escape fascism, communism, socialism, existentialism, phenomenology...escape ideology into the felt presence of the body. Which means drugs and sex and syncopated music.
32 1:04:52 happening in different sectors of society is the hardwiring of our imagination. The building of databases that we can access instantaneously that make the human past co-present with the now. The boundary dissolution that I'm talking about includes the division between past, present, and future. This is what it means to end Newtonian time.
33 1:06:30 human history secures the central importance of human beings. We are part of a universal adventure. What happens to us decrees the fate of a vast set of universal processes and circumstances. We are not ephemeral, irrelevant (to each other, or to the greater whole). This is the truth of psychedelics that aboriginal societies have always known and it's the truth that we had to sacrifice to make the prodigal journey into matter...[which] has now been concluded.
34 1:07:30 We need to go back to the problems of the human soul and there isn't much time, but the tools that have been put into our hands are the most powerful tools there have ever been: the Gaian connection into the vegetable mind of the planet that we are trying to mirror and hard-wire on a human scale.
35 1:08:00 This is a process which is happening, but it's a birth; it can go with ease because we help it from this side, or it can be traumatic because we resist.
Mar. 9th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: Here's a list of selected quotes from this episode with timecodes pretty close to when they star
36 1:12:40 One of the things I think we need to talk about … is I think that this whole thing about how do we feminize society, and women are not getting their fair shake and what do we do about white male dominators, and all that…this is all somewhat cockamamie in terms of the idea that we need to feminize men. We don't need to feminize men, we need to feminize society.
37 1:15:00 Intuition refers back to "nothing comes unannounced:" that's intuition, but the rational mind has a real ability to slough off the intuition… Intuition is basically a function of listening.
38 1:18:30 There is more than one way to force novelty out of a system, and simply repetitiously breeding, that's a habitual activity, and it does force a certain kind of novelty, but it's a novelty born of desperation. My notion is that you get much more novelty out of a system if every person is valued, if every person has leisure time and opportunity for education and this sort of thing.
39 1:25:42 We cannot become the species we want to be with an unconscious mind. That's an artifact of the monkey phase that has no place in a global civilization.
40 1:27:00 The challenge of post-modernity, the challenge of the psychedelic, millennarian, eschatonic world, is the challenge of our own daily lives and relationships.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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