The flying saucer
is an image of the perfected human mind
[The following is an excerpt
from Terence McKenna's True Hallucinations.]
Western religion has its own singularity in the form of the
apocalypse, an event placed not at the beginning of the universe
but at its end. This seems a more logical position than that
of science. If singularities exist at all it seems easier
to suppose that they might arise out of an ancient and highly
complexified cosmos, such as our own, than out of a featureless
and dimensionless megavoid.
looks down its nose at the apocalyptic fantasies of religion,
thinking that the final time can only mean an entropic time
of no change. The view of science is that all processes ultimately
run down, but entropy is maximized only in some far, far away
future. The idea of entropy makes an assumption that the laws
of the space-time continuum are infinitely and linearly extendable
into the future. In the spiral time scheme of the timewave
this assumption is not made. Rather,"final time means
passing out of one set of laws that are conditioning existence
and into another radically different set of laws." The
universe is seen as a series of compartmentalized eras or
epochs whose laws are quite different from one another, with
transitions from one epoch to another occurring with unexpected
To see through the eyes of this theory is to see one's place
in the spiral scheme and to know and anticipate when the transition
to new epochs will occur. One sees this in the physical world.
The planet is five or six billion years old. The formation
of the inorganic universe occupies the first turn of the spiral
wave. Then life appears. If one examines this planet, which
is the only planet we can examine in depth,
one finds that processes are steadily accelerating in both
speed and complexity.
A planet swings through space two billion years before life
appears. Life represents a new emergent quality. The instant
life gets started, a mad scramble is on. Species appear and
disappear. This goes on for a billion and a half years and
then suddenly a new emergent property takes the stage: thinking
species. This new epoch of mind is brief in comparison to
what preceded it; from the dumb confrontation with chipped
flint to the starship is one hundred thousand years. An emergent
new psychophysics is allowing the species to manifest very
peculiar properties: language, writing, dreaming, and the
spinning of philosophy.
Like rattlesnakes and poplar trees, human beings are made
by DNA. Yet we trigger the same energies that light the stars.
We do these things because, though we are made of mush and
mud, our minds have taught us how to extend our reach through
tools. With tools we can unleash energies that normally only
occur under very different conditions. The center of stars
is the usual site of fusion processes.
We do such things using mind. And what is mind? We haven't
a clue. Twenty-thousand years from nomadic hunting and gathering
to cybernetics and spaceflight. And we are still accelerating.
There are yet more waves to come. From the Model-T Ford to
the starship: one hundred years. From the fastest man on earth
being able to move thirty miles per hour to nine miles per
second: sixty years.
Most puzzling are the predictions the timewave theory makes
of near term shifts of epochs made necessary by the congruence
of the timewave and the historical record. The timewave seems
to give a best fit configuration with the historical data
when the assumption is made that the maximum ingression of
novelty, or the end of the wave, will occur on December 22,
2012. Strangely enough this is the end date that the Mayans
assigned to their calendar system as well. What is it
that gives both a twentieth-century individual and an ancient
Meso-American civilization the same date upon which to peg
the transformation of the world. Is it that both used
psychedelic mushrooms? Could the answer be so simple? I don't
think so. Rather, I suspect that when we inspect the
structure of our own deep unconscious we will make the unexpected
discovery that we are ordered on the same principle as the
larger universe in which we arose. This notion, surprising
at first, quickly comes to be seen as obvious, natural, and
The analogy that explains how this might be so is provided
by looking at sand dunes. The interesting thing about such
dunes is that they bear a resemblance to the force that created
them, wind. It is as if each grain of sand were a bit inside
the memory of a natural computer. The wind is the input that
arranges the grains of sand so that they become a lower-dimensional
template of a higher-dimensional phenomenon, in this case
the wind. There is nothing magical about this, and it does
not seem mysterious to us: wind, a pressure that is variable
over time, creates a rippled dune, which is a structure regularly
variable in space. In my thinking, the genes of organisms
are grains of sand arranged by the ebb and flow of the winds
of time. Naturally, then, organisms bear the imprint of the
inherent variables in the temporal medium in which they arose.
DNA is the blank slate upon which the changing temporal variables
have had their sequence and relative differences recorded.
Any technique that saw into the energetic relationships within
a living organism, such as yoga or the use of psychedelic
plants, would also give a deep insight concerning the variable
nature of time. The King Wen sequence of the I Ching is the
product of this kind of insight.
Human culture is a curve of expanding potentiality. In our
own tormented century it has reached vertical gain. Human
beings threaten every species on the planet. We have stockpiled
radioactive materials everywhere, and every species on earth
can feel this. The planet when viewed as a sentient entity
can react to this kind of pressure. It is three billion years
old, and it has many options.
Dualistic talk about humanity not being part of the
natural order is foolish. We could not have arisen unless
we served a purpose that fit into the planetary ecology.
It is not clear what our purpose is, but it seems to have
to do with our enormous research instruments. And crises!
By stockpiling atomic weapons, we have claimed the capacity
to destroy the earth like a stick of dynamite in a rotten
apple. Why? We do not know why. Surely not for the political
and social reasons that are given. We are simply a tool-building
species that is itself the tool of a planetary ecology that
is a higher intelligence. It knows what the dangers and limits
on the cosmic scale are and it is furiously organizing life
to both preserve and transform itself.
My story is a peculiar one. It is hard to know what to make
of it. The notion of some kind of fantastically complicated
visionary revelation that happens to put one at the very center
of the action is a symptom of mental illness. This theory
does that, and yet so does immediate experience, and so do
the ontologies of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. My theory
may be clinically pathological, but unlike these religious
systems, I have enough humor to realize it. It is important
to appreciate the intrinsic comedy of privileged knowledge.
It is also important to have recourse to the scientific method
whenever appropriate. Most scientific theories can be disproven
in the calm confines of the laboratory, evolution to the contrary.
To empathize with the visions at La Chorrera one must imagine
what one can imagine. Imagine if wishes were
horses, how beggars would ride. The ideas developed
at La Chorrera were so compelling because they promised new
dimensions of human freedom. The Amazonian rumors of time-binding
magical fluids self-generated out of the bodies of master
shamans are nothing less than intimations of the metamorphosis
of the human body/mind into a higher dimensional state. Were
such a transformation of matter possible, one could do anything
with it. One might spread it out and climb on it and take
it up to any altitude, adding oxygen at will. It's the haunting
image of the flying saucer yet again. One can climb inside
it: putting on your mind like a mental wet suit. The
flying saucer is an image of the perfected human mind: waiting,
warmly humming, at the end of human history on this planet.
When it is perfect, there will be an ontological mutation
of the human form, nothing less than the resurrection-body
that Christianity anticipates.
It is the genius of human technology to master and to serve
the energies of life and death and time and space. The UFO
holds out the possibility of mind become object, a ship that
can cross the universe in the time it takes to think about
it. Because that is what the universe is--a thought.
And when thought becomes mobile and objectified, then humanity--novices
in the mastery of thought--will begin to set out.
Of course we may discover that we are not to set out; the
future may reveal instead that there is something out there
calling us home. Then it will be our technology and the call
of the Other that will move toward meeting. The saucer is
an excellent metaphor for this. When Jung suggested
that the saucer was the human soul, he was more correct than
he may have supposed. It is not so far away. That
is the other thing. The last shift of epochs gave us relativity
theory and quantum mechanics. Another epochal shift looms,
but whether or not it is the final epoch is hard to say. Our
roles as parts of the process introduces an uncertainty in
our observations that bedevils prediction.
days until December 21, 2012
Days to go: