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  • More real than real
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    Western Phobia of Psychoactive Plants

    Shamanism that is specifically rooted in the kind of experiences that are induced by psychoactive plants ... is an area that our society is extraordinarily phobic and nervous concerning, and the reason I think is not far to seek. Because modern institutions depend on the transmission of a certain world view and then willing acquiescense in the truth of that world view by the populations into which it is being exported. In other words a kind of cultural brainwashing is necessary for modern cultures to work at all. The consequences of the acceptance of this situation of brainwashing is further acceleration toward catastrophe.

    The Great Insight

    Apparently there is a great discovery or insight which our culture is deliberately designed to supress, distort and ignore. That is that Nature is some kind of minded entity. That Nature is not simply the random flight of atoms through electromagnetic fields. Nature is not the empty, despiritualized lumpen matter that we inherit from modern physics. But it is instead a kind of intelligence, a kind of mind.

    Designer States of Consciousness

    Years ago before the term 'psychedelic' was settled on there was just a phenomenological description, these things were called 'consciousness expanding drugs'. Well, I think that's a very good term. Think about our dilemma on this planet. If the expansion of consciousness does not loom large in the human future, what kind of future is it going to be? To my mind the psychedelic position is most fundamentally threatening when fully logically thought out because it is an anti-drug position - and make no mistake about it, the issue is drugged. How drugged shall you be? Or, to put it another way, consciousness, how conscious shall you be? Who shall be conscious? Who shall be unconscious? Imagine if the Japanese had won World War II, taken over America, and introduced an insidious drug which caused the average American to spend six and a half hours a day consuming enemy propaganda. But this is what was done. Not by the Japanese, by ourselves. This is television. Six and a half hours a day! Average! That's the average! So there must be people out there hooked on twenty-four hours a day; or I visit people in L.A. who have one set on in every room so they're racking up a lot of time for the rest of us. You see what is needed is an operational awareness of what we mean by drug. A drug is something which causes unexamined, obsessive, habituated behavior. You don't examine your behavior, you just do it. You do it obsessively. You let nothing get in the way of it. This is the kind of life we're being sold on every level. To watch, to consume, to buy. The psychedelic thing is off in this tiny corner, never mentioned, and yet it represents the only counterflow toward a tendency to just leave people in designer states of consciousness. Not their designers, but the designers of Madison Avenue, the Pentagon, so forth and so on. This is really happening.

    Apocalypse Now

    The apocalypse is not something which is coming. The apocalypse has arrived in major portions of the planet and it's only because we live within a bubble of incredible privilege and social insulation that we still have the luxury of anticipating the apocalypse. If you go to Bosnia or Somalia or Peru or much of the third-world then it appears that the apocalypse has already arrived.

    Eschatological Hiatus

    To a large degree I think the sixties were probably misplayed. But on the other hand it seems to be the last decade when anything happened. The lid has been utterly on ever since. It's an illusion all this change. There is no change. We're living in some sort of weird eschatological hiatus while the people who rig the game try to send out for new batteries or something. I don't know what's going on. There's energy for change building. I think that when it ultimately comes it will be fairly spectacular. It's astonishing actually the way in which change has been halted. Everyone is running around saying "change change change" but on the other hand there is a curious sense in which things have become eerily dreamlike and still, while we just teeter on the edge of the end of history; and the same personalities, the same design elements, everything has looked the same in the galleries for twenty years. There is an eerie suspension.

    Half A Deck

    We're playing with half a deck as long as we tolerate that the cardinals of government and science should dicate where human curiousity can legitimately send its attention and where it can not. It's an essentially preposterous situation. It is essentially a civil rights issue because what we're talking about here is the repression of a religious sensibility. In fact not a religious sensibility, the religious sensibility. Not built on some con game spun out by eunichs, but based on the symbiotic relationship that was in place for our species for fifty thousand years before the advent of history, writing, priestcraft and propaganda. So it's a clarion call to recover a birthright.

    Nero Fiddles

    We are so much the victims of abstraction that with the Earth in flames we can barely rouse ourselves to wander across the room and look at the thermostat.


    A woman on the upper east side of New York or in Malibu ... has a child. That child will have between eight hundred and a thousand times more negative impact on the environment of the Earth than a child born to a woman in Bangledesh. Where do we preach birth control? Bangledesh.


    For monkeys to speak of truth is hubris of the highest degree. Where is it writ large that talking-monkeys should be able to model the cosmos? If a sea urchin or a racoon were to propose to you that it had a viable truth about the universe, the absurdity of that assertion would be self-evident, but in our case we make an exception.

    Ozzie and Harriet Soylent Green

    Business as usual is no longer an option. There is no middle way. There is no Ozzie and Harriet third millenium scenario. The choices are either a hideous, nightmarish world, a Soylent Green kind of world. A world where people of privilege defend that privilege with tremendous establishments of armament and propaganda and the rest of the world slips into poverty, starvation, desparation and death. This is the kind of world that rationalists fear, and it's also the only kind of world they can imagine because they are bankrupt of inspiration and ideas. So the entire effort of the Establishment has become one of holding down panic, keeping the ball in play, keeping ordinary people and ordinary populations quiescent through drugs which are not psychedelic, through forms of media which are not transcendental and inspiring, but which are narcoleptic and deadening. This is the fiction that we live in. This is why our situation feels so schizophrenic. Of course as we go through this presidential election the contradictions are heightened almost to the point off nausea because what is under discussion is what manner of fine-tuning shall be applied to the social machinery in order to make it possible to hold together the illusion of business as usual - and the answer is there is no such fine-tuning, it's all finished. Instead what is needed is a radical openness to new ideas of all sorts.

    Raise a Ripple

    It is now very clear that techniques of machine-human interfacing, pharmacology of the synthetic variety, all kinds of manipulative techniques, all kinds of data storage, imaging and retrieval techniques. All of this is coalescing toward the potential of a truely demonic or angelic kind of self-imaging of our culture... And the people who are on the demonic side are fully aware of this and hurrying full-tilt forward with their plans to capture everyone as a 100% believing consumer inside some kind of a beige furnished fascism that won't even raise a ripple.

    Psycho Garden Party

    It's only in western civilization that you get this steady focus on this monotheistic ideal, and working out the implications of what is essentially a pathologial personality pattern. The pattern of the omnicient, omnipresent, all-knowing, wrathful male diety. No one you would invite to your garden party.

    Acceptable Neuroses

    Ego is a structure that is erected by a neurotic individual who is a member of a neurotic culture against the facts of the matter. And culture, which we put on like an overcoat, is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behaviors are acceptable.

    More real than real

    In the Amazon and other places where visionary plants are understood and used, you are conveyed into worlds that are appallingly different from ordinary reality. Their vividness cannot be stressed enough. They are more real than real, and that's something that you sense intuitively. They establish an ontological priority. They are more real than real, and once you get that under your belt and let it rattle around in your mind, then the compass of your life begins to spin and you realize that you are not looking in on the Other; the Other is looking in on you. This is a tremendous challenge to the intellectual structures that have carried us so far during the last thousand years. We can do tricks with atoms, there's no question about that, but these tricks immolate us. The higher-order structure of molecules, let alone organelles and that kind of thing, is intellectual incognita to us. We have no notion of how these things work or what is going on. Yet it is from those levels that the constituent modalities of reality are being laid down.

    Wizard of Oz

    We have wandered into a state of prolonged neurosis because of the absence of a direct pipeline to the unconscious and we have then fallen victim to priestcraft of every conceivable sort.

    Continuous Tremendum Exposure

    The continuous exposure to this tremendum represented by the hallucinogenically induced ecstacy acted to continuously dissolve that portion of the psyche which as moderns we call the male ego. I don't mean that it only worked on men. I mean that wherever in human personalities this certain catch began to form and build like a calcarious tumor in the personality, the psycholytic presence of the undeniable fact of the tremendum tended to dissolve this back into Tao, psychic health, however you wish to style it.

    Hillbilly Abductees

    My dream from the time I was eight or nine was to encounter a UFO because I always had the impression that if you would encounter one you could understand it. It was maddening to realize that it seemed to have a great affinity for people who live in trailer courts, but very little affinity for anybody I knew - and so you had to constantly filter these eyewitness reports by people you wouldn't send to the corner store to buy milk.

    Who's the boss?

    Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around. An extremely yang solution to a peculiar problem which they faced.

    Perversion of Language

    I can't preach Scientism cause I don't believe it. I can't preach Buddhism cause I can't understand it. The only thing I can preach is the felt presence of immediate experience which for me came through the psychedelics, which are not drugs but plants. It's a perversion of language to try to derail this thing into talk of drugs. There are spirits in the natural world that come to us in this way and so far as I can tell this is the only way that they come to us that is rapid enough for it to have an impact upon us as a global population.

    Evolution Now

    DMT is a pseudo-neurotransmitter that when ingested and allowed to come to rest in the synapses of the brain, allows one to see sound, so that one can use the voice to produce not musical compositions, but pictoral and visual compositions. This, to my mind, indicates that we're on the cusp of some kind of evolutionary transition in the language-forming area, so that we are going to go from a language that is heard to a language that is seen, through a shift in interior processing. The language will still be made of sound but it will be processed as the carrier of the visual impression. This is actually being done by shamans in the Amazon. The songs they sing sound as they do in order to look a certain way. They are not musical compositions as we're used to thinking of them. They are pictoral art that is caused by audio signals.

    The Chink In The Armor

    If you really wanted to study an aboriginal race and you really had a hot technology, what you would do is study their social psychology and you would say, "are there any chinks in the armor of their expectations about how reality behaves?" and you would discover in studying us - this species intoxicates itself and it has a curious attitiude towards it's intoxications: anything goes. So if someone drinks a bottle of stolichnaya and announces that they see pink elephants we are all amused. We say of course you do you're drunk out of your mind.. Isn't it obvious that an alien would hide its presence in an intoxication? This is the non-invasive, tasteful, respectful way to have intercourse with another species. ..you put yourself into a plant, You put a barcode into a molecule. Then the shaman intoxicates himself and he says 'aha it's an ancestor spirit' or 'it's the soul of the plant, but whatever it is it's giving me good information. It's telling me where the reindeer went..what the weather will be next week..who stole the goose..who slept with who..and which of the ill members of my tribe will live and who will die..'