Ars Electronica 1990
Festival-Program 1990
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Festival 1979-2007


New Maps of Hyperspace

'Terence McKenna Terence McKenna

In Joyce's Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus tells us that "History is the nightmare from which I am trying to awaken." I would turn this around and say that history is what we are trying to escape from into dream. The dream is eschatological. The dream is zero time and outside of history. We wish to escape into the dream. Escape is a key thing charged against those who would experiment with plant hallucinogens. The people who make this charge hardly dare face the degree to which hallucinogens are escapist. Escape. Escape from the planet, from death, from habit, and from the problem, if possible, of the Unspeakable.

If one leaves aside the last three hundred years of historical experience as it unfolded in Europe and America, and examines the phenomenon of death and the doctrine of the soul in all its ramifications – Neoplatonic, Christian, dynastic-Egyptian, etc., one finds repeatedly the idea that there is a light body, an entelechy that is somehow mixed up in the body during life and, at death, is involved in a crisis in which these two envelopes separate. One part loses its raison d'etre and falls into dissolution, metabolism stops. The other one goes we know not where. Perhaps nowhere if one believes it does not exist; but then one has the problem of trying to explain life. And, though science makes great claims and has done well at explaining systems of nuclear particles and even simple atomic systems, the idea that science can make any statement about what life is or where it comes from is currently preposterous.

Science has nothing to say about how one can decide to close one's hand into a fist, and yet it happens. This is utterly outside the realm of scientific explanation because what we see in that phenomenon is mind as a first cause. It is an example of telekinesis: matter is caused by mind to move. So we need not fear the sneers of science in the matter of the fate or origin of the soul. My probe into this area has always been the psychedelic experience, but recently I have been investigating dreams, because dreams are a much more generalized form of experience of the hyperdimension or mode in which life and mind seem to be embedded.

Looking at what people with shamanic traditions say about dreams, one comes to the realization that, experientially, for those people dream reality is a parallel continuum. The shaman accesses this continuum with hallucinogens as well as other techniques, but most effectively with hallucinogens. Everyone else accesses it through dreams. Freud's idea about dreams was that they were what he called "day-residues", and that one could trace the content of the dream down to a distortion of something that happened during waking time.

I suggest that it is much more useful to try and make a kind of geometric model of consciousness, to take seriously the idea of a parallel continuum, and to say that the mind and the body are embedded in the dream and the dream is a higher-order spatial dimension. In sleep, one is released into the real world of which the world of waking is only the surface in a very literal geometric sense. There is a plenum – and recent experiments in quantum physics tend to back this up – a holographic plenum of information. All information is everywhere. Information that is not here is nowhere. Information stands outside of historical time. It is as Plato said: "Time is the moving image of eternity." Eternity does not have a temporal existence, not even the kind of temporal existence about which one may say it always existed". It does not have temporal duration of any sort. It is eternity. We are not primarily biological, with mind emerging as a kind of iridescence, a kind of epiphenomenon at the higher levels of organization of biology. We are, in fact, hyperspatial objects of some sort which cast a shadow into matter. The shadow in matter is our physical organism. At death the shadow withdraws, or the thing that casts the shadow withdraws, and metabolism ceases. Material form breakdown, ceasing its organization as a dissipative structure in a very localized area, sustained against entropy by cycling material in extracting its energy and degrading and expelling it. But the thing which ordered it is not affected. These declarative statements are made from the point of view of the shamanic tradition, which touches all higher religions. Everything except rationalism holds to some version of this view of death. Both the psychedelic dream state and the waking psychedelic state acquire great import because they reveal a task in life: to become familiar with this dimension that is causing being, and to be familiar with it at the moment of passing from life.

The metaphor of a vehicle is used by several traditions: an after-death, vehicle, an astral body, Shamanism and certain yogas, including Taoist yoga, claim very clearly that the purpose of life is to familiarize oneself with this after-death body so that the act of dying will not create confusion in the psyche. One will recognize what is happening. One will know what to do and one will make the clean break. Yet there does seem to be the possibility of a problem in dying. It is not the case that one is condemned to eternal life. One can muff it through ignorance.

Apparently at the moment of death there is a kind of separation, like birth – the metaphor is trivial, but perfect. There is a possibility of damage or of incorrect activity. The English poet-mystic, William Blake said that as one starts into the spiral there is the possibility of falling from the golden track into eternal death. Yet it is only a crisis of a moment – a crisis of passage – and the whole purpose of shamanism and of life correctly lived is to strengthen the soul and so strengthen the ego's relationship to the soul so that this passage can be cleanly made. This is the traditional position.

I want to include an abyss in this model – one less familiar to rationalists, but familiar to us all one level deeper in the psyche as inheritors of the judeo-Christian culture. That is the idea that the world will end, that there will be a final time, that there is not only the crisis of death of the individual but there is the crisis of the death in the history of the species.

What this seems to be about is that from the time of the awareness of existence of the soul until the resolution of the apocalyptic potential, there are roughly 50,000 years. In biological time, this is only a moment, yet it is five times the entire span of history. In that period, everything hangs in the balance, because it is a mad rush from monkeydom to starshiphood. In the leap across those 50,000 years, energies are released, religions are shot off like sparks, philosophies evolve and die, science arises, magic arises, all of these concerns that control power with greater and lesser degrees of ethical constancy appear. There is the possibility of aborting the species' transformation into a hyperspatial entelechy.

We are now, there can be no doubt, in the final historical seconds of that crisis – a crisis which involves the end of history, our departure from the planet, the triumph over death, and the release of the individual from matter. We are, in fact, closing distance with the most profound events planetary ecology can encounter – the freeing of life from the dark chrysalis of matter. The old metaphor of psyche as the caterpillar transformed by metamorphosis is a species, wide analogy. We must undergo a metamorphosis in order to survive the momentum of the historical forces already in motion.

Evolutionary biologists consider man to be an unevolving species. Sometime in the last fifty thousand years, with the invention of culture, the biological evolution of humans ceased and evolution became an epigenetic, cultural phenomenon. Tools, languages and philosophies began to evolve but the human somatype remained the same. Hence, physically, we are very much like people of a long time ago. But technology is the real skin of our species. Humanity, correctly seen in the context of the last five hundred years, is an extruder of a technological material. We take in matter that has a low degree of organization; we put it through mental filters, and we extrude jewelry, gospels, space shuttles. This is what we do. We are like coral animals embedded in a technological reef of extruded psychic objects. All of our tool making implies our belief in an ultimate tool. And that tool is the flying saucer, or the soul, exteriorized in three-dimensional space. As James Joyce saw, it is the problem of how man maybe dirigible. Man may be dirigible by turning himself inside out. In other words, the body must become an interiorized holographic object embedded in a solid-state, hyperdimensional matrix that is eternal, so that we each wander through Elysium in this body.

This is a kind of Islamic paradise in which one is free to experience all the pleasures of the flesh provided one realizes that one is a holographic projection of a solid state-matrix that is microminiaturized, superconducting, and nowhere to be found. It is a part of the plenum and all technological history is about producing prototypes of this situation with greater and greater closure toward the ideal, so that airplanes, automobiles, space shuttles, space colonies, starships of the nuts-and-bolts, speed-of-lightdrive type are, as Mircea Eliade said, "self-transforming images of flight that speak volumes about man's aspiration to self-transcendence".

Our wish, our salvation, and our only hope is to end the historical crisis by becoming the alien, by ending alienation, by recognizing the alien as the self, in fact – recognizing the alien as an overmind that holds all the physical laws of the planet intact in the sameway that one holds an idea intact in one's mind. All these givens that are thought to be written in adminantine are actually merely the moods of the Goddess, which we happen to be. The whole meaning of human history ties in recovering this piece of lost information so that man may be dirigible or, again to paraphrase Finnegan’s Wake on Moicane, the red light district of Dublin: "Here in Moicane we flop on the seamy side, but up ne'nt prospector, you sprout all your worth and you woof your wings, so if you want to be Phoenixed, come and be parked." It is that simple, you see, but it takes courage to be parked when the Grim Reaper draws near. "A blessing in disguise", Joyce calls him.

What psychedelics encourage, and where I hope attention will focus once hallucinogens are culturally integrated to the point where large groups of people can plan research programs without fear of persecution, is the modeling of the after-death state. Psychedelics may do more than model this state, they may reveal the nature of it. Psychedelics will show us that the modalities of appearance and understanding can be shifted so that we can know mind within the context of the One Mind. The One Mind contains all experience of the Other. There is no dichotomy between the Newtonian Universe, deployed throughout light-years of three-dimensional space, and the interior mental universe. They are the same thing.

We perceive them as unresolvable dualisms because of the low quality of the code we customarily use. The language we use to discuss this problem has built-in dualisms. This is a problem of language. All codes have relative code qualities, except the Logos. The Logos is perfect and, therefore, partakes of no quality other than itself. I am here using the word "Logos" in the sense in which Philo Judaeus uses it – that of the Divine Reason that embraces the archetypal complex of Platonic ideas that serve at the models of creation. So long as one maps with something other than the Logos, there will be problems of code quality. The dualism built into our language makes the death of the species and the death of the individual appear to be opposed things.

Likewise, the scenarios that biology and, by extrapolation, exobiology pose by examining the physical universe versus the angel and demon haunted worlds that depth psychology is reporting is also seen as a dichotomy. The psychedelic experience acts to resolve this dichotomy. All that is needed to go beyond an academic understanding of the plant hallucinogens is the experience of the tryptamine-induced ecstasy. The dimethyl-tryptamine molecule has the unique property of releasing the structured ego into the overself. Each person who has that experience undergoes a mini-apocalypse, a mini-entry and mapping into hyperspace. For society to focus in this direction, nothing is neccessary except for this experience to become an object of general concern. This is not to suggest that everyone should experiment with mushrooms or other naturally occurring sources of psychoactive tryptamines. We should try to assimilate and integrate the psychedelic experience since it is a plane of experience that is directly accessible to each of us. The role that we play in relationship to it determines how we will present ourselves in that final, intimated transformation. In other words, in this notion there is a kind of technological bias; there is a belief that there is a hyperobject called the Overmind, or God, that cases a shadow into time. History is the group experience of this shadow. As one draws closer and closer to the source of the shadow, the paradoxes intensify, the rate of change intensifies. What is happening is that the hyperobject is beginning to ingress into three-dimensional space.

One way of thinking of this is to suppose that the waking world and the world of the dream have begun to merge so that in a certain sense the school of UFO criticism that has said flying saucers are hallucinations was correct in that the laws that operate in the dream, the laws that operate in hyperspace, can at times operate in the dream-dimensional space when the barrier between the two modes becomes weak. Then one gets these curious experiences, sometimes called psychotic breaks, which always have tremendous impact on the experient because there seems to be an exterior component that could not possibly be subjective. At such times coincidences begin to build and build until one must finally admit that one does not know what is going on. Nevertheless it is preposterous to claim that this is a psychological phenomenon because there are accompanying changes in the external world. Jung called this "synchronicity" and made a certain model of it, but it is really an alternative physics beginning to impinge on local reality.

It is the physics of light. Light is composed of photons. Photons have no anti particle. This means that there is no dualism in the world of light. The conventions of relativity say that time slows down as one approaches the speed of light, but if one tries to imagine the point of view of a thing made of light, one must realize that what is never mentioned is that if one moves at the speed of light there is no time whatsoever. There is an experience of time zero. So if one imagines for a moment oneself to be made of light or in possession of a vehicle which can move at the speed of light, one can traverse from any point in the universe to any other with a subjective experience of time zero. This means that one crosses to Alpha Centauri in time zero, but the amount of time that has passed in the relativistic universe is four and a half years. But if one moves very great distances, if one crosses two hundred and fifty thousand light years to Andromeda, one would still have a subjective experience of time zero.

The only experience of time that one can have is a subjective time that is created by one's own mentation, but in relationship to the Newtonian universe there is no time whatsoever. One exists in eternity, one has become eternal, the universe is aging at a staggering rate all around one in this situation, but that is perceived as a fact of this universe. One has transited into the eternal mode … time as the moving image of eternity. One is then apart from the moving image, one exists in the static mode of eternity.

I believe that this is what technology pushes toward. There is no contradiction between ecological balance and space migration, between hypertechnology and radical ecology. These issues are red herrings; the real historical entity that is becoming is the human soul. The monkey body has served to carry us to this moment of release, and it will always serve as a focus of selfimage, but we are coming more and more to exist in a world made by the human imagination. This is what the return to the Father, the transcendence of Physis, the rising out of the Gnostic universal prison of iron that traps the light is. It means nothing less than the transformation of our species.

Very shortly an acceleration of this phenomenon will take place in the form of space exploration and space colonies. The coral reef-like animal called Man that has extruded technology over the surface of the earth will be freed at last from the constraints of anything but the imagination and the limitations of materials. It has been suggested that the earliest space colonies include efforts to duplicate the idyllic ecosystem of Hawaii as an ideal. These exercises in ecological understanding will prove we know what we are doing. However, as soon as this understanding is under control we will be released into the realm of art. This is what we have always striven for. We will make our world-all of our worlds – and the world we came from will be maintained as a garden. What Eliade discussed as metaphors of self-transforming flight will be recognized momentarily in the technology of space colonization.

The transition from earth to space will be a staggeringly tight genetic filter, a much tighter filter than any previous frontier has ever been, including the genetic and demographic filter represented by the colonisation of the New World. It is said that the vitality of the Americas is due to the fact that only the dreamers and the pioneers and the fanatics made the trip across. This will be even more true of the transition to space. The technological conquest of space will set the stage; then, for the interiorisation of that metaphor, the conquest of inner space and the collapse of one state vectors associated with this technology deployed in Newtonian space. Then the human species will have become more than dirigible. A technology that would interiorize the body and exteriorize the soul will follow on the heels of space colonization. The Invisible Landscape, a book by my brother and myself, made an effort to short-circuit that chronology and, in a certain sense, to force the issue. It is the story, or rather it is the intellectual underpinnings of the story, of an expedition to the Amazon by my brother and myself and several other people in 1971. During that expedition, my brother formulated an idea that involved using harmine and harmaline, compounds which occur in Banisteriopsis caapi, the woody vine that is the basis for ayahuasca – and one of the plant hallucinogens that releases one into this dimension I am discussing. We undertook an effort to use harmine in conjunction with the human voice in what we called "the experiment at La Chorrea". It was an effort to use sound to charge the molecular structure of harmine molecules metabolizing in the body in such a way that they would bind preferentially with endogenous molecular structures.

Our candidate at the time was neural DNA, though Frank Ban, a researcher into the properties of brain melanin, has made a convincing case that there is a great likelihood that harmine acts by binding with melanin bodies. In either case, the pharmacology involves binding with a molecular site where information is stored and this information is then broadcast in the mind in such a way that one begins to get a read-out on the structure of the soul. Our experiment was an effort to use a kind of shamanic technology to bell the cat, if you will, to hang a superconducting, telemetric, psychedelic device on the Overmind so that there would be a continuous read-out of information from that dimension. The success or failure of this attempt may be judged for oneself. The first half of the book describes the theoretical underpinnings of the experiment.

The second half of the book describes the theory of the structure of time that derived from the bizarre mental states that followed the experiment. I do not claim that we succeeded, only that our theory of what happened is better than any theory proposed by critics. Whether we succeeded or not, this style of thinking points the way. For example, when I speak of the technology of building a starship, I imagine it will be done with voltages far below the voltage of a common flashlight battery. This is, after all, where the most interesting phenomena go on in nature. Thought is that kind of phenomenon, metabolism is that kind of phenomenon.

An Aquarian science, or a science that places the psychedelic experience in the center of its program of investigation, should move toward a practical realization of this goal … the goal of eliminating the barrier between the ego and the overself so that the ego can perceive itself as an expression of the overself. Then the anxiety of being cast into matter, of facing a tremendous species crisis in the form of the Apocalypse, the crisis of limitation in physical space by being planet-bound can be obviated by cultivating the soul and by practicing shamanism using tryptamine-containing plants.

Psilocybin is the most commonly available and experientally accessible of these compounds. Therefore my plea to scientists, administrators and politicians who may read my words is this: to look again at psilocybin, to not confuse it with other psychedelics, to realize that it is a phenomenon unto itself with an enormous potential for transforming human beings, not simply transforming the people who take it, but transforming society in the way that an art movement or a mathematical understanding, or scientific breakthrough transforms society. It holds the possibility of transforming the entire species simply by virtue of the information that comes through it. Psilocybin is a source of Gnosis, and the voice of Gnosis has been silenced in the Western mind for at least a thousand years.

When the Franciscans and Dominicans arrived in Mexico in the sixteenth century they immediately set about stamping out the mushroom religion. The Indians called it teonanacatl, "the Flesh of the Gods". The Catholic Church had a monopoly on theophagia and was not pleased by this particular approach to what was going on. Now, four hundred years after that initial contact, I suggest that Eros, which retreated from Greece and Europe with the rise of Christianity, retreated to the mountains of the Sierra Mazateca. Finally, pushed into seclusion there, it now re-emerges in Western consciousness.

Our institutions, our epistemologies are so shakily founded and so misconstrued that, with the help of shamanically-inspired personalities, we can cultivate this ancient thing once again. The Logos can be unleashed and the voice that spoke to Plato and Parmenides and Heraclitus can speak again in the minds of modern people. When it does, the alienation will be ended because we will have become the alien. This is the promise that is held out; it may seem to some a nightmare vision, but all historical changes of immense magnitude have a charged emotional quality. They propel people into a completely new world. I believe that this work must be done using hallucinogens. Traditionally it has been thought that there were many paths to spiritual advancement. In this matter I must fall back on personal experience. In my explorations I have not had good results with any other techniques. I spent time in India, practiced yoga, visited among the various rishis, roshis, geyshays and gurus that Asia had to offer, and I believe they must be talking about something so pale and so far removed from closure with the full tryptamine ecstasy that I don't really know what to make of it. I remain willing to believe other approaches are possible.

Tantra claims to be another approach. Tantra means "the short cut path", and certainly it might be on the right track. Sexuality, orgasm, these things do have tryptamine-like qualities to them, but the main difference with psilocybin distinct from all the other hallucinogens is information … immense amounts of information. From my experience with the hallucinogen LSD, the hallucinations seemed somehow to be largely related to the structure of the personality. Often it seems to me the visions were merely geometric patterns unless synergized by another compound.

The classic psychedelic experience that was written about by Aldous Huxley and company was, I believe two hundred micrograms of LSD and thirty milligrams of mescaline. That combination delivers a visionary experience rather than an experience of hallucinations. In my opinion the unique quality of psilocybin is that it reveals not colored lights and moving grids, but places – jungles, cities, machines, books, architectonic forms of incredible complexity. There is no possibility that this could be construed as noise of any sort. It is, in fact, the most highly ordered visual information that one can experience, much more highly ordered than the normal waking vision.

Occasionally, it is objected that data is not Gnosis and that the psychedelic experience is mainly one of data. However, it is the number of dimensions communicated by the data that is important. For example, Philo Judaeus talks about what he called "a more perfect logos". He says a more perfect logos would be beheld rather than heard. In other words, the formulation in the Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word." Yes, it was the word in the, beginning, but this is a strange kind of word. It is a word which is visually beheld. And the language in which the Gnosis communicates is a language of visual forms such that there is no ambiguity about meaning because there is no recourse to a dictionary or agreed upon signification. It is purely beheld. This is why it's very hard with psychedelic compounds to bring back information. These things are hard to put into English because it is like trying to make a three-dimensional rendering of a four-dimensional object. Only through the medium of sight can the true modality of this Logos be perceived. That is why it is so interesting. Psilocybin and ayahuasca – the aboriginal tryptamine containing brew, both produce a telepathic experience and a shared state of mind. The unfolding group hallucination is shared in complete silence. It's very hard to prove this to a scientist, but if several people share such an experience, one person can describe it and then cease the monologue and another person may take it up. Everyone is seeing the same thing! It is the quality of being visual information that seems to make this Logos a vision of a truth that cannot be told.

The information thus imparted is not, however, merely restricted to the mode of seeing. To quote Philo Judaeus again on the Logos, he says that the Logos goes "from a thing heard to a thing seen, without ever crossing through a discernable transition point." This seems a logical impossibility because it is either one or the other; yet when one actually has the experience, one sees -aha! – it is as though thought that is heard does become something seen. The thought which is heard becomes more and more intense until, finally, its intensity is such that, with no transition, one is now beholding it in three-dimensional, visual space. One commands it. This is very typical of psilocybin.

Naturally, whenever a compound is introduced into the body, one must exercise caution and be well informed with regard to possible side effects. Professional psychedelic investigators are aware of these factors and freely acknowledge that the obligation to be well informed is of great importance.

Speaking for myself, let me say I am not an abuser. It takes me a long time to assimilate each visionary experience. I have never lost my respect for these dimensions. Dread is one of the emotions that I feel as I approach the experience, because I have no faith that my sails won't be ripped this time. I make the metaphor that psychedelic work is like sailing out into a dark ocean in a little skiff. One may view the moon rising serenely over the calm black water or something the size of a freight train may roar right through the scene and leave one clutching at an oar. Astrology may be helpful in figuring out when to go and when not to go, but there needs to be an intuition about these matters. The dialogue with the Other is what makes repetition of these experiences seem worthwhile. The mushroom speaks to you when you speak to it. In the introduction to the book that my brother and I wrote (under pseudonyms) called Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, there is a mushroom monologue that begins: "I am old, fifty times older than thought in your species, and I come from the stars." That's verbatim. I was writing it furiously. And sometimes it's very human. My approach to it is Hassidic. I rave at it; it raves at me. We argue about what it is going to cough up and what it isn't. I say, "Well, look, I'm the propagator, you can't hold back on me", and it says, "But if I showed you the flying saucer for five minutes, you would figure out how it works", and I say, "Well, come through." It has many manifestations. Sometimes it's like Dorothy of Oz; sometimes it's like a very Talmudic sort of pawnbroker. I asked it once, "What are you doing on earth?" It said, "Listen, if you're a mushroom, you live cheap; besides, this was a very nice neighborhood until the monkeys got out of control."

"Monkeys out of control"; that is the mushroom voice's view of history. To us, history is something very different. History is the shock wave of eschatology. In other words, we are living in a very unique moment, ten or twenty thousand years long, where an immense transition is happening. The object at the end of and beyond history, which is the human species transformed into an eternal superconducting overmind cum UFO, is casting a shadow back through time. All religion, all philosophy, all wars, pogroms, persecutions happen because people do not get the message right. That is because there is both the forward-flowing casuistry of being, causal determinism, and the interference pattern that is formed against that by backward-flowing fact of this eschatological hyperobject throwing its shadow across the temporal landscape. So we exist, yet there is a great deal of noise. This situation called history is totally unique; it will only last for a moment, it began a moment ago. In that moment there is a tremendous burst of static as the monkey goes to godhood. The final object mitigates and transforms the forward flow of entropic circumstance.

Life is central to the career of organization in matter, I reject the idea that we have been skewed onto a siding called organic existence and that our actual place is in eternity. This mode of existence is an important part of the cycle. It is a filter. There is the possibility of extinction, the possibility of falling into physis forever and so in that sense the metaphor of the fall is valid. There is a spiritual obligation, there is a task to be done. It is not, however, something as simple as following a set of somebody else's rules. The noefic enterprise is a primary obligation of being. Our salvation is linked to it. Not everyone has to read alchemical texts or study superconducting biomolecules to make the transition. Most people make it naively by thinking clearly about the present at hand, but we intellectuals are trapped in a world of too much information. Innocence is gone for us. We cannot expect to cross the rainbow bridge through a good act of contrition: that will not be sufficient.

We have to understand. Whitehead said, "Understanding is the perception of pattern as such", and to fear death is to misunderstand life. Cognitive activity is the defining fact of humanness. Language, thought, analysis, art, poetry, myth-making: these are the things that point the way toward the realm of the eschaton. That is what Joyce means, when he says man may be dirigible. In other words, we humans may be released into a realm of pure self-engineering. The imagination is everything. This was Blake's perception. This is where we come from. This is where we are going. And it is only to be approached through cognitive activity.

Time is the notion that gives ideas such as these their power, for they imply a new conception of time. During the experiment at La Chorrera what the Logos said to me was that time is not simply a homogeneous medium where things occur, but a fluctuating density of probability. Though science can sometimes tell us what can happen and what cannot happen, we have no theory that explains why, out of everything that could happen, certain things undergo what Whitehead called "the formality of actually occurring". This was what the Logos sought to explain to me, why out of all the myriad things that could happen, certain things undergo the formality of occurring. It is because there is a modular hierarchy of waves of temporal conditioning, or temporal density. A certain event, rated highly improbable, is more probable at some moments than others.

Taking that simple perception and being led by the hand by the Logos, I was able to construe maps of time that can be programmed on a computer and that give a map of the ingression of what I call "novelty" -the ingression of novelty into time. As a general rule, novelty is obviously increasing. It has been since the very beginning of the universe. First there was only the possibility of nuclear interaction and then, as temperatures fell below the bond strength of the nucleus, the atomic system could be formed. Then much later life became possible, then very complex life forms evolved, thought became possible, culture was invented. The invention of printing and electronic information transfer occurred.

What is happening is ingression of novelty toward what Whitehead called "concrescence", a tightening gyre. Everything is flowing together and, in fact, the "autopoetic lapis", the alchemical stone at the end of time, coalesces when everything flows together. When the laws of physics are obviated, the universe disappears, and what is left is the tightly bound plenum, the monad, able to express itself for itself, rather than only able to cast a shadow into physis as its reflection. 1 come very close here to classical millenarian and apocalyptic thought in my view of the rate at which change is accelerating. From the way the gyre is tightening. 1 predict that concrescence will occur soon – around 2012 AD. It will be the entry of our species into hyperspace, but it will appear to be the collapse of the state vector, the end of physical laws and the release of the mind into itself.

All these other images – the starship, the space colony, the lapis – these are precursory images. They follow naturally from the idea that history is the shock wave of eschatology. As one closes distance with the eschatological object, the reflections it is throwing off resemble more and more the thing itself. In the final moment the Unspeakable stands revealed. There are no more reflections of the Mystery. The Mystery in all its nakedness is seen, and nothing else exists. But what it is, decency can safely scarcely hint at; nevertheless, it is the crowning joy of futurism to seek anticipation of it.