Thursday, February 7, 2013

Interpreting McKenna (notes from Psychedelic Salon #339)

Maybe the following is more regurgitating than interpreting, but I really enjoyed the latest Psychedelic Salon podcast and took a few notes while listening. This is what I came up with.

by AJ Snook

The UFO is a projection of man's collective consciousness that we can't prove. Exploration of the unknown is the apex of human aspirations. As McKenna says, if man's good, how will he know it? By comparing himself to other men? Seems illogical for they also don't know. By practicing with the shaman and his medicines? Sounds more logical when I come to think of it.

Either way, practice of some kind is necessary to connect the mind/soul with the body with the three dimensional world around us. Then, when we get comfortable doing this attentively, when we begin to master the shamanistic way of being, only then must we decide whether the human race is good. If our answer is yes, then what do we do with that knowledge? Good question. He seems to think that working together, feeding information off of each other ever faster with ever more efficiency until we are able to use language to describe reality truthfully. Sounds awfully a lot like the Singularity.

Then he says, ironically, that he doesn't believe any of this stuff. He finds believing in these high flown synthetic systems to come off like pathology. There's something oddly refreshing about this lack of belief. It's hard to pinpoint what it is, but I think it's a form of humility  a declaration of how multiversally small we are as a species.

"Why did you choose me?" he asked the mushroom. "Because you don't believe in anything," it replied. Without belief his eyes were open to so many more possibilities.

Belief is grounding. Belief is a halt in evolutionary process. If the universe is ever expanding then man's belief at one moment might very well be irrelevant the next. McKenna, I think, did believe in practice and in continuing to mold and tinker with the human experience as one moment folds into the next, never stopping to believe in end points, or that ideas were sufficient enough. (Other words that Terence probably abhorred: sufficient, complacent, and satisfactory.) I think Terence would have agreed that the understanding of, or interaction with, the universe -- existence -- isn't analogous to a cup that can be filled, or with a race with a finish line.

In the end, the following quote sums up these thoughts perfectly:

"The world may not only be stranger than we suppose, it may be stranger than we can suppose." - Haldane

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