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ROBERT ANTON WILSON - Paradigm Shift Interview by Philip H. Farber

We think many of our readers are already familiar with the work of Robert Anton Wilson. If you're not -- hoo boy! -- we are a little envious of you, because you've got the chance to discover for the first time an amazing collection of books including Illuminatus! (with Robert Shea), The Earth Will Shake, The Widow's Son, Prometheus Rising, Cosmic Trigger, Quantum Psychology, and a bunch more. Wilson's novels and non-fiction are guaranteed to blow the cobwebs from your neurons, rattle your cage, yank your chain, and open your eyes.
Paradigm Shift recently had the pleasure of conducting the following interview with Dr. Wilson:
PHF: What is it that you most like to do with your time these days?
Robert Anton Wilson: I like to get stoned and surf the Web. I find all sorts of wonderful wonders, both in text and art. This hobby occupies a few hours a night, three or four nights a week. Otherwise, I enjoy most of what I do but feel more pressure about it. I look after my wife Arlen, who is recovering from a stroke; I shop and cook and houseclean etc.; and I keep working on an encyclopedia of conspiracy theories for Harper Collins. All that has its own rewards, but stoned Websurfing is just pure play... and often educational, too.
PHF: Heh heh.... That's a common pastime around here, too. Do you think that the hyperlinked nature of the web encourages a different kind of thinking? If so, does surfing stoned enhance that?
RAW: I kind of suspect that hyperlinking encourages holistic or at least nonlinear perception, but I had a lot of experience with that before the Web. Most of my favorite 20th century writers --especially Joyce, Pound, Williams, Burroughs -- seem to have a hyperlinked style. McLuhan compared them to the front page of the New York Times and Kenner compared them to film montage. It's all blended in my head --nonlinear page make-up in journalism, montage in film, collage in painting, Joyce, Pound, Williams, Burroughs, now the Web -- and being stoned certainly helps you groove with that kind of "cubist" sensibility. In fact, stoned dial surfing on TV makes for much the same effect. (I once thought I invented dial surfing but so many others invented it at about the same time I don't think we'll ever know who was first...)
All that said, websurfing remains the most fun, and probably the most educational.
PHF: What are some of your favorite sites to surf stoned?
RAW: Well, I'd rather turn that around and ask you and your readers the same question. I'm working up a list of The 10 Best Sites To Visit While Stoned, which I'll add to my own web site when it's finished, and I'm still looking for more leads...Just tack them on at the end of this interview and I'll explore all the ones that are new to me.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Please send submissions for the Best Sites To Visit While Stoned to, and we will forward suggestions to Dr. Wilson.
PHF: Okay... I'm sure we have enough stoned people surfing these pages. Perhaps we can set up a form to submit URLs that can accompany this interview.
RAW: I hope so. By the way, not to be too coy, a few of my favorite web sites, which I have bookmarked and don't keep the URLs for, are the Unofficial George Carlin site, the Monty Python sites, the SubGenius site, the Discordian site and the Republic of Texas site.
PHF: Anyway... From what you see in your virtual travels, do you think people are generally using the web with intelligence, or has it become a wasteland to rival prime time television?
RAW: I don't know what "people"are doing with the Web. Since most people seem to me to be moderately retarded, I assume they're not using much of what is available to them. However, the brightest people I know are using the Web very creatively and all seem to be getting brighter...or at least better informed.
I assume the brightest people use TV that way, too, and they have used books that way for 500 years now.
PHF: Our webzenmaster, John Hoke, asks, "Do you think the web is a conspiracy to keep all the other conspiracies out in the open?"
RAW: Well, that's certainly an amusing way of looking at it. In general, I regard the Web as the closest approximation yet achieved to the ideal of a free marketplace of ideas. The Marxist criticism of democracy ("freedom of the press belongs only to those who own the press") has always been uncomfortably close to the truth. But with the Web (and newsgroups, chat rooms etc.) more people have more freedom of the press or freedom of speech than ever before. I believe that is the most positive development in this generation.
It's not just the conspiracy pages that show a much greater diversity of opinion than the general media. Diversity is all over the net. Everybody who can save up enough money to get a computer can send their own version of reality to the world at large. "Just what I always wanted," Tom Jefferson would say.
PHF: Is there anything you'd like to see happening on the 'net that you haven't found there?
RAW: A more perfect union of internet, TV and VCRs. And that can't be more than a few years away...
PHF: I'm interested in your recent work with Richard Bandler. Have you found NLP to be useful in your writing?
RAW: Yes and no. Dr. Bandler keeps insisting that I have used NLP for years, even if I didn't know it myself. I can see what he means. Both Richard and I have been strongly influenced by Alfred Korzybski, whose system of non-aristotelian logic and general semantics underlie a lot of what Bandler does in his workshops and hypnotherapy; and they also underlie much of my "guerilla ontology," not just in my ideas but in my styles of presentation and my way of altering styles. (For instance, my psychedelic theories derive as much from Korzybski as from dear old Timothy Leary.)
So you might say I "knew" NLP before I studied it. On the other hand, studying NLP has helped me a great deal. I understand my own work better and therefore I think I can do it more skillfully and powerfully now.
To put this into wider context, in a recent conversation Dr Bandler agreed with me that Faulkner uses many NLP techniques in his prose, particularly in his famous long sentences, where the readers absorb a lot more than they consciously comprehend. And, of course, Faulkner also influenced my work a good deal.
PHF: Okay... Since NLP was developed from modeling effective language, that makes sense. Apart from writing skills, have you been playing with it in other ways? Accessing altered states or otherwise changing brains?
RAW: Of course. Chiefly, I use it to relax and stop worrying -- two things I need to work on these days, due to medical problems afflicting people near and dear to me. I use a combination Sufi listening exercise (which gets you into relaxation and near trance) and Bandler's mighty mantra, which you repeat every time you start going back into worry or anxiety. The mantra is slow and spaced and it says to the voice of worry, "Shut     the     fuck     up." After a few tries you get very good at making that damned voice shut the fuck up.
I've also used some NLP techniques in my workshops to make various meditation exercises quicker and more efficient. No doubt about it, NLP has one of the most practical and efficient reprogramming systems around.
PHF: Do you think NLP or Ericksonian hypnosis has potential for changing imprints? Or just conditioning?
RAW: Gee whillikers, I wish you wouldn't ask such hard questions. I have been trying to figure this one out ever since I learned a little NLP, and the more I learn, the more unsure I become. NLP certainly changes conditioning. Maybe, just maybe, it can even reverse imprinting. I'll have more definite opinions about that in another year or so.
PHF: Damn... I was hoping you had the answer to that one! Anyway... on to other territory... What's your take on the Clinton administration's attempt to squelch medical marijuana, even in the states where people have voted for medical herb?
RAW: I hate to become predictable, but I regard Clinton's position as not only wrong, morally and medically, but unconstitutional, fascistic and all-around rotten. If Bob Marley hadn't said it already about the pope, I'd say Clinton was Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Godfather of the Mafia and general all-around Anti-Christ; but I guess that line does work better for the pope.
To sound less violent and more precise, the Constitution lists the powers of the federal government very clearly. Nowhere does it list the power to create an official school of correct medical theory and use force to prevent competition by rival theories.
This power is clearly reserved "to the States or the people," an ambiguity I assume was deliberate because the founders wanted power divided as many ways as possible and each part in some tension (a la Bucky Fuller's dynamic tension philosophy) with all the others. The growth of federal power over all the traditional checks and balances is the worst single event of this dying century and I hope it will be reversed in the next century.
This is not just a matter of one medical heresy; the FDA is cracking down more and more often on any doctor who does not obey orthodoxy, and orthodoxy always turns out to be that which benefits the billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry. Materialists may consider that match between orthodoxy and profits mere coincidence, Jungians may call it synchronicity, but to me it looks like a conspiracy to rip off the public.
There's a new medicine for AIDS, I forget its name, but it will cost $20,000 a year. Those with less money than that will just have to suffer on. Now really does anybody believe this medicine would be legal if you could grow it in your backyard and it made no profits for the corporate elite?
As Bismarck said, "Laws are like sausages. You have more respect for them if you haven't seen how they're made."
Oh to get back to that Bob Marley quote. I don't really consider Clinton the Godfather of the Mafia or Imperial Wizard of the KKK, but he does look more and more like a General All-Around Anti-Christ.
PHF: Heh... I'm in agreement. Do you think the various pro-medical-pot bills that passed in a few states bodes well for legalization in the near future, in spite of Clinton and the pharmaceutical industry? Under what conditions would YOU like to see herb legalized, if at all?
RAW: I have an Ideal Answer and a more Pragmatic Answer. Ideally, I would like a government that let everybody to hell alone and let us all make our own medical decisions and even our own recreational decisions. That, I think, is the kind of government intended by the Constitution. The idea that we are ignorant children and Papa Government has to make all our decisions for us is not a democratic idea, not at all; it's a medieval, almost Papist idea. I'd get rid of all victimless crime laws and let everybody do anything that harms not their neighbors. I know that sounds looney, like one of those 18th Century radicals of the Tom Jefferson ilk, but ideally it is the kind of government I'd like.
Pragmatically, since most Americans, like most people everywhere, have an emotional anchor to the patriarchal- authoritarian structure, as described by Reich in The Mass Psychology of Fascism, I don't expect the radical ideas of 18th Century intellectuals to have any sudden rebirth here, or anywhere else on the planet. So, pragmatically, I just hope for gradual moderation of the present insane drug laws, as more and more people, even conservatives, become more and more aware that we're spending vast billions of dollars on a "war" that cannot be won, while other parts of our country are falling apart because of lack of funding for better schools, civilized medical care, etc. According to Pete McWilliams's Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do, we spend around 450 billion a year trying to enforce victimless crime laws. People who want a balanced budget or a smaller national debt have more and more realized what a vast waste that is. They will favor moves toward more moderation and some sanity.
Of course, the major argument for cutting back on the War On Sin is simply that in real crimes you've got victims who are eager to help the police identify the culprit, public agreement that such crimes (robbery rape etc.) should not be allowed, and a general cooperation between the people and the cops. In victimless crimes, you have the opposite situtation. The only way the power elite can really win any war against Sin is to spend trillions, not billions, and establish a full-scale totalitarianism. There's enough growing resistance to federal power already; I don't think the public will allow the higher taxes and total loss of liberty such a war would cost us.
PHF: Free associating from the federal gov't to conspiracies... Do you think the current media glut concerning aliens, X-files, Men in Black, etc., is an indication of some organized attempt at propaganda or disinformation? Or something rising from the collective unconscious?
RAW: This requires a complicated answer. I don't see one organized conspiracy running the whole show, but I do agree with Jacques Vallee and Phil Klass that the government has used UFO flaps to help plant certain belief systems (Vallee) and also to cover up other things they didn't want us to know (Klass) --for instance, in early days, the U2 spy planes. However I think most UFO events come from somewhere else...and my favorite model combines Jung (spontaenous release of archetypes of the collective unconscious) and Persinger (energy fluctuations that provoke real Lights, usually ball lightning, plus "poltergeist" type phenomena (dancing furniture, electric systems going on and off unpredictibly etc.) plus brainwave change unleashing the Jungian archetypes...>
But these are just my favorite models. The UFO experience seems to me profoundly more puzzling than either the dogmatic Believers or dogmatic Debunkers seem to realize. I guess my third favorite model, or non-model, is Hynek's agnostic notion that we may have to change basic ideas (about time, space, ego or whatnot) before we can begin to fathom this galloping wierdity.
Based on experience with media, I don't think any central conspiracy "controls" everything totally, although certain ideas get notably ignored in mass media and certain ideas get reinforced over and over... but on the other hand, what gets fashionable depends most often on box office returns. For instance we've had so many films about serial killers,not because the Power Elite wants to make us more afraid of one another, but because The Silence of the Lambs did so damned well; and we have so many alien movies because ET did so damn well, and now we have sinister alien movies because X Files did so damn well.
PHF: Any thoughts about where such a radical change in basic ideas might come from?
RAW: As of today (August 11, 1997) I find the most interesting ideas in traditional Buddhism, Nietzsche, Charles Fort, several quantum physicists (Nick Herbert, David Bohm, Fred Wolfe, David Finkelstein) and in Rupert Sheldrake. Add together the Buddhist yoga of detachment from fixed ideas and emotions, Nietzche's and Fort's merciless assault on the cultural prejudices that are so deeply embedded we usualy don't notice them, quantum uncerainty and holism, Sheldrake's special variety of holism, and I think we have the beginning of a hint of the New Paradigm we need.But after looking at this list I realize I should have included Korzybski's general semantics, Bandler's neurolinguistic programming and Leary's evolutionary-existentialist neuro-psychology or info-psychology as he most recently labelled it.
PHF: Okay... so why are conspiracy theories so popular?
RAW: Information flow is accelerating, as several studies have indicated and as I have documented in a few of my books. Information acceleration leads to fractal functions, according to mathematician Theodore Gordon. Fractal functions are always unpredictible. Okay?
Well, most people don't know enough math and sociology to understand that simple paragraph.All they know is that everything is getting more unpredictible and that looks spooky to them. (The unpredictible tends to spook all mammals...) Unable to grasp what is happening (accelerated evolution), most domesticated primates feel spooked and threatened and look around for some Evil Force to blame. Conspiracy theories will continue to proliferate as long as the acceleration does not include an acceleration of general education...but that will have to happen as the whole world moves into high gear. Then we'll have more understanding (science) and less demonology (conspiracy theory.)
PHF: Any suggestions for those who might find themselves curious about conspiracy theories, or on the verge of swallowing one whole?
RAW: I am 100 per cent in favor of studying conspiracy theories because, next to quantum mechanics, they represent the best test of how well you can handle ambiguity and uncertainty. Most people at present cannot handle indeterminacy at all and generally evade it by rushing to premature certitude. If you really study conspiracy theory carefully, examining all its flavors, the result is like studying quantum theory and all of its conflicting models. You either go bonkers or you learn to think beyond the aristotelian either/or logic of our culture.
The best way to study conspiracy theory without swallowing one theory whole is to prepare yourself by a thorough training in clasical logic, fuzzy logic, general semantics and quite a bit of Zen-Sufi humor, until you have internalized the realization that Universe is infinite chaos and any model you make at a date cannot possibly contain all of it but only represents the mixture of your knowledge and ignorance at that date.
PHF: You recently joined the Board of Advisors of the Fully Informed Jury Association. Why is this group so important in your estimation?
RAW: Well, after I quit the ACLU I had to find some outlet for my energies. (The ACLU has decided they're in favor of discrimination against certain groups.I'm not in favor of discrimination against any groups, so I had to withdraw.)
The Fully Informed Jury Assocation seems to me the best safeguard against the absolute tyranny of the federal government, toward which we seem to be headed. When juries know that they have the right, both de jure and de facto, to nullify any law they find obnoxious or trannical, we have a real chance of withstanding the increase of omnipresent State meddling in every aspect of our lives. (They're prying into our bladders already. When even your bladder is not private and safe from invasion, how much liberty is left concretely?)
De facto any jury can vote as they damned please, and they often do. De jure, they have the right to acquit when the law itself seems unfair or unjust to them, but judges often lie and tell them they do not have this right. FIJA is around to spread the word that juries have had this right since Magna Carta and still have this right, and any judge who says otherwise is a liar and tyrant.
Of course, as an advocate of jury nullification, I also belive in the equally old tradition that juries should be chosen totally at random. In the early days, a jury was the first twelve men the bailiff saw when he walked out the door of the court. It should be both men and women,of course, but it should remain equally random. The lawyers should have no ability to stack a jury. The traditional system, with its random factor, comes as close as humanly possible to obtaining a true cross section of the common sense, the common decency and the common humanity of the people, and I trust those factors, if not blindly the way Catholics trust the pope, certainly a lot more than I trust lawyers and judges.

Top Boy Trailer

Written by Ronan Bennett (Public Enemies) comes new to our TV screens a four-part drama Top Boy. Thrilling, raw and honest, Top Boy depicts the gripping, challenging lives of kids immersed in London's gang culture.

Monday 31 October 2011
Channel 4


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Plan/Plant/Planet by Terence McKenna

Our present global crisis is more profound than any previous historical crises; hence our solutions must be equally drastic. I propose that we should adopt the plant as the organizational model for life in the twenty-first century, just as the computer seems to be the dominant mental/social model of the late twentieth century, and the steam engine was the guiding image of the nineteenth century.

 This means reaching back in time to models that were successful fifteen thousand to twenty thousand years ago. When this is done it becomes possible to see plants as food, shelter, clothing, and sources of education and religion.

 The process begins by declaring legitimate what we have denied for so long. Let us declare nature to be legitimate. All plants should be declared legal, and all animals for that matter. The notion of illegal plants and animals is obnoxious and ridiculous.

  Reestablishing channels of direct communication with the planetary Other, the mind behind nature, through the use of hallucinogenic plants is the best hope for dissolving the steep walls of cultural inflexibility that appear to be channeling us toward true ruin. We need a new set of lenses to see our way into the world. When the medieval world shifted its worldview, secularized European society sought salvation in the revivifying of classical Greek and Roman approaches to law, philosophy, aesthetics, city planning, and agriculture. Our dilemma will cast us further back into time in search for models and answers.

The solution to much of modern malaise, including chemical dependencies and repressed psychoses and neuroses, os direct exposure to the authentic dimensions of risk represented by the experience of psychedelic plants. The pro-psychedelic plant position is clearly an anti-drug position. Drug dependencies are the result of habitual, unexamined, and obsessive behaviour; these are precisely the tendencies in our psychological makeup that the psychedelics mitigate. The plant hallucinogens dissolve habits and hold motivations up to inspection by a wider, less egocentric, and more grounded point of view within the individual. It is foolish to suggest that there is no risk, but it is equally uninformed to suggest that the risk is not worth taking. What is needed is experiential validation of a new guiding image, an overarching metaphor able to serve as the basis for a new model of society and the individual.

The plant-human relationship has always been the foundation of our individual and group existence in the world. What I call the Archaic Revival is the process of reawakening awareness of traditional attitudes toward nature, including plants and our relationship to them. The Archaic Revival spells the eventual breakup of the pattern of male dominance and hierarchy based on animal organization, something that can not be changed overnight by a sudden shift in collective awareness. Rather, it will follow naturally upon the gradual recognition that the overarching theme that directs the Archaic Revival is the idea/ideal of a vegetation Goddess, the Earth herself as the much ballyhooed Gaia--a fact well documented by nineteenth-century anthropologists, most notably Frazer, but recently given a new respectability by Riane Eisler, Marija Gimbutas, James Mellaart, and others.

 The closer a human group is to the gnosis of the vegetable mind--the Gaian collectivity of organic life--the closer their connection to the archetype of the Goddess and hence to the partnership style of social organization. The last time that the mainstream of Western thought was refreshed by the gnosis of the vegetable mind was at the close of the Hellenistic Era, before the Mystery religions were finally suppressed by enthusiastic Christian barbarians.

My conclusion is that taking the next evolutionary step toward the Archaic Revival, the rebirth of the Goddess, and the ending of profane history will require an agenda that includes the notion of our reinvolvement with and the emergence of the vegetable mind. That same mind that coaxed us into self-reflecting language now offers us the boundless landscapes of the imagination. Without such a relationship to psychedelic exopheromones regulating our symbiotic relationship with the plant kingdom, we stand outside of an understanding of planetary purpose. And an understanding of planetary purpose may be the major contribution we can make to the evolutionary process. Returning to the bosom of the planetary partnership means trading the point of view of the history-created ego for a more maternal and intuitional style.

  The widely felt intuition of the presence of the Other as a female companion to the human navigation of history can, I believe, be traced back to the immersion in the vegetable mind, which provided the ritual context in which human consciousness emerged into the light of self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-articulation: the light of the Great Goddess.
      What does it mean to accept the solutions of vegetable forms of life as metaphors for the conduct of the affairs of the human world? Two important changes would follow from adopting this assumption:

  • The feminizing of culture. Culture would be feminized on a level that has yet to be fully explored. Green Consciousness means recognizing that the real division between the masculine and the feminine is not a division between men and women but rather a division between ourselves as conscious animals--omnivorous, land-clearing, war makers, supreme expression of the yang--and the circumglobal mantle of vegetation--the ancient metastable yin element that constitutes by far the major portion of the biomass of the living earth.
  • An inward search for values. Inwardness is the characteristic feature of the vegetable rather than the animal approach to existence. The animals move, migrate, and swarm, while plants hold fast. Plants live in a dimension characterized by the solid state, the fixed, and the enduring. If there is movement in the consciousness of plants then it must be the movement of spirit and attention in the domain of the vegetal imagination. Perhaps this is what the reconnection to the vegetal Goddess through psychedelic plants, the Archaic Revival, actually points toward: that the life of the spirit is the life that gains access to the visionary realms resident in magical plant teachers. This is the truth that shamans have always known and practiced. Awareness of the green side of mind was called Veriditas by the twelfth-century visionary Hildegard von Bingen.
A new paradigm capable of offering hope of a path out of the cultural quicksand must provide a real-world agenda addressed to the escalating problems that the planet faces. There are several domains in which the rise of awareness of Veriditas might help stave off armageddon:
Detoxification of the natural environment. The process of detoxification is naturally carried out by the combined action of the atmosphere, the biological matrix, and the oceans. This planetwide process was able to take care of even urban industrial waste, until modern industrial technology became a truly global phenomenon. Planting species of datura, the plants once a part of the religious rites of the Indians of Southern California, and other plants that leach heavy metals from the earth and sequester them in their cellular tissue are examples of a natural process that could help clean up our environment. Recognizing the many ways in which the biological matrix of the earth functions to avert toxification, recognizing that nature is working to sustain life, might go a long way toward building a political consensus to actively participate in saving that same life.
Connectedness and symbiosis. Like plants, we need to maximize the quality of connectedness and symbiosis. Plant-based approaches to modeling the world include awareness of the fractal and branching nature of community action. A treelike network of symbiotic relationships can now replace the model of evolution that we inherited form the nineteenth-century. The earlier model, that of the tooth-and-claw struggle for existence, with the survivor taking the hindmost, is a model based on naive observation of animal behaviour. Yet it was cheerfully extended into the realm of plants to explain the evolutionary interactions thought to cause speciation in the botanical world. Later, more sophisticated observers (C.H. Waddington and Erich Jantsch) found not the War in Nature that Darwinists reported but rather a situation in which it was not competitive ability but ability to maximize cooperation with other species that most directly contributed to an organism's being able to function and endure as a member of a biome. Plants interact with each other through the tangled mat of roots that connects them all to the source of their nutrition and to each other.

The matted floor of a tropical rain forest is an environment of great chemical diversity; the topology approaches that of brain tissue in its complexity. Within the network of interconnected roots, complex chemical signals are constantly being transmitted and received. Coadaptive evolution and symbiotic relationships regulate this entire system with a ubiquitousness that argues for the evolutionary primacy of these cooperative strategies. For example, mycirrhizal fungi live in symbiosis on the outside of plant roots and gently balance and buffer the mineral-laden water that is moving through them to the roots of their host.
Whole-system fine tuning. If the phenomena associated with biological harmony and resonance could be understood, then such large-scale systems as global banking or global food production could be more properly managed. The gaian biologists, Lovelock, Margulies, and others, have argued persuasively that the entire planet has been self-organized by microbial and planktonic life into a metastable regime favorable to biology and maintained there for over two billion years. Plant-based Gaia has kept a balance throughout time and space,--and in spite of the repeated bombardment of the earth by asteroidal material sufficient to severely disrupt the planetary equilibrium. We can only admire--and we should seek to imitate such a Tao-like sense of the planet's multidimensional homeostatic balance. But how? I suggest we look at plants--look more deeply, more closely, and with a more open mind than we have done before.
Recycling. Like plants, we need to recycle. On a cosmic scale we are no more mobile than plants. Until this point in history we have modeled our more successful economic systems on animal predation. Animals can potentially move on to another resource when they exhaust the one at hand. Since they can move to new food sources, they potentially have unlimited resources. Plants are fixed. They can not easily move to richer nutrients or leave an area if they foul or deplete it. They must recycle well. The fostering of a plant-based ethic that emulates the way in which the botanical world uses and replaces resources is a sine qua non for planetary survival. All capitalistic models models presuppose unlimited exploitable resources and labor pools, yet neither should now be assumed. I do not know the methods, but I suggest we start turning to the plant world to discover the right question to ask.
Photovoltaic power. Appreciation of photovoltaic power is part of the shift toward an appreciation of the elegance of solid state that plants possess. Plants practice photosynthetic solutions to the problems of power acquisition. Compared to the water or animal-turned wheels, which are the Ur-methaphors for power production in the human world, the solid-state quantum-molecular miracle that involves dropping a photon of sunlight into a molecular device that will kick out an electron capable of energetically participating in the life of a cell seems like extravagant science fiction. Yet this is, in fact, the principle upon which photosynthesis operates. While the first solid-state devices arrived on the human cultural frontier in the late 1940's, solid-state engineering had been the preferred design approach of plants for some two thousand million years. High efficiency photovoltaics could today meet the daily needs of most people for electricity. It is the running of basic industries on solar energy that has proved difficult. Perhaps this is nature's way of telling us that we aspire to too much manufacturing.

A global atmosphere-based economy. The approach of vegetational life to energy production is called photosynthesis. This process could be modeled by the creation of a global economy based on using solar energy to obtain hydrogen from seawater. Solar electricity could supply most electricity needs, but the smelting of aluminium and steel and other energy-intensive industrial processes make demands that photovoltaic electricity is unlikely to be able to meet. However, there is a solution; plants split atmospheric carbon dioxide to release energy and oxygen as by-products. A similar but different process could use solar electricity to split water to obtain hydrogen. This hydrogen could be collected and concentrated for later distribution. Plants have been very successful at finding elegant solutions based on materials present at hand; a hydrogen economy would emulate this same reliance on inexhaustible and recyclable materials.

The notion is a simple one really; it has long been realized by planners that hydrogen is the ideal resource to fuel a global economy. Hydrogen is clean: when burned it recombines with the water it was chemically derived from. Hydrogen is plentiful: one-third of all water is hydrogen. And all existing technologies--internal combustion engines, coal-, oil-, and nuclear-fired generators--could be retrofitted to run on hydrogen. Thus we are not talking about having to scrap the current standing crop of existing power production and distribution systems. Hydrogen could be "cracked" from seawater at a remote island location and then moved by the already existing technology that is used for the ocean transport of liquid natural gas from its production points to market. The objection that hydrogen is highly explosive and that proven technologies for handling it do not exist has largely been met by the LNG industry and its excellent safety record. Hydrogen accidents could be extremely destructive, but they would be ordinary explosions--local, nontoxic, and without release of radioactivity. Like plant life itself, the hydrogen economy would be nonpolluting and self-substaining; burned hydrogen recombines with oxygen to again become water.
      An internal effort of extraordinary scope would be neccessary to begin to move toward a proof of concept demonstration of the feasibility of a hydrogen economy. Granted, there are many possible problems with such a scheme. But no plan for the production on energy sufficient to meet the demands of twenty-first century is going to be without difficulties.
Nanotechnology. The era of molecular mechanism promises the most radical of green visions, since it proposes that human-engineered quasibiological cells and organelles take over the manufacturing of products and culture. nanotechnology takes very seriously the notion that manufacturing techniques and methods of manipulating matter on the microphysical scale can affect the design process of the human-scale world. In the nanotech world, dwellings and machines can be "grown", and everything that is manufactured is closer to flesh than stone. The distinction between living and nonliving and organic and artificial is blurred in the electronic coral reef of human-machine symbiosis contemplated by the savants of nanotechnology.

Preservation of biological diversity. The life on this planet and the chemical diversity that it represents is likely to be the only source of biologically evolved compounds until the day that we discover another planet as teeming with life as our own. Yet we are destroying the living diversity of our world at an appalling rate. This must be stopped, not only through the preservation of ecosystems but also through the preservation of information about those ecosystems that has been accumulated over thousands of years by the people who live adjacent to them. It is impossible to underestimate the importance for human health of preservation of folk knowledge concerning healing plants. All the major healing drugs that have changed history have come from living plants and fungi. Quinine made conquest of the tropics possible, penicillin and birth control pills remade the social fabric of the twentieth century. All three of these are plant-derived pharmaceuticals. My partner Kat and I work in this area by managing Botanical Dimensions, a botanical garden in Hawaii that seeks to preserve the plants utilized in Amazonian shamanism, one of the many such systems of knowledge that are fast disappearing.
      The measures outlined above would tend to promote what might be called a sense of Gaian Holism, that is, a sense of the unity and balance of nature and of our own human position within the dynamic and evolving balance. It is a plant-based view. This return to a perspective on self and ego that places them within the larger context of planetary life and evolution is the essence of the Archaic Revival. Marshall McLuhan was correct to see that planetary human culture, the global village, would be tribal in character. The next great step toward a planetary holism is the partial merging of the technologically transformed human world with the archaic matrix of vegetable intelligence that is the Overmind of the planet.

I hesitate to call this dawning awareness religious, yet that is what it surely is. And it will involve a full exploration of the dimensions revealed by plant hallucinogens, especially those structurally related to neurotransmitters already present and functioning in the human brain. Careful exploration of the plant hallucinogens will probe the most archaic and sensitive level of the drama of the emergence of consciousness; it was in the plant-human symbiotic relationships that characterized archaic society and religion that the numinous mystery was originally experienced. And this experience is no less mysterious for us today, in spite of the general assumption that we have replaced the simple awe of our ancestors with philosophical and epistemic tools of the utmost sophistication and analytical power.
Our choice as a planetary culture is a simple one:
From The Archaic Revival by Terence McKenna


And suddenly there it was, a brand new UFO case surfaced recently, even tho the case it selves dates back to the 50-ies and 60-ies. This is the English Version of an Italian documentary describing the extraordinary Italian case of alien contact with a group of men.

Madsin Ft Spok - Propaganda

bye bye chuuuchnet :p
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