The human neuro-net, the unconscious of the species, is actually being hardwired as an artifact. We’re pouring glass and gold and silicon down the micro-tubules of the racial imagination and, as it were, making a kind of casting of the state of the human imagination at the close of the millennium.
If you have five gold atoms, you don’t have the color yellow. You don’t get that until you have hundreds of gold atoms. That color is an emergent property. It requires a large number of gold atoms for the fact that gold is yellow to begin to be part of the picture. Similarly, wetness. If you have a water molecule, it is not wet in any sense that you can relate to. Wetness is a property of thousands of water molecules. It’s an emergent property. So there’s obviously nothing magical about this, unless you happen to be conscious at one of these phase transitions and you actually see an emergent property come out of a species. And clearly, what we are trying to do is overcome our differences. Our thing is a curious dichotomy between our individuality and our drive toward community. And technology is facilitating the drive toward community at this incredibly accelerated rate.
The unitary mind is being created. It is, in fact, in existence. The autonomic functions of the human superorganism are already in place. And what do I mean by the autonomic functions? I mean the daily pricing of gold, the computer transactions that characterize the banking system: this is all going on all the time. Machines are talking to machines, moving billions of dollars around, setting the value of currency and precious metals and commodities. I mean, most of this is on automatic. Human operators are only called in when unexpected fluctuations are picked up inside the system. And yet, it’s not clear what is being maximized.
The topmost level of control is only assumed to exist. This is very exciting. We all assume that if you follow these trees of control up and up, finally—at the level of the IMF, the World Bank, the National Security Council—someone is running it. But it’s actually not true. It isn’t a tree. It doesn’t lead to focal nexus of control. It’s a net. It’s a web. And, you know, when you realize this, you realize that a very large amount of power is in your hands.
What he’s saying in The Phenomenon of Man is that we are now generating what he calls the noösphere. And the noösphere is the atmosphere of technical accretions and electronic information-transfer and electromagnetic fields—VHF, UHF, so forth and so on—and that this is part of evolution. His great insight was to see geology, biology, and sociology as a continuous spectrum.
We worship mind. Well, if you make consciousness your religion, then clearly the body of consciousness is the technical accretion: the superhighways, the computers, the color, the fiber optic networks. All that is how consciousness manifests itself.
My idea of the regulation of culture through the psychedelic experience is not that there is something magical about the psychedelic experience in and of itself, but that what it is is an attunement to natural harmonics on many levels that we could call (I do call it) the Gaian mind. It’s a higher intentionality. But it’s not mystical mumbo jumbo, it’s biology. There’s level upon level of pheromones, oscillations, chemical oscillators, all kinds of things that regulate biology besides the gross activation of enzyme systems inside the wetware of an organism. When you’re in the jungle like the Amazon, you see that this is seamless, this is one thing. It’s only my style of knowing that tells me this is a palm tree, this is a crocodile, this is a butterfly. But the way it’s all working is: it’s just genes, and gene-exchange, and life and death, and procreation, and symbiosis, and so forth and so on.
It’s about not believing, not consuming, not following. It’s about taking back direct experience. If we could feel our circumstance, if we could feel what we’re doing to the Earth and each other, we wouldn’t do it! It’s that simple—because it’s too horrible. But you can anesthetize yourself with ideology, with wealth, with distance, with religious obsession, and so forth and so on, and then you can’t tell shit from shinola. But pain is pain, agony is agony. There’s plenty of it out there. So I think the precondition for any kind of response to that—any kind of political or reforming response to it—is to feel. And that means taking back your own social space from the machinery of media and domination and value-manipulation and so forth and so on.