The technosphere, the biosphere, the cultural sphere (which Teilhard de Chardin called the noösphere) is in a state of forced self-transformation.
We—like the dolphins, like the groundhogs, like the giant squid and the honeybee—we are embedded in the matrix of physics, of the actual underlying facts of the local structure of this universe.
This is, I think, what we were always born for. It’s very clear that we are the creatures of the imagination. That—at some very early point now lost back there in the orgiastic primal African past—we moved into the domain of symbolic activity: being able to evoke for each other pictures in our heads with small mouth noises. And out of that we have woven the fabric of material civilization, which is our great accomplishment: this multi-phasic, multi-adaptable enterprise that we are involved in that is unlike anything another biological species undertakes anywhere.
We’re erasing the boundaries between technology and nature.
The public is a concept that was created in the Renaissance. It was created by print. There never before was that notion. It’s something necessary for democracies to do business: there has to be a public. But when we identify with the public, we essentially become creatures of the herd. Eccentricity is mitigated against. That’s why this very small flute theme called bohemianism just will not die in Western civilization. You know, it’s always been there. It was there before rave, before punk, before rock’n’roll, before jazz, before the impressionists, before the romantics, back, back, back. There was always this strain of dissent, because it’s the lifeline of sanity in Western society. And every time the bastions of bullshittery grow weak, the bohemian thread expands its options; offers itself as an alternative.
When the Dalai Lama was in Los Angeles a while ago, they wanted to give him some kind of quintessential L.A. experience. You know: what can we do with him? So they took him to Rodeo Drive and said, “This is Rodeo Drive,” wandered around with a small group, and just… here it is. So then he did, and after it was over they said, “So, what did you think of Rodeo Drive?” And he said—the Dalai Lama said—he said, “Now I understand you Americans so much better. There was so much that I wanted to buy!” Well, for cryin’ out loud, if the Dalai Lama can’t resist the whammy, what chance do you and I have with these weasels, right?