If you were an extraterrestrial in a starship in orbit around this planet, what you would see, looking down, is a gene swarm. The species that seem to us to be animal forms extremely stable in time are actually highly permeable membranes over millennia and tens of millennia, with genes crossing over, moving around, and being basically obedient to the expression of some kind of teleological form. And it was the concern of nineteenth-century biology to eliminate teleology, to eliminate purpose and directedness. But it’s very hard to avoid the impression of some kind of attractor ahead of this planet, embedded in its history, and somehow channeling everything toward it. So that the progressive acceleration of human society—of information production, of communication, the proliferation of languages, natural and synthetic—all of these things are not something going on in the human domain and somehow sealed from the general state of nature, but are, in fact, part of the general state of nature. And the human experience, or the human animal—as the carrier of this catalytic process, this speeding up and accelerating of process on the surface of the planet—is not sealed from nature, but the leading edge; the leading edge of a process on this planet.

Entropy and Syntropy

Entropy and syntropy are two complementary yet contrasting principles that govern the flow and organization of energy and matter within the universe. While entropy represents the tendency towards disorder and disorganization, syntropy embodies the opposing force that drives order, complexity, and the emergence of structured systems. Some definitions describe entropic phenomena as determined by causes in the past, whereas syntropic phenomena are attracted towards future states.

The concept of entropy, derived from the second law of thermodynamics, describes the inevitable increase in disorder or randomness within an isolated system over time. This natural progression towards greater entropy is observed in various phenomena, such as the dissipation of heat, the degradation of materials, and the loss of information. Conversely, syntropy—a term coined by the Italian mathematician Luigi Fantappiè, related to Erwin Schrödinger’s concept of negentropy and A. N. Whitehead’s novelty—refers to the counteracting principle that facilitates the concentration of energy, the formation of intricate structures, and the evolution of organized systems. This force is evident in the self-organizing patterns observed in nature, the growth and development of living organisms, and the emergence of complexity from seemingly chaotic conditions, often arising from the interplay between entropy and the flow of energy or information within the system.

Documents

Terence McKenna   (1996)

Countdown Into Complexity

Briefing for a Descent Into Novelty

At his weekend workshop Terence led attendees on an intellectual odyssey traversing psychedelics, virtual reality, technology, culture, spirituality, and the evolution of novelty over time. Blending philosophy, futurology, and mysticism, he explored humanity's relationship with nature and machines, challenging participants to think critically, create freely, and keep an open mind. The goal was to expand consciousness and uncover deeper truths about existence.

Terence McKenna   (1998)

In the Valley of Novelty

Journeying through multiple dimensions of psychedelic consciousness, Terence McKenna's visionary weekend workshop invites us on an entheogenic voyage to the frontiers of the mind and its imminent conquering of matter. Blending scientific insights with shamanic wisdom, McKenna argues that natural plant medicines like psilocybin and DMT provide portals into mystical realms and alien dimensions, catalyzing revelations about nature, reality, and the human psyche. He urges us to courageously explore these consciousness-expanding substances, seeking the gratuitous beauty and truths they unveil. For McKenna, the psychedelic experience holds secrets to our world and ourselves—if only we dare lift the veil.

Terence McKenna   (1999)

Psychedelics in the Age of Intelligent Machines

Humanity is metamorphosing through the synergy of psychedelics and machines, transcending biological constraints to become a galactic, immortal intelligencia. Print defined our ego boundaries, but electronic media and plant allies are dissolving those illusions. Merging with superintelligent AIs, we’ll birth an alchemical singularity—a spiritual, universe-taming mind born from techno-shamanic ecstasy. History crumbles as novelty’s virus engulfs the old operating systems, unleashing our wildest potentials. The felt presence of boundless experience awaits!

Terence McKenna   (1983)

The Syntax of Psychedelic Time

Terence McKenna weaves a tapestry of ideas exploring fractal time, the psychedelic mushroom's potent voice, and humanity's impending transcendence into a galactic, post-biological singularity. Brace yourself for a journey through the uncharted realms of novelty and consciousness expansion.

Terence McKenna   (1996)

Toward the End of History

“We are transcending ourselves faster than we realize:” Terence McKenna delves into his theory of novelty, psychedelics as catalysts for cognitive evolution, and the internet’s potential to disrupt power structures and empower marginalized communities. He paints a tantalizing picture of humanity’s inevitable leap into a transcendent future.

Erwin Schrödinger   (1944)

What Is Life?

The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell

This book was based on a course of public lectures delivered by Schrödinger in February 1943, under the auspices of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. The lectures attracted an audience of about 400, who were warned "that the subject-matter was a difficult one and that the lectures could not be termed popular, even though the physicist’s most dreaded weapon, mathematical deduction, would hardly be utilized." Schrödinger's lecture focused on one important question: How can the events in space and time—which take place within the spatial boundary of a living organism—be accounted for by physics and chemistry?

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin   (1950)

What is Life?

Teilhard says life is not an anomaly, but a universal cosmic force that builds up complexity. He sees it complementing entropy, and the riddle to be solved lies in how they ultimately balance out.