I think this process of life being the mechanism that the universe creatively expresses itself—generates novelty, explores the space of the possible—is really the thing that’s most deeply intrinsic to life.

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   (1995)

Evolving Times

This evening address is one of Terence’s funniest, in which much is said about monkeys, mushrooms, plants, and people. The question and answer session gets good and lively, with his unique analysis of UFOs, governments, and possible evolutionary pathways for us and the planet.

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!

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin   (1952)

Reflection of Energy

Teilhard de Chardin sees human reflection as an evolutionary force escaping entropy's grasp. Emerging from life's intrinsic complexity, reflection leads mankind on an irreversible journey of deepening interiority. Through convergence and collective self-reflection, we approach a sacred point of supreme arrangement and unity. Teilhard argues that to fully encompass life's mystery in science, the reflection of energy must join conservation and dissipation as key principles. Understanding reflection's role illuminates both human destiny and the cosmos' underlying divinity.

Terence McKenna and Michael Toms   (1991)

Reviving the Archaic

A New View of Evolution

Terence McKenna unveils an “archaic revival” that could save humanity and our planet. He makes the controversial claim that psychedelic plants catalyzed the emergence of human consciousness, language, and our fertile imaginations eons ago. McKenna advocates reviving the shamanic practices and partnership values of our prehistoric ancestors to transcend the isolated ego and re-establish a symbiotic relationship with nature’s “great piece of integrated linguistic machinery.” His boundary-dissolving ideas shatter conventional thinking about our past, present, and the transformative possibilities for our collective future.

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 explores 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.