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Terence McKenna - The Alien Within

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Uploaded on Jan 5, 2010

The net is a net for catching the alien mind. How will it come? Will it descend upon our websites in a flash of light? I don't think so. How it will come is hacked through human fingers. The alien is real, but it is within us. It can only communicate information, and that information has to be made real in this world by human coders. So if we were to set out... light-heartedly... to build a virtual reality as alien as we could make it... I maintain that three quarters of the way our hair would be standing on end. Because we would realize, we are not inventing this, we are discovering it. You know, Michelangelo said 'The form is in the block of marble, what I do is I take away the part that is unnecessary'. In the same way, the alien is already within us. But we must model it, we must call it forth into a dimension of potential dialogue. And I think that, ultimately this is what high-tech society can bring to the shamanic equation. Shamans have been dealing with spirits, entities, powers for more than a hundred thousand years, but it has always been on a one- to-one basis. But with virtual reality we have a technology that allows us to show each other our dreams and yes, our hallucinations. And as we begin to show each other the contents of our own heads, and as we begin to explore the alien Niagaras of beauty that pour through your consciousness under the influence of some of these substances, we are going to discover that we are not what we thought we were. The monkey flesh is penetrated by something... dare I say it... divine. Or at least alien, trans- planetary, and beyond the power of human comprehension. I don't know, if we're talking about God almighty here. I don't know if we're talking about the God who hung the stars like lamps in heaven, as Milton says. That seems a tall order. Maybe what we're talking about is the god of biology. Something has happened to this planet. It has become infected with an informational... call it virus, call it force... that is using matter, and yes using our flesh and our thoughts, to bootstrap itself to higher and higher levels. And now the prosthesis of machinery and the possibility of an artificial intelligence, raises the real option of actually mid-wife-ing the birth of an entirely new order of biological intelligence in existence. The human-machine symbiot is upon us. It's been with us for a while, since the first wheel was carved, since the first stick was sharpened. But that was all very simple stuff. Now it's clear, that we are in partnership with an other mind which comes to us through our machineries and through the bio-sphere. Wherever we press beyond the thin curtain of rationalist culture, we discover the incredibly rich, erotic, scary, promising presence of this intelligent other. Which beckons us out of history and says you know, 'the galaxy lies waiting'.

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