by Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham
- Chapter 1. Grassroots Science The increasing predominance of big science and large institutions. Public alienation from science. The possibility of radical research on a budget of less than $50. How amateurs could help revitalize science. The role of computer networks. The continuing need for institutional science. A complementary relationship between grassroots and institutional research. Holistic medicine and low-cost medical research. Declining science budgets. The popularity of dinosaurs. Psychedelic explorations as an example of a grassroots research. Radical research by students. The revitalizing of scientific education.
- Chapter 2. Psychedelics, Computers, and Mathematics Nearly all innovators in computer graphics take psychedelics. Ralph's experiences in the 1960s. Visual mathematics and psychedelic imagination. The need for emotional involvement. Visual metaphors and the footprints of meaning. Psychedelic experience is made of mind but not just our minds. The language of patterns. The decline of literacy and the rise of visual intelligence. Television as an addictive drug. Computer graphics and the forms of flowers and beetles. Mathematical landscapes. Mathematics a marriage of heaven and earth.
- Chapter 3. What Hawaii Tells Us About Evolution These volcanic, mid-oceanic islands are a laboratory for evolution in isolation. On the islands themselves, ecosystems are divided up by lava flows. Comparison with evolution on other island systems and in the Amazon basin. The evolutionary importance of variety for its own sake. Hawaii as a microcosm of the Earth itself. Creative adaptation, morphic resonance, and the evolution of habits. The movement of entire ecosystems. Spores, ducks' feet, and the colonization of Hawaii. How do migrant birds find new island systems? How did the Polynesians find Hawaii? Contemporary cultural evolution.
- Chapter 4. Homing Pigeons Many animals can home or migrate, but no one knows how. Research with pigeons has refuted all theories based on known scientific principles. Homing cannot be explained in terms of smell, the sun, landmarks, or magnetism. An unknown sense or field seems to be involved. Pigeons linked to their home by a connection like an invisible elastic band. Can pigeons find their home if the home is taken away from the pigeons, rather than the pigeons from the home? Results of preliminary experiments with mobile lofts. Does homing depend on a sixth sense or an inherited map? How language inhibits our ability to imagine the mind of a pigeon. The different relationship of animal minds to time. Homing as a pulling from the future. Pigeons and their lofts linked by morphic fields. The nature of social bonds. The way shamans know the future. The connection of shamanic knowledge with the knowledge of animals.
- Chapter 5. The World Wide Web What the World Wide Web is and how it goes beyond the Internet. Worldwide browsing and creativity. The Web as the basis of the noosphere of the future. Boundary dissolution. But is it just for nerds? The absence of the feminine. A vast increase in the accessibility of information. Do we really need more information? Research on the quality of time using databases on sunspots, accident rates, etc. The Web's resemblance to psychedelic experience. Creativity and self-publishing. Who does the editing? Can the proliferation of special interest groups have any unifying effect? Could the Web improve our realtionship to the environment or to local communities? A future telepathic collectivity.
- Chapter 6. Research With Psychic Pets Many pets seem to know in advance when their owners are coming home. Inexpensive research with pets an example of grassroots science. Is science too rigid to assimilate animal telepathy, even if the evidence were overwhelming? The ancient shamanic roots of communication with animals. How does telepathy work? Morphic fields as a basis of interconnection. Resonance, time, and precognition. Fractal wavelets. How language deceives us about the nature of time. The advantages of music. How animals respond to intentions. Hunting, shamanism, and the evolution of consciousness.
- Chapter 7. Fractals The sandy beach and fractal boundaries. Chaos and the Milky Way. Fractal boundaries destroy determinism. Multiple personalities and boundaries in the mind. Dischaos in personal relationships. Polytheistic psychology. Fractalization and unity. Dischaos therapy. Drugs, journeys, and the increasing permeability of boundaries. Aboriginal cultures and openness to others. Our obsession with privacy. Walled fortresses and fractal labyrinths.
- Chapter 8. Time The Big Bang as scientific orthodoxy's free miracle. Cosmic evolution toward increasing complexity. The pull of a transcendental attractor located in the future. The Omega Point. History as the shock wave of the end of time. Myths of history. Time is speeding up. The Judeo-Christian tradition is inherently apocalyptic. Will the end of history be confined to the Earth, or will it be some kind of cosmic transition? The impact of comets. Hyperspace. The dissolution of all things. Terence's prediction of the end in 2012 AD. Visions of the transcendental attractor.
- Chapter 9: The Heavens The rediscovery of the life of nature. The ancient sense of the sacredness of the heavens and the Earth. The secularization of the heavens since the seventeenth century. Consciousness in stars and galaxies. Heavenly bliss. Modern ignorance of the heavens. Astrologers find meaning in the sky, but don't look at it. Angels. SETI, the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Journeys out of the body. Are psychedelic visions localized? The evolution of complexity. The loss of interest in space exploration. Contacting the intelligences of the stars in altered states of consciousness. Elizabethan star magic. Modern sun worship. A new synthesis of astrology and astronomy.
- Chapter 10. Utopianism and Millenarianism The literary origins of Utopia. Utopians hope that the virtues of the past will be restored. The Judeo-Christian roots of millenarianism. Millenarians believe history is about to end. Scientific utopianism and the ideology of progress. New age Utopias. Terence as a psychedelic Utopian. And also as a prophet of the apocalypse. The big bang and the irrational. The acceleration of history. The transcendental object at the end of time. New models of time. Chaotic transformation. Millenarian visions and self-fulfilling prophecy. The cosmic dimension. The end in 2012?
- Chapter 11: Father Bede's Letter Father Bede Griffiths, an English Benedictine monk who lived in India, was Rupert's teacher. His letter about our book Trialogues at the Edge of the West. He found a lack of the sense of the mystical, or of ultimate unity. Terence puts this unity at the end of time. Ralph connects it with the unity of the evolutionary process. Rupert sees it in the Holy Trinity. The Judeo-Christian faith in God's action in historical time, and at the end of time. Evolutionary theology. The cosmic attractor. Indeterminacy and the structure of time. Entelechy and the time wave. Freud and Thanatos, the death principle. Birth throughout the universe.