by Andrew R. Gallimore
we're ever to get to grips properly with the profound
mysteries of consciousness, and with the ground truth
about this thing we call "reality", then sooner or later
we're going to have deploy the ancient technology of
dimethyltryptamine (DMT) the most powerful psychedelic
known to science.
groundwork was done in the 1990's by Rick Strassman at
the University of New Mexico, further important
investigations of this so-called "spirit
molecule" are underway today at the Johns
Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness
Research, but one of the most inspired and most
insightful new minds in the field is computational
neurobiologist Andrew Gallimore, author of the startling
and powerful 'Alien
Information Theory: Psychedelic Drug Technologies and
the Cosmic Game.'
highly recommend this remarkable, deeply
thought-provoking, well-written and actually unique
evidence and analysis presented on DMT and its role as a
reality modulator will - literally - blow your mind."
Fingerprints of the Gods,
Supernatural - Meetings with the
Ancient Teachers of Mankind
"This thing IS
what it seems to be,
it's a galactic
it's a billion
it's touched ten
it knows the
history of 150,000 civilizations,
it's beyond the
possibility of your conceiving it…"
mushroom-inspired vision of an ancient, almost god-like,
super-intelligence is both awe-inspiring and terrifying.
However, whilst there is
no reason to assume that such an
unimaginably powerful alien intelligence
couldn't exist somewhere within this Universe or, perhaps, in some
hidden dimensions beyond it, few fear having to confront such a
dimensions can be safely tucked away amongst the more exotic
branches of modern mathematical physics and their occupants
relegated to the pages of pulp sci-fi novels.
At least that's the case
until one encounters DMT.
DMT - N,N-dimethyltryptamine - is the strangest and most ubiquitous
of all naturally-occurring psychedelic molecules, and presents
something of a problem for those who would have us - like
Carl Sagan - comfortably alone
in our orbit around a,
"humdrum star lost in
a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of the Universe":
within seconds of
ingestion, either by inhalation of its acrid vapor or by
intravenous injection, DMT hurls the user with a frightening
ferocity into a bizarre
replete with a diverse panoply of extremely
intelligent entities, some
of which bear an uncanny resemblance to McKenna's 'ancient
It's reassuringly easy -
some might say facile - to simply dismiss these experiences as mere
hallucination, but it really isn't that simple.
From an orthodox
neuroscience standpoint, it's actually pretty tricky to explain,
why ingestion of the
world's simplest psychedelic molecule ought to reliably manifest
hyper-technological worlds teeming with bizarre alien
What's to be done
with the machine elves, the insectoid aliens, and their ilk?
Can they be filed
away alongside the other psychological case studies marked
Or could something
far far stranger be going on?
In the modern era, it's
pretty easy to find a cosmologist, astronomer, or any other rational
individual who will happily contemplate the extremely high
probability of us living within a Universe teeming with intelligent
life, but many will toss their head back derisively should you
suggest there might be ways of establishing direct two-way
communication with them:
intergalactic separation and light-speed limitations are the
standard weapons of choice wielded to keep such life at a
reassuringly safe distance.
They are there, but they
will never be here.
Naturally, there are
honorable exceptions keen to point out that we can't be sure that an
intelligent civilization a million
or so years more advanced than us couldn't have worked out how to
manipulate the structure of space-time itself to generate shortcuts
for interstellar travel. Indeed, such space-time wormholes - known
Einstein-Rosen bridges - fall naturally out of
Einstein's field equations.
As such, we shouldn't be
too surprised if tales of UFOs hovering over rural outhouses and
nocturnal alien abductions turn out to have some basis in truth.
Of course, it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, for us to
imagine what an intelligent creature a thousand, let alone a few
million, years more advanced than us might look like, and it would
be unwise to assume that the majority of such aliens would occupy
any kind of recognizably biological form.
beings that evolve within the Universe, it's likely that the
biological-technological phase - the phase we're in - is transient
estimates for the
lifetime of a technological civilization range from as low as a
few thousand years to as high as a million or more.
But, even at our own
extremely young technological age - 100 years or so - cultural and
technological evolution is already proceeding at a vastly greater
pace than its biological Darwinian counterpart.
According to cognitive
scientist Susan Schneider (2015), once a civilization creates
the technology that could put them in touch with
are probably only a few hundred years from shifting their paradigm
from biology to some kind of artificial intelligence,
at which point they might well be transparent to any of our standard
attempts at communication:
As McKenna liked to
expectantly for a radio signal from an extraterrestrial
source is probably as culture-bound a presumption as to
search the galaxy for a good Italian restaurant."
All things considered,
the balance of probabilities suggests we most likely live in a
largely post-biological Universe,
"one in which the
majority of intelligent life has evolved beyond flesh and blood
intelligence" (Dick, 2003),
...and it's a challenge
to even imagine what that might look like, let alone work out how we
might find and communicate with it.
Although it's certainly something of a humbling experience to
realize that the majority of
intelligent life within our own Universe
is likely to be beyond our comprehension, there's little to bolster
our meat-embedded egos in considering other universes:
there's no reason why
our Universe couldn't be one amongst countless others and we
have no way of knowing the types of intelligences that might, or
might not, emerge within them.
In fact, not only do we
not know anything of their nature, but it seems we also have no
means of learning anything of their nature and, as such, they must
surely remain squarely within the realms of wild speculation...
But perhaps we shouldn't
dismiss them so hastily in this way.
MIT computer scientist
Ed Fredkin, one of the fathers of
digital physics, cautions us against assuming that the restrictions
imposed by the Laws of Physics that reign in this Universe
have any bearing on events, processes, or emergent living
intelligences in places outside of it, which he simply calls
Other (Fredkin, 2003).
Of course, it's a huge
leap from such level-headed agnosticism to any kind of assertion
regarding the nature - or even the existence - of intelligence
beyond our little slice of reality.
But, the crucial point is
that the physical laws as they manifest in our Universe might be
wholly irrelevant when considering the Other.
As such, it would be
extremely naive and "Universe-centric" to assume that
interdimensional intelligences would be unable to somehow access or
provide a gateway into their reality, whether they be
post-biological beings that have left our material Universe or
intelligences that emerged entirely outside of it.
We can't assume, for
example, that an extremely advanced post-biological civilization
couldn't have discovered a means of exiting our Universe entirely to
a realm where the physics are incomparable.
Or, it's also conceivable
that there might be life extant in other parallel realities
(alternate universes) that are entirely unimaginable in their form
to us, but which, for reasons yet to be understood, can be accessed
using certain technologies (such as DMT).
Which is more likely, is
difficult to say but, according to astrobiologist
Stephen J. Dick,
improvement, and perpetuation of knowledge and intelligence is
the central driving force of cultural evolution, and to the
extent that intelligence can be improved, it will be improved".
In other words,
knowledge is power, and if we meet post-biological beings
that seem to have transcended the material realm we currently
occupy, we might expect them to be extraordinarily intelligent.
In fact, one could argue
that the immense levels of intelligence manifested by beings so
often met in the DMT space, together with the curiously
hypertechnological environments they tend to inhabit, is evidence of
a vast period of technological evolution and perhaps indicative of
beings that were once part of our Universe but have long since made
their escape into the Other.
And, perhaps, DMT is an
embedded technology that might allow us, one day, to follow.
Since we currently have
no understanding of the physics of the "DMT world", nor of its
relationship to our reality - Fredkin's
Agnostic Principle - any
objection by appealing to the Laws of Physics in this Universe
might well be moot.
Of course, all of this is highly speculative stuff, but there is a
serious point to be made here:
when you come
face-to-face with astonishingly powerful and intelligent alien
entities that seem - or claim - to hail from normally-hidden
dimensions of reality, you must be very careful.
Whether or not we can
currently explain why DMT is able to grant an audience with such
beings, it might be a good idea to shut up, to watch, and to listen.
Because there's a small,
but very real, possibility that they're exactly who they say they
Information Theory - Part II: The Book
As a scientist and writer with a passion for psychoactive drugs,
especially those of the psychedelic variety, I've spent most of my
adult life so far thinking about how these molecules interact with
the brain to generate their remarkable effects
on consciousness, and what these
effects might tell us about
the strange reality we find
ourselves living in...
Although, to a reasonably
satisfying extent, this thinking often led to something approaching
understanding, when confronted with DMT, my scientific mind was left
reeling and utterly confounded.
I simply could not
There was nothing within
the pages of the modern neuroscience literature that could have
prepared me for DMT, and my first experience with this astonishing
molecule triggered what I knew would be a lifelong dedication to its
Like many coming of age just as the internet was beginning to
emerge, my introduction to the bizarre reality-switching effects of
DMT came via the late great psychedelic bard, Terence McKenna,
gleaned from the now (understandably) dated, but still extant, HTML
pages of his
Alchemical Garden at the Edge of Time,
as well as transcripts of lecture fragments scattered across the
sparse nodes of the early web.
If you wanted to actually
listen to Terence speak, you either had to attend one of his
lectures in person or send off for cassette tapes by mail order.
From these early teenage,
mid 90s, forays in cyberspace to my research and writing in the
present day, Terence's ideas have remained a fertile source of
However, there was one
oft-repeated McKenna-ism that resonated particularly strongly with
me, uttered during a seemingly casual conversation about
crop circles that was subsequently
"The main thing to
understand is that we are
imprisoned in some kind of 'work of
For some reason that
wasn't entirely clear (it still isn't), when I first read this
simple sentence, something about it shook me and left me shaking.
Like one of the Grand
the Upanishads, it seemed to import some deep
and profound truth about our reality - if only I could get at it and
make sense of it.
Why was this the
"main thing" to understand?
What kind of "work of
art" was Terence referring to?
And how could we
possibly be imprisoned within it?
Although exactly what
Terence was trying to convey will always be up for discussion, it
was clear that this sparkling scintilla of revelation was inspired
by his experiences with DMT.
And I couldn't help but
think that my attachment to it resulted, in part, from my own.
Somewhere inside me,
Terence's Grand Pronouncement buried itself deep and now,
many years later, from that seed, my latest book, Alien
Information Theory, emerged.
In many ways, Alien Information Theory is admittedly
something of a strange book. Although it is ostensibly the
culmination of several years of careful research, speculation,
thoughtful enquiry, and diligent laboring at a keyboard, as I flick
through its colorful pages, I remain partly mystified as to where
the book came from.
Of course, I'm certainly
not claiming any kind of divine inspiration or revealed truth
about DMT (and I wouldn't recommend trusting anyone that made such a
But, somehow, from a
heady blend of the conscious, subconscious and, perhaps, a touch of
the unconscious, a coherent narrative within which DMT plays a
central role finally took shape.
If, as Terence McKenna
asserted, we are indeed imprisoned inside a work of art, the book's
narrative describes how such a work of art might have been
constructed and, more importantly, how we might escape it.
If I was forced to say what kind of book it is, I might call it a
textbook from the future.
The scientific basis for
all the ideas discussed, from the fundamental physics and emergence
of complexity to the global dynamics of
the human brain and the effects of
psychedelic drugs, is as accurate as I can make it (and referenced
throughout), with a few deliberate simplifications to aid
understanding and avoid alienating the non-specialist reader,
although I allow myself the indulgence of not hedging my ideas with
provisos and caveats at every turn.
I am perhaps more
definitive in the way I treat certain ideas than some would feel is
But, after all, the book
is not intended as a work of scientific rhetoric:
I am not trying to
convince you that it is true.
It is simply my
vision of reality that has emerged after incubating an idea.
As far as I am aware,
it is a uniquely constructed vision, and I present it only as
Terence McKenna also
"the world could be
Well, perhaps, it is
something like this...
(2003). An Introduction to Digital Philosophy. International
Journal of Theoretical Physics, 42(2), 189-247.
(2013). Building Alien Worlds - The Neuropsychological and
Evolutionary Implications of the Astonishing Psychoactive
Effects of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Journal of
Scientific Exploration, 27(3), 455-503.
(2010). The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien
Intelligence, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, p.160.
(2015). Alien minds. In S. Dick (Ed.), The Impact of
Discovering Life beyond Earth, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, pp. 189-206.
(2003). Cultural Evolution, the Postbiological Universe, and
SETI. International Journal of Astrobiology, 2, 65–74.
Excerpt from Alien
Information Theory - Chapter 1
At the ground of
our reality there is a code
It is a code from
which this Universe and countless others emerge and unfold with
infinite variety of form. You emerged from this code, and within
this code you are embedded, for you are built from this code.
It is their code...
We are a species that huddles around wood fires and speaks to
machines in code. Both human and humanoid, seemingly alone in
our corner of the Universe, we have begun to resemble the alien
societies of our imagination.
machinery crystallizes from the nexus of modern human
civilizations, the cityscapes exuding blinking and glistening
structures that appear inexorably disjoint from the natural
world of forests, mountains, and rivers.
Our digital world
somehow feels alien, as if implanted by an intelligence from the
We are a species that
sits uneasily at the edge of the galaxy, at once clutching tight
to the breast of sweet Mother Earth and, at the same time,
reaching with a trembling hand towards shimmering metallic discs
humming quietly in the dusk sky.
As life emerges on Earth-like - or unlike -
planets across the Universe,
the evolutionary trajectory from prebiotic soup to wet-brained
intelligent beings with galactic aspirations is meandering but,
Our Universe is a
resplendent twinkling digital machine for culturing conscious
intelligences or, in the words of Henri Bergson, for making
As such, all such
beings that reach a certain level of advancement must eventually
confront the fact that their own dusty planet is but one amongst
countless others that
multitudinous intelligent beings
Since the earliest
days of civilization, humans have gazed into the inky night sky
punctured by the blinking lights of numberless alien suns and
wondered who might be out there.
Whilst the ancients
placed the thrones of their myriad gods amongst the
constellations, modern man replaces the deity with the alien,
the throne with the spaceship.
And it is the alien
that we are drawn towards, the alien we seek:
vehicles and unmanned probes catapulted from intermediary
orbits are the toys of a young intelligent civilization with
an eye towards galactic citizenship.
As we transform into
the alien, we begin to feel ourselves being drawn ineluctably
towards the stars. So we speak to the alien, and we speak in
The exponentially unfolding transformation of humankind in the
last century is a transformation written in computer code.
Fundamentally, a code
is a set of symbols and rules used to represent and transmit
with some level of intelligence eventually discover
techniques for the encoding of information.
All of our ape
relatives, from the bonobo to the chimpanzee, as well as
lower animals, such as birds and insects, use codes of
varying complexity to communicate.
Whether it's the
shrill warning cry of a
vervet monkey or the intricate
pattern of chemical signals secreted by social insects, these
codes are unified as means of representing and transmitting
In the form of the
natural languages, it is humans that have developed the most
sophisticated and flexible expression of code, allowing us not
only to communicate information important to our survival, but
also to encode and transmit our thoughts, our ideas, our
experiences, our dreams.
But, although the
development of the natural languages was undoubtedly catalytic
in the original separation of humans from other Earthly species,
it is the constructed languages of mathematics and, most
recently, of computer code, that have been transcendentally
transformative, rendering us all but unrecognizable as creatures
of the natural world.
A digital lycanthropy
mounted on silicon and light, we have become the alien we
seek, re-encoding our dreams of starlight into binary form
and uploading from our brains to the central processing units of
ever more sophisticated computer motherboards.
Machine code binary is the most fundamental, and simplest, of
codes and, yet, from this string of ones and zeros the most
exquisitely complex information can be constructed and
Entire worlds may be
built, and their encoding fired across the Universe with ease.
Communion between humans and distant alien
species doesn't depend upon interstellar travel, but
only on the transmission of code.
And, as we direct our
pulses of electromagnetic radiation into the glistening night
sky, we hope that one day, perhaps many millennia in the future,
the messages encoded in these pulses will reach the brain of an
We hope that one day
they will hear us and, perhaps, answer us...
Of course, a binary
missive from an intergalactic civilization 25,000 years in the
future is little more than a dream, and few engaged in such an
enterprise expect to ever have to confront the alien towards
which they cast their coded messages in light.
But the code is truly transformative, not because it facilitates
intergalactic communication, but because it reveals a deeper
We seek the alien by
turning our gaze upwards, by tuning our instruments to the
trembling glows that pepper the dark Universe that surrounds us.
But the alien
intelligences we seek communion with are not only scattered
throughout the Cosmos on warm and wet worlds reassuringly far
from our own muddy home, but right here, right now.
And they are waiting.
They've been waiting since the beginning...
Speaking with, even
meeting with, these intelligences depends not upon firing code
into the starry heavens, nor upon silvery supra-light-speed
discs and anti-gravity propulsion technologies, but only upon
returning our gaze inwards and realizing that all of this is
built from code.
Our cities of lights
buzzing on digital code are not an affront to the natural world,
but a profoundly deep expression of it.
Just as everything
that appears on your computer screen emerges from the processing
of binary code, so everything in this universe emerges from the
Code at the ground of our reality.
And it is 'their'
And all that
separates each of us from these
hyperdimensional alien intelligences of unimaginable and
unrecognizable power is a switch of this code.
This switch takes the
form of a small molecule scattered throughout our world, derived
from one of the 21 amino acids used to build the proteins from
which all Earthly life is constructed.
Galactic citizenship is a
noble ambition, but interdimensional citizenship is as close at