Dr. Andrew Gallimore is a Japan-based computational neurobiologist, pharmacologist, chemist, and author whose research focuses on DMT’s effects on the brain and consciousness. Dr. Gallimore’s current work explores how DMT might help us access extradimensional realities, and his recent book Alien Information Theory explains how DMT provides the secret to the very structure of our reality. In this episode of the Third Wave podcast, Dr. Gallimore talks with Paul F. Austin about alien intelligence and DMT’s role as a gateway, influential authors, and thoughts on the metaverse and posthumanism.
This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens, the daily drink for a healthier you. Whether you’re looking for peak performance or better overall health, Athletic Greens makes investing in your energy, immunity, and gut health simple, tasty, and efficient. With 75 vitamins, minerals, whole food source ingredients, green superfood blend, and more, Athletic Greens fills the nutritional gaps in your diet and improves energy, focus, and mood. Right now, they’re offering a free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. Just go to athleticgreens.com/thirdwave and start making a daily commitment to your health.
This podcast is brought to you by Third Wave’s Mushroom Grow Kit.The biggest problem for anyone starting to explore the magical world of mushrooms is consistent access from reputable sources. That’s why we’ve been working on a simple, elegant (and legal!) solution for the past several months. Third Wave Mushroom Grow Kit and Course has the tools you need to grow mushrooms along with an in-depth guide to finding spores.
Looking for an aligned retreat, clinic, therapist or coach? Our directory features trusted and vetted providers from around the world. Find psychedelic support or apply to join Third Wave’s Directory today.
These show links may contain affiliate links. Third Wave receives a small percentage of the product price if you purchase through the above affiliate links.
0:00:00.0 Andrew Gallimore: We would exist in a form that was entirely transparent to any other... To basically any biological species, but we would very much exist, and so if you think about that, it suggests perhaps that there are vast numbers of intelligences either in this universe and in other universes that have reached that stage, and it almost certainly makes sense, we certainly... Seems highly unlikely that even within this universe that we are the most advanced, we likely sit in some kind of middle range, and so the question then is, what do these other far more advanced intelligences look like, do they look like little grey beings that are flying around in little metallic disks, or do they exist in a form that would be completely transparent to our normal modes of communication?
0:01:00.1 Paul Austin: Welcome to the third waves Podcast. I'm your host, Paul Austin, here to bring you cutting edge interviews with leading scientists, entrepreneurs and medical professionals who are exploring how we can integrate psychedelics in an intentional and responsible way for both healing and transformation, it is my honor and privilege to bring you these episodes as you get deeper and deeper into why these medicines are so critical to the future of humanity, so let's go and let's see what we can explore and learn together in this incredibly important time.
0:01:39.0 PA: Hey listeners, I am excited to announce that we are now taking applications for the next round of Third Wave's coaching certification program, this is the highest level and most impactful program that we've developed at Third Wave over the last five years. In fact, it is one of the only programs in the world that focuses on leveraging psychedelics to achieve non-clinical outcomes in a one-on-one coaching context. We developed this in collaboration with high-profile executive coaches, as well as psychedelic clinicians to ensure that you have the tools that you need to create accelerated transformation in the lives of your clients. So if you're looking to incorporate psychedelic work into your existing coaching practice, or you just wanna gain high-quality training from the forefront of human potential, Peak Performance executive training, and leadership development, go to thethirdwave.co/sp/coaching-certification-program/
0:02:41.3 PA: Thethirdwave.co/coaching-certification. And on that page, you can fill out our application form and put down your deposit to ensure that you can secure a spot in our next program. Today's Third Wave Podcast is brought to you by Athletic Greens, the most comprehensive daily nutritional beverage that I've ever tried. Let's roll back about a year ago, covid had just hit, I was working with a coach and mentioned I'm having a hard time just getting greens in my day-to-day, and it basically he was like, "Go try athletic greens", and I was like, "That's such a good idea." So I've been consistently doing athletic greens, usually in the morning, first thing with a little collagen protein, and it just helps with focus, clarity, mood, because there are so many stressors in life right now, it's been difficult to maintain effective nutritional habits. And so in order to give my body the nutrients it needs to thrive, I just felt like Athletic Greens could totally help and it's a life-changing nutritional habit. Their daily all-in-one, superfood powder is your nutritional essential.
0:03:56.4 PA: It is by far the easiest and most delicious, and that's important, it actually tastes pretty good that you can add to your daily routine today and empower yourself towards better habits. They have simplified the logistics of getting optimal nutrition on a daily basis by giving you one thing with all the best things, it contains 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole food source ingredients, including a multivitamin multi-mineral, probiotic, Green Super Food blend and more, they all work together to fill the nutritional gaps in your diet. So if you're interested in getting on board, Athletic Greens is currently doubling down and supporting your immune system during this time, they're offering Third Wave's audience a free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. If you visit our link today, so starting 2021 with a simple sustainable nutritional habit is Athletic Greens' MO.
0:04:53.5 PA: So whether you're looking for peak performance or better health, covering your basis with Athletic Greens makes investing in your energy, immunity and gut health each day simple, tasty and efficient, so just visit athleticgreens.com/thirdwave and join health experts, athletes and health-conscious go-getters around the world who make a daily commitment to their health every day. Again, athleticgreens.com/thirdwave and get your free year supply of vitamin D and the five free travel packs today.
0:05:24.6 PA: Hey listeners, welcome back to Third Wave's podcast. We have a guest from Japan on the show today, all the way for Okinawa, Andrew Gallimore who wrote, Alien Information Theory; Psychedelic drug technologies in the cosmic game, and Andrew is a computational neurobiologist, pharmacologist Chemist and writer who has been interested in the neural basis of psychedelics for many years and is the author of a number of articles and research papers on the powerful psychedelic drug N, N-Dimethyltryptamine DMT and its effects on the brain and consciousness. His current interests focuses on DMT as a tool for a gaining access to extra-dimensional realities and how this can be understood in terms of the neuroscience of information. Andrew, welcome to the podcast.
0:06:16.0 AG: Good to be here, thanks for having me.
0:06:19.5 PA: So you're in Okinawa, you've been there for six years now. You're originally... Where are you originally from?
0:06:27.3 AG: From England, from the United Kingdom, of course. As you can tell by my accent, I guess.
0:06:32.1 PA: The greatest country in the world...
0:06:34.6 AG: That's it. Yeah, still.
0:06:38.5 PA: Where in the UK? London? Or...
0:06:41.4 AG: No. Actually originally, I'm from a very old town called Lincoln. Not Lincoln, Nebraska. When I worked in America I used to say I was from Lincoln, they used to go, "Nebraska?" I was like "No, no, no, no, no. Definitely not Lincoln, Nebraska."
0:06:57.8 PA: Only an America would say that. Anyone else would hear your accent immediately say like, "Obviously."
0:07:05.2 AG: Yeah, so a very old Roman town originally, in the north, kind of the Northeast of the UK. Not that far Northeast, but in the East. Yeah. So I was born there and grew up there and then moved around a little bit in the UK and then came to Japan about almost seven years ago now.
0:07:31.3 PA: So you're from the Northeast of England. What brought you to Japan then? Why the move over to Okinawa?
0:07:38.1 AG: Well... Yeah. I mean, since I was a teenager, I've been fascinated by Japan. And I tried to learn Japanese when I was 15-years-old. I told my German teacher that I wanted to learn Japanese and he laughed at me, said, "Ha ha. Nein... "
0:07:55.2 AG: I can't speak German anymore. But he said that. And he was right, I mean, I couldn't... I mean, I struggled. And this was before the internet, this was before you could immerse yourself using... Watching YouTube videos and stuff. So I had to buy books and tapes. Tapes, remember those? But anyway, I dropped that, but then weirdly, I forgot about it. Then in about 2015, I was working at the University of York, I was working as a postdoc in Computational Neurobiology and got to the end of my contract and I had no idea what I was going to do next, and kind of struggling.
0:08:35.1 AG: And then I noticed there was this, funnily enough, this job opening in exactly the same field that I was working on in York, in Okinawa. And so I dropped an email. I thought this might be my chance to go to Japan, and sent an email to the professor here in Okinawa. And a couple of weeks later, I was on a plane for the interview. And then, a couple of months later I was... I moved here and that's been the case now, that was 2015, so pushing seven years in Okinawa now. But coming to the end of my tenure in Okinawa and moving to Tokyo in the next couple of months. So that's really the big psychedelic city, in my opinion. That's where the...
0:09:25.3 PA: Tokyo?
0:09:25.3 AG: The center of the universe. I believe so, yes. In many ways. It's a very... People don't think of it, people think of Japan as being this very anti... An anti-drug country. And in many ways, that's true but there is... I can't help but feel this very psychedelic undercurrent in Tokyo. There's something very, almost DMT-esc go about Tokyo. The lights and the cartoonish, highly artificial construction. It feels like a DMT trip in away, Tokyo. So it's very... Yeah, it's very apt I think, for me to be moving there finally. I feel very at home there.
0:10:11.6 PA: Weren't mushrooms legal there for a long time in Japan?
0:10:15.1 AG: Yeah. So I mean, it's the similar story as the UK. I mean, in the UK mushrooms were legal until... I think it was around... I forget the exact... Maybe like 2005, something like that? They used to be legal in an unprepared form. So you could pick them or you could... Fresh mushrooms were perfectly legal. And then they closed the loophole, as they say, for no good reason really. Not that they were causing any problems. And the same thing happened in Japan. They would... Mushrooms were sold in vending machines around Shinjuku Station in the early 2000s until again, I think some idiotic J Pop Idol had a bad experience on mushrooms and it made the news and the obvious responsible good governance is to...
0:11:07.4 PA: Make our lives way less fun. Make our lives way less fun. That's their goal.
0:11:12.2 AG: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so Japan has a very interesting relationship to drugs. It's not... Cannabis is completely bizarre, their relationship to cannabis, and that's a whole different story. But when it comes to Japan's attitude to drugs, it's very focused on methamphetamine and there are very good historical reasons for why that's the case. And cannabis, bizarrely. But the other drugs, psychedelics, they don't really feature in the world of the Japanese lawmakers or the Japanese police. It's all about meth and cannabis. So psychedelics... There are a lot of people interested in psychedelics in Japan and it's not... And there are actually some Ayahuasca circles, I hear, I don't know their location or anything about them. But I hear there are a number of Ayahuasca circles.
0:12:16.4 AG: Because Ayahuasca itself actually isn't illegal in Japan. Unlike in the UK, it sits within this gray area of the law. And where whole plants and whole plant preparations are not illegal. DMT is illegal. But the plant isn't illegal. It's the same with the San Pedro Cactus, that isn't illegal. Mescaline is illegal. But the San Pedro Cactus isn't illegal. So you can bring San Pedro packed Cactus and trip on that in Japan and remain completely within the law. So in so many ways, whilst people say, "Oh Japan, it's the most anti-drugs country in the world." Or, "It has the harshest drug laws in the world." That actually is not the case. They have a very strong negative attitude to cannabis, which is bizarre as I said, and kind of irrational. And it comes from the Americans, I dare say, so it's your fault.
0:13:13.3 PA: Whoa, why?
0:13:14.1 AG: But when it comes to psychedelics...
0:13:14.6 PA: Why is that? What's the tie there?
0:13:18.0 AG: Well, because cannabis, I mean, cannabis has a very... There's a very long history of cannabis use in Japan. And certainly and historically it was grown during, a number of areas in Japan work where cannabis was grown and used industrially. Used as a fabric and as in many other parts of the world. And there's good evidence that it was also probably smoked, and people have actually tested the strains of cannabis that were growing in Japan in certain prefectures before it was made very, very illegal. And found that the levels of THC in this plants is actually higher than what was found in the United States back in the '60s.
0:14:01.4 AG: And Not now, of course, because now it's all very, very super potent and highly refined and optimized. But back in 1960s, levels were much lower. And the cannabis that was being grown in Japan was actually a kind of similar levels. Now the problem came was after the Second World War, when America basically took over at least temporarily Japan, and there is... It's not quite clear that the cannabis Control Act came, was enacted, I think in the early 1950s. And there's... People say, although it isn't I never really received a definitive account of this, that it was certainly the Americans that promoted that. And weirdly the Japanese have taken that to heart and they haven't really changed their position on it.
0:14:56.9 AG: The idea that cannabis is this... They have some very old-fashioned ideas and rather discredited ideas about cannabis in terms of it being a gateway drug. And it's also associated with laziness and non-productivity, which as you can imagine in Japan is seen, is as kind of an evil idea. The idea that you're gonna be lazy and not contribute to society because it is a very productive and work ethic and that kind of thing is held in very in high esteem really. So the idea of... The idea of a drug that would diminish that is taken rather seriously. So... Yeah, and methamphetamine, of course, Japan had a huge problem with that.
0:15:49.5 AG: From immediately after the Second World War, after the end of the Second World War, when the methamphetamine that was heavily used by the Japanese military during the war was kind of flooded the black market. Oh all then it was really a grey market, 'cause methamphetamine was legal, and they had a huge problem with lots of these Mom and Pop, I guess you would call them methamphetamine production facilities, which were often just two people. You know, a little farm house making meth. You know it was kind of breaking bad stuff from the 1950s. Kind of... Kind of cool. And so they kind of cracked down on this and...
0:16:31.1 PA: What was it doing, what effect was it having on society?
0:16:35.7 AG: Well, people were... Initially, it was seen as this cure for... Basically the opposite of what cannabis was seen as. It was seen as the cure for laziness and lassitude and depression and sleepiness and all these things that you would think that... You can just imagine the Japanese embracing, right? We have this drug that can make you work for longer and longer.
0:17:00.8 AG: And so it became very, very popular very, very quickly. And the problem with that, of course, is when people start over-using methamphetamine, then you start to see with a delay, you start to see negative psychological effects, and you get a kind of cannabis... Not cannabis sorry, like methamphetamine psychosis and you get all of... And addiction, and people becoming dependent and undergoing these negative psychological changes, physiological changes, behavioral changes because of the overuse of methamphetamine.
0:17:34.6 AG: So that became a problem and they didn't really know what to do with it. And so this is when the Stimulant Control Act... So there's basically three big laws in Japan, there's the Stimulant Control Act which is basically against meth. There's the Cannabis Control Act and then we you have the Opium Control Act. And then there's another one, there's one more which covers everything else, it's kind of like schedule B if you like, and this is where all the psychedelics sit. So they don't sit actually in like in schedule, moreso schedule one?
0:18:05.7 PA: Schedule one.
0:18:07.6 AG: I think of a class B and... Yeah, in the UK, we have class A and class B. So class A is schedule one equivalent, whereas in Japan, you have these three schedule one laws for the specific drugs, cannabis, meth and opium or heroin, you know, opiates. And then you have this huge other law which is like schedule B which has everything else that is kind of lumped into that. And this is where the psychedelics sit.
0:18:37.1 PA: I have a question for you. So, the British imported opium, smokable opium into China which created many lasting effects in terms of the whole thing. [laughter] Did that also affect Japan was Japan also... Was there a lot of opium imported and that's why they passed the Opium Act?
0:18:54.3 AG: Oh, This was a huge thing. So at the turn of the 20th century, China, this is following kind of the Sino-Japanese War which Japan won. And Japan at the time... Excuse me. At the time, Japan saw opium addiction which was getting very prevalent in China at the time. They saw that as a sign of great weakness. And they felt that the Chinese were little more than animals because they were addicted to opium. They were weak, these were a very low form of human being and a completely dysfunctional society, and the Japanese felt that a pre-requisite really.
0:19:41.7 AG: For a... For a civilized society was abstinence and resistance to addiction to opium. And so opium was very very strongly demonized in the early parts of the 20th century, by Japan. And weirdly, Japan actually thought that the increasing use of alcohol at the time, so whiskey and beer basically, was a sign of becoming a more progressive civilization. Japan wanted to separate itself from the rest of the orient, I.e., China basically and distinguish itself as a more civilized nation and more like the west. It wanted to be more like the British empire, more like America and the way to do that was to demonize opium and to basically claim that its people were resistant to addiction. There's something about the Japanese constitution, you know, physical, the Japanese physiology, the Japanese psyche that made them more resistant to drug addiction than these very weak Chinese people just across the water. Which is also why, after the second world war, when all of these Japanese people started becoming addicted to methamphetamine, they could never deny... They couldn't deny anymore, they couldn't. It was no longer a problem of the other, I.e., a problem of Chinese people. It became a problem of the south. The Japanese people realized that they too were becoming addicted too, or large numbers of their population were becoming addicted too.
0:21:37.9 AG: And they felt. I mean, Japanese was obviously a very defeated nation post second world war and they saw this increase in methamphetamine addiction as being a sign of the disintegration of their society. Taking methamphetamine accord... The Japanese felt was a sign... That was an existential threat. They felt that it was a sign that their entire nation, which is obviously hugely important to the Japanese then, and still now for that matter and that people who used methamphetamine were contributing to the collapse, the destruction, the disintegration of the Japanese nation. So you can imagine why the response was so strong, and why that kind of echoed if you like, through the decades and why Japanese people still are very fearful about 'drugs'. Is because they still feel that it's not just a kind of a personal choice to use drugs but that actually, when people use drugs, they're actually threatening, almost threatening the Japanese nation. So you have to understand, it's easy to say and obviously I would agree that most drug laws... Criminalization of drugs is irrational and does more harm than good. It's useful I think, to try and get inside the mind of those people that do want to criminalize drugs and do see them as evil and try to... Get to the bottom of why they think like that. That's the only way you're ever going to find some kind of common ground I think.
0:23:22.7 PA: Well, we could talk about history all day is my sense. And I wanna start to get into aliens 'cause what's more interesting than history and aliens and DMTs. So I'd love to first, what's... How do you define alien intelligence is where I would start?
0:23:39.8 AG: Well, I don't necessarily define it as beings from other planets, I think the classical idea of an alien being a little gray skinned being from elsewhere in our universe. I would define it as any intelligence that's either not from this earth or perhaps not from this universe, that would be an alien. So I use the word... I use the term alien in a very broad sense. I don't have necessarily all of these other connotations. Even what people might call spirits or angels or elves, these would all be kind of forms of alien intelligence if they existed.
0:24:25.6 PA: So how does DMT then help you tap into this alien intelligence, this multidimensional sort of awareness?
0:24:34.8 AG: Yeah. That's the question that I've been wrestling with for the last couple of decades. Is, how is it possible that when you ingest this simple plant alkaloid and this plant alkaloid that's scattered throughout the plant kingdom and is ubiquitous really throughout plant kingdom. How is it possible that when this enters the brain it somehow allows you to access, these very strange realms and these very curious and intelligent... What seem to be very intelligent and powerful alien intelligences, what's actually going on there. And I think the difficulty in answering that question... Well, the difficulties are manifold really, but I mean, certainly the questions are often poorly framed in the first place. People... There's initial tendency just to say, "Well, it's just hallucination. That's all that's happening. Your brain is constructing it. Your brain is making it up." But from a neuro-scientific perspective, that's actually difficult to justify, knowing what we know anyway about the way that the brain works.
0:25:53.3 AG: So if it's not hallucination, then the alternative is that you... One of the alternatives is you're dealing with some kind of intelligence that exists independently of your mind. I guess that's one way of putting it, but not necessarily, it could also be deeply embedded somehow within the structure of your psyche, and that's another possibility which we could get into. But the question really is, in my opinion, is if there is some other realm or if there are other realms, other universes, other dimensions, whatever you want to call it. The question really is, is how does DMT gate the flow of information from those realms? It's all about the flow of information. When you observe the world, now, what's happening there is a flow of information from that and from the outside world into your brain via the sensory apparatus, you'd never directly access, you never directly reach out and touch the external world. It's always the flow of information entering the brain, which then the brain, then... Which then modulates the world that the brain is already constructing, so your brain is always constructing a model.
0:27:10.5 AG: And that model is modulated by information flowing into the brain, so visual information, sound information, these are all of course converted to electrochemical signals which the brain then uses to refine and update its model on a real time basis. And so if you want to access other realms of reality, other dimensions, what has to happen is the DMT has to somehow gate the flow of information as a kind of an alternate form of sensory information, if you like. Gate the flow of information from those realms thus allowing your brain to construct a model of that other reality. So The world that you experience is always a model, it's always a model that your brain is constructing based upon noisy patterns of incomplete information, and I don't see any reason why that's different in the DMT state, your brain is constructing the DMT world. That's another important point that people miss, people think that it's a choice between the DMT world being real and your brain constructing it. No your brain is always constructing the world that you experience.
0:28:26.1 AG: The question is, is that world being modulated by some extrinsic, some external information source? In other words, is there some other realm where these beings exist from which the information is reaching the brain somehow? And if so, what is DMT actually doing? We know that DMT is perturbing the brain, it's perturbing the information that the brain generates. And how does that then allow it to receive information from this other place? And you might think like that in the same way as you might change the way that... That Let's say a wine glass resonates based upon its shape, it would resonate with certain frequencies of sound. And we have all seen or heard about the opera singer who can sing and cause a glass to vibrate and shatter if you get the frequency right.
0:29:26.9 AG: So you get this resonance effect, so it's almost like there's something similar going on there, and that what DMT is doing is changing the patterns of information that the brain generates. Somehow allowing it to tune in, if you like, to patterns of information that come from elsewhere. But We certainly don't understand how that works and how there could be this transfer of information from places, not just outside of earth, but actually beyond what we would normally recognize as the limits of our reality.
0:30:07.0 PA: Terence McKenna wrote about UFOs and aliens, and the Archaic Revival, which was a collection of essays, talks, and many other things. I'm curious, you seem to like Terence McKenna and his philosophy. What was that like for you? How would you see him as a mentor in terms of how you have developed this framework around alien information theory?
0:30:38.7 AG: Well, I think anyone who's interested in DMT is interested in Terence McKenna to some extent. Or at least was at one point. And I think for me, back in the late '90s, when I was first becoming interested in DMT, it was Terence McKenna that introduced me, and this was from his books, from The Archaic Revival, particularly from True Hallucinations, as well as The Invisible Landscape. And Terence McKenna is an ideas man, and I like that. When you listen to Terence McKenna talk, it's like watching a piece of flint roll down a mountain, and there are these sparks of ideas that come off him. The ways of looking at the world, the ways of thinking about the meaning and structure of the psychedelic state are completely unique in my opinion, or it certainly was at the time. And so that's he has been a very strong influence on me, particularly at the beginning of the introduction to my book, Alien Information Theory.
0:31:56.6 AG: I quote McKenna and he says that the important thing to realize is that we are imprisoned in some kind of work of art, the idea that reality itself, our reality is this constructed artifact in some way, a work of art and we are embedded within it. And, which seems like a very strange idea, but also quite deeply profound when you think about it. The idea that we are trapped within this very thin slice of reality, this thin slice of this much much larger and more complex structure, and that DMT somehow is modulating the way that we interact with that larger structure.
0:32:44.6 AG: This is a very kind of Terence McKenna-esque idea, or at least goes back to that. So, Terence McKenna never looked at things from the obvious angle, he always had a complete different perspective to these things, and indeed to... You mentioned aliens and UFOs, Terence McKenna rarely spoke about little shimmering metallic discs arriving, or really as them being physical objects that arrive from other star systems, but always thought of them as being something else.
0:33:24.2 AG: Whether it's fragments of the human psyche that have become somehow autonomous, and he spoke about this as well, the idea of the elves being these autonomous psyche complexes, which comes from Karl Jung, which he is very interested in, and many other topics. So he was a massive influence on me, and I guess I learned a lot about how to think about psychedelics, how to think differently about psychedelics than many other people do, I got from Terence McKenna.
0:34:00.3 PA: What are your five most influential books or five books that were really influential in writing alien information theory, developing sort of your framework, and anything like that?
0:34:19.7 PA: I have not, tell us about Stuart.
0:34:23.8 AG: So... So Stuart Kauffman is a... He's a fascinating character, he's I think originally a mathematician, but he is really a complexity theory theorist and wrote a lot about the emergence of complexity and how simple systems can self-complexify to form larger, more complex systems with emergent functions. And Alien Information Theory is a book about how the idea that at the ground of reality, there is a very low level simple digital system that it's running according to very very simple rules in these very simple individual base units of reality if you like, are interacting and self-complexifying and self-organizing.
0:35:17.6 AG: And then through these levels of hierarchical organization and in the top of that sits complex intelligent life such as ourselves. So Kauffman was a great influence there as was Edelman who won the Nobel Prize for I think... For his work in immunology. But then, Edelman moved to look at the brain and how the brain generates complexity and how the brain generates information. And so all of this is really fundamental to my worldview if you like, is thinking about how the brain constructs itself really, and how the brain constructs its model of reality. So I guess those would be my... And Stephen Wolfram, of course, you know about Stephen Wolfram?
0:36:18.4 AG: Yes, Stephen Wolfram, he wrote... He was the architect of Mathematica, the software... The very very important mathematical software. And... I think he was anyway, but anyway, he wrote a book called A New Kind of Science, which is based upon the idea of cellular automata, these very simple systems, binary digital systems that interact and generate highly complex behavior from very, very simple rules.
0:36:58.4 AG: He wrote a very thick book, about 1,200 pages called A New Kind of Science. And his... His... He claims that all of reality could be... At the lowest level as I just said could be this very, very simple digital system that's running, this very simple deterministic cellular automatum, this very low-level digital system that self-organizes and self-complexifies and produces all of the complex phenomena that we see in the world. So he's...
0:37:31.0 AG: This is called Digital physics, this idea, the idea that the fundamental nature of reality is digital. And he is one of the great proponents of digital physics. So he was kind of quite influential as well. And then... But then kind of aside from all of that, so I... I... My... I also read a lot of novels of course, as all intelligent people should do and, I guess people like Hermann Hesse and Cormac McCarthy, even Kerouac, I have a very soft spot for him that I can't... That I can't shake. I'm... I'm interested in... Renegades is not quite the word, but I'm interested in people who think differently, from everyone else, and who seem to have tapped into some kind of profundity, at the ground of reality and some profundity in terms of what we are and what we're doing here, and the meaning of all of that, and Alan Watts, of course, who cannot love Alan Watts? And his books have been a great source of inspiration and comfort really, as we make our way through this rather strange world. [laughter]
0:39:02.6 PA: Precisely precisely. A rather strange world. What's your take on the metaverse?
0:39:12.9 AG: I don't really have a take yet that's...
0:39:15.2 PA: Oh no-take has developed. Okay. Alright. What are your initial thoughts?
0:39:17.9 AG: Yeah no take...
0:39:18.2 PA: What are your initial thoughts about the metaverse?
0:39:20.1 AG: What's his name Mark Zuckerberg, is that his name?
0:39:22.7 PA: That's it yeah.
0:39:23.3 AG: Yeah it's early. Yeah, Mark Zuckerberg, anything that he does kind of creeps me out, to be honest, I mean there's something about him that I find just innately rather strange and creepy, and so if it was somebody else who was proposing this other than Mark Zuckerberg, then I might find it more interesting, but I don't find him a particularly interesting character, I find him... I find him utterly banal and he kind of sits in the uncanny valley, you know the uncanny valley between human and robot? He kind of sits in that uncanny valley. So no, I don't find... To be honest, I don't really find these Silicon Valley types very particularly interesting people, since we lost Steve Jobs, I don't... I find them all rather banal and same-y, and I don't find anything that they have to say any more particularly interesting, I found it all rather sinister, actually. So yeah, I wouldn't... The idea of a metaverse. So the idea of... I mean do you remember Second Life?
0:40:33.2 PA: That rings a bell.
0:40:35.0 AG: Yeah, Second Life, I think... So let me get it straight. So the metaverse is the idea that there's like an alternate place where humans can have that kind of avatars right? Where they can interact and live like a Second Life within this other space. Right?
0:40:52.4 PA: Right.
0:40:53.6 AG: And Second Life was a computer game, I think... Was it 10, 15... Time flies. But that was a similar idea where you could exist, you would have a second life within the computer game, and this is... I think this is a really interesting idea. I mean, fundamentally, this is a really cool idea, the idea that you could be that somehow extent within an alternate virtual space, perhaps without all of the constraints that one has in real life, so to speak. And then if you take that idea to its extreme, you can imagine actually dispensing ultimately dispensing with the material form completely and in a sense uploading ourselves or transferring ourselves, and again, I talk about this in Alien information theory transferring, if we could somehow transfer our consciousness into this alternate space where there wouldn't be the restrictions of this... Having to kind of do it, do it on meet, so to speak, do... Kind of instantiate ourselves in this very delicate and not very long-lasting physical material, this very wet gelatinous thing called the brain, and if we could somehow instantiate this consciousness, instantiate the neural architecture in a purely digital system, then that might... That would have in a sense be the metaverse. We would in a sense become immortal really.
0:42:38.2 AG: And this, I guess it's a bit tangential, but this idea that ultimately human beings will discover a means of dispensing with their physical organism, their physical state, I think, is one that has been discussed for decades now, and Astro-biologists and other biologists, and intelligence theorists and neuroscientists have, or a certain subset of these people have been thinking about "What is the ultimate aim for humanity?" You know Terence McKenna used to talk about reaching... Setting off for the stars, but I see that really is in a, perhaps in a literal sense, but also in a kind of a metaphorical sense, in that humans will actually not just set off from... Leave the Earth in a physical sense, but would also leave the material world, will cast off their physical body and instantiate themselves in a digital space, and so we would become a type of post-human intelligence, and Paul Davies, who's a kind of a prominent physicist who's written... Is very interested in aliens and these kind of things, he has written a lots of excellent books by the way, while we're talking about the books, so Paul Davies suggests and others have suggested that this... When it comes to intelligent life, you can kind of think about it, as it's happening in three phases, you have the long phase, kind of pre-intelligent, so this is very basic forms of life.
0:44:31.3 AG: All the way up to human. So this is the kind of life that is unable to perform complex tasks, or at least intelligently perform complex task. And is unable to conceive of the idea of how their brain is constructed and what intelligence is and all of that. So this is the pre-technological phase, if you like, of an intelligent... Of the evolution of an intelligence. Then you enter what you might call the technological phase, which is what we're in now, which is where we become aware of ourselves, we become aware of our intelligence, we become... We start to learn how our intelligence is constructed. We learn about how intelligence is instantiated. And then we begin to conceive of the idea of becoming more than human, becoming post-human.
0:45:31.2 AG: And that's likely to be a very narrow temporal range, a very short period of time, perhaps just a few hundred years. And then you enter the post-human age. So once humans discover the means or the possibility of dispensing with their physical form, it's probably only a few hundred years until they actually achieve that. And then you become post-biological, so not just post-human, but actually post-biological. So you dispense with the constraints of a cellular biological form and somehow instantiate oneself in a digital form, whether that means... It doesn't necessarily mean running huge data centers on Mars or something, but discovering how perhaps to instantiate oneself deep within the structure of reality itself. So perhaps if reality really is fundamentally a digital structure, being able to manipulate that and really run computations at this lowest level of reality and being able to actually instantiate our intelligence and our consciousness within this ground of reality. And so we would exist in a form that was entirely transparent to any other... To basically any biological species, but we would very much exist. And so if you think about that, it suggests perhaps that there are vast numbers of intelligences, either in this universe or other universes, that have reached that stage. And it almost certainly makes sense, right?
0:47:15.1 AG: We're certainly... It seems highly unlikely that even within this universe that we are the most advanced. We're likely set in some kind of middle range. And so the question then is what do these other, far more advanced, intelligences look like? Do they look like little gray beings that are flying around in little metallic disks? Or do they exist in a form that would be completely transparent to our normal modes of communication, right? And so these will be post-biological. And if that's possible for an intelligence to become post-biological, it makes sense or seems probable that the vast amount of intelligence in this universe is probably post-biological. Is probably in... Outside of this very narrow window that we exist within now. All the intelligences before that we can forget about 'cause we can't even communicate with those, they can't conceive of other intelligences elsewhere in the universe. But the idea of focusing our search for alien intelligence on this very narrow band that we're in now, of basically wet brained biological organisms, is probably very, very short-sighted.
0:48:34.5 AG: And we should perhaps be focusing our attention on these post-biological intelligences that perhaps are far, far more numerous throughout the our universe, and perhaps other universes, they may have discovered a means to escape or transcend our universe in some way. Then the whole thing starts to loop back and you start thinking about, "Wait. Wait a minute. What's DMT doing here? What if DMT is allowing us to access some kind of intelligence, is this some kind of post-biological intelligence? Is it an intelligence that has either existed once in our universe and has somehow reached the post-biological stage and then continued to advance?" Which is perhaps why the DMT space, it does feel very, very, very old in a way.
0:49:27.8 AG: But not old as in a kind of an old-fashioned or that kind of sense. But old as in, it's been around much, much longer than our universe and is much more advanced. It seems inordinately technological compared to our universe. And so it does make you think that maybe we are accessing... There's nothing magical about DMT as such, but somehow it's allowing us to access one of these post-biological intelligences, one of these post-biological realities that have simply existed for far longer than our relatively young universe and that we really are neophyte intelligences within a system of a much older, and much more advanced, and complex intelligences. And that DMT is somehow gating access to those.
0:50:31.7 PA: There's a fundamental worldview, or a metaphysical perspective, a shift that happens in a metaphysical perspective as a result of psychedelic use. There was this recent research published maybe a month or two ago, it helps people to be... Or people become more pantheistic, I think is the orientation? These paganistic values, I'm really interested in gnosis, gnosticism. Just read this fantastic book called Not In His Image by John Lamb Lash about the gnostic teachings in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. And how they stem from the Persians and the Magi, etcetera, etcetera. So I'm curious to hear your perspective on... Do you... I guess, do you feel like humans and post-humans can co-exist? Or will it simply be that we all evolve into this higher stage of intelligence? Will there be choice in that? In other words, if there are people who wanna stay in their physical organism 'cause they enjoy the experience and it's really interesting, can they choose to do that?
0:51:52.1 AG: Well, yeah. This is difficult because it's... You get a lot of pushback and resistance, the idea of post-humanism or even transhumanism right? And the Archaic Revival was very much... I feel there is this tension. And that's reflected a lot in Terence McKenna's writings as well. In one sense, in one breath, he's talking about going back to the Archaic, the Archaic Revival. Going back to the jungle, reconnecting with the natural world, with plant intelligence, the intelligence of the Earth. And then in the next breath, he's talking about getting on a spaceship or dismantling our human form and entering... Setting off for the stars. It feels like there's this tension here, and reasonably so I think. There is a justifiable concern about where our technology is taking us. And I guess it's the old fight between the conservatives and the progressives. There's the progressive who say, "Let's go, go. Let's go forward, march forward. New world ahead."
0:53:14.3 AG: And then the conservatives say, "Wait a minute, let's try and preserve some of these things that we've built over the last centuries. They could be... They're quite important." And then you have to find this balance, right? And we're talking about that on a species level scale, a different kind of scale. This tension between, should we... All of the problems that come with a tech... Or certainly our technological civilization and that we seem to be destroying our home, our planet. And so there's a... With our technology and... But I guess one could argue that that's misuse of the technology. I think technology isn't inherently, it's certainly not, inherently evil. It's certainly not inherently destructive. And it should be the opposite of course. It should preserve, it should help us to work more efficiently. To waste less, to produce less pollution. But of course... Yeah, I mean, that's a whole different...
0:54:22.8 PA: We're going through some transitions there...
0:54:24.3 AG: Conversation.
0:54:25.3 PA: But I get what you're saying.
0:54:26.8 AG: Yeah, yeah. Right, right. So yeah, we're going through some transitions there. And so in the one hand, there are these people who think that we should be going back to a more a Archaic State. We should be getting more in touch with Mother Earth. You know they refer to it as Mother Earth. And with the plant intelligences, with the plant spirits. And this more shamanistic, shall we say, worldview.
0:54:52.0 PA: Paganistic. Yeah.
0:54:52.9 AG: And then there's the transhumanists or the post-humanists who would like to see us dispense with the material form completely and upload our intelligences onto a computer. And in a sense, they're not completely incompatible because of course, if we were to leave the Earth, physically or in some other way, then the earth would probably flourish quite nicely without us. So it's not an entirely selfish enterprise to suggest that we should... The earth is the cradle of mankind. As Terence McKenna used to say, "The earth is the cradle of mankind but one cannot remain in the cradle forever." And we seem to be a species that has outgrown the cradle. We have our... What we construct, the kind of worlds that we construct, the way that we modify the earth, and the buildings, the architecture, the stuff that we make, the technologies that we develop. They seem completely disjoint from the natural world. We seem to be... I write in the first chapter of Alien Information Theory, "We seem to be drawn ineluctably towards the stars. We are. We feel this connection to the alien. We feel drawn towards the alien. We feel like we are becoming the alien." And that is represented or reflected, should I say, in the kind of things that we construct, iPhones, and skyscrapers, and computer systems.
0:56:32.7 AG: All of this is very un... It feels very unnatural. It feels like we are separating ourselves, dislocating ourselves, from the natural world in a very profound and perhaps irreversible sense. And that must... And that is clearly very frightening. Cutting the apron strings, if you like, from Earth, from the natural world and entering our post-human stage. Becoming the alien, taking the next step towards becoming that. The kind of post biological intelligence perhaps that we meet in the DMT space. Perhaps it's the fate of an intelligent species that makes it far enough, that doesn't destroy itself on the way, perhaps it is the ultimate fate of them. To... To lose the biological form, as I said, and enter into a post-biological existence. And that we're in that very difficult phase where we're looking back and going, "Oh, do we really want to go?" There's no going back now, this is it. We can either do this or we can just go back to playing in the trees, which is not necessarily a bad thing to do by the way. But we have to, at some point, we have to make that choice, clearly.
0:57:58.8 PA: Make the leap.
0:58:01.1 AG: We have to make that leap. And the bridges will be burned, I think. I don't think we can go back. We can construct a reality for ourselves outside of Earth, and it could be an incredibly beautiful, and complex, and dynamic, and malleable reality. The kind of space that you go to when you smoke DMT. But then our earthly existence, the garden of... Our Garden of Eden time would be very much over, I think.
0:58:31.9 PA: Wow. Great ending point.
0:58:35.6 PA: So Andrew Gallimore, author of Alien Information Theory: Psychedelic Drug Technologies in the Cosmic Game. I see you just republished it, it looks like, in May 2021?
0:58:50.1 AG: Yes, the first edition was hard back edition, this is...
0:58:53.0 PA: Nice.
0:58:54.0 AG: There's a paperback edition, a soft back edition as well now. And there's also a Kindle version as well, so if people like to read on their iPad or something. I mean, it is full color throughout with lots of diagrams, so it's not good for a regular Kindle. But if you got an iPad or something, you can read it in that form.
0:59:11.1 PA: That would be a cool book to own.
0:59:12.7 AG: The Digital Age.
0:59:13.7 PA: The Digital Age.
0:59:14.5 AG: Dispensing with the paper form for some people.
0:59:17.5 PA: I'm gonna order the hard back now. Usually if I buy things like this, it's... I like to have it... I'm one of those rare people who still carries my books around with me and if... And with the ones...
0:59:27.9 AG: I prefer books, yeah.
0:59:29.5 PA: Yeah. But the ones I don't carry...
0:59:31.6 AG: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:59:31.7 PA: With me, I send back to my parents house still 'cause I don't actually have a home. I'm constantly moving to new places. But I still...
0:59:38.7 AG: Yeah, books are heavy.
0:59:39.2 PA: Collect books.
0:59:39.8 AG: Books are heavy, yeah.
0:59:39.9 PA: Books are heavy, yeah.
0:59:40.1 AG: They're fucking heavy. Yeah, crazy.
0:59:45.3 PA: Yeah. Good to have. Well, it's been a pleasure. This is really fun. I'm glad we got to hang for a while and talk everything from...
0:59:51.9 AG: Yeah. Me too.
0:59:52.4 PA: Okinawa, Japan to the Garden of Eden to...
0:59:55.5 AG: Yeah.
0:59:56.9 PA: DMT and Terence McKenna. We had a lot of great talking points. So I had a good time.
1:00:03.0 AG: Cool.
1:00:03.4 PA: See you on Twitter.
1:00:05.0 AG: Okay, okay. Thank you.
1:00:07.7 PA: Thank you, Andrew.
1:00:31.1 PA: This conversation is bigger than you or me, so please leave a review or comment so others can find the podcast. This small action matters more than you know. You can find show notes and transcripts to this podcast on our blog at thethirdwave.co/blog. To get weekly updates from the Leading Edge of the Psychedelic Renaissance, you can sign up for our newsletter frequency at thethirdwave.co/newsletter. And you can also find us on Instagram at @thirdwaveishere, or subscribe to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/thethirdwave.