AstroGnostic Addenda: John C. Lilly and Extreme Psychonautics

John Cunningham Lilly was the inspiration for the book and film Altered States, which we've looked at in great depth in the Alien Dreaming and the Widening Gyre series. Here he talks with Jeffrey Mishlove, who also interviewed Michael Talbot on the holographic universe theory. Mishlove has to work a bit harder with this interview, since Lilly was somewhat older and obviously firmly planted in another realm not quite our own (which Mishlove can't resist mentioning).

But Lilly was exploring so many of the strange memes playing themselves out today- and in the Star Trek eps we examined on Thursday- that it's worth your time to watch this and do a little reading on the man. I see a lot of Lilly in Fringe's Walter Bishop, that much is for sure. Particularly interesting are his thoughts on Synchronicity as an integral aspect of the Divine Plan, as is his definition of Gnosticism. Also fascinating is Lilly's fixation on dolphins, which are obviously important symbols in the Aquarian transitional phase we are in..

Don't forget to read Adam Gorightly's fascinating piece on Lilly, posted at Terry Melanson's Conspiracy Archive.

SYNC LOG POSTSCRIPT: Tonight the missus and I watched a Star Trek that I'm not sure was itself not a hallucination. It seems to combine the holographic reality and the orbital machine intelligence memes from yesterday into one episode, revolves around the dream reality of an artificial intelligence (which has to be decoded symbolically), suggests that understanding holographic reality is the key to consciousness, tosses in some random Masonic symbology and also begins with an enactment of a "Neoplatonic magical rite" which I'm pretty sure the episode itself was designed to be. It also had an artificially-induced earthquake, which is certainly a hot topic of conversation these days.

And if all that weren't enough, it featured a near exact replay of a scene I watched in an episode of Deep Space Nine I selected completely at random this afternoon. Both episodes (different years, different shows) are linked through some very interesting numerology that's been popping up repeatedly in my personal studies this past month.

I'm so stunned by all of this I actually feel a bit blank. Which is usually a good sign my subconscious is working furiously to connect the dots and putting my conscious mind on standby. Lilly would understand.

Hopefully I'll be able to post on this soon, if for nothing else than to work out the math on all of this startling synchro-strangeness.


  1. Hey Chris. These Thinking Allowed interviews are great - a little like Inside the Actors Studio for psychonaunts! Kudos for unearthing them.

  2. For anyone who may have problems with the sound quality of the recording, here is a transcript of the interview:

    (Put your blog on my RSS feed a little while back. Been enjoying it.)

  3. Seen the one where no one on the Enterprise is getting any rest because aliens abduct them while they sleep and erase their memories afterwards?

    Now was Trek foreshadowing things to come or are these things happening because they're in our memories because of Trek?

    I have all the TNG eps on DVD, and honestly I tried to watch them again after I got into the new BSG, but there's a definite limit to it that I could no longer bear, even though I'd loved the show before. It was probably the apparent assumption that humanity was somehow above all the things they talked about, like we were basically good on the inside, when that is really a lie, and a dangerous one at that. It's hard work to make the right choice, and it certainly doesn't come naturally. The people in Trek never asked themselves what made them as special as they were acting, they just flew their badly-designed ship everywhere, fucking shit up.

    "It's not enough to survive. One has to be worthy of survival."

  4. Not to mention the so-called magic reset button, where no event, no matter how dramatic or self-important would have an effect on the characters in subsequent episodes. There was the occasional exception, of course, but for the most part it was just these person X type people getting into whatever adventures were on this week's weird planet X.

    Not that anything that came after it was that much of an improvement, though. Even Galactica, which as you can probably tell holds a special place in my heart, is just TV, which in the end is just a distraction from our empty lives, which we'd do anything not to face.

  5. Ciao Chris,
    Believe me that I don't do it on purpose to never post anything related to your post but this is kind of relevant with my own synch.
    sorry to always sidetrack your great post.

  6. Not to beat a dead horse, but I sometimes wonder if the Pleiades is the orbital AI "braintree" (many photos of the cluster when rotated look a helluva lot like a brain and stem). One of the central stars, Maya (Sanskrit for "illusion"!) is 360 light-years away... think about the significance of that number for a sec... I guess my fascination with the cluster comes from my JW background (Google "Watchtower Pleiades")...

  7. @jk: Muchas gracias for that transcript, btw.

  8. 17, a siren, and a Swiss circle. Could you resist?


  9. what's the Trek Episode? The same as from the March 4 post?

    Saint Osiris Day coming up!


  10. -13 is apparently The Alamo.

  11. Lilly also authored CENTRE OF THE CYCLONE, which I'll be featuring in next post.

    ECCO was his thing with dolphins and the , uhhh, guardians

    " By allowing there are no limits, no limits to thinking, no limits to feeling , no limits to movement.........

    Any how pretty sure him and Ewan cameron got used in tandem


  12. Greetings.....
    just home after a loooooong work-week and watched for the first time, an episode of Babylon 5. Rather nasty one, being about Captain (or whoever he is - War Hero) being tortured, and the room they kept taking people to to do terrible things to, was.....? Yes, you've guessed it, NUMBER 17! Reminded me of The Prisoner the way they left the episode, with Captain back at the beginning of the ordeal-ooh,time-warp... in Room 17.

    Aware of the Watery Energy of Pisces this week...Tsunami, the film 'Ondine'out here in London, SecretSun involving Dr Lilly, with his Floatation/isolation tanks(I used to work in a Floatation Centre) and his work with Dolphins & Drugs & other consciousness or states of being; Holo-decks & Nebulous Reality; Escapism(watching lots of Sci-Fi,etc.)and the list shall go on.

    Enjoying the Davey Crockett resonance with Lilly....delightful pioneering look, don't ya think? Will take jk's advice re. better sound quality.

    finally, something from Wickipedia: Laurie Anderson's CD The Ugly One with the Jewels features a song about Lilly: "John Lilly, the guy who says he can talk to dolphins, said he was in an aquarium and he was talking to a big whale who was swimming around and around in his tank. And the whale kept asking him questions telepathically. And one of the questions the whale kept asking was: do all oceans have walls?"[cit

    Ah, limits.
    Not when Pisces is about!


  13. Tristan- Right on- glad you're enjoying them.

    JK- Awesome. Much clearer and a lot more impressive- and cogent, too!

    Pstonie- You're comparing apples and fire hydrants. Two totally different shows made for two totally different reasons. BSG was about politics and TNG is about sneaking the craziest esoteric concepts possible under America's radar. And it's scifi that makes my life a lot less empty!

    Daniel- I saw that. Crazy stuff!

    Agonus- Or a jellyfish! It's a two-fer!

    Anony- I couldn't make it pass the droning intros- care to fill us in?

    Cauldrie- "Emergence." Watch it now!

    Aferris- Oh, Lilly was hip to what was going down and dropped out because of it. He saw what was going on and wanted no part of it and was branded a kook for the rest of his career. That's pretty well known. Cameron I don't know too much about.

    Flossy- Glad to be able to serve your synchromystic needs! Escapism is a wonderful thing- this POS world is certainly worth escaping. The dolphin thing got me thinking about WIlliam Gibson and Johnny Mnemonic- I wonder if he got the drug-addicted dolphin idea from Lilly.

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  15. Then again, I just remembered one of the main plot elements to the Season 5 episode "I, Borg", specifically the puzzle they were considering transmitting. I think something much like that is in effect on this planet.

  16. Chris,
    The Kurt Vonnegut book "Timequake" resonated strongly for me while writing a post that was apparently foreshadowing the Pentagon Shooting:

    So, I start reading the book over again (hadn't in a number of years) and one of the many syncro-wonders relates directly to your current inspection.

    Note the Aquarian Trout.
    Oh, and the last word on the second line of the chapter is "Dog's" and the last word on the third is "Sun-" (using a hyphen to break the name Sunoco at the page edge so the words align) .....sirius says what's up.

    Timequake PG 104:
    The first story Trout had to rewrite after the timequake zapped him back to 1991, he told me, was called "Dog's Breakfast." It was about a mad scientist named Fleon Sun-oco, who was doing research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Sunoco believed really smart people had little radio receivers in their heads, and were getting their bright ideas from somewhere else.
    "The smarties had to be getting outside help [emphasis Vonnegut's]," Trout said to me at Xanadu, While impersonating the mad Sunoco, Trout himself seemed convinced that there was a great big computer somewhere, which, by means of radio, had told Pythagoras about right triangles, and Newton about grav-ity, and Darwin about evolution, and Pasteur about germs, and Einstein about relativity, and on and on.
    "That computer, wherever it is, whatever it is, while pretending to help us, may actually be trying to kill us dummies with too much to think about," said Kilgore Trout.

    PG 107:
    At night, though, with nobody around, he slices up high-IQ brains, looking for little radios. He doesn't think Mensa members had them inserted surgically. He thinks they were born [again emphasis Vonnegut's] with them, so the receivers have to be made of meat. Sunoco has written in his secret journal: "There is no way an unassisted human brain, which is nothing more than a dog's breakfast, three and a half pounds of blood-soaked sponge, could have written 'Stardust,' let alone Beethoven's Ninth Symphony."

  17. Pstonie,

    I was never a big trek fan, but I just watched "I Borg" thinking that you meant the Borg were sending a puzzle to us - ala the Timequake quote I had posted earlier.

    "That computer, wherever it is, whatever it is, while pretending to help us, may actually be trying to kill us dummies with too much to think about," said Kilgore Trout.

    It synched alright. I just wasn't expecting it to play out the way it did. Very cool episode. The paradox meant to infect the borg seems to echo Vonnegut's (or Trout's) words nearly exactly.

    More highly intriguing food for thought. Thank you much.

  18. Caprica, Cylons, terminator, matrix and A.I., in a way could be traced back to Lilly, meeting machine intelligence. As WIKI says,
    Solid State Intelligence

    Solid State Intelligence or SSI is a malevolent entity described by John C. Lilly (see The Scientist). According to Lilly, the network of computation-capable solid state systems (electronics) engineered by humans will eventually develop (or has already developed) into an autonomous life-form. Since the optimal survival conditions for this life-form (low-temperature vacuum) are drastically different from those needed by humans (room temperature aerial atmosphere and adequate water supply), Lilly predicted (or "prophesied", based on his ketamine-induced visions) a dramatic conflict between the two forms of intelligence.

  19. "Throughout history the nexus between man and machine has spun some of the most dramatic, compelling and entertaining fiction."

    I kind of wrote off a conflict between man and machine when the coming conflict between ourselves started to dawn on me, but machine intelligence is really just a matter of time.

    A couple of things come to mind, though. Destruction seems an illogical action for an entity that wants to learn, assuming it needs to learn. It also seems illogical that they would destroy our environment rather than leaving to find their perfect environment in space. If we were to be adversarial toward the kind of more intelligent entity I'm assuming, we'd also still need to be under a control system of power-crazed lunatics like we have now.

    Then again, if it's a rogue entity built in some secret military lab with destruction as a prerequisite... things change.

  20. Mr Knowles, to much of high-sci for me (humanities guy) to comprehend in that lecture; but Frank Wilczek, who is a Nobel Laureate in Physics and is working at HCL in Switzerland (mandala?) talks about a siren called "Susy" (short for Super Symetry), and a unified field theory based on the Dodecahedron (12+5=17) and bla bla, lot of weird symbolism and synchs going on there.

    /Patrick, Sweden

    Btw, here is the official presentation:

    "Anticipating a New Golden Age"
    Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate and Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Fundamental physics is poised to take a great leap forward in coming years. An extraordinary instrument - the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC - will enable us to see whether some gorgeous ideas about the ultimate laws of physics describe reality correctly. Nature has given us hints: Is she teaching, or teasing? In a multimedia presentation including rap video, spectacular images, some amazing ideas, and a few jokes, Mr. Wilczek demonstrates why this is an especially exciting time to be a physicist - or a curious person.