Podcast 414 – “The Entheogenic Singularity”


Guest speaker: Bruce Damer

Bruce Damer delivering a Palenque Norte LecturePROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: All quotations are by Bruce Damer.]

“Your brain has distinct pathways that outnumber the number of subatomic particles in the universe by a very large number. . . . Your brain is an information system that is bigger than the whole cosmos.”

“Your brain is reverberating the whole cosmos.”

“We are the great project of being.”

“It’s the informal experimenter (in their millions) that is the pioneering front edge of the science of psychedelics.”


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Tom Riedel’s light show for this talk

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Posted in Ayahuasca, Bruce Damer, Burning Man, Consciousness, Imagination, Palenque Norte, Psychedelics, Science & Technology, Shulgin, Terence McKenna (mp3).


  1. This podcast got such a rise out of me I was seeing the Purple Pight that Damer was talking about! It helps if you have a fresh supply of Brownies…

  2. @AwareofAwareness: I much prefer “Learn from the plant teachers” over “Take the drugs”, the latter having so many completely wrong implications, but besides that: Hear hear … to quote Roy Orbison: You got it!

  3. Bruce, now that you have partaken in entheogens can you now see that they ARE the way out of the cultural virus to unity experience. McKenna was right all along… it’s not through meditation or breath work or all the other ways that skirt the obvious. Take the drugs!

    Remove all cultural hangups and religious baggage and the answer is right there, all along. And yes… the meditation, breath work, yoga, etc were/are used as a means for preparation, stabilization, and grounding of that energy. That was their original purpose. The thought that they are alternatives to the plant medicines came only after the plant medicines became scarce (for whatever reason).

    It’s like were are a species who have decided to use test tubes and in vitro fertilization in order to procreate because it’s the “moral” and “traditional” way… when all along we only need to have intercourse naturally.

    I do agree that one can experience unity consciousness without the drugs (I have)… but it is very difficult to maintain for any length of time. The pull of the cultural vortex is very strong, especially when you are surrounded by billions who are some shade of crazy. There’s a reason one usually has to separate themselves from others for a long spell to pull these states off without chemical help via a monastery or 3-month meditation retreat. And even then it’s a tricky target when one doesn’t know exactly what one is shooting for (what exactly is “enlightenment”?). Like quantum physics, intention and attention seem to be very important. The entheogens do a fantastic job of showing one the landscape as a reference point for further tuning.

    Just take the drugs. Use the tools we are given.

  4. wow! what an awesome podcast ! Thanks Bruce & Lorenzo!

    yes Samson Henry there are a lot of talks from Grof on the Psychonautica Podcast Numbers 75 to 82

  5. Mind blowing talk, thanks Bruce!
    I second the motion for a podcast on Holotropic Breathwork. The meme that it cannot be done on “the natch”, as Terence would say needs to be challenged in a big way. There’s no stopping a psychedelic revolution that does not require materials foreign to the body.
    Anyone know if Dr Stan Grof has done any talks on it? He is an amazing speaker.

  6. “Is Damer God?” umm goes well beyond that. have been feeling
    it for sometime now, the visisitudes of life blur it sometimes. thanks bruce for clearing it again. we are the great project of being (in 1000 point, all caps, bold, flashing neon)

  7. Hi Lorenzo, Bruce and the rest of you guys. Thanks for sharing. Very interesting stuff.

    I’d love to hear a podcast about holotropic breathwork… Maybe it’s a bit too far from the main topic, but never the less it is about altered mind states.

    All the best

  8. Claim:
    “The brain, much like the cosmos, is the gestalt of many virtual potentials that emanate from none other than empty space, and so somehow, just like the imagination, tend to be “bigger” than anything material.”
    I like to imagine that the final harmony of this interplay (actual/potential) is the source of the “I am” and a pervasive field that feels like love and has the power to heal. I think this is the singularity Damer speaks of, and is (as far as I understand it) the fundamental mystical insight (so in a way we are all waiting for Jesus).
    And while I may disagree with Damer, that there is something that needs to be done to attain this on a larger scale, it does seem more available now than ever before through experiences like Burningman.
    Someone else’s imagination is a bit intimidating, so I’m glad to remember it’s rooted in that one thing we all share. The Truth. I for one found it out there in the dust…

  9. Thanks Joseph, and moose, I will take just a moment to weigh in here… of course the size of the universe (and hence the number of particles) is not known, nor is the “complex size” of our brains (in my own definition this is the number of traceable pathways via synapses between neurons and possibly including other types of connections). But in both cases the numbers are very large. To add to what moose provided, here is a fascinating multifaceted discussion on this question of numbers at:

    My only suggestion in the talk, and it’s just a suggestion, is that in a tradition of speculation along the lines of Hameroff and Penrose (2013) the brain, especially in a “potentiated” state, might be a powerful instrument of both transmission (to the body for certain but elsewhere?) and reception (quantum nonlocal informational effects from other compatible systems). If each of the traceable pathways could be thought of a distinct informational entity, like the string on a violin, it would have its own unique resonance. Therefore the large number of traceable pathways would have a certain capacity to resonate non locally with compatible structures “out there”. Those structures could be a single particle of some sort but could also be a complex network to which the string can interface (the carnal thoughts of a sentient squid on zubenelgenubi? the wiring system of the flush toilet on an alien star cruiser?).

    To my mind, the Salon podcast is a place where it is permissible to hand wave in wild speculation. I do agree with Joseph however that such speculation should never be misrepresented or indeed misinterpreted as proven or verifiable. I hope the listener takes this all with a cosmic (an perhaps comic) grain of salt. Still, imaginative flights of fancy, once honed down through time, sharpened by the critique of the community and subjected to testable hypotheses, can deliver the alchemical gold.

    Thanks for reading thusfar!

    For a recent introduction to and challenges surrounding Hameroff and Penrose’s Orch OR theory see:

  10. “Your brain has distinct pathways that outnumber the number of subatomic particles in the universe by a very large number.”

    Did he really say that? This is patently impossible and absurd. what are these pathways and what are they composed of if not ultimately subatomic particles?

    “Your brain is an information system that is bigger than the whole cosmos.”
    Even more definitively false than the first statement.
    The cosmos includes all the human brains on planet earth plus all the star systems and life forms and non-life forms and who knows what other information systems. Which part of this is not an information system?. Is Damer God that he is able to measure these things on some kind of cosmic balancing scale? Does psychedelic use really lead to this kind of junk. How could this possibly pass as a usable or meaningful idea?
    What does he mean “bigger”? Like mass?, spatial dimensions?, height? What exactly is an “information system” anyway?

    If the informal experimenters are on the edge of important realizations, where is the evidence of breakthrough work?

    I think both with Damer and T Mckenna there is evidence in some of their statements of someone who has deluded themselves and needs to draw others into their delusions to stay in the center of attention. Damer’s shpiel hasn’t changed much for someone on the forefront of human knowledge. 2012 is gone, and waiting for a singularity looks like waiting for Jesus. It even has a similar effect of making people passive about real world issues facing the people of this time.

    Enough with the unverifiably grandiose, where is the honest and satisfying meal from the psychedelic garden and table?

    I mean all this with love. I don’t know where you should look for fresh Salon materials, and i don’t know if this short comment is helpful and provocative in a good way. I’m just trying to be real.

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