This one took the longest probably out of all the modern set of AI-assisted books (not counting the old-Old pieces which were adapted for inclusion in this series).
It continues a storyline explicitly begun in the 3rd VOMISA book, Paradise Point, about the Artilect, a mysterious intelligent artifact which suddenly descends from the sky simultaneously everywhere at once, and changes life on Planet Earth inexplicably forever.
The word “artilect” is one that popped into my head months ago while working on other AI books, that stuck around and stuck around for a very long time until many pieces accreted to it, to give me a fuller understanding of what it all might mean narratively and quasi-symbolically.
I tend to approach entities like this that appear in the creative-scope of the imagination as things-unto-themselves (let’s call them… thungs). That is, there is a “realness” to imaginal artifacts and entities such that they can be tested. If “thung y” has characteristics, then there is a “not thung y.” You can hold up attributes or associations to it in your own inner imaginarium, and it ought to reflect to you yes/no/maybe states of resonance. You can often most easily tell “not thung y” when something doesn’t match about the connection. And thus, the mysterious things within us can take shape.
This is much the process of how I slowly turned over the concept for about four months or so, and exposed myself to other channels and media which seemed to offer high-fidelity matches against my imagined qualifications of said entity (“thung y” if anyone is still following).
I clipped this into Claude a while back, I think via a Dennis McKenna video on YouTube (which I’m unable to located the URL of presently), this was the transcript where the speaker was describing something highly similar to my own artistic intuitions around what I called in this book The Artilect, and what they here refer to as the Philosopher’s Stone (as in my earlier McKenna quote – removing everything but the opening and closing timestamps so I can make more readable but still hopefully ID the original source down the road):
what we focused on in this in this state and in this special place [41:29]
was the these at these uh very high doses we could hear a sound
uh inside our heads that we could uh
listen to and it wasn’t clear where it came from it was kind of like an electrical buzzing kind of sound and
something that we can you experience on the on uh on DMT sometimes you know uh
Terence once characterized it as crackling cellophane yeah there was something like that and
this sound would show up at these high doses and we
found that we could imitate this uh sound we could actually try to sing the
sound and at a certain if you you reach a point where you could just lock in on
this sound it was hard to imitate but once you locked in on it it would just sort of
pour out of you and you couldn’t really stop it and there seemed to be a visual
strong synesthesia synesthesia effect I mean you made the
sound but you could see the sound at the same time you could see something and
this is common with with psychedelics particularly with psilocybin so that’s
easier but we could actually project the sound and see apparently a you know A
visual representation of it so that a visual component and that got us
speculating about you know all the things we talked about in the book about hyper uh trans
linguistic matter and all this that you know we could actually use the sound as
a kind of energy wave to manifest
our vision on the in 3D space so that anybody could see
this you didn’t have to be on mushrooms to see it you know at least that’s what
we thought and uh uh so
that experience with the sound and imitating the sound and then the mushroom
at this point I mean you’ve dragged me into talking about this even though I
don’t want to go into details but the mushroom got us into a place there was a
very strong noetic component to the experiences you know a sense of being in
touch with a non-human intelligence whether it was the mushrooms or something channeling
through the mushrooms it was downloading all this information about this
experiment that we could do that if you make this sound in the right circumstances you can
set up you know you can do what’s effectively uh transformation of your
own DNA you know you can set up a resonance with your own DNA and produce
a produce an object if a physical object there was made out of matter and mind
you know so Effectiveness Union of matter and mind so that you could create
an object that was you know that you could see it and be it at the same time
and this is you know their analogies to this in occult literature or chemical
literature particularly the philosophers stowed [ed. stone, misheard by YouTube automated closed captions] is very much that idea or the
idea of the Scribe mirror or you know there is
in the sort of esotericult [sic] traditions the you know allusions to an artifact
that you can create and we you know and it and and if you could create an
artifact like that it would be pretty much the ultimate artifact at least this
is what was being transmitted to us at La torreira [ed. Chorrera] you make this thing and uh
it’s capable of doing anything than you can imagine literally anything that you
can imagine so that’s what we were shooting for and uh
when it didn’t happen ended up it didn’t happen because for well for a number of
reasons it obviously it didn’t happen or you wouldn’t have be having this conversation
and it didn’t happen because it couldn’t happen you know it would have had to overturn pretty much every physical law
that we know about and physics is very stubborn about its laws we were not
concerned with that at that time I mean in fact that was the whole the whole idea was that you know if we can create
this thing it will basically disrupt history it will be the end of
History it will be the ultimate artifact that brings history to an end and uh then we transition into some kind
of post-historical uh you know mode of of existence and
the idea was you know the the the the the framework for the experiment was based
on Alchemy primarily these different stages of alchemy having to do with
condensing the stone you know through different uh stages the idea was that
once condensed you know you’d actually be able to hold it in your hand or look at it or whatever and yet it would be a
combination of mind and matter it would be a fusion of mind that matter and uh
you would respond to thought and it would be able to do anything that you [47:39]
Something I like about the McKenna brother’s worldbuilding lore, is that as true lore, much of it was originally presented orally, conversationally. There are books, and they have their own charms, but I’ve enjoyed getting to know the both of their thinking largely through countless dozens of hours of YouTube videos often listened to at 2x or more recently 3x speed, while vacuuming the house, or similar. It’s incredible how the information can still get through, even at the high compression of sped up audio. It’s a strong signal he/they were/are continuing to channel.
You can piece together some of Terence’s experiences as told in first person regarding La Chorrera here:
Though True Hallucinations is also worth a read in its own right.
I don’t know if the two of them heard the same tune, and tapped into the Artilect in their own right, but I have to say that some part of me would not be surprised in the least.
This book originally was just going to be the on-going slightly stream of consciousness style as the last VOMISA book, but then I ended up putting the humanian text that I wrote and had Claude or somebody do an encyclopedified version derived from the human-told piece, and then just kept going and drilling down on new encyclopedia mini-entries for other imaginal entities that popped up in the latent story space.
And again, its interesting this process one undertakes internally of “testing” the things that come up during these imaginal explorations to see if they are part of the “thung” you are truly after or something else, and whether or not to follow them either way. Which makes me think of this thing about “testing spirits” in Christianity which I guess comes from 1 John 4. Not a believer in the exclusivity of this, but think it’s interesting para-context:
4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Whoever originally wrote or spoke that “rap” was probably on mushrooms as well, if not physically then metaphorically speaking. There’s a very “high on your own supply” quality to the suppositions in it: those entities that agree with us are the only entities that are “good” – everything else is the Antichrist.
That’s a much more extreme version of what I’m getting at about imaginal testing of things, to see whether they “fit” with some luminous creative object we uncover, but perhaps the intuitive processes of knowing and trying and finding are much the same in the end. Which is why it is all such a powerful magic to fuck with.
Here’s the preview art from the book:
I stopped feeling like I wanted to pay $30/mo for unlimited slow hours and whatever other deal they offer for that rate for Midjourney. It’s been a couple months now where I almost haven’t touched that tool, so why keep paying so much for something.
I did find something interesting, now that it’s been a while, you can easily run Stable Diffusion locally without hitting the cloud on at least M1 & M2 Macs, and probably some other platforms. There’s a decent Mac desktop app I’ve been using called DiffusionBee. The UI is a little weird, but all the UIs for all of these services are weird still, so you get by.
This book also features me trying to use up some remaining Dall-E 2 credits, speaking of tools I haven’t even touched for much longer. Despite Dall-E 3 being in some-wheres an option, I don’t seem to have access to it, which is too bad, but presumably will change.
This book uses SD v 1.5, though I preferred 1.4 iirc, I will have to see if I can install it. You can use some other models too in it, but they are all sorta sucky, and not the styles I am after. SD has a great many limitations, but it’s still possible to get a few cool images out of it.
Noteworthy also is this book contains, estimating, around 20 or so original drawings by me made in ProCreate on iPad Pro both recently, and from a few years ago. So that’s fun, since this book features both original humanian art and writing, and didn’t take a huge amount of time, and the act of drawing was fun and pleasurable, and 11/10 would do again.
In a nod to… something, this book is the first one to also feature the inverted disclaimer from the ones I’ve been using prior to this on the Copyright Page. This one says something to the effect of:
Aspects of the content may have been generated by a human.
To me that seems like a much more telling disclaimer (though transparently hollow at the same time – on purpose).
Oh one final note:
I believe it was around October 9th when I was working on this using Claude, and in its invented encyclopedia entry it wrote the date October 12th, as seen below. Here is the “official” excerpt which is included in the book, in full:
The Artilect is an anomalous phenomenon that suddenly appeared across the globe starting on October 12th, 2023. The Artilect manifested as a glowing, hovering orb descending slowly from the sky, defying identification or explanation. Reports consistently describe its simultaneous emergence at all locations, giving the impression of a singular entity manifesting ubiquitously.
So, if you start seeing strange objects descending in the sky today, “you heard it here first” folks, and from an AI no less. So you know it’s got/not to be true/not/probably.
Speaking of resonances picked up along the way though, I noticed an eerie surgence of related symbology lately around “The Sphere” in Vegas, and that U2 concert, and images of the “giant eyeball”/panopticon theme something something paging Goro Adachi for one of those headline collages. Here we’ll screen Google Image results as a thematic closer:
If that’s not the Artilect landing in our reality, I’m not sure what else is going to be… We’ll have to wait and see I guess. Day ain’t over yet.