chapter  5
18 Pages

LSDNA: Consciousness Expansion and the Emergence of Biotechnology: Richard Doyle

I. Undoing Life It often came on paper, where, a certain novelist wrote, all the real fucking happens these days. What happened is this: Once upon a time there was a narrative of vitality. OK, not a narrative, but an apprehension, a fear, a vision. It did not have a beginning, middle, or end. Itwas. Its contours were no more determinable than those ofconsciousness. Indeed, our consciousness, as humans, was our sole alleged difference from it. From something called "life." We were more than life, but were also, tragically, confined to it. You know the story all too well. Some of its major authors were Cuvier, Lamarck, Darwin, Bichat. Even Shelley. But not, surprisingly enough, Hegel.}

Just because this sudden transformation happened on paper does not mean it was easy to endure. Enormous numbers ofhumans went on tranquilizers just to deal with the effects. Others, elsewhere, knew nothing but rumors. Nonetheless, they became increasingly implicated in its effects, the effects of understanding and experiencing both "life" and "consciousness" as informatic events. Suddenly-and it is sudden, a real surprise-both our vitality and our thought were distributed, scattered across a network and nowhere in particular. Timothy Leary and Francis Crick were speaking the same language, the language of information where the organic and the machinic enfold each other helically and, sometimes, the capacity for replication goes through the ceiling. This new language of information would introduce a novel response and abyss: the pleasures and hells of eternal replication. The distribution of both life and consciousness

enabled a dream of immortality from which we have not yet awakened, as the spectre of infinite clonal replicants provokes entropies of identity even as it preserves the self from onslaughts of difference.