Your Friday MONDO: William S. Burroughs in High Frontiers 1987 About Mind Technologies (MONDO 2000 History Project Entry #31)
By Faustin Bray, Terence McKenna & R.U. Sirius
In 1987, Faustin Bray conducted an interview with William S. Burroughs by phone, mostly using questions suggested by Terence McKenna and R.U. Sirius. Below is the opening exchange, about mind technologies.
HIGH FRONTIERS: What do you think is the direction of mind technologies in terms of drugs and surgical implants, external technologies and techniques?
WILLIAM BURROUGHS: There is no limit to control of thought, feeling and apparent sensory perceptions. Professor Delgado stopped a charging bull. He had an electrode implanted in the bull’s brain, just pressed a little button and the bull stopped. They can do the same thing with people. They can elicit rage, fear, joy, sexual excitement, just pushing buttons.
HF: Could some of these techniques be used positively, to help humanity get to a higher level of functioning and self-government, self-control?
WB: Humanity is a meaningless abstraction. As Korzybski always says, “Who is doing what, where and when.” Are you talking about Columbians in an earthquake, Ethiopians in a famine, Americans in a country club, ethnic minorities in a ghetto? The punctuationalist theory of evolution seems to point to the fact that changes occur in small isolated groups and the tendency is towards standardization. In any case, take a species, probably only a very small fraction would be involved in evolutionary alterations. Maybe about one in a million and that’s, biologically speaking, very good odds.
Faustin Bray’s Sound Photosynthesis offers audio and video of Richard Feynman, John Lilly, Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson and many others here.