Skip to content

From 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck

June 13, 2007

“(Martin) Heidegger notes that the origin of the word “technology” comes from the Greek word techne, and this word was applied not only to technology, but to art, and artistic technique as well. ‘Once there was a time when the bringing-forth of the true into the beautiful was also called techne.’ He found this to be a numinous correspondence, and considered that, in art, the ‘saving power’ capable of confronting the abyss of the technological enframing might be found.

If art contains a saving power, it is not in the atomized artworks produced by individual subjects, but in a deeper collective vision that sees the world as a work of art, one that is already, as (Sri) Nisargadatta (Maharaj) and (Terrence) McKenna suggest, perfect in its ‘satisfying all-at-onceness’.’ Instead of envisioning an ultimately boring ‘technological singularity,’ we might be better served by considering an evolution of technique, of skillful means, aimed at this world, as it is now. Technology might find its proper place in our lives if we experienced such a shift in perspective–in a society oriented around technique, we might find that we desired far less gadgetry. We might start to prefer slowness to speed, subtlety and complexity to products aimed at standardized mind. Rather than projecting the spiritual quest and the search for the good life onto futuristic A.I.s, we could actually take the time to fulfill those goals, here and now, in the present company of our friends and lovers.

Part of the problem seems embedded in the basic concept of a concrescence or singularity, which compacts our possibilities rather than expands them. The notion of a technological singularity reflects our culture’s obsessive rationality, reducing qualitative aspects of being to quantifiable factors, and imposing abstract systems over complex variables. Instead of a technological singularity, we might reorient our thinking toward a more desirable multiplicity of technique. Technique is erotic in essence; it is what Glenn Gould or Thelonious Monk expresses through the piano–the interplay between learned skill and quantum improvisation that is the stuff of genius. Technique embraces the now-ness of our living world; technology throws us into endless insatiation.”

–From Part Two: The Serpent Temple
Chapter Four, Pages 106-107

For further reading, the first two chapters of this book are available for reading at

technorati tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2007 9:17 am

    please check out my new web magazine, Reality Sandwich ( ).


  2. Sam permalink
    April 27, 2009 3:53 pm

    Hi, do you happen to know what that symbol (book cover) is called?

    • May 4, 2009 7:25 pm

      I used to remember, but to be honest, I am not sure exactly which one it is, but is one of the significant crop circles Pinchbeck discusses in the book. You’d need to do an image search of the various names of formations he talks about. It isn’t the Milk Hill formation, that much I do know.

      If you figure it out, let me know!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: