Glide Mythology

Animation for The Maze Game, Under the Hallucinogenic Blue Water Lily

The experience of the mushroom is subtle but can reach out to the depth and breadth of a truly intense psychedelic experience.

It is, however, extremely mercurial and difficult to catch at work. Dennis and I, through a staggered description of our visions, noticed a similarity of content that seemed to suggest a telepathic phenomenon or some sort of simultaneous perception of the same invisible landscape.” –Terence McKenna1

Myth is the overarching term I will use to capture the multiple forms of narrative that wrap Glide in meaning and purpose, an origin, a context and a world. In the case of the Glide project as a whole, myths emerge from multiple levels of consciousness: the storytelling of The Maze Game; the visions and histories unfolding over the course of the psychedelic sessions, and the mythologems of the xenolinguists—both their form and their content—that show an overlap of core ideas, visions, and explanations.

Myth is a means of managing multiple realities.

Myth is one way the unspeakable reveals itself in human terms. The masks of the Other, the archetypal figures met as teachers, guides, opponents, allies, aliens, and theriomorphs, are mythical.


The Myth of a Shift in Consciousness

The 2012 meme, in both its Pinchbeckian (Aztec) and Arguellian (Maya) versions includes mythical narratives of global—or galactic—shifts in consciousness. Myth is the form in which the explanations given in the psychedelic sphere appear, translated, in baseline reality. What is reality in the psychedelic sphere is framed as myth at baseline; what is reality at baseline, expressed in natural language, reveals its narrative, dramatic, and constructed form when viewed from an altered state of consciousness.

Timothy Leary's 8-circuit model of consciousness mapped against the Sephirot and the Chakras.


The Maze Game, Diana Reed Slattery

The Glide project, psychedelic in fact and fiction, subverts the categories of fact and fiction; myth and personal narrative; self and Other. A language emerges from a psychedelic state, enfolds, and tells the story of its people, their culture, and their episteme. In the novel, The Maze Game, the Glides claim the lily has an agenda: the human evolution of consciousness. The process of psycho-integration—the ability to connect and use the parts of the mind held separate in ordinary consciousness and by our cultural conditioning (the rational, the emotional, the transpersonal, and the autonomic)is enabled by using the psychedelic Lily to give and get meaning from linguistic signs, resulting in changes in cognition toward visual (presentational) thought.
The lily gave the DeathDancers the language so they could construct the mazes of the game. And in the myth, that game, the Dance of Death, played in mazes made of language, was the primary way to learn the language, and how to think in Glide. The lily told the Dancers to engage every sense, reserving the aural for existing speech. The lily pointed out that light was faster and could travel farther than sound, that the dappling of light on lily pads, on out-running tides, was as intimate as a lover’s whisper. The lily explained that Glide would exercise their minds in making metaphor, and help overcome the limits of sequential memory and information overload. But the lily is a stern teacher, making the ability to read and think in Glide a matter of life and death, the game board of meaning we are engaged in as mortal humans. The meaning of life, one’s individual path through the maze, emerges only in the light and sight of death.


Go to next Glide page: Glide Forms


  1. McKenna, T. (1993). True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise. San Francisco, HarperSanFrancisco. []

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