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Dr Timothy Leary Archives



 

Dr. Timothy Francis Leary, PhD (October 22, 1920 May 31, 1996) Psychologist, philosopher, explorer, teacher, optimist, author and revolutionary avatar of the mind. Rightly called the Galileo of Consciousness, Leary is best known for advocating the exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs under controlled conditions. He was instrumental in initiating a psychedelic renaissance which is still only beginning to elaborate itself, today.

In August 1960, at the age of 40, Leary traveled to Cuernavaca, Mexico and consumed psilocybin mushrooms (Psilocybe mexicana) for the first time, an experience that drastically altered the course of his life. Leary returned from Mexico to Harvard University in the autumn of 1960, and he and his associate, Dr Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass) began a research program known as the Harvard Psilocybin Project. The goal was to analyze the effects of psilocybin on human subjects (first prisoners, and later Andover Newton Theological Seminary students) from a synthesized version of the drug (which was legal at the time). The compound in question was produced by a process developed by Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, who was famous for synthesizing LSD.

Leary believed that LSD showed potential for therapeutic use in psychiatry. He used LSD himself and developed a philosophy of mind expansion and personal truth through LSD. He popularized catchphrases that promoted his philosophy, such as "turn on, tune in, drop out", "set and setting", and "think for yourself and question authority". He also wrote and spoke frequently about trans-humanist concepts involving space migration, intelligence increase, and life extension (SMILE), and developed the eight-circuit model of consciousness in his book Exo-Psychology (1977). He gave lectures, occasionally billing himself as a "stand-up philosopher".

In 1965, Leary commented that he had: "learned more about his brain and its possibilities ... and more about psychology in the five hours after taking these (psilocybin) mushrooms than ... in the preceding 15 years of studying and doing research in psychology."

On September 19, 1966, Leary founded the League for Spiritual Discovery, a religion declaring LSD as its holy sacrament, in part as an unsuccessful attempt to maintain legal status for the use of LSD and other psychedelics for the religion's adherents, based on a "freedom of religion" argument. (The Brotherhood of Eternal Love subsequently considered Leary their spiritual leader, but The Brotherhood did not develop out of International Federation for Internal Freedom.)
During the late 60s and 1970s, Leary was arrested often enough to see the inside of 36 different prisons worldwide. President Richard Nixon once described Leary as "the most dangerous man in America."

Also during this time, Leary formulated his eight-circuit model of consciousness in collaboration with writer Brian Barritt, among others, in which he wrote that the human mind and nervous system consisted of seven circuits which produce seven levels of consciousness when activated. This model was first published in his short essay "The Seven Tongues of God". The system was soon expanded to include an eighth circuit in a revised version first published in the 1973 pamphlet "Neurologic", written with Joanna Leary while he was in prison. This eighth-circuit idea was expanded upon with Leary's publication of Exo-Psychology.

Leary believed that the first four of these circuits ("the Larval Circuits" or "Terrestrial Circuits") are naturally accessed by most people in their lifetimes, triggered at natural transition points in life such as puberty. The second four circuits ("the Stellar Circuits" or "Extra-Terrestrial Circuits"), Leary wrote, were "evolutionary offshoots" of the first four that would be triggered at transition points which humans might acquire if they evolve. These circuits, according to Leary, would equip humans to encompass life in space, as well as the expansion of consciousness that would be necessary to make further scientific and social progress.

Leary suggested that some people may "shift to the latter four gears", i.e., trigger these circuits artificially via consciousness-altering techniques such as meditation and spiritual endeavors such as yoga, or by taking psychedelic drugs specific to each circuit. The feeling of floating and uninhibited motion experienced by users of marijuana is one thing that Leary cited as evidence for the purpose of the "higher" four circuits. In the eight-circuit model of consciousness, a primary theoretical function of the fifth circuit (the first of the four, according to Leary, developed for life in outer space) is to allow humans to become accustomed to life in a zero- or low-gravity environment.

Accordingly, Leary emphasized the importance of space colonization and an ensuing extension of the human lifespan while also providing a detailed explanation of the eight-circuit model of consciousness in books such as Info-Psychology, among several others. He adopted the acronym "SMILE" as a succinct summary of his pre-transhumanist agenda: SM (Space Migration) + I (intelligence increase) + LE (Life extension), and credited the L5 Society co-founder Keith Henson with helping develop his interest in space migration.

In the 1980s, Leary became fascinated with the rise of personal computing, the Internet, and virtual reality. Leary proclaimed that "the PC is the LSD of the 1990s" and urged neo-bohemians to "turn on, boot up, jack in." He became a promoter of virtual reality systems, and sometimes demonstrated VR prototypes as part of his lectures, such as From Psychedelics to Cybernetics. Around this time he befriended a number of notable people in the field such as Jaron Lanier and Brenda Laurel, pioneering researchers in virtual environments and human/computer interaction. With the rise of cyberdelic counter-culture, Leary's widening orbit attracted such cyberpunk notables as R. U. Sirius, of Mondo 2000 fame.

Many consider Leary one of the most prominent figures during the counterculture of the 1960s, and since those times has remained influential on pop culture, literature, television, film and, especially, music. Leary coined the influential term Reality Tunnel, by which he means a kind of representative realism. The theory states that, with a subconscious set of mental filters formed from their beliefs and experiences, every individual interprets the same world differently, hence... "Truth is in the eye of the beholder."



Item: Dr Timothy Learys Two Commandments for the Molecular Age

1) Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy fellow men.

2) Thou shalt not prevent thy fellow man from altering his or her own consciousness.
 

You must know your mythic origins...

Facts and news are reports from the current TV (& now social media) drama. They have no relevance to your 2-billion-year-old divinity. Myth is the report from the cellular memory bank. Myths humanize the recurrent themes of evolution.

You select a myth as a reminder that you are part of an ancient and holy process. You select a myth to guide you when you drop out of the narrow confines of the fake-prop studio set.
Your mythic guide must be one who has solved the death-rebirth riddle. A TV drama hero cannot help you. Caesar, Napoleon, Kennedy are no help to your cellular orientation. Christ, Lao-tse, Hermes Trismegistus, Socrates are recurrent turn-on figures.

You will find it absolutely necessary to leave the city. Urban living is spiritually suicidal. The cities of America are about to crumble as did Rome and Babylon. Go to the land... Go to the sea.
 

"Acid is not for every brain... only the healthy, happy, wholesome, hopeful, humorous, high-velocity should seek these experiences. This elitism is totally self-determined. Unless you are self-confident, self-directed, self-selected... please abstain."
 

 

 

The preceding was gleaned from multiple sources, including Wikipedea and salvaged from the pioneering and now defunct website: E=mc=Th xrl Hrdms.
 

Leary Links

Obscure Origins
of the 8 Circuit/24 Stage Model of Evolution - often attributed to Timothy Leary...
SMILE
SM (Space Migration) + I (intelligence increase) + LE (Life extension)...
Eight Circuit Model
Eight Circuit model of consciousness. A Tek-Gnostic introduction to the 8 energy centers of the human body…
Timothy Leary Archives
That rascally psychedelic trickster...
Leary.com Timothy Leary Info
Turn on, tune in, drop out...

 


 

 

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