Tag Archives: Timothy Leary

Brain Books

“Brain Books,” Trajectories, Autumn 1996, No. 16/17.

I have another list that I revise every couple of months.  This is not my “Ten Favorite Books” so much as a list of the ten books I wish everyone would read:  the ten books I most feel the lack of in people who otherwise seem intelligent.  These books would fill anyone’s cranium with useful information.

In order of priority, the list would begin with:

1. Ulysses by James Joyce.  Nobody has really entered the 20th century if they haven’t digested Ulysses.  And if they haven’t entered the 20th century, they’re going to fall pretty far behind pretty soon, as we enter the 21st.  There’s a guy I correspond with occasionally who spends all his time fighting with Fundamentalists overDarwin.  He’s living in the 19th century; nothing in the 20th century has affected him yet.  He’s carrying on the brave battles of Thomas Henry Huxley a hundred years later.  I know some people who are back in the 18th century – Burkian conservatives, trying to apply Burke’s principles to modern times.  I sometimes do that myself – try to apply some of Burke’s principles.  But not all of them!  I don’t think he’s written in stone either.  At any rate, everyone should read Ulysses to get into the 20th century.

And everybody should struggle as much as they can with:

2. The Cantos, by Ezra Pound.  And that means getting to the last page.  You may give up on some pages, and say, “I’ll never figure this stuff out!”  But keep going until you get to the last page.  Pound offers something no other writer except Dante has ever attempted – and Dante does it in a medieval way that doesn’t mean much to modern people.  Pound offers a hierarchy of values.  We’ve heard so many voices from the East telling us “All is One,” and we’ve got so many puritanical duelists of all sorts telling us, “No; there’s good and bad.”  And they all define those terms in their own way:  the Christian “good and evil” duality; the ecologist’s “nature good; man bad” duality; the feminist’s “woman good; man bad” duality, and so on.  Against this monism and dualism Pound offers a hierarchy of values, in which he gives you a panoramic picture of human history, very much like Griffith’s Intolerance, only in it, Pound shows levels of awareness, levels of civilization, levels of ethics and levels of lack of all these things.  And you realize that you have a hierarchy of values too, but you’ve never perfectly articulated it.  Every writer gives you a hierarchy of values.  But by making this the central theme, Pound makes you face the question, “Will I accept this as the best hierarchy of values?”  I can’t, because the guy had a screw loose.  Great poet, but a little bit funny in the head at times, trying to synthesize Jefferson, Confucius, Picasso and Mussolini.  So what you’ve got to do is struggle with Pound, and create your own hierarchy of values to convince yourself that you grok more than he did.  And he combined genius and looniness.  It’s an invigorating book to get you out of dualism, which is the Western trap, and monism, which is the Eastern trap, to attain realism: a hierarchy of values.

Another book I wish everybody would read:

3. Science and Sanity by Alfred Korzybski.  this one gives you the tools to enable you to avoid most of the stupidity prevalent on this planet at present. It won’t cure all forms of stupidity, and you really have to work at it; it doesn’t do magic.  But if you use its principles, you’ll gradually cure yourself of a lot of prevalent forms of stupidity.  If you work at it hard enough, you may cure yourself of most.  I don’t know; I’m still working at it.

4.  Ovid.  I wish everybody would read Ovid.  The great myths of our particular culture – the Greek and Roman myths – can’t be found in any one book, except Bullfinch or Ovid, and Ovid has a much better style than Bullfinch.  So read Ovid and get the whole panorama of classical myth.  Classical myth has so much meaning that it permeates every bit of modern psychology.  The myths of other cultures have much to offer, but we still need our myths.  So we might as well face up to them.  It’s our culture; let’s not lose it.  And let’s find out something that happened before 1970.

5. The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer – just because it’s so damn good.

6. Justine, by deSade — because everyone needs to be shaken up.  Justine asks you some pretty fundamental questions.  And you may not find them easy to answer.

7. Instead of a Book by a Man Too Busy to Write One, by Benjamin Tucker, which contains the best arguments for minimizing force and maximizing options; the best argument for extreme Libertarianism that anyone has put together.  He deals with concrete issues in economics, and makes a damn good case for a maximum of liberty and a minimum of coercion as a formula for a happy and prosperous society.

8. Progress and Poverty, by Henry George.  Not that I agree with it.  But everyone’s heard of Karl Marx and Adam Smith.  If you read Tucker and George, you get the idea that there are more than two choices.  You don’t have to choose between them.  There are other options, not in between, but at right angles to those choices; a hierarchy of possibilities.  George poses a challenge to both Marxism and orthodox capitalism.

9. The Open Society and its Enemies, by Karl Popper, which introduces you to a lot of aspects of modern scientific thought, but in a different way than Korzybski, and applies them to tearing apart most of the arguments for determinism and totalitarianism.  I think determinism and totalitarianism have done so damn much harm that everybody needs a good inoculation against them.  Popper seems the best inoculation.  He fled both the Communists and the Nazis, and had good emotional reasons for detesting totalitarianism.  He was a physicist, so he expressed himself in terms of a very deep and trenchant philosophical analysis of what’s wrong with theories that claim, “We know what’s best (?) and we know how to achieve it – and we know who has to be killed to make it happen.”

10. Shakespeare.  I think everybody should read Shakespeare, not only because he was such [a] great poet, but because he’s under so much attack these days.  You might as well check him out for yourself, and it will give you an idea of how just dumb the politically correct people who attack him seem in comparison to him.

Other recommended authors:

Jonathan Swift.  All of Gulliver’s Travels.  There are some anthologies which contain not only this, but a selection of his other writings, too.  Swift does a great job of tearing apart conventional ideas about almost everything.  He’s very, very liberating; almost psychedelic in some passages.

Nietzsche.  There are a couple of good one-volume editions which contain both Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ.  The two should be taken together.  They represent Nietzsche at the height of his…whatever it was. More than any other writer in the history of philosophy, Nietzsche set out to refute everyone who came before him, without exception and without mercy, and he had the intellect to do a damn good job.  He tears down so many accepted ideas that you’re left floating in a kind of nihilistic void.  Many people find this terrifying.  I find it exhilarating, and I manage to recover from it every time I subject myself to re-reading something by Nietzsche.  There are a lot of other good books by Nietzsche, but I’d especially recommend those two.

Olaf Stapledon.  There’s a one-volume edition that contains both First and Last Men and Last Men in London.

Then, when somebody has read that much, I think intelligent conversation can begin.  Otherwise, we’re pretty much on the level of grunting.

(digitized and posted to alt.fan.rawilson by Eric Wagner)

 

Also from Recommended Reading on RAW’s site:

The Mass Psychology of Fascism, by Wilhelm Reich, M.D.
Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce
Machine Art, by Ezra Pound
Selected Prose, by Ezra Pound
Harlot’s Ghost, by Norman Mailer
Go Down, Moses, by William Faukner
The Alphabet vs. the Goddess, by Leonard Shlain
Confucius: The Great Digest, The Unwobbling Pivot, The Analects trans. by Ezra Pound
Chaos and Cyberculture, by Timothy Leary, Ph.D.
Critical Path, by R Buckminster Fuller
Digital McLuhan, by Paul Levinson
Saharasia, by James DeMeo, Ph.D.
The Natural Economic Order, by Silvio Gesell

To which RMJon23 once remarked:  “I’m surprised neither list included Peter McWilliams’ Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest RAW wants everyone to read that one, too.

 

Other recommendations:

Recommended Viewing (scroll to the bottom of that page)

 

From the Paradigm Shift Interview:
As of today (August 11, 1997) I find the most interesting ideas in traditional Buddhism, Nietzsche, Charles Fort, several quantum physicists (Nick Herbert, David Bohm, Fred Wolfe, David Finkelstein) and in Rupert Sheldrake. Add together the Buddhist yoga of detachment from fixed ideas and emotions, Nietzsche’s and Fort’s merciless assault on the cultural prejudices that are so deeply embedded we usually don’t notice them, quantum uncertainty and holism, Sheldrake’s special variety of holism, and I think we have the beginning of a hint of the New Paradigm we need.  But after looking at this list I realize I should have included Korzybski’s general semantics, Bandler’s neurolinguistic programming and Leary’s evolutionary-existentialist neuro-psychology or info-psychology as he most recently labeled it.

 

Origin unknown:
The living writers whose work especially interests me at present include Douglas Adams, William Burroughs, who still seems topical no matter how old he gets, Tom Robbins, who writes the best sentences of anybody working in English today, George V. Higgins, who sees humans with a wonderful irony and writes the most realistic dialogue I’ve ever seen (even better than Joyce or Hemingway), and a lot of scientist-philosophers who seem to me to be giving us wonderful new ideas and perceptions: Rupert Sheldrake, Ralph Abraham, Terrence McKenna, Barbara Marx Hubbard, the fuzzy logic people, Riane Easier, Nick Herbert, Nicholas Negroponte, Marilyn Ferguson, Peter Russell, Fred Alan Wolfe . . . and of course, Tim Leary, who is ill, but may have a few unpublished books that might still blow all our minds.

 

excerpt from Thought of the Month:  30 Apollo 78 p.s.U.:
“There are only two kinds of artists: the plagiarists and the revolutionaries.”  – Paul Gauguin
In my opinion, the primary “revolutionary” Masters of our past century include Picasso, Klee, Pound, Joyce, Faulkner, Ginsberg, Frank Lloyd Wright, D.W. Griffith, Chaplin, Welles, Clint Eastwood, Stravinsky, Gershwin, Epstein, Brancusi, Carlin : the man or woman who doesn’t know their work deeply and richly still lives in the 19th Century as the rest of us prepare to enter the 21st. The artists on that list haven’t become familiar enough to stop surprising us. We still need to interpret our interpreters, as Ellman said of Joyce.

Neurological Relativism

Neurological Relativism

by Robert Anton Wilson

from New Libertarian, March 1978

In my previous two columns, I have presented the case for the ultimate skepticism (i.e. solipsism) as strongly as I could, indicated that it not only can be defended on rigidly logical grounds (cf. Hume, David, works of), but also that is seemingly confirmed empirically by the practice of silent-level meditation.

Of course, I am not a solipsist. Having fathered four children in this highly competitive society, I have had to confront the nitty-gritty gut-level reality of the iron laws of economics in a manner and with a persistancethat makes me as much of a believer in “external reality” as any Marxist or Objectivist could wish.

I have even been on Welfare twice in my 45 years, for over a year each time. (It is a most educational experience and every libertarian ought to go through it, just as every Marxist ought to have the experience of running a business and meeting a payroll.) Nobody who has gone through the rituals of social degregation involved in falling from Associate Editor of Playboy to Welfare “case” (Americanus nondesirabilis) can be a solipsist. To get off Welfare and become affluent again, as I have also done, is an even better cure for solipsism; if I hadn’t figured out some of the laws of that part of the “external world” known as publishing, I would still be on Welfare.

Nonetheless, my skepticism does verge very close to the solipsistic extreme, and Mr. John Walker had ample excuse to wonder, as he did in NLW 93, how somebody as close to solipsism as I am does manage to deal with the external, sensory-sensual, existential world at all.

The answer is the same as Godzilla gave on Saturday Night Live when Baba Wawa asked him, “How do you and Mrs. Godzilla do it?

“Very carefully,” said Godzilla. And that’s how I deal with “reality.”

As the result of the yogic and alchemical disciplines I have practiced during the last 15 years, I know that the solipsist position is the minimal truth, i.e., that all we really know is a stream of sensation. The common sense hypothesis that there is an Ego (“me”) observing/experiencing this stream, are unprovable, but denying them seems to lead to worse confusion than (tentatively) accepting them.

But I also know that everything I think I know about the Ego (“me”) and the External World (“it”) is woefully little, and very misleading (more “untrue” than “true”) because it is such a microscopic fragment of what the total Me and the total Universe must be. Blake said, wisely, that “Every thing Capable of being Believed is an Image of the Truth;” but it is also true, as Blake no doubt realized, that Every thing Capable of being Believed is Self-Hypnosis.

It is emperically known to me, through neurological experiment, that every time I manage to change to focus of my nervous system, a new Me appears, and a new External Reality, and that these mingle in curious ways, and each grows steadily bigger, weirder, more mysterious and more humorous as my researches proceed.

Artemus Ward put it this way: “The trouble with most folks is not that they don’t know enough but that they know so much that ain’t true.” Or, in the more slashing style of Neitzsche’s soaring sarcasm, “We are all much greater artists than we realize.” Whatever we know of Me and The Universe through the filter of our nervous system is much more of a record of the structural functioning of the nervous system itself than it is of the enormous mysteries of the real Me and real Universe.

That is why Discordianism is such a jolly flavor of nihilism. There is joy ineffable in freedom from fixed ideas, even if those trapped in fixed ideas cannot imagine such a state and dread it “as the devil dreads holy water.” Since I am mildly puzzled all the time, I am continously curious and hence passionately involved. I deal with the world “very carefully” because I respect its mystery, whereas those who hold fixed ideas deal with the world (and each other) in blind and brutal ways that each of them can see how mad all the others are but none can see that his/her own fixed ideas are equally mad.

As Timothy Leary and I write in Neuropolitics (Peace Press, Los Angeles, 1977), “It is the function of the nervous system to focus, select, narrow down; to choose from an infinity of possibilities the biochemical imprints which determing the tactics and strategies of survival in one place, status in one tribe. The infant is genetically prepared to learn any language, master any skill, play any sex role; in a very short time, however, he becomes rigidly fixated to accept, follow and mimic the limited offerings of his social and cultural environment…

“Because we are all imprinted with our own social bubbles, it isn’t generally recognized that each reality map held by humans – however eccentric and paranoid – makes nearly as much sense as any other. People are vegetarians or nudists or Communists or snake worshippers for the same reasons that other people are Catholics or Republicans or liberals or Nazis.”

This neurological relativism is not incompatible with adopting a belief-system involving predictions, assumed regularities or “laws,” valuations and ethical judgements, etc. But one recognizes each belief system as a gamble, “my latest best guess,” and does not confuse it with Truth, Reality or any other variety of eternal verity. Each belief-system, or reality-tunnel, is temporary – one except to replace it with a better system, more inclusive, more flexible, more amusing and more precise, if not by next Tuedsay after lunch, certainly by the middle of next Winter.

All around one the True Believers trudge by, mouths grim, brows furrowed, ulcers and worse eating at their innards. This “desperate company of oddfellows” (Thoreau) live in what psychologists call “cognitive dissonance.” Because their reality-maps are, one and all, too small to cover the vast, eerie, amusing world in which we live, they are perpetually frustrated: the world does not live up to their fixed beliefs. They are all convinced that there is something radically wrong with the universe itself, or with the rest of humanity, and they never suspect that the real trouble is in their own rigid and robotic nervous systems.

Thus I “believe” in libertarianism, in strict scientific method (the objective yoga of the West), in yoga (the neuroscience of the East), in Space Migration, in Life Extension, and in dozens of other things. But I can suspend any of these beliefs at will, or all of them, and look impassively into the Buddhist void, or switch around to other beliefs temporarily, to check out how the world looks to those who hold those beliefs.

Yea, brethern and sistren, now abideth doubt, hope and charity; these three; and the greatest of these is doubt. For doubt puffeth not itself up into pomposity; doubt suffereth long, and is kind. With doubt all things are possible.

Science Faction Shelf

SCIENCE FACTION SHELF 

Exo-Psychology, By Timothy Leary, Peace Press, Los Angeles, 134 pp.; $7.
The Eighth Tower, By John A. Keel, Signet, New York, 1977, 250 pp., $1. 75.
Prolongevity, By Albert Rosenfeld, Knopf, New York, 1976; 250 pp., $8.95.
The Immortalist, By Alan Harrington, Celestial Arts, Millbrae, 1977, 313 pp., $5.95.

Reviewed By Robert Anton Wilson

from Science Fiction Review, No. 23, November, 1977

It is getting harder and harder to draw a line between science-fact – and science-fiction, because the im­plications of current science are often more staggering than anything published in Analog or Galaxyten years ago. The rate of acceleration of social-technological change is itself changing at an accelerating rate; Prof. Gerard O’Neill’s space-­city designs are already more Futur­istic than the Clarke-Kubrick space­ships in 2001.

Dr. Timothy Leary, typically, has accepted the interpenetration of science-fact and science-fiction cheerfully, as an inevitable develop­ment; he calls his new book, Exo-Psychology, “science-faction,” on the grounds that his facts come from science and his style or way of or­ganizing the facts is deliberately science-fiction in flavor.

Exo-Psychology is an astonishing performance even for the Most Contro­versial Man in America. It’s only 134 pages long, but it incorporates literally hundreds of bright new i­deas in psychology, neurology, eth­ology, astro-physics, genetics, soc­iology and dozens of other sciences, making it one of the most compressed, condensed, highly charged books I’ve ever seen. Attempting to summarize it is like attempting to summarize the Britannica; to review it is like reviewing 20th Century culture it­self.

Leary asserts that DNA was seed­ed on Earth (and on millions of oth­er planets) by Higher Intelligence. This does not mean “the police-court Jehovah” of monotheism; he says precisely. Higher Intelligencemight be (a) an advanced interstellar civi­lization, as suggested by Nobel gen­eticist Sir Francis Crick, the first to propose that DNA was seeded here; or (b) ourselves-in-the-future trav­eling backwards in time, as suggest­ed by physicists Jack Sarfatti and Saul Paul Sirag; or (c) sun-atomic consciousness, as suggested by phys­icist Evan Harris Walker.

Higher Intelligence, Leary pro­ceeds, designed the DNA to evolve, through metamorphoses and migration, into ever more complex and. more in­telligent forms. Evolution is not guided by “least possible effort and greatest possible blunder” (Neitzs­che’s caricature of Darwinism) but by a pre-programmed “brain” within the DNA tape-loop.

All living organisms, then, are survival-machines designed by DNA to transport itself about, reproduce itself and create more and better DNA. In short, we are, as geneticist Herbert Muller likes to say, “giant robots” programmed by DNA for its own purposes; we are “fragile, easi­ly replicable units,” Leary adds, because DNA can make myriads of dup­licates of us.

At each stage of development, each individual robot takes a new imprint in the ethological sense and thus mutates from one “tunnel-reality” to another. For instance, the emotional game-playing of the toddl­ing infant recapitulates mammalian territorial rituals, and the infant lives in a primate tunnel-reality at that stage. The school-child learn­ing to parrot lessons lives in a Paleolithic tunnel-reality. The adolescent gang recapitulates the barbarian horde (Attila, Genghis Khan, etc.) The domesticated adult lives in the tunnel-reality of his or her tribal guilt-virtue game.

No conditioning techniques, Leary insists, can permanently change such imprints. Skinner’s Behavior Mod works only so long as the conditioner has the victim more or less imprisoned and totally con­trols reward and punishment. Once the subject gets free of the condit­ioner, behavior drifts back to the biochemical circuits of the original imprint.

The only way to change an im­print, then, is to dissolve it chemically at the synaptic level. If anybody but yourself alters your im­prints this way, by chemical inter­vention in the nervous system, that person can totally brainwash you.

On the other hand, Leary says, if you can learn how to use neuro­chemicals for serial re-imprinting of your own nervous system, you grad­uate to a new level of evolution, which he calls 12, which means in­telligence-squared, or intelligence ­studying-intelligence, i.e. the nervous system studying and re-im­printing itself. You can then be­come as smart as you wish, as brave as you wish, as happy as you wish, as wise as you wish. This is a quantum jump above the robot-level at which animal life, and most of humanity, have functioned hitherto.

There is no end to this serial imprinting. “The more intelligent you become,” Leary says, “the more you see the advantage in becoming even more intelligent.”

The result of this self-metapro­gramming is that all the Utopias and Heavenly visions of our imagination can be achieved; we need only imprint these possibilities to make them neurologically real, and then we can begin making them physically real. “Since no one can allow the game to become bigger than Hir concept of the game (what is not imprinted is pot real to the primate brain) therefore let us define the game as large, fast, intense, precise as possible: Unlimited Space, Unlimited Time and Unlimited Intelligence to enjoy same.”

Leary’s summarizes this goal into the acronym, SMI2LE, which means Space Migration, Intelligence Squared, and Life Extension. After the neuro­psychology of imprinting is clarified, most of Exo-Psychology deals with the practicality of beginning this Triple Mutation immediately.

Albert Rosenfeld’s Prolongevity deals with 1/3 of Dr. Leary’s Triple Mutation program – Life Extension. Rosenfeld, who was science editor of Life for 11 years and is now science editor of Saturday Review, seems to have interviewed everybody engaged in Life Extension research in the United States – or, if not, he prob­ably didn’t miss more than a few of them. They all agree that a quantum jump in human lifespan is a very real possibility very soon.

There are degrees of optimism, of course; some speak of merely doubling human lifespan, adding an­other 70 years; others talk of ex­tending life into centuries or thou­sands of years; one chapter is de­voted to scientific Immortalists, who think we can conquer death entirely sooner or later.

Prolongevity (a title James Joyce would have loved) is sheer science-faction; the implications are staggering, but the sources are all reputable scientists, who have hard facts to back up their hopes.

Rosenfeld concludes with a 40­ page philosophical discussion titled “Shoud We Do It?” in which he dis­cusses the arguments against Life Extension and finds them all weak and short-sighted.

Longevity, to Rosenfeld, means “To have time to travel everywhere” – he neglects to note that this must eventually include Leary’s Un­limited Space – “and go back again and again to favorite places. To go on learning – new skills, new sports, new languages, new musical instruments… To read everything you want to read. To listen to all the music, to look at all the pic­tures, and even paint a few. To savor and re-savor experience and arrive, not at boredom but at new levels of appreciation…” (Serial re-imprinting, or I2.)

“There could arise a new breed of human being,” Rosenfeld says, “who, merely by virtue of longevity, through acquisition of a steadily maturing wisdom and a steadily ex­panding awareness, could finally be­come… a being worthy to be the trustee of our future evolution.”

Rosenfeld agrees with Leary that DNA has programmed us (all life-forms on this planet) to survive, repro­duce and die. He also suggests that, in creating humanity, DNA programmed a robot conscious enough to resent death and intelligent enough to do something about it eventually.

Leary and Rosenfeld could say, like Gurdjieff, “Our way is against God and against Nature” – except that they see DNA (the modern equivalent of what mystics meant by “God” and “Nature”) as programming this rebellion also. As a “self-develop­ing organism” (Gurdjieff’ s term), Humankind seems to have been pro­grammed with all the characteristics necessary to transcend the limita­tions of biological life as it has hitherto existed on this planet.

The ultimate, or a kind of ulti­mate, in this line of speculation is Alan Harrington’s The Immortalist, which may be as important as Das Kapital or The Origin of Species or The Golden Bough.Harrington, an old friend of Kerouac and Ginsberg and one of the original creators of the Beat Generation of the 1950s, has not mellowed out on Buddhism, tran­quilized himself with Transcendent­al Masturbation, or collapsed into paranoia and bitterness. Instead, he has become more revolutionary and more Utopian over the years. The Immortalist is one of those rare books that challenges you to re-think your basic philosophy about the uni­verse totally. It is the literary equivalent of finding a rattlesnake in your bedsheets; you can’t ignore it you have to take a stand and make a decision about it.

When Harrington last spoke in Berkeley, a few months ago, he was shouted down and booed off the stage in a demonstration of hooliganism that hasn’t been seen here since Al­an Watts was similarly mistreated by Left Fascists back in 1966. It is, of course, a tribute to both Watts and Harrington that they were not permitted to speak; this shows how powerful their ideas are, and how frightening such ideas are to cer­tain neophobes.

The Immortalist carries current life extension research and theory to the logical conclusion: Humanity, Harrington proposes, can and should ultimately conquer death.

“Death,” Harrington says, “is an imposition on the human race, and no longer acceptable.”

“Let us hire the scientists,” he says,’ “and spend the money, and hunt down death like an outlaw.”

Where Rosenfeld provides the, scientific evidence that longevity and eventual immortality are possi­ble, Harrington tackles the much heavier question of their desirabil­ity, and does not hesitate to damn and blast every organized ideology based on the acceptance of death.  Christianity has never received such a brilliant philosophical assault since the days of H. L. Mencken, and Buddhism and other, more intellect­ually fashionable religions are treated with no more tenderness. Those who love death, Harrington in­sists, have the right to die; but they have no right to tell those who love life that we have no moral ormetaphysical right to extend it in­definitely. He is quite willing to dance on their graves, but he is not going to let them persuade him to crawl into the grave next to them.

The Immortalist smashes more sacred cows, questions more “un­questionable” dogmas, assaults more prejudices, than any single book I have ever read. Gore Vidal has al­ready said, with some awe, “Mr. Har­rington may have written the most important book of our time.” I would go further: Alan Harrington has written the most important book of the millennium.

“Poor Allen Ginsberg,” Tim Leary said to me recently. “He lives in constant fear that the future is go­ing to be different from the past.” The same fate has overtaken most of the radicals of the 50’s and 60’s, who are now the most nostalgic and reactionary people around. Alan Harrington stands head and shoulders above all of them, looking bravely into the future while they day-dream wistfully of a dead and irrelevantpast.

“Let us now turn to the gentil­es,” as St. Thomas once wrote. John A. Keel’s The Eighth Tower is as ap­ocalyptical as the works of Leary,­ Rosenfeld or Harrington, but in an entirely different way. It is the UFO book in the “revisionist” trad­ition of Dr. Jacques Vallee, Dr. J. Alan Hynek and Brad Steiger; that is, it accepts UFOs as real and tangible, not hallucinatory, but it rejects the extra-terrestrial interpretation of these beasties offered by most pro­-UFO writers and almost all “Contac­tees.”

Keel, in an. earlier book, Our Haunted Planet, had attributed UFOs to a group he caned “Wings Over The World” (WOW), a hypothetical super-mensa frankly derived from H. G. Wells’ Things to Come. He has also called them “ultra-terrestri­als,” an inconveniently ambiguous term, or “the crew that never rests” (a phrase borrowed by Sir Walter Scott’s Letters on Witchcraft.

WOW or the crew that never rests has been around since the beginning of history, Keel argues. Where skeptics ask, “Why haven’t they con­tacted us,” Keel asks instead, “Why the hell won’t they leave us alone?” They created all the miracles of the major religions and can manifest gods, demons, angels or UFOs as easily as a stage magician pulls rabbits from a hat. The Bavarian Illuminati, the Nine Unknown Men, the Ascended Masters, the Secret Chiefs, etc. are other routines this versatile magical theatre has used in its games with humanity.

Keel presents an enormous a­mount of evidence in only 200 pages, and he does not make comfortable reading. If you want to regard WOW as a single intelligence and call it “God,” Keel will go along with you on that metaphor, but he insists that you face the consequences. On the basis of its dealing with human­ity, he points out, it looks as if “God is a crackpot.”

The only other book I’ve seen that goes that far was called God Rides a Flying Saucer (author forgot­ten, alas) which concludes clinical­ly, on the basis of the same sort of evidence that Keel sifts through here, that “God” is a paranoid schizophrenic.

Keel Once admitted (in Our Haunted Planet) that some of his theories are tongue-in-cheek; although he doesn’t admit that here, I suspect that it is still true. He does quote The Master of Those Who Don’t Know, Charles Fort, to the effect that there is no way to discover some­thing new without being offensive, and he certainly is offensive. I suspect that his ultimate aim is ag­nostic: to make us aware that there are mysteries we cannot yet explain.

I suppose Keel will be exper­ienced as a royal pain-in-the-neck by Fundamentalists of all persua­sions, whether they stopped their intellectual growth with the theology of the 13th Century, like religious conservatives, or with the science of 1950, like Martin Gardner, high priest of the Materialist Church.

To those with really open minds, Keel is bracing, provocative and even amusing.

 

That Old Black Magick

That Old Black Magick

by Robert Anton Wilson

from New Libertarian, April 10, 1977 

Say the magick word and the duck will come down and pay you S100.     -Marx

In NLW 65, Phil Osborn raises some objections to Bonnie Kaplan’s article “Libertarian Magick” (NLW 55). While I am quite sure Kaplan can defend herself, and probably will, I can’t resist homing in on the debate myself.

Osborn objects to Kaplan’s remark, “And like technicians, magicians do not completely understand why what they do works, but they know it often does.” In what follows, I will give Osborn’s objections and my comments in the form of a dialogue.

Osborn: Oh, really?

Wilson: Yes, really. Some technicians may think they know why what they do works, but this is due to their defective education. If they questioned a physi­cist about the assumed entities with which they are dealing, they would soon find themselves adrift in an aggravated agnosticism as far from Objectivist dogma as anything in Cab­ala or Tantra is. For instance, Bell’s Theorem (1964) quite adamantly de­monstrates that, if quantum mech­anics is true, then we must surrender either objectivity or Einstein’s speed-of-light barrier or, quite possibly, both. Since nobody can imagine a physics without quantum mechanics, or without objectivity, or without the speed-of-light barrier, physicists are in a much worse ontological quandary than mere magicians. And yet the technology based on this physics works.

Osborn: How do they know it does? (I.e., how do magicians know magick works?)

Wilson: In the stupidest way possible, by sheer empiricism. This, of course, was the only way anybody knew any­thing (although philosophers had a lot of opinions) before the Revolution of the 17th Century, in which modern science was forged by synergetically combining such primitive empiricism with mathematical-logical method.

The great magicians of that epoch – Paracelsus, Dr. John Dee, Giordana Bruno – were pioneers in this syner­getic wedding of empiricism with mathematics, and offered the best scientific models of how magick works that anybody could produce in that era. Those models are now out of date and magicians are looking for better ones. Meanwhile, empirically, magick continues to work, whether we have a good theory for it or not.

Osborn: By observing results? Well, then, which results are tied to which causes? If the magician can prove that connection, then he does in fact understand why it works.

Wilson: Ah, my friend, if only it were that simple. In fact, it is quite possible “to build several models, in modern physics and parapsychology, which will each explain the pheno­mena of magick, some causally and some acausally. The Physics/Con­sciousness Research Group, headed by Dr. Jack Sarfatti, had six good models the last time I heard from them. I provide a run-down on each of these models and four others from related disciplines in my new book, Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati. The trouble is that, at this point, there is no valid reason to prefer any of these models to any of the others.

There are even reasons to believe (as suggested by Nobel laureate Nils Bohr and Dr. Sarfatti, among others) that the search for One True Model is medieval and obsolete. We may find it much more profitable intellectually to accept a minimum of two models, and a maximum of n, as the best way of describing the universe, mind includ­ed.

Osborn: A more serious error is contained implicitly in the whole arti­cle and specifically in the paragraph beginning “Magick is rational. . .” It is not rational to postulate the existence or non-existence of something just because the universe or any part of it would seem more livable that way. This is the essence of psychotic sub­jectivism.

Wilson: It is not rational, either, to write about a subject you do not understand. Magick does not postulate the existence of any entities (except the mind of the experimenter, and even that is called into question by some of the more advanced experi­ments).

As Crowley writes in Magick, “In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth, and the Paths, of Spirits and Conjura­tions, of Gods, Spheres, Planes and many other things which mayor may not exist. It is immaterial whether they exist or not. By doing certain things, certain results follow; the student is most earnestly warned against attri­buting objective reality or philosophic­al validity to any of them.”

This may seem like “psychotic sub­jectivism” to Osborn, but it is merely the intelligent agnosticism of one who has done research in a very puzzling area; just as the similar agnosticism in modern physics seems like psychotic subjectivism, or worse, to poor old Rand, but is merely the intelligent response to puzzling experimental results.

All of this is probably rather annoying to Osborn and amusing to Kaplan, but in my usual perverse fashion I would like to conclude by saying that I emphatically agree with Osborn’s judgment that few magicians are rational beings. I would go further and say, with Brad Steiger, that “the lunatic asylums are full of people who set out optimistically to study the occult.”

Crowley used to warn that nobody should study magick until they could pass an examination on Comparative Philosophy (Ancient and Modern, Eastern and Western), perform cred­ibly in athletics, master the elements of yoga (asana, pranayama, dharana), conduct scientific experiments accu­rately and carefully, face death bravely, and possess a general knowledge of mathematics and the physical sciences. After what I have seen of the occult revival in the last ten years, I would add a few more qualifications to Crowley’s list – e.g., the student should also be able to balance a budget, raise a family, program a computer and write any argument in the mathe­matics of sets.

If your mind can be blown, if you are at all subject to anxiety or hysteria, magick is the quickest path to psychoses.

Like Chogo Ri, magick is only worth the heroic efforts it requires because of the rewards it gives to the survivors. To quote Crowley again (and remem­ber that he climbed higher on Chogo Ri in 1901 than any expedition before or since), “Man is only a little lower than the angels and happiness is not so far beyond him as is apt to be thought by those who do not climb mountains.” The mountain of magick is the most dangerous, and the most rewarding, of all.

However magick works, it does keep you high; that’s why folk-art, quite accurately, portrays wizards as having inscrutable smiles and witches as laughing like a gang of potheads who’ve just been sampling the latest shipment of Columbian Gold. On a planet that seems to consist 99.9999% of depressives and paranoids, staying high is no small accomplishment.

Those who want to pursue this subject further can find some of the best theories about how magick works in Programming and Metaprogramming the Human Biocomputer, by Dr. John Lilly, Exo-Psychology, by Dr. Timothy Leary, and Space-Time and Beyond by Bob Toben and Dr. Jack Sarfatti.

-Robert Anton Wilson

A MELANGE-A-TROIS OR MORE

Science Fiction Review #19“A Melange-a-Trois or More”

What Does Woman Want?
By Timothy Leri

Reviewed By Robert Anton Wilson

from Science Fiction Review, No. 19, 1976

This book is presented as a manuscript which fell through a space-time warp from the Vidalian solar system in 2575. Timothy Leri, the author, is, in some sense, Timothy Leary, the Harvard psychologist, LSD researcher, counter-culture guru, international fugitive, etc. Timothy Leri is also a galactic agent assigned to a primitive and barbaric planet, Sol-3, with the assignment of mutating it from mammalian (emotional) consciousness to objective intelligence.

The work itself seems to be composed by Leri, not Leary, but has been edited and commented upon by various interstellar critics and scholars. Some passages are obviously incorporated by mistake (or by the conscious fraud and counterfeiting of texts that bedevils all scholarly attempts to reconstruct events in barbaric periods.

Timofiev, the “acid assassin” hunted by the Soviet secret police, is probably such a forgery. — unless Leri is the forgery and Timofiev is the real origin of this myth cycle. Then, again, according to other chapters, the real man behind the mythology may have been a baseball player having a bad ses­sion and being booed by the fans who once cheered him on…

Erudite readers will soon notice another set of problems beyond these obvious historical confusions. Leri, whoever he is, has become blended over the centuries with Dante, James Joyce and Julian the Apostate. (One of the most ‘dramatic verses attributed to him, “Midway through our Life’s life, I awoke on a dark planet,” is palpably a distortion of Dante…) It is even possible that the conspiracy which attempts to destroy him (i.e. either the MW or the infamous Nixon-Liddy Gang) is itself a fiction, modeled on Egyptian demonology or William S. Burroughs’ Nova Mob.

Behind this web of surface ambiguity (a deadly parody of academic scholarship), Leri’s story is, mercifully, straightforward, comic, and highly erotic. Commodore Leri, who may be an alias for Captain James Kirk of the S.S. ENTERPRISE, arrives in Switzerland pursued by more conspiracies than the bedeviled heroes of ILLUMINATUS!

An ambiguous anti-semitic millionaire offers to help him, a professional “information broker” (who sells state secrets of all sorts to the highest bidder) also appears as an ally, and a mysterious and bewitching creature, Joanna (raised by her step-father to be the most intelligent woman on Terra), is also helping him — or perhaps spying on him for the Vatican. It is also possible that all these allies are actually planning to betray him. In short, the context is, as Leri himself observes, “normal mammalian politics.”

In this melodramatic Spy Thriller ambience (which may be an actual description of the actual adventures of a real scientific dissident in our own time), Leri, like Captain Kirk, attempts to be courteous, kindly, and helpful in his dealings with the primitives. Nonetheless, the primate taboo-system is everywhere, and be finds him-self imprisoned in 29 separate jails and exploited by scores of lawyers who strip him of the local sacrament (“money”).

“The reason Kirk always gets out of jail in 58 minutes,” he reflects, “is that he’s always a million lightyears from the nearest lawyer.”

Then another interstellar voyager appears, an enigmatic UFO perhaps modeled on Celtic mythology or the Book of Job, maybe staffed by extra-terrestrial Lesbians (or, at least, that’s what the Male Supremicist underground claims.) The UFO announces that all Terran life will be exterminated unless humanity can demonstrate objective intelligence by answering a simple “neurogenetic” test-question which measures evolutionary sophistica­tion. Alas, it is the very ques­tion which Freud himself admitted psychology alone can’t answer, the title question of the book, WHAT DOES WOMAN WANT?

It would be unfair to reveal any more of the suspenseful and surrealistic plot. It is enough to say that, mingled with the major theme of humanity’s search for an answer to the UFO riddle, we are also given (a) a coolly scientific analysis of the real “Timothy Leary’s” erotic history from adolescense through LSD and Tantra to the “alchemical mating” with the bewitching and mysterious Joanna, (b) bland instructions on how to brainwash a whole country with LSD, (c) a decoding of the evolutionary allegory hidden in the Tarot cards, (d) a series of shocking revelations about political and psychedelic conspiracies of the past two decades, (e) a whole new philosophy of sex, more radical than anything in Brown, Marcuse, Reich or Masters-Johnson, (f) the most brilliant satire on human chauvinism since Swift, (g) the answer to the title question, and (h) more— much more…

The last time I visited the imprisoned felon who created (or, as he says, “transcieved” this galactic allegory, I told him, “In this day of Women’s Liberation, no other male psychologist would dare to claim he knew the answer to WHAT DOES WOMAN WANT?” He flashed that world-famous Grin, which shows Cosmic Humor according to his admirers and Permanent Brain Damage . according to his critics. “Well,” he said gently, “other psychologists haven’t had as much experience with women as I have.”

There you have him in a nut-shell. Everything he does is hilarious, provocative, infuriating, dazzling original and sure to keep his fellow scientists arguing for a decade at least. WHAT DOES WOMAN WANT? is all of that, to the nth power.

Oh, yes, it also begins his outline of how humanity can double its IQ, triple its life-span and achieve space migration in this generation in this generation. That is to be continued in his next book, EXO-PSYCHOLOGY.

Neurologic, Immortality & All That

Neurologic, Immortality & All That

by Robert Anton Wilson

 from Green Egg, Vol. VIII, No 72
Lughnasad, August 1, 1975

Ritual is to the internal sciences what experiment is to the external sciences.   – Timothy Leary PhD

Self-denial is simply the self-expres­sion of self-denying people… Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Or, as Mr. Shaw himself says, the golden rule is that there is no golden rule.   – Aleister Crowley, Gospel According to St. Bernard Shaw 

What is John Guilt?   – Atlanta Hope, Telemaahus Sneezed

Valerie Twilight’s letter in Green Egg VII, 71, raises so many interesting points that the only responsive and responsible an­swer is a new article, not another letter.

Ms. Twilight has some trouble understand­ing the published version of Neurologic; this is not surprising, since Dr. Leary wrote this essay in a hurry, with no re­search sources available, on the floor of a solitary confinement cell, under a 40-watt bulb. A longer (400-page) and much more popularized version of Neurologic was fin­ished shortly before Dr. Leary disappeared last year, but it, alas, disappeared along with him. (If a great scientist had similarly disappeared in Russia, and his greatest book along with him, the liberals would be having the fits, the shits, and the blind staggers about it; but, since it happened in the US, we can be sure that Dr. Leary is cooperating voluntarily with his captors, of course. Of course, of course, of course.)

To Ms. Twilight’s questions:

There are many ways in which the higher circuits can be activated and imprinted. Along with metaprogramming substances such as LSD or peyote, Dr. Leary has discussed (a) certain stressful illnesses, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy, (b) narrow escapes from death, and (c) the empirical techniques developed by shamans and yogis over the past 30,000 years. Judging from anthropological literature, the most widespread device has been the combination of metaprogramming chemicals with (b) narrow escape from death (or some pretense of such narrow escape) to frighten the student into the neural surrender-ecstasy of the death-trip.

The second most common method appears to be deliberate “starving out” or atrophying of the first four circuits. Patanjali’s systemization of yoga, two milleniums ago, had already simplified this to the basic steps of (1) asana the rigid posture which turns off the First Circuit (bio-survival forward-back movement) by ignoring it; (2) pranayama, regulated breathing, which turns off the Second Circuit (emotional domination -submission rituals) by stabilizing the emotional bio-energy; (3) dharana, concentration on one image (or mantra, concentration on one sound) which starves out the Third Circuit (symbolic consciousness, or the “internal monologue”); and (4) yama-niyama, or detachment and celibacy, which starves out the Fourth Circuit (sex-domesticity) by simply dropping out of the reproductive cycle. (An alternative to (4) is Tantra, which mutates the sex-energy directly into higher-circuit energy by what Dr. Leary calls “the delicate Hedonic Engineering” of postponed orgasm.) When the energy of the bioplasm is thus withdrawn from the first four circuits, it has nowhere to go but into the higher circuits.

It is not true, incidentally, that metaprogramming chemicals only turn on the higher circuits temporarily. The actual process seems to follow the equation (written by me, but accepted as a sound expression of his ideas by Dr. Leary):

Bn = Bo + Pn + S

where Bn is new behavior (including new con­sciousness, or new intelligence), Bo is old behavior, Pn is a new program and S is SHOCK in the Gurdjieffian sense, which in the case of metaprogramming chemicals is the chemical itself (and in other cases is the fright or near-death experience used in initiations of most shamanic schools). The most effective new program (Pn) is a ritual, or dramatic performance, which involves the entire neuro-glandular-muscular etc. systems, i.e. the organism-as-a-whole. (The rejection of rit­ual in modern psychotherapy is the chief cause of the ineffectiveness of said therapy. This avoidance represents, in semantic terms, confusing the map with the territory. That is, the “map”–the language–in which ritual has been traditionally discussed is “pre-scientific,” and therefore, modern psycho­therapists, trying to be very “scientific,” have phobically avoided the territory, the rituals themselves.)

An equally effective Pn is the chakra system of Sufism and kundalini yoga, which can be considered an internal ritual. Since there is not so much semantic phobia invol­ved here, many schools of modern psychother­apy have created rough approximations of this ancient science, e.g. Reichian bio-en­ergetic therapies, Gestaltism, Rolfing, etc… When the SHOCK of the metaprogramming chemical is not accompanied by any conscious­ly-chosen P– i.e. when the subject is just “tripping” for the sheer hell of it – the environmental set, whatever it is, provides an unintentional Pn. Lack of understanding of this point has given the metaprogramming chemicals an inaccurate reputation for “un­predictability.” Intelligently used, they are more predictable than any other behavior-modifying technology of the past 30,000 years; which is why so many shamans have used them.

Turning now to the question of immortal­ity, it is of course true that Circuit 4 (sex-reproduction) already provides basic genetic immortality. (The first 3 circuits have to do with survival in space; circuit 4 transmits the genetic code through time. This is why Nobel Prize geneticist Herbert Muller once joked, quite profoundly, that we are giant robots created by DNA to make more DNA.) On Circuit 7, basic neurogenetic con­sciousness, we tap directly into the DNA-RNA dialogue and experience that 3½-billion year old genetic mind which is the meaning of Pan, Brahma, the World Spirit, etc. This “collective memory” is the origin of the reincar­nation metaphor, probably.

The new immortality, or immortality2, becoming rapidly available in the next 10-15 years as genetic engineering advances, will confront each human with the option of new 8-circuit survival as an entity (for the first time in history). Many, like Ms. Twi­light, will undoubtedly choose the tradition­al path. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Evolution proceeds, always, through diversity, not through uniformity. The point is that, when this choice and the oth­er options of genetic engineering become available, humanity will cease to exist as an entity. There will be several human stocks, one of which will almost certainly choose the Maximum Trip, i.e. total reprogramming for higher intelligence, greater emotional equilibrium, continuous high-circuit ecstasy, immortality, eternal youth and beauty, cos­mic exploration, and (probably) eventual Circuit 8 fusion into the (hypothesized) Galactic Mind, made up of all races, galaxy-wide, who have chosen the Maximum Trip and are evolving toward Perfection, i.e. Cosmic Godhood.

The three main human stocks, Dr. Leary predicts, will be the Maximum Trippers or time-travelers, as discussed above, and (2) the planetary colonists, who will evolve in various ways on various planets, all of them divergent from the Earth-norm, as local gra­vitational and other fields determine, and (3) the stay-at-homes, who will probably ev­olve toward some variety of insectoid socia­lism (since that is about the only way the oncoming world-round Technocracy can be man­aged).

More concretely and immediately, the on­coming biological revolution will provide options, for the first time in history, on whether or not to continue such phenomena as idiocy, imbecility, various chronic diseases, the general emotional plague and mental in­stability of larval humanity, ugliness, crippling, deformity, etc. Once again, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. The existence of the option does not mean that anybody must choose beauty and health and immortality etc.; those who really pref­er the old ways must have the freedom to retain personal ugliness and sickness and death, etc. Diversity is the path of evolution.

In terms of DT. Leary’s famous Two Commandments for the neurological age:

1. Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy neighbor without his or her consent.

2. Thou shalt not prevent thy neighbor from altering his or her own consciousness.

Like Dr. Leary, I personally prefer the Maximum Trip, i.e. serial reincarnation (through neural re-imprinting) within one time-traveling starship until eventual Cos­mic Fusion is reached. Again, like Or. Leary, I do not see any need to preach or harangue about the matter. The future evo­lution of humanity must be self-selecting. Those who are going to the stars, are going; those who are staying behind, are staying behind. The job of the neurologician is to make the options available, as quickly as possible, before the present Circuit 2 programs, as escalated and accelerated by tech­nology, wipe out humanity entirely.

Attachment to the Earth-womb is rein­forced on each of the first four circuits, where the bonds are made to mother or mother -substitute (Circuit 1 security), to father or father-substitute (Circuit 2 power), to tribal lore or academic regulations (Circuit 3 knowledge) and to one’s own family and offspring (Circuit 4 responsibility).

On the higher circuits, there are higher bonds. Specifically, the massive opening-activation of Circuit 5 rapture in the 1960s (the first historical occasion of millions of illuminations in one decade) partially misfired because the appropriate bond, to a Tantric partner, was imperfectly understood. (In the Tarot symbology, many remained Hanged Men and did not achieve the bonding of the Temperance-Art card’s alchemical fusion.)

Circuit 6, being increasingly activated in the 1970s, is the shamanic circuit  per se, and coded into the Tarot by the cards known as The Devil, The Tower, and The Star. That is, the opening of the circuit (Devil card) is the initial awareness of alien intelli­gences above and (in a sense) within us, ac­tivating every possible paranoia (cf. Colin Wilson’s Mind Parasites); the brain or Ges­talt of the circuit (Tower card) totally fissions and wipes out existing terracentric imprints (classic Samadhi); and the ultimate bonding (Star card) is when the alien pres­ences are recognized as our Galactic Par­ents who have secretly loved and nurtured us all along.

Dr. Jacques Vallee’s new book, The In­visible College, suggests (on the basis of data obtained by feeding UFO contactee stor­ies and traditional religious visions into computers and comparing the two) that Circ­uit 6 awareness always contains the Devil archetype at first, i.e. the fear of the un­known Superior Mind, the dread of “possess­ion,” etc. It is this aspect of the oncoming Gestalt (not neural re-imprinting, gene­tic engineering for immortality and ecstasy, or starflight itself) which will cause the most terror, paranoia, flip-outs and “cont­roversy.” The ruling classes, in particular; cannot constitutionally accept Powers and Intelligences higher than themselves without acute schizoid fugue.

Most people, however, are part of one ruling class or another. That is, they act as authoritarians to those “below” them, even while they act as submissive robots to those “above” them. The opening of the 6th Circuit will, therefore, cause even more panic than the opening of the 5th circuit in the 1960s. This is why it is important for those who understand, more or less, what is happening in genetics, neurology, molecular biology, parapsychology, etc. to communicate as much as possible about this transforma­tion from terrestrial mortality to cosmic immortality. To repeat: it is not necess­ary to preach, since the process remains self-selecting, but it is necessary to explain. The average larval human can only relate to Higher Intelligence with terror, as in the archetypes of the Elders of Zion, Illuminati, Secret Chiefs, invaders-from Mars, etc. The recognition that Higher In­telligence is continually active on this planet will blow many fuses before most hu­mans can see these entities as, in Don Juan’s phrase, “allies.”

In fact, the chief reason that Dr. Leary has been jailed, gagged and held incommuni­cado is that the local authorities under­stand his ideas just well enough to feel threatened, not well enough to accept that the Next Step in evolution (as Crowley and the Sufis call it) is as inevitable, and as self-selecting, as all the previous steps.

Finally, to answer a question Ms. Twi­light didn’t ask, how fast is this metamor­phosis happening? Well, C.P. Snow has said that the biological revolution of this decade will be more profound than the revolu­tion in physics in the decade of Hiroshima (1940s). Rattray Taylor’s Biological Time Bomb predicts that changes more basic than the invention of fire or the wheel will occur by 1980. The foremost molecular biolo­gist known to me is about to unleash a re­port on his latest research, about the same time this article will appear in print, that vastly exceeds the “wildly optimistic” fore­cast given by Leary and Benner in Terra II (1973). Nobody reading this sentence must die; you will have the choice. All the work of Timothy Leary personally, and of myself and my associates in the DNA Society collectively, amounts to no more than pro­viding a scientific-mythic scenario to give depth and context to your decision. As the Christians have been saying (prematurely) for 2000 years, the question of where to spend eternity is in your hands.