Guest speakers: Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson
[NOTE: All of the following quotations are by Timothy Leary.]
“I don’t want to legalize drugs. It’s not the government’s business to legalize anything we do privately in our own homes. Are they going to legalize masturbation.”
“By far, the number one problem facing our species for the last 25,000 years has been the relentless, ruthless, perennial, almost invisible oppression of women and children by armed men. And it starts in the home.”
“The concept of a generation implies that young people are doing something different.”
“Each of these generations, my generation and the so-called hippie generation, we’re heroic. We were thrown into the future where there was no map, where there were no guidebooks.”
“Hippies, to be honest, were not very hip, compared to the beatniks.”
“The function of the 21st century is to learn how to operate our brains.”
“The human brain is designed to design realities.”
“You have to face the fact that people born between 1946 and 1964 are a new species.”
“The way evolution, as I understand it, works is DNA, biological intelligence, Gaia wisdom, egg intelligence does not like final forms. … You’ll see the word ‘adult’ is the past participle of the word ‘grow’. In other words, an adult is someone who has stopped growing, and it is also someone who has reached their final form. And if there is one thing you can say about evolution, she does not like final forms.”
“There really is an awesome epidemic of deliberate stupidity that is laid upon us by the media, by the press, by magazines and so forth. They simply do not raise any of the issues that challenge our interests or intelligence.”
[Quoting Abbie Hoffmann] “We may have been young, and we may have been silly, and we may have been idealistic, and we may have been too romantic, but god damn it, we were right!”
“I have one cause, and that’s the goal of the performing philosopher, is to encourage you, and inspire you, and empower you, to the extent I can, to Think for Yourself and Question Authority.”
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Comments from original blog page: http://www.matrixmasters.net/blogs/?p=1139
Is it just me, or does Leary’s god impression sound a bit like foghorn leghorn? ( or maybe colonel sanders ? )
Wow, what an exceptional talk. A few months ago I published a post in my Hebrew blog which dealt with the relations between Joyce, McLuhan and McKenna. Hearing this podcast certainly upgraded my thinking about how this all fits in a major way.
I think Terence might have been wrong on one thing though. In one place in the talk he states that McLuhan has not talked about psychedelics directly. However I’ve encountered more than few places where McLuhan refers to psychedelics, such as in his book The Medium is the Massage book (1967), as well as in his Playboy Interview.
Here is a part of what he had to say there:
McLuhan: Sexual freedom is as natural to newly tribalized youth as drugs.
PLAYBOY: What’s natural about drugs?
MCLUHAN: They’re natural means of smoothing cultural transitions, and also a short cut into the electric vortex. The upsurge in drug taking is intimately related to the impact of the electric media. Look at the metaphor for getting high: turning on. One turns on his consciousness through drugs just as he opens up all his senses to a total depth involvement by turning on the TV dial. Drug taking is stimulated by today’s pervasive environment of instant information, with its feedback mechanism of the inner trip. The inner trip is not the sole prerogative of the LSD traveler; it’s the universal experience of TV watchers. LSD is a way of miming the invisible electronic world; it releases a person from acquired verbal and visual habits and reactions, and gives the potential of instant and total involvement, both all-at-onceness and all-at-oneness, which are the basic needs of people translated by electric extensions of their central nervous systems out of the old rational, sequential value system. The attraction to hallucinogenic drugs is a means of achieving empathy with our penetrating electric environment, an environment that in itself is a drugless inner trip.
Drug taking is also a means of expressing rejection of the obsolescent mechanical world and values. And drugs often stimulate a fresh interest in artistic expression, which is primarily of the audile-tactile world. The hallucinogenic drugs, as chemical simulations of our electric environment, thus revive senses long atrophied by the overwhelmingly visual orientation of the mechanical culture. LSD and related hallucinogenic drugs, furthermore, breed a highly tribal and communally oriented subculture, so it’s understandable why the retribalized young take to drugs like a duck to water.
PLAYBOY: A Columbia coed was recently quoted in Newsweek as equating you and LSD. “LSD doesn’t mean anything until you consume it,” she said. “Likewise McLuhan.” Do you see any similarities?
MCLUHAN: I’m flattered to hear my work described as hallucinogenic, but I suspect that some of my academic critics find me a bad trip.
Later in the interview he admits to never having tried LSD himself. However, it might be a good idea to play a McLuhan talk on the Salon once. He seems highly pertinent to me.
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As a Zen Taoist Kriyaban Roman Catholic Christian Humanist I found nothing offensive in Leary’s comments. I enjoyed this Salon a lot. Loved the Finnegan’s Wake one as well. I feel sorry for RAW, Leary and all who don’t understand the mysteries within, mysteries that reveal themselves with very little research if you open your heart to them. The “Kingdom” of God is within. And it’s a metaphor for the 7 / 16 chakra energy centers, or more complexly, the 72000 nadi within the human body our easiest vehicle for experiencing God. The Shepard is the head. But only with an open heart will we receive the TRUTH that entheogens and sacred substances open to us all, the same truth, that is found AT THE ROOT of all the religions of the world: It’s all about LOVE. And at the root its about us loving, caring, and helping eachother. The deeper mystery is that we are all ONE. And my experience is the Alex Grey has visually captured THIS TRUTH in his Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors (cosm.org).
I think there are a number of Christian/Yogan paths that show this pretty well to. And even among my fundamentalist xtian acquaintances I know some who are totally loving and have touched this truth about love. For most, the fundamentalist type of xtainity is too confining, and apparently there are also similar feelings among ppl raised as Roman Catholics in non-Jesuit or non-open-mineded-Jesuit circles. The entheologically experienced Jesuits I know are loving, open, and understand the internal/external contradictions when parts of the Body of Christ don’t understand the Gospel of St. John. And leary’s riff on the Kindgom/Sheppard metaphor was FUN and hillarious and like most humor springs from a reframe. In this case of time and meme. The xtianity that is of today is rooted in a different time, so its metaphors are different than those we’d use today.
But things do change. I sit here sipping a coffee that was grown in Costa Rica by ppl I can talk/type to at the click of a button. I know human beings who make livings by loving and creating art; I also know humans who work as corporate servants in cubes or behind counters. The funny thing is those who are HAPPIEST all share one thing: a sense of love for themselves that the people around them. And those who are bitter, unhappy and stressed are those who dislike themselves and are always criticizing and critical of others.
Perhaps since I’ve been in both situations, I appreciate that instead of disliking those who haven’t experienced the beauty of the Christ consciousness within or the practical reality of magical and mystical experiences, that I feel love toward them and sympathy and sometimes, as in RAW’s case, pity for them. They were so smart, but their brains/minds prevented them from discovering what the heart could have shown. Similarly, yoga has shown me that my heart/head centeredness prevented me from discovering many awesome experience within the the rest of my body. There are amazing experiences to be had just by shifting your consciousness to different parts of the body.
The Doaist/Taoist idea of moving the consciousness to the big toe (while wearing sandals of course) is really a cool trip.
i too just listened to a McLuhan talk where he mentioned Timothy Leary.
he told a joke about flying to Canada to receive his LLD, [doctorate of divinity degree]
when he got off the plane he was asked if he KNEW Timothy Leary. he said yes. The police then said “where’s the LLD?” he said in his suitcase. they looked – and said “you were heard on the plane saying you flew to canada to get LLD, where is it?”
LOL… so it’s a dumb cop joke too – folks who confuse LLD and LSD