“You cannot use butterfly language to communicate with caterpillars.”
Psychologist and author Timothy Leary was born on this day in 1920. Popularly, he’s known as the guy who promoted LSD use in the 1960s (“Turn on, tune in, drop out”)—but he was far more than that. He was a futurist, an esotericist, a humorist.
Note: This essay was originally written on December 3, 2017
I’ve been asked with increasing regularity what is wrong with the world, and here is what I think it is at the very core:
We have a crisis of evolution.
Since the very dawn of humankind, there have always been one or two people in the Tribe who seem, inexplicably, to possess a different view than the others. An expanded view.
Here’s a story that I’ve been thinking about lately, something that happened to me about…20 years ago. Nothing gory or spectacular, just a subtle thing. A conversation I had with a former boss, something that most people would have forgotten. I still think about the implications of that conversation.
This particular boss seemed like a pretty amiable sort of person. Younger Baby Boomer, very creative, middle-class upbringing, had a family of his own, and shared many of the same common cultural touchstones as our peers.
One day we were talking, and I said something like, “you have to do something that feels right for your soul.” Well, this apparently stopped the conversation dead—he just stopped and looked at me with confusion and disgust. “What did you say?”
So, here are some interesting bits and pieces, if this is something that appeals to you,
(originally published April 5, 2019)
A tremendous amount of conspiracy lore focuses on the idea that there is an inhuman cabal of evil who has plotted since the dawn of time to overthrow good Christians everywhere. It’s not always Christians placed in the metaphorical lions den here…but it’s often Christians, or some other very traditional and conservative culture.
In this cosmology, human beings are the very pinnacle of God’s creation here on Earth, the end-point in a divine plan. There is no creature on earth as important or developed than man.
If you have lived as long as I have, you’ve seen a number of information storage systems come and go: vinyl records, audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, the Cloud, and vinyl records. Their utility has varied, in terms of durability, storage size, bandwidth, and so on. But science is now perfecting what might be the ultimate form of data storage…
Humans are largely driven by a combination of primal animal instincts and emotional neediness; the latter is also a primal animal instinct, to be sure, but one derived much more from infant helplessness than the need to reproduce.
“We are all giants, raised by pygmies, who have learned to walk with a perpetual mental crouch. Unleashing our full stature—our total brain power—is what this book is all about.”
—Robert Anton Wilson
I ran into Prometheus Rising and its author Robert Anton Wilson during a time in my life when I was trying to figure out why some people were assholes to other people. In my naïveté, I sought “granular” reasons for humanity’s inhumanity to others, training my magnifying glass on specific ideological and political issues. But these explanations were unsatisfying—and ultimately led down relativistic and semantic rabbit-holes.
There had to be a more basic reason. And there was.
Here are some bits to help navigate you:
We are, obviously, in a highly transitional time. To still cling to the old ways when this is all over is to be attached to a rapidly sinking ship.
“The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental.”
—Robert Anton Wilson
I first read Robert Anton Wilson’s The Cosmic Trigger in 2009. It was a period in my life where I encountered, for the first time, a number of related thinkers & their ideas—including Timothy Leary & his “8-Circuit Model Of Consciousness,” Philip K. Dick & the concept of “VALIS,” and Terence McKenna’s notion (via J. B. S. Haldane) that reality might be far weirder than we can possibly conceive of.