Friday, May 14, 2021
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Timothy Leary: High Priest

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Author: Timothy Leary
Title: High Priest
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Ronin Publishing (CA)
Rated: * * * * *

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High Priest chronicles various psychedelic trips taken by individuals in the 1960's before the drug was made illegal. Timothy Leary, who's concepts resurfaced in the late 80's to mid 90's when CyberPunk was the rage, believes the drug to be useful as a religious sacrament in that it can readily bring an individual closer to an enlightened consciousness especially if used under the right conditions. He also states that any sacrament eventually loses it's potency should it become too commonplace. It's interesting to read how Harvard scholars began studying drugs like LSD and psilocybin and took their own subconscious journeys into the inner mind and were revealed the wisdom of the ancient shamans and mystics. I've always believed that the right minds in the right setting would find these chemicals useful for such experiences. Anyone who has experience with any psychedelics will readily understand the writer's descriptions of conscious perspectives though they may be confusing, misunderstood or nonsensical to one who has no experience with it. Cellular, DNA memory is encoded in each and every one of us and experiences with this can be either elevating or horrifying depending on your current state. One of the things I find frustrating about this book is that when one begins to see the history of psychedelics in the United States one readily begins to see that not only has the government banned these drugs as illegal they have taken them in their own possession to perform their own experiments hidden from the public and I can tell you from personal experience that this is true. However, if you are in doubt you can read about government mind control experiments and easily see the correlation although myself personally I did not see them in connection to those particular experiments as this was before my time in the military. Some conspiracy theories are true! Once of the most interesting chronicles in this text is the experiment performed Marsh Chapel on Good Friday. The drug was given to some people and not others and the results when in a religious setting are very interesting especially when one considers that those who took the 'sacrament' had profound experiences they had been seeking on their religious path while those who did not take it did not have experiences. Even more interesting is that these positive results ended with a ban on the experiments. The experiments with prison inmates were a bit less impressive. A perspective which Timothy states in his book is one that has always been strongly held at RhythmUS Network and that is, "...every expression of American society-however secular, materialistic, scientific, or agnostic it may appear-is based on deeply held unconscious religious assumptions. America is an immature, irrational, superstitious, materialistic, priest-ridden, intolerant religious state." I would go further to replace the word 'religious' with 'spiritual' and 'America' with 'The World'. Turn-On, Tune-In, Drop-Out: Start Your Own Religion Drop-Out--detach yourself from the external social drama which is as dehydrated and ersatz as TV. Turn-On--Find a sacrament which returns you to the temple of God, your own body. Go out of your mind. Get high. Tune-In--Be reborn. Drop-back-in to express it. Start a new sequence of behavior that reflects your vision. I think this successfully summarizes what we have all heard from Leary in the past. Personally, I believe that psychedelics that are not dangerous like LSD and psilocybin (also found in mushrooms), mescalin (also found in cactus and used by Native Americans) should be legalized and not withheld from the public. We should have the right to Turn-On if we wish, especially in the privacy of our own home or in our churches or spiritual circles. Above all else the Two Commandments for the Molecular Age as proposed by Leary should be followed. 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. What right does government have to keep this from us? If you look at all the evidence you will easily see that the US government created the drug problem which gave us the War on Drugs. While I admit that drugs like heroine and cocaine are extremely harmful I see no wrong is a moderate use of psychedelics especially when used for the purpose of 'expanding' ones conscious awareness. As you can easily see this book brings up many controversial topics relating to the subjects of drugs, religion, consciousness, government regulation, etc. I don't believe everything Leary says and I think that his idea of religious cults is misleading and could easily create harmful circumstances. Of course we have people like Charles Manson, Jim Jones and David Koresh for much of the American negative view toward religious cults and I think that Leary did not foresee such individuals and events being possible because he has a more blindedly positive view towards humans in general than I or most of us would take. However, there is much in the research conducted by himself and others regarding drugs like LSD which I think people should read, learn from and open their minds to as much could be learned about our existence and purpose as humans in general.

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