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Neuropolitique Paperback – January 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
Timothy Leary, Ph.D. has been a world-renowned psychologist, a defrocked Harvard professor, a relentless champion of brain change, a reputed drug guru, a stand-up philosopher, and a prisoner of the Nixon administration. He has been called 'the most dangerous man on the planet.'
While in prison, at times in solitary confinement, he wrote the first version of this book. ("I must confess that at that time I was alienated, a bit daft and given to occasional fits of irritation. So color the first version of this book indigo--as in Jail House Blues.") Now revised and updated, Neuropolitique presents some of Dr. Learys best ideas, his reflections on the past and his hope for the future.
From the Introduction:
"...the performing philosopher does not come down the mountain with truths carved in stone. He/she comes to bat several times a day, trying to whack out a conceptual hit. In baseball, a batter who gets one hit out of three will usually lead the league. A thought-inventor is voted into the Hall of Fame or wins the coveted MVP (Most Valuable Philosopher) award on the basis of batting average over the years. In this book, for example, one-third of the ideas are kinda silly, one-third are kinda boring. But one-third are home runs. When they enter your brains they can impregnate, fuse with your other thoughts and create software for programming your life."
About the Author
Timothy Leary, Ph.D., was a respected Harvard psychology professor who became a guru for hundreds of thousands of people, espousing the use of the powerful hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering drugs as a means of brain change. After he was forced out of academia, Leary became associated with many of the great names of the time, including Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Charlie Mingus. In the mid-1960s his fame grew to international proportions. He was targeted as "the most dangerous man in the world" by the U.S. government and given a 10-year sentence for possession of marijuana. After he was released from prison, he continued to advocate brain-change through various means, including computer software. He acted in a number of movies, and was well-regarded as a stand-up comedian/philosopher. He died of cancer in 1996.
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The one thing I wish he addressed more is the path to change (personal, political, and social) instead of just addressing the mechanics of realizing that we need to change. But other than that it's a very interesting read with a couple of horrid short sci-fiish stories tucked between the better essays.
Also the self analyzation of his short conversation with Charles Manson when he was an inmate and his description of the eight circuit brain model are both fascinating.
I felt inspired by the madness and joy of Leary's experiences!