Timothy Leary is best known for his role as the poster boy of the 1960’s counterculture revolution.
It was Leary who advised the world to “turn on, tune in, drop out”. Most people don’t know the side of Leary that was a writer, psychologist, futurist, and pioneer. Interestingly enough, he is also the first person to have their remains sent to outer space, where he is probably more comfortable than he ever was on earth. Leary was one of the most revolutionary minds of his time, and his insights carry just as much wisdom today, some 20 years after his death.
One of my favorite things I’ve ever read was when Timothy Leary wrote:
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”
Here are 11 more of Timothy Leary’s greatest quotes:
“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”
“Intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac”
“The level of intelligence has been tremendously increased, because people are thinking and communicating in terms of screens, and not in lettered books. Much of the real action is taking place in what is called cyberspace. People have learned how to boot up, activate, and transmit their brains.
Essentially, there’s a universe inside your brain. The number of connections possible inside your brain is limitless. And as people have learned to have more managerial and direct creative access to their brains, they have also developed matrices or networks of people that communicate electronically. There are direct brain/computer link-ups. You can just jack yourself in and pilot your brain around in cyberspace-electronic space.”
“Think for yourself. Question authority.”
“You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind”
“Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.”
“LSD is a psychedelic drug which occasionally causes psychotic behavior in people who have NOT taken it.”
“And a new philosophy emerged called quantum physics, which suggest that the individual’s function is to inform and be informed. You really exist only when you’re in a field sharing and exchanging information. You create the realities you inhabit.”
“In the information-communication civilization of the 21st Century, creativity and mental excellence will become the ethical norm. The world will be too dynamic, complex, and diversified, too cross-linked by the global immediacies of modern (quantum) communication, for stability of thought or dependability of behaviour to be successful.”
“The universe is an intelligence test.”
“If you listen to neurologists and psychiatrists, you’d never fall in love.”