Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Timothy Leary 3/3 - Lucas Pennington

 Other Experiments and Later Life

  Leary claimed that, in the right dose, setting, and guidance, psychedelics could alter behavior that benefits individuals more than regular therapy. A lot of his research was centered on reforming criminals and treating alcohol abuse. Most of his research subjects reported profound spiritual experiences that left a positive impact on their lives. According to Leary's autobiography Flashbacks, 300 professors, graduate students, writers, and philosophers had taken LSD, and 75% reported it as “one of the most educational and revealing experiences of their lives”.

            The Concord Prison Experiment was conducted to analyze the effects of psilocybin combined with psychotherapy on rehabilitation of released prisoners after being guided through the psychedelic experiences. Generally, the average recidivism rate was 60% for American prisoners. After the project, the recidivism rate for the prisoners who participated went down to 20%. Thirty-six prisoners reported to have sworn to give up future criminal activity. Leary concluded that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy effectively resulted in a reduction in criminal recidivism rates.

            Leary’s life consisted of scientific research, psychedelic exploration, and government oppression. Leary died of prostate cancer in 1996, but before he did, he left his mark on many philosophical doings. He was an early influence on Transactional Analysis, which is psychoanalytic therapy wherein social transactions are analyzed to determine the ego state of the patient as a basis for understanding behavior. Also, while in prison, he developed a futurist philosophy known as S.M.I.²L.E. - Space Migration, Increased Intelligence, Life Extension. These ideas developed out of Leary’s life-long interest in the evolution of humanity away from our primal roots.



1 comment:

  1. "75% reported it as “one of the most educational and revealing experiences of their lives”-

    But what % could actually SAY what had been revealed to them? Considerably less than 75%, I'm guessing. Reminds me of WJ's nitrous oxide/Hegel encounter: profound but transient feelings, untranslatable into coherent thought and action.

    Anyway, it's nice to think of Tim (or what's left of him) out there circling around in space, where apparently he always wanted to be!