“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.
I’ve had an interesting…meditation on this topic last night. For some context, I’m an avid reader about innovations in, and the future of, space exploration—though you know, certainly not an expert. I’ve always been fascinated by Timothy Leary’s belief regarding humanity’s destiny being in the stars, “Starseed.”
In his book Musings On Human Metamorphosis, Leary writes:
“Migration is nature’s classic solution to overpopulation, scarcity, and competition. When humanity begins to work for extraterrestrial migration, the competition for material acquisition will gradually diminish because unlimited space, energy, and resources await in the solar system.”
And I have…until yesterday night…really agreed with Leary on this point.
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…
“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.
“The Space Seed” is the original Star Trek episode that introduced the famous character Khan Noonien Singh—a genetic “superman” from the 20th Century who is suddenly awakened in the “future.” It is the 23rd episode of the first season, of which I’ve previously looked at “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and “Charlie X.”
In particular, one must be diplomatic in discussing the future evolution of the human species. Larval humans naturally believe that evolution has already reached its highest stage with homo sapiens!
–Timothy Leary, “The Post-Larval Must Be Very Cautious in Communicating with Larval Humans”
A popular trope in the original 1960s Star Trek is that of the “ordinary” person receiving the powers of a god. When we learn that the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, was involved in stuff like the channelling of the so-called “Council of Nine”…well, it’s not that big a surprise that this is the trope he chose to go back to over and over again.
“The Higher Intelligence scanning these developments from the high perspective of time sends a signal.”
–Timothy Leary, “Starseed”
I first encountered the concept of the “Starseed Transmissions” in the book Cosmic Trigger I by Robert Anton Wilson. Before then, I was very aware of Tim Leary as a type of “reality” celebrity—basically, the guy who encouraged the hippies to take LSD. But then I learned he also claimed to have channeled an “alien transmission” while in prison:
“A single ego is an incredibly narrow view from which to perceive the universe.”
—Robert Anton Wilson
I am finding more and more that when referring to Reality I add a lower-case “r” and quotation marks: “reality.”
“Thus we may stand at the threshold of discoveries…which may require a literal evolution of our species—and this may indeed be taking place. Thus even to know this hyper-structure is to cease to be human, and yet such knowledge—not faith, not revelations, but the utilization of pure intellect—is possible. I argue, then, that man as a species may be coming to an end, subsumed into a higher level of organizational complexity; and a new species may be evolving out of him. I argue, finally, that the hyper-structure is to some degree actively involved in promoting this, since it is an evolutionary process in which it is involved.”
—Philip K. Dick, “Exegesis”
A very weird thing began to happen in the early-to-mid 1970s—a number of people were apparently “channeling” very similar information, from entities variously claiming to be aliens, God, and beyond. These people, from different backgrounds and fields, would end up basically forming an interconnecting web of High Weirdness that would impact popular-culture to the present day.
[Arcanium is a stream-of-consciousness feature that may-or-may-not have any meaning to you.]