THE SCIENTIST: A Novel Autobiography by

THE SCIENTIST: A Novel Autobiography

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Wow. ""Novel"" is a well-deserved adjective in the subtitle. And for a man whose self-perspective is passionately serious, a remarkably objective adjective: you can read this life account as novel (new, unusual) or novel (science fiction). Dull it is not. Lilly is a good reporter and packs the events of six decades into tightly compressed chapters. Early on, these take the form of psychoanalytic sessions unfoldlng dreams and childhood memories, usually told in the third person. Later, there are psychic adventures under LSD or a mysterious disorienting drug called ""K,"" often injected while Lilly floated in an isolation tank of warm water. (Disturbing paranoia, near-death mishaps, and involuntary hospital commitments occurred throughout these experiments, usually when Lilly took the drug outside the tank.) The thread running through the life history (and tipped in the analytic sessions) is Lilly's inability to communicate with fellow human beings. He reports his fury at being weaned (at three) when mother produced another baby; he says he then cut her off emotionally forever. Then there was the stern father, the Catholic upbringing. Amid wealth and privilege--sin, despair, isolation. So perhaps it is not surprising that dolphins and whales became the focus for communication and drugs the medium and springboard for the commerce with the extraterrestrial Beings who later direct his life. (They, in consort with still higher hierarchies, may choose to let Earth be the plaything of a super Solid State Entity [SSE] which will gradually supplant mankind. However, if Man wakes up to the situation, cooperates with the Beings, learns from the cetacea, and programs his computer hard- and software appropriately, water-based life forms may be saved.) To repeat, never a dull moment in the life of a scientist, who, say what you will about the current state of his drug/brain/fantasy, has in the past enjoyed the respect of his colleagues.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1978
Publisher: Lippincott