CHANGING MY MIND, AMONG OTHERS: Lifetime Writings by Timothy Leary

CHANGING MY MIND, AMONG OTHERS: Lifetime Writings

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book is a collection of scientific, scholarly, and political essays written over the last 33 years,"" says Timothy Leary in the introduction. And so we march from Ph.D. Berkeley days and an early drive to create a ""particle psychology,"" parallel to nuclear physics--down to the present, with Leafy writing in West Hollywood. Now the talk is of Scientific Humanism, the Gala hypothesis, exobiology. Leary is a self-styled ""genetic robot"" and ""futique,"" ready to propel the gene pool to the next ""neurologic"" stage of brain evolution. Chance is the essence. ""I'm bored with talking about space colonies,"" Leafy says, ""just as in 1965 I got bored with talking about marijuana legalization."" Not that he's dismissed them. ""You simply have to walt around until the present left-wing welfare establishment pisses off."" Leary is still irrepressible, inexhaustible. Five hundred LSD trips, dozens of arrests, and four years in jail have not crushed the optimism or the supreme self-confidence that he's right. And, some of the time, he makes perfectly good sense. (He might, indeed, have been a good therapist--analyzing behavior, intuiting hang-ups.) Occasionally, too, he gets off a pithy line: ""Woodstock and the French Revolution both teach the lesson: Evolve or perish."" There are also some unexpectedly funny parts--like the tape of Leary's jail-escape trial, after which he was sent to the maximum security block of Folsom, ""called between Charles Manson and Geronimo"" (the Black Panther). The general run of prose, however, is the prophetic dream or the put-down of society in Leary cant: ""Post-planetary time consciousness does not use polarities of terrestrial consciousness."" Some glints and gleams of the Sixties, then, but hard to find in all that plastic prose.

Pub Date: May 11th, 1982
Publisher: Prentice-Hall