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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Dec 20, 2020


[Epistemic status: very speculative, asserted with only ~30% confidence. On the other hand, even though psychiatrists don’t really talk about this it’s possible other groups know this all already]

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation on the history of early psychedelic research. Since I had a tough crowd, I focused on the fascinating biographies of some of the early psychedelicists.

Timothy Leary was a Harvard professor and former NIMH researcher who made well-regarded contributions to psychotherapy and psychometrics. He started the Harvard Psilocybin Project and several other Harvard-based experiments to test the effects of psychedelics on normal and mentally ill subjects. He was later fired from Harvard and arrested; later he accomplished a spectacular break out of prison and fled to Algeria. During his later life, he wrote books about how the human brain had hidden circuits of consciousness that would allow us to live in space, including a quantum overmind which could control reality and break the speed of light. He eventually fell so deep into madness that he started hanging out with Robert Anton Wilson and participating in Ron Paul fundraisers.