You are a God. Act like one! -~ Timothy Leary
That quote figures heavily in the last two Timothy Leary books I read, quite recently. (Just finished one last night.) Start Your Own Religion & Your Brain Is God.Highly recommended, assuming you can stomach Timothy’s grammatically a loose style (which some I know can’t.)
The other quote Timothy is best known for is – “Drop out. Turn on. Tune in.”
Getting a better grip on that quote has been useful for me lately as you may have noticed I am on a re-program your routines, work with re-configuring habits, we are all essentially programmed kick. Here’s how it seems to me today:
- Drop Out. We are each born (to a large degree) as tabula rasa into this world. We bring nearly nothing with us except for a genetic inheritance, a boundless curiosity and a wide open capacity for experiencing. Nearly immediately we are programmed with the habits, memes, meanings, understandings, morals, ethics, values, language and thoughts of the cultural milieu we arrive in. Our ways become set & settled overtime with a set of reductions/rules on what is kosher and what is not. (See what I did there?) That becomes the life we find ourselves showing up to life as. To Drop Out means to exit (temporarily at least) from the set of structures as much as we can (and is safe) in the moment. We take a step outside the cultural norm to see what else could be, to re-open to night infinite possibility as evidenced by all the life-types we encounter on a daily basis.
- Turn On. In order to get the full opening that is sought in this mantra we need to open up our consciousness which has become calcified, cemented, restricted by our upbringing. Different cultures (cults) throughout history have given different methods for doing this. Nearly without exception (I can’t think of one but I am not going to say it’s not possible) the method for the Turn On has involved some sacrament, or ritual or both. Now sacrament in this context is usually taken to be something you ingest, or imbibe which alters consciousness (drugs) or signifies willingness for consciousness to be altered (the wafer.) Really the word means to take an oath, fulfill an obligation or consecrate. In this sense it is really a very short ritual. Rituals, as distinct from sacraments, are then a series of actions or exercises meant to open up consciousness. Timothy was specifically meaning medicines (drugs/psychedelics) that have been used for unknown ages by people looking to get out of their heads and into God’s. (A short trip indeed in light of the first quote I mentioned.) In any event, to Turn On means to take something, or some action (or series of actions) to expand consciousness. Drugs are not the only thing that can affect this opening. Prayer, meditation, exercise, chanting, drum circles, hyper-ventilation, fasting, and a bunch more I cannot think of right now are all tried and true methods for affecting neurological arrangement allowing for new forms to be explored.
- Tune In. The Turn On experience will provide the opportunity for insights, opening for new habits, re-formulations of convictions, changes in behavior. These will happen slowly (generally) but they will happen. The method for solidifying them and making them semi-permanent ways to be are to tune them in to your life. Express them in your day to day existence and choices. Tune In to what you “saw” while you were wide-eyed staring at a modest vase of flowers for three hours. Equally important is the broadcasting of this new way of being to others. Sharing amongst your pier-group/clan/family & friends/social setting, either implicitly, explicitly, or covertly, is a big part of the Tune In process. We are social creatures, and we have always relied on each other to bring back reports from the greater realms of consciousness. Just as “all the world’s a stage and we are merely players,” we can all play the role of shaman/psychonaut from time to time. This allows new insights to be tested within the group framework for validity.
In this process we see what else is possible. We explore what other social structures can be manifested. We participate in our own creation story, rather than taking whole-sale the one that has been handed to us.
In this way we are God expressing as Gods. We make the world how it is, in our own image, the image of how things are supposed to be we hold inside.. That part is completely obvious. Our societies, or behaviors, our moral conduct, our relationship to our environment (which we are never actually separate from) have all bee constructed by us either consciously or unconsciously.
The Jesus figure is purported to have said that, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within.” It is my humble opinion that what was meant was that we have the capacity within us to make Heaven right where we are now.
At this moment, right now, we have the means to feed, house and care for every human being on the planet. We have the means, within a scant few years if we explore the technology, to forever end energy shortages. We can extend education and well-being to every corner of this globe. We can care for all as a unified whole while allowing all to express their individuality. We can do this. Right now. The reason we don’t is rooted in our habitual ways of seeing the world and our ingrained value systems. In other words, the only thing stopping us is us.
By letting in the idea that we are Gods and should act so, explored through the simple steps of Drop Out, Turn On, Tune In, we can re-shape the world as we would have it.
I say, why not go for it?