• Timothy Leary and Alternative Salvation

      Stephenson, William; University of Chester (T & T Clark, 2015-12-17)
      In his rewriting of The Tibetan Book of the Dead as an LSD manual in The Psychedelic Experience, his verse translations of the Tao Te Ching and his later work such as Your Brain is God, Timothy Leary outlines a constantly evolving manifesto for social and personal salvation. My focus in this chapter is on Leary’s countercultural and post-countercultural revisions of the human from the 1960s to 1990s; his mission to move beyond inherited templates of subjectivity of towards states of ecstasy which were largely uncharted but towards which his chosen tools – drugs, then later computer technology – could point the way. The divinity of the brain is, in Leary’s worldview at least, a literal physiological truth, rather than a metaphor; for Leary, God is among other things a cluster of neurons, but this is to be welcomed as an alternative route to salvation.