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John C. Lilly

RMN: Do you think that aggression is inherent in the human psyche?

JOHN: No. I once wrote a chapter called, “Where do Armies Come From?” Do you know where: they come from? Tradition. Kids learn that history is war, so they’re all pre-programmed. If you read some of the history books, it’s all about war, it’s incredible! In my Latin class I learned about the wars of Caesar, when I took French I learned about the wars of Napoleon and on and on and on. What did we learn from Caesar? That you don’t divide Gaul into three parts. What did we learn from Cleopatra? The you may have to kill yourself with an asp. If you start reading Italian history and you come across Leonardo Da Vinci or Galileo then the whole thing falls apart. They’re individuals doing their thing and it’s magnificent. And that’s the only part of history that’s interesting.

RMN: What do you think about the current theories of evolution?

JOHN: I looked into the paleontology of humans. Paleontology is the only science that could take an observation here, and a million years later another one here and draw a straight line between the two. Every time I read Leaky or Gordon Danier or any of those other people I look at it and say, well those are good observations but are they necessarily connected at all? Maybe a spaceship came and put a colony in at this point. But they don’t think of the obvious, you see.

I have a concept called “alternity.” From here to alternity. I came back from Chile and sat in Elizabeth Campbell’s living-room on acid and started evoking ECCO. Suddenly the energy came out from above and went straight down my spine and on all sides of me were these divisions like a pie. And I could look down this one and see a certain future and then right over here another future and on and on. So this was alternity that I was sitting in. Now actually, unconsciously, we sit in alternity all the time, we have to or you wouldn’t know how to get anywhere, right? But you don’t know it.

DJB: You mean sitting in a place where you see all the infinite possibilities and pathways that can emerge from a particular point in space-time?

JOHN: I don’t know if it’s infinite. It’s sure 360 degrees and each alternative reality was every two degrees or something like that. There were a hell of a lot of them and some that I couldn’t ever imagine.

RMN: If you were conscious of that do you think you would be able to make any decisions to go anywhere?

JOHN: Well, I get conscious of all of them or none of them. So when I get out of my body I don’t try to program anything because there are so many alternates possible.

DJB: What are you thoughts about the future?

JOHN: What’s the future?

DJB: That which hasn’t happened yet. The next micro-second, the next year, the next century and so on.

JOHN: We act as if there’s going to be a year out there, but we haven’t got there yet, right? And we think the sun is going to come up every morning and we count on that, we expect it. What’s going to happen when it doesn’t? One alternity is enough so why talk about the future?

DJB: John, on a different note, do you think there is a qualitative difference between organic and synthesized compounds?

JOHN: I don’t know what qualitative means; I never was able to grasp that word. It’s one of the first things that they teach you in grade school and it never made any sense. My bullshit filter said it was bullshit.

We take something that a plant or animal did and we call it pure sugar or whatever. That’s chemistry, the science of separating out components which you can’t reduce any further without destroying them. So what does the plant do:, The plant picks up carbon dioxide and stuff from the ground and starts combining these compounds in certain ways and synthesizes them. Plants are chemists just like us. A lot of people call something natural or organic hut they don’t know their organic chemistry, because anything that has a carbon atom in it is organic, okay?

RMN: How do you define addiction and how do you avoid falling into the trap of misusing the chemicals you take?

JOHN: Let’s see. There’s drug use, drug over-use, drug abuse, drug hypo-use and on and on. There is a set of chemicals that if you take them and you don’t exercise and you don’t cat right, you go downhill. When you go downhill you have to take more of that chemical to substitute for the food and stuff. But if you are taken off that chemical without the proper stimulus you get grand mal seizures or something. That’s the old-fashioned description of addiction.

What I say is, you take certain chemicals and change the chemical con~iguration in your brain and body. This is a very interesting process and if you slay interested and look after yourself then you can take cocaine or heroin or any of those things. Physical exercise is absolutely essential to get good changes of conscious states. If you’re in good physical condition you can experience a hell

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