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Timothy Leary

primitive religions called spiritual, you can redefine as being immeasurable right now by our level of equipment.

The planet earth is being bombarded by radio signals from outer space, none of which are comprehensible to us, and part of evolution is the increasing ability to detect information. You see, it’s all information, everything is information. Morphogenetic information is information signals that we are now too crude and childish to pick up. I tend to resist strongly this notion that there’s a spiritual thing that’s outward beyond science, because then we have no options, we’re just kind of helpless victims, and someone comes along and does it. So I have no quarrel at all with this notion. My only quarrel is with people who try to limit or moralize about different options.

DJB: What role do you see computers playing in the evolution of human consciousness, and do you think it’s possible to down-load, so to speak, human consciousness or brain software into a computer?

TIMOTHY: These concepts of computer and down-load are really primitive, and they lock conversation at a certain level. The notion of cyber-space is that we are now creating this enormous universe of digital signals in the form of all the radio programs and television shows that have ever been produced, and all the traffic that’s been going around in satellites. That actually there is an ocean. There’s literally an ocean of electronic signals up there that’s just as tangible as the Atlantic ocean. But before Magellan we couldn’t access it. Now we’re learning to explore this ocean of cyber-space and electric signals, and create within it. So that down-loading is just not a precise term.

I’m working with groups now that wear computers. You see, so that every time I move my arm there is a correspondence of movement on the screen. I can actually reach in and move and change things in the screen. And you can be there too–so we can shake hands, or we can dance, or we can even take each other’s clothes off, or we can play tennis with each other. You can be the ball for that matter. So it’s not a question of down-loading programs. Just as graphic art and books allowed us to communicate better, so too will the realities of digital creativity that we create. So there’s no more computer.

Everything that I can do can be digitized, preserved, and then you can interact with it. It’s robotry now because we’re always aware that there’s a breathing, living, juicy human being who’s doing it. On the other hand, my self is stored there, so that a hundred years from now, even though I don’t come back in the physical form, my descendants, or anyone who wants to interact with Timothy Leary will be able to do it. We can actually play Frisbee, or we can probably fuck each other digitally on the screen, in years to come. This does not take the place of fleshy, juicy, interactions anymore than books took the place of touching, murmuring, and groping around.

As a matter of fact, you could argue that literature enriched human behavior. So that people fucked better, if they’ve read a few books, than if they had not. The same thing is true if you’ve had a hundred digital love affairs, digital tennis matches, or digital wars on the screen. You’re going to be much more sophisticated, sensitive, and wise in your human and physical interactions-instead of being vulgarized, or even condemned, as they are now. The actual touch, like this, is considered this extraordinary, rare, and rich moment.

It’s a high moment because Gosh, you know, we’ve been on the screen together, and we have been married three times, and you were a boy, and I was a girl, and we were gay, and this and that, and God knows what we’ve done, and now when we actually touch, we totally sanctify and glorify the rare opportunity of physical interaction, instead of just running around like animals. In the industrial age the concept of a body was of a messy machine. In the cybernetic age, the body is an incredible temple, bristling with sense organs, and information-sending output. So that’s the down-load. I out-loaded your down-load.

RMN: As machines are comprised of earth-based products, Terence McKenna made the suggestion that it could be that through technological advancement the planet is organizing itself into a self-reflective conscious entity. What do you think of this idea?

TIMOTHY: That’s fabulous. I’m a great admirer of Terence McKenna, and what he’s doing. I must put a caveat here. All of our language is suspect as we move from a mechanical factory society, which is state-controlled, into a much freer cybernetic society. Now, all of us who grew up in the sixties have a terrible bias against technology, because technology was what was polluting the air, and grinding down the soil, and making a parking lot out of our planet. Much of this understandable contempt for technology has flipped over into a contempt for computers.

But there’s a great difference between

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