last updated April 8th, 2008 and is permanently morphing...
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Timothy Leary's 8-Circuit brain model
1st circuit: Survival/security
Things are okay or they're not, or somewhere in between. This is connected to the first source of these things: nursing at Mom's nipple. People who take an imprint that things aren't safe all the time may compensate by eating, especially sweet things, pudding, 'nursery food' that makes them feel better for a while. This imprint is taken very early, in nursing. It's what's known in developmental psychology as 'oral'.
2nd circuit: Territorial/Emotional
This is a very particular definition of 'emotional' - are you feeling up or down? Are you on top of the world or down in the dumps? This is related to basic primate pecking order stuff- who's the big tough dog and who's the little submissive dog? Later, when you get your own turf where you can be a little king, you can defend it against others by throwing shit at each other (in the form of words, lawsuits, horn honking, or however you prefer to 'dump on' people).
This corresponds to the 'anal' stage, and the first imprints are taken during toilet training - this develops greatly when the kid starts playing with other kids and finding out where they stand - big kids are always telling little kids what to do.
3rd circuit: Conceptual
This kicks in even before school- kids are hungry to learn. This circuit is the ability to make mental models of things, which help you 'figure things out' and 'be clever'. The imprint you take is whether you feel smart or stupid (which is different from BEING smart or stupid!) Sometimes people who have a bad time in other circuits compensate in 3rd circuit - actually, that can happen with any of them. Note also that there are different KINDS of intelligence- verbal, mathematical, visual/spatial, musical, etc, etc... but as Robert Anton Wilson says, "...the people with the verbal intelligence have control of thelanguage, so they call themselves THE intellectuals." My father, who is a clinical psychologist, always mentions a particular basketball player (I forget who) whom he claims is a genius in spatial/motor intelligence, regardless of the fact that the guy probably reads on a 7th grade level.
4th circuit: Social/Sexual
Whereas 2nd circuit deals with who bosses who, 4th deals with who is cool. What this comes down to is that depending on whether someone is cool or not, you'd let them get close to you or not, running a spectrum from not talking to someone at all (the snub) to having sex with them, with many subtle shades in between. It goes both ways- how cool are you? Are there people that you aren't cool enough to talk to? "Oh, I could never ask HER/HIM out..." The imprint you take here is how cool you feel, and how hard you have to work to feel that way.
Everyone has these circuits, but some people get stuck on one or another of them, usually because they've got some problem to work out in that area. Often one circuit gets to be a surrogate for another (especially if the other is underdeveloped) - the classic example is the pathetic (i.e. poor 2nd circuit imprint) nerd who tries to out-talk his buddies to show how smart he is (3rd circuit), in order to be an authority to them (2nd circuit dominance).
One of the ideas that came up in LSD research was the idea that you reach a state of flux in which new imprints can be taken. This is very much in agreement with ideas about set and setting, but as most people who have taken LSD agree, while everything seems to change after the experience, after a while you slip back into the old patterns (witness all the flower children who, unlike the few with real dedication, slipped back to become businessmen of the 80's).
Whether this slipback is really inherent in the function of the LSD trip is not certain, though - it may be caused by going back into one's regular environment, which has been shaped by everything one was before. Under the pressure of conformity to the old status quo, one slips back.
Leary felt that the goal was to work out the circuits so that one had imprints that led to a happy, healthy life, but without having to always have things one way - people who have to always be on top never learn about service, those who always have to feel secure never learn to take risks, etc. Ultimately, the circuits would be there to plug into and out of at Will, while one navigated through the upper circuits:
The upper circuits deal with mystical, psychic, or paranormal consciousness. They are built on the foundation of the lower circuits, almost as 'overdriven' versions of them. Interestingly, they correspond well with ideas from many spritual traditions.
5th circuit: Bliss/Healing, Neurosomatic Feedback
When 1st circuit security gets great enough, it becomes bliss, as one becomes aware of one's sensation of pleasure and learns to generate those sensations at the source. This is the SF brainbox that directly stimulates one's pleasure centers, only the box is also your brain! This feedback loop gets going, and one may remain in the state until kicked out for some reason (the world makes demands, or the chemical that boosted you into the state wears off). Ever seen a picture of a meditating yogi in bliss? In this state, you realize you can make yourself feel bliss just as easily as you can move your muscles or keep still. When this awareness is applied to others, the 5th circuit energy works to help their 1st circuit state - this is the principle of healing.
6th circuit: Psychic
This is awareness of the great information network in which we swim.
7th circuit: Mythical
This is the realm of the shaman, of spirit animals, Gods and Goddesses. It is the Dreamtime. 3rd circuit draws models of specifics in the conscious world. 7th circuits draws models of the patterns of archetype that make up the unconscious world. It does this by telling stories that illustrate the patterns that arise from these archetypes. When 7th circuit awareness is working, one realizes how these patterns are being played out, and instead of just acting in the world, one is at the same time coming into direct contact with the archetypal.
8th circuit: Out-of-Body Experiences, Factor
X, and ????
This is the far reaches, and not much is really understood about it. Since 4th circuit has to do with letting others get close and even (especially in the case of sexuality) merging with them, it makes sense that 8th might have to do with overcoming the obtacle of one's physical boundaries.
|I. The biosurvival winner:
"I will live forever, or die trying."
|V. THe neurosomatic winner:
"How I feel depends on my neurological knowhow."
|II. The emotional-territorial winner:
"I am free; you are free; we can have our separate trips or we can have the same trip."
|VI. The metaprogramming
"I make my own coincidences, synchronicities, luck, and Destiny."
|III. The semantic winner:
"I am learning more about everything, including how to learn more."
|VII. The neurogenetic winner:
"Future evolution depends on my decisions now."
|IV. The sociosexual winner:
"Love, and do what thou wilt."
|VIII. The neuroatomic winner:
"In the province of the mind, what is believed true is true, or becomes true within limits to be learned by experience and experiment." (Dr. John Lilly)
Text: Octaves of Energy by Robert Anton Wilson
The Buddhist religion is commonly symbolized by this ideogram in somewhat the same way as Christianity is symbolized by the Latin cross. It is called the wheel of life or the wheel of the teaching. Its eight spokes represent the eightfolded way: right knowledge, right state of mind, right speech, right action, right way of living, right striving, right vigilance, right meditation.
In India, 4,000 years ago, this structure was regarded a holy sign. It is also found onJapanese Buddha statues from the eighth century A.D. In Buddhism is the wheel of life, a symbol for the Eightfolded Way to the goal, freedom from reincarnation.The Christian Church has added to its symbolism as a Christ monogram, sometimes with an added outer circle reinforcing the connotations of eternity: . Among some Indian tribes in south west USA this is Hogan, a sign meaning permanent settlement.
In modern ideography it appears as a sign for siren. It also appears on the banner of ANC, the African National Congress party in South Africa.
Consider the positive integer,
8. It can be written as m 2 + n 2 , a sum of two squares of integers, in
just 4 ways, namely when the pair (m, n) is (2, 2), (2, -2), -2, 2), and
(-2, -2). The integer 7, on the other hand, cannot be written as the sum
of any squared integers. On the average, over a very large collection of
integers from 1 to n, in how many ways can an integer be written as the sum of such squares? The answer is little short of astounding: closer and closer to pi!
(Anonymous; "Closing Pi Surprise," Algorithm, p. 7, n.d. Cr. C.H. Stiles)
Om (or Aum) is a sacred syllable in, both, Hinduism and Buddhism. The syllable is sometimes referred to as, "the Udgitha". The Chandogya Upanishad (1.1.1-10) states, "The udgitha is the best of all essences, the highest, deserving the highest place, the eighth."
604 release _Eighth Flight - Gravitation_ compilation CD on Flying Rhino