The "Eight Circuit Brain" is a term Dr. Timothy
Leary coined, in his 1977 book "EXO-PSYCHOLOGY",
for accessing multiple definitions and functions of
human intelligence. Dr. Leary did not invent this
system, which probably originated in the Sufi Mystery
Schools' arcane study of the "law of octaves",
but revised it for modern times. Since Leary's translation,
three additional versions have surfaced in Robert Anton
Wilson's "PROMETHEUS RISING" (1984) and my own,
"ANGEL TECH" (1986) and "The EIGHT-CIRCUIT BRAIN" (2009). As a whole-brain model
for Intelligence, the Eight Circuit Brain yields an
impressive catch of relevant information about how
intelligence acts when redefined by the user. Leary's
"circuits" symbolize eight interactive states
of consciousness and the neurochemical transactions
constantly mingling between them. They are presented
here not as a heirarchy -- one is no "better" than another -- but as a web of simultaneous transmissions
at various degrees of cognition within each person.
(Please refer to any combination of the books
mentioned earlier for a more comprehensive study).
the purpose of this article, Leary's eight circuits
have been reframed as "trances" or, states
of consciousness, to be altered, bent or broken at
will. "Break trance, make trance, break trance".
Trances can be instigated by engaging any of the many
catalysts that excite and maintain each circuit. Some
catalysts are pharmaceutical, many are not. Getting
stuck inside any one trance, or circuit, happens when
you become addicted to one or more of the catalysts.
New trances from other circuits can be introduced
to shift addicitions, either in their linear sequence
or at random. First Circuit security trance can be
broken by a Second Circuit emotional trance which,
in turn, can be dissipated by a Third Circuit semantic
trance. The neuropharmacy of your own brain produces
all the effects, even those involving ingested drugs
which depend on receptors in your brain to work.
DISCLAIMER: I do not condone the use of illegal drugs.
For information purposes only certain drugs are identified
hereafter as "triggers", or catalysts, for
accessing the Eight Circuit Brain. I trust the reader
is also aware of the value inherent to self-activation
of these states inside the "drug-free" highs
of technological, ritualistic, sociological, religious
and/or psychotherapeutic methods, as well. Some of
the triggers listed below I have experimented with;
anonymous and knowledgeable sources were consulted
with those I have avoided.
itself with physical safety and biological survival.
Revolves around basic security needs and the warm,
buzzy nodding sensations of infant bliss and being
taken care of at the most primary levels of existence:
food, shelter and enough sleep. When frustrated or
over-emphasized the search for security intensifies,
becomes an obsession and finally an addiction. Security
Addiction expresses the lowest energy state of all
trances. When the needs of this center are fulfilled,
one lives with the knowledge of being a "survivor" with some ability to stabilize and secure others.
SECURITY CATALYSTS: Food, water, shelter, sleep,
maternal lactation, Valium, 3-6 hrs. of television,
Prozac, all sedatives, nicotine, most pain-killers,
PCP, morphine and heroin. Any drug acting on the breathing
mechanism of the brain stem by slowing it down and,
by overdose, stopping it entirely. OVERDOSE
SYMPTOMS: Survival anxiety. The fear of: dying,
of living, of eating (bolemia & anorexia), of
chaos and of dirt. Obesity and malnurtrition.
as territorial signals. The compulsion for self-expression
and personal freedom. Churns on the more aggressive
emotional needs for dominance (political force), status,
and self-esteem. Flight-or-fight reflex producing
adrenaline rushes when confronting danger and personal
triumph, as well as the depression and anxiety attacks
often associated with low self-worth, feelings of
helplessness and self-diminshment. When frustrated
or over-emphasized, emotions inflate and/or deflate
yielding conditions of taking oneself too seriously
and/or not seriously enough. Mood swings. Emotional
and Sexual Addictions. When emotional needs are satisfied,
ego-strength and autonomy develop with some ability
to excite, motivate and provoke others. EMOTIONAL
CATALYSTS: Alcohol beverages. Amyl nitrate.
Temper tantrums. Shouting matches. Military marches.
Martial arts. High volume rock'n'roll. Slamdancing.
Reichean therapy. Any "drug" relaxing emotional
inhibitions or catalyzing catharsis. OVERDOSE
SYMPTOMS: Anxiety. Hypertension. Hysteria.
Emotional dissipation and debilitation. Emotional
numbness and vacancy.
intellectual and linguistic skills for grasping and
communicating ideas. Spins off conceptual needs for
solving problems, defining terms, making maps, and
articulating meaning. The central nervous system buzz
of stimulating conversation, thinking, writing, reading
and other symbolic and mathematical acts. When over-emphasized,
one feels "locked inside one's head" with
the angst of conceptual redundancy. Word Trance. Symbolic
Addictions. When frustrated, psychological fears of
becoming "stupid" or "insane"
or "misinformed" or "meaningless"
confuse thought processes. When satisfied, intellect
and language develop coherency to support meaningful
communication with others; one can "say what
one means and mean what one says". SEMANTIC
CATALYSTS: Reading, writing, arithmetic, speech,
speaking on the telephone, nicotine, caffeine, sugar,
chocolate, diet pills, amphetamines, cocaine. Consistent
exposure to computer monitors, Internet and other
on-line virtual communications systems. Any "drugs" acting on the various nervous systems as a stimulant
to quicken thinking, speech patterns and symbolic
associations. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS:
Nervousness. Thinking or talking too much. Mental
exhaustion. Stuttering. Neurosis.
of personality in context to society. Social needs
for belonging, getting along with people, developing
friendships, romance, courtships, partnerships, marriages,
domestication, family, and those morals and ethics
maintaining community interest. The push and pull
of attracting and repulsing forces -- estrogen, testosterone & other growth hormones -- influencing likes,
dislikes, procreative love, mating rituals, domestic
and community structures, and the morales and beliefs
surrounding relations with others. When over-emphasized,
personal identity homogenizes, or blends, into herd
or tribal mentality. Social and Moral Addictions.
When frustrated, the individual experiences alienation,
marginalization and degrees of abandonment by the
tribe, sometimes resulting in "psychopathic criminal
retribution". As social needs are satisfied,
a well-adjusted personality finds "its people" while defining and claiming its unique behavioral
and ethical code amidst a society far too complex
to always condone them. SOCIAL
CATALYSTS: Social rituals, parties and gatherings.
Cultural events and concerts. Church. Any "drugs" delivering social or community acceptance or sexual
approval in exchange for submission to externally-imposed
behaviorial standards and moralities. Most television
programs. Organized Religion. Mass Media. Corporate
Advertising. The Welfare State. Social Security. Fascism. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Loss
of personality, autonomy and self as individual identity.
Guilt complex, ie., confusion between the morality
of others and one's own ethics.
from the previous goals and survival concerns of Circuits
1-4, this center is the opening of the five senses
as the chief source of all life and relevant information.
Being Here Now. The natural sensory rhythms and impulses
of the body uncensored by mental, emotional or moral
intervention. The hedonic needs for rapture, bliss
and ecstatic experience. The post-survival quest for
nirvana. When frustrated, the despair and spiritual
discontent of "entrapment in the corporeal world
of survival issues." When over-emphasized, excessive
hedonism becomes debauch, dispersion and disintegration
of personal integrity and concentration, ie., "spaced
out bliss ninnies." Ecstacy Junkies. When hedonic
needs are met, a state of charismatic magnetism infuse
the personality, as seen with some rock stars, film
celebrities and performing artists. HEDONIC
CATALYSTS: Empathogens (MDMA, etc.). cannabis,
opium, hashish, lower doses of psilocybin, Tantric
and Hatha yoga, listening to music (subjective assessment),
sex magick, performing live dance and live theatre,
Sufi whirling dervishes, ecstatic pagan rituals, falling
in love, endorphin rushes from "second wind" states (long distance running and working out), verbal
fasting (mandatory silence), zen meditation.
OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: "Spaciness." Loss
of meaningful connection with "consensus reality"
sometimes showing poor time management and an oblivion
to the emotions, thoughts and ethics of others. Time/spatial
disorientation and distortions. Difficulty articulating,
ie., "Like, wow, man..."
pleasure"; the subjective absorption of intense
light. Opening of the "third eye", clairvoyance,
telepathy and other supersensual, or psychic, abilities.
Incoming signals are registered at light speed and
translated by an active intuition, unencumbered by
empirical demands of linear ideation. The Self-Aware
Brain. Future-oriented vision; premonitions, precognitions
and prophecy. The psychic need for seeing and knowing
things as they are, beyond the illusions, dreams and
fantasies projected by previous states. When frustrated,
the "sixth sense" atrophies and psychic,
or soul, death ensues. When over-emphasized nervous
disorders, hallucinations and mental illnesses develop
in the struggle to act and respond to the influx of
overwhelming impressions. Vision, or Truth, Addiction.
When psychic needs are met, lucidity stabilizes perception
to accept things as they are while seeing through
the scams, the lies, and the illusions often shrouding
them. This lucidity can also illuminate the truth
of things to the world and in others. PSYCHIC
CATALYSTS: Kundalini and Raja yogas, Rajneesh's
chaotic meditations, surviving the loss of a loved
one, higher doses of psilocybin, mescaline, peyote,
LSD, "Heavenly Blue" morning glory seeds,
near-death experiences, sense-deprivation, isolation
tanks, solitary confinement, intensive Buddhist retreats,
Antero Alli's paratheatrical ritual technology, video/filmmaking
and editing processes. OVERDOSE
SYMPTOMS: Paranoia. Schitzophrenic fragmentation.
Loss of emotion and meaningful connection with the
feelings of others. Psychotic breaks. Violence.
Central Nervous System receives signals from DNA;
when this center opens, the signals become conscious.
Racial and species memory (reincarnation and past
lives) enters present-time awareness. Overwhelming
sense of unity with all living things. Realization
of the complex, interconnecting mandalic consciousness
of DNA-RNA, synchronicity and what Jung called the
universal archetypes. When frustrated, bigotry, racial
prejudice, nationalist and religious tunnel vision
often leading to species self-persecution, genocide
and war. When over-emphasized, pervasive disorientation
erupts as previously invisible archetypes cross over
to waking consciousness, shocking the ego and disrupting
survival routines. Fears of insanity and socio-political
and religious persecution. God Addiction. When mythopoetic
needs are met, sanity is redefined through the imaginal
realm and given mythological and poetic expression
in poetry, inspirational verse, classic mythology,
certain music and film, Etc. MYTHOPOETIC
CATALYSTS: Childbirth, religious conversion
experiences, mystical revelations, higher doses of
LSD, kundalini awakenings (via the crown chakra),
the chaos magick of Peter Carroll and Aleister Crowley,
Stanislav Grof's LSD rebirthing therapy, Datura, DMT,
near-death experiences. OVERDOSE
SYMPTOMS: Dysfunctional messianic complexes,
delusions of grandeur, paranoia, mental incapacitation,
Consciousness at the level of unpredictable subatomic behavior. This center opens after consciousness leaves the physical body while functioning independently in nonlocal "cyberspace." Shamanic initiation into Castaneda's dreaming and "the Nagual" as a conscious visiting spirit, or dreambody. Consciousness leaves the body. The body is left behind, unconscious; comatose and/or sleeping. Where does consciousness go ? What happens there ? Who shows up on "the other side" ? Questions for the dreambody. Dr. Leary suggests the ultra-gravitational "singularity" physicists theorize at the heart of the atomic nucleus to be the stuff of black holes. Fusion with Black Hole as Ultimate Destiny ?! Out-of-Body Addiction to Formlessness. DREAMBODY CATALYSTS: Heavy doses of Nitrous Oxide, DMT, Ketamine, Jimson weed, Datura, Sonora desert toad ( Bufo alvarius) venom, Near-death and Out-of-Body experiences, Eckankar astral travel techniques, lucid dreaming, Malaysian Senoi tribal dreamwork, Australian aboriginal dreamtime walkabouts, advanced virtual reality "immersion technologies", and any "drugs" that simulate near-death OR death experience without producing the actual experience of physical death itself, ie., Haitian voodoo zombie powder extracted from certain species of puffer fish. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Partial to complete loss of bodily functions. Comatose. Death without discernible cause.
Eight-Circuit Brain, like any psychological grid or
map, is incomplete at describing the totality of the
territory it symbolizes. Imagine an organ as mysterious
and powerful as the human brain having only eight
functions of intelligence!? Yet as a whole-brain model
for mapping functions and behaviors of various "brains
within the brain" I believe the Eight-Circuit
map is unprecedented. I do not recommend using it
at the exclusion of other equally valid systems, like
the Enneagram or in some cases Astrology, but as another
tool in the "psychic archeologist's toolbox" for unearthing hereto unknown relics of our past,
present and future history.
INTOXICATION issue also features interviews with JIM
HOGSHIRE (on opium), JIM DEKORNE (on DMT), ROB BREZSNY
(on goddess rushes), ROSE X MEDIA HOUSE (on video
editing on shrooms), BRUCE HANIFY (on the law),poetry
by JAMES BROUGHTON, JESSE BERNSTEIN and JANINE CANAN
plus much more.
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