Timothy Leary

Topics: Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg Pages: 3 (1041 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Timothy Leary "Turn on, tune in, drop out." That saying has turned into the slogan of Timothy Leary's mind-expanding movement. Although a graduate of both West-Point and Berkley, and a Harvard professor, these were not his greatest lifetime achievements. Throughout his publicized life, he became the spokesperson of the psychedelic age. His devotion to the belief that LSD and marijuana were gateways to enlightenment resulted in a new church, numerous prison sentences, and a following of both celebrities and the general public. When people think of Timothy Leary their immediate response is "Turn on, tune in, drop out," his trademark line, although the meaning of it has often been misinterpreted. Playboy Magazine had thought that his message was advocating, "getting high and dropping out of school," (Marwick 311). When asked by the magazine to explain the meaning of the phrase he responded, " ‘Turn on' means to contact the ancient energies and wisdoms that are built into your nervous system. They provide unspeakable pleasure and revelation. ‘Tune in' means to harness and communicate these new perspectives in a harmonious dance with the external world. ‘Drop out' means to detach yourself from the tribal game." (Marwick 312). This was not the first time his methods were questioned. Leary was first publicly noticed, and criticized by then fellow Harvard professors, for his interest in LSD when he and friend, Robert Alpert, wrote an article for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist. In the article they described a circumstance that in the event of war, the Russians might try to lace the American water supply with LSD. Then, when everybody in America is stoned, the Russians would seize power. They explained that in order to prevent the scenario from happening, everyone should take a dose of LSD so they can get used to the effects (Sterns 278). Although the article shocked the Harvard staff, it didn't cause him to get fired. Leary was...

Bibliography: Works Cited Brash, Sarah. Turbulent Years The 60s. Alexandra: Time-Life Books Inc., 1998. Marwick, Arthur. The Sixties. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Sterns, Jane And Michael. Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
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