At Folsom Prison with Dr. Timothy Leary is an extraordinary counterculture document, filmed during Leary’s incarceration there. Under 30 minutes in length, this 1973 film shows Leary at his most engaging and personable. It’s a testament to his considerable charm that he was able to pull off such a performance, considering that the prison warden and other officials were sitting across the room listening as this was filmed.
Leary discusses his jailbreak (intimating that the daughter of a United States senator he refuses to name helped him), the revolution in consciousness and drugs, Eldridge Cleaver and what it feels like to be an imprisoned philosopher.
At Folsom Prison with Dr. Timothy Leary was used to raise awareness of the reasons Leary was imprisoned in the first place and to raise money to fight his sentence. Joanna Leary, who was behind this film, also introduces it.
A discussion on the evolution of consciousness as it relates to machines. Symbolic logic, nanotechnology and the possibility of a synthetic super-intelligence. Artificial Intelligence as a part of ourselves that could shape our evolution. Virtual computers as the source of the AI. Partnership or conflict between human and machine? How much control do we have in the evolution of machine intelligence? Challenges to the premises of the AI argument. Quantum computers, machine-time and the possibilities of the World Wide Web.
I didn’t get into this business by being an airhead or a screwball. My attitude was always if it’s real it can take the pressure. You don’t have to pussy foot around the real thing. If they’re telling you, oh you must lower your voice, and avert your gaze, then you’re probably in the presence of crap, because the real thing is real. It doesn’t demand that you adjust your opinion to suit it. It’s real! That means that it’s pre-eminent. That means it sets the agenda. And, I studied yoga, I wandered around in the East, I was fast shuffled by beady-eyed little men in dotes. I know the whole spiritual supermarket and rigmarole, and I find nothing there to interest me on the level of, you know, five grams of psilocybin mushrooms in silent darkness. That’s where the pedal meets the metal. That’s where the rubbermeets the road. And the inspiration for me to get up and talk to anaudience like this simply comes from the fact that I cannot believe that this could be kept under wraps, the way it has. I mean, I kidded with you earlier that they would make sex illegal, if they could. Well they can’t so it isn’t. But the psychedelic experience is as central to understanding your humanness; as having sex, or having a child, or having responsibilities, or having hopes and dreams, and yet it is illegal. We are somehow told, we are infantilized. We are told you know you can wander around with in the sanctioned playpen of ordinary consciousness, and we have some intoxicants over here if you wanna mess your self up we’ve got some scotch here and some tobacco and red meat and some sugar and a little T.V. and so forth and so on. But, these boundary dissolving hallucinogens that give you a sense of unity with your fellow man and nature are somehow forbidden. This is an outrage! It’s a sign of cultural immaturity and the fact that we tolerate it is a sign that we are living in a society as oppressed as any society in the past. – Terence Mckenna
What could have been the cause for the breakthrough in the evolution of human consciousness around 50,000 years ago? Collective memories of predation and how they may shape our minds today. The role of the imagination in our evolution. Physiological evolution and the idea of divine brain surgery. The psilocybin hypothesis. The transformation of human nature through connection with higher levels of consciousness in the universe. The universal information field and cosmic evolution.