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This nutty eight circuit thing

"Thus the butterfly has altogether forgotten that it was a caterpillar. Perhaps it can so completely forget in turn that it was a butterfly that it can become a fish."
--Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

This is from the earliest days of my psychedelic career, back before I had fully broken my brain and started all over again; I was not yet 21 years of age, and I was enthralled with Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson. Rest assured I am no longer so enthusiastic about this model and have plenty of cynical things to say about it and its creation. Yet despite the fact that I was essentially parroting my long-distance mentors at that time in my life, this essay is nevertheless a quirky artifact that's worth a look, as it remains the only known essay to seriously compare Leary's eight circuit model of consciousness to the cast of characters on Gilligan's Island.

15-APR-1992 01:38:22.78

Received a few questions recently about the eight circuit model. I know someone posted it earlier (taken from alt.drugs), but I thought I'd try to use a few examples that would tie in to us specifically. As of yet, I have no idea if that's going to work out or not...maybe I'll have to resort to Gilligan once more.

0. Preface.
Realize, of course, that as always, the map is not the territory, the model is not the medium, and this model is not your mind. It's merely the mind trying to make sense of the mind, while leaving out the fact that the mind is not an outside observer to the model, but an active force in the model. We can realize this and use this model anyway because we have no choice -- it's our nature, as you'll discover around Circuits 7 and 8 (none of those funny Roman numerals for me, thanks).

1. The Oral Bio-Survival Circuit.
Fight or flee, plain and simple. It is the basest, most developed, quickest, instinctual circuit we have. How do you react when placed in a threatening situation? If a monkey in a jungle comes across another monkey, instantly those monkeys have to decide, "Am I threatened? Is this monkey friend or foe? Do I fight or do I flee? Whose territory am I on? Am I more comfortable here, or not? Who has the advantage physically? Am I bigger, quicker? Do I have the advantage? Could I get an attack in before he has time to react? Which is the best angle to approach from? If I can get a hold of his throat, will I be vulnerable anywhere else? Okay, here goes..." And these monkeys will make all of these decisions in under a second.

It's the same situation with humans. I receive a signal; I react. Instantly. NOTICE that there is no time for value judgments here. You simply react, instinctively.

The first thing you imprint on Circuit 1 is your mother, or any life-giving, non-threatening figure.

Gilligan is our personification of Circuit 1. Generally unknowing, concerned mostly with avoiding harm ("Gilligan, when I get my hands on you..."), and has no plans for the future, just taking it as it comes ("My teeth are picking up radio signals? I hope I like the station").

2. The Anal Emotional-Territorial Circuit
The pecking order; who is the Top Dog? After an encounter on the first circuit, you will quickly establish the pecking order in any given situation, and you will react on the second circuit according to that encounter. Am I dominant, or dominated? This isn't always bad; the Top Dog may genuinely be the right one to be the Top Dog in your situation, which may be why you submitted to that Top Dog; then again, the Top Dog may have forced hirself into that position. This circuit is imprinted in your toddler stages, when you're just learning the politics of the household, when you're just learning where your parents or authority figures will draw the line, when you're just figuring out how much you can get away with.

The Skipper is our personification of Circuit 2. Obviously the Top Dog in the relationship between he and Gilligan, and he and the rest of the castaways most of the time. He gets things done. Notice that this example of the Top Dog isn't negative at all; if it wasn't for the courage of the fearless crew, after all, that little Minnow would have been lost.

3. The Time-Binding Semantic Circuit
This circuit allows us to interact with society, using artifacts, symbols, language, etc. It also allows us, now, to carry bits of our society down through time -- written language, art, etc. You imprint this as you learn to speak, as you learn to write, as you learn the best methods of communication between people. This circuit, for me, is where I come up with essays like this, semantic grids that try to convey my experiences to you, through the only common medium we have -- words.

The Professor is our personification of Circuit 3. Concerned entirely with science, making models, coming up with solutions, fixing the radio. "If I could rig this little metal thingy up, I could construct a crude barometer that would allow us to ride out the storm."

4. The "Moral" Socio-Sexual Circuit
Imprinted during puberty and your first orgasm. This deals with how you perceive right and wrong, and in this case, morals and sexuality are very closely tied. How much guilt do you feel as you barrel into your first sexual experience? How has society conditioned you to feel toward sex in general? The orgasm is one of the most vulnerable points your nervous system encounters, and the guilt or pride or love or fear you carry into that will certainly be imprinted. It affects, then, how you view the motions of the lower three circuits.

Mary Anne is our personification of Circuit 4. Very attractive, and yet, you just wonder what she's thinking about all these clowns. She comes from the Midwest, good solid moral background, and even if she is attracted to the Professor, do you think she could ever go through with it?

These four circuits have been developing over the centuries. They sum up our past evolution, show us where we've been. The higher four circuits are precursors to our next phase of evolution, show us where we're going.

5. The Holistic Neurosomatic Circuit
The rapture/bliss circuit, I like to call it. Deals entirely with ecstatic, sensual experience. What's going on in your body? How does it feel? This process of living, of feeling the chemical processes in your body, it is so amazingly wonderful. And it's going on all the time, only your lower four circuits are conditioned to ignore it, because all of that sensory input might detract from your "necessary workload." This circuit is imprinted by ecstatic experiences, be they emotional or physical (some would say the two are the same). Tantric yoga, or marijuana, are keys to this circuit, and there are a myriad other ways. Explore how wonderful it feels just to be alive, and feeling. Each nerve means something! Each nerve has an experience! I'm writing this post while sitting on the 5th Circuit. No, I haven't just smoked something, I've finally opened this up.

Faith healers live on this circuit. The lower four circuits come to the fifth circuit, looking for relief, and the faith healer can simply turn on, briefly perhaps or more permanently, the joy in each patient. Why? Because the faith healer enjoys joy, especially the joy of giving joy to others.

Ginger is of course our personification of Circuit 5. Get in with her, my friends, and you are guaranteed a sensual, wonderful experience. You know it, and she knows it.

6. The Collective Neurogenetic Circuit
Whoa. Now we're getting into it. Ever taken an LSD journey? Here you go... Where before, you were exploring your body, here you explore each individual cell. You can see the cells in your body, the cells all around you. (I'm not going to go into too much detail; the visuals obviously will vary :)) The fact is, your DNA has just as much experience as you believe your brain to have. More so, due to the fact that your DNA has been around a lot longer than "you" have. It's your genetic script, so to speak.

Ideas about the collective consciousness of the human race...archetypes that always pop up... When this net talks about tripping, what things keep popping up over and over again? It's not always necessarily a matter of synchronicity. Our DNA is telling us strange and interesting things about our history and about our future. The problem is, we hang out here and we feel all these things, but then when we come down, our poor little 3rd Circuit simply can't come up with the right set of words, the right semantic grid to describe it. All we can do is paint pictures -- pictures of God (Michelangelo), evocative music (Beethoven's later stuff), and hope that these things will carry some of the emotional weight of the experience.

Mrs. Howell is our personification of the 6th Circuit. Mrs. Howell knows instinctively "how" to be wealthy; no one had to sit her down and tell her. She always simply wouldn't be proper for her particular set of DNA to be anything but. Luckily, other DNA has been rich before her, and can convey the experience to her.

7. The Metaprogramming Circuit
The 7th Circuit, when it finally opens its eyes, looks back at all the other circuits and says, "Hmmmm. Maybe if we altered that just a bit, it'd be a lot more groovy to be me." Very literally, we're dealing with changing your reality tunnel, your world view, all of your beliefs, or some of your beliefs, or none if that's what you want, but the 7th Circuit fully gives you the choice. And it's not just a matter
of deciding, "I've decided that, rather than take German, I'm going to take French," for whatever reason. It's reality-shattering, when it happens, it's the process of making your reality as big and funny and happy(TM) as you want it to be, and then, when you've explored that, making it bigger and funnier and happier(TM). What are the techniques for doing this? Only your own 7th Circuit can tell you. Who else but you knows the best way to metaprogram you?

Mr. Howell is our personification of Circuit 7. Mr. Howell has the power not only to do just about anything he wants, but he can buy off the others whenever he wants too. And it's second nature to him; it's not something he has to revel in, he just does it. Whew.

8. The Non-Local Quantum Circuit
Who can say? Out of body experiences, near-death experiences, anything that SHOCKS you will imprint this circuit. You completely break out of anything you could have ever even imagined as possible for your reality. Whoopee! You too can experience modern physics on the molecular level!! When the castaways get rescued, where do they go?? Circuit 8, my friends. (Do they hang out there permanently? Nope. They adjust to their new reality, and when it sinks in, they start the process over again.)

And the process is infinite, believe me. It doesn't stop. You can always go another step forward (or backward if you're a pessimist). Just when you get comfortable in your new reality, you suddenly realize, "This new reality is cool, I'll admit, but I'll just bet it could be cooler." And sure enough, it could be.

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