Annotated Excerpts from Timothy Leary’s “StarSeed” …written while Tim was incarcerated in Folsom Prison.
©1973 by Joanna Leary. All rights reserved
Published for Joanna Leary by Level Press, San Francisco
Cover design by Tim Leary & Dana Reemes
THIS SIGNAL IS BEING TRANSMITTED from a cell in Folsom Prison, which is the Black Hole of American society. A Black Hole is a dense space with a heavy gravitational pull. Matter which falls into a Black Hole fades from view and disintegrates in the stress of gravity. Given sufficient time, its radiation becomes too feeble to be detected from without. Although the matter of the Black Hole cannot re-escape as matter, some of it may manage to escape in the form of feeble red radiation. Some cosmologists suggest that Black Holes are the link to another realization of matter. They may be passageways to another universe, just as the manholes of Paris lead to a world beneath the street. Well, the maximum security prison is a fine place from which to scan the universe. it's beyond pure, undiluted bad. As good as good can be.
Out here, beyond good and evil, one sees America in pain, injured nervous systems propelling robot-bodies in repetitious, aimless motion along paths labeled rights and wrong. I watch hardened criminals watching Ehrlichman on television protesting that his personal rights (shades of Edward Snowden? – Ed) have been violated. Sri Krishna Prem, the wisest man in India, sat on the floor of his little mountain-top ashram showing me pictures from medieval alchemical books. He pointed to the design of a man standing naked with devil on one shoulder, angel on the other. He said, "When you understand that, you can go on to the next lesson."
The next lesson was a parable about a great castle that was separated from shore by a swamp. Pilgrims, searchers, warriors seeking the castle disappeared into the marsh because each rock they stepped on sank from view. The Hero and his mate sat on the bank and watched for days. Then He rose and held his hand to Her. He whispered the instructions that Sri Krishna Prem transmitted to me: "Leap from rock to rock more swiftly than they sink. The trick is simple. Have courage and keep moving."
Each spot we stand on crumbles beneath us, becoming a launching pad for the next stride.
From the far future, I transmit these messages back to planet earth. Beware of the Hindu trap. It's anti-sexual. The guru, God, and the swami universe is a soft, sweet custard mush... undifferentiated unity. True unity is contacted through increasing precision of differentiations. Philosophy of science (Psi-phy). The universe is not chaos ruled by casual chance. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is pessimistic nineteenth century fraud. Tensile structures emerge and lawfully evolve because of the underlying magnetic charging. Positive-negative. WoMan.
Life is an interstellar communication network. Life is disseminated through the galaxies in the form of nucleotide templates. These "seeds" land on planets, are activated by solar radiation and evolve nervous systems. The bodies which house and transport nervous systems and the reproductive seeds are constructed in response to the atmospheric and gravitational characteristics of the host planet, the crumbling rock upon which we momentarily rest.
Evolution is concerned with nervous systems and the sexual attractive efficiency of bodies, the expansion of consciousness.
The human being is the robot carrier of a large brain, conscious of being conscious. A robot designed to discover the circuitry which programs its behavior. The nervous system is the instrument of consciousness. When mankind discovered the function and infinite capacities of the nervous system, a mutation took place. The metamorphosis from larval earth-life to a higher destiny. The person who has made this discovery becomes a time-traveler. A Psi-Phy entity. When Astronaut Mitchell saw the green jewel of earth against the black velvet expanse of interstellar distance, he became Psi-Phy. Ecology is a low-level distraction. Psi-Phy boy scouts picking up trash. The genetic goal is communication. Telepathy. Electronic sexuality. Reception and transmission of electromagnetic waves. The erotics of resonance. The entire universe is gently, rhythmically, joyously vibrating. Cosmic intercourse.
This is a message of hope and interstellar love from the Black Hole. Irrepressible optimism. Yes, it is true that repressive pessimists now control planetary politics. This is a larval phase. Life has been evolving for three and a half billion years and has just reached the half-way point. This message of neurological resonance can be censored, imprisoned but cannot be crushed because it comes from within, from the DNA nucleus inside each cell, from the evolving nervous system. The Higher Intelligence has already stepped on planet earth and its script is writ within our bodies, emerging in every generation.
In 1963 I began searching for a spot on this planet where a station could be set up for time experiments. In that year, I was expelled from Harvard, from Mexico, Dominica, Antigua. No crimes alleged or committed. Just too much energy transmitted. Blew out the local fuses. In 1966, G. Gordon Liddy led several midnight raids, helicopter assaults on our center at Millbrook, New York. We were literally under siege. No evidence of illegal activity was found, but I was forced to leave the county. G. Gordon Liddy went straight to the White House on the basis of this harassment. The relentless web of Karma. Thus I helped to create Watergate. Howard Hunt was a White House narcotics expert, directing the campaign of surveillance, raids, and arrests, which eventually drove me to exile in Algeria and Switzerland.
Too much energy. Keith Richards (lead guitar for the “Rolling Stones” …a rock n roll band that was popular during that era -ED) and Anita reported the same problem. Exiles on Main Street. The only solution seemed to be a boat. A new society of timeships, sailing the high seas. The Noah myth. Premonitory preparation for the emigration from planet earth. Load the boat with transmitting equipment. Radio Free Earth.
Imagine looking at a map of earth. Scattered around the oceans are a hundred little golden spots, clustering in the Caribbean, moving through the Indian Ocean, the South Pacific. Timeships carrying the first global citizens. A moving transient community of mutants who form a new nation, who transcend their former nationalities. How do they support themselves? They are the wisest, strongest, best-endowed. Mutants have to be.
Joanna and I were at St. Moritz for Christmas. She was born there in the Palace Hotel. Chancellor Kreisky of Austria had invited me to come to Austria to make an anti-addiction film. We had sent probes to Ceylon and Bali to look for a boat. We were offered a three-story ambassadorial house. They wanted us to help them bring Austria into the twentieth century. Why didn't we stay? Poutzi in St. Moritz said, "Now that you've found each other, you must slow down." Something kept us moving.
We flew from Vienna to Beirut where we stayed with the son of the ex-president. At the Kabul airport the official from the American embassy grabbed my passport illegally and the Afghan police busted me for not having a passport. We were kept under armed guard for three days and driven to the airport. The Afghani policeman wept and the Army Major told me the pilot of the airplane would return my passport. Armed American narcotics agents escorted me back to prison. Dumped in a solitary confinement cell for four months I wrote Neurologic. At the escape trial I testified under oath that I felt like a man from the 21st century being boiled in a pot by superstitious savages. Now is the time in the SCI Fl books for the cosmic intelligence agency to send the extra-planetary rescue ship.
The first time I visited the Folsom Prison library I picked up Lovell's book on outer space. The last chapter presents a drawing of the remnant of a living organism found on a meteorite. A nucleic acid molecule. The first signal from extra-terrestrial life. Help is on the way. Prisoners began to etch the design on silver pins and leatherwork handicrafted in the hobby shop. We called it STARSEED. The symbol of Psi-Phy.