Timothy Leary and the Big Apple
Seas of Glass, the Incarnation, Shameful Speed, Timothy Leary, the Second Wave of Rebel Angels, the Anthropic Principle
Having arrived in New York City that early summer of 1968, it was time for the chapter to get busy. It had become one of Mein Host’s particular gifts to be able to sniff out the right places, or the right people, to further their quest.
It was one of Mary Ann’s convictions that making contact with so-called celebrities would somehow add credibility to the Process church. Those who were open-minded and curious enough to give my ward their time took the opportunity to speak honestly from their hearts. Those they’d met in Hollywood over the previous months in Los Angeles, among whom were the actor James Coburn, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, and John and Michelle Phillips of the The Mamas & The Papas, all in their own ways were deeply touched by their encounters.
However, the unusual intimacy and honesty of these meetings frequently proved so intense and personally revealing for the celebrity, who, unaccustomed to speaking with such candor, would later reflect on what he or she had revealed over the course of their first meeting and would be too embarrassed to repeat the experience.
Speaking now from a watcher’s point of view I can reveal that each of those encounters had a purpose beyond anything my ward was aware of at the time. It would be indiscreet of me and outside my purview to comment in any detail on the secrets revealed in those encounters, with one exception, Timothy Leary. Because Mein Host has already written about his time spent with Leary in a previous book, I intend to reach beneath his account for the deeper currents running through both these two men’s lives.
It is probably unnecessary at this point for me to reveal that Timothy Francis Leary might be thought of as the archetypal incarnated rebel angel. He would have revealed it himself had he the self-awareness and contextual frame to understand it. Yet, a rebel angel he was. Brilliant, charismatic, authority-averse, continually curious, charming, futuristic in outlook, filled with false pride, and obstinately rebellious, Leary died in 1996 without ever coming to terms with the profound damage he had wreaked on more than one generation since the 1960s. By invariably surrounding himself with supportive people--many of whom were also rebel angel incarnates who could relate intelligently to entheogens--he was able to blind himself to the chaos he created. Although there were many people who were totally unprepared for the psychic onslaught of LSD or mescaline, some of whom were permanently harmed by the experience, the most serious damage of Leary’s legacy has been the misbegotten war on drugs and the effective taboo placed on any scientific research of them.
As a watcher, it isn’t my position to pass judgment on Leary’s intentions. From what I observed he was sincere in his belief that the widespread distribution of entheogens would transform Western civilization for the better. It is also well known that Aldous Huxley and a number of other cognoscenti familiar with entheogens had attempted to prevail on Leary to tone down his propagandizing, with no luck.
For all Leary’s talk of transcendence he appeared to have little real grasp of the deeply sanctified nature of entheogens. Had he perhaps encountered plant entheogens first, rather than merely the product of modern pharmacology, he might have had a more reverential approach.
Yet, through a combination of personal pride, his love of being in the public eye, his image of himself as the Pied Piper of Psychedelics, he stubbornly held on to his policy of massive general distribution, justifying it in democratic terms. He believed Huxley and the like were simply doing what elites have always done--keeping the goodies for themselves.
However, an occulted point generally overlooked by those trying to make sense of this era was the supreme value of entheogens to incarnate angels. In this Leary was correct without ever knowing why. As a rebel angel himself, he made the understandable error of believing other people--normal first-timer mortals--were just like him. He found himself caught in an impossible bind. His naturally rebellious spirit, deeply hurt by the dismissive treatment he’d received at the hands of the elitists at Harvard University, together with his conviction in the miraculous transformational power of entheogens, impelled him further and further into a leadership role in the revolution he was promoting.
As is the case with all incarnate angels, Leary was required to live a fully mortal life. That’s what he had taken on by choosing to enter mortal incarnation. And yet, as is also the case with all incarnate angels, he had a deep subconscious awareness of his angelic spiritual heritage that always gave him the feeling he was special--not exactly different from other people, but definitely superior to them.
Leary’s sense of specialness, of being resolutely resilient and relentlessly winsome under the most intolerable circumstances; his determination to remain undiminished by imprisonment and exile; his courage in standing up to authority at its most unjust; while possibly admirable in principle, merely fed his deluded sense of himself and added to his inner turmoil.
If you are wondering how I speak with authority on Timothy Leary’s psychological state, it’s because Mein Host spent three days in a tepee with the man. This allowed me unusual access to the psychologist’s emotional and mental intelligences in that spring of 1968.
I also have no reason to believe he has any objection to my using him as an example of an incarnate rebel angel of the second wave. In my writing straightforwardly of his inner struggles he would hope others will learn from what he missed during his lifetime.