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Turn On. Tune In. Drop Out. A Summary of Tim Leary

Who Was Tim Leary?

Timothy Leary (full name Timothy Francis Leary) was an American psychologist and author who was a pioneering proponent of the use of LSD and other psychoactive drugs. He was born on October 22, 1920, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and passed away on May 31, 1996, in Beverly Hills, California.

Leary, the son of a U.S. Army officer, was brought up in a Catholic home and went to the University of Alabama, the College of the Holy Cross, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (B.A., 1943). He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in psychology in 1950 and worked there as an assistant professor until 1955. In the 1950s, Leary pushed novel methods of group therapy, established a system for categorizing interpersonal behaviour, and created an egalitarian paradigm for interaction between the psychotherapist and the patient. He developed a reputation as a bright young academic, and in 1959, Harvard University hired him as a lecturer.

What Role Did He Play in Psychedelics?

Psilocybin, a synthetic version of the hallucinogen present in some mushrooms, was the subject of Leary’s first experiments while he was a student at Harvard. He came to the conclusion that psychedelic drugs might be useful for altering personality and elevating human consciousness. He founded the Harvard Psilocybin Project with psychologist Richard Alpert (who later renamed himself Ram Dass) and started giving psilocybin to graduate students. He also shared the substance with a number of well-known singers, writers, and artists, and studied the philosophical and cultural effects of psychedelic substances. Leary started to believe that the experience should be made available to the general population, especially to young people, in contrast to many within the psychedelic research group who insisted that the drugs should only be used by a select elite. Due to the fact that these types of studies were highly controversial at the time, Leary along with Alpert was dismissed from Harvard in 1963. It was after this moment in Leary’s life that he began studying and experimenting with LSD.

What is LSD And How Was It Discovered?

In Basel, Switzerland, in 1938, Albert Hofmann, a scientist for Sandoz Pharmaceutical, created LSD-25 (lysergic acid diethylamide) for the first time while searching for a blood stimulant. However, it wasn’t until 1943 when Hofmann accidentally ingested some LSD that its hallucinatory properties were discovered. Later research revealed that intense hallucinations may be induced by as little as 25 micrograms of the drug taken orally, which is equivalent to a few salt grains.

LSD was employed in research by psychiatrists during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s due to its similarities to a brain chemical and similarities in effects to some features of psychosis. The free samples provided by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals for the trials were used even though the researchers were unable to find any medical applications for the medicine.

What is Tim Leary’s Connection to LSD?

Leary started researching and experimenting with LSD intensely after his dismissal from Harvard. He gathered large groups of students and gave them the drug to see what their experiences were. Many had good trips while others had bad ones, but to Leary, this was all part of his strategy of studying the psychedelic.  Due to his extensive public profile and frequent public lectures, particularly on college campuses, he travelled widely and came to the forefront of the growing LSD debate. “Turn on, tune in, drop out”—his phrase—became a well-known counterculture catchphrase. Leary advocated “set and setting,” the practice of ingesting the drug in a supervised setting, as a means of avoiding unpleasant trips. He founded the League of Spiritual Discovery, an LSD advocacy group, and started going to a lot of musical gatherings and public forums that supported LSD use in the middle of the 1960s. Leary served a number of years in prison for numerous drug possession-related offenses.

While Tim Leary’s methods for LSD and psychedelic research may have been unorthodox, his intention was for our human consciousness to open up and expand on a mass level. He wanted us to tap into higher levels of consciousness and learn to connect more deeply with one another. Leary strongly believed that LSD, psilocybin, and other psychedelics opened up parts of our brains that otherwise remained shut down.

We at Get Magic Mushrooms always advise our customers to research psychedelics very deeply and take the necessary precautions when trying any psychedelic for the first time. We hope you enjoyed this article and have a safe and happy psychedelic experience!

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June 2024