This hierarchical model of human behaviour/experience/consciousness is definitely good food for thought.

Timothy Leary seems to have drawn on many ideas current in order to try to construct an over-arching metaphor. For instance see Erikson's Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development and Freud's Psychosexual Stages.

Fitting everything into a grand cosmic scheme is often a preocupation of the later phases of a good trip.

It is inevitable that the human mind will be compared to the most advanced machine available, and in the 1960s this was the circuit board in an electronic device. Dr. Leary uses this metaphor to show the different ways in which we may react. In this he makes an explicit metaphor: the human brain is constructed by evolution by adding new circuits to the existing ones, as we may build a complex electronic device, starting with the simplest functions and building up.

At the lower levels the model is simple and uncontroversial, but still novel to many of us. As in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, our first and most pressing concern is for our own survival - food, warmth, shelter, etc. This is the first "circuit".

Once this is taken care of, we can concern ourselves with our relation to authority, place in the pecking order in a typically animal fashion, but within our own human partly learned, partly innate moral and social order. This is the second "circuit". This is explicitly tied to Freud's ideas about toilet training.

It is questionable to me if logic, abstraction and communication (the third circuit) precedes sexual needs and morality (the fourth). In a child's developmental process it does. In our evolutionary history it does not. Morality is also more than just sexual, and the awakening of this morality should preceed sexual maturity.

It is also questionable to me that our logical minds occupy only one eighth of this model, and not a particularly highly placed eighth at that, when in my opinion this is where the richest variety and expression of human creativity lies. If the motive for placing this circuit on the third rung is that "reason is a whore", why then blind faith and mysticism is the Whore of Babylon.

The darkmoor or dark night of the soul has parallels in many occult traditions.

Past the forth circuit we are into mystical territory, and even the best of us, Dr Leary included, are only guessing at what is there and how to order it, if indeed these intuitive non-linear faculties can be ordered at all.

Though the concept of metaprograming is an interesting one, some of these "higher circuits" are to me indistinguishable from pseudo-scientific new age mumbo-jumbo. See for example The Collective Neurogenetic Circuit's gabble about remembering past lives through your DNA or The Non-Local Quantum Circuit's quantum hand-waving in favour of precognition. No doubt it sounded fresh and like wow back in the 1960's.

Dr Timothy Leary, the so-called LSD guru theorized that the the nervous system comprises eight different Circuits of Consciousness that the mind and body can operate on. These circuits work much like the gears in an automobile in that when in one particular gear, the mind works one way, a different way when the gear is changed.

The different circuits have developed over the course of human history, and will continue to develop for as long as we exist as a species. They are listed both in chronological order of their development, but also the complexity of their mechanations, for these two items are inexorably linked. The invertebrate has no need for higher reasoning, and so, things only develop as they are needed.

The Bio Survival Circuit was the first of the eight circuits to arise, and it is the first circuit in which our mind operates when we are born. It is a condition-response sort of mind that reacts directly with stimuli. An individual operating in this circuit seeks only to be near to those things which are pleasing and to flee or attack those things which are harmful.

Second is the Emotional Circuit, and it is the mind of a child. The individual ceases to be an entity of reaction, but an entity of action. Instead of simply responding to its environment, the organism sets goals and defines desires. Just as the child finds itself to be very self-centered and interested only in fulfilling the desires it has set for itself.

Third, is the Dexterity-Symbolism Circuit. This circuit represents the left brain functions of the mind. Logical reasoning, mathematics and the like are all controlled by this circuit.

Fourth, is the Social-Sexual Circuit. Organisms acting in this circuit become interested in time. Or, more accurately, the being wishes to transmit its culture, or beliefs across time by influencing future generations. This is the beginning of religion.

The first four brains are ones that have already developed and are active in all normal human beings. The latter group of four, however, has yet to be activated in human beings and require the use of drugs, ritual or other means to expand upon one's bioconditioning, to become a truly metaprogrammed individual.

The Neurosomatic Circuit is the fifth brain, and was first activated perhaps 4,000 years ago in certain hedonistic circles within the affluent members of society. Tantra, marijuana, sensory deprivation or psychological trauma are all triggers for the fifth circuit. The Neurosomatic Circuit itself is an initial stage of detachment from the action-reaction nature of the first four brains.

Sixth is the Neuroelectric Circuit. Metaprogramming. A being operating in this circuit has a keen awareness of his own programming, and even has some ideas as to modify that programming to better suit his goals. LSD, Peyote and certain metaprograms all have the potential to unlock the Sixth Mind.

The penultimate circuit, the Neurogenetic Circuit is the remembrence of past-lives, and the development of supranormal powers, such as telekinesis and telepathy. The being has an understanding of the human mind down to each and every neuron, and has great insight into the true nature of reality. Immortality.

The consciousness escapes the mind in the Neuro-Atomic Circuit and is free to travel about. Contact with extraterrestrial or superterrestrial beings is often reported. Astral Projection, the Galactic Overmind and access to the collective unconscious have all been reported. Extremely high doses of ketamine as well as DMT are able to trigger this circuit.

Nobody knows as of yet if there are further circuits beyond these eight into which the human mind has yet to venture, but this Noder is willing to bet that there are hundreds, just waiting to be discovered.

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