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A Brief Biography of Timothy Leary

Essay by review  •  December 10, 2010  •  Essay  •  551 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,171 Views

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The Pied Piper Of Psychedelic 1960's died at his house in Beverly Hills at the age of 75. Timothy Francis Leary was born on October 22, 1920 in Springfield Mass and was an only child. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1959, he joined the faculty at Harvard. At Harvard, Leary began to administer drugs to other faculty members, graduate students, and even prisoners. Leary's LSD experimentation promoted the university to turn on him. In 1963, Leary was dismissed from Harvard. His new outlaw status enabled him to freely continue his use of drugs. With a few friends, Leary left Massachusetts and headed for an estate in New York that became their new headquarters for drug "research." It turned out to be more like a hippie commune where people could come and go as they pleased while guests meditated and took drugs. On October 6, 1966, LSD was declared illegal but that did not seem to damper his spirit.

As the era of tumult and change raged on, Timothy Leary showed up all over the map and alongside a cast of some very famous people at the time. He partied and tripped with Arthur Koestler, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Robert Lowell, Maynard Ferguson and William S. Burroughs. He was arrested by G. Gordon Liddy and sang with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. As a fugitive, he lived in Algeria with Eldridge Cleaver. During late 1966 and early 1967, Leary toured college campuses to spread the psychedelic gospel attempting to replicate the LSD experience and get people to "turn on, tune in, drop out."#

In his long and extravagant public career, Mr. Leary was an accomplished clinical psychologist at Harvard University, a dabbler in Eastern mysticism, a fugitive and convict, a writer, software designer and an promoter of cybernetics. After being dismissed at Harvard, he slowly became an icon for the counterculture. Except for the two years he spent as a fugitive and the three and a half years he spent in prison, he was able to cultivated large audiences with his psychedelic messages such as "a psychedelic experience is a journey to new realms of consciousness. The scope and content of the experience is limitless, but its characteristic features are the transcendence of verbal concepts, of space-time dimensions, and of the ego or identity."# He advocated that people have the "Freedom to Live, Freedom to Grow, and Freedom to pursue Happiness in their

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