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Leary's 8 circuit model.

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4/17/2012 9:54:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I find this to be a great map for cognitive science or psychological debates in which one can use one of the following 8 titles to describe archetypical human experiences. It directly relates to eastern philosophy's chakral system. This map provides us the ability of thinking of lower circuits (1-4) as lower consciousness or more primal states of mind, and higher circuits (5-8) as higher consciousness or more imaginative and intuitive.

The eight circuits of the human nervous system

The names for the circuits used by Timothy Leary [1][2][3] are shown first and the names for the circuits used by Robert Anton Wilson are shown next [4](they both used the same names for the first, second, and fifth circuits). After the name of the circuit, the name that was used by Timothy Leary to describe the level of consciousness that is activated by that circuit is shown in parentheses.[2]

1. The Biosurvival Circuit (the Breath of Consciousness)

This circuit is imprinted in infancy, concerned with suckling, nourishment, cuddling, bio-security, etc. The imprinting of this circuit sets up the basic attitude of trust or suspicion which will last for life. First activated when a human being is born, and programs perception onto an either-or grid, divided into nurturing-helpful and noxious-dangerous (approach/accept vs. flight/flee). This circuit is activated in adults by opioids such as heroin. This circuit is said to have appeared in the earliest evolution of the invertebrate brain. This circuit begins with 1 spatial dimension, forward/back.

2. The Emotional–Territorial Circuit (Freud's Ego)

The Emotional Circuit is imprinted in the toddling stage, concerned with emotions, domination and submission strategies, territory, etc. The first imprint on this circuit identifies the stimuli which will automatically trigger dominant, aggressive behavior or submissive, co-operative behavior. This circuit is activated by large quantities of alcohol (inebriation). This circuit appeared first in territorial vertebrate animals. This circuit introduces a 2nd dimension; up/down.

3. The Symbolic or Neurosemantic–Dexterity Circuit (the Rational Mind)

This circuit is imprinted by human artifacts and symbol systems. It is concerned with handling the environment, invention, calculation, prediction, building a "map" of the universe, etc. It is associated with physical dexterity. This circuit is activated by stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine. This circuit supposedly appeared first when hominids started differentiating from the rest of the primates.

4. The Domestic or Sociosexual Circuit (the "Adult" Personality)

This fourth circuit is imprinted by the first orgasm-mating experiences and tribal "morals". It is concerned with sexual pleasure (instead of sexual reproduction), local definitions of "moral" and "immoral", reproduction, nurture of the young, etc. It is basically concerned with operating within social networks and the transmission of culture across time. This circuit is said to have first appeared with the development of tribes. Leary never associated a drug with it, but some have pointed out that entactogens such as MDMA seem to meet some of the requirements needed to activate this circuit.

5. The Neurosomatic Circuit (Zen–Yoga Mind–body Connection)

This is concerned with neurological-somatic feedbacks, feeling high, somatic reprogramming, etc. The fifth circuit, according to Leary, is consciousness of the body. There is a marked shift from linear visual space to an all-encompassing aesthetic sensory space. A hedonistic turn-on occurs, a rapturous amusement, a detachment from the previously compulsive mechanism of the first four circuits. This circuit is activated by ecstatic experiences via physiological effects of cannabis, Hatha Yoga, tantra, Zen meditation, and free fall. Leary describes that this circuit first appeared in the upper classes, with the development of leisure-class civilizations around 2000 BC.
6. The Neuroelectric or Metaprogramming Circuit (Psionic Electronic-Interface Earth Grid Mind)

This circuit is concerned with re-imprinting and re-programming all earlier circuits and the relativity of "realities" perceived. The sixth circuit consists of the nervous system becoming aware of itself. Leary says this circuit enables telepathic communication and is activated by low-to-moderate doses of LSD (50-150 µg), moderate doses of Peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms. This circuit is traced by Leary back to 500 BC, and he associates it with the Silk Road.

7. The Neurogenetic or Morphogenetic Circuit (Buddha–Monad "Mind")

This part is concerned with evolutionary consciousness (past and future), DNA-RNA-brain feedbacks (ancestral, societal and scientific). The first to achieve this mutation spoke of "memories of past lives", "reincarnation", "immortality" etc. This circuit is activated by regular doses of LSD (200-500 µg), higher doses of Peyote, higher doses of psilocybin mushrooms, Raja Yoga, and years of dedicated meditative practice in general. The circuit first appeared among the Hindus in the early first millennium and later reappeared among the Sufi sects.

8. The Psychoatomic or Quantum Non-local Circuit (Overmind)

The eighth circuit is concerned with quantum consciousness, non-local awareness (information from beyond ordinary space-time awareness which is limited by the speed of light), illumination. Some of the ways this circuit can get activated are: the awakening of kundalini, shock, a near-death experience, etc. This circuit has even been compared to the Buddhist concept of Indra's net from the Avatamsaka Sutra. This circuit is activated by DMT and high doses of ketamine (75-125 mg IM, see "K-hole").
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts