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Programming & Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer: Theory & Experiments

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  264 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In this pioneering study, renowned scientist Dr. John C. Lilly explodes our sense of the boundaries of the human brain, as he details his controversial experiments with exploring the mind's vast potential.

Starting from the position that man is essentially a biological computer, Lilly explains we are all born with some "programs"--such as eating, sleeping, and feeling pain

Paperback, 196 pages
Published May 27th 1987 by Three Rivers Press (first published 1968)
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4.16  · 
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 ·  264 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for a mad scientist who turned his back on the scientific establishment to pursue the wonders of inner space and altered states of consciousness, you couldn't do better (at least in the 20th century) than John Lilly. If you're looking for a book that isn't just another series of head-trips but rather a how-to manual, this is a great one. Lilly embodied both the iconoclast and the scientific observer. Perhaps he came closer than any other to the development of a model of study t ...more
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first third of this book is intended to screen out the people who shouldn't read the rest.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had a copy of this book as well as two others by Lilly that I greatly treasured. After moving house more times than I care to count, I confess to having lost those volumes somewhere along the way. A pity because Lilly's work has always been an inspiration to me. He was a controversial and scholarly researcher who was not afraid to undertake research on a particular issue simply because it made his colleagues uneasy. LSD's potentially useful mental health applications and the value of complete ...more
Rat Xue
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reads like a COBOL program. If you liked "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge", maybe you'll like this.
Tamas Kalman
Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding book about our human nature - a deep analysis without taboos or dogmas.
Deepak Dev
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
The subject is the exploration of human behaviours in solitude with the effect of LSD25 (a recreational drug ) and interpreting the results from a software/programming point of view.It took me a lot of time to just digest the facts, almost 40 hours! It helped me to understand an organizational view of our brain with software and hardware parts and a methodical instruction for self analysis. I read this book as a preface to J C LILLY's "the centre of the cyclone". Since that book is about his per ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is an important, influential and historic text. A landmark in research on the scientific and therapeutic uses of LSD. That doesn't make it fun to read. I don't doubt it's significance but beyond its opening remarks on the nature of human consciousness I got very little from it. It's just too dense — or I am. I got much more from listening to Robert Anton Wilson wax lyrical about this book than I did from the book itself.
Lex Talionis
Jan 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: The Serious Psychonaut
The most honest and comprehensive attempt to date at the empirical examination of the psychedelic experience. This is a technical treatise, and may be somewhat inaccessible to readers without much scientific background.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not the easiest book to read, but still great. "The Center of the Cyclone: An Autobiography of Inner Space" is a better place to start reading Lilly.
Patrick McConnell
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great stuff, cutting-edge science
Ean Schuessler
Jan 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book that taught me that the space alien voices in my mind are really products of my subconcious and then showed me how to talk to dolphins. That was *before* I took the LSD. Highly recommended reading.
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
had it..then lost it, most fun you can have with LSD and your brain.
Matthew Gilboy
Feb 28, 2007 marked it as to-read
VERY MUCH to-read
Aug 17, 2012 is currently reading it
Interesting so far. Mildly dry, but very clear. Not sure if I fully agree with all his hypotheses, but he certainly makes the point that that's exactly what they are "hypotheses"...
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Literally mind blowing. The very idea that the brain could be programmed just like a computer was extremely radical when it was published...
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hg
David Young
Seminal systems approach to consciously altering mental patterns.
Mark Stanfill
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Mar 14, 2012
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Jerry Doughan
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Feb 08, 2016
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Jun 27, 2016
Sergei Rudz
rated it it was ok
Jul 06, 2017
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John Cunningham Lilly was an American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, psychonaut, philosopher, writer and inventor.

He was a researcher of the nature of consciousness using mainly isolation tanks, dolphin communication, and psychedelic drugs, sometimes in combination.