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The Politics of Ecstasy

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  598 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Writings that sparkle with the psychedelic revolution. The Politics of Ecstasy is Timothy Leary's most provocative and influential exploration of human consciousness, written during the period from his Harvard days to the Summer of Love. Includes his early pronouncements on the psychedelic movement and his views on social and political ramifications of psychedelic and ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 4th 1998 by Ronin Publishing (first published January 1st 1968)
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Kip Williams
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
A 1968 edition I've had laying around since 1984. You know what, I wish Tim was right about the effects of psychedelics on our society. He predicted a new religious explosion as each man, woman, and child explored their own consciousness, transforming themselves into their personal Buddha or Lao Tzu. Mostly, we just went to jail and then cognitive therapy and career counseling. Still, acid did have the power to change. It was society that didn't.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is fucking ridiculous, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Ian Willis
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm rating this a little higher than I probably would normally on account of it being such an important historical artifact. Parts of this are excellent, for instance the Playboy Interview. What a fantastic piece of history! And some of his points on Herman Hesse's work as well make reading this worthwhile, though in general I would say it's a little repetitive and overly optimistic. I get WHY he was overly optimistic, he was aiming for something, but it's a bit sad almost 50 years later to see ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Zaten daha kitaba başlamadan Tom Robbins'in önsözünü görünce "haaaah tamam" dedim..

Bu sefer kitabı henüz bitirmeden parti parti yazmayı uygun buluyorum. Bu kitap biraz derleme gibi aslında. Değişik bölümleri var. En başlarında daha çok "dini aydınlanma"lardan bahsediyor. 'Din' derken ideolojik günümüz dinlerinden bahsetmiyorum. Krishnamurti'nin bahsettiği tarzda bir Tanrı'ya ulaşma ve dini yaşama olgusu var. Her neyse..

Timothy Leary, 60lı yıllarda
I'd probably give it a 3.5. Some of the ideas are really interesting and I do agree/admire some of the conclusions (e.g. the idea of each person being their own God, - in charge of our own life - how one can see God in the molecules that make up the world, also of course how drugs change our consciousness, not just his "favourite", LSD, but also alcohol, narcotics and how these connect to other religions and to how social reality is a "completely artificial closed circuit - a consensual paranoia ...more
Colleen Stone
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oddities
I give "The Politics of Ecstasy" a 5 star rating despite the fact that I haven't read it since the early 70s and can't remember much of it (if you can remember the 70s, you weren't there). What I do remember is that it was a little technical for my likings. It's attempts to chronicle the effects of LSD was as unexciting for me as "The Kinsey Report"s attempts to pin sexual response to paper.

So why the 5 stars? Well, it was just one of the books you HAD to read back then. It was a pillar of the
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I first read this in 1970 when I was young. This is the copy I still have on my book shelf and you can see how well read it was. We carried it round with us and quoted it like a bible. Obviously, I was of the generation and we did tune in, turn on and drop out. It may seem dated to many who were not there, but for us it was the best instruction manual ever! :)
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: johnc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
brilliant and raw
Apr 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: keeping
Timothy Leary.

What can I say, but "Wow" and "ummm..."

This is a collection of essays and interviews with the cult psychologist/philosopher which helps introduce the "tune in, turn on, drop out" concept along with specific rebuttals against those who think LSD will cause mass failure of society or compare the results to crack or heroin.

Nevertheless, a book like this must be taken in stride, with an eye on the times, and a sense of the author's predisposition to outcomes.

Nevertheless, a wonderful
Feb 26, 2009 rated it liked it
read when I was a would be psychedelic warrior and wanted to tip acid (LSD) in to the town's water supply. Glad I didn't.
Garrett Dunnington
I would say that this was a pefect introduction to Timothy Leary.
kayla reed
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fascinating book. I don't agree with tons of
his arguments or ideas, but I immensely enjoyed seeing things from his perspective. I would recommend this if the subject matter is appealing to you.
Oct 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure if this is the edition I read ... The edition I read included Richard Alpert (aka Baba Ram Dass) in the author credit and was green and purple on the softcover.
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Goodreads Librari...: Early editions later split into two volumes 1 13 Dec 08, 2018 12:15PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Split editions into series 1 14 Dec 03, 2018 12:19PM  

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Timothy Francis Leary was an American writer, psychologist, futurist, modern pioneer and advocate of psychedelic drug research and use, and one of the first people whose remains have been sent into space. An icon of 1960s counterculture, Leary is most famous as a proponent of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of LSD. He coined and popularized the catch phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out."
“Emotions are the lowest form of consciousness. Emotional actions are the most contracted, narrowing, dangerous form of behavior.

The romantic poetry and fiction of the last 200 years has quite blinded us to the fact that emotions are an active and harmful form of stupor.

Any peasant can tell you that. Beware of emotions. Any child can tell you that. Watch out for the emotional person. He is a lurching lunatic.

Emotions are caused by biochemical secretions in the body to serve during the state of acute emergency. An emotional person is a blind, crazed maniac. Emotions are addictive and narcotic and stupefacient.

Do not trust anyone who comes on emotional.

What are the emotions? In a book entitled Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality, written when I was a psychologist, I presented classifications of emotions and detailed descriptions of their moderate and extreme manifestations. Emotions are all based on fear. [...]

The emotional person cannot think; he cannot perform any effective game action (except in acts of physical aggression and strength). The emotional person is turned off sensually. His body is a churning robot. [...]

The only state in which we can learn, harmonize, grow, merge, join, understand is the absence of emotion. This is called bliss or ecstasy, attained through centering the emotions. [...]

Conscious love is not an emotion; it is serene merging with yourself, with other people, with other forms of energy. Love cannot exist in an emotional state. [...]

The great kick of the mystic experience, the exultant, ecstatic hit, is the sudden relief from emotional pressure.

Did you imagine that there could be emotions in heaven? Emotions are closely tied to ego games. Check your emotions at the door to paradise.”
“a man--venerable, with a white beard, or on a cross, or as a baby, or a sage seated in the full lotus position. Are these not limiting incarnations, temporary housings, of the great energy process?” 2 likes
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