Book Review: Change Your Brain by Timothy Leary
The brain is the key. The brain is the source. The brain is God.
This is a book I read many years ago. I first came across it in Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson. I’m fascinated with our ability to change our subjective experience through the power of our minds.
In “Change Your Brain,” Leary explores the idea that the human brain is a "bio-computer" and that humans have the ability to reprogram their brains by changing their behavior, thought patterns, and social interactions.
The book discusses Leary's theories on interpersonal communication and the concept of "reality-tunnels," which are the subjective frameworks through which individuals perceive and interpret the world around them. Leary believed that people could change their reality-tunnels by altering their brain chemistry, and in turn, their perceptions, thoughts, and behaviors. This idea is closely linked to Leary's advocacy for the use of psychedelic substances, as he believed they could help facilitate these changes in brain chemistry and consciousness.
While "Change Your Brain" was not as influential as some of Leary's other works, it still provides insight into his ideas about the potential of the human mind and the role of drugs in altering consciousness.
While I don’t advocate the use of mind altering drugs, my limited experience with “magic mushrooms” opened my eyes, or I should say opened my mind, to the possibilities of psychotropics to help us see through the veil imposed on us by society’s systematic programming.
Some Key Takeaways
Here are some key takeaways from the book:
1: The Power of Neuroplasticity
Leary's focus on the brain as a "bio-computer" highlights the idea of neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to change and adapt by making new neural connections throughout life.
This idea says that people can change the way they think, act, and see things by using the brain's natural ability to change.
2: The Importance of Interpersonal Communication
Leary's work on the Leary Model of Communication shows how important good communication is for personal growth and getting along with other people.
By understanding and improving how we talk to each other, we can make better connections, solve problems, and improve the way we get along with others.
3: Reality Tunnels and Perception
The concept of reality tunnels emphasises the role of subjective perception in shaping our experience of the world. We can become more receptive to alternative viewpoints and improve our understanding of both ourselves and others by realising how our beliefs, experiences, and cultural conditioning shape how we perceive the world.
4: Personal Responsibility and Self-Determination
Leary's focus on personal responsibility and self-determination encourages individuals to take control of their own lives and pursue personal growth. By consciously choosing to change our thoughts, behaviours, and perceptions, we can shape our own destinies and overcome limiting beliefs or societal expectations.
5: The Role of Psychedelics in Consciousness Exploration
Leary's support for the use of psychedelic drugs is controversial, but it gives an idea of how they could be used to learn more about the mind and help people change. His ideas have added to the ongoing discussion about how psychedelics can be used for healing and expanding consciousness.
While some of Leary's ideas were controversial and unconventional, "Change Your Brain" offers valuable insights into the human mind and its potential for growth and transformation. It is essential to approach his work with a critical and open mind, recognising both the valuable contributions and the controversial aspects of his ideas.
Change Your Brain is available to buy on Amazon UK and Amazon US
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