Eight-circuit model of consciousness  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The 8-Circuit Model of Consciousness is a theory in psychology, first proposed by Timothy Leary. It consists of several quantum psychological systems that unify the various interpretations of the main altered states of consciousness into one coherent meta-theory. The most basic part describes in a simple outline eight brains of information that operate within the human nervous system. Several different people (Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, and Antero Alli) have written about each circuit in depth and how each operates in the lives of human beings, both individually and collectively. The 8-circuit model provides a conglomerate model of several preceding and interconnecting models within some of the human and medical sciences such as psychology, neurology, sociology, anthropology, etc., and other more "hard sciences," i.e., physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics.

Although Timothy Leary greatly expanded the basic premise of eight brains, he was inspired by sources such as the Hindu chakra system. However, the most direct transmission occurred when Leary received a document from a student of yoga. This pamphlet contained 24 different pages, with every three pages (subdivisions) corresponding to particular energy.Template:Citation needed. Leary then translated this and expanded it into the 24-stage model of evolution, as well as eventually streamlining it into the eight-circuit model of consciousness. With this, Leary created his umbrella model which others have expanded and philosophized on.

As mentioned, eight different neurological circuits (each one pertaining to a specific state of consciousness) exist in each human being, but the later four have only recently evolved. Only a small to moderate number of human beings uses the later four circuits.

The first Four:
  1. The Bio-Survival Circuit
  2. The Emotional-Territorial Circuit
  3. The Dextro-Symbolic Circuit
  4. The Ethical-Social Circuit
The later more recently developed and developing brains:
  1. The Neuro-somatic circuit.
  2. The Meta-programming circuit
  3. The Neuro-genetic Circuit
  4. The Non-local Circuit

Leary presumed the first four to reside in the left lobe or hemisphere of the brain or the cerebrum, and described them as basic survival functions needed for existence on a terrestrial planet. The later four which reside in the right hemisphere exist for future use by humans who might someday migrate to outer space and live extraterrestrially (i.e., in a zero gravity environment). Although Wilson also wrote about the distinction between terrestrial and extraterrestrial life, he gave each circuit a much more specific location in various regions of the brain (which will be documented below).

The term "circuits" came from the first wave of cybernetics research and development in the United States in the 1970s. (Others have proposed that the terms 'systems' should substitute 'circuits' to reflect both a systems theory approach and also the changing anatomy of an entity as it goes through a neurological change).

According to discussions and documentation by Robert Anton Wilson, Antero Alli, Christopher S. Hyatt, and Timothy Leary, each circuit available to an individual represents a more complex phase of evolution. The circuits activate in ascending order, providing an evolutionary link between the evolution of an individual human, a species' genetic history, and an entire gene pool. In other words, each Neurological Circuit that activates provides an additional cognitive function within the entity that has activated it (whether or not the entity has awareness of the circumstances that led to its activation).

Leary theorized that until recently in human development these higher circuits have remained dormant within the brain. However, he believed that one could activate and experience the higher circuits with the use of some brain-changing technologies and techniques. Some of these include psychedelic and psychoactive drugs, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) or Design Human Engineering (DHE), Light and Sound, or Mind machines, Crowleyan magick, Meditation, and Yoga.Template:Citation needed

See also


  • Leary, Timothy - Neurologic, 1973, with Joanna Leary
  • Leary, Timothy - Exo-Psychology 1977
  • Leary, Timothy - The Politics of Ecstasy, Ronin Publishing 1998 reprint (Original Ed. 1970)
  • Leary, Timothy - Info-Psychology, New Falcon Publications 1989 ISBN 1-56184-105-6
  • Leary, Timothy - What Does WoMan Want?, 1976, 88 Books
  • Wilson, Robert Anton - Prometheus Rising, New Falcon Publications (Reprint - 1992). ISBN 1-56184-056-4
  • Wilson, Robert Anton - Quantum Psychology 1990
  • Wilson, Robert Anton - Reality Is What You Can Get Away With 1992, new intro. added 1996
  • Alli, Antero - Angel Tech: A Modern Shaman's Guide to Reality Selection, The Original Falcon Press; (Reprint - 2008). ISBN 978-1-935150-95-4
  • Alli, Antero - The Eight-Circuit Brain: Navigational Strategies for the Energetic Body, Vertical Pool Publishing; (2009). ISBN 978-0-9657341-3-4
  • Lee, Dave - Chaotopia!, Mandrake of Oxford. ISBN 1-869928-88-1.
  • "Leary’s 8 Calibre Brain" Psychic magazine April 1976
  • Valle, R. & von Eckarsberg, R. The metaphors of consciousness. New York: Plenum Press.

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