In creating this ministerial psychedelic guide, we have followed Timothy Leary’s example by using various sources to reinterpret ancient and modern wisdom into common psychedelic language. What is presented here is a collage of thoughts and ideas and inspirations from various books. It is intended as a guidebook for the psychedelic journey, not a work of original literature.
The ‘Psychedelic Prayers’ used for guidance here is the wooden box set created by Rosemary Leary in Canada while a fugitive in 1972. It differs from other editions: only 49 of the original 55 poems were used, the length of some of the poems are reduced, and the arrangement of the poems differs from the original. This edition enjoyed Timothy’s enthusiastic approval.
Other books referenced are:
“The Wisdom of Lao Tse” translated by Lin Yutang, published by Modern Library, 1976
“The Texts of Taoism”, “The Tao Te Ching” translated by James Legge, published by Julian Press, Inc., 1959
“The Man Who Turned On the World” by Michael Hollingshead, published by Alelard-Schuman, Ltd, 1973
“Tao – The Watercourse Way” Alan Watts’ last book, published by Pantheon Books, 1975
The ‘Psychedelic Prayers’ and the ‘Tao Te Ching’ are the basic models for the general structure – the bones – of our guidebook and its main inspiration.
It should be thought of as an homage to Timothy Leary’s ‘Psychedelic Prayers’.
Much of what you will read here are Timothy’s words directly or, in many cases, redone somewhat. All poems framed in quotation marks are Timothy’s, except when directly noted.
Timothy was a dear friend and it is our hope to clearly pass on his wisdom and inspiration, which helped to guide us, and an entire generation, through the 60’s. He helped light the path that so many travel.
Timothy is no longer here, but the need for understanding and focus on the spiritual essence of the psychedelic journey will always exist.
We hope the message will be passed down through the generations and the Light always remains lit and growing brighter.
– Michael Randall
It is our wish to create a psychedelic manual to help guide explorers in the use of psychedelics and provide some understanding of the multi-level experiences encountered in this uncharted territory, a journey that is filled with possibilities that can confuse and confound. A guide book can be of great value and Timothy Leary created a perfect volume in ‘Psychedelic Prayers’ in the 60’s, a guide that helped one experience the optimal results from the psychedelic session, which is the experience of the Golden Light. To understand the psychedelic journey requires a new language; old myths and models will not fit. A posture of openness is necessary.
‘Psychedelic Prayers’ is a modern and psychedelic translation of the ‘Tao Te Ching’ or ‘The Way of Life’ written by the sage Lao
Tzu 2600 years ago in China. The message is timelessly modern.
Long ago sages and monks and other spiritual seekers realized the restless nature of the mind. Methods were developed to still and clarify the mind so one could gain control of one’s consciousness. Manuals of guidance were created in the form of scripture and poetry and secret teachings, many known only to monks and advanced adepts. These books and teachings were quietly passed down and reinterpreted, as it should be, through the centuries. Timothy has reinterpreted the ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu into modern psychedelic language.
The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and many other seekers used the ‘Psychedelic Prayers’ in the 60’s as a map through unknown territory, like Virgil guided Dante, in this psychedelically induced Divine Comedy.
Timothy Leary was a prophet, as in a seer of the future. He discovered a powerful path of spiritual evolution and brought it to the attention of all who would listen.
He encouraged psychedelic voyagers of all ages to understand LSD as a spiritual gift that enabled them to take a beautiful and sacred journey. He gave up a safe and secure life as a Harvard professor with a nice salary and a comfortable position to become a spiritual wanderer and LSD ‘High Priest’. He strongly believed in what he was doing and he did so at great personal loss and risk. He became a psychedelic pioneer and vocal spokesman, which made him a target.
After being dismissed from Harvard he later admitted that expecting Harvard University to sponsor research in psychedelic drugs is like expecting the Vatican to sponsor research in aphrodisiacs.
Timothy used humor to convey his message. He made spirituality fun. Spiritual understanding and pleasure are not opposites but are one. Enjoy the body God gave us, but also respect the Temple.
“Observe your body
Mandala of the Universe
Of ancient design
Holy Temple of Consciousness
Observe the message of the body”
Timothy writes in the forward to ‘Psychedelic Prayers’:
“Tao is best translated as ‘energy’, as energy in process. Energy in its pure, unstructured state (the E in Einstein’s equation), and energy in its countless temporary states of structure (the M of Einstein’s equation).”
Ancestor of all things
The 14 billion year old
Dance of energy endures