The Psychedelic Experiments And Experiences Of Timothy Leary

By | November 29, 2016

Timothy Leary was born in 1920, in Springfield, Massachusetts, into an Irish-Catholic family. Leary graduated from the University of Alabama in 1943, and by 1950 had earned a psychology doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley.

Leary worked at Berkeley as an assistant professor until 1955.  His fascination with interpersonal relationships led him to develop a groundbreaking monograph discussing such. While it is unclear where his obsession with the internal mind came from, it is possible that it could be somewhat correlated to the suicide of his first wife.   

Leary worked as the director of the Kaiser Foundation before accepting a lecturing position at Harvard in 1959.  During a trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico, Leary participated in taking mushrooms.  Following his personal experience with hallucinogenics, Leary wished to and did conduct behavioral experiments with psilocybin, the active ingredient of mushrooms that was permitted for use in relation to research. Leary worked with colleagues Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner to test the drug effects on seminary students, inmates and colleagues.

Leary moved on to use LSD in the early 1960s. In 1963 Leary was given the boot from Harvard once it was discovered that students were also using Leary's supply of LSD.  Leary went on to become a huge advocate for the use of psychedelic drugs - co-establishing the International Foundation for Internal Freedom.

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