The Futurist Thought of Timothy Leary

There are many names in the world of futurist thought past and present, but one that is often overlooked despite his influential impact is the High Priest of the psychedelic movement: Dr. Timothy Leary.

Leary lived a varied life filled with scientific research; psychedelic therapy; metaphysical exploration; social commentary and government oppression. During his time spent inside prison, he developed a futurist philosophy summed up in the phrase S.M.I².L.E. – Space Migration, Increased Intelligence, Life Extension. These ideas developed out of Leary’s life-long interest in the evolution of humanity away from our primal roots, but they also had another influence which Leary termed the ‘Starseed Transmission’.

The Starseed Transmissions were a series of experiments in group telepathy that occurred during Leary’s time in prison. These experiments allegedly culminated in a communication with some kind of extra-terrestrial intelligence; that through a rather cryptic series of messages set forth the futurist programme that Leary would adhere to quite stringently for the latter part of his life. Whatever happened during that time, it certainly had a profound impact on the man and his ideas of future progress.

Now that you understand a little bit of the background behind Dr. Timothy Leary’s futurist philosophy, let’s take a look at the state of affairs for each of these three categories. Leary was quite optimistic whilst alive that many of these things, particularly life extension, would be very well progressed within his own lifetime. Unfortunately, this didn’t come about quite as quickly as he may have imagined; however we’re certainly beginning to approach a period of human history where the SMI²LE formula will be become increasingly relevant. So, let’s have a quick look at where each of the three sectors stand:

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