The Stages of Realevolution
A Summary excerpted from Changing
My Mind, Among Others
By Timothy Leary, Ph.D.
The crucial scientific question is this: What are the stages
of human evolution --- both in the species and in the individual?
Most human conflict and confusion could be sweetly solved if we understood
that 92 percent of other human beings (and societies) are at developmental
stages different from our own. To know all it to forgive all. We
smile tolerantly at younger kids because we know we passed through those
stages and that they will too.
A knowledge of human stages would allow us to smile at the hunter
gatherers in our society who expect welfare checks; to tolerate the
passionate, dramatic rhetoric of Mideastern midbrainers; to comfort domesticated
parents worrying about their kids; to support advanced brain computer–electronic
wizards who have activated brain circuits ahead of ours. The answer
to all human problems is to recognize your genetic stage, go to the place
where your genetic peers hang out, and in that secure place prepare yourself
for the future stages inevitably awaiting you.
But first we need a scientific and psychologically convincing
list of human stages.
Stage 1: (Receptive-dependent infant): Welcome to the
planet. Your first assignment is to suck, float, turn your amoeboid
receptors towards the warm breast and incorporate chemicals that will
make you grow
Stage 2: (Biting-squirming infant: 6 months): Now you can define
yourself a self-mobile, incisive shark-like individual pushing towards
and away from what you want to put in your baby mouth.
Stage 3: (Crawling infant: one year) Hey, you made it to the
shore-line-floor-line, ready to cut loose from the Sea-Mother and slowly,
steadily start to master gravity.
Stage 4: (Toddler: age 1-2 years): Congratulations! You can
precariously stand up on your 2 legs and use your bipedal neurotechnology
to scurry around like a clever, tricky rodent grabbing everything you
can get your hands on when they’re not looking.
Stage 5: (Territorial child, age 3-4) Oh ho! Now you’re big
and crafty enough to stake out and defend your little claim. Your crib,
your doll, your room, your Mommy. Nervous, jumpy, possessive mammal.
Feeling your size, especially with the littler ones. Just three
years old and you’re a mafia-capo, a treacherous lion, a power-jumpy
Kissinger. More power to you, kid. Thanks for the smile.
Stage 6: (Show-off kid: age 3-4): Big deal, big shot.
You’ve learned that gesture, grimace, cry, posture, exhibitionist noise
can attract attention, signal your needs. You’re talking, but it’s monkey-talk
and bird calls. But it works, and you’re pretty pleased with your
power to communicate.
Stage 7: (Parroting mimicker: age 4-6): Now the fun begins:
you learn word-magic. You catch on that you can speak or write certain
words and, boy! Something happens. You are now a six-year-old with the
mind of a Paleolithic savage. You don’t understand how or why,
but the ritual action works. Most of the 20th century humanity
has remained at this pre-semantic level. At least 50% of Americans don’t
think for themselves: indeed they have been educated by society not to
think for themselves, but to rote-learn and parrot.
Stage 8: (Think kid: age 6-8): You’ve learned how to use words
as tools, rearrange them logically, invent new combinations, figure things
out on your own. And think for yourself! As a seven-year-old you
have attained the mentality of a Neolithic toolmaker.
State 9: (Group activity: age 9-12): Now you are learning how
to play collaboratively, join groups, divide labor, take part in organized
teams. You have reached the tribal level of species evolution.
You are still a superstitious, treacherous savage, but you are on the way
to becoming a civilized human-insectoid.
Stage 10: (Adolescent barbarian): Now you’re really cooking.
The sexual-courtship-mating circuits of your brain have been activated
by RNA hormones. You’re a teenage robot, obsessed with your identity.
You’re romantic, intense, cruel, moody, emotional, fickle, not yet socialized,
wary, rebellious of those who wish to civilize you. An you love to
laugh at the adults.
Stage 11: (Domesticated adult): Uh, oh. What happened?
Suddenly you’ve been tamed. All at once, you of all people have become
an adult. You’ve got a job, settled down, given up your wild, romantic
dreams. The territorial circuits in your brain have been activated and
you’re a domesticated robot. You want to get a piece of turf, lock into
a hive-task, be part of society and settle down. Build a little nest. Get
married. The parenting instinct is going to lock you up. You are an adult.
Stage 12: (Senior citizen): Wow, where did it all go? It all
spun by so fast. For twenty years you've been a parent-slave, obsessed
with child-care, working, struggling to protect the young. Now they’ve
grown and gone and the old energy juices aren’t flowing. You’ve lost fire
and vigor. You are no longer interested in change, competition. You sense
aging, weakness approaching. You feel vulnerable and scared. You try
to cling to the past, but it’s all changing and you’re not sure you like
it. You can’t protect yourself anymore. You look for security. You want
a strong government, Social Security, and police-establishment to take
care of you. You think you’re gonna die.
This difference between who you are (basically, genetically)
and which temporal stage you are passing through has always confused
the individual and those who seek to explain human behavior.
You may be wired with a Stage-5 brain --- possessive, controlling,
aggressive (society needs you for its protection) Or you may be wired
with a romantic, flamboyant, intense Stage-10 brain. In either case,
you go through the temporal, recapitulatory stages. If your structural
caste is 5, you may become a parent (Temporal stage 11) and your parenting
will be controlling. If you are Caste 10, when and if you become a parent
you will raise your kids with a flashy, flirtatious style.
So far, this list of Temporal Stages of human life is fairly
standard. But now we shall consider, possibly for the first time, a
systematic prediction of twelve stages of human evolution to come!
The following list of prognostication is also immediately and practically
applicable to your life. It set up a specific sequence of self-growth. This
is, therefore the first program of individual development to specify how
the intelligent human can follow a schedule of inner development correlating
with the astonishing and liberating advances in external science.
Now that we have mastered those first twelve primitive, survival techniques
and can handle 21st century social realities, we are ready to pass through
the steps of post-cultural, post-bureaucratic, self-confident, self-contained
Stage 13: (Hedonic consumer): Your ability to avoid, compassionately
and humorously, the limits of your social-hive, allows you to define
yourself as an aesthetic consumer. Your body belongs to you. You must
learn to relax, transcend the guilty-pessimism of pre-scientific religions,
become a sensually receptive, artistically indolent, passively-hip, pleasure
lover. Rejoice in your ability to live as an esthetic dilettante, a neurological
gourmet, a happy-go-lucky hippie, wandering through the Judeo-Christian
Garden of Eden.
Now you must resist 2,000 years of grim pressure to make you
into a slave of society. Hedonic consumerism is a stage you are going
through. Like sucking infancy, like careless adolescence. You are not
going to remain at this level forever. But you must master the sensual,
erotic instruments of your body, use your sensorium as a complex mosaic
of rapture, understand how to indulge and pleasure yourself.
Then, when you are clever enough, and diligent enough to get
your sensory-somatic scene together, you can advance to:
Stage 14: ( Hedonic artist): This next step is simple and playful.
You have taken the great, basic step by freeing yourself from the hive-morality
of submission-suffering. Now you start creating an esthetic environment
around you. You will have lots of help. There are thousands of texts,
manuals, courses, teachers to assist you, to offer leads and methods.
The only danger is that you might get caught in one style. In your
liberated exuberance, you may sign up too quickly in one mode of self-actualization.
Scout out the field. For thousands of years the most intelligent,
free, strong people have been fabricating personal esthetic realities.
Don’t fall for the first neighborhood master. Remember, to keep developing
in the future, there is only one trap to avoid: loss of faith in yourself,
your own tough, innocent, potential to grow.
You will learn to make your life a work of art, a quiet, smiling
dance of growing beauty. There is no hurry. Each esthetic yoga takes
time --- the complexity of your somatic and neural equipment is infinite
and unique. Also, as you continue to evolve, you will constantly add to
your esthetic style. Indeed each stage beyond simple Esthetic Mastery requires
that you go back and improve, simplify, complicate your growing singularity.
Stage 15: ( Esthetic linkage): After you have located the source
of virtue and pleasure within yourself and learned how to create external
projections of your inner style, you are ready to take the next logical
step in personal development. Link up with another or others.
At this point we can look back and see that the Consciousness
movements of the 1960’s brought millions of Americans and Western Europeans
through stages 13 and 14. If you remain at stage 13, you’re a lazy
hippie. If you remain in lonely splendor at stage 14, a narcissist.
Both are stages to pass through. The inclination to club, to fuse, to
link-up with others who share your esthetic style is the obvious progression
--- linkage based not just on economics or territorial defense but for
shared esthetic vision. A new social connection of free, confident individuals
whose aim is to enhance personal growth, to stimulate in each other inner
development, to turn each other on, to add to each other’s hedonic progress.
The ancient name for this stage is tantra, fusion of the erotic-spiritual-psychological.
Usually this occurs au pair --- two enlightened people discover that
one-times-one equals infinity.
The stages to come make great demands upon one’s strength and
confidence. It is almost impossible to maintain a solitary life of
continual mutation-metamorphosis. The support and balance and broadened
perspective of the shared-voyage require conscious fusion.
Stage 16: (Neurological-electronic consumer): At rare and wonderful
times in human history, societies have emerged affluent-secure enough
to allow certain intelligent individuals the freedom to explore the three
stages just described. Since World War II an entirely new dimension of
human neurotechnology has developed. The suburban child of five has experienced
a million times more realities than the most educated-traveled aristocrat
before 1940. During the sixties, millions of people ingested brain-accelerating
drugs and exposed themselves to mind-lowing audio-visual overloads. This
wow produced a now-generation of passive neuroelectronic consumers who
grooved on the McLuhan multiplicity, 2001 Space Odysseys, who saw protean
realities flash on their cerebral projectors, but could not make it wok
in our own lives. Thus the great retreat back to the hot-tub, wholistic
But we didn’t quit, did we? We were just taking a Me-generation
breather. We haven’t come this far to spend the rest of our lives as
spectators of the cosmo-genetic moving picture show. So we mutated to...
Stage 17: ( Neuro-electronic artist): Hey, hurray! We’ve suddenly
realized that the universe is not a heavy, gravitational mosaic of
stellar-stones or solar-fusion-furnaces, but a web or radiant information.
E=mc²; and Energy is not Newtonian force-work, but bits of fast-moving
decipherable intelligence. Reality is moving pictures filtered through
a side-lens brain, and God (i.e. you) directs the action, writes the script,
selects the locations, casts the players, arranges the distribution and
These days there are swarms of Tesla-type “idiot savants” and
17th stage, 21st century brains popping up, producing amazing advanced,
futique neurological tools. Let’s use them.
Stage 18: (Neuro-ectronic linkage): And once we start managing
high-speed information transmitters, we are free from our land-locked,
terrestrial status. Now that intelligence (not fire-power, man-power,
land-power) is the key to survival, we are ready to leave the surface of
the planet and move into high-orbit. The land-locked social groupings
to defend turf or to control natural resources are no longer relevant once
we have access to unlimited space and the natural resources of the moon
and asteroid belt and free energy devices now appearing.
Intelligence is high-speed communication and transportation
which allows us to form more efficient linkages with others of our
kind. This is a definition of love. High fidelity fusion. Aren’t we
Stage 19: (Genetic consumerism; sperm intelligence): Ever since
the first neolithic agricultural settlements we have understood the
importance of breeding to produce desired life forms. For millennia humans
have manipulated sperm-egg exchanges to protect and control. Not only
our sexual mores but even our theories of evolution have been based on
grabbing egg-supplies. The Darwinian theories of evolution suggest that
male competition for breeding dominance was the mechanism of evolution.
Natural selection is a concept of genetic consumerism: take what is there.
The deciphering of the DNA code (which occurred exactly at the
time when physics decoded the atom, pharmacologists decoded and synthesized
brain chemicals, and electronic information-processing emerged on the
scene) initiated the era of Genetic Consciousness. By reshuffling
the chromosomes we can select the new species that we desire. Most exciting
is the probability, indeed, the inevitability, that we can decipher the
ageing sequences and inoculate ourselves against aging and death.
Stage 20: (Genetic intelligence; egg wisdom): In our enthusiasm
to breed our animals, manage our family gene-pool, manipulate the codes
of life, we have made that same classic consumer error ---- which we
committed when we accepted word magic, feudal power, body rapture, and
electronic passivity. Sperm intelligence is a stage through which we
must joyfully pass. The next step in our development is to realize that
there is a biological wisdom that fabricated DNA, that designed us so
that we could become smart enough to decipher the code.
We are in the wonderful position of being the nervous system
of the Biological Energy. Now isn’t that the best job we’ve ever been
offered? Conscious Evolutionary Agent! Isn’t that the best role we have
been cast for in any of the philosophical scenarios? And it’s all based
on up-to-date evolutionary science!
Stage 21: (Genetic symbiosis, DNA linkage): After we got control
of our bodies, we linked up and got access to our brains. After we got
control of our brains, we linked up and got access to DNA. Now that
we understand our genetic function, we can and must link up to continue
the process of our own evolution. Symbiosis is the secret of life.
Symbiosis, at the DNA level, is an inevitable step in our growth.
(I have felt comfortable and clear about the first 20 stages
of evolution presented in this book because I have experienced them and
science has confirmed my intuitions. But DNA symbiosis is a stage which
I have not reached yet and which our geneticists have not worked our yet.
In preparing myself for this wonderfully loving step, I have tried to open
myself up to unicellular wisdom and DNA collaboration. Timothy)
Stage 22: (Quantum consumer): Here, and in the two stages to
come, we are beyond the objective knowledge or our species; but we can
resonate in harmony with the best speculations of our boldest and smartest
minds. Quarks are probably cluster-clouds of information bits defined
by the basic coordinates of particles moving through space/time. Of these
our material world is made: and can be remade by us. Quantum consumerism
is the heady discovery of Heisenberg Determinacy --- our brains define
the basic nature of nuclear reality.
Stage 23: (Quantum intelligence: gravitational engineer): Our
nuclear fusion physicists have created small stars. Our astronomers
and gravitational physicists have detected black holes. Our mathematicians
have produced equations for fabricating the universe, manipulating fusion
and black hole energies. We await with interest the discoveries and technologies
which will allow direct translation of our biological-neural equipment
to nuclear-atomic form.
Stage 24: (Neuro-atomic fusion): and when we have defined and
translated ourselves into basic particle form we shall link with other
like quantum minds in a wonderful, totally revelatory, celebratory fusion.
We look forward with delight to that which awaits us on the other side
of the Gravitational Gate.