The Purpose of Life is Religious Discovery
manifestation of the divine presence which we call the DNA code has spent
the last two billion years making this planet a Garden of Eden. An intricate
web has been woven, a delicate fabric of
chemical-electrical-seed-tissue-organism-species. A dancing, joyous harmony
of energy transaction is rooted in the 12 inches of topsoil which covers the
rock/mineral/fire core of this planet.
Garden of Eden each human being is born perfect. We are all born divine
mutants, the DNA code’s best answer to joyful survival on this planet. An
exquisite package for adaptation based on 2 billion years of consumer
research (RNA) and product design (DNA).
baby, although born perfect, immediately finds himself in an imperfect,
artificial, disharmonious social system which systematically robs him of his
social systems — where did they come from?
societies begin in harmonious adaptation to the environment and, like
individuals, quickly get trapped into non-adaptive, artificial, repetitive
individual’s behavior and consciousness get hooked to a routine sequence of
external actions, he is a dead robot, and it is time for him to die and be
reborn. Time to “drop out,” “turn on,” and “tune in.” This period of
robotization is called the Kali Yuga, the Age of Strife and Empire, the peak
of so-called civilization, the Johnson Administration, etc. This relentless
law of death, life, change is the rhythm of the galaxies and the seasons,
the rhythm of the seed. It never stops.
Turn On. Tune In.
Drop Out —
detach yourself from the external social drama which is as dehydrated and
ersatz as TV.
Turn On —
find a sacrament which returns you to the temple of God, your own body. Go
out of your mind. Get high.
Tune In — be
reborn. Drop back in to express it. Start a new sequence of behavior that
reflects your vision.
sequence must continue. You cannot stand still.
D. L. S.
D. L. S. D.
L. S. D.
L. S. D. L.
S. D. L.
S. D. L. S.
that is not a conscious expression of the drop-out-turn-on-tune-in-drop-out
rhythm is the dead posturing of robot actors on the fake-prop TV studio
stage set that is called American reality.
which are conscious expressions of the turn-on, tune-in, drop-out rhythm are
person devotes his life exclusively to the religious search — for therein is
found the only ecstasy, the only meaning. Anything else is a competitive
quarrel over (or Hollywood-love sharing of) television studio props.
How to Turn
To turn on
is to detach from the rigid addictive focus on the fake-prop TV studio set
and to refocus on the natural energies within the body.
To turn on,
you go out of your mind and:
1. Come to
your senses — focus on sensory energies.
your body — focus on somatic energies.
down cellular memory tracks beyond the body's space-time — focus on cellular
the genetic code.
at each of these levels (sensory, somatic, cellular, molecular), attention
can be directed at energy changes within or without the body. If attention
is directed, externally during the session, the outside world is experienced
in terms of a non-symbolic energy-language focus. Be careful. This can be
shocking. The props of the TV studio stage set are suddenly experienced:
sensory (e.g., the room is alive, out of control, exploding with light and
somatic (e.g., the room is alive, undulating with digestive rhythm)
cellular (e.g., all props and actors take on a stylized, mythic, reincarnate
molecular (e.g., all props and actors shimmer impersonally as vibratory
eliminates fear and confusion. To turn on, you need maps and manuals.
To turn on,
you must learn how to pray. Prayer is the compass, the gyroscope for
centering and stillness.
is a complex, demanding, frightening, confusing process. It requires
requires a guide who can center you at the TV- stage-prop level and at the
sensory, somatic, cellular, and molecular levels.
turn on, remember: you are not a naughty boy getting high for kicks.
You are a
spiritual voyager furthering the most ancient, noble quest of man. When you
turn on, you shed the fake-prop TV studio and costume and join the holy
dance of the visionaries. You leave LBJ and Bob Hope; you join Lao-tse,
Christ, Blake. Never underestimate the sacred meaning of the turn-on.
To turn on,
you need a sacrament. A sacrament is a visible external thing which turns
the key to the inner doors. A sacrament must bring about bodily changes. A
sacrament flips you out of the TV-studio game and harnesses you to the
2-billion-year-old flow inside.
which works is dangerous to the establishment which runs the fake-prop TV
studio — and to that part of your mind which is hooked to the studio game.
society produces exactly that body-changing sacrament which will flip out
the mind of the society.
sacrament is LSD. New sacraments are coming along.
wear out. They become part of the social TV-studio game. Treasure LSD while
it still works. In fifteen years it will be tame, socialized, and routine.
How to Tune
stay turned on all the time. You cannot stay anyplace all the time. That's a
law of evolution. After the revelation it is necessary to drop back in,
return to the fake-prop TV studio and initiate small changes which reflect
the glory and the meaning of the turn-on. You change the way you move, the
way you dress, and you change your corner of the TV-studio society. You
begin to look like a happy saint. Your home slowly becomes a shrine. Slowly,
gently, you start seed transformations around you. Psychedelic art.
Psychedelic style. Psychedelic music. Psychedelic dance. Suddenly you
discover you have dropped out.
How to Drop
means exactly that: drop out.
Most of the
activity of most Americans goes into robot performances on the TV-studio
stage. Fake. Unnatural. Automatic.
means detach yourself from every TV drama which is not in the rhythm of the
turn-on, tune-in, drop-out cycle.
Quit your job. Don’t vote. Avoid all politics. Do not waste conscious
thinking on TV-studio games. Political choices are meaningless.
the drop-out is to cop out.
fantasies of infiltrating the social stage-set game. Any control you have
over television props is their control over you.
Judaic-Christian-Marxist-puritan-literary-existentialist suggestion that the
drop-out is escape and that the conformist cop-out is reality. Dropping out
is the hardest yoga of all.
drop-out invisible. No rebellion — please!
To Drop Out,
You Must Form Your Own Religion
drop-out, turn-on, tune-in rhythm is most naturally done in small groups of
family members, lovers, and seed friends.
psychedelic and legal reasons, you must form your own cult.
directors of the TV studio do not want you to live a religious life. They
will apply every pressure (including prison) to keep you in their game.
mind, which has been corrupted and neurologically damaged by years of
education in fake-prop TV-studio games, will also keep you trapped in the
liberation cult is required.
form that most ancient and sacred of human structures-the clan. A clan or
cult is a small group of human beings organized around a religious goal.
you are basically a primate. You are designed by the 2-billion-year
blueprint to live in a small band.
accept the political or spiritual leadership of anyone you cannot touch,
con-spire (breathe) with, worship with, get high with,
must be centered on a shrine and a totem spiritual energy source. To the
clan you dedicate your highest loyalty, and to you die clan offers its
But the clan
must be centered on religious goals. Religion means being tuned in to the
natural rhythm. Religion is the turn-on, tune-in, drop-out process.
and your clan brothers are turned on, you will radiate energy. You will
attract attention-hostility from the TV establishment, enthusiastic interest
from rootless TV actors who wish to join your clan. Everyone basically wants
to turn on, tune in, and drop out.
conflict with the establishment. Avoid recruiting and rapid growth. Preserve
must be limited to essential friends.
guard against the TV power tendency toward e x p a n s i o n.
cannot become a mail-order, mass-numbers organization.
structure of your clan must be cellular,
of your religion must be a private, holy place.
activities of your religion must be limited to the turn-on, tune-in,
drop-out sequence. Avoid commitments to TV-studio power games.
start your own religion. You are God — but only you can discover and nurture
your divinity. No one can start your religion for you.
particular, those Americans who use psychedelic chemicals — marijuana,
peyote, LSD — must appraise their goals and games realistically. You smoke
pot? Good. But why? As part oŁ your personality game? As part of the
American TV-studio perspective? To enhance your ego? As part of your TV role
as hipster, sophisticate, rebel? Because it is the in-thing to do in your
stage set? Because it is a social-psychological habit? Good. Keep on. The
"pot game" is a fascinating scenario to act out, the entertaining game of
another way of viewing psychedelic drugs, including pot: from the
perspective of history. For thousands of years the greatest artists, poets,
philosophers, and lovers have used consciousness-expanding substances to
turn on, tune in, drop out. As part of the search for the meaning of life.
As tools to reach new levels of awareness. To see beyond the immediate
social game. For revelation. For light in the darkness of the long voyage.
burst of activity has grown out of a psychedelic turn-on. The visionary then
rushes back to tune in, to pass on the message. A new art form. A new mode
of expression. He turns others on. A cult is formed. A new TV stage set is
designed, one that is closer to the family-clan-tribal cell structure of our
Do you wish
to use marijuana and LSD to get beyond the TV scenario? To enhance
creativity? As catalysts to deepen wisdom?
If so, you
will be helped by making explicit the religious nature of your psychedelic
activities. To give meaning to your own script, to clarify your
relationships with others, and to cope with the present legal setup, you
will do well to start your own religion.
How to Start
Your Own Religion
decide with whom you will make the voyage of discovery. If you have a
family, certainly you will include them. If you have close friends, you will
certainly want to include them. The question, with whom do I league for
spiritual discovery? is a fascinating exercise.
down with your spiritual companions and put on a page the plan for your
trip. Write down and define your:
Here is an
interesting exercise. You will learn a lot about yourself and your
companions. You will see where you are and where you are not.
find it necessary to be explicit about the way your clan handles authority,
responsibility, sexual relations, money, economics, defense, communication.
you are forming not only your own religion but your own natural political
unit. This is inevitable because the basic political unit is exactly the
same as the basic spiritual grouping-the clan. Did you really believe that
church was only where you went for an hour on Sunday morning?
clan unique. Do not slavishly copy the roles and language of other groups.
The beauty of! cellular life is that each unit is both so incredibly
complexly similar and also so unique. The more you understand the infinite
complexity of life, the more you treasure both the similarities and the
differences. But you have to be turned on to see it. At the level of the
studio-prop game, both the similarities and the differences are trivial.
the goal of your religion, you need not use conventional religious language.
You don’t have to make your spiritual journey sound “religious.” Religion
cannot be pompous and high-flown. Religion is consciousness expansion,
centered in the body and denned exactly the way it sounds best to you. Don’t
be intimidated by Caesar’s Hollywood fake versions of religiosity. If life
has a meaning for you beyond the TV-studio game, you are religious. Spell it
So write out
your own language for the trip; God or evolution, acid or sacrament, guide
or guru, purgatorial redemption or bad trip, mystic revelation or good high.
Say it naturally.
own rituals and costumes. Robes or gray flannel suits, amulets or tattoos.
You will eventually find yourself engaged in a series of sacred moments
which feel right to you.
Step by step
on a sacra
will create a ritual sequence for each sense organ
and for each
of the basic energy exchanges — eating, bathing, mating, etc.
You must be
explicit about the space-time arrangement for your God game. Each room in
your home will contain a shrine. Your house will not be a TV actor's
dressing room but rather a spiritual center. Regular rhythms of worship will
emerge — daily meditation (turn-on) sessions (with or without marijuana),
and once a week or once a month you will devote a whole day to turning on.
Time your worship to the rhythm of the seasons, to the planetary calendar.
Spell out on
paper explicit plan$ for handling financial interaction$. Money i$ a
completely irrational focu$ for mo$t Westerner$. A$ $oon a$ your clan
member$ detach them$elve$ emotionally from money, you will discover how easy
it is to survive economically. There must be a complete and collaborative
pooling of money and work energy. Any $elfi$h holding back of dollar$ or
muscular energy will weaken the clan. Each clan, as it drops out of the
American game, must appraise its resources and figure out how to barter with
other groups. Each clan will develop its own productivity.
the downfall of most religious cults. Clarity and honesty are necessary.
Karmic accidental differences exist in people's sexual makeup. Basically,
each man is made to mate with one woman. Heterosexual monogamous fidelity is
the only natural way of sexual union. However, because this is the Kali
Yuga, and because we live in the final stages of a sick society, sexual
variations are inevitable.
Your mode oŁ
sexual union is the key to your religion. You cannot escape this. The way
you ball (or avoid balling) is your central sacramental activity. The sexual
proclivity of the clan must be explicit and inflexible. Do not attempt to
establish clan relationships with persons of a different sexual persuasion.
There is no value judgment here. Sex is sacred. People of like sexual
temperament must form their own spiritual cults. Homosexuality is not an
illness. It is a religious way of life. Homosexuals should accept their
state as a religious path. Homosexuals cannot join heterosexual clans.
Homosexuals should treasure, glorify, their own sexual yoga. Their right to
pursue their sacred bodily yoga is guaranteed to them. Heterosexual clans
can support, help, learn from, teach homosexual clans, but the difference
must be preserved — with mutual respect.
spiritual people are not compatible with the monogamous union and prefer a
freer sexual regime, the group marriage. Good! Many tribes and clans
throughout the planet have nourished in complete and holy promiscuity. But
be explicit. Painful confusions occur if sexual orientations and sexual
taboos (cellular and physical, not psychological or cultural) are
disregarded in forming clans.
members who share or complement your style, your way of tuning in, your
temperament, your sexual orientation.
The aim of
clan living is to subordinate the ego game to the family game — the clan
You will do
well to have an explicit connection to a mythic figure. You must select a
historical psychedelic guide. You must know your mythic origins. Facts and
news are reports from the current TV drama. They have no relevance to your
2-billion-year-old divinity. Myth is the report from the cellular memory
bank. Myths humanize the recurrent themes of evolution.
You select a
myth as a reminder that you are part of an ancient and holy process. You
select a myth to guide you when you drop out of the narrow confines of the
fake-prop studio set.
guide must be one who has solved the death-rebirth riddle. A TV drama hero
cannot help you. Caesar, Napoleon, Kennedy are no help to your cellular
orientation. Christ, Lao-tse, Hermes Trismegistus, Socrates are recurrent
find it absolutely necessary to leave the city. Urban living is spiritually
suicidal. The cities of America are about to crumble as did Rome and
Babylon. Go to the land. Go to the sea.
centers located in cities will serve as collecting areas. Thousands of
spiritual seekers are coming to urban districts where they meet in
meditation centers and psychedelic assembly places.1 There they
form their clans. They migrate from the city.
form your own new religion and devote an increasing amount of your energies
to it, you are (however exciting your personality TV role) a robot. Your new
religion can be formed only by you. Do not wait for a messiah. Do it
roles, rules, rituals, values, language, space-time locale, and mythic
context of your religion must be put on paper for two reasons. One, to make
the journey clear and explicit for yourself and your clan members, and two,
to deal with Caesar.
relationship between Caesar and the God seeker has always been uneasy. But
the boundaries of the tension can be defined precisely, and if you are clear
in your mind, there can be no confusion. You can move with exactness and
that exists outside your body and your shrine belongs to Caesar. Caesar has
constructed the fake-prop studio for his king-of-the-mountain game, and he
can have it. Highways, property, status, power, money, weapons, all things,
all external man-made objects belong to him. The spiritual life is
completely detached from these props. Obey Caesar's TV studio rules when you
are in his studios. Avoid any participation in his dramas.
remember, your body is the kingdom of heaven, and your home is the shrine in
which the kingdom oŁ heaven is to be found. What you do inside your body,
what energies you let contact your sense organs, and what you put into your
body is your business.2
All you need
do to protect the divinity of your body and the sanctity of your shrine is
to be explicit—and to worship with dignity and courage.
an eightfold definition of your religion (goal, role, rule, ritual, value,
language, myth, space-time locale). By doing so, you have formed your
religion. The First Amendment to the Constitution, the charter of the UN,
and the ancient traditions of human history give you protection to alter
your own consciousness inside your shrine.
If you take
a psychedelic sacrament, leave your house and commit a disorder on Caesar's
streets; let him arrest you for overt crime. But your right to turn on in
your home is sacred. You make your home a shrine by writing it into the
charter of your religion.
your charter, you must specify where you will take the sacrament and with
whom. The charter does not permit you to turn on anywhere. You must respect
the possessive claims of Caesar to his fake-front stage sets. And you must
also specify visible objects of worship which will be found in your shrine —
a statue of Buddha, a picture of Christ, a rock, a wooden carving. You
choose, but be explicit.
charter notarized, or mail it to yourself in a postmarked envelope. You have
thereby established, before possible conflict with Caesar's police, your
religion. These are the minimum steps required to protect your use of
psychedelic drugs. If you don’t care enough to do this, you don’t care
steps are preferable. It is highly advisable, and quite simple, to
incorporate your religion under the laws of your state. Consult a lawyer — a
psychedelic lawyer if possible. There are thousands of them around. How?
Well, he’ll be under the age of thirty. Your local ACLU would be a good
place to start. Ask him to file incorporation papers which are standard and
which every lawyer has in mimeographed outline.
simple steps necessary to complete the forms, and in short order, you are a
legally incorporated religion. Your own sense of dignity and commitment to
the spiritual life is encouraged. Your posture and confidence vis-a-vis
Caesar’s Keystone Kops is immeasurably strengthened.
But you must
play it straight. Don't sign anything you aren't going to live up to. On the
other hand, leave room in your chatter for easy revision of your religious
practices. You are a young, growing religion. For God’s sake, don’t get
caught in rigidities at the beginning.
psychedelic sacraments only in designated shrines and only with members of a
psychedelic religion. If you are going to be naughty and smoke pot in the
washroom oŁ one of Caesar's stage sets, why that's all right — but be clear;
you waive your religious rights. Do what you will, but be conscious and
don't mix up your naughty game with your religious game.
have incorporated your religion, you can file the application forms and a
description of methods of worship in the attorney's office. In case of any
misunderstanding with Caesar's cops, you will be effectively prepared. Don't
be surprised at the idea of having a lawyer to handle your psychedelic
affairs. Psychedelic lawyers will be the most numerous and popular segment
of the legal profession in 15 years. For a small amount of money you can
have ongoing legal protection for your religion. You'd do it for your
business, wouldn't you? It's better yet if you find a lawyer who is ready to
join your clan.
There is a
third legal step which many psychedelic religionists will want to take-the
licensing for the importation and distribution of illegal sacraments such as
marijuana and LSD. The legal procedure involved in obtaining permission to
use drugs is called a declaratory judgment. This procedure can result in a
court declaration that an individual or a group may, with the sanction oŁ
law, use drugs freely for religious purposes.
requesting a declaratory judgment to import and distribute illegal
sacraments (and remember here that alcohol, nicotine, and automobiles are
also illegal — except to licensed operators), you are asking nothing more
than was permitted to Catholic priests and Jewish rabbis during alcohol
prohibition. These religionists were allowed to import and distribute an
illegal drug — booze — for distribution only by priests and only in
designated shrines. The quarter of a million members of the Native American
Church are similarly licensed to use peyote, a plant much more powerful than
for a declaratory judgment requires more commitment and energy — and thus
becomes the third test of your religious stamina. How much do you care?
By the end
of 1968 we expect that thousands of such applications will be flooding the
courts. In each case, the decision as to whether the applicants are entitled
to a license to smoke marijuana and use LSD will have to be made on the
merits of the case. Each judge and jury will have to rule on the sincerity
of the applicants. What a wonderful exercise! Thousands of groups of young
Americans will choose to present and defend their new religions in the
courts. What a beautiful forum for free debate on the values of marijuana as
opposed to booze!
jury members and hundreds of judges will be converted.
In all of
these activities there is no hostility, no competition, no conflict with
Caesar. Love and humor are the means. The ends will follow.
What Will Happen to Society After Everyone Turns On, Tunes In, and Drops
interesting indication of the “miraculous” growth of LSD comes in the form
of the question: What will happen to society after everyone turns on, tunes
in, and drops out?
surface, the question seems naive. Nowhere and never does everyone do the
same thing at the same time. It’s all planned in cycles by the DNA code.
Organic changes occur gradually and invisibly.
question reflects the sudden panic of the TV bit player. What will happen to
me if the show goes off the air? Will I lose my little part? What an
incomparable tragedy if these cardboard studio walls were to fall down!
emotional response to this game terror is reassurance. Don’t worry. Your
life begins when your TV game ends. Turn on, tune in, drop out. Then you are
free to walk out of the studio — a god in the Garden of Eden.
intellectual answer to the question is infinitely complex, depending upon
how much time and energy one can mobilize for Utopian planning. The League
for Spiritual Discovery has worked out detailed blueprints for the next
cycle of man's social evolution. Future manuals will be published by the
league describing the year-by-year unfolding.
be prepared for a complete change of American urban technology. Grass will
grow in Times Square within ten years. The great soil-murdering lethal
skyscrapers will come down. Didn’t you know they were stage sets? Didn’t you
know they had to come down? The transition will come either violently (by
war) or gently, aesthetically, through a psychedelic drop-out process.
In any case,
there is nothing for you to do in a collective political sense. Turn on,
tune in, drop out. Discover and nurture your own divinity and that of your
friends and family members.
your clan and the natural order will prevail.
Psychedelic centers are rapidly springing up in metropolitan areas, and this
tendency must be encouraged. A simple format for a psychedelic enterprise
may involve a shop front with a meditation room in the rear. Numerous shops
calling themselves “psychedelic” are springing up throughout the country.
This development is inevitable, but one should be skeptical about the
spiritual nature of such commercial enterprises unless they include a
meditation room. Psychedelic businesses should support spiritual communities
and provide centers for clan formation.
You are God: Remember!