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03.10.10

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Phaedra

WISE UP: Antero Alli's new book explores Timothy Leary's theory of intelligence from a mystic's point of view.

Brain Gain

A student of Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson on deepening one's intelligence

By Gary Singh


BERKELEY'S paratheatrical Real Astrologer-mystic, Antero Alli, originally discovered Timothy Leary's eight-circuit brain model of intelligence increase while reading Robert Anton Wilson's book Cosmic Trigger. Those three characters—Leary, Wilson and Alli—function as a trilateral commission providing a toolbox of modalities that, when applied, might actually help people increase their intellects in a number of ways. The redefinition of intelligence comes in a holy trinity of three words: absorb, integrate and transmit. That is, the ideas in this book must be absorbed, integrated and transmitted—not just absorbed—for the model to have any usefulness.

The first two heroes, Leary and Wilson, are no longer with us. But Alli is alive and will appear at Gateways Books to informally discuss his most recent book, The Eight-Circuit Brain: Navigational Strategies for the Energetic Body (Vertical Pool; 312 pages; $19.95 paperback), in which he expands on and updates Leary's eight-circuit model.

The first four circuits in Alli's model are the basic survival circuits: (1) Physio-Biological Intelligence; (2) Emotional-Territorial Intelligence; (3) Symbolic-Conceptual Intelligence; and (4) Social-Moral Intelligence. These four function as anchors for the other four, the "upper" circuits: (5) Somatic Intelligence of Body Wisdom and the Five Senses; (6) Intuitive-Psychic Intelligence of the Brain, Spine and Central Nervous System; (7) Mytho-Genetic Intelligence of DNA and the Planetary Entity; and (8) Quantum-Nonlocal Intelligence of Subatomic interactions.

Leary wrote piles of material on this, but his contributions were entirely theoretical. Robert Anton Wilson crosslinked the model to a stellar free-form circus variety show of Zen, anarchism, nonlinear physics, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, semiotics, Aleister Crowley, booze, dope, Chebyshev Coefficients, The Vatican banking scandal, quantum psychology, heroin, Marxism and Toffler's Third Wave.

Alli instead provides an entire eight-week program of study for anyone who has the time and the ambition to do it. A quarter-century ago, he wrote Angel Tech, providing exercises, rituals, meditations, games and other immersive endeavors for the reader to directly experience the different modalities in the eight-circuit model. Now he's appeared with a new version, The Eight-Circuit Brain.

There are four parts to the book. Part One, "Theorem," explains how Alli arrived at his version of the model, beginning with Leary and through Wilson. "Praxis" (Part Two) presents an entire eight-week course of study and application giving students a wealth of opportunity to apply the model for themselves—a course Alli taught online at the Maybe Logic Academy. The "Forum" section provides 40 pages of interaction in Q&A format between Alli and former students who took that online class.

"I felt that was important for people who were reading the course, who may have some trepidation about doing it," Alli said over the phone. "If they got to read some of the questions people had, some of the struggles and conflicts from people who already took the course, perhaps they could ease themselves into it a little bit more."

In the fourth section, titled "How I Got This Way," Alli spills a personal autobiographical narrative one will never see on Dr. Phil. Crudely simplified, Alli is a mystic, one who serves and yields to the mysterious forces in the universe, rather than a magus who engages those forces with the direct intention of using them for his own power and control. He at least partly attributes this to the fact that he was raised without a father and was never issued a standardized guidebook for life. The mystical bent was cemented after tremendously heavy psychological interactions with Christopher S. Hyatt. Hyatt was the magus, anchored in the will to control, who thought he had a smidgeon of the mystic in him but didn't. Alli was the other way around—he harbored bloated perceptions of his own magickal prowess but discovered he was truly a mystic instead.

Alli said he's noticing a whole different kind of despair, angst and futility these days, especially among kids who never engaged in any moral groundwork.

"I felt in writing this book, maybe I could encourage some action," he said. "Inspire younger people to take their lives and their destinies and their fates into their own hands some more. And to begin making their own sense of what is going on, instead of constantly absorbing the external messages—whether it's media or society that are causing the apathy, the despair and the depression."


ANTERO ALLI reads from 'The Eight Circuit Brain: Navigational Strategies for the Energetic Body' on Wednesday, March 10, at 7pm at Gateways Books, 1126 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Free.


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