Mailbag: What is the correct order of Circuits VI and VII in the Eight-Circuit Model?
Today’s question won’t make much sense unless you are acquainted with the Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness. Here are two summaries, both of which are worth a read:
The following question concerns a point which is actually highlighted in the Wikipedia article:
6. The neuroelectric or metaprogramming circuit
Note: Timothy Leary lists this circuit as the sixth, and the neurogenetic circuit as the seventh. in “Prometheus Rising”, Robert Anton Wilson reversed the order of these two circuits, describing the neurogenetic circuit as the sixth circuit, and the metaprogramming circuit as the seventh. In the subsequently published “Quantum Psychology”, he reverted this back to the order proposed by Leary.
Edenist Whackjob wrote:
Illuminatus, what is the correct order of the sixth and seventh circuits? Excuse if this sounds aspergery, but in some cases third circuit nitpicks like this ARE actually valid. Antero Alli says that the lower circuits are the bases for the higher ones, so it’s kind of relevant to know whether Neuro-Electric is based off of Territorial or Symbolic. (Or is it?)
No, it’s a good question.
Excuse if this sounds aspergery, but in some cases third circuit nitpicks like this ARE actually valid.
They’re valid… to a third-circuit nitpicker. 🙂
One of the major points of Prometheus Rising is that reality is always modelled. Circuit III is the conceptual circuit, the one that models reality using concepts like the Eight-Circuit Model.
Models are always necessarily reductive (else it wouldn’t be a model). The Eight-Circuit Model is not excepted from its own rules. Each person who describes the 8CM adds his or her own biases to it — included its creator, Leary himself.
My point here is that there is no one “true” 8CM. Wilson had his reasons for swapping those circuits, and reasons again for swapping them back. All I can talk about now is my opinion, drawn from my own experience — a.k.a. “my Eight-Circuit Model”.
Antero Alli says that the lower circuits are the bases for the higher ones, so it’s kind of relevant to know whether Neuro-Electric is based off of Territorial or Symbolic.
Antero Alli likes symmetry, so he says they have to match up. That might just be one reason for why he said that.
I have Angel Tech here under my bed, but only read it once, years ago. However I’ve read Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising and Quantum Psychology many times each. That in itself says something — that maybe I think Antero Alli is a bit of a hack. However I should probably give him another read before making a judgment. My recollection is that he was over-reliant on things like tarot and astrology, and ritual generally. It didn’t seem much to me like he had the relevant experience in the higher circuits to be writing about them. In short, I don’t really see him as being in the same league as Wilson or Leary, so wouldn’t actually put his opinion side by side with theirs.
So, now, we just have Leary and Wilson, with them in agreement about the order of the circuits except for Wilson’s departure in Prometheus Rising and with him then changing back to the original order in subsequent works.
Straight from my personal experience, I can say that I believe Leary’s original order is correct:
- Circuit VI is the Neuroelectric/Metaprogramming Circuit
- Circuit VII is the Neurogenetic/Morphogenetic Circuit
In my ancient forum writings, I discussed a concept which I called “the kinaesthetic” — generating and shifting the sensation of movement within my body — which I had found could be used to manipulate my own experience of reality in real-time. This is now more clearly understood as nerve current flows (a.k.a. kundalini) and therefore falls under the Circuit VI: Neuroelectric/Metaprogramming Circuit. I turned this on with concentration meditation (which followed just a few months after turning on Circuit V using MDMA). This era also coincided with the sudden appearance of telepathic abilities and the other psychic phenomena covered under both Leary’s and Wilson’s descriptions of Circuit VI.
Ability to manipulate nerve current flows eventually, after several years, culminated in a full kundalini awakening which I described here: Mailbag: Should you trust my advice? One thing I did not talk about much in that post is that, during that kundalini awakening, and subsequent intense kundalini experiences, I also experienced past lives, the perception of standing as an observer to key events in history, elaborate DNA and fractal imagery, and a deep terrifying connection to the brutality of Nature here on Earth. This is all classic Circuit VII: Neurogenetic/Morphogenetic Circuit stuff.
So, my experience is that Circuits V, VI and VII proceeded from each other linearly as described by Leary. Additionally, another reason I think Circuit VI is the metaprogramming circuit is that you can do metaprogramming without needing neurogenetic experiences (of the collective unconsious etc.), suggesting to me that those are part of a higher circuit that reveals itself through metaprogramming.
My drug experiences differ a little to Wilson’s descriptions in Cosmic Trigger: I found that LSD is extremely Circuit VI (with not many Circuit VII characteristics), and that Circuit VII was bizarrely triggered by the dissociative Methoxphenidine, which gave me past-life flashbacks as an African tribesman and led to me developing my own sort of yoga based on animal forms. The books are correct however that ketamine is the trigger for Circuit VIII (as is the near-death experiences brought on brutally by kundalini awakening).
Concentration meditation and kundalini can activate all circuits without the need for drugs, with kundalini working the quickest but being far more terrifying.