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Eight-circuit model of consciousness

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Diagram Illustration by Collective Unconscious

Eight-circuit model of consciousness

The eight-circuit model of consciousness is a hypothesis by Timothy Leary, later expanded on by Robert Anton Wilson and Antero Alli, that suggests “eight periods [circuits] and twenty-four stages of neurological evolution”.[1] The eight circuits, or eight systems or “brains”, as referred by other authors, operate within the human nervous system. Each corresponds to its own imprint and subjective experience of reality.[1] Leary and Alli include three stages for each circuit that details developmental points for each level of consciousness.[1]

Although Timothy Leary greatly expanded the basic premise of eight brains, he was inspired by sources such as the Hindu chakra system. However, the most direct transmission occurred when Leary received a document from a student of yoga. This pamphlet contained 24 different pages, with every three pages (subdivisions) corresponding to particular energy. Leary then translated this and expanded it into the 24-stage model of evolution, as well as eventually streamlining it into the eight-circuit model of consciousness. With this, Leary created his umbrella model which others have expanded and philosophized on.

Leary presumed the first four to reside in the left lobe or hemisphere of the brain or the cerebrum and described them as basic survival functions needed for existence on a terrestrial planet. The later four which reside in the right hemisphere exist for future use by humans who might someday migrate to outer space and live extraterrestrially (i.e., in a zero-gravity environment). Although Wilson also wrote about the distinction between terrestrial and extraterrestrial life, he gave each circuit a much more specific location in various regions of the brain.

The term “circuits” came from the first wave of cybernetics research and development in the United States in the 1970s. (Others have proposed that the terms ‘systems’ should substitute ‘circuits’ to reflect both a systems theory approach and also the changing anatomy of an entity as it goes through a neurological change).

According to discussions and documentation by Robert Anton Wilson, Antero Alli, Christopher S. Hyatt, and Timothy Leary, each circuit available to an individual represents a more complex phase of evolution. The circuits activate in ascending order, providing an evolutionary link between the evolution of an individual human, a species’ genetic history, and an entire gene pool. In other words, each Neurological Circuit that activates provides an additional cognitive function within the entity that has activated it (whether or not the entity has awareness of the circumstances that led to its activation).

Leary theorized that until recently in human development these higher circuits have remained dormant within the brain. However, he believed that one could activate and experience the higher circuits with the use of some brain-changing technologies and techniques. Some of these include psychedelic and psychoactive drugs, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) or Design Human Engineering (DHE), Light and Sound, or Mind machines, Ceremonial magick, Meditation, and Yoga.



The Eight Stages in Human Evolution

The human nervous system is evolving sequentially through eight maturational phases. At each phase, a new circuit of the nervous system is activated and imprinted.

The larval (neuro-umbilical) terrestrial stages of the nervous system designed for attachment to and survival on earth are [1] :

  1. The Bio-survival (Marine) Stages — mediating the reception, integration and transmission of neural signals concerned with cellular health and vegetative, metabolic security. Safety-danger.

  2. The Emotion-locomotion terrestrial-mammalian Stage — mediating the reception, integration and transmission of neuro-muscular signals concerned with body-mobility, territorial control, and the avoidance of helplessness. Fight/Flight.

  3. The Symbolic-artifactual Stage — mediating the reception, integration and transmission of oral-manual signals, language, artifacts, symbols, tools. Tribal.

  4. The Industrial Stages — mediating the reception, integration and transmission of neural signals concerned with sexual roles, occupation and socialization in the Factory Culture.

The four circuits of the nervous system designed to mediate somatic, electronic-neural, genetic, atomic information, and to adapt to post-terrestrial, info-worlds are:

  1. The Cyber-somatic Stages — mediating the reception, integration and transmission of sensory-somatic signals uncensored by government imprints designed to operate in a zerogravity environment. Body Consciousness.

  2. The Cyber-electronic Stages — reception, integration and transmission of neural signals at the simultaneity and velocity of a bio-electric-grid; not programmed by government imprints, but by the individual. Brain consciousness.

  3. The Cyber-genetic Stage imprints the DNA code, receiving, integrating and transmitting RNA signals, thus operating at species-time, making possible biological immortality, and symbiosis with Higher Life forms. DNA consciousness.

  4. The Cyber-atomic Stage imprints sub-nuclear quantum-physical and gravitational signals, thus transcending biological existence. Quantum consciousness. Nano-technology.


At each chronological stage of species evolution, new imprints for collective-governal realities emerge. These socially-consensual neural-programs determine the positive-negative magnetic poles for culturally conditioned members of the gene-pool. Good/evil Taboo.

Collective consciousness was needed to accomplish the embryonic states of evolution. A fetus or a larval form cannot branch out on hir own.

Governal (hive) consciousness was required to domesticate animals, establish agriculture, fashion metal tools, form nations and empires, build sea-going vessels, printing presses, steam engines, factories, electrical plants, airplanes, radios, movies, nuclear instruments, rockets and computers.

When the 20th century hives had the technologies necessary to leave the planet and communicate in quantum-speak, then, and only then (1987?) was it time to transcend biology and locate the environment for evolution in the minds of individuals. The Cyber Society.


In the cyber-stages of evolution each individual is responsible for fabricating the futures.

We are no longer tied to gene-pools or womb-worlds.

There are inevitable, logical stages which the Cyber-person must learn to master. To be more precise — there are technologies which can only be operated by individuals. There is a logical geographies of worlds which the Cyber-person must learn to navigate.

The Cyber-somatic: Piloting the Individual Body.

Only the individual can operate a human body. Sorry, Gov, but that’s the way it is.

Only the individual can experience and inhabit and evolve in the somatic-sensory world. Only the Indy can experience the tooth ache or the orgasm.

The first declaration of independence, the first solo intercontinental flight is control of our own body and sense-organs.

The Cyber-neural: Piloting the Individual Brain.

Only the individual can operate a nervous system. Individual consciousness is a mysterious, precious and lonely experience which cannot be duplicated by the most powerful collectives.

The Cyber-genetic: Piloting the DNA code.

The Cyber-atomic: Piloting nano-technology.

At each chronological phase of individual evolution a new imprint is formed. Each imprint determines the positive and negative foci for subsequent condition of the newly activated neural circuit. Each imprint defines a level of island reality. Recently developed techniques for reimprinting make possible serial, planful re-creation of realities.

All the activity of the nervous system is based, of course, on chemical-electrical communication.

The first four governal stages of the nervous system have been designed by the DNA code to deal with the Euclidian-Newtonian characteristics of the planet earth and to adjust the individual to herd-flock-tribal, national industrial realities.

The four later post-terrestrial stages are designed for the quantum-info world so that the individual can pilot through somatic signals, neuro-electric receptivity, deciphering of DNA-RNA signals, and integration of sub-atomic messages.

Info-Psychology Unveiled



[1]. Leary, T. (1987). Info-Psychology. New Falcon Press, Los Angeles.

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