LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974.
Lot 2271
LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996. "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974.
US$ 30,000 - 50,000
£19,000 - 32,000
amended

Lot Details
LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974. LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974. LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974. LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974. LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974. LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974. LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  "The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974. LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.  The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary.
LEARY, TIMOTHY. 1920-1996.
"The Periodic Table of Energy (Correspondences Among: the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neurogenetic Theory of Evolution, the Tarot, the I Ching, the Zodiac). Transmitted by Joanna and Timothy Leary." Vacaville Prison [California]: May 1974.
4to. Typed Manuscript with Annotations, 208 pp recto only, illustrated throughout with newspaper and magazine clippings pasted to inserted leaves. Some soiling to title, spotting to first three leaves, light wear around edges, one or two leaves evidently lacking. WITH: Typed Letter Signed ("Bob Wilson"), 4 pp, 4to, Berkeley, CA, July 14, 1974, to Timothy Leary, folding creases, light wrinkling and edgewear.
Provenance: Joanna Harcourt-Smith.

AN ORIGINAL TYPED MANUSCRIPT OF AN UNPUBLISHED WORK BY TIMOTHY LEARY, profusely annotated in Leary's hand composed while he was serving time in a California state prison on drug possession charges. Dedicated to "the Imprisoned," the manuscript opens, "{Most} living organisms on this planet are {imprisoned} - tied down, {encumbered}, caged, restrained, {shackled}, weighed down, {confined to the planet} by the pressure of gravity.... This transmission is designed to free all life forms. It is an escape note. A survival manual explaining how to decode the basic blueprints which guide the evolutionary journey" [holograph insertions in brackets]. In the manuscript, Leary puts forth for the first time his eight circuit model of consciousness: an evolutionary theory of mind mapped over esoteric and mystical models—namely, the Tarot, the Zodiac and the I Ching—and incorporating the Periodic Table of Elements and insights from Neurobiology. Leary had earlier written of a seven circuit model, in Neurologic (1973), and he would later expound the eight circuit model in Exo-Psychology (1977; revised and updated as Info-Psychology in 1987), until now presumed to be that model's first in-depth iteration. The present manuscript—unpublished and virtually unknown—represents the crucial evolutionary link between those two works.

The manuscript is profusely annotated in Leary's hand, with insertions, corrections, and deletions on virtually every page; these are made in blue fine-point marker, red and black ink, and pencil, pointing to multiple stages of revision. The annotations represent insertions and deletions of words, phrases, and entire passages; clarifications and changes in rhetorical style; and alterations to the structure and order of the work. In addition, Leary has inserted several typed sheets representing newly added sections, a few subsections of which have been left incomplete. The manuscript is illustrated with advertisements cut from magazines and newspapers—which aid in the cultural critique that runs as a thread through the entire work—and by inserted reproductions of cards from the Tarot deck. Joanna Leary is credited on the title sheet (as she is on a number of Leary's works of the period) as an acknowledgement of the role played by the conversations she had with Leary about the work during prison visits.

At the heart of the manuscript is Leary's use of the Tarot to explain the eight-circuit model, in which he assumes the Tarot to be "a primitive version of the neurogenetic code contained in the periodic table." Using the Tarot's "minor arcana suits [to] represent the four amino acids, and the trumps the DNA code", Leary describes "twenty four stages in personal and species evolution." "The Tarot," he asserts, "is a concise, accurate blueprint of the {multi-billion year}course of neurogentic evolution, {past and future}. The skeletal structure of the system is accurate although the verbal labels and role designations (Fool, Pope Emperor, Hermit) are outdated, trite, and confusing." The in-depth elucidation of the Tarot which follows—as well as the interpretation of the Zodiac, and I Ching—would disappear almost entirely from the text of Exo-Psychology, Leary's next attempt to describe the eight-circuit model, and the present manuscript preserves a provocative and illuminating dimension of that model unknown to Leary scholarship.

Included in the present lot is a four-page typed letter signed by Leary's confederate, collaborator, and fellow proponent of evolutionary consciousness, Robert Anton Wilson—who would expand on Leary's eight circuit model in his Cosmic Trigger (1977)—discussing what is presumably a later version of the manuscript. In the letter, dated two months after the date on the manuscript, Wilson gushes, "[The Periodic Table of Consciousness] is even more mind-blowing than Terra II. It may be the best book you've ever written....." Wilson goes on at length to describe changes he's made to the manuscript in his possession, giving a substantive critique of the work and teasing out various aspects of Leary's system. Though Leary and Wilson would ultimately produce a two-page pull-out chart titled "The Periodic Table of Energy" for the Berkeley Barb (March 14-20, 1975; Horowitz C92), the present manuscript never saw publication, and the version which Leary sent to Wilson has never surfaced.

Manuscript material by Leary is scarce on the market, and the The Periodic Table of Energy represents by far the most substantial unpublished manuscript by Leary ever to come to auction. Its uncovering represents a major event for readers and critics of Leary's work, and for scholars of America's counterculture of the 1960s and 70s.

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  • Please note: the sale of this manuscript does not include intellectual property rights to the material.
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