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25 Timothy Leary Quotes That Will Leave You Tripping

Timothy Leary was an American psychologist and writer.

Or as my husband referred to him when I said I was looking for Timothy Leary quotes, “Oh, the acid guy.

He believed you could understand the universe when you were tripping on acid.”

What exactly did Timothy Leary believe, though?

Keep reading through these Timothy Leary quotes to find out his thoughts on drugs, psychology, and the mysteries of life.

Leary was a Harvard professor who worked on the Harvard Psilocybin Project from 1960-1962.

He drew criticism from other Harvard faculty because his ethics were questionable, to say the least!

He engaged in drug use with the study participants and applied pressure to his students encouraging them to use drugs.

The university fired him in 1963.

His drug use led him to develop his philosophy of ‘mind expansion.’

It was also the reason he found himself in 36 different prisons worldwide.

Don’t forget to also check out these Jacques Cousteau quotes about science and life.

Trippy Timothy Leary quotes about drug use

1. “There are three side effects of acid: enhanced long-term memory, decreased short-term memory, and I forget the third.” ―Timothy Leary

2. “Acid is not for every brain …. Only the healthy, happy, wholesome, handsome, hopeful, humorous, high-velocity should seek these experiences. This elitism is totally self-determined. Unless you are self-confident, self-directed, self-selected, please abstain.” ―Timothy Leary

3. “I am 100 percent in favor of the intelligent use of drugs, and 1,000 percent against the thoughtless use of them, whether caffeine or LSD. And drugs are not central to my life.” ―Timothy Leary

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4. “LSD is a psychedelic drug which occasionally causes psychotic behavior in people who have NOT taken it.” ―Timothy Leary

5. “At one point consciousness-altering devices like the microscope and telescope were criminalized for exactly the same reasons that psychedelic plants were banned in later years. They allow us to peer into bits and zones of Chaos.” ―Timothy Leary

6. “To use your head, you have to go out of your mind.” ―Timothy Leary

7. “I learned more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms than in the preceding 15 years of studying and doing research in psychology.” ―Timothy Leary

Take a trip through the ages with these Timothy Leary quotes

8. “In the information age, you don’t teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today he’d have a talk show.” ―Timothy Leary

9. “We are dealing with the best-educated generation in history. But they’ve got a brain dressed up with nowhere to go.” ―Timothy Leary

10. “When people criticize the computer generation, the high tech generation, and say they neglect the body – well, just walk through a college campus, and you’ll see the healthiest, most physically conscious, and alert group of human beings I’ve ever met. So they’re not nerds at all.” ―Timothy Leary

11. “The twentieth century may well find historical status as the epoch in which man began to study himself as a scientific phenomenon.” ―Timothy Leary

12. “Critics have told me I’ve ruined the lives of 50 million young people. I can’t be certain of this, since only about 10 million have ever come back to thank me.” ―Timothy Leary

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One liner Timothy Leary quotes

13. “Think for yourself and question authority.” ―Timothy Leary

14. “You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.” ―Timothy Leary

15. “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” ―Timothy Leary

16. “The universe is an intelligence test.” ―Timothy Leary

17. “Civilization is unbearable, but it is less unbearable at the top.” ―Timothy Leary

18. “You can always pick up your needle and move to another groove.” ―Timothy Leary

19. “Learning how to operate a soul figures to take time.” ―Timothy Leary

20. “Science is all metaphor.” ―Timothy Leary

21. “The most important thing you do in your life is to die.” ―Timothy Leary

22. “Intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” ―Timothy Leary

23. “Give death a better name or die trying.” ―Timothy Leary

24. “The Caterpillar cannot understand the butterfly.” ―Timothy Leary

25. “I wanted to scientize myth and mythologize science.” ―Timothy Leary

What did you learn from these Timothy Leary quotes?

Harvard and other clinical psychologists were not the only ones upset with Timothy Leary’s method of searching for enlightenment.

Richard Nixon once called him the “most dangerous man in America.”

Leary also focused on generation gaps, space migration, and technology.

He once referred to the PC “as the LSD of the 90s.”

Leary had quite the social circle.

He married a model and hung out with Johnny Depp, Dan Akroyd, and Susan Sarandon.

He consulted with Billy Idol on his album, Cyberpunk.

He even did an interview with Playboy!

Leary continued to use drugs, but ultimately that is not what killed him.

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He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and died in May of 1996.

He would be fascinated with today’s advances in AI, virtual reality, and space exploration for sure.

If you have any other Timothy Leary quotes and sayings you would like to add, please leave them in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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