Obscure Origins of the 8 Circuit/24 Stage Model of Evolution often attributed to Timothy Leary
Compiled from the archive at Wayback Machine.
While he lived, Leary claimed, and received, credit for an ingenious "8 circuit/24 stage" model of evolution. To tell the truth, he did not originate the theory. However, he did do an excellent job of expanding, popularizing and "Westernizing" the concept. The following few pages will convince you that the most important suite of ideas which Leary received credit for during his lifetime was actually the intellectual property of a little known Hindu Tantric regimen.
During 1963, while Leary's Millbrook years were unfolding in upstate New York, the entourage of psychedelic pioneers entertained one "Professor Adams", a guest from the Oriental Philosophy Department of Rutgers University. Adams delivered a Hindu manuscript to Leary and instructed him upon the occult meaning of the little Asian jewel.
I am certain that you will enjoy this extract of the relevant pages from the original edition of Leary's first autobiography, What Does Woman Want?, which was published in 1976 by 88 Books. We have here the tale of how Professor Adams' life was scrambled by the application of the erotic and often dangerous Tantric information, and Tim's recollection of the droll banter between Adams and his most famous pupil as Adams delays and diddles before he finally turns-on Tim to the Bengali point-of-view.
For convenience, I have split the tale into seven "Chapters". We pick up the conversation after Professor Adams has already spent a few weeks at the compound and has become an unlikely sexual guru to an increasing number of the women residing at Millbrook.
Chapter 1: Millbrook, New York, August 1963
The Commodore had offered to take Professor Adams on a walk around the estate.
They passed the two-story Bavarian Bowling Alley, with its ragged wooden supports and enormous stone stairways and entrance turrets along the creek to the two stone towers that supported the gate to the forest preserve. They walked north for a half hour along the dirt road skirting the creek. As the road turned right, Leri (sic) motioned north. "Lunacy Hill is up there. Western view. Good for sunsets."
The two men walked west for another half hour through the heavily wooded terrain, and cut eastward off the road to a meadow which swept up a grassy slope. "Ecstasy Hill," said the Commodore. The two men climbed the slope and sat under the shade of a huge oak tree. "Tell me about the Shiva yoga," asked the Commodore.
Professor Adams was not articulate. His large laryngeal bump wobbled and protruded, his huge ears waggled. He rambled about Shiva/Shakti, the union of male & female principles, maithuna, sacred fucking, the Serpent power that resides at the base of the spine and which can be roused by Yoga and the energy that can be obtained by spiritual sexual linkage with the female, the eroticization of all energy, the fact that, by means of concentration of consciousness, he had learned to make love for hours at a time without orgasm, the basic male/female charging of form and structure in nature, the necessity to keep focused on and in harmony with the oceans and whirlpools of sexual energy which were apparent to the adept, and his hopes of attaining higher levels of consciousness and maintaining the erotic posture through the Millbrook experiments.
Leri, to tell the truth, was confused by the lecture which was delivered in broken, fragmented phrases, non sequiturs, nervous giggles; uneasy demeanor which contrasted to the cool content of his discourse.
Adding to the verbal discord were the frequent references to his financial plight, his alimony payments, his wish to quit his teaching job and move to Millbrook, his almost completed book of Sufi poetry, a film script which was designed to heighten the sexual energy of the audience, and his conviction that mastery of Shiva Tantra would make possible acquisition of any material goal, including money which he needed badly for his alimony payments.
The conversations with Professor Adams continued on the run while the Commodore was mowing the enormous lawns, his favorite task, or hoeing the garden, or lying reclined at sunset on the slanting, green coppered roof of the mansion, smoking and drinking chilled wine. Adams would crouch by his side; thin, knobby, intense. At times his erotic ramblings seemed like crankish eccentricity.
Mornings, Adams would give yoga lessons. There seemed to be no fat on his body and when he demonstrated Asanas in a ridiculously flimsy bikini bottom, his body seemed to be a tight envelope of skin over thin rubber muscles.
Leri was fascinated by Adams' attitude, that is, his angle of approach. Like a lodestone, his consciousness swung unerringly to the nearest or the most powerful vaginal source. When he entered a room picking his way gracefully like a cat, he scanned immediately for the female energy and pointed directly to it. His every movement seemed magnetically hooked to Pussy which his transceivers automatically locked into. Where he sat in the room, the posture assumed, the gestures, his words all seemed to be part of the love act.
To the Commodore's surprise, he discovered that this ugly, absent-minded visitor was actually fucking the female contingent of the Federation quite shamelessly in public without approaching within a yard of them.
Intellectually he seemed almost moronic. Pointless stories punctuated with a silly laugh. The men paid him little attention, saw him as a confused, ineffectual chap who complained about his smoker's cough and his financial problems. The women were very aware of him, either drawn to him or repulsed by his presence. To some he was a clown, his erotic overtures impertinent. Some of the gentle women were irritated by his brazen seductiveness. Most sighed and smiled at the mention of his name.
There was more to be learned from observation than from his talk. He babbled incoherently about female electricity, recharging batteries, about the left-hand path, finding God through the forbidden, often saying that there was nothing personal or egoistic about his sadhana, that any and every woman could be elevated to Shakti posture, that every woman carried within Her, just below the surface a divine erotic power, a simple procedure to tap into as one would plug-in electric cord to outlet.
One night, while high in the Meditation House, he burned a third eye above his nose with a lighted cigarette. The scab remained for two weeks and strangely enough seemed to have made him even more irresistable to women.
Like most Hip Hindus or Americans heavily exposed to Ganges radiation, Adams was avidly greedy for psychedelic chemicals and lost no opportunity to get high. As a result, his usual demeanor was giggling flotation which led most of the male staff members and the less sensitive females to disregard him as a harmless non-entity. His persistence in erotic pursuit, of course, paid off.
First, a rather plain-looking Radcliffe graduate began private yoga lessons. She was later noticed wandering down the hall of the visitors' wing with a cheerfully dazed expression on Her face. There was no question that Her figure improved, her disposition mellowed and that She turned Her consciousness towards Adams, like a flower to the sun.
A similar experience happened to a jazz singer of fading reputation and a successful, if not sensational, fashion model. Most of the I.F.I.F. staff, centered on their own research and their own psychic evolution, remained oblivious to the effect that Adams' yoga was having on some of the residents.
It seemed to be Adams' custom to give color reproductions of Hindu paintings to anyone who seemed receptive. After a while, whenever one saw a Tantric design or a Yab Yum drawing, one thought of Adams.
As the weeks unfolded and as the parade of blissed-out, softly smiling ladies slid gracefully up and down the corridor leading to the Yogin's room, Commodore Leri, whose own busy schedule of lecturing, writing, and press interviews kept him distracted from the daily details of Millbrook life, finally found time to talk to Adams.
Chapter 2: Millbrook, New York, October 1963
It was an afternoon in early Autumn and the air had that sharp crispness about it, an ambiance very different from summer's languor, an undeniable scent of winter's coming.
As though to underline the changing season, maple branches slashed lines of flaming red . . . first flare promise of the weeks of riotous color which would turn the northern forests into a flamboyant conflagration.
Commodore Leri and Professor Adams strolled through the gaudy landscape, peered at the center of a sumac cluster, narrowly escaping being pulled into the whirlpool of crimson. They paused to examine a lemon-yellow maple leaf which Adams picked up and held in his hand.
They sat on the tall, brown meadow grass of Lunacy Hill and pondered the almost unnoticeable variations, perhaps slight mutations, accidental or (as Leri was beginning to suspect) purposeful combination of genes which gave certain individuals a slight advantage over others in escaping enemies.
"What are you doing, Adams?" asked the Commodore.
Adams: "Giving you a message."
Leary: "Well, deliver it."
Adams: "It's in the form of a manuscript. I've been waiting for you to indicate your readiness."
Leary: "Where is it?"
Adams: "In my room."
Adams: "Maybe tonight. You've been so busy running around preaching and teaching and raising public consciousness; there's been no time. Can you arrange to come to my room tonight for a few hours?"
Leary: "Delighted. But in preparation, why don't you answer my question: How did you happen to get here?"
Adams: "I have already told you about my home-coming revelation at the Calcutta airport," replied the Yogin. "Back at Princeton I picked up the rhythm of academic life but in my spare time began to read everything I could find about Indian culture and philosophy. I bought an illustrated book on Hatha Yoga and prepared a monastic cell in my attic. For twenty hours a day I followed the routine of young professional married man. For four hours a day I meditated and stretched my body until I could perform the most advanced asanas."
"This regime continued for five years, the solitary practice combined with extensive reading of Hindu philosophy. I found myself drawn to Shivism and in particular to the Bengali tantra. The teachings of the Secret Flower. I pondered long over pictures of the erotic temple carving from Konorak and Khajuraho, marveling at the historical fact that for six hundred years, seventh to thirteenth centuries, a powerful kingdom existed in which sex worship, the loving union of man and woman, was the orthodox religion!"
"Let occultists speculate about lost Atlantis and other visionary utopias of forgotten past. The shore temple at Konorak still exists, acres of sculpture illustrating the tantric doctrine that this world is a playground (lilakshetra) for blissful sensualists. And, hundreds of miles away from the lndian ocean, in the center of the subcontinent, Khajuraho with its legions of round-limbed girls and slim regal lovers acrobatically intertwined in a hundred variations on the dance of life, some of them so complicated that it takes a knowledge of Yoga and the assistance of two side-girls to bring them off."
"What was it like, I wondered, to live in a culture where the great religious ceremony was a sacred feast climaxing in the sexual union of man as surrogate Sun God in ritual intercourse with the soft, moist representative of the Earth Goddess?"
"It beat the Presbyterian church and the pious prudities of the plump effeminate swamis who toured the campus. I found my self more and more isolated from my family and university colleagues, living a double life, preparing my body and polishing my mind for the highest level of tantric erotic communication."
"My studies of the Shiva Tantra convinced me that man is only one half, and the weaker half at that, of the complete consciousness unit formed by the union of male and female. So far nothing original. In 1961 I took my sabbatical leave and went to Calcutta and located a Guru in Bengali Tantra. This was no abstract book learning course. Nine months of practical exercises in mobilizing and directing prana. Do you know what that means?"
Leary: "I've read the literary definitions."
Adams: "Well, reading between the lines is one thing. But Siva-ji taught me the real thing."
Leary: "He's the guru with the big YMCA ashram at Rishikesh?"
Adams: "Good God, no! Siva-ji's name has never been mentioned in an English language publication about Yoga. He doesn't speak English and wouldn't let a western devotee get within ten miles of him."
"Do you hear what I'm saying? He teaches how to contact your sexual energy, to eroticize every moment. The least important aspect of his teaching is the maintenance of the perpetual erection."
With this blunt remark Adams had finally hooked on to the Commodore's attention.
The two men sat silently on the hillside. The locale was completely natural. Nowhere did the eye fall upon a man-made artifact. Birds swept across the meadow. Bees bustled on last minute errands before the frost. The wing feather of a bluejay with a white tip lay bright against the brown leaves, mute reminder of some fierce feathered encounter with hawk or owl.
Leary: "So after you mastered the Bengali Tantra, what did you do?"
Adams: "The Shiva Tantra is a path of power," answered Adams, "and must not be confused with the equally valid but more benign path of the Buddhist Tantra. To the Bengali adept, the vital energy is located in the woman and we are drawn to Her as a soft, yielding battery of power."
"When a bee buzzes into a garden he is aware only of the forest of wide-open flowers beckoning with scent and pollen. So it is with the Bengali Tantric . . . when we walk into a room it is, for us, a forest of wide-open, blooming yonis. And like the bee we center-on and buzz around the source of that life power. The effect of this on most fertile females cannot be exaggerated."
Chapter 3: Millbrook, New York, October 1963
THE TWO MEN ARE SEATED under a tree on the top of the rolling grassy slope (which had been designated by the I.F.I.F. staff as Ecstasy Hill). Bushes and small trees are scattered down the incline.
The Commodore was hooked into the Game of Life that has been played out on this grassy terrain for several million years. He had become conscious of the incessant flirtation of pollen, sperm, root, branch, blossom; of the web of communication existing among each life form that had been seeded in this small corner of the planet; aware of the chemical fabric that wove the landscape into a gossipy, interspecies village in which each organism sensed and adapted to the movements of each other.
Adams was reclining on the ground. He suddenly sat up and began speaking rapidly. "You realize, of course, that these phases unfold in sequence. First, the Energy is turned on. Stage 13. That is the easy step and the dangerous one."
"Next, it must be understood and controlled. Stage 14. This is the Yogic discipline that was taught me in Bengal. The precise calibration of each physical sensation. The chants, the postures, the mastery of the internal organs, the exercises, at first alone, and later with Shakti partners."
"After a year of this bodily training, so demanding that rapture merged with torture, I was initiated, given the yogic name Aryabhata and sent back to America to find my tantric mate."
Leary: "Your wife wasn't with you?"
Adams: "No. Unhappily She wanted no part of it. During my sabbatical She stayed back in Princeton. To tell the truth, She was relieved to have me gone."
"As soon as I arrived in America I began to read about and, through the academic grapevine, hear about your Harvard experiments. I saw at once the significance of your signal. It was a simple matter to request a colleague in the Department of Biology to order and turn over to me a hundred doses of pure Sandoz Lysergic Acid, which, in those days, was a little–known experimental drug easily available to qualified scientists."
"There was nothing covert about the arrangement. My Department Head and the biologists were interested in my reports about the effects of the experience. And so, in the familiar privacy of my meditation room, I took the drug, folded my legs into the lotus position and waited to see what would happen."
"It is useless to talk about preparation for a brain–altering experience. But certainly it is safe to say that I was well prepared for the voyage."
"As you know, the direction and quality of the neurological trip is determined by the characteristics of the launch. Everyone has a basic bodily posture which represents their mythic role, their self–conception. It’s like statues of historical personages. Everyone’s body image is trapped forever in one, revealing, characteristic pose that says it all. What is the bodily posture which reveals your solution to the problem of inhabiting this kind of planet with this sort of body? The body position you most naturally assume tells everything."
"Look at the statues of the great religious leaders. Christ anguished and bleeding on the cross? Moses striding down the mountain, sternly frowning the law? Mohammed leading a crusade? Krishna, barefoot, lounging with flute, ogling the cowgirls? Buddha sitting in meditation?"
"The karmic statue I want on my tombstone is yab–yum. Sitting naked in the lotus pose with Her resting on my cock, our eyes locked in soul embrace. This is the platform from which I launch the time–ship of my life. You may see me running around eating, drinking, hustling money, but that’s all peripheral robotry. The rubber band of my Karma snaps me back home to sacred fucking."
"My acid revelation was clear. I set out to search for Her. For days I stayed high wandering around as the God Shiva, watching, looking. I had, of course, imprinted the Divinity and employed yogic centeredness of mind to maintain the reality."
"I would gaze unblinking at the women I met, seeing them through their social facades, and psychological cordage to the divinity within. They all wanted to fuck me, of course, but I was seeking more than campus adultery. I found Her in the University Library pretending to take the human robot form of a voluptuous Jewish girl with a master’s degree in Library Science."
"We took a sleeping bag camping trip the next weekend, and sitting around a campfire in the Pennsylvania mountains, smoking grass, I began my multi–circuit courtship. I showed Her how to sit naked in half lotus. I played my flute then lifted Her on my lap and fucked Her for hours as She had never dreamed possible, dreamily joined, eyes linked, two flowers swaying in the evening breeze, under moon and starry sky."
"For several weeks I taught Her all I knew, had Her read Bengali texts, study Konorak paintings, practice yogic control of Her body. Then we took LSD together."
"We were," he said, "centered on the throne of our divinities. I, Shiva, the earth energy and She, Shakti, the energy of life. Our bodies radiated. Her face took on the thousand forms, as did mine. We grew together. My fibres rooted in Her body. I could no more separate from Her than a tree be taken from the ground."
"It was summer vacation. I told my wife I was leaving. I wept, but the force that had infused my spirit was stronger than life. I went to the attic meditation room to pack my books and yoga gear. Feeling terrible. Why was this different from any bored middle–aged man throwing over responsibilities for a young girl? I picked up The Life of the Buddha and reread the story of His escape from social responsibilities. It's an amazing parable for a respectable religion to peddle."
"The Buddha is crown prince. He has his royal duties and a wife and children. He steals out of the palace one night and hits the road in search of enlightenment."
"I signed over the house, the insurance, all the assets to my wife and headed for the Virgin Islands. We spent six months living in a cottage by the beach in total blissful union. Two, four, six hours a day in yogic maithuna. We shared every second, every stimulus, fed each other, dressed each other, bathed each other, shared every thought."
"We attained such poised control of our bodies that we could fuck endlessly, slowing, moving from one asana to another, sliding together in slick, rubbery erotic acrobatics. We were obsessed by beauty. Everything that touched our senses was pure aesthetic essence. Our faces shone with love. We were the radiant sun of beauty to each other."
"We thought that never had two people become so close. Her body with its million pathways of sensation and response became my own. We were living statues of the love gods. Reclined in rapture we would look in each other’s eyes and laugh to think of fellow humans hurrying like ants through the routines of life, unaware that such ecstasy could exist."
"We felt so pure. We were following the scriptures of every religion. To love. We were innocent love babes, children of a new race. Do you know what happened then?"
Leary: "I can guess," said the Commodore.
Leary: "You got bored."
Chapter 4: Millbrook, New York, October 1963
LEARY: "YOU GOT BORED. You needed more input and wider output. You ran out of money. Your visas expired. You had to broadcast what you had learned. Something like that."
Adams: "Yeah. Something like that . . ."
"We had become completely intertwined. Like the double–helix, spiraling around each other. Inclusive. Excluding. Our intersection had triggered tremendous energies in each other, brought out beauty, but we needed something outside to harness it to. We were two gods lounging on golden clouds far above the planet idly looking down, debating if and how we should descend to interact with mortals."
Leary: "Did it occur to you to have children?"
Adams: "I could see the natural unfolding in that direction. I had no need to reproduce biologically. I had been through that domestic scene and had two kids whom I should think about supporting. She would have liked to have our child, but she couldn’t conceive."
"We decided that we would return to society and try to teach what we had learned. We flew to New York and found a small apartment. She got a job as administrative secretary for a publishing house. We were bursting with love and energy, but how to channel it?"
"Everyone we met responded, wanted us to be around, wanted to make it with us. But orgies and casual affairs weren’t what we wanted. We thought we could find another couple as unified as we were. Perhaps our two could become four."
"There were no such duets to be found in New York. I wrote poems and essays trying to communicate the beauty. They were good, but like astrophysical formulae, could be understood only by those who had reached the levels of revelation and communion that we had reached."
"I began painting mandalas which were effective. Friends would place them on their walls, or on their shrines. The paintings passed on the message and unfailingly guided people, who were already high, into the realm of sacred erotic union, but the gallery owners shook their heads and magazine editors took them home but wouldn’t print them."
"I should have been content with that. Quietly turning out handmade instruments to turn on meditative power, working silently like a Sufi craftsman. But I wanted more. I had become God and wanted the divine power. We knew that we were tapped into the timeless fountain of physical beauty, but to hip, sophisticated New Yorkers She was an attractive girl who worked as a secretary and I was an ugly man trying to hustle pictures."
"It was your fault too. I envied your fame and charisma. You were the star. The light to whom everyone looked. And I knew you were a phony. You could point the way, provide liberation and ecstatic discovery for millions of people, but I knew, as you know, that you hadn’t found the basic link, you weren’t operating from the only position that can send you up and out into the timeless . . . the yab–yum."
"You weren’t focused on Her and hadn’t discovered how to connect, fuse, merge with Her. You were a glamorous figure striding radiant through the crowds, sitting in the splendor of lotus position, reclining like king of the universe on the roof of the castle watching the sun set on your endless green dominions. But you weren’t hooked up to Her. You were some sort of half–creature out of touch with your body. You couldn’t turn Her on like I could."
There was nothing to say. The Commodore nodded him to continue.
"So I went crazy with the power. Did just what the text books tell us not to do. Used the magic for ego. I hooked up to the most beautiful women in New York. I’d take a woman aside at a party, look in Her eyes and tell Her exactly who I was and what I wanted to do with Her."
"Half would back away nervously. The other half would listen wide–eyed. Then I’d give Her one of my mandalas. Tell her to hang it on the wall and use it in meditation. They are powerful aphrodisiacs."
"Toby Dupont took one home and then phoned me. After a week I moved in to Her penthouse. This was something! The richest beautiful girl in the world. I painted an enormous yoni–mandala on Her bedroom wall. There was no way She could get away from me. She said she’d give me anything I wanted."
"I told Her to rent a 707 and we’d fly to India with ten of the most beautiful models in the world and some photographers to do a picture story on erotic Hindustan. It would have been the greatest sexual coup in history. I made the mistake of taking acid, though, and microscoped my plan. So I told Her to cancel the flight and returned to Sylvia, who was, of course, patiently waiting."
"So we went back to sexual geometry. We moved through the New York and Ivy League scene again, scanning for companions. Like a typhoon. There’s no social unit as powerful as a couple, sexually secure and erotically in tune, let loose among the poor sexual isolates."
"We spent a few months trying out the combinations. There’s no sexually active person that can’t be pulled into the attractive field of a highly charged sexual binary. But it always ends up in Euclidian household details and emotions."
Leary: "Ah yes," sighed the Commodore. "Emotions. That’s the juice that most of this human sexuality runs off of. Possession, jealousy, status hierarchy. Bardot, who certainly should know, admits She gets off on complicity and membrane conspiracies."
"So what did you do?" asked the Commodore, whose mind was spinning from the strange words of the skinny Yogin.
Adams: "Sylvia cashed in a small inheritance from Her Grandmother and I wrangled an air–ticket and we flew off to Calcutta to talk to Siva–ji."
Chapter 5: Millbrook, New York, October 1963
"WE FOUND HIM SQUATTING in a loin–cloth on the banks of the Ganges, hanging around the burning ghats where they cremate dead bodies, smoking hashish from cloth–covered chillums."
At first He wouldn’t talk to us. Just laughed and cracked dumb Don Juan Zen jokes in Bengali. But we stuck it out."
Leary: "What do you mean?"
Adams: "We just squatted down there on the river bank and passed the pipe around and watched and tried to groove with the scene. The third day Siva–ji wandered down to the river’s edge and we followed. He spent hours just watching the sluggish current flow by. Then he suddenly gave a little cry of pleasure and darted to the water’s edge and grabbed a thin tree branch that was floating by. He examined it, laughed and handed it to us. Around the branch was entwined a symbiotic vine."
Leary: "A good hand with props, that fellow. Then what did he do"
Adams: "A most interesting thing. Threw the double–stick back into the Ganges, stood up and waved us to follow him; then led us to a broken–down hovel. We all sat down on the mud floor. Then he turned to me, grinning a toothless smile and spoke. The first words he ever uttered to me directly. You know what they were?"
Leary: "No idea."
Adams: "He said Lay Ree."
Leary: "What does that mean? I don’t speak Bengali."
Adams: "I didn’t know what he meant either. He looked at me questioningly for a moment and then reached down to the Shiva Shrine in the corner and took out a silk bag with a book inside it. He shoved it in my hand and pointed up the river, which happens to be west and repeated the words, Lay Ree. Then he bowed and folded his hands in the Namaste gesture of farewell. And that was that."
Leary: "What did it all mean?"
Adams: "That’s what I asked the little devotee who trotted beside us on the way to a taxi. His answer was simple. He said, "Siva–ji say, book very, very old. Take back to Professor Lay Ree in America. Shanti." Then he bowed and pressed his hands and watched us drive off in the taxi."
Leary: "You have the book?"
Adams: "Of course. It’s been the center of my life since that day."
Leary: "Can I see it?"
Adams: "I guess that’s what I was supposed to do. So come to my room tonight and I’ll do what I was sent here to do."
Chapter 6: Millbrook, New York, October 1963
ARYABHATA’S ROOM AT MILLBROOK was transformed into a Tantric yoni . . . A tigerskin meditation rug . . . A shrine with three small statues, of magnificant artistry, obviously old and valuable.
One was a Nataraj. Naked Shiva dancing within the circle of flaming energy.
A Tibetan Buddhist Dakini, a dancing girl with slim waist, flowing breasts and long hair, winsome, abandoned.
And a seated Buddha with naked mate sitting on his cock, arms entwined in yab–yum union. Aryabhata motioned for the Commodore to be seated and the two men, in time, attained an accelerated flow of consciousness that seemed to satisfy the Yogin.
Aryabhata then took, with great reverence, an object from his shrine. It was a parchment book wrapped first in red–flowered silk, and then in fine woven cloth inscribed with Sanscrit symbols. The book unfolded, accordian–fashion, like a string of picture postcards, each page perhaps eight by six inches and sewn to the next.
He placed the back in front of the shrine and arranged candles to illuminate. Then he flipped back the cover and exposed the first picture, an amoeba–like creature with an enormous human mouth, open in a sucking position. The painting possessed a horrid attraction, both slurpingly erotic and formlessly soft.
After what seemed like a long time, Aryabhata gracefully flipped to the second picture . . . the same amoeboid mouth, now biting a breast dripping scarlet blood. The brutal, direct, frontal force of the picture forced the Commodore to flinch.
Leary: "Powerful, but I don’t get it."
Adams: "It appears to be a sequence," replied the Yogin quietly. "Let’s continue."
The third picture . . . the smiling, satisfied faces of a voluptuous woman and a plump–faced man, each face attached to the body of an octopus with dozens of tentacles each covered with round sucker–cups. The painting was disturbingly erotic . . . engulfing flesh, blind, voracious, invertebrate, ancient life–hunger, relentless root-striving.
The Commodore was both repelled and deeply moved by vague tissue memories pulling him into the soft, greedy, feeding, devouring embrace.
"Notice," said Aryabhata, "that the first three cards portray a watery environment with the figures colored red. They represent the Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu aspects of this first phase."
The fourth card portrayed the face of a beautiful young man–woman (?) attached to the slim, wiry, sleek body of an otter colored a flaming orange crouching warily at the edge of a body of water, alertly surveying the landscape. The scene jarred with clashing themes . . . the swift, graceful, furry–sexual beauty of the creature and the sense of sly, furtive awareness of danger.
The fifth card was a hermaphroditic centaur standing proudly at the peak of a hill.
The sixth card was Egyptian in motive, two enthroned regal creatures, naked, one with the strong commanding body of a man, the other with the lush queenly body of a woman . . . both with heads of lions.
The Commodore looked up in bafflement. "They are magnificently painted and disturbingly moving. But I don’t get the point."
Adams: "Wait until you have seen them all," replied Aryabhata. "They are like Tarot cards that tell a sequential story."
The two men were crouched on their knees, Japanese style, raptly concentrating on the unfolding parchment book. The candle light reflected off the bald forehead of the Yogin, and flickered on the three statues; the spinning Shiva, the floating Dakini girl, the fused Buddha.
Aryabhata flipped to the seventh card . . . a hulking, hairy, yellow–skinned hermaphrodite, paleolithic hominid holding a stone–axe is bending over looking at its own reflection in a pool.
The eighth card . . . a golden–skinned hermaphrodite sitting on a Chariot, Hir righthand holding a pen (which in Steinberg fashion is drawing the outline of Hir own head. Leary: "This one is modern enough to be from The New Yorker," said the Commodore with awe. "How old is this book?"
Adams: "The Orientalists I’ve talked to say that this style of handsewn parchment is at least two hundred, and more likely, several hundred years old."
The ninth card . . . two regal, golden–skinned humans coupled in the Yab–Yum position, each with a plumed pen in right–hand drawing the other’s body.
On the tenth card a naked young, handsome man, green–skinned, stands in front of a mirror from which he is reflected as a beautiful young woman. Each is lustfully fondling the genitals of the other.
The eleventh card is a straightforward presentation of Mother–Queen and Father–King naked, green–skinned, on thrones surrounded by children.
The twelfth card . . . an enormous city square completely filled with human beings, millions of them jammed together, all facing the center of the plaza where an enormous stone lingam rose up from an enormous oval stone yoni. Both were green.
Leary: "That’s amazing. It’s a scene right out of the Third Reich."
Adams: "Yes. Quite prophetic," said Aryabhata, reclining back on his heels. "Now tell me. What do you make of that sequence?"
Leary: "It’s a Tarot card summary of evolution. An amazing performance, if you’re right about the date. Preceding Darwin, I mean. Do you agree"
Adams: "Of course. But there’s a lot more. I’ve studied this manuscript for a long time and at many levels of magnification. I’m beginning to understand why Siva–ji passed this on to you."
Leary: "Why? I know nothing about the Tarot."
Adams: "But don’t you see! This manuscript is a fucking Rosetta Stone and that’s just for openers. Notice that there are twelve drawings. Don’t you see? It’s the Zodiac! The trick is that it starts with Pisces. Do you see it?"
The skinny Yogin was leaning forward speaking like a No actor, soft hissing intensity, eyes flashing. Raving.
The Commodore scanned the twelve cards and nodded. "I’d like to give it more study. But I think I see what you mean. Aries. Taurus. Yes. And Gemini the otter!"
Adams: It’s also the twelve Divinities in the Greek and Roman pantheon. The I Ching. We’ll get to that later. But next I want you to see the second half."
Leary: "There's more?"
Adams: "Sure. The first twelve are just the first half." Aryabhata leaned back again on his heels and watched the Commodore’s face. A long period of silence followed. Leri suddenly blinked and pushed his body forwards to look at the Yogin. "You mean . . . " he said slowly, "you’re implying that . . ."
Aryabhata nodded smiling.
Leary: ". . . if the twelfth card is Aquarius and it portrays Hitler, Mao and the sexualization of centralized government . . ."
Aryabhata was smiling broadly.
Leary: ". . . then we’re just now at the mid–point of evolution . . ." Adams: "That’s how I read it."
Leary: ". . . and the twelve cards on the other side will give us the evolutionary stages to come?"
Adams: "Are you ready to look at the future?" said the Yogin reaching down to turn over the cards.
Chapter 7: Millbrook, New York, October 1963
ARYABHATA HELD THE DECK of parchment cards in his hands and shot a happy grin to his companion.
"The cosmic dealer, huh?"
Aryabhata, with slow deliberation laid the deck on the tiger-skin rug and flipped the thirteenth card. The color was blue. The figure of a hermaphrodite floating horizontally. A serene, blissfull look.
"Thirteen is rapture? We’ve been there."
Fourteen was blue. A hermaphrodite Yogin, with flowing hair, sits in the lotus position on the back of a powerful winged horse which soars through the clouds. "I know that one well," said the Yogin softly.
"I think I can guess what comes next."
Card Fifteen . . . a man and a woman fused in Yab–Yum coition floating on a cloud, radiating a halo.
"That’s interesting. We seem to be dabbling in the future already."
"I think that’s why The Old Man gave this to me to give to you. We’re ready for the next stage."
Card Sixteen is light–blue, sky–blue. A hermaphrodite, in free fall, through a sky filled with stars. Hir body is also filled with stars whose beams intersect in a web of interstellar radiation.
"The Electron Hippy?" said the Commodore.
Card Seventeen, the same figure, sits in the lotus position in the star–filled sky. From Hir hands and from Hir head radiate bundles of shining rays. SHe is creating forms with radiation.
"The Electron Yogin?"
Card Eighteen, a naked man and a naked woman sit in the sky–blue meadow of stars. Bundles of energy waves radiate between their heads and their bodies.
Card Nineteen . . . the Interstellar Hermaphrodite is duplicated in ever–decreasing size, copies of Itself spiralling through the star–filled sky. The color has changed to violet. "It has something to do with evolution. But I don’t really get it."
Card Twenty . . . the Interstellar Hermaphrodite is creating organic designs, weaving star–rays, designing Its own body.
"I see. Nineteen and Twenty are interstellar versions of Seven and Eight. That’s fascinating. Do the first twelve stages predict the next twelve?"
Card Twenty–one . . . the Interstellar Lovers are now coils of energy spiralling around each other, weaving rays to form each other’s faces and other organic forms.
Cards Twenty–two, Twenty–three, and Twenty–four portrayed silver doughnutshaped clouds sprinkled through a jet–black field. Faint broken track lines of silver curved through the void.
The twelve "future" cards are now exposed. The two sit silently studying the sequence. From time to time the Yogin carefully rearranges the cards to expose the first twelve pictures, prepares a chillum or lights a fresh candle.
"Now you know why I came here. First to remind you that tantric fusion is the posture from which the future is explored."
"That message is hardly new," sez the Commodore. "There are dozens of tantric handbooks in the occult bookstores."
"But they’re written by wrinkled Hindu scholars translating pedantic instructions about matching penile length to yoni size. And the astronauts don’t read them. This map tells us what comes next."
"Stages beyond the body?"
"No. Fused bodies, eroticized, become the extraterrestrial time-ships."
"Blissful bodies can’t get us off the planet."
"But they can eroticize the electronic. That will get us off. We are being expelled from the planet. Like baby birds from the nest."
"Hhhmmmm," sez the Philosopher thoughtfully.
"Oh, by the way, I talked to Sylvia today. She’s in New York. I wondered if she could join me here"
"And She’d like to bring a friend. Is that all right with you?"
"Sure, . . ." sez the Commodore hopefully.
"Her name is Rosemarie Barnacle. She’s a high person. And beautiful. You’ll like Her."
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