In order to live free, I had to explore the truth. I had to be stunned and rocked by it. I wanted to FEEL it. From a society of look-good, act-proper, and feel-nothing, my family ran by a set of discombobulated rules. So much was fake, and secret, and I had to run forward (never “straight”) and not look back. A fresh reality and daring headspace were in my future. I knew it, I needed it, so I went looking for it.
It wasn’t a part-time pursuit. I had to indulge fully. The impetuses for running were my restless heart and soul. I had dabbled in independence and in the shakiness of truth. It shook with energy, power I couldn’t resist. It was breath and survival to me. It also shook with fear of untapped emotion.
So what did I do? There appeared to be only one path…
Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out!!
According to Wikipedia, Timothy Leary coined this expression in 1966. He explained: “It urged people to embrace cultural changes through the use of psychedelics and by detaching themselves from the existing conventions and hierarchies in society.” Made sense to me. I was into the experiment...
In reflection, Leary said this in his 1983 autobiography, “Flashbacks”:
“Turn on’ meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. ‘Tune in’ meant interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. ‘Drop Out’ meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean ‘Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity.”