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The Eight-Circuit Brain
Definitions, Functions & Vertical Connectivities
© 1985-2014 Antero Alli
Intelligence is a word commonly associated for intellect alone and I.Q. (Intellectual Quotient) without regard to numerous other functions of Intelligence beyond, but also inclusive of, intellect. The 8-Circuit Brain model, as first developed by Timothy Leary ("Info-Psychology") and then advanced by Robert Anton Wilson ("Prometheus Rising") and myself ("Angel Tech" and "The Eight-Circuit Brain"), posits eight interacting "brains" or functions of Intelligence that are referred to in this model as "circuits". I have distilled the basic definitions and functions of all eight circuits below, along with a primer of how the upper and lower circuits interact with, and act on, each other. - A.A.
THE FOUR SURVIVAL CIRCUITS
AND HOW THEY'RE INTEGRATED
C-1 Physio-Biological Intelligence; the will to survive
INTEGRATION: the degree of physical confidence earned and
maintained to assure one's physical survival and health
C-2 Emotional-Territorial Intelligence; the will to power
INTEGRATION: the degree of emotional confidence earned
and maintained to assure one's personal territory and autonomy
C-3 Symbolic-Conceptual Intelligence; the will to reason
INTEGRATION: the degree of mental confidence earned and
maintained to assure one's problem-solving skills and sanity
C-4 Social-Moral Intelligence; the will to socialize
INTEGRATION: the degree of social confidence earned and
maintained to assure one's capacity for interpersonal interaction
THE FOUR POST-SURVIVAL CIRCUITS
THEIR SOURCES AND SHOCKS.
C-5 Somatic Intelligence of Body Wisdom and Five Senses
Sources: whatever triggers the experience of rapture, communion
with nature, tantra (yoga, meditation, ritual), charisma, second wind,
falling in love (endorphins) and the expanding presence of being here
now. The Shock of Ecstasy and Bliss (the absence of suffering)
C-6 Intuitive-Psychic Intelligence of the Brain, Spine, & CNS
Sources: whatever triggers the experience of the energetic body and
its aura, the second attention, intuition, clairvoyance and other psychic
abilities, ritual magick, reality selection, direct perception of the relative
nature of reality. The Shocks of Uncertainty and Freedom (the absence
of false assumptions, certitudes and dogmas)
C-7 Mytho-Genetic Intelligence of DNA and the Planetary Entity
Sources: whatever triggers the experience of ancestral and past life
memories, autonomous archetypes, synchronicity, planetary (Gaia)
mind, cosmic consciousness. The Shocks of Indivisibility and Cosmic
Unity (the absence of dualistic consciousness)
C-8 Quantum-Nonlocal Intelligence of Subatomic interactions
Sources: whatever triggers the experience of near death, out of body
states, the dreambody and dreamtime, lucid dreaming, communion
with The Void, the mystery of singularity. The Shocks of Death and
Impermanence (the absence of ego identification).
THE THREE SUB-PHASES
HOW INTELLIGENCE CAN BE INCREASED
All eight functions of Intelligence can be accessed through any experience allowing their full absorption, integration and transmission. These three sub-phases reflect the tertiary function of our most basic biological unit of intelligence: the neuron. All three sub-stages are necessary for the advancement of intelligence through each circuit. If you only absorb, nothing can be integrated; if nothing can be integrated, whatever we absorb regurgitates and we end up parroting other people's experiences, mass media associations, what we read in books, etc. Each of these eight levels of experience have their own distinct ways that intelligence is processed, ways that do not necessarily apply to other levels. For example, C-2 emotions follows different processes than C-3 ideas.
SHOCKS & ANCHORS
Each of the eight circuits exist within each individual at various degrees of expression and latency. They can be viewed and approached in a linear sequential "evolutionary" way and/or in a nonlinear "radial" way; both vantages work. It would be erroneous to assume any one circuit as "better" or "worse", or "higher" or "lower" than any other. Better to look at them all as symbolizing states of consciousness simultaneously working together in a dynamic changing whole. To view these circuits hierarchically, by positing any circuit as superior or inferior than any other, feeds the emotional plague, what Wile Reich called "a neurosis marked by irrational insistence on beliefs and ideas that depend on a dissociation of mind and body".
There are countless ways these eight functions interact and/or act on each other. My own research has focused on how the first four "survival" circuits and the second four "post-survival" circuits act on each other in very precise, two-way vertical connectivities. I see the upper circuits acting on the lower circuits as distinct shocks that catalyze growth. I see the lower circuits acting on the upper circuits as stabilizing anchors, how we can absorb and integrate the shocks brought about by expanding consciousness.
1/5; 2/6; 3/7; 4/8
Without a supple and resilient foundation (the integration of circuits 1-4), any significant force of expanded consciousness (from circuits 5-8) can destabilize us in various ways. However, once the survival circuits can be more fully integrated and their intelligence embodied, an inner strength and stability develops to help absorb and integrate upper circuit experiences which can sometimes arrive as shocks, ie., accelerating states of C-5 Ecstasy, C-6 Uncertainty, C-7 Indivisibility, and C-8 Impermanence.
Upper circuit post-survival shocks stimulate growth and development in the four survival circuits, just as the survival circuits (once integrated) can help substantiate and bring into manifestation the accelerated states of energy symbolized by circuits five through eight. If monitored and tended to, all eight circuits can work together in more meaningful ways to serve the larger dynamic and changing whole they are part of. In this way, the 8-Circuit Brain model can offer a safer, more creative guideline to tending the specific verticalities shared between upper circuit shocks and lower circuit anchors (1/5; 2/6; 3/7; 4/8) on the high seas of consciousness research.
LINKS TO MORE 8-CIRCUIT BRAIN INTEL
ANTERO ALLI (click for wiki-bio)
VIDEO CLIPS OF ANTERO DISCUSSING THE CIRCUITS
Excerpts from the Daniel Kottke interview on THE NEXT STEP
THE EIGHT-CIRCUIT BRAIN: ANTERO ALLI PODCAST
with Garrett Daun and Command Z - March 2014
THE EIGHT-CIRCUIT BRAIN: AN ONLINE COURSE
with Antero - Next 8-week session starts March 15th 2014
8-CIRCUIT BRAIN -- THE DVD
Lecture by Antero Alli; Esozone in Portland OR, 2008
ROBERT ANTON WILSON ON THE EIGHT CIRCUITS
"ANGEL TECH" (book on the 8-circuit brain)
by Antero Alli; Original Falcon Press
"THE EIGHT-CIRCUIT BRAIN" (book)
Navigational Strategies for the Energetic Body
by Antero Alli (Vertical Pool Publishing 2009)
The NeuroPharmacy of the Eight-Circuit Brain
Antero revisions the circuits as "trances"
The Origins of the 8-Circuit model
where and who Leary inherited it from
Alli Books in print and Alli Films on dvd
Vertical Pool Site Map
"INTOXICATION" FEATURE #1
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE LAW
Antero Converses with Bruce Hanify, Narcotics Officer
CLICK THIS FOR THE INTERVIEW
"INTOXICATION" FEATURE #2
NEUROPHARMACY of an EIGHT-CIRCUIT BRAIN
"On the Induction of Eight Different Types of Trance"
by ANTERO ALLI
Someday, in the not-too-distant future, certain drugs will be made available to the public claiming the effect of increasing intelligence. Given the opportunity to partake, what would you do ? I'd ask the pharmacist: "Just what kind of intelligence is your pill going to increase ?" Like many others schooled in the public education systems, I once naively assumed "intelligence" and "I.Q." to be synonymous with intellect and intellectual achievement alone. Why did we settle for so little ? Any definition of intelligence set in singular, or monotheistic, terms is probably not intelligence at all but a strand of the dismal fundamentalist virus currently gridlocking minds, young and old alike. How "intelligence" is defined probably determines the kind of intelligence produced.
The "Eight Circuit Brain" is a term Dr. Timothy Leary coined, in his 1977 book "EXO-PSYCHOLOGY", for accessing multiple definitions and functions of human intelligence. Dr. Leary did not invent this system, which probably originated in the Sufi Mystery Schools' arcane study of the "law of octaves", but revised it for modern times. Since Leary's translation, three additional versions have surfaced in Robert Anton Wilson's "PROMETHEUS RISING" (1984) and my own, "ANGEL TECH" (1986) and "The EIGHT-CIRCUIT BRAIN" (2009). As a whole-brain model for Intelligence, the Eight Circuit Brain yields an impressive catch of relevant information about how intelligence acts when redefined by the user. Leary's "circuits" symbolize eight interactive states of consciousness and the neurochemical transactions constantly mingling between them. They are presented here not as a heirarchy -- one is no "better" than another -- but as a web of simultaneous transmissions at various degrees of cognition within each person. (Please refer to any combination of the books mentioned earlier for a more comprehensive study).
For the purpose of this article, Leary's eight circuits have been reframed as "trances" or, states of consciousness, to be altered, bent or broken at will. "Break trance, make trance, break trance". Trances can be instigated by engaging any of the many catalysts that excite and maintain each circuit. Some catalysts are pharmaceutical but many are not. Getting stuck inside any one trance, or circuit, happens when you become addicted to one or more of the catalysts. New trances from other circuits can be introduced to shift addicitions, either in their linear sequence or at random. First Circuit security trance can be broken by a Second Circuit emotional trance which, in turn, can be dissipated by a Third Circuit semantic trance. The neuropharmacy of your own brain produces all the effects, even those involving ingested drugs which depend on receptors in your brain to work.
AUTHOR'S DISCLAIMER: I do not condone the use of illegal drugs. For information purposes only certain drugs are identified hereafter as "triggers", or catalysts, for accessing the Eight Circuit Brain. I trust the reader is also aware of the value inherent to self-activation of these states inside the "drug-free" highs of technological, ritualistic, sociological, religious and/or psychotherapeutic methods, as well. Some of the triggers listed below I have experimented with; anonymous and knowledgeable sources were consulted with those I have avoided.
FIRST CIRCUIT: BIOSURVIVAL-SECURITY TRANCE.
Preoccupies itself with physical safety and biological survival. Revolves around basic security needs and the warm, buzzy nodding sensations of infant bliss and being taken care of at the most primary levels of existence: food, shelter and enough sleep. When frustrated or over-emphasized the search for security intensifies, becomes an obsession and finally an addiction. Security Addiction expresses the lowest energy state of all trances. When the needs of this center are fulfilled, one lives with the knowledge of being a "survivor" with some ability to stabilize and secure others. SECURITY CATALYSTS: Food, water, shelter, sleep, maternal lactation, Valium, 3-6 hrs. of television, Prozac, all sedatives, nicotine, most pain-killers, PCP, morphine and heroin. Any drug acting on the breathing mechanism of the brain stem by slowing it down and, by overdose, stopping it entirely. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Survival anxiety. The fear of: dying, of living, of eating (bolemia & anorexia), of chaos and of dirt. Obesity and malnurtrition.
SECOND CIRCUIT: TERRITORIAL-EMOTIONAL TRANCE.
Emotions as territorial signals. The compulsion for self-expression and personal freedom. Churns on the more aggressive emotional needs for dominance (political force), status, and self-esteem. Flight-or-fight reflex producing adrenaline rushes when confronting danger and personal triumph, as well as the depression and anxiety attacks often associated with low self-worth, feelings of helplessness and self-diminshment. When frustrated or over-emphasized, emotions inflate and/or deflate yielding conditions of taking oneself too seriously and/or not seriously enough. Mood swings. Emotional and Sexual Addictions. When emotional needs are satisfied, ego-strength and autonomy develop with some ability to excite, motivate and provoke others. EMOTIONAL CATALYSTS: Alcohol beverages. Amyl nitrate. Temper tantrums. Shouting matches. Military marches. Martial arts. High volume rock'n'roll. Slamdancing. Reichean therapy. Any "drug" relaxing emotional inhibitions or catalyzing catharsis. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Anxiety. Hypertension. Hysteria. Emotional dissipation and debilitation. Emotional numbness and vacancy.
THIRD CIRCUIT: CONCEPTUAL-SEMANTIC TRANCE.
Learning intellectual and linguistic skills for grasping and communicating ideas. Spins off conceptual needs for solving problems, defining terms, making maps, and articulating meaning. The central nervous system buzz of stimulating conversation, thinking, writing, reading and other symbolic and mathematical acts. When over-emphasized, one feels "locked inside one's head" with the angst of conceptual redundancy. Word Trance. Symbolic Addictions. When frustrated, psychological fears of becoming "stupid" or "insane" or "misinformed" or "meaningless" confuse thought processes. When satisfied, intellect and language develop coherency to support meaningful communication with others; one can "say what one means and mean what one says". SEMANTIC CATALYSTS: Reading, writing, arithmetic, speech, speaking on the telephone, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, chocolate, diet pills, amphetamines, cocaine. Consistent exposure to computer monitors, Internet and other on-line virtual communications systems. Any "drugs" acting on the various nervous systems as a stimulant to quicken thinking, speech patterns and symbolic associations. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Nervousness. Thinking or talking too much. Mental exhaustion. Stuttering. Neurosis.
FOURTH CIRCUIT: MORALISTIC-SOCIAL TRANCE.
Development of personality in context to society. Social needs for belonging, getting along with people, developing friendships, romance, courtships, partnerships, marriages, domestication, family, and those morals and ethics maintaining community interest. The push and pull of attracting and repulsing forces -- estrogen, testosterone & other growth hormones -- influencing likes, dislikes, procreative love, mating rituals, domestic and community structures, and the morales and beliefs surrounding relations with others. When over-emphasized, personal identity homogenizes, or blends, into herd or tribal mentality. Social and Moral Addictions. When frustrated, the individual experiences alienation, marginalization and degrees of abandonment by the tribe, sometimes resulting in "psychopathic criminal retribution". As social needs are satisfied, a well-adjusted personality finds "its people" while defining and claiming its unique behavioral and ethical code amidst a society far too complex to always condone them. SOCIAL CATALYSTS: Social rituals, parties and gatherings. Cultural events and concerts. Church. Any "drugs" delivering social or community acceptance or sexual approval in exchange for submission to externally-imposed behaviorial standards and moralities. Most television programs. Organized Religion. Mass Media. Corporate Advertising. The Welfare State. Social Security. Fascism. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Loss of personality, autonomy and self as individual identity. Guilt complex, ie., confusion between the morality of others and one's own ethics.
FIFTH CIRCUIT: SOMATIC-HEDONIC TRANCE
Disconnected from the previous goals and survival concerns of Circuits 1-4, this center is the opening of the five senses as the chief source of all life and relevant information. Being Here Now. The natural sensory rhythms and impulses of the body uncensored by mental, emotional or moral intervention. The hedonic needs for rapture, bliss and ecstatic experience. The post-survival quest for nirvana. When frustrated, the despair and spiritual discontent of "entrapment in the corporeal world of survival issues." When over-emphasized, excessive hedonism becomes debauch, dispersion and disintegration of personal integrity and concentration, ie., "spaced out bliss ninnies." Ecstacy Junkies. When hedonic needs are met, a state of charismatic magnetism infuse the personality, as seen with some rock stars, film celebrities and performing artists. HEDONIC CATALYSTS: Empathogens (MDMA, etc.). cannabis, opium, hashish, lower doses of psilocybin, Tantric and Hatha yoga, listening to music (subjective assessment), sex magick, performing live dance and live theatre, Sufi whirling dervishes, ecstatic pagan rituals, falling in love, endorphin rushes from "second wind" states (long distance running and working out), verbal fasting (mandatory silence), zen meditation. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: "Spaciness." Loss of meaningful connection with "consensus reality" sometimes showing poor time management and an oblivion to the emotions, thoughts and ethics of others. Time/spatial disorientation and distortions. Difficulty articulating, ie., "Like, wow, man..."
SIXTH CIRCUIT: NEURO-PSYCHIC TRANCE.
"Brain pleasure"; the subjective absorption of intense light. Opening of the "third eye", clairvoyance, telepathy and other supersensual, or psychic, abilities. Incoming signals are registered at light speed and translated by an active intuition, unencumbered by empirical demands of linear ideation. The Self-Aware Brain. Future-oriented vision; premonitions, precognitions and prophecy. The psychic need for seeing and knowing things as they are, beyond the illusions, dreams and fantasies projected by previous states. When frustrated, the "sixth sense" atrophies and psychic, or soul, death ensues. When over-emphasized nervous disorders, hallucinations and mental illnesses develop in the struggle to act and respond to the influx of overwhelming impressions. Vision, or Truth, Addiction. When psychic needs are met, lucidity stabilizes perception to accept things as they are while seeing through the scams, the lies, and the illusions often shrouding them. This lucidity can also illuminate the truth of things to the world and in others. PSYCHIC CATALYSTS: Kundalini and Raja yogas, Rajneesh's chaotic meditations, surviving the loss of a loved one, higher doses of psilocybin, mescaline, peyote, LSD, "Heavenly Blue" morning glory seeds, near-death experiences, sense-deprivation, isolation tanks, solitary confinement, intensive Buddhist retreats, Antero Alli's paratheatrical ritual technology, video/filmmaking and editing processes. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Paranoia. Schitzophrenic fragmentation. Loss of emotion and meaningful connection with the feelings of others. Psychotic breaks. Violence.
SEVENTH CIRCUIT: GENETIC-MYTHOPOETIC TRANCE.
The Central Nervous System receives signals from DNA; when this center opens, the signals become conscious. Racial and species memory (reincarnation and past lives) enters present-time awareness. Overwhelming sense of unity with all living things. Realization of the complex, interconnecting mandalic consciousness of DNA-RNA, synchronicity and what Jung called the universal archetypes. When frustrated, bigotry, racial prejudice, nationalist and religious tunnel vision often leading to species self-persecution, genocide and war. When over-emphasized, pervasive disorientation erupts as previously invisible archetypes cross over to waking consciousness, shocking the ego and disrupting survival routines. Fears of insanity and socio-political and religious persecution. God Addiction. When mythopoetic needs are met, sanity is redefined through the imaginal realm and given mythological and poetic expression in poetry, inspirational verse, classic mythology, certain music and film, Etc. MYTHOPOETIC CATALYSTS: Childbirth, religious conversion experiences, mystical revelations, higher doses of LSD, kundalini awakenings (via the crown chakra), the chaos magick of Peter Carroll and Aleister Crowley, Stanislav Grof's LSD rebirthing therapy, Datura, DMT, near-death experiences. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Dysfunctional messianic complexes, delusions of grandeur, paranoia, mental incapacitation, psychosis.
EIGHTH CIRCUIT: QUANTUM-DREAMBODY TRANCE
Consciousness at the level of unpredictable subatomic behavior. This center opens after consciousness leaves the physical body while functioning independently in nonlocal "cyberspace." Shamanic initiation into Castaneda's dreaming and "the Nagual" as a conscious visiting spirit, or dreambody. Consciousness leaves the body. The body is left behind, unconscious; comatose and/or sleeping. Where does consciousness go ? What happens there ? Who shows up on "the other side" ? Questions for the dreambody. Dr. Leary suggests the ultra-gravitational "singularity" physicists theorize at the heart of the atomic nucleus to be the stuff of black holes. Fusion with Black Hole as Ultimate Destiny ?! Out-of-Body Addiction to Formlessness. DREAMBODY CATALYSTS: Heavy doses of Nitrous Oxide, DMT, Ketamine, Jimson weed, Datura, Sonora desert toad ( Bufo alvarius) venom, Near-death and Out-of-Body experiences, Eckankar astral travel techniques, lucid dreaming, Malaysian Senoi tribal dreamwork, Australian aboriginal dreamtime walkabouts, advanced virtual reality "immersion technologies", and any "drugs" that simulate near-death OR death experience without producing the actual experience of physical death itself, ie., Haitian voodoo zombie powder extracted from certain species of puffer fish. OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS: Partial to complete loss of bodily functions. Comatose. Death without discernible cause.
The Eight-Circuit Brain, like any psychological grid or map, is incomplete at describing the totality of the territory it symbolizes. Imagine an organ as mysterious and powerful as the human brain having only eight functions of intelligence!? Yet as a whole-brain model for mapping functions and behaviors of various "brains within the brain" I believe the Eight-Circuit map is unprecedented. I do not recommend using it at the exclusion of other equally valid systems, like the Enneagram or in some cases Astrology, but as another tool in the "psychic archeologist's toolbox" for unearthing hereto unknown relics of our past, present and future history.
This INTOXICATION issue also features interviews with JIM HOGSHIRE (on opium), JIM DEKORNE (on DMT), ROB BREZSNY (on goddess rushes), ROSE X MEDIA HOUSE (on video editing on shrooms), BRUCE HANIFY (on the law),poetry by JAMES BROUGHTON, JESSE BERNSTEIN and JANINE CANAN plus much more.
TALKING RAVEN Back Issues List | Next
a prayer to the gods of the end of the world
by Antero Alli
O GOD OF THE END OF THE WORLD,
I am afraid to take you seriously; tell me you’re only kidding,
blow my cover to expose my true feelings, make me laugh
at death without forgetting my mortality.
O GODDESS OF BEAUTY IS BETTER THAN TRUTH,
I am embarrassed by my need to be right all the time. Send me
your most gorgeous dropdead image, the Mother of All Visions,
the vision that outgrows and destroys all other visions including itself,
so I can see through myself when I am lying.
O WRATHFUL DEITIES OF DOOMSAYING EVANGELICALS
& THE TEN THOUSAND DOGMATIC LITTLE BIGOTS,
I am bored to tears with my intolerances. Grant me the enchantment
to be entertained by the hidden pixie agendas behind all dreary,
dismal grey-faced warnings so I can stop taking myself
more seriously than the life I am actually living.
O DEMIGOD OF POETIC TERRORISM,
I am utterly and royally confused. Make me go crazy
in the name of Creation, not Destruction, so I may freely sabotage
the literalist virus immobilizing my imagination and learn to incite riots
in the minds asleep to your splendor and glory.
O GODS & GODDESSES OF EVERYBODY’S HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL,
I am fucked up beyond all recognition. Trick me into not knowing
whether I am really a good person or really a bad person. Give me
the wisdom to never believe my own PR and what other people
think of me, no matter how much money they pay me. Deepen my
gratitude for being a nobody in an UnWorld of wannabe somebodies
and hungry ghosts, so I can be touched in the head by your benevolence
and tell your truths without wanting the credit.
AHMEN & AH-WOMEN.
BOOKS BY ANTERO
OTHER POETRY BY ANTERO
Vertical Pool Site Map