'gm T 1 M O TFT Y Lt ARY I was, at the time, a successful robot respected at Harvard, clean-cut, witty, and, in that inert culture, unusually creative.
Though I had attained the highest ambition of the young Amer- ican intellectual, I was totally cut off from the body and senses.
My clothes had been obediently selected to fit the young pro- fessional image. More than any other major public figure of the 20th century, Timothy Leary beheved that embracing the experience of pleasure especially sexual pleasure was the highest aim of humanity.
Even after one hundred drug sessions I rou- tinely listened to pop music, drank martinis, ate what was put before me. Many times, over several adventurous decades, he risked everything to prove it.
I had "appreciated" art by pushing my body around to "sa- cred places," but this tourism had nothing to do with direct aesthetic sensation. What sent this Springfield, Massachusetts-born boy turned Har- vard professor on such a world-class Dionysian quest?
My nervous system was cocooned in sym- bols; the event was always second-hand. The idea that one should live one's life as a work of art had never occurred to me. The roots of Leary's ecstatic search may lie in the repressive atmosphere of his youth, and his tragic early marriage.
After we took psilocybin, I sat on the couch in Flora Lu's Elysian chamber, letting my right cerebral hemisphere slowly open up to direct sensual reception. Timothy Leary was born on October 22, 1920 the year pro- hibition began.
Flora Lu and Maynard started teaching me eroticism the yoga of attention. He was the son of an alcoholic, abusive military father and a devoutly Irish Catholic mother with a "fanatically religious distrust of men and sexuality." At twelve, his father abandoned him, leaving him a single hundred-dollar bill.
Each mo- ment was examined for sensual possibility. It wasn't long before he began testing the limits himself.
The delicious grace of moving one's hand, not as part of a learned survival se- quence, but for kinesthetic joy. By 1940, at 20 years of age, Leary left West Point after having been made an example of with a humiliating nine-month code of si- lence for drinking.
The Delicious Grace of Moving One's Hand The Collected Sex Writings Timothy Leary Thunder's Mouth Press New York Published by Thunder's Mouth Press 841 Broadway, Fourth Floor New York, NY 10003 Copyright 1998 Futique Trust First edition All rights reserved. His next move, to the University of Alabama, was cut short when he was expelled for sleeping at a girls' dor- mitory.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers, unless by re- viewers who wish to quote brief passages. vu Timothy Leary Leary was drafted, became a corporal, married Marianne Busch, and completed a master's in psychology at Washington State University.