International Federation For Internal Freedom – Statement of Purpose

While transcribing Bruce Damer’s talk to the crowd at our February 8, 2009 reunion and reception, Bruce referenced the IFIF, the “International Federation for Internal Freedom,” an organization created by Tim and the group we was doing research with while at Harvard.

Here is the organization’s Statement of Purpose:

Statement of Purpose of the Internal Federation for Internal Freedom

3rd draft; November 3, 1962

1. The Situation

During the last 4000 years a basic spiritual issue has been debated by those on the one hand who believe in the absolute validity of current relifious and scientific models (realists) and those who see these conventional models as flimsy game artifacts (sometimes useful, more often stifling) imposed on the evolving processes of life. The latter (called mystics, visionaries, nominalists, existentialists) are more concerned with man’s evoling spiritual potentialities than with his material or intellectual achievements.

…Recent years have seen the emergence of groups (scattered, but numbering in the hundred thousands) who see a natural fusion of these points of view. Some of these people attempt to combine western customs with classic eastern rituals. … There are many, however, who believe that the merging of these two disparate cultural games is a scotch-tape solution and that each culture must develop its own adaptive mutation – its own creative resolution of the essence existence issue — its own new discovery and application of the spiritual. The human cortex is the same — east and west. What differs are the cultural games. Games, being artifacts, can be changed. New games spontaneously and naturally arise. For the past two and a half years a group of Harvard University research psychologists have been studying and directly experiencing these issues. Five research projects on the effects and applications of consciousness-expanding drugs have been completed. Over 400 subjects have participated without serious negative physical or psychological consequences. Over sixty percent of our subjects have reported enduring life changes for the better. As a result of these studies and our appraisal of other research, we have come to several conclusions about the evolution of man’s consciousness and the human brain, and we invite others who share our assumptions to communicate with us.

Our conclusions are these:

1. There is a dawning suspicion (based on considerable evidence) that the politics of the nervous system are such that man uses only a fragment (perhaps less than one percent) of his available brain capacity.

2. Certain psychophysiological processes (censoring, altering, discriminating, selecting, evaluating) are responsible for the restricted use of the brain capacity.

3. Indole substances (LSD, mescaline, psilocybin) seem to inhibit or alter these restricting mental processes so that dramatic expansion of consciousness is triggered off.

4. Our data demonstrate that set and setting account for the specific content of awareness…

5. Expanded awareness, by definition, extends beyond the limits of the verbal and conceptual. Expanded awareness, therefore, cannot come through verbal education, but rather via physical or psychological means. Expanded consciousness also extends far beyond the cultural and ego names in which men are enmeshed.

6. It follows that the utilization of expanded consciousness (i.e. the unused ninety-nine percent of the brain capacity) is virtually impossible unless we are ready to expand our ego and cultural games and to develop an appropriate language…

We are aware that cultural structures (however libertarian their purpose) inevitably produce roles, rules, rituals, values, words and strategies which end in external control of internal freedom. This is the danger we seek to avoid. This paradoxical tension we accept. The challenge is to develop a cultural game which strives towards non-game or meta-game. We have selected a name for this group: International Federation for Internal Freedom (IFIF). … The present board of directors includes: Richard Alpert, Ph.D., Walter Clark, Ph.D., Timothy Leary, Ph.D., George Litwin, Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., Madison Presnell, M.D., Huston Smith, Ph.D., Gunther Weil.

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