Simulations Of God:
The Science Of Belief



My editor, Jonathan Dolger, my agent, John Brockman, my wife, Antoinette Lilly, and several others-all have expressed delight with this book for themselves, but, as is commonly the case with authors like myself, they have added that the book could not possibly be understood by a large body of readers. Even though I disagree, I consented to write this explanatory Note to the Reader.

I do not feel that you will find this book tough going. I have gathered that no matter what their training, those who have read it have gained very specific and long-lasting new awarenesses from the experience. (It may help you to know that I had to write this book; it was written through me, not by me. It was written under forced draft, as if under orders from some unknown source.)

Since the text was completed, there has been a period in which I have been able to do some further research on states of being and special states of consciousness induced by changing the molecular configuration of my brain through a specific chemical substance known as Ketamine. This research, of nine months' duration, will be recounted in full in The Dyadic Cyclone, a book that my wife and I are co- authoring.

For the purposes of Simulations of God, what I have discovered is that my own belief systems, my own simulations of God were powerfully entrenched in a sort of science-fiction script somewhat as follows:

I am only an extraterrestrial who has come to the planet Earth to inhabit a human body. Everytime I leave this body and go back to my own civilization, I am expanded beyond all human imaginings. When I must return I am squeezed down into the limited human being, into the limited vehicle. It is as if the vehicle is too small to contain the passenger arriving from the extraterrestrial realities. The passage from the extraterrestrial reality into the internal reality of John C. Lilly, M.D., citizen of the United States on planet Earth, is a very onerous one. In former years when the isolation tank and LSD had freed me to leave our world, I would subsequently go through the grief spaces associated with the return. (See Programming and MetaProgramming in the Human Biocomputer and The Center of the Cyclone.l) Thus in my travels around inside the Star Maker2 if you wish, inside at least the universe created by the Star Maker, my pursuits are somehow connected with the future of humankind (circa A.D. 3001) rather than with its present life. In other words, I keep returning to a civilization very much more advanced than ours. It then sends me back here.

In order to stave off immediate cries of psychotic delusion, I wish to reassure you that these belief systems operate only under very special conditions. I do not carry them over into my everyday life; to do so would be intolerable for both myself and my loved ones-which is exactly where one learns the first lesson about belief systems. A given belief system can be believed only when it is appropriate to believe it. Appropriateness is determined not only by oneself but by the social reality in which one exists.

To be free of this social reality, I invented the tank method of solitude, isolation and confinement. (Details of this can be found in the two books mentioned above and in the forthcoming Dyadic Cyclone which my wife and I have undertaken in order to relate the experiences other people have had in the tank.) Freed of the social necessities for a few hours, one can take on any belief systems. Then when one comes out of the tank, one resumes the belief system appropriate to the situation in which one finds oneself. Thus belief systems are to some extent analogous to garments that we can put on and take off, that are of various colors and various designs, that may be rather outrageous, sexual, emotional or totally alien.

For example, I sometimes think of myself as both male and female, an androgyne if you wish. At other times I battle the female, pushing her back into the deep recesses of my unconscious; at still other times I am the female deeply repressing the male. Only in my best thinking can I fuse these two so that they halt their warfare and become a neutral androgenous being combining the best of yin and yang, of female and male. Thus are my belief systems generated by my being resident in a male body, fifty-nine years old, in a particular set of circumstances on this planet.

If one changes the molecular configuration of his brain by injecting suitable substances into his bloodstream or into his muscles, then there must be some very intimate connection between him in this brain and the state of the chemistry of that brain. To some persons this is a "drag." What? I'm the victim of chemistry? The answer lies not in deprecating or resenting this fact; it lies in exploring this fact and finding out what kinds of molecule are absolutely essential to one's existence and what kinds disturb the homeostasis that one would like to preserve. Thus some people will never take lysergic acid diethylamide tartrate or smoke marijuana. They are quite content with maintaining a particular range of molecular configurations in their brains through proper foods, exercise, sleep, work and play. These people get their adventure from skiing, skydiving or whatever. They allow the play of the body itself to change the chemistry of the brain and thus to change their states of consciousness.

By far the majority of the Eastern gurus who come to the United States recommend the cessation of the use of drugs feeling that the old-fashioned methods of changing one's state of consciousness by exercises, inner discipline and boredom, and by solitude, isolation and confinement, are far better. After approximately twenty-five years of experimentation with each of these methods, I have come to the same conclusion. It is far better to use consistent daily exercises-mental, physical and spiritual-than it is to use drugs.

I rather resent the fact that when I take a drug, I have signed a contract with a chemical for the specific period of time that it exerts powerful influences upon everything I do, think, feel, or am. Then the effect wears off, leaving me in a state of wonderment that such a small quantum of a substance could so profoundly affect my being. It was after I had experimented with Ketamine that I saw that LSD, Ketamine, and various other chemicals that change one's thinking,feeling, being, and doing are merely small tools in a much larger context. They are not the psychotomimetic or psychosis producing, or horror brainwashing, substances that the public press has taught us to believe they are. They are merely chemical tools useful in the proper context for those who are exploring the human brain and the human mind and the possible parameters and variations of its states of being.

Certain tribes in Mexico have established a psychedelic way of life surrounding the taking of sacred mushrooms or peyote with severe social rituals, beliefs, and control by the elders of the tribe. My son, John C. Lilly, Jr. has spent fourteen years observing these people, living with them, photographing them and recording their speech and interpreting their thinking, their behavior, their rituals, and the way they bring up their children. He is preparing a feature-length motion picture on these psychedelic communities in the remote fastnesses of the High Sierra. He undertook this project totally on his own without reference to his father. I have learned much from him.

The Indians accept the changes in states of being, states of consciousness, induced by psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, and other substances. They pursue these states in order to control their gods to a certain extent and propitiate them behind the phenomena of the universe. They have rain gods, fertility gods, and so forth-all of whom they can consult or converse with under the influence of these substances.

I found it rather amusing that when John went into these cultures he was fed stories-some of which he recounted to me- that very much resemble the kinds of stories Don Juan told Carlos Castaneda in his three books (The Teachings of Don Juan, A Separate Reality, and Journey to Ixtlan).3 John found that the shamans-apparently Don Juan is one of these-will do anything they can to satisfy an investigator from the United States. They will concoct fantasies, stories, anything to satisfy the investigator, thus protecting themselves from any encroachment by his belief systems.

The people I am speaking of are isolated Indian groups. More recently, John has been working with a sub-group called the Toapuri, whose culture is a pure peyote one. Although this particular group had not been taken in generally by Christian beliefs-they have maintained a practically pure Aztec religion right up through our particular time-they do adhere to a few of them that they consider to be worthwhile: the Toapuri have a marvelous sense of humor. However, as in all cases where the machine civilization encroaches upon a nomadic or agricultural civilization, the Toapuri are beginning to use mechanical devices. So John is pressed to record all pertinent material before the belief systems under which the Toapuri operate are changed almost completely and irreversibly by modern civilization and the benefits it offers.

The Toapuri's simulations of God are flexible and are used as a way of thinking out difficult problems for which all the information necessary to solve the problems is not available. In addition, my son's recountings show that the facile sense of humor these people have developed is directed toward not only themselves and the universe around them but their gods as well. At the time of the great peyote-taking, which occurs once a year, behavior is allowed which in the United States would be punishable by fine or imprisonment. The sexual mores change during this period, but the activity is regulated and carried out according to directions received through the shamans from the gods they worship.

This book, then is not all-inclusive in its analysis of possible simulaffons of God. To analyze all of them would be a horrendous task. All I wish to do in these pages is to supply enough samples so that you, the reader, can learn what the techniques are, what the metaprograms are, for analyzing your own belief systems, your own simulations of God, and for finding out that which is most important to you, yourself, within yourself, here and now. Once you really start looking at these aspects of yourself, you will find that you are quite happy with certain of them but discontent with others, so that you will want to revise, at least in part, your basic belief systems, your simulations of God. When you desire to do this, you may be tempted to take one of the powerful chemical substances that might aid you as a tool. I want to emphasize that I do not encourage taking drugs except under the supervision of a doctor who himself has experienced far-out spaces, who has used these chemical substances and can serve not only as a guide but as a safety man under potentially dangerous circumstances. I do not advocate the use of illegal substances. There are some that are legal and bring results similar to the others' but much more safely.

A now perfectly safe way to separate yourself from society while you progress through your self-examinaffon is to use the solitude, isolation and confinement tank. There are only ten inches of water in the tank, heated to 93 degrees F. and with enough Epsom salts so that your hands, feet and head all float. So if you lie on your back you can breathe quite comfortably and safely, freed from sight, sound, people and the universe outside so that you can enter your universe inside and examine your simulation, your God, your self, and all else that is of importance to you. That is what this book is all about.

1. Lilly, John C., Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer' New York: Julian Press, 1967, 1972; The Center ofthe Cyclone, New York, Toronto, London: Bantam Books, 1972, 1973.
2.Stapledon, Olaf, Star Maker, Middlesex, Eng.: Penguin Books Ltd., 1972.
3. Castaneda, Carlos, The Teachings of Don luan' Berkeley: University of California, 1968, and New York: Simon & Schuster, 1971. A Separate Reality, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1971; lourney to Ixtlan, New New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973