Filed in Death & Dying

The Death of a Philosopher

Rick Fields

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Part of Tricycle's Fall 1996 Special Section on Buddhism & Psychedelics.
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Timothy Leary died on May 31, 1996. Timothy Leary died as he lived, in public. After announcing that he had inoperable prostate cancer, he held court at his Beverly Hills home, was feted at the Hog Farm’s annual picnic, interviewed on TV and radio talk shows and in various newspapers and magazines, including Time. An active website appeared, giving daily updates on his condition and a detailed record of his drug intake—including numbers of cigarettes, “Leary biscuits” (Ritz Crackers, a pat of cheese, a bud: microwave), and what seemed to be his drug of choice, nitrous oxide. His message was as simple and radical as ever: I’m dying, and I’m going to enjoy it. I am looking forward, he said, to this last great adventure.

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