from The Politics of Self-Determination
Copyright 2000: Timothy Leary
All right reserved

Sharing Space-Time
Timothy Leary

The diagnosis of interpersonal behavior is tremendously facilitated by the space-time location system.  Here again we ignore tempting variables and focus simply on the basic questions: What space do they share?  What time do they share?  We thus define a powerful variable we might call intimacy, commitment, involvement, attitude, i.e., that angle of approach.  We might hazard a definition of love as the amount of space-time shared.

We might hazard a definition of love
as the amount of space-time shared.
The first step in diagnosing behavior is to determine where the subject spends his time, how long, how frequently, and with whom.  Location in space-time is a relatively straightforward task and is basic to any psychological evaluation.

Power of Sharing Space-Time
The basic interpersonal issue is how much space-time will you share with another?  Your office?  Home?  Bedroom?  Body?  What kind of time will you share?  Day or night?  By appointment only?  The fact that the husband and wife spend thirty years together day and night is considered much more important than the emotional game they playófighting, submitting, cooing, dominating.

The basic interpersonal issue is
how much space-time
will you share with another?
If you want to change someoneís behavioróshare space-time with hir.  Your space-time is the most valuable and potent instrument you have.  If you understand this simple principle, you have attained a liberating direction of your life.
Following this hypothesis we should expect that mother-child relationshipsónine months of internal body sharingóand marital relationshipsóextended duration of internal body sharingóare the most potent change situations.  College lectures and doctor-patient interviews are the least potent.  This suggests that if you canít "mother" or marry them, the best way to influence behavior is to engage in reciprocal home visits or meet regularly in extra-work locationsóbars, restaurants, beaches.  The most successful programs for dealing with social "problems," like Alcoholics Anonymous, scrupulously avoid the power-loaded environment of the scheduled office interview.

The first functional issue in behavior change is presence. How can we change him if he wonít share space-time with us?

Will the patient
continue to come?
In the prison, space-time factors become dramatically obvious.  Consider a young "delinquent" sentenced to prison at age 19.  Who is going to shape hir behavior?  Other prisoners with whom s/he shares cell, meal, table, shop, bench, yard timeóand often body space.  Next to other convicts, s/he will share most time with guards.  The middle-class professional calls the convict into the prison clinic for thirty to forty minutes a week.  According to the space-time formula, such well-oriented interventions are pitifully limited.

Copyright 2000: Timothy Leary/Futique Trust