Cosmic Trigger II

Cosmic Trigger II: Down to Earth by Robert Anton Wilson, cover painting by Aiden Willard Cole, cover design by James Wasserman’s Studio 31, the 1991 first printing from New Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Robert Anton Wilson Cosmic Trigger II from New Falcon

“Since the ultimate map of all maps which includes all the territory of existence does not exist, and we cannot even imagine how to produce it, the best we can say of any reailty-tunnel—sensory or mathematically abstract, philosophical or ‘superstitious,’ created by our tribe or by a different (and therefore ‘inferior’) tribe, ‘scientific’ or ‘political’ or ‘artistic’—can only consist of, ‘This map here seems to work pretty well for my purposes, in most cases, so far.’ (Or, in more academic language, ‘The data does not yet justify revising the theory.’)

Every ‘reality’ remains relative to the instrument used in detecting or measuring it. In most cases, for most humans, in ordinary life, the instrument that determines our ‘realities’—or reality-tunnels, more accurately—remains our nervous system in general and our brain in particular.” (156)

“If I have managed to make Korzybski clear the reader should now understand that the redness of roses belongs to the realm of our sensory experience, while the no-color of atoms belongs [to] the realm of our most abstract brain software. You should also see why social scientists have largely given up the word ‘reality’ entirely and speak of glosses or grids or models or (the term from Tim Leary I find clearest of all) reality-tunnels.

To attribute ‘reality’ to any one level of abstraction, from the most sensory to the most theoretical, implicitly damns other levels to ‘non-reality’ even though they, too, represent normal human experience.” (157)

“One man from CSICOP recently wrote, ‘Wilson describes himself as a ‘guerilla ontologist,’ signifying his intention to attack language and knowledge the way terrorists attack their targets: to JUMP OUT FROM THE SHADOWS for an unprovoked attack, then slink back and hide behind a belly-laugh.’ (Emphasis added, of course.) You can see that this poor man feels under attack and probably looks beneath his bed at night to see if I or some other Witch might be lurking there. He also never had a teacher who told him using the same word three times in a short sentence creates a dull mechanical style suggesting a dull mechanical mind.” (215–216)


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