Tag Archives: robert anton wilson

Historia Discordia

Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society, compiled by Adam Gorightly, featuring Robert Anton Wilson, Kerry Thornley and Gregory Hill, from RVP Press, is scheduled to release this month, and may be of interest.

Adam Gorightly Historia Discordia from RVP Press

“The most extensive collection in print documenting the Discordian Society’s wild and wooly legacy, Historia Discordia features the unique worldview and wit of such illuminated iconoclasts as Robert Anton Wilson and Discordian founders Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley.

Chronicling Discordianism’s halcyon days, Historia Discordia presents a fun and freewheeling romp through rare photos, holy tracts, art collages, and fnords, many of which appear for the first time in print.”

Successful appeal to help Aaron Leitch

You may have heard a recent call to crowdfund medical assistance for occult author Aaron Leitch at “Save Aaron Leitch’s eye sight“. I was sitting down to follow up on my retweet of Christopher Pencak with an actual post to this blog to find that this need has already been met by the community, in a few hours [see].

It is both unfortunate when health issues strike and that appeals for help must needs be crowdfunded instead of handled by a rational and civilized universal health care system, but it is wonderful to hear that this appeal for help with Aaron Leitch’s medical issue was a success.

This, I think and if you’ll allow, would be a good time for a quick reminder about how this issue has touched the occult community. You may want to read “Adopt an Elder!” by the late P E I Bonewits, an essay about caring for our elders in the pagan, and, by extension, the larger occult, community. You might recall Order of Thelemic Knights, an effort to create philanthropic action in the larger Thelemic community, founded by Hermetic Library fellow Gerald del Campo. This issue of caring for need is neither new nor in isolation.

In addition to Bonewits himself, who had medical issues and made appeal to the community for help, I’m also reminded, of course, of the plights, within the larger occult community, of Robert Anton Wilson and, even further afield, of Utah Phillips; both of which involved appeals to the community for assistance; and those are only the highly visible tips of a much larger issue. I’m sure your own life has been touched by someone who has been in need for basic care that has not been met, perhaps even yourself. And, let us be very clear, for every well known person that is able to make an appeal, there are a vast number whose cries for help are unheard. It seems wrong to me that anyone should be forced to rely on chance, contingency or fragile meritocracy of patronage for their health care; but for those able to do so, I offer hearty congratulations for their luck and success. But what of, a far vaster number, those not able to do so?

The need for such effort to meet pressing needs that I feel should be covered by a powerful and pervasive social net seems to me an example that something is painfully wrong with how our economy is organized around maintenance of basic care. I am reminded of how we have lost many of the social structures that provided such care to their members to the painfully profitable insurance industry and that a much desired and needed universally available alternative has yet to replace those mechanisms. In the absence of a broad non-exclusive and non-profit social net, perhaps in the spirit of a neo-romantic and reconstructionist occultism, the role of early fraternal orders in the creation of self-organized mutual aid networks around important social needs is something in need of extremely pressing revival.

For something like this that is both recent and ongoing, you may wish to take a gander at Solar Cross, started by T Thorn Coyle, which is along these lines and may be of interest.

Ishtar Rising

Ishtar Rising: Or, Why the Goddess Went to Hell and What to Expect Now That She’s Returning by Robert Anton Wilson, cover painting by Sallie Ann Glassman, cover and book design by James Wasserman’s Studio 31, the 1989 first edition from Falcon Press / Golden Dawn Publications, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Robert Anton Wilson Ishtar Rising from Falcon Press

Although this is the first edition of Ishtar Rising, the book was actually and originally published by Playboy Press in 1974 as The Book of the Breast.

“Psychologist, novelist and former Playboy editor Robert Anton Wilson takes you on [a] journey through esoterica and erotica, explaining why Eve in the Bible and Eris in Greek myth were both involved with nefarious apples … why the Great Goddess of the ancients went to Hell, and why most of us go to Hell in our dreams occasionally … why female pacifists baring their breast in front of the Pentagon were unconsciously repeating an ancient religious ritual … why celibates have burned so many ‘witches’ … and more!”— back cover

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Cosmic Trigger III

Cosmic Trigger III: My Life After Death by Robert Anton Wilson, cover painting by S Jason Black, the 1995 first edition from New Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Robert Anton Wilson Cosmic Trigger III from New Falcon

“This, the long-awaited third volume of the Cosmic Trigger trilogy includes Wilson’s witty and humorous observations about the widely spread (and, happily, premature) announcement of his demise. And, of course, what Wilson masterpiece would be complete without synchronicities, religious fanatics, UFOs, crop circles, paranoia, pompous scientists, secret societies, high tech, black magic, quantum physics, hoaxes (real and fake), Orson Welles, James Joyce, Carl Sagan, Madonna and the Vagina of Nuit.” (215–216)

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

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)

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Sex and Drugs

Sex and Drugs: A Journey Beyond Limits by Robert Anton Wilson, the 1987 first Falcon Press paperback edition, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Robert Anton Wilson Sex and Drugs from Falcon Press

This is the edition from the old Falcon Press. The book is now available from New Falcon Press as Sex, Drugs & Magick: A Journey Beyond.

“We all find it hard to believe that reality is as much our own creation as Professor Rogers’ research and poet Sandburg’s parable suggest. Conservatives, who pride themselves on having a ‘hard-nosed’ and ‘realistic’ attitude to the ‘brute facts’ of life, are suspicious of anything that introduces subjective elements or implies that the ‘brute facts’ may exist only in their own heads. Liberals, dogmatically committed to what they believe is scientific skepticism (mostly, in fact, popularizations of obsolete pre-Einstein physics), are wary of any idea that seems to open a door to ‘mysticism’ or (God forbid) traditional otherworldly religion. And radicals, of course, react like a bull toward a colored cloth when confronted with notions that imply (in Shakespeare’s words) that ‘nothing is but thinking makes it so,’ since that could easily lead to telling the poor that the proper mental attitude, and not more government spending, is the cure for their miseries.”

“As I said, this book cannot hope to end this perennial quarrel between the conservative Establishment and the adventurous young. All I reasonably can try to accomplish here, in treating mostly the sexual aspect of the drug revolution, is to shed light on these ‘benign, thoroughly charming, even glorious’ aspects of the alternate programs and alternate perceptions that certain drugs create. This should at least give the ordinary reader some insight into the motives of those who subscribe to the drug revolution, which is hardly the insane scramble for self-destruction portrayed by its most hostile critics.” — Introduction

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Cosmic Trigger

Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati by Robert Anton Wilson, illustrated by John Thompson, foreword by Timothy Leary, afterword by Saul-Paul Sirag, cover painting by Sallie Ann Glassman, cover design by James Wasserman’s Studio 31, the 1989 third printing from Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Robert Anton Wilson Cosmic Trigger from Falcon Press

“I DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING

This remark was made, in these very words, by John Gribben, physics editor of New Scientist magazine, in a BBC-TV debate with Malcolm Muggeridge, and it provoked incredulity on the part of most viewers. It seems to be a hangover of the medieval Catholic era that causes most people, even the educated, to think that everybody must ‘believe’ something or other, that if one is not a theist, one must be a dogmatic atheist, and if one does not think Capitalism is perfect, one must believe fervently in Socialism, and if one does not have blind faith in X, one must alternatively have blind faith in not-X or the reverse of X.

My own opinion is that belief is the death of intelligence.”

Cosmic Trigger deals with a process of deliberately induced brain change through which I put myself in the years 1962–1976. This process is called ‘initiation’ or ‘vision quest’ in many traditional societies and can loosely be considered some dangerous variety of self-psychotherapy in modern terminology.”

“Briefly, the main thing I learned in my experiments is that ‘reality’ is always plural and mutable.”

“There is a great deal of lyrical Utopianism in this book. I do not apologize for that, and do not regret it. The decade that has passed since the first edition has not altered my basic commitment to the game-rule that holds that an optimistic mind-set finds dozens of possible solutions for every problem that the pessimist regards as incurable.”

“This book does not claim that ‘you create your own reality’ in the sense of total (but mysteriously unconscious) psychokinesis. If a car hits you and puts you in the hospital, I do not believe this is because you ‘really wanted’ to be hit by a car, or that you ‘needed’ to be hit by a car, as two popular New Age bromides have it. The theory of transactional psychology, which is the source of my favourite models and metaphors, merely says that, once you have been hit by a car, the meaning of the experience depends entirely on you and the results depend partly on you (and partly on your doctors). If it is medically possible for you to live—and sometimes even if the doctors think it is medically impossible—you ultimately decide whether to get out of the hospital in a hurry or to lie around suffering and complaining.”— Robert Anton Wilson, preface to the new edition

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.