Saturday, November 22, 2014

The beautiful and mysterious solar system

NASA has just released a new high resolution image of Jupiter's moon, Europa.

From the NASA article (from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) accompanying the release of the image: "Hidden beneath Europa's icy surface is perhaps the most promising place in our solar system beyond Earth to look for present-day environments that are suitable for life. The Galileo mission found strong evidence that a subsurface ocean of salty water is in contact with a rocky seafloor. The cycling of material between the ocean and ice shell could potentially provide sources of chemical energy that could sustain simple life forms."

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Daisy Eris Campbell interview

Daisy Eris Campbell

On the eve of the launch of the Cosmic Trigger play, Psychedelic Press UK publishes a new interview with Daisy. Here's an excerpt explaining why she adapted Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati:

“It’s a non-fiction sequel; it’s a tribute to Robert Anton Wilson, who as far as I’m concerned, is not remembered enough by as many people as he ought to be and alongside the likes of Aldous Huxley, William Burroughs, Alan Watts, James Joyce etc, and that he really is a fantastic counter culture figure…

"It dawned that Cosmic Trigger was the book that Robert Anton Wilson had written directly after Illuminatus! It dealt with all the strange stuff that happened to him as a result of writing the book and I suddenly thought: this could be good…  I’m gonna have to test this to see if the forces that be really do demand this book.” Page 223 of Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger confirmed the answer. “It was all about the time when Wilson had been to visit my dad at the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool. That’s what’s on page 223.

Do you follow me when I say it kinda wasn’t my idea? I remained open and I still do, and this became the entire controlling principle of how the entire show is coming together: it’s based on signs and symbols quite early on in the process.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cosmic Trigger and other links

Emperor Norton I

With the Cosmic Trigger play looming, you can now listen to parts of the book on Soundcloud being read to you.  Part one is read by Jonathan Sellers, director of antiquities for the Illuminati (no, I don't know how you acquire that title.) Part two is Josh Darcy, an actor in the Cosmic Trigger play.

Julian Sanchez on the failure of the NSA reform bill. 

Bill Drummond on five lessons he learned from Ken Campbell.  You have to read this. Apparently, Yoko Ono decided not to appear in the Illuminatus! stage play.

New John Higgs book, but you probably can't read it right away.

William Gibson's favorite books.

Kickstarter for Emperor Norton documentary.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Adam Gorightly interview

Adam Gorightly

I have been reading Adam Gorightly's new book on Kerry Thornley and the JFK assassination investigations, Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Oswald and the Garrison Investigation.

I've just published a new interview with Adam at my new books blog at my day job (which I invite all of you to check out, seeing as  how many of you like to read.)


Sandusky Register:  Your new book, "Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation," tells the story of counterculture figure Kerry Thornley, who began writing a novel about Lee Harvey Oswald BEFORE the JFK assassination. Since you already wrote the definitive biography of Thornley, why have you written a new book?

Adam Gorightly: Kerry Thornley, in my opinion, was one of the most fascinating figures to emerge from the sixties counterculture, although his story is not widely known in popular culture and is overshadowed by the more well known characters who left their imprint on the sixties scene, such as Tim Leary, Ken Kesey or Hunter Thompson.

As recounted in Caught in the Crossfire, Kerry Thornley became embroiled in Jim Garrison’s investigation, and because of this — as well as his association with Lee Harvey Oswald — Thornley is most well known in relation to the Kennedy assassination and less for his endeavors as co-founder of the “spoof religion” Discordianism and as a leading thinker and writer of the early Anarcho-Libertarian scene that greatly influenced Wilson and Shea’s Illuminatus!

During the course of research for my 2003 book "The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture," I was introduced to the Discordian Archives by Dr. Robert Newport, who had been friends with Thornley and Discordian co-founder Greg Hill, and portions of these archives were used as source materials for the The Prankster and the Conspiracy. In the years to follow, I was introduced to more of these Discordian Archive materials, including a box of items directly related to Kerry Thornley and the Garrison Investigation. These materials prompted me to write "Caught in the Crossfire" because after reviewing these materials I realized I’d only scratched the surface regarding Thornley and the Garrison investigation in my earlier book.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oz Fritz on exercising will

Recording engineer and magick student Oz Fritz (seen above at work in a recording studio) has posted a new article on exercising will, "Creativity — To Exercise Will Part 3."  It can also be read as a discussion of the Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson sixth circuit in the eight circuit model, and also can be read as a discussion of the Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel in Aleister Crowley's system. (If you've read RAW's Schroedinger's Cat, you'll recall the discussion there of the Holy Guardian Angel.) In any event, it's very interesting and gives the RAW fan lots of chew on. There's quite a bit of discussion about The Illuminati Papers and a suggestion that maybe Leary and Wilson got it wrong when they defined the fourth circuit.

If you missed Part One and Part Two, Oz has a good synopsis in the latest installment that brings you up to speed; you can read the new article as a stand alone. Or if you want the full dose, you can sit down and read all three. I re-read part one and read part two and part three in one sitting last night; it took me about an hour, but it was a very entertaining hour.

P.S. In light the Illuminatus! passage discussed in yesterday's blog post, I was amused that when I posted a comment to Oz's latest article, I had to "prove I'm not a robot." Not sure I can prove that, but I managed to post the comment.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 39, Illuminatus online reading group

Poet T.S. Eliot, who wrote the memorable phrase, "Humility is endless." 

(This week: Page 398, "The Indians were a band of Shoshones," to page 406, "even though he was now convinced it was the system he himself had been growing toward for many years.")

"Humility is endless." I certainly felt plenty of humility when I read this section twice and realized I could not really think of much of anything to add to Hagbard Celine's lecture on the dangers of egotism when one believes one has found enlightenment. Help me out on this one, guys and gals! But I can at least help with a couple of the references.

"I've read T.S. Eliot, and now I understand him. 'Humility is endless.' " (Page 402).

George Dorn is quoting from "East Coker," from Eliot's Four Quartets.

Do not let me hear
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession,
Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire

Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.

"He felt sorry for the woman who had written that: Pitiful modern version of the maddened Saint Simon on his pillar in the desert." (Page 403)

For once, my interest in Late Antiquity pays off; I recognize the reference to the very strange life of Saint Simeon Stylites (about 390 A.D. to 459 AD), who for many years lived on top of a pillar; good Christian pilgrims seeking his wisdom would have to climb up to talk with him. Notice that while many modern people would simply consider the saint a raving lunatic, in his day the saint was considered a very holy and a very enlightened person. Shit Head, Holy Man, indeed ("He wondered what the H.M. and S.H. stood for," pages 404-405.)

(Next week: "Mmm," she said, "I like that smell," page 406, to "The only thing to do was find a hole and bury myself," page 416.) 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cosmic Trigger play update

Daisy Campbell's Cosmic Trigger Play will be staged later this month in Liverpool and London. Get your tickets.

The Independent gives Daisy a nice writeup. A bit I didn't know: "Ms Campbell said that after his death [Ken Campbell], theatre-makers contacted her about restaging Illuminatus! 'I thought: ‘No, I don’t want to do that, I want to do a sequel; some kind of bridge that would be mine,' she said."

Hagbard Celine and James Cauty have both done images of the Leif Ericsson to promote the play. (Cauty is above, Celine below) If Cauty's name doesn't quite ring a bell, see this.