Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oz Fritz on love under will and focused attention

Oz Fritz has published a new "position paper" on focusing attention and love under will, drawing on his extensive knowledge of esoterica, Aleister Crowley and forms of meditation. I thought this paragraph was interesting:

Now here's some incentive though it likely won't be believed until experienced.  Strengthening attention acts as a form of life extension.  Attention slows down time, or, if you like, slows down the perception of time ... same thing as far as the body's aging mechanisms are concerned.  You hear about people in car accidents saying that everything went into slow motion during the accident.  This is because the crisis reflexively triggers attention far beyond normal.  Time seems to slow down as the velocity of brain activity speeds up.  This can be more subtly noticed in learning a new activity or the protocols of a new situation such as the first day on the job.  Everything happens very fast as you struggle to learn and keep up.  As you learn the ropes, the pace of activity slows to a manageable rate.  The so-called learning curve is a gathering, concentration and crystalization of attention related to the new subject or activity.  Experienced music producers can hear more in one playback of a song than the average listener because they've increased and trained their listening attention to an advanced degree such that the music doesn't go by as fast as it does to the untrained ear.

See also my earlier post, Oz Fritz and RAW on the art of paying attention. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Notes on the reading group

Next week's episode of the Illuminatus! online reading group (e.g, Monday) will be on the prologue for The Golden Apple, a bit of text that's not in the Dell omnibus which I assume most people are reading but which was included when the work originally was issued as a series of three paperback originals back in the 1970s.

The prologue is a little shorter than the 10 page bits we've been doing, and I see this stage as an opportunity for anyone who wishes to get caught up with the group, or to start anew with The Golden Apple. Ten pages a week is not exactly a forced march, so it's not too late to take advantage of the next two weeks to get caught up.

A couple of other points: Adam Gorightly has been posting on the reading group episodes at Historia Discordia, and I've been noting his posts on this blog and collecting them on the online discussion group page. If you feel moved to put up something on your own blog or website, please make sure I don't miss it — I want to point to it, too. Also,  I remain open to guest posts on this blog. Just contact me and let me know you want to lead the discussion for an episode.

My sincere thanks to everyone who took a moment to post a comment on one of the blog postings for The Eye in the Pyramid. I'm looking forward to hearing from you during The Golden Apple. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday links

Jesse Walker's The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory comes out in paperback on Oct. 14.  Jesse says it will have "a new post-Snowden afterword."

Adam Gorightly's Historia Discordia is temporarily down, will be back up soon. remains down.

Everything I Know, 42 hours of Buckminster Fuller lectures. 

Gaming feminist Illuminati phone case. 

Dylan Matthews at talks with Bryan Caplan about open borders. 

Give Edward Snowden immunity.

Lucy Steigerwald on learning from 9/11. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Illuminatus Reading Group, Week 30

 "The Death of Caesar" by Jean-Léon Gérôme, just after the conspirators have pressed home their attack on Julius Caesar by inflicting 23 wounds.

(This week: Concluding pages of The Eye in the Pyramid. Page 292, "RAGS. Hail Ghoulumbia, her monadmen are fled," to page 304, "Every emotion is a motion.) 

The end of The Eye in the Pyramid brilliantly ties together the Cthulhu mythos with the occult and with anarchism. It provides a good thematic summary for the book, although of course for a dramatic resolution we have two more books to go.

"He's inside the Pentagon. That's why they build it in that shape, so he couldn't escape. The Aztecs, the Nazis ... and now us ... "

A fictional metaphor for the National Security state and for the military-industrial complex, and for the way it demands the sacrifice of thousands, regardless of who wins the elections? At the time Illuminatus! was written, the U.S. was involved in the war in Vietnam, which had little to do with national security in a traditional sense. No one believed the Vietnamese were about to invade Hawaii or California.

Perhaps the passage I've quoted, and some of themes of Illuminatus!, come from the peace demonstration which attempted an exorcism of the Pentagon. 

Handbill written by Ed Sanders (of the Fugs, mentioned in Illuminatus!) with instructions for exorcism of the Pentagon, taken from above link.)

Some notes on the text:

"A rag, a bone, a hank of hair," page 293. The quotation is from a Rudyard Kipling poem, "The Vampire."

Anthropologist J.N. Marsh, page 294. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, considered a classic SF novel, has an anthropologist named John V. Marsch.

Dr. Henry Armitage, page 294. Head librarian at Miskatonic University in the H.P. Lovecraft story, "The Dunwich Horror."

Allegro's The Sacred Mushroom, page 294. The so-called "Jesus as mushroom" theory. Controversial, obviously, but Allegro has his defenders, including classical scholar Carl Ruck. I blogged about Ruck.

amanita, page 297, more here.

"young black student named Pearson," page 297. Later the leader of a rock music band, Clark Kent and his Supermen.

"I can see the fnords," page 302. Explanation of fnords here. The use of fnords to induce fear in the populace relates to the National Security State.

"I suppose you've read Seutonius and know that the late J. Caesar was rendered exactly 23 stab wounds by Brutus & Co.," page 304.

Suetonius is misspelled, but I pulled my copy of The Twelve Caesars off the shelf, and there is a reference to 23 stabbings. After the initial two stabbings, Suetonius relates, Caesar pulled his gown over his face. "Twenty-three dagger thrusts went home as he stood there." Suetonius also mentions that Caesar was 55 years old when he died, so his death conformed to the Law of Fives.

By the way, my copy of the The Twelve Caesars is translated by Robert Graves, the "Graves" mentioned on Page 294.

(Next week: Prologue to the Golden Apple, available here if you are using the Dell Omnibus edition (which omits it). 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday links

Book review at Slate of American Cornball by Christopher Miller. Joel Warner's review begins by discussing 23 as the "funniest number" and offering numerous examples. (Hat tip, Arthur Hlavaty.)

Peter Thiel answers questions on Reddit.

Online magazine Salon, in one Tweet.

Apparently some of those wild stories about JFK, Marilyn Monroe, etc., aren't true. (Via Jesse Walker on Twitter.)

Interview with Paul Krassner (includes references to RAW and Timothy Leary.)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Some antiwar links

Sheldon Richman

As we descend into our latest Iraq war, I thought it might be timely to post a few antiwar leaks. remains a good resource. There's lots of stuff up on Iraq, including Justin Raimondo's latest.  Chad Nelson, whose articles on RAW have been mentioned here, also has a new piece on the site, on "Challenging the Motives Behind War."

EconLog, a Libertarian blog with a quiet, reasoned tone, is also a reliably good antiwar blog. Here are some of my favorites from contributor David Henderson: "One Innocent Person Is Killed. Response: Kill More Innocent People." "Paul Krugman on Why We Fight," "Trade Creates Peace." 

Sheldon Richman has a great piece on "Ten Lessons, Plus One, We Should Learn from 9/11"

I've linked to libertarian pieces so far, but I don't mean to be partisan. Zoë Carpenter has a good piece in The Nation, "Is the War on ISIS Illegal?" And here is Tom Hayden on the new war. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Discordian historian Adam Gorightly on Week 29

Gregory Hill, author of "The Curse of Greyface"

Discordian historian Adam Gorightly has weighed in on Week 29 of the Illuminatus! online reading group. He explains the reference to the Curse of Greyface.

Adam also has just posted rare RAW videos. 

Information on his brand new Kerry Thornley book is here.