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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Diagonal Relationship letters, No. 4

(Fourth in a series of Robert Anton Wilson letters reprinted from the fanzine Diagonal Relationship).

The Diagonal Relationship 14, 1980

Adrienne Fein is quite right about the term "temple prostitute": It is a projection of Christian prejudice backward on pre-Christian theology.

Certainly, sexual yoga or sex magick or hierogamy is powerful magick, and that is what the so-called temple "prostitutes" were doing. It takes a considerable amount of shamanic training to work up an equally passionate and devout religious mood by any other method.

The trouble with Christians is that they are constitutionally incapable of understanding anybody else's point of view. I mean literally I have never heard or read a Christian describe a non-Christian belief system accurately. (The one exception to this rule is the Jesuits, but there is some doubt--shared by the Pope lately--that they are really Christians.)

I was amused by your account of the parapsychology class where everybody thought skepticism meant a dogmatic refusal to believe. This confusion has been created by a band of vehement and intolerant fanatics (the Fundamentalist wing of the Materialist Church) who have coopted the word "skepticism" to describe their own bigotry.

I haven't been able to take the so-called "skeptics" seriously since the burning of Wilhelm Reich's books in 1956. The ringleader of the "skeptics," Martin Gardner, was one of the instigators of the persecution of Dr. Reich, and I was young and naive in those days. I kept expecting Gardner to say, when it became obvious that the government was going to throw Reich in jail and burn his books too, "Hey that isn't what I meant. I meant Reich's theories should be criticized, not obliterated." But Gardner never objected to the mutilations of the Constitution in the Reich case, and I finally decided that having Reich in jail and his books in a bonfire was exactly what Gardner wanted. I strongly suspect that what he wants today is all the parapsychologists in jail and their books burned, too.

If you will pardon me, I think you misuse the word "nature" just as badly as the pop ecologists or ecologoids do. That is, both you and they seem to mean by "nature" something which does not include humanity. I think it is semantically and scientifically more accurate to use the word for something that does include humanity, as a domesticated primate species as much a part of the biosphere as the wild primates.

In the latter usage, not only are our bodies part of nature in general, but so are our brains, as tools or adaptation for our bodies. The purpose of the dog brain is to make survival of doggihood possible; the purpose of the human brain is to make survival of Homo Sap possible. I believe Freud pointed this out before me.

The idiocy of the ecologoids is that they believe, or talk as if they believe, that nature stops at around the human neck, everything above there being "unnatural." On the contrary, I cannot conceive of my thoughts being any less natural than my bowel movements, my endocrine system, or my blood circulation.

In this connection, it is obvious that the dog brain does not abstract enough information to create a perfect model of the total universe; it abstracts enough for the dog's survival, pack-status, and reproduction scripts. I assume the same is true of the human brain. Those who are looking for the Total Truth are probably looking for more than a domesticated primate brain can achieve. I do, however, think it is amusing, entertaining, and survivally useful to look for more of the truth than we currently own.

No, the Craft is not a front for Discordianism. But, since more and more witches are Discordians, and more and more Discordians are getting initiated into Wicca, the two are increasingly hard to disentangle. Which is just the way I want it....

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