On the last page of Coincidance, Robert Anton Wilson goes back to the quotation from Carl Jung that opens the book on page 1.
Before I attempt to get into "The Hidden Variables," (is a "hidden variable" essentially a "maybe"?), I wanted to go to another place in the front of the book to illustrate RAW's wide-ranging literary interests.
In the "Fore-Words," RAW writes, "I have added a running commentary, here and there, which sets these pieces in their historical context, expands them, adds new thoughts, or just exemplifies the sad fact that, like most writers, I cannot resist any opportunity to explain my explanations."
I like the "explain my explanations" crack, and I have a theory now on where RAW may have gotten it.
Lord Byron's most famous literary work, the book-length poem Don Juan, has an introductory section, too, a sarcastic dedication to Robert "Bob" Southey, then England's poet laureate. From the second stanza:
And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,
But like a hawk encumbered with his hood --
Explaining metaphysics to the nation --
I wish he would explain his Explanation.
Perhaps I should explain that Byron was, by the standards of his day, a political radical, and that he attacked Southey for turning his back on his radical past and becoming a conservative; Southey is also remembered for advising Charlotte Bronte not to write professionally, because "Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life." He was quite the charmer.
I'll note for a moment that Byron's dedication also expresses sympathy for Irish independence and makes a reference to the "dog-star."
I noticed that in this chapter, as in one of the previous Joyce chapters, there are mistakes in the diagrams that are supposed to make understanding the text easier. I wish someone at New Falcon had proofread more carefully.
My favorite section of "The Hidden Variables" begins on page 243, where RAW cleverly relates Timothy Leary's eight circuit model of consciousness to Joyce's "no mind" function, the seven days of the week, etc.
I had trouble understanding the "centering process" referred to in the last sentence; does anyone want to help?
Note: When I drew up the 12-week schedule for the reading of Coincidance, I did not have in mind RAW's discussion of Joyce's system functions of twelves, pages 244-245.