Monday, March 24, 2014

Illuminatus! group reading, Week Five

Page 42 "ILLUMINATI PROJECT: MEMO #7" to page 52 "the Islamic and Catholic traditions respectively." 

Page 44, "Congressman Koch," presumably Ed Koch (1924-2013), who also was a mayor of New York. 

Page 44, "And 'illumination' was one of the words hippies were always using ... " The paragraph about light and illumination reminds me of "All things that are, are lights," a phrase from John Scotus Eriugena quoted in the Cantos of Ezra Pound.  The quotation provides the title for Robert  Shea's historical novel, All Things Are Lights,  which features a hero who practices tantric sex, much like Simon Moon. I have previous suggested that All Things Are Lights is a "thematic prequel" to Illuminatus!

Page 45, "Here, kitty-kitty-kitty," Hagbard is training the self-destructing mynah birds.

Page 45, "One of those scientists ... " Dr. Charles Mocenigo.

Page 48, "That character in Washington is a mental lunatic, and he means it." Illuminatus! was written in 1969-71, but unfortunately the satire on U.S. intervention in remote areas of the world hasn't dated.

Page 51, " ... the pivotal role of secret Masonic lodges in the French revolution ... "  I found an article about this, but it doesn't list many sources.  

Note: All Things Are Lights was re-released as an ebook under the Creative Commons License by Shea's son; you can download free ebooks here. 

Next week: Page 52 "Saul picked up the ninth memo" to Page 63 "the shadows of Maya."


tony smyth said...

Sorry to hijack your group reading, but what has happned to Maybe Logic. Havent been able to get into the site for days?? The spam hasfinally crashed the site??? The Admin has given up or what??

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

I have no idea. The forum was still active the last I knew. Can anyone help?

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oz Fritz said...

Tom, your comment about the paragraph on p.44 that ends with "More light!" reminded me of a favorite film, "The Fifth Element." The first english dialogue heard in that film says, " Aziz, more light!"

p.42 "...thirteen is, of course, the traditional code for marijuana and is still used by the Hell's Angels among others." I've never heard that outside of Illuminatus!, anyone else?

Thirteen recalls the qabalistic key number for the path of Gimel which connects the spheres of Tiphareth and Kether. There seems at least one further reference to this path in this section. "Hell's Angels also makes an appropriate image for this path."

Eric Wagner said...

"Mehr licht!" ("More light!")- Goethe's dying words.

Watching a collection of scenes from the Tonight Show, I saw a mynah bird that said, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty." I suspect Bob Shea and/or Bob Wilson saw that as well.

I seem to remember that Pound misattributed "Omnia quia sunt, lumina sunt" ("All things that are, are lights") to Erigina, but I can't remember where the Poundians say the quote actually came from.

Scott said...

"More Light" is also a response the candidate gives in the Master Mason (Third) degree

Neil_in_Chicago said...

I like the original cover of All Things Are Lights much better. A medieval appearance of Sufi symbolism is a great juxtaposition.
And, of course, I'm name checked in the dedication. Shea inscribed my copy, " . . . who helped illuminate the author." I said, Wow, that's great but I have no idea what you're talking about." He said, "You were the first person to tell me that as a professional writer I should be using a microcomputer," and half a dozen of his historicals were written on an Apple II.
(Bernadette Bosky, co Fan GoH at the upcoming North American Science Fiction Convention, is credited too.)

Daddy Eroshka said...

@Neil, that's really cool! How well did you know Shea?

@Scott, you a Mason? That's good insight.

I'm without my book for now, so will read later this week. I might as well point out here, though, that as I've been spending more time with Finnegans Wake since this group reading started, I decided to re-read the Introduction today and saw RAW referenced! I can't believe I didn't underline it when I read the book a few years ago. I'm sure he couldn't be happier that he's entombed in new printings of the book (Penguin Books).

Introduction (1999) by John Bishop, author of "Joyce's Book of the Dead: Finnegans Wake." Page xii:

"...cyberneticians are currently discovering prefigurations of cybernetics in the book, while Robert Anton Wilson, author of The Illuminatus Trilogy, in a reading that cleverly demonstrates the authorial power of the postmodern reader, has discovered in Finnegans Wake both the formula for the hydrogen bomb and the molecular structure of the double helix of DNA..."

Scott said...

Page 52 ...the Shriners, for instance, were part of the Masonic movement,...

A.A.O.N.M.S. otherwise known as "Shriners"
Ancient Arabic Order of the Noble Mystics of the Shrine
Unjumble the first letters and you get: A MASON
Every Shriner is a Mason, but not every Mason is a Shriner
The Shrine was established as the "Party & Fun" group of the masons and later took on philanthropic overtones.

From the beginning, the Shrine was intentionally designed to be fun — actually, even a bit juvenile. Freemasons looking for deep, intellectual symbolism and knowledge won’t find it in the Shrine. What they will find is old-fashioned, back-slapping, glass-raising, cigar-puffing, high-volume socializing. Their history is filled with tales of the antics of Shriners, especially when collected together at their annual conventions.

@Daddy Eroshka, Current Freemason(25 years), Former Shrine Clown(13 years)

fuzzbuddy said...

pg. 43 "a press release sent out by NBC on April 24, 1969" - Anyone got a take on this?

Pg. 47. “Just like Mal” - Carmel nearly lets slip the name of Don Federico Maldonado.

pg. 49 "He was harassed"...repeated verbatim for Chinese and Russian leaders later.

pg. 50. Thomas Edison and his lightbulbs - another form of illumination.

Eric Wagner said...

I pulled up some pictures of Adam Weishaupt. I guess he does look a bit like Washington, as it says on page 43.

The first episode of the new Cosmos has an animated bit on Giordano Bruno. It seemed a little condescending towards Bruno, saying something like "Of course he wasn't a scientist, just a lucky guesser." I remember Bob Wilson saying of Bruno that the scientists want to make him their hero, but he told one of his audiences, "He's our hero." Bob pointed out that four hundred years ago the Church opposed mysticism and science, both of which used individual investigation to try to understand the world. Now science generally opposes mysticism. The Cosmos piece didn't discuss the mystical/occult side of Bruno.

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