Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 42, Illuminatus! online reading group


 Emperor Norton

 (This week: "But two days earlier, as the Leif Ericsson left the Atlantic .... " page 427, to page 437, "But why did you bring me up here?")

Here we get the 'abdication' of Hagbard Celine.

It takes place at the weekly "Love Feast Game" of the Discordians, which features paintings of "Discordian saints" (page 427) including

Emperor Norton I

Sigismundo Malatesta

Guillaume of Aquitaine

Chuang Chou

and Judge Roy Bean

"Miss Portanari now succeeds me as head of the Leif Ericcson cabal," page 430, Hagbard's abdication.  The appendix on Page 768 explains, "Readers who do not understand the scene in which Hagbard abdicates in favor of Miss Portanari should take heart. Once they do understand it, they will understand most of the mysteries of all schools of mysticism." This is good news; like George Dorn, I am still struggling to figure out what happened. I am asking for help again.

"seeing that nut Celine actually talk to gorillas," page 436. The speaker is Joseph Malik; see pages 319-320.

"The state is based on threat," Stella said simply (page 437). The current threat is "terrorism."

(Next week: "It's time for you to see the fnords," he replied, page 437, to page 446, "Suddenly Joe was looking at a brightly-lit computer screen.")










5 comments:

JCG said...

I appreciate the descriptions of Discoridan rituals in the trilogy, and, especially this one as all the other rituals depicted so far have been initiations.

In that vein, I find it entertaining to imagine that I just found this book in 1975 without knowing much about it. The trilogy is like the Lovecraft stories about the Necronomicon EXCEPT the refer to a real book (Princpia Discordia) and real ppl (Mal-2, Lord Omar, etc.). It is no wonder that people were eager to find out who the REAL Discordians were. In that way, the trilogy was something like the Rosicrucian manifestos that swept Europe in the 17th century, except underground and totally psychedelic.

Did some G00gling around for Menomenee Indian peyote tea and found an informative study on the cactus by famed ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes published in 1938:
http://www.americanethnography.com/article.php?id=20#.VIW4V4ebqVI

p.429: "Miss Mao arose. 'The Pope is the chief cause of Protestantism...."
In addition be being amusing, this series of cheers seem to suggest the fact that the Discordians understand their own political, economic, philosophical positions to be tactical and not dogmatic. This seems to be supported by the content of Hagbard's opening toast.

I may very well be projecting, but when I read the scene where Hagbard elects Miss Portinari to the position of episkopos I understood it as something that Wilson desired to do at times in his life. Like Hagbard, Wilson was also an engineer (or at least trained as one) and if you read Sex, Drugs, and Magick you can certainly see that Wilson played the shaman to a number of people, even when he did not want the task. His rebuffs to George seem to indicate his desire to talk about things that were not psychedelic or mystical, but being unable to on account of the demands made by those who saw him as a guru.

Tom: as far as the exchange between Miss Portinari and Hagbard, the authors have lifted an episode from the history of Zen Buddhism commonly referred to as the Flower Sermon. Instead of the flower you have the raised fist of revolution, which Portinari keeps elevated in the face of an authority (Hagbard) who insists she take it down. In keeping her fist aloft (with a smile), she passes the test and proves her understanding of mystical-anarcho-discordian-individualism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_Sermon

p. 436: "Martians or Insect Trust delegates" this was the name of a late 60s rock band, who got their name from Naked Lunch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Insect_Trust

Eric Wagner said...

Week 42 seems the answer. Sigismundo Malatesta plays a major role in Pound's Canto's and in Bob's The Earth Will Shake.

I've always thought Miss Portinari's gesture suggested an erection.

Eric Wagner said...

Your picture of his Eminence, Norton I, reminds me of the World Science Fiction Convention in San Francisco in 1993. They had an actor playing Emperor Norton throughout the convention, as well as a local writer playing Mark Twain, their Dead Guest of Honor. I told Mr. Twain I had enjoyed his book on Christian Science, and that I had tried to use Christian Science to heal my checkbook. He told me I should read his book on the Mormons.

I also heard Eric Drexler talk about nanotechnology at that convention.

On pg. 436 Joe Malik puts on a record from the Museum of Natural History of the music of wolves which leads to his neighbors complaining about his dogs.

What would you do if you had a flying saucer? Go to Amsterdam?

Oz Fritz said...

p.427 '... and entered the underground Ocean of Valusia beneath Europe" - readers of Stranger in a Strange Land make catch the allusion with Valusia.
OVE = 81 which is 3 to the 4th power; also worth looking up in 777 in this context.

"... the weekly Agape Ludens, or Love Feast Game, of the Discordians."

Agape describes the kind of love referred to if you look up the Greek meaning of it.

Agape Ludens = AL, a letter combination said to be the key to the Book of the Law. Its mystery can begin to be penetrated by looking at the associated tarot cards, The Fool, and Adjustment in conjunction with each other. The same letter combination occurs four times in succession with the first initials of the final words from Finnegans Wake, shortly after Joyce writes: "The keys to. Given!"

Love Feast Game - LFG = 39, worth looking up; when including Discordians you get 43, also worth looking up in 777 List of Primes for one method,a method George seems to utilize a little later.

"Miss Portanari now succeeds me as head of the Leif Ericcson cabal," page 430, Hagbard's abdication. The appendix on Page 768 explains, "Readers who do not understand the scene in which Hagbard abdicates in favor of Miss Portanari should take heart. Once they do understand it, they will understand most of the mysteries of all schools of mysticism." This is good news; like George Dorn, I am still struggling to figure out what happened. I am asking for help again.

I don't know the answer to the riddle about Miss Portanari. In my opinion, the appendix appears clever misdirection, hiding the answer in plain sight like the Purloined Letter. In this case, for a change, I suggest looking at the finger doing the pointing instead of what it points to. I don't know about all the schools of mysticism, but for Crowley's school and one other I know, this appears quite true regarding understanding most of the mysteries. The hidden in plain sight answer also seems a pun with two opposite meanings both relevant to alchemical trials, tribulations and successes.



Neil_in_Chicago said...

Where's the discussion of who Miss Portinari is?