" .... seeing her as a Greek woman in classic robes holding a golden apple," page 671. Above, the latest "Eris of the Month" at Historia Discordia.
(This week: week: "Hagbard left at the same time the old waiter did, " page 670, to page 687, "You can always tell the higher members by their sense of humor.")
In this week's episode, in the peculiar way that Illuminatus! has with chronology, we get a look at Robert Putney Drake's early life, and a foreshadowing of the death that already occurred hundreds of pages ago. ("By denying death, you guarantee that you will meet him finally in his most hideous form," page 685.) Perhaps Wilson and Shea's use of the cut-up technique placed the section at the rear of the trilogy, and they decided they liked it there.
Drake resembles Hagbard Celine in his understanding of people and how the world works, but while Celine wants to help people and make the world a better place, Drake seems only interested in acquiring wealth and power for its own sake.
My current favorite TV program, "The Americans," is about a pair of KGB spies, deeply embedded in the United States, who kill people, coerce people, trick people, seduce people and so on, all out of a deep loyalty to the Soviet Union. Drake is similarly ruthless, but his only loyalty is to himself. Celine does what he thinks he has to do, but his original intent was to avoid hurting anyone.
Not that Mama Sutra doesn't try to get through to Drake. "The wheel of Dharma" that she refers to on page 685 is a Buddhist concept, and Buddhism is big on karma, or volition — the idea that what you do can be helpful or can cause suffering.
Of course, this is Drake's second warning not to mess with dark forces. H.P. Lovecraft tried to warn him, too, earlier in the novel (and Drake gave Lovecraft a similarly ignored warning.)
For earlier discussion on whether Mama Sutra was based upon a real person, Mary Frohman, go here.
(Next week: Page 687: AND THIS IS WHAT IS SAYS: NO REMISSION, NO REMISSION, BROTHERS AND SISTERS to page 697, "For George as well as for you.")