Buckminster Fuller, genius and contactee
By Charles Faris, Cosmic Trigger online reading group guest bloggerWelcome to week 11 of the group reading of Cosmic Trigger. This week we are covering pages 79-91, in both the Hilaritas edition & the And/Or.
We lead off with Sirius Rising which is focused on the theme of Contact — extraterrestrial, interstellar, planetary consciousness, or what-not. It is valuable when reading this section to remember something that Bob writes in Cosmic Trigger II, on page 62 of the New Falcon revised 2nd edition:
“Between 1969 and 1973 I was doing a lot more Acid than I admitted in the first Cosmic Trigger [because Timothy Leary, Wilhelm Reich and Viet Nam encourage a sensible person to exhibit caution in their public statements]…and I was combining it with both Positive Thinking and traditional Cabaistic Magick. That is, for some Trips I would play a hypno-tape with positive suggestions on it (“I am at cause over my mind… I am at cause over my body… My mind abounds with beauty and power…”), and for other Trips I would use the exercises in Aleister Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice to enter Virtual Realities.”
Bearing in mind that the Shaman has been doing this sort of thing for FOUR YEARS while also living a jam packed life—working at Playboy, writing Illuminatus! with Bob Shea, raising 4 kids, quitting his job and moving to Mexico, etc — all in the midst of the insane cultural climate of the country at the time (Nixon, “The War,” the assassinations of King and Kennedy, the incarceration of Leary, shootings at Kent State, etc) and we can begin to form a picture of a man pushing himself to the limit, and then transcending that limit and pushing himself up against another one. Over and over.
Given that this chapter is about diving in way over his head, there are quite a few words of caution here — the concealment of his frequent use of LSD (because Police) as well as his advice regarding the reader’s potential use of LSD — “Stay AWAY from black-market acid, my friend; don't let these experiments lead you astray… use organic plants whose purity is known, such as the peyote cactus or the psilocybin mushroom.”
Andrea Puharich neurologist of professional repute (with Uri Geller)
Bob is also careful to check the sanity of his experiences against other intelligent people. He lists five prominent scientists by name and claims that another reliable scientist knows of at least 100 other unnamed scientists who have had contact experiences.
Woven into the Tales of Contact are the continuing adventures of Timothy Leary, now captured in Afghanistan by “American agents.” This little piece of information allows The Author to reveal more of his new-found “psychic powers,” and to express his realization of “how much I cared for that brilliant but incautious man.” Note the contrast between Bob’s caution and Tim’s lack thereof.
Jack Sarfatti was encouraged to study physics by an “extraterrestrial”
As the Author dives deep into “Contact with Sirius” he also offers us a cornucopia of alternate selves including the Skeptic, the Oracle, the Shaman, the Neurologician, The Yogi, the Mystic, the Poet, the Satirist, the Robot, the Wizard, the Investigator, and the Researcher.
This is certainly one of the most Cosmic, Mystical, Wow Man sections of the entire book, and if psychedelics had been legal Wilson could have definitely sustained a career as a Psychedelic Copywriter. As it stands, though, the idiocy of our legal system brought us a better Bob than that, and the next chapter, The Holy Guardian Angel, offers a more grounded analysis of the Cosmic Trips described in Sirius Rising.
Right out the box Bob states that he was “living in a belief system where almost anything might happen and probably would.” He cuts back to the sub-title of the book with the phrases “last illumination of the Illuminati” and “the final secret.” And he acknowledges that he is deep in the Chapel Perilous underground, “laid, relayed, and PARlayed, fucked, flustered, and far from home.”
The cautionary spirt remains as Our Hero realizes he needs to check his ability to communicate with “the hive,” and when he succeeds at that the Shaman and the Skeptic “confer at length” and he continues with his experiments.
In the course of the narrative we meet the Young White Hipster, the Neuro-metaprogrammer, the Struggling Writer, and the Libertarian Hedonist, although interestingly enough, Bob continues to frame the “extraterrestrials from Sirius” (or the Holy Guardian Angel) as external independent entities, not to be confused with the various aspects of himself.
Lots of synchronicities, some subjective and others objective, which Bob seems to attribute to the Holy Guardian Angel, and quite a few messages which lead The Author to create one of my favorite lines in the book: “I must admit that most of these messages were nauseatingly moralistic and childishly optimistic by the standards of our cynical, swinish and despairing age.”
That line could almost be Bob channeling Hunter S. Thompson, and the assessment seems pretty spot on for most of the channeled material I was consuming in the 1980s. And of course, we’ll be moving on from there pretty damned quick!
Next week—Beings of light…through Those mysterious Sufis, pages 91-102 Hilaritas, 91-101 And/Or.
Don’t forget to dive into the comments! There is always good stuff in there progressively building throughout the week and beyond! Last week Oz Fritz enlightened us about “Wilson’s Twist” on Crowley’s method of “achieving and transcending religious visions,” and we got some “inside information” from Eric Wagner about how to use Pound’s Cantos to initiate Contact with Aphrodite!